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AES

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Just completed and ready for delivery, an order for a few DH82 Tiger MothsView attachment 109571View attachment 109572

VERY nice work Sir! And welcome to the Forum.

Care to give us any details of "how" and "of what" you made them? I for one would be interested. And just as (another) matter of interest, what plans did you use, and did you do the "old-fashioned solids" techniques (as per pre & post WWII)?
 

TRITON

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@Kittyhawk

Some accompanying music et all for you while making your planes, or is that planing your planes :unsure:
 

Kittyhawk

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Thank you for your comments.
In reply to AES as to the 'how and why', I have an interest in aviation from a technical viewpoint and started building models by accident, wondering if it was possible to accurately replicate an aeroplane in wood. I sold this first model (spitfire) and word of mouth took over and my order book currently stands at 11 aeroplanes. My customers think I must have quite a collection of my own by now but in fact I do not have a single one. Once they are built and all the difficulties associated with their construction overcome I lose interest in them. Thankfully my clientele do not and keep ordering more which is great for me as I get to enjoy them for a couple of days after completion and then I courier them off to their new homes.
Concerning the plans, Iine drawings for pretty much anything that drives, floats or flies are available from The-blueprints.com. These are downloaded and converted into working drawings and adjusted for the scale I wish to build in - all my fighter aircraft are 40 :1 which for a Spitfire equates to a wingspan of from memory 32cm. I template all the components in 3mm MDF which I get free from our local window glass company. Glass comes wrapped in thin MDF sheets for protection. Currently I have full templates for around 30 aircraft. I essentially use recycled NZ Rimu and occasionally mahogany which I now also get for nothing. We live in a small village and people soon get to know what you're up to so I am given old bed heads, dressers etc. The beauty of modelling is that a beaten up old chest of drawers will still yield usable bits of timber but useless for bigger projects. I cut the components to the required thickness on my 70 year old 8" bench saw and then to shape on an el-cheapo scroll saw. Then it's a lot of shaping and constantly checking, mainly with a low angle block plane (my all time favorite tool) a few different spokeshaves and then up through the different grades of sandpaper finishing with 400 grit and 0000 steel wool between coats of Teak oil. I use epoxy glue in the assembly and all parts are also pinned together for strength using 1.6mm diameter stainless steel rods, also known as broken bicycle spokes which our local bike shop gives me.
One of the great pleasures is figuring out now to do stuff. Obviously I needed some sort of small lathe which were eye wateringly expensive so I built one using scrounged bits. I hope I'm not giving the impression that I'm a bit of a bludger. ... It's a bit rough and ready but I can turn to 0.1mm which is near enough for me.
20210503_111106.jpg

And I get a lot out of fun in building simple jigs for certain functions. Here's another roughie for drilling and spacing propellor blades into spinners
20210503_111454.jpg

So there is as much pleasure to be had in figuring things out as in creating something that interests me, but there are also disadvantages in not coming from a woodworking background. I have only recently discovered the wonders of the Dremel tool and its many attachments. Why didnt i know about this before?
 

