Piper Pawnee Brave (oz14963)


Piper Pawnee Brave (oz14963) by Earl Stahl 1997 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Piper Pawnee Brave. Free flight scale model for rubber power. Wingspan 30-1/2 in.

Quote: "We are honored to present the latest design by a true modelling legend and a master of his craft. Piper Pawnee Brave, by Earl Stahl

Agricutural Aircraft are playing an increasingly important role in helping to meet the nutritional requirements for the world's burgeoning population. With massive capability to distribute seed, fight the destructive actions of pests, and nourish developing crops, they are in service about the globe.

The Piper Pawnee Brave was the last of the aerial applicators produced by Piper. It was designed to distribute a broad range of farming necessities at affordable costs; to provide improved safety and comfort for the pilot; and to be rugged, with low maintenance requirements while away from base working the fields.

