Supermarine Spiteful (oz13368)
About this Plan
Supermarine Spiteful. Radio control scale model fighter, for .40 power.
Direct submission to Outerzone.
Update 12/10/2021: Added article, thanks to RFJ.
Quote: "Pete Nicholson designed this model of the Spitfire's successor for .40 two strokes and five function radio. Model spans 52 inches.
All full size military aircraft usually start life as a ministry specification, so I decided I would draw up what I thought would be the ideal attributes for a scale model and look for a shape to fit them.
The specification was as follows:
WWII piston engined fighter.
Wide track retractable undercarriage.
Large wing area.
Above all, it had to be little-modelled and different. After all, with accurate flying scale models we can put into the air shapes that were rarely filmed or recorded and, within reason, get some idea of their flyng qualities.
It so happened the first 'Aeroplane Monthly' magazine I bought (way back in December 1977) contained an article on the Supermarine Spiteful. Looking at the photographs and reading the history of this machine, I decided that this was the shape, Aviation News (27 July - 9 August 1984) contained an excellent three-view, and now the stage was set.
I designed the smallest size model practical for taking retracts. It would be based around a .40 two-stroke and have the absolute minimum of surface detail. It must be highly practical - and operational most weekends!
With the exception of the finishing method the following construction notes are more a sequence than a stick-by-stick instruction feature. When read in conjunction with the drawing, construction should unfold as straightforward and fairly rapid.
Watch That Weight! A few pointers on weight prevention should help save those vital ounces.
Construction is a mixture of stressed skin, thick sheet and block. All block and thick sheet (3/16 and over) should be soft but firm and free from 'shakes'. Thinner sheet needs to be a light, rigid medium grade. For the wing skinning, avoid wood with soft patchy areas.
With a few exceptions, I use cyanoacrylate throughout. This in itself saves a few ounces since fillets of epoxy and PVA are heavier. To use the adhesive economically, make the joins using spots of cyanoacrylate every inch or so (similar to stitch welding). This is perfectly adequate when the structure is considered as a whole.
Accurate joints are required when working with cyanoacrylate, but this has another benefit as less filler is used to fill gaps at the finishing stage, which saves a few more ounces. The use of plywood and hardwood is kept to a minimum, it being used for the firewall and localised hard points only. Do not add weight by replacing the dihedral braces and other parts with these materials, as the structure is more than adequate without them ( the heavier they are, the harder they fall!).
Before beginning construction, plan the installation of all the servos, engine, tank, undercarriage, etc, drawing the details on the plan. This can then be transferred to the necessary parts and any holes or cut-outs made to accommodate them.
Wing Construction: The wing is built in four sections then joined before adding the skinning. Begin by preparing the wing sheeting, making oversize panels by joining sheets using PVA adhesive.
Pin down the lower spar and false trailing edge over its packing piece. Add the ribs, upper spar and leading edge followed by the Visin. vertical grain webbing. Remove the wheel bay portion of W3 and add the circular lining (formed around a suitable cylinder and left over length). Carefully sand to airfoil shape and add the upper 1/16in. sheet using impact adhesive.
Sand roots of panels flush and join outer panels to centre section panels. Add dihedral braces, servo bay linings, aileron bell crank details, block and gusset reinforcements, undercarriage, bearers and bay lining. Sand structure and add bottom sheeting, again using impact adhesive. Be careful at this stage not to 'lock-in' any warps.
Carve and sand leading edge to shape, add tips and do likewise. Mark out ailerons accurately and remove from wing using a razer saw. Add 1/4 in spars. Using the centre section dihedral brace, join the wing halves. Trim the roots at the fuselage area and add the wing dowel.
Fuselage: To the basic fuselage sides add the longerons, doublers and treblers. (Note that the port fuselage side is lengthened to allow for the engine sidethrust.) Using the plan view, erect the fuselage upside down over the plan. Add the 3/8 triangular firewall fillets, lower parts of formers F2, F6 and the 1/2 in balsa and 1/8. ply tailwheel formers with tailwheel.
Glue the 1/4 in bottom sheet to the formers and add the rear lower infill. Chamfer the lower fuselage side edges and bottom sheeting to match the formers and add the 1/4 in lower side sheeting. Square off the sheet with a razor-plane, but do not sand to final shape at this stage.
Lightly fibreglass the tank bay area and install throttle cable, elevator and tailwheel linkages. Add the upper parts of all the formers and the top 3/8 sheet. Shape sides and top to match the formers..."
Supplementary file notes
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