AES

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Thank you for your comments.
In reply to AES as to the 'how and why', I have an interest in aviation from a technical viewpoint and started building models by accident, wondering if it was possible to accurately replicate an aeroplane in wood. I sold this first model (spitfire) and word of mouth took over and my order book currently stands at 11 aeroplanes. My customers think I must have quite a collection of my own by now but in fact I do not have a single one. Once they are built and all the difficulties associated with their construction overcome I lose interest in them. Thankfully my clientele do not and keep ordering more which is great for me as I get to enjoy them for a couple of days after completion and then I courier them off to their new homes.
Concerning the plans, Iine drawings for pretty much anything that drives, floats or flies are available from The-blueprints.com. These are downloaded and converted into working drawings and adjusted for the scale I wish to build in - all my fighter aircraft are 40 :1 which for a Spitfire equates to a wingspan of from memory 32cm. I template all the components in 3mm MDF which I get free from our local window glass company. Glass comes wrapped in thin MDF sheets for protection. Currently I have full templates for around 30 aircraft. I essentially use recycled NZ Rimu and occasionally mahogany which I now also get for nothing. We live in a small village and people soon get to know what you're up to so I am given old bed heads, dressers etc. The beauty of modelling is that a beaten up old chest of drawers will still yield usable bits of timber but useless for bigger projects. I cut the components to the required thickness on my 70 year old 8" bench saw and then to shape on an el-cheapo scroll saw. Then it's a lot of shaping and constantly checking, mainly with a low angle block plane (my all time favorite tool) a few different spokeshaves and then up through the different grades of sandpaper finishing with 400 grit and 0000 steel wool between coats of Teak oil. I use epoxy glue in the assembly and all parts are also pinned together for strength using 1.6mm diameter stainless steel rods, also known as broken bicycle spokes which our local bike shop gives me.
One of the great pleasures is figuring out now to do stuff. Obviously I needed some sort of small lathe which were eye wateringly expensive so I built one using scrounged bits. I hope I'm not giving the impression that I'm a bit of a bludger. ... It's a bit rough and ready but I can turn to 0.1mm which is near enough for me.
View attachment 109659
And I get a lot out of fun in building simple jigs for certain functions. Here's another roughie for drilling and spacing propellor blades into spinners
View attachment 109660
So there is as much pleasure to be had in figuring things out as in creating something that interests me, but there are also disadvantages in not coming from a woodworking background. I have only recently discovered the wonders of the Dremel tool and its many attachments. Why didnt i know about this before?
Well thanks for that reply Kittyhawk. MOST interesting. And just FYI, I've never heard of that source of plans before, thanks.

The reason for my question is that I served my apprenticeship in the RAF as an aircraft maintenance engineer and have worked with aeroplanes, mostly big airliners, all my working life - now retired.

I've also spent most of my life since childhood building model aircraft, but the flying sort, some flying scale models. I no longer do that though, as due to a medical problem, when I lift my eyes up above a horizon of some sort then I get giddy and very soon fall over. Having totally destroyed 3 models I've decided that falling over is NOT conducive to keeping models under control!

But I still mess about in my own shop in the cellar of my house and am currently building a child's pedal car - not scale but based very much on a 1948 MG TC Midget. The build is in process of being written up (and photographed) ready for posting here.

Like you I much enjoy "messing about in the shop" and knocking up the jigs & fixtures I need to solve a particular "how do I do that?" problem. Just like your shop, mine is full of all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff, but I certainly don't produce stuff to the standard you have shown (is that 2 part-finished Lockheed P38 Lightnings I see in one of your pix?).

Yes, I much rely on the various Dremel tools and bits I have, but a POSSIBLE warning if I may: All my Dremel stuff is at least 15 years old (or more), and is still going strong. But from posts seen here from time to time, Dremel is no longer built to the same high standards these days. So If you're looking to acquire their stuff either buy second hand or instead, look for a range of German products called Proxon - more expensive than Dremel but much better quality than Dremel's current offerings I believe (IF available in NZ - whereabouts are you BTW, I've visited several times on business, but last trip was in the 1990's)!

Thanks for a very interesting post, all the best.
 

Kittyhawk

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Hello AES, thank you for your reply, and well spotted, I do indeed have three Lockheed P38s on the go, sort of. The darned things are driving me insane over assembly issues so i'm putting them aside for a day or two while I go off and sulk.
I will be in the queue of people awaiting your pedal car MG replica with interest. It sounds a really neat project which I imagine will require a lot of lateral thinking. Also interesting your comments about your workshop with a few esoteric tools of your own making - it's always fun to solve problems that way. You sound like me - does your wife accept that if she comes home with some new appliance that you will pull it a little bit apart to see how it works?
Yes, I did read that the new Dremels weren't the best and although Proxxon is available here the suppliers are out of stock due to this global supply chain thing. So i did get the Dremel telling myself that I would be only a light duty user, and its guaranteed for two years. So hoping that I won't be disappointed. I live in Whangamata, a small seaside town of 3500 people on the east coast of the Coromandel peninsula.
 

