This is my first laser cut design RC plane, and it will be electric. I have designed a couple of planes back in the day with a ruler, pencil, calculator and drafting curves and that was pretty labor intensive. Also building a plane from scratch took some time and special tools such as a scroll saw and major carving skills. Now with computers and laser cutting services, it is much faster and easier. There are a lot of short kits still out there and most fit my needs. I like the sturdy builds and plastic formed parts done for me so I don't have to mess with it. I have never owned an ARF and probably never will, but I like a lot of the designs out there. Electrifly produces some WWI electriflyers that would make great kits since the construction is straight forward and the designs are sturdy, the problem is they only come as ARF's. I contacted Electrifly asking about buying the plans and balsa parts, but they say that is not an option. I really wish these ARF companies would produce no thrills short kits for us builders. There are some great WWI designs out there that are light in structure and scale in appearance such as Tritle, Aerodromerc and Rake designs, excellent designs. BlueSkyRc has an excellent Fokker Dr.1 that fits my needs, but he currently has no kits available so I designed my own. I tried to keep the design as simple as possible and also be able to use plastic parts from the Electrifly replacement parts list. I downloaded a set of three views and traced them in Coreldraw. Then I enlarged the plans to a wing span of 29.5 inches and added the structures. I sent the design over to National Balsa and they cut the parts for me. They did a great job but I still need a few more pieces to complete my build. I am also designing a Nieuport II, SE5 and Sopwith Camel. The parts fit perfect and only took about an hour to get this far and that's using white glue. As yo can see from the picture, my design looks like the Electrilfy Fokker.....Hope they don't get upset. Also here is a picture of the Guillows Laser Cut Fokker Dr.1 I built for rubber power. I will also post this in the WWI section.
Wings are pretty much done, just need to add a couple small pieces and finish sanding. Next is the tail surfaces and landing gear. Hopefully my last sheet of parts will arrive in the next few days so I can finish the fuselage. I sent my Nieuport II plans off to the cutters and that will be my next build.
Built the Stab, rudder and landing gear wing this morning and will sand everything when dry. As you can see from the close up, the parts fit tight but they are a little smaller than what is show on the plans. I find this to be the norm when building laser cut kits and also the burnt wood makes a mess. Still the fit is much better and more accurate than the die cut method.
Yes those are great kits and I am going to order some. Peter Rake has some wonderful WWI kits that are scale and light. The P-47 is another nice plane but I think that one is built up so it is nice and light. I am into a little beefy-er designs at the moment like the Ryan P-47, I bought this one from another forum member. http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_50...tm.htm#5006233
AerodromeRC also has some wonderful WWI kits.
I was able to work on the fuselage today and almost have this bird ready to cover. I still have to add some parts here and there, but otherwise I am getting close. This is a fast easy build, the longest part is writing notes and correcting any changes I need to make on the plans or parts. For the cowlings I would normally use paper patterns, but this time I decided to draw the parts in Coreldraw and have them laser cut, man that sure saves time. I was real lucky and the cowling barely fit, so I will enlarge them on the parts sheet. To make the cowlings, I brush on 50/50 water/alcohol to the non glued side, this causes the part to begin curving in the right direction on its own. Then I simply glue the cowling to the plane and hold in place with tape and clamps. The plastic cowl and Battery door will be held in place with earth magnets, these little suckers are strong. So far the Great Planes parts fit perfect, that also saves some time. The balsa parts weigh 5.9 oz and the Great Planes parts weigh 2.4 for a total of 8.3 oz.
I have most of the build complete with some minor adjustments and final sanding. I will also go back and make the necessary adjustments and measurements to the plans and parts. The Great Planes parts fit well and you can see from the pictures my complicated wing jig, duct tape and clamps.
I finished covering today and after the family leaves tomorrow, I will add the decals and put the plane together. As shown the model weighs 8.8oz so I think I am still doing ok. The true red really sticks out and looks pretty nice. Since the structures are lighter and smaller than most of my builds, I used only the iron to shrink the film nice and tight, normally done with a gun. The wings were fun since I used once piece on top and one on the bottom, the curved trailing edges and 6 wingtips. The middle wing suffered a small puncture hole on the bottom after droping an xacto knife. Instead of removing the covering on the entire bottom of the wing, I just removed half of the covering and added a fresh piece.
Tonight the family left so I was able to finish the Fokker minus some screws I still have to buy. Without electronics or motor she weighs 12 ounces. Cannot wait to take her out for a test flight. My Nieuport design is at the cutters right now, can't wait to get started on it.
Have a now uncovered E-Fly one in a box - bought it on sale, stripped the covering, got bored - and did a lot of research into Tripes WW1 and modern - there's more around than folk may think. Also have one of the better documentation publications on the type at home - though I suspect it's not in print any more.
Seems there's some doubt as to whether Baron von R ever flew a completely red DR1 too. If I ever regain interest in finishing up my BARF DR1. am going to go for the basis scheme of brush painted green topsides/blue underneath with some pilot's markings over that.
Why Red? I agree that every Fokker Dr.1 you see out there is red, but that is ok. I think originally when built they all came from factory white and they were hand painted in field. Or at least that is what I was told at the Aerospace museum. Any other color would have required me to paint vs using Monokote. The purpose of this design was for a fast easy build and that includes pre colored film. Like I have said from the beginning, there are many scale designs out there and someday I would like to build one, cover it with silk and paint it. I do not like ARF's since I really like to build. I also enjoy flying, but building is my favorite. I went with red because it was available and fast, heck I covered it in one day and required no paint.