What's It all About ???

This page is all about the building and flying of radio controlled model aircraft. It's a highly diversified hobby that takes in as many skills as you like to use. Everything from electronics to carpentry, to painting, to drawing and designing with a little bit of metal work thrown in. Some builders even go into doing their own machining, pattern designing, fibre glassing, moulding and engine design. You can use electric motors, 2 stroke or 4 stroke internal combustion engines or even minature turbine (jet) engines for power. My own models use 2 and 4 stroke internal combustion engines and range in size from about a metre in wingspan to well over 3 metres from tip to tip!

Avro Lancaster

90" Wingspan RC Avro Lancaster

This page is the build blog for my Avro Lancaster that I've transferred from the home page. The rest of the build will be posted here and then photos of the maiden flight. Don't get to excited yet though - I estimate the build will take me around 12 months. This is the third month of the build.

Brief Specs:
Wingspan: -              90 inches
Fuselage length: -      60 inches
Power:                      4 x 30 4 stroke I.C. engines

Channels:  Throttle (2 servos); Elevators (2 servo); Rudder (1 servo); Ailerons (2 servos); Flaps (2 servos); Retracts (1 servo); Opening bomb bay! (1 servo).

Update 19th June 2013.

I'm sure that for some reason this project doesn't like me or perhaps Mr Murphy of Murphy's Law and his whole damn family have taken up residence in the fuselage without my knowledge. I've spent some time trying to find suitable aircrew figures to put in the cockpit etc when I get to that stage but much to my surprise a living breathing volunteer crew has already taken up their positions! Unfortunately they are big, hairy and have eight legs which I found out when I pulled the fuselage off it's resting place on my bedroom wall. I don't like to kill spiders , or any other of our native beasts without due cause but when three of them decided to take up temporary residence in my bed that was a bit too much. Readers will be relieved to know the Lancaster suffered no further damage in my frenzied counter attack and to counter any fear that may have been induced into the model I fitted it with the mid upper gun turret surround. A detailed turret will be inserted into that surround as soon as I detail it.

Good way to ensure the curvature of the underside of the surround fits the fuselage properly is to tape a piece of sand paper upside down over the area the surround is going to fit. 

Make sure you align the surround for and aft or it can easily end up sitting skewed to the centre line.

Then glue firmly in place

I left the centre of the surround unfinished/ It will be finished to size when I cut down into the fuselage to fit the detailed turret.

UPDATE 6th June 2013.

Yeah I know - it's been a while and I been promising and promising and ... HOW LONG???
It couldn't be that long since I ...... Oh - errr yeah well I guess it is! So there has been some progress but not as much as I had planned. This model is getting to the stage where the building process is going to get the Old Age Pension if I don't get on with it - SO - here we are. As noted the model hung on the wall for a number of months while "other things" kept getting in the way and when I did finally get motivated to do something about it I took it down off the wall and promptly fell on top of it! Back on the wall with it - now I know of a couple of other Lancaster projects and I will just have to get on with mine - can't let myself be upstaged that easy and I am getting sick of the constant question - "And where is the Lancaster?".

Well the Lancaster is still on the way and there has been a slight detour while I fixed up the damage I done when I fell on the damn thing. Basic damage was to the tailplane area - it amazing what aerial  acrobatics an Old Bloke like me can do when he's about to land on top of his prize project. So I'd knocked off the fins, rudders and damaged the elevators as well as putting a finger hole or to in the fuselage sheeting. Photos of those repairs follow: -

One of a number of holes I managed to punch in the fuselage as I was falling on it!

And I knocked off the fins and rudders too

A bit of reinforcement here and there

Some dowels to convince the fins/ rudders not to fall off so easily

Put everything back square

And patch the holes.

After I'd managed to put everything back together I then went back to the wings - which I'd started but stalled in the early stages. My original intention was to make a one piece wing but, with four engines and retracts attached, it was asking to much to drag it around so I opted for a centre section fixed to the fuselage and carrying the retracts and inner engines. This would make the thing a little easier to move around and fit up at the field. The two outer panels carry the outer engines. I'm building the centre section but the outers are just a pile of parts in the corner at this stage. Photo's of the inner panel build so far are attached. I'll fix the centre section to the fuselage before attaching the engine nacelles.

Those ribs are big - 11 1/2 inches long by over 2 inches thick

Built up central spar with ribs attached egg carton style

I decided to drill for lightness :)

Front spar - false spar to be added in front

Now to work out all the plumbing and how to fix it to the fuselage.

More to come soon - I promise - I really do!!!

From now on updates will be added to the top of the page to save you scrolling all the way down to the bottom.

This whole damn build has been a nightmare so far - mostly because I lost over 70 photos due to a camera malfunction. I've had  a mate who is a Photoshop wizard working to recover those photos which he has now done. The first couple are posted here and a s soon as I size the rest they will be added. Bear in mind  that the build is advanced much further than these photos but I decided to tell the whole story. At this stage the build is going much faster - and smother - than the photo recovery.

These  photos were taken way back when I started to cut out the ribs and build the centre section spar. The ribs are massive,  almost 15" (380mm) cord and  nearly 3" (75mm) cord thickness - they are a semi symmetrical section. The spar is made up in three phases - the spar base is 1/8th" (3mm) ply with 1/4" (6.5mm) square beechwood and is carbon fibre reinforced top and bottom. The centre section has to support 4 IC 4 stroke engines and the home made air retracts so it needs to be substantial. Ribs are either 3/16th" (5mm)  ply in critical positions or 3/16th" and 1/8th" balsa.

Older Posts
If you want to read the whole story - start here

Where it all starts -  A plan and the build Manual. I made a decision to discard  the foam and brown paper and build with tradition materials. I damn near chucked the whole thing out when I realised how much redesign would be involved!

First steps. Build the base structure. At this point I'm still following the original plan

Base structure nearly done. Still following the designer's plan but varied some of the materials.

Nearly finished the base structure but here I've started to change the designer's original plan

Now it's ready for me to start using my own modifications. If I bugger it up now it's not the designer's fault.

I've used small contour formers to hold the balsa outer skinning. This replaces the foam of the original design.

Starting to skin the fuselage

Now the outer skin is going into place.

The fuselage is nearly done. I can now begin fitting it out.

The fins and rudders - built from !/4 inch balsa as per the plan

I decided to scrap the foam tailplane and elevators and replace them with a traditional built up structure of skinned balsa

Trial fit of the tailfeathers

Skinning the tailplane

Another trial fit

Finally hinged, pinned and glued

Unfortunately almost all my build pictures of the Lancaster so far have been lost due to a camera malfunction. From the last picture shown on here I've built the wing centre section, including the nacelles for the 4 Saito 30 4 stroke motors. I cut the centre section ribs from 3/16th light ply and 3/16th balsa, the four centre ribs and the outboard ribs are light ply and the remainder from 3/16th balsa. Iconstructed the main spare from spruce, and balsa with carbon fibre reinforcing. This spar carries the 4 engine, their fuel tanks, the flap and their servos as well as the retractable undercarriage so it needs to be a substantial construction. I've also compleated the fuselage up to the installation of the servos for elevator and rudders, installed the necessary control snakes and finished the cladding. The outer surface of the fuselage has had one coat of fibreglass resin and lightweight cloth. I have yet to install the turrets, the cockpit detail or the rest of the glazing. The next jobs, which I have just started on, are to build the plugs for the cockpit and turret glazing - yep I'm making my own glazing on my home made vacumn table. I'm also making my own retracts on my lathe - they will be air actuated. I have started to make the ribs for the wing outer sections and wil join them to the centre section as a one piece wing - I know - it's a bloody big wing!