Cooper

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I have an interest in aviation from a technical viewpoint
You may be the chap to help me.
I've tried to make wooden helicopters for my grandchildren but only the first one flew well, though I thought I'd been pretty consistent with the others. Have you had any success getting any wood to fly?
Martin
1620046591893.png
 

Kittyhawk

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I can't really help you there Martin. I used to make the balsa and tissue paper flying models as a boy. Mostly the activity didn't end well.
But if I might make a suggestion based on experience with boat propellers and shafts. Firstly make sure that the shaft is exactly central, i.e. the measurements from your shaft centre line to propeller tips are identical. Secondly lay the shaft on a table with the propeller over the edge and check for balance and remove a little material from the heavier blade if necessary. Alignment and balance are vital for prop efficiency. Good success and I hope this helps.
 
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AES

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Hello AES, thank you for your reply, and well spotted, I do indeed have three Lockheed P38s on the go, sort of. The darned things are driving me insane over assembly issues so i'm putting them aside for a day or two while I go off and sulk.
I will be in the queue of people awaiting your pedal car MG replica with interest. It sounds a really neat project which I imagine will require a lot of lateral thinking. Also interesting your comments about your workshop with a few esoteric tools of your own making - it's always fun to solve problems that way. You sound like me - does your wife accept that if she comes home with some new appliance that you will pull it a little bit apart to see how it works?
Yes, I did read that the new Dremels weren't the best and although Proxxon is available here the suppliers are out of stock due to this global supply chain thing. So i did get the Dremel telling myself that I would be only a light duty user, and its guaranteed for two years. So hoping that I won't be disappointed. I live in Whangamata, a small seaside town of 3500 people on the east coast of the Coromandel peninsula.

Hullo again Kittyhawk. Sorry for the delayed response (SWMBO suddenly found a couple of "roundtoits" for me to perform)!

Whangamata eh? I must confess I had to look it up (but I did at least guess correctly it was on the N. Island)! Right up "beyond Auckland" - you want to be careful mate, not only are you upside-down but it looks like you're just about to fall off the edge of the earth! ;)

I once spent nearly 6 weeks on a job in Wellington (back in the days of NZNAC, if that means anything to you) in the middle of Winter. My goodness, the wind doesn't 'arf blow there! Beautiful harbour but blimey, what weather.

Sorry to disappoint you, the MG is FAR away from being a "replica". It's what would be called "stand off scale" in the model aero world. In other words, the obvious features of the car - like those big swoopy front wings, the louvred bonnet, big headlights, the distinctive radiator grille and octagon MG badge, etc, etc, are "reproduced", but at just over 6 feet long, by no stretch of the imagination is it "scale". Here's a w.i.p. pic to "whet" (?) your appetite:

Assy RH Fwd copy.jpg


The other major difference between us is that under no circumstances do I make anything for sale. A) because I'm FAR too slow, (read lazy) and B) I just don't want to live my retirement working to deadlines. Had enough of those when working for a living! Whatever I make is simply given away, though when I (sometimes) need to buy new stuff such as ply, fasteners, etc, I will accept a contribution towards those costs.

Sorry to hear those P38s are giving problems, but I can well imagine getting those twin booms to all line up correctly with that (ridiculously short) fuselage AND the wings, the thrust lines, tailplane, etc, must be a real PITA! I presume the aircraft will be on "flying pose" stands (like the Tiger Moths), not on their landing gears? (Otherwise you'd need about a ton of lead in that (tiny) nose to stop them standing on their tails)!

Anyway, cheers mate, lovely looking work from your good self, and again welcome to UKW. Please do NOT hold your breath for the MG write up!
 

Cooper

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I can't really help you there Martin. I used to make the balsa and tissue paper flying models as a boy. Mostly the activity didn't end well.
But if I might make a suggestion based on experience with boat propellers and shafts. Firstly make sure that the shaft is exactly central, i.e. the measurements from your shaft centre line to propeller tips are identical. Secondly lay the shaft on a table with the propeller over the edge and check for balance and remove a little material from the heavier blade if necessary. Alignment and balance are vital for prop efficiency. Good success and I hope this helps.
Thank you, your reply is a lot of help. I saw a video clip of a chap who whittled propellers/helicopters and it seemed as though he worked by eye. I sawed and filed but haven't been really precise, which I'm sure, as you say, is vital.
I love your models. My father was a Mosquito night fighter pilot but was initially trained on Tiger Moths and always had great affection for them. He was trained on the prairies in Canada where the wind blows. He told me that in the right conditions he could fly backwards. Moths get airborne at 40mph and the wind was often stronger than that.
Martin
 

