Spitfire XIV (oz11751)
About this Plan
Combat Spitfire XIV. Radio control sport model for 15 to 21 power and 3 channels.
Scale is 1/12.
Quote: "Hello Steve, attached are two plans by David Boddington, a Messerschmitt Me109E (oz11752) and a Spitfire XIV. Both are 1/12 Scale Combat and a nice match to the D/B Projed Messerschmitt Bf109E (oz11491) as they use the same Jedelsky wing profile and general construction principles [but with a wider, more scale-like fuselage].
The Me109 is 32 in span, for engines 15 to 19. The Spitfire is 34 in span, for engines 15 to 21. Regards,"
Direct submission to Outerzone.
Update 27/11/2019: Added article, thanks to RFJ.
Note the Spitfire XIV and Messerschmitt Me109E (oz11752) both appeared in the same article, titled 'Combat Couple'.
Quote: "Combat Couple. 1/12th scale Spitfire Mk14 and Me109E for combat competitions. 15 to 18 engines, 3 channel radio, simple construction and rugged. Gentlemen, start your engines.
As Air Combat becomes more popular in the UK, and we feel sure that it will, contestants will want a selection of model designs and construction methods. In the May 2001 Model Flyer, we reviewed the Aces UK Supermarine Spiteful foam kit and gave you a taste of the competitions - and what is involved. Now we present two 1/12th scale models, designed specifically for Air Combat, but using traditional balsawood and plywood construction. By using a sheet Jedelsky wing, sheet tailsurfaces and a modified box fuselage structure, the build time is relatively short and simple, it also gives you full options on the method of covering and finishing.
The outlines of the Spitfire and Me109 are pretty well accurate, but the wing and fuselage sections are simplified. Remember, this is not a scale competition where scale fidelity is of top importance, the rules require the model to be only within 5% of the scaled down full-size span and length. How well you finish and decorate the model is up to you, but I would suggest forgetting about detailing and concentrating on sound construction, with enough colour and markings to give a reasonable representation of the original. Certainly such items as cannon barrels are a no-no on these practical, must take knocks, models.
While on the subject of markings - and before the emails and letters start to arrive - yes, I know that the colours, markings and finishes on the Combat Couple are inaccurate. I used what was immediately available commercially if there are more authentic markings available, use them, or make your own way (see this and the previous two issues of MF). If you are satisfied with an approximate of the size and style of markings use the Pyramid Productions decals, as we did, details are given later. Also, the cockpit canopies are not perfect scale, both are a touch large, but these are 'off the shelf' items form Vortex Plastics and save hours of carving or moulding. When you order the canopies, tell them what they are for and that we sent you!
THINK TIGHT TURNS, THINK LIGHT: When you are flying in combat, you will undoubtedly get carried away. You won't intend to, but as a streamer from the opposing aircraft comes flashing past you will yank on a fistful of up elevator to get on his tail. What happens then will depend on the amount of control surface movement and the design and weight (or wing loadings) of the model. The last mentioned factor, that of wing loading, is probably the most important when it comes to combat flying; too heavy and we will be getting into the high speed 'stall, flick and spin' syndrome. Given that some of the flying will not be at high altitudes, the chances of recovering form a fully stalled condition are not great. The remedy is to build the model as light as possible, commensurate with structural integrity. Lightly loaded models can be flown slower, will turn in a tighter radius - and are easier to fly.
Why a Jedelsky wing with the underside of the ribs sliced-off? It is easy to build accurately, reasonably light, very rigid and has the great advantage of automatically building in washout - another tip stalling prevention device.
I used MDS 18 engines in the prototypes, as these are a nice compromise between the smaller 15 and larger 21 engines permitted under the combat rules, no doubt they would fly perfectly well on any good '15' sized engines. You have a choice of going for engine bearers and a sidewinder mounting, or using a radial engine mount with the engine upright or side-mounted. I have no doubt that most will opt for the engine mount answer, although I prefer the bearer system, it is neater and provides a stronger nose section. However, the engine mount route is probably simpler and does allow the use of a larger fuel tank.
Incidentally, SLEC now produce a neat little radial mount specifically for the MDS 18 engine. Fitting a standard silencer may involve a certain amount of cutting away of the balsawood nose block, but using a 'dumpy' silencer is neater and less obtrusive - just make sure that there is sufficient distance between the plywood nose ring and engine bulkhead to cater for the overall length of the silencer.
BALANCE: With the arrangement of the radio gear shown on the drawings, no special efforts in keeping the rear ends of the models ultra-light and using the MDS 18 engines, the models finished slightly nose heavy. A safe condition. I selected the later mark Spitfire because of its longer nose but, with care over the selection of wood and hollowing the rear top decking, you should be able to model one of the earlier mark aircraft and still not have to use extra nose weight.
One of the limiting factors with most of these 1/12th scale designs is the size of fuel tank that can be accommodated. A 2oz tank is about as much as you can squeeze into the Spit with engine bearers - so check that you can get a seven minute engine run with this size.
TIGHT AT THE TOP: So, before you commence construction, decide on the engine to be used and the method of mounting. Decide also, on the radio equipment to be fitted and the locations of the servos and linkages. Mini, not micro, servos are required; I like to use the SLEC lightweight snakes, with a solid nylon inner rod, for the pushrods. I scrape the end of the rod with a knife, drill out a moulded quick link clevis so that the rod is a tight fit, then cyano the clevis to the rod. At the servo end, a Screw-lock pushrod connector provides the adjustment, giving a simple lightweight linkage - but do plan the route of the cables, and at the same time, provide for the fitting of an aerial tube, much neater than having the aerial dangling from the wing area. When you install the lightweight yellow outer snake tubing, you can leave it projecting through the fuselage side; it will curve and sand away when the fuselage is being finished.
