Sopwith Camel (oz10766)


Sopwith Camel - plan thumbnail image

About this Plan

Sopwith Camel. Control line scale model WWI biplane fighter. For McCoy .19 engine.

Quote: "Famous World War I fighter in Stand-off scale by well known Control Line Scale designer and author of many books on Control Line Scale. First of two parts. Sopwith Camel by Walter Musciano.

Our one inch to the foot scale Control Line model of the famous Sopwith Camel follows the color scheme and markings used by Lieut SD Culley when he shot down the German dirigible L-53 over the North Sea in August, 1918. Culley's Camel was the 2F.1 version which sported shorter wings and smaller horizontal control surfaces than the earlier F.1 design. These modifications benefit the model builder by helping to reduce the sensitivity associated with Con-trol Line Camels, but in view of its relatively sensitive controls and above average structural complexity, this model is not recommended for the rank beginner.

We have simplified and strengthened the construction as much as possible by using sparless wings with heavy leading and trail-ing edges and solid tail surfaces; however the wing rib spacing is actual scale. Simulated rib locations are shown for the solid tail surfaces. Scale construction stringer turtle deck, plus dummy Bentley rotary engine cylinders help to provide a model that will satisfy most Scale buffs. Very few Scale models can match the thrilling appearance of the classic Camel, as it cuts through the air at the end of the lines, so let's get started with this beauty.

Construction begins with the fuselage. Trace the fuselage sides and bulkheads from the plans onto plywood and sheet balsa. Cut to shape and notice the notches in the sides and tabs on the bulkheads that aid in the assembly. Cut the lower wing stub spar notch and the lower wing leading edge curve very accurately. Cut the engine mounts to length and drill holes for the bolts. Cut away part of the engine mount for the crankcase. Mark the location on the fuselage sides and cement the mounts in place to the inner surface of the fuselage sides. Use plenty of cement.

When dry, begin cementing bulkheads between the sides. Start with the forward-most bulkheads and work towards the rear. Hold the bulkheads in place with straight pins pushed through the fuselage side and into the bulkheads. It is also good practice to wrap rubber bands or tape lightly around the fuselage until the cement is dry. As the fuselage tapers at the rear, it may be difficult to bend the sides to meet the bulkheads. If so, soak the fuselage sides in hot water or hold in the steam rising from a pot of boiling water. This will make the balsa easier to bend. Continue installing the bulkheads until the two fuselage sides meet; these can be held in posi-tion with pins plus a 'C' clamp or spring-type clothespins. Recement all joints and when thoroughly dry, remove all pins, etc.

Attach the music wire leadout lines to the bellcrank and bolt the bellcrank to the hole in the hardwood mount. Pass the leadout wires through the holes in the left fuselage side and cement the bellcrank mount between the engine mounts. Notice that the bellcrank mount is recessed at the bottom to receive the bellcrank nut. Cut off excess bolt length so it will not interfere with the fuel tank. The Acme U-2 fuel tank fits snugly between the fuselage sides. First, attach lengths of plastic fuel line to the three tank connections and be certain that the lines are more than long enough to reach the engine and the outside of the fuselage. Pass the engine supply line through the hole in the bulkhead and position the tank in the fuselage. It is cemented in place with the aid of scrap balsa that is used as braces and wedges to hold the tank firmly in place. Use plenty of cement in several applications. Tape open ends of tubing to keep the tank clean.

Trace and cut to shape the elevator and stabilizer. Gently gouge a path for the control horn wire into the under surface of the elevator and cement the control horn in place. The elevator horn holds the elevator sides together. Fill gaps with more cement and cover with silk. Notice that the stabilizer recommended is larger than scale size because it will assist in reducing the sensitivity of the Camel controls. Notice, also, the scale thickness of the stabilizer. Trim to shape and round off all corners. Hinge the elevator to the stabilizer using several pieces of bed sheet cloth to make a Chinese hinge. Each piece is cemented to the top or bottom of the stabilizer with the other end cemented to the opposite surface of the elevator. Alternate as the plans illustrate. Allow a 1/16 in space between the elevator and stabilizer..."

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Update 03/01/2019: Added article, thanks to RFJ.

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