Yojevol

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I live in Whangamata, a small seaside town of 3500 people on the east coast of the Coromandel peninsula.
Ah! Whangamata, you've just caused me to dig out my 2002 NZ tour photo album. We made a point of visiting Wha.......a to see where my daughter had been working as a physio a couple of years earlier. She loved to start her day with a run along the beech. The Coromandel is beautiful. It wasn't on our original tour plan but the weather up on the Bay of Islands was awful so we headed south and spent a couple of nights there.

Re. wooden aeroplanes, here is my latest effort:-
IMG_0117.JPG


I've been involved in renovating the kids playground units during lockdown. It took me back to my youth using balsa and tissue paper. And, of course, Airfix models.
Love your models. Being in NZ you must have the Mossie in your repertoire, yes?
Brian
 

Farm Labourer

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As a boy, all I wanted was to fly a Tiger Moth. In my forties, as a pilot, I found one and restored it. I flew it for about 10 hours and was delighted to sell it to someone who still loves
it. The only one I'd give space to now, is one of your models! ;)
 

AES

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You may be the chap to help me.
I've tried to make wooden helicopters for my grandchildren but only the first one flew well, though I thought I'd been pretty consistent with the others. Have you had any success getting any wood to fly?
Martin
View attachment 109678
Hullo Cooper,

I hope you don't mind me joining in? As a retired aircraft engineer (but 99% fixed wing - "we" always laugh when helo blokes talk about "aerodynamics"!), so I don't know much about helicopters - and as a long-time aero modeller (also fixed wing) I know even less about model helos!!! But to add to Kittyhawk's excellent advice you may find the following rough sketch and a few extra points of some help:

Toy Helo.jpg


First, Sketch A above:

1. The vertical line represents the "shaft" of your helo. It should be as dead straight (and round) as you can reasonably make it;

2. The horizontal "block" represents the mounting "hub" for your 2 rotor blades (they're wings actually). You should make sure the vertical shaft should pass EXACTLY through the centre of the hub - again, as near as you can reasonably get it;

3. The diagonal solid line through the hub represents one of your blades, looking exactly end on. In your photo the angle shown as "x" looks in my Sketch to be about 40 or even 45 degrees. While - up to a point - the greater that angle the more lift you get - beyond "a certain point" the higher angles not only make more drag/reduce lift but also tend to over-power the power plant (in your case the string wrapped around the pulley - shown in Sketch A as the funny little "blob with flanges" - maybe call it "bobbin"?). I would SUGGEST that the angle I've shown as "x" should ideally be at around 25 to 30 degrees max.
4. As suggested on sketch A), make sure that the angle between the hub and the vertical shaft is as near to 90 degrees as you can possibly get it:
5. I would also SUGGEST that whatever wood you use for rotor blades, you choose the lightest you can possible find (commensurate with strength);
And as Kittyhawk has already said, make sure that both rotor blades ("wings") are exactly the same weight (sand bits off the TIP of the heaviest blade to make them balance statically, as he's already said).
And also not shown in Sketch A, make sure that the "bobbin" has enough space for the drive string to wrap round without binding, and that the bobbin/vertical shaft assembly rotate freely in whatever "bearing" arrangement you've set up in the "launching handle" shown in your pic.

Onto Sketch B:

As already suggested, your rotors are in fact wings. You will significantly increase the amount of lift they produce (and without needing much increase in power) if you shape the cross section of each wing as shown in Sketch B. It's easy to do (and the lighter/softer the wood you choose, the easier the job becomes). Favourite tools for this shaping are a small block plane plus a decent - flat - sanding block.

In Sketch B the line a-b is the distance between the front and rear edges of the "wing" ("Chord if you want to be technical). And the front edge is the LE - Leading Edge; the rear edge is the TE - Trailing Edge.

