Beaufighter I (oz11936)
About this Plan
Beaufighter I. Rubber scale model twin WWII night fighter.
Quote: "HEREWITH are the plans for building Britain's latest night fighter. Several original constructional features have been embodied in the design, resulting in a very robust model which will stand quite a lot of 'man-handling'. No super-duration can be expected of the Beaufighter - in fact, the longest flight to date has been one of 26-1/4 seconds. The model is very tricky to trim and fly, but if the instructions are followed to the letter, reasonable results can be expected; it will also give hours of building enjoyment, and will enable the builder to conduct various experiments in the 'twin engine scale model' world.
Fuselage Construction: This is the most difficult operation and very great care must be taken to ensure accuracy. Cut out formers, keels, etc. Insert keels (top and bottom) into the notches on the formers, and glue in position. Next mark the former positions on the 3/32 square longerons and glue into notches on formers (top longerons are fitted first). Steam the top and bottom longerons to take up the curves forward of No.3 former. Glue all 1/16 square stringers (birch if possible) in the former notches.
Note: Fuselage must be trued up from time to time in these operations. The fuselage is now covered with 1/32 soft sheet balsa 'planked' (ie using 1 in x 1/32 in strips of wood).
Note: Planking is commenced after the windscreen and cockpit covers have been glued in position. The part of fuselage extending from former No.3 to former No. 5 must be covered last, and when this is done the bottom longeron must be cut at these two formers (see notes on plan) so that it falls away.
The centre-section spars are now fitted on to formers 3A and 4A and the ribs are glued into place. This operation may be a little trying, so take care with the building. Cover the underside of the centre plane with 1/32 wood before the nacelles are glued in place. (Drawings show all details of nacelle construction.) Cut away the underside of centre section cover-ing to take the nacelles and then fit the top rear portion of the nacelle keel. The top rear nacelle covering is now glued in position (drawings give all details.)
The wings, tailplane and rudder need no explanation here as the construction is quite straightforward. Plans give all information needed.
The undercarriage is built up as shown on the drawings.
The observation hatch is moulded from celluloid, a 'tricky business,' but it can be done (see photographs). The two formers (inside and outside) are made from wood. Insert celluloid between formers (after putting into boiling water) and push the outer former up into the inner one. Several 'boiling water' insertions may be required before the hatch emerges to your satisfaction - that was my experience, anyway!
Tissue covering: this is applied over the entire framework (including fuselage) and two thin coats of clear dope and one of banana oil are applied. Take care to avoid wrinkles when covering.
Flying: Little can be said about flying, but use three loops of 3/16 x 1/30 in brown rubber, well lubricated, and start with 100 turns on each motor (when gliding tests have been successfully concluded). As stated at the beginning of this article, the Beaufighter opens up new and very interesting fields and I shall be pleased to hear (through the Editor) of any interesting times, etc. This applies also to any difficulties encountered in the building. Before I leave you I should mention that the original model is painted 'night flying black,' but it may also be camouflaged for 'daylight' operations."
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Supplementary file notes
Article, thanks to hlsat.
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User commentsCuriously there's no drawing to show the layout of the centre-section of the wing. At first I thought there was a page missing. But this is all of it.
SteveWMD - 06/02/2020
Probably it's not shown because not necessary, considering it is built by notching all the parts together in a unique position and not on the plan, like the outer wing panels. The central wing sketch is enough.
pit - 06/02/2020
When I discovered this design in Aeromodeller some 45 years ago, I couldn’t resist it. After all it had apparently achieved 26 secs on wartime rubber. I love Jones’s drawings and his ingenious and accurate construction methods. The model uses the same spring curtain rod skew drive as is featured on Towner’s numerous multi engined models from the same period. In fact it’s almost exactly the same size as the Towner Bristol Beaufighter (oz41) but has the advantage of knock off wings and a demountable centre section. I think it’s also more accurate than the Towner version and the mainly sheet covering enhances it further although unsurprisingly it's 20 grams more than than the 115 gram Towner model.
But does it fly? Well not for me it didn’t. It was hopeless. I got as far as increasing the dihedral but that was it and the bits have lain around my workshop ever since. Having seen the recent comments I took the trouble to gather it together and make some repairs. The weak point of the design is the tiny amount of material between the canopy and the wing cutout but I’ve solved this by putting braces on the bulkhead. I wouldn’t build another but I wish someone else would and prove me wrong. The same designer's G.A. Owlet looks great but that appears to have been his last published design.
Richard Falconer - 24/02/2020
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