Curtiss America

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Curtiss America

Postby BillG » Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:56 am

I've been looking at this plane as a scratch build subject, and Bryan definitely has a good photo collection of the replica. There is also a decent 3-view of it, where the pictures can be used to determine and correct any major inaccuracies in the profile. I imagine this plane has not been modeled for scale rc before?

When I was growing up, we had a cottage on Canandaigua lake, New York state, which the next lake west (20miles) from Keuka lake, where the Curtiss Museum is located, and the America seaplane. Boy do I wish we still had that place, that my grandfather built! If we still did, I'd probably be spending more time at the museum, than the cottage. I
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Re: Curtiss America

Postby BillG » Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:53 am

Well I got around to scaling up the 3-view of this plane for a 48" span. As a biplane, it probably would perform well at a smaller span, but the fuse is a bit short, for the span. A roughly 20" long fuse at 48" span is about as small as I care to go with it. The other issue, is that at any smaller of a scale, the dummy engines would likely end up far oversized, after fitting outrunners inside them. After trimming all the sheets and taping them together, :shock: I now have a starting point.
Now I just have to keep stopping by here to look at the pictures, for motivation.
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Re: Curtiss America

Postby TASSE » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:39 pm

Hi Will. 48 ins is a sensible size. What are you going to power it with ?

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Re: Curtiss America

Postby BillG » Sun Jul 11, 2010 5:06 pm

It will be powered with 370-1200kv outrunners, which should be reasonable for the 7" prop size on 3s lipo. One reason for the 48" scale is that the outrunner's diameter will still force the dummy v-8 engines to be slightly over scale, even at this size. The second is that the fuse is still relatively small in relation to the span, at this size. Any smaller, and the fuse may start having buoyancy/water handling issues. I now have most of the fuse sections resolved (as well a I can guess at this time) and cut. Like many of these builds, there will be some shaving and padding of the formers to create the desired profile, after holding test sheets against the frame to see the actual shape. This is obviously the most difficult part of the build to find motivation, when just getting started. The ball has started to roll however, as the front formers are now in place on the fuse.

One difference between my model, and the Small America, will be the front hull. I determined that the 3-view I used is of the H-4 America, which has a deeper "V" in the front hull section, than the Small America replica. There is enough material on my center keel and formers to flatten the front hull, if I choose to do so.

As I type, I'm ready to head downstairs and cut the center formers around the "man" opening. These will require some patience, as they will be from ply, and have a thin remaining outer rib, after the center area is removed. Although the plane will have a battery and rc gear, it would somewhat ruin the appearance of the interior to have large formers, in the visible area. That is the reason for ply, versus balsa. Wet forming/laminating thin ribs is not something I have the patience for.

I'll have to get some pics up soon, as this has been enough confusing and worthless descriptions for now. :D
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Re: Curtiss America

Postby TASSE » Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:27 am

Iknow the many problems and challenges that you are facing,this always seems to happen when building a scale model.
I am going through the same with my 1/10th scale Dornier Do.D. I constructed the fuselage frame and when i built the "trousers" that connect to the floats the trailing edge hung below the rear fuselage when it should have butted into it.
This i discovered was because i chose to give them a flat undersurface so as to make things simple,where the original has a curved undersurface. Now i have decided to add to the rear fuselage and make it deeper so that it marries up.
This means that i have to extend the added area through to the nose which is an advantage to me in that it gives more room for my v-twin Lazer 4 stroke.

I was always told to turn my mistakes into my advantage. This time it works,just as long as it looks right in the end.

Good luck TASSE.
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Re: Curtiss America

Postby TASSE » Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:54 pm

The Dornier is coming along well,albeit with a struggle.

I will be posting a new thread for it when i have taken some photos.

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Re: Curtiss America

Postby BillG » Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:10 am

The Dornier sounds like the hull mods I had to make, to correct the lines on my Guillows PBY.

The America is starting to come along. While the 3-view does not appear to be 100% accurate, it certainly is of the America, and not the "small" America replica, so it looks like I will have some combination of the slight differences between the shaping of the two. Realistically, it doesn't matter that much, as I'm not getting down to the turnbuckle level of detail with this one. :lol: For the most part, the pictures here at Seawings are the ones worth 1000 words.

After forming the basic fuse, I decided that the engines would probably be the least straightforward assembly remaining to construct. I like to get those out of the way, so I have them fairly well along at this point. You know how it is with these things, as you can just keep going and going with detail. :shock: They look a bit silly with clear cylinders and red caps, but after painting they should look the part.

Some more interesting things I just discovered is that the pilot of the America replica is Jim Poel. I replicated Jim's Republic Seabee for electric rc a while back, sent him photos, and had communicated with him vie email. Small world. Maybe I can get him to take me up in the America? Better chance in the Seabee, I imagine though.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1273708
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Last edited by BillG on Mon Jul 19, 2010 3:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Curtiss America

Postby TASSE » Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:54 pm

Things are getting interesting,please keep us up to date. I will show you my Dornier soon.

Cheers TASSE.
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Re: Curtiss America

Postby TASSE » Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:00 am

Hi Will, how is your Curtiss coming along ?

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Re: Curtiss America

Postby BillG » Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:38 am

Coming along well. I just finished all the fuse sheeting, and am waiting for a bit of filler to dry.
I'll have to inform Bryan to change the attachment quota. I can't upload any more pics from my computer.
The plane has a reasonably scale cocpit with plank flooring, and will be absent of gear in direct view, other than a bit of the rear of the battery. The servos are installed and accessible, but mostly out of sight, behind the cocpit opening. I wisely ran the pull-pull cables through the fuse and exiting the sheeting, during the sheeting process.It's always a good feeling to complete the fuse sheeting on a project like this. From now on, it's mostly just going through the motions, albeit a lot of them though. :shock:

Edit: I just figured out how to link them now.

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Last edited by BillG on Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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