Peter Rakes Albatross D II - RC Groups
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Dec 02, 2008, 09:50 PM
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Build Log

Peter Rakes Albatross D II

This is the second thread on this design. The prototype build which I am using for reference is located at:

Having built Gee Bee's till I reach burn out, I decided to look around at other peoples work. I have no experiance with biplanes so I decided for this years projects I would purchase Pat Trittle's Curtiss Jenny and Peter Rake's D II

My problem with my own work is that it is dated to older gas designs that come out heavy. I am looking to learn from Pat and Peter the fine art of building lighter.

Originally I was going to purchase the Curtiss Jenny first but having seen Pat Lynch's article in Flying Scale Models complete with sheet one of the plans I made the move to buy the short kit that night. The Curtiss will get ordered as soon as the wife lets me have control of my check after her Christmas Shopping.

One thing I do have coming for Christmas is a balsa building board from Hobby Lobby located in Tennessee. This will hold me up on the wings and fuselage until I can get it away from the wife. She seems to think I should put it under the tree till Christmas day. May have to slip a like size board into the package to open in front of her.

As I am waiting to start I have cleaned of a bench and pulled out supplies to get ready.

I talked to Pat about adding to his thread but agree his is pretty long. He has recommended linking to his and I will have to work out how to do that.

Tonight I built up the tail skid assembly to test the stain I purchased from Proctor over 5 years ago. It is unique in that it is lacquer based and dries almost instantly. The liquid evaperates leaving the stain with in minutes. The colors are cherry and oak. The do not interfere with any glue I have used. I tried both on a piece of dark 1/64 Plywood and on the built up tailskid.
Last edited by pipescs; Dec 04, 2008 at 06:42 AM.
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Dec 02, 2008, 10:13 PM
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As I am waiting on the board to build on, will attempt the wheels tomorrow night.

Good thing Pats thread is out there to read as charlie provides a piece of black foam for the wheels and I had no clue what it was for. I had planned on O rings (Pat says there too heavy) Just another sign of my dated thinking.
Dec 02, 2008, 10:33 PM
a.k.a Maltone
Pat Lynch's Avatar
Me-thinks you had better do some sneaky swapping under the Christmas tree - let's get our priorities sorted
Either of those stains would do depending on the original chosen. There is some discussion on the darkness or otherwise of the DII colour as old photos are notoriously unreliable guides.

Nice to see the article in your photo - I haven't seen it yet

Are you going to use ply or balsa skinning?

Here is my thread:

Good luck with it

Dec 03, 2008, 05:05 AM
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You guys are so spoiled by your magazines. Plans included along with real how to build it articles.

I approached one magazine here in the U.S.(Not M.A.N.) and was told not to do a step by step but more of a why I picked the model philosohpy type article.
Dec 03, 2008, 10:22 AM
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7car7's Avatar
Gotta subscribe to this one too! I'm sure it's going to be a great plane.
Build it to fly, not to survive a crash!
Dec 03, 2008, 04:21 PM
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I am determined on this build to learn lightness and to not make it heavy with modifications.
Dec 03, 2008, 05:07 PM
It flew once before...
jofrost's Avatar
Dec 03, 2008, 08:30 PM
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Did not get to work on the wheels as we had plans (Wife made me go to dinner).

In the process though I realized that the plans do not call out a wire size that equates to anything sold here in the U.S.A.

Did a little research and came up with the fact that the term SWG stands for Imperial Standard Wire Gauge. This is not the same as the American Wire Guage AWG. I understand 14AWG is almost the same as 16SWG

I located this chart to convert but also realize they do not sell wire in MM here either so I threw in the "inch to mm" conversion number.

Cabains would be made from .067 music wire here.

S.W.G. diameter (mm)
16 1.626
18 1.219
20 0.914
22 0.711
24 0.559
26 0.457
28 0.376
30 0.315
32 0.274
34 0.234
36 0.193
38 0.152
40 0.122
42 0.102

1 millimeter = 0.0393700787 inches
Last edited by pipescs; Dec 03, 2008 at 08:37 PM.
Dec 03, 2008, 08:42 PM
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Charlie or Pat

What type of glue is best to put the foam tires on the wheels with, and did you just use a butt or a scarf joint where the ends met?
Dec 03, 2008, 08:45 PM
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I will tell you that in putting together the materiel for the landing gear is my first test. On my models it would be 1/8 inch wire with Williams brother solid plastic wheels. Would weigh five oz at least.

It helps having seen Pat's video of his model landing on what I would call a washboard and keeping it wheels under it.
Dec 03, 2008, 09:54 PM
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Wheels are a snap to make.

Used my smallest late chuck to use as a backplate to ensure the wheel would run true on the brass tube.

Thinking about putting a piece of blue foam on the face of the wheel and turning it with a sand paper block to get the fabric covering look instead of a paper disc.

If it turns out heavy I can always trip it back off and go with the paper.
Dec 03, 2008, 09:58 PM
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portablevcb's Avatar
I like the foam idea. I have more trouble with paper cones than any other part of a plane. They either fall off or disintegrate when they get wet.

The other solution is to cover with covering material, like Litespan,

Dec 03, 2008, 10:41 PM
a.k.a Maltone
Pat Lynch's Avatar
Pipescs - One of my often-used charts stuck to a cupboard is a Wire Number/SWG/AWG chart in metric and 'Imperial' sizes. Why a different standard evolved beats me!

For the foam tyres, I just slice the cord reasonably squarely with a sharp blade (doesn't have to be perfect) at a length a little shorter than needed to go around the finished wheel. A small spot of med. CA in the middle of one end and hold the two ends together on a flat surface to align them then lightly sand off the join. To fasten to the wheel, make sure the tyre is centred and with no twists (Use a mold line on the tyre as a guide) and a few drops of thin CA will run around the joint- on the inside as well. Best done after the wheels have been sealed and painted.

I agree about wooden wheels and wet grass - my DII has had the wheels repaired a couple of times after getting soggy! One wheel even fell in half and I didn't notice until later

I admit I also use a lathe but when making a prototype, I dont usually mention it - might make some think it was a requirement

Since the wheels are in front of the CG, their weight shouldn't be a big worry but still be mindful of overall weight.


Dec 03, 2008, 11:16 PM
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You don't need a lathe chuck YOu could do the same thing with a hole drilled into a block of wood the same size as the tube. Just make sure you dont glue the wheel to it.
Dec 03, 2008, 11:42 PM
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lake flyer's Avatar
I don't know if it would work for your paper cones on your wheels , but when I had to make a "dunce cap" pointed spinner for my SM65 , I epoxied the paper inside and out, it made it quite strong and waterproof .( it has been dunked roughly , several times )

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