Polish RWD 6. Scale model for rubber power.
Quote: "A rubber powered version of the award winning Polish STOL craft of the 1930's. Different! An RWD-6 for Rubber Scale, by Col Hurst Bowers.
The period between the two World Wars was an exciting and meaningful time for aviation in Europe, as it was in this country. The coined term, Golden Age of Aviation, was certainly applicable worldwide. In addition to the challenges being met by innovative engineers in order to push towards the outer limits of performance, a strong spirit of nationalism existed and competition between countries, particularly in Europe, became rampant. Most European designs evolved to participate, and, of course, excel in one or more of these various competitions. The Third Challenge de Tourisme International held at Berlin's Staaken Aerodrome in August 1932 was a prime example of just such an event, and thus our subject was conceived.
Doswiadczalne Warsztaty Lotnicze (DWL) was tasked by the Polish Ministry
of Transport in late 1930 to develop an entry for the coming Berlin event. The team of Stanislaw Rogalski, Stanislaw Wigura, and Jerzy Drzewiecki immediately began work on the design which evolved as the RWD 6, and three aircraft were built. On its initial test flight in June 1932 the prototype crashed and was destroyed as a result of a malfunction of the Handley Page leading edge slots during takeoff. Drzewiecki, the pilot, escaped unhurt. After a comprehensive examination of the malfunction was conducted and appropriate modifications were made on the two remaining aircraft they departed for Berlin.
Sixty-seven airplanes from all of Europe's major manufacturers entered the competition, however only 47 machines arrived, representing six countries. In addition to the two RWD6s, Poland also sent three PZL19s. The favored aircraft were the Messserschmitt M,29s, however both of these machines crashed prior to the competition, leaving the Italian Breda 33 at the top of the list, with the Klemm Ki32, the Heinkel He64c, and the Darmstadt D-22 favored. As history has recorded, the Polish team and aircraft performed brilliantly, with the RWD 6 SP-AHN flown by Zwirko and Wigura being judged the winner. The two RWD6s scored highest in equipment ratings, with the PZL19s coming in second. The Poles were the unquestionable winners of this historic event which goes to prove the superb state of the art existing in that country at the time. Unfortunately the euphoria was short-lived, for in September 1932, RWD 6 SP-AHN encountered severe turbulence while enroute to Prague and shed both wings. Zwirko and Wigura were lost and all of Europe joined Poland in sorrow.
The RWD6, which set the pattern for today's STOL aircraft, was a relatively simple and esthetically pleasing craft. It was a two place, high wing, monoplane of composite construction. The wooden wing utilized an airfoil developed by the Warsaw Aerodynamic Institute and had a large single spar with plywood covered D-box leading edge and fabric covering the remainder. The Handley Page slots extended the entire span. Flaps and ailerons extended over the full trailing edge. The entire tailplane was wood &amid and covered except for the elevators and rudder, which were covered with fabric.
The fuselage was conventional welded steel tubing with wooden formers and stringers, covered at the nose with dural, though the cabin section with plywood, and aft to the tail with fabric. A 140 horsepower Armstrong Siddeley seven cylinder radial Genet Major engine was installed, complete with antidrag ring cowling and ground adjustable metal propeller. Two wing fuel tanks carried approximately 32 gallons for a range of slightly over 400 miles. The wingspan was 36 feet, 1 inch; length was 21 feet, 8 inches, and gross weight was 1650 pounds. Maximum sea level speed was approximately 140 mph, cruise was 118 mph, and landing speed was 37 mph. The service ceiling was approximately 20,000 feet.
To the best of my knowledge, based upon nearly fifty years in our hobby, this airplane has not been modeled in this country. I'm sure someone will probably refute this and I hope they will for I would hate to think that such a pleasing airplane had escaped the notice of scale modelers since 1932.
I developed my plans from three small views found in the Putnam Publication, Polish Aircraft 1893-1939, by Jerzy B Cynk, and settled on a 30 inch wingspan, which I consider to be optimum for rubber power. The model construction is entirely conventional and I can think of no area where instructions other than those found on the drawing is necessary. There are several areas, however, which I will comment on for I have found these techniques to be helpful.
Correct wing alignment is always a problem on models whose panels must be afixed on each side of the fuselage. This is solved by using aluminum tubing receivers at the appropriate position on the fuselage with alignment pins accurately placed on the root rib. The use of sheet balsa covering for nose sections, cowlings, etc is made much easier if the material is soaked for a short time in hot water with a generous amount (approximately 15 to 20%) of household ammonia..."
RWD 6, Flying Models, January 1983.
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