Virago. Control line stunt model.
Quote: "A 30 inch span semi-scale stunt model. Virago, by VE Smeed.
It was felt that the lines of a typical stunt job could be worked over to improve the appearance, and while no one would say that this model is exactly beautiful, most people seem to find the general aspect attractive.
Construction. The wing crust be built first. Notch a length of standard 1/4 x 3/4 trailing edge stock to receive the ribs and cement these Glue a 1/4 wide strip of 1/16 ply to a hard 1/4 x 1/4 (leading edge) and cement in place. Add the tips, which are three laminations of 1/2 x 1/8 soft, and the tip gussets. Insert the lead-out wire bushes. The lead-out wires, already attached to the bell-crank, must be fitted at this stage. Add the soft 1/16 sheeting top and bottom and the centre-section capping and sand the Wing.
Cut the formers and the soft 3/8 sheet base. Cement F2 and F4 to each end of the base, leaving 1/8 below the formers to make a step for the later addition of the planking. If a beam-mounted motor is to be used, F1 and the bearers should be attached at this point. Assemble the bearers and the cross-strut on F1, using plenty of glue and two 3/4 in screws. Let the lower bearer into the 3/4 in base and see that the whole unit is well cemented. The wing is now cemented into the cradle between F2 and F4; pack with scrap beneath the leading and trailing edges and line the assembly up accurately. The bell-crank attachment bolt hole should now be drilled and small ply biscuits added above and let in below to prevent the bolt from working in the hole. Bolt in the bell-crank, using washers to bring it level.
Two 1/4 x 1/8 strips are now cemented in position and drawn together at the tail. Since the tailplane will rest on the top of this 'false crutch,' accurate alignment is essential. With the 3/8 base flat on a board the tops of these strips should be 1-5/16 from the board. Add F3 and F4 and plank the underside of the fuselage, using soft 1/4 x 1/8 strips. The central strip cements to the false crutch at the tail and the other planking is tapered to fit. A slot is later cut at the extreme tail to accommodate the push-rod movement. All gaps occurring between the centre-section ribs and the fuselage base should be filled.
Install the tank at this stage, using scrap for support. The top planking provides most of the tank mounting. A commercial tank was used on the original and projected through the starboard side ; this was 'camouflaged' with a small fairing and a long exhaust. Finish interior details (fuel lines, push-rod, and so forth), add tailplane and rudder post, and complete the planking. The whole fuselage should be glass-papered down to 3/32 thickness. An instrument panel and pilot's bust were fitted up in the original's cockpit - the extra trouble is well worth while from the appearance point of view. Attach the elevator - tape hinges are quite suitable if the centres are kept free from cement. If a radial motor is being used, F1 may now be firmly cemented to F2, ensuring that the bolts are already in place.
The cowl should be constructed from an old cardboard packing ring of the type sometimes found in crates of bottles, cut to correct length. It may be wound from 1/32 or 1/16 sheet if desired. After cutting all necessary holes, cement on to a circle of 1/2 in sheet and round off. Install the motor and glue or cement the cowl in place; make a very strong joint as during starting and landing the cowl may be subjected to some buffeting.
Finish all details, sand all over, and cover the entire model with rag tissue. Two coats of clear dope may be applied all over, but it is best to confine coloured dope to the fuselage only. All-up weight should be approximately 9-1/2 oz, with proper grading of materials this can be reduced to 8-1/2 oz without sacrificing necessary strength. The model should balance on the front lead-out wire (31 oz. motor)."
Virago, Aeromodeller, January 1950.
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