About this Plan
Comet. Soaring Comet. The de Havilland DG88 Comet Racer, for Power Scale Soaring. Scale is 1/8. Uses combined balsa and foam construction.
Quote: "SOARING COMET. The de Havilland DH88 Comet Racer - for Power Scale Soaring.
As a schoolboy I collected cigarette cards like many others. Around the mid 1930s John Player & Sons brought out a fine collection of civil aircraft including the DH Comet Racer, 'Grosvenor House'. Since that day I have always admired the Comet for its clean lines and racy appearance. The design was well ahead of its time. Ever since I became interested in power scale soaring some 15 years ago, the Comet has been on my building list and now the model has become a reality.
Three Comets were built in complete secrecy by DH (for a nominal price of £5000 each), to take part in the England to Australia air race held in 1934. The race was the brainchild of Sir Harold Gengoult-Smith, Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Australia and Sir MacPherson Robertson the millionaire sweet manufacturer. The event known as the MacRobertson Air Race was flown from Mildenhall, England to Melbourne, Australia, a distance of about 11,300 miles. First prize was £15,000 plus a Gold Cup.
Twenty aircraft started the race, including the three Comets. Of these, the winning machine was the red Comet 'Grosvenor House' registration number G-ACSS, flown by Scott and Black in a time of 70 hours 54 minutes 18 seconds.
To help me produce a set of model plans I purchased two books which provided all the information I needed. The first was one of the Aircraft Archive Series published by Argus Books titled 'Famous Racing and Aerobatic Planes'. This publication contains superb 5-view drawings to 1/48h scale, plus additional details and cross sections. The ISBN reference is 0 85242. The other book was 'DH88 -de Havilland's Racing Comet'. This book by David Ogilvy, published by Airlife Publications Ltd, provides the full history of the Comet aircraft production and subsequent use of each of the 5 machines, plus a chapter on the race. The ISBN reference is 15310 0110.
I decided on a scale of 1:8 and scaled up the book drawings appropriately to give a two-piece model of 66 in wingspan, built using my preferred construction method of combined balsa and foam.
Build Notes. Fuselage: Construction commences by cutting out the two 1/4 in medium balsa sheet sides to which are then attached against their top and bottom inside surfaces the 1/4 x 1/4 soft balsa longerons. The formers are then fitted and the vertical joints between sides and formers F3, F5 and F6 are strengthened with 1/2 in triangular section balsa uprights.
Add the foam between the formers above and below the longerons, roughly cutting them to the formers shape with a hot wire or fretsaw blade, then sanded to an accurate profile. I use a 12 in long sanding block as supplied by motorcar parts suppliers. If you are using white foam, sand in one direction only since this type of foam, I find, tends to rough up as though it has a 'grain'.
The ballast weight and receiver battery nose box is then added, followed by the fitting of the lower nose sheeting and the nose block..."
Comet, Model Flyer, March 2002.
Direct submission to Outerzone.
Supplementary file notes
Article pages, thanks to RFJ.
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