CLEAR THE BENCH: The accompanying photographs should provide most of the information on building, but here are a few extra pointers. Sides of 3/16 balsa are shown for the Spitfire, but you could use 1/8 if you want to save an extra gram or two. When you use an upright engine installation, it is easier to only spot glue the top front fuselage decking to get the contours, then remove it to cut away for the engine and silencer. The hole in F1, for the prop-driver, is on the small side, open it up after the fuselage is assembled, and you may have to cut a slot in the former to drop the engine into position for the upright installation. It is quite tight around the nose when fitting the throttle connection, fuel tank tubing connections, but it does all work, a little 'chibbling' away may be needed to give full throttle movement and for access to the silencer bolts.
You have a choice of a 1/4 in dia birch dowel, or a 1/8 in plywood tongue for the front wing fixing, whichever you find the easiest to install. Rear fixing is with two bolts engaging captive nuts, fit some ali or brass tubing sleeves in the wings, so that they extend to the plywood mounting plate; this will prevent the wing being distorted as the bolts are tightened. You could, of course, use a banded on wing instead of a bolted fixing, it is a little more forgiving if you have to make an emergency landing after being shot-up.
Although there is room for a full size 600/800mAh battery pack in the 'Spit', an Overlander 270mAh flat pack (2/3 AA size) is perfectly adequate and is recommended for the Mel 09. Being lazy by nature, I sometimes cyano the charging socket through the side of the fuselage so that the battery can be charged, with a small two pin plug, without having to remove the wings. However, if the model has sustained a hard landing it is always prudent to take a look at the radio installation to check that nothing has moved.
Wing construction (if you have been reading Model Flyer for a while) is straightforward, as can be seen from the photographs. A bit of bandage white-glued over the centre section joint (Speedbond) strengthens the joint (although I forgot to apply it on the Me109) and also supports the dummy radiators if these are fitted. Cut the spanwise aileron hinge slots before construction, or leave the length unglued if this is a joint line for the rear 1/8 wing sheet. When the wing panel is removed from the board and the excess rib planed and sanded away, the aileron leading edge and the adjacent wing spar are fitted. Start by cutting away the ribs for the spar and glue in position; it can be planed to match the ribs later. When that has dried, cut away for the aileron leading edge and glue this and the small aileron end ribs to the rear wing sheeting..."
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User commentsGreetings, This looks like it.would make a fun model. One minor detail - the tip of the vertical fin is missing. Is anything els missing?
James Hickman - 27/11/2019
James, I don't think anything else is missing. Maybe you could check for us. Meanwhile, (spoiler alert) we have another Spitfire XIV in the line-up for tomorrow, so maybe that will help.
SteveWMD - 27/11/2019
Comparing the plan to the ME109 the top of the plan does seem to be missing. Only half the plan view of the fuselage is shown and the top of the fin is missing.
pmw - 27/11/2019
Ah I see - you think there should be more fuse shown, too? Ok, anyone out there got another scan of this, or a copy of the magazine pages to hand, so we can check?
SteveWMD - 27/11/2019
Fuselage cutted on the centerline, not difficult to duplicate. Sent low res original plan and photos.
Pit - 27/11/2019
Ok, thanks Pit. I can see now that the printed plan does include the full fuselage (both sides of the centre line), and the missing tail tip. OK, we will try and replace this plan file (at some point) with a high res version that does includes all the original printed detail. At the moment, we don't have high res scans for that.
SteveWMD - 27/11/2019
I'm keen on seeing the rest of the plane, too :)
Hubert - 27/11/2019
May I remind there was a short production run of a sub-mark designated Spitfire Mk.XIVa which, as well as the cropped wingtips as shown on this drawing, had a cropped fin/rudder? This plan is correct for that version.
Miguel - 28/11/2019
Miguel- I suspect that everything about that statement is factually inaccurate.
pmw - 29/11/2019
Your suspicions appear well-grounded, I myself would call it complete fabrication.
Miguel - 30/11/2019
About cropped tips of wings / horizontal / vertical stabilizer of the Spitfire: The low level variants of the Spit had cropped wing tips, mostly to counter the Fw 190 which had a better roll rate. Also the very late Spits Mk.21 to 24 had a completely redesigned wing to counter the risk of aileron reversal at almost transonic speeds. These may have looked like a clip wing but were not. The Supermarine Spiteful and Seafang had another new laminar wing of trapezoidal outlines which may have looked like a clipped wing to the casual viewer.
I do not know anything about clipped stabilizers. On the contrary: The vertical stabilizer was steadily increased in size over the years to counter the increasing propeller torque of the engines gaining more and more power. Thus, clipped tail surfaces would not have made any sense.
Martin - 30/11/2019
Martin- The taller tail was adopted from the Spiteful.
pmw - 01/12/2019
Thanks for the clarification, PMW!
I admit I prefer the Merlin powered variants, namely the MK.IX und XVI and the recce variants PR Type D, PR.MK XI and (Griffon powered) PR.MK XIX. IMO they got the most beautiful lines and best balanced proportions.
Martin - 01/12/2019
About the tip of the fin: Its shape could be reconstructed from any drawing of the real MK.XIV. Also, the plan does not show any underwing radiators or carburettor intake under the engine cowling. Most probably for ease of construction and repair. Thus, I would rather call it a semi scale model than "true" scale.
Martin - 02/12/2019
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