The high point that you "carve" onto the wing (line a - c on the sketch) needs to be positioned at ROUGHLY 30% of the dimension a -b (Chord). The easiest way to do this is to mark that high point on the top surface of each wing with pencil or something. Then keep planing/sanding the LE surface until you hit the line. Then repeat for the TE surface. The surface doesn't really need to be nice & curvy like I've tried to draw, 2 flat surfaces front and rear will do fine.

And the actual LE and TE do not need to be as sharp as I've drawn them either - rounded off will do fine. But make sure the bottom surface of each remains dead flat.

Make sure those 2 wings the same shape and weight as each other, mount them in the hub at ABOUT 25 degrees, and I bet the helo flies to the satisfaction of your grandchildren (but no money-back guarantees). :)

HTH, have fun & good luck.
 
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Kittyhawk

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Gentlemen, I am astounded.
When I built a Spitfire a couple of years ago and sold it, it opened a floodgate of unsolicited requests for models and to date I have built over 30 with 11 currently on order. I did not understand this demand but have come to appreciate just how many people have an association with aviation, either hands on or via family. An opinion reinforced by forum members. And to clarify, although I like to think I have a little business going on here, it is really just a hobby and although I sell the aeroplanes for which I have a 'propellor rate', I make somewhere under $2 an hour - about 80p? So, as my wife tells me, I'm not making my fortune but I don't care.
Martin, the father of one of my neighbours was also a mosquito pilot doing the same Tiger Moth/mosquito training route in Canada. I'm not certain of my facts but I don't think he saw active service. During low level training his mosquito became entangled in power lines and he was the only survivor. I have built the night fighter version, characterised by the flame arresting exhaust boxes instead of the more usual ejectors.
Mosquito1.jpg

And FL, NZ is full of ex Tiger Moth pilots. There were some hundreds built locally as trainers for the RNZAF which were used as top dressers after the war - there are still some long retired top dress pilots around, crazy old coots driving their cars like lunatics and full of hair raising stories about only being able to get airborne off a down hill strip with a sudden drop off at the end due to the overloaded the super phosphate hopper located in the front cockpit. Money was made in the air spreading muck, not on the ground reloading.
AES. Love your car. What amazing skills are to be found in our generation but I think times are changing. Both my sons are handy but my grandsons are not, unfortunately. The old NAC would have been DC3s and Vickers Vicounts? And perhaps Volker Friendships but NAC might have morphed into AirNZ by the time they came along. And yes, Wellington can get a bit breezy. I remember vividly landing there in a Friendship when there was some wind. It was hang onto the armrests material and the captain came on the intercom with a real chatty voice saying landing conditions were marginal, but what the heck, we'll give it a go, eh?
Love aeroplanes, hate flying.
 

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thetyreman

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I am very impressed with your work kittyhawk and not surprised there is a high demand for it, I was in the RAF corps and really interested in planes as a kid especially old planes, good memory of seeing concord take off as a kid with my mum, the sonic boom was pretty incredible.
 

Cooper

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I hope you don't mind me joining in? As a retired aircraft engineer (but 99% fixed wing - "we" always laugh when helo blokes talk about "aerodynamics!), so I don't know much about helicopters - and as a long-time aero modeller (also fixed wing) I know even less about model helos!!! But to add to Kittyhawk's excellent advice you may find the following rough sketch and a few extra points of some help:
I certainly don't mind anyone joining in especially someone who knows what their talking about!! I'm going to print out your directions and follow them as best I can.
Thank you
Martin
 

Cooper

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I have built the night fighter version, characterised by the flame arresting exhaust boxes instead of the more usual ejectors.
What a beautiful model. I took Father to a couple of air crew signings at Salisbury Hall, the De Havilland museum, where he explained the difference of his night fighter mosquito to the ones on show. As you included, the cowlings over the exhaust were important to hide the flames from the exhaust and also he had a very bulky radar set up in the nose. Not nearly as elegant as your model! The one in the picture was taken in India, where he was sent after hostilities in Europe ended. As you probably know the planes couldn't be used because of the risk of the plywood de laminating in the heat and humidity. I understand some of the mosies found their way to the New Zealand Airforce.
Thanks
Martin
1620200497280.png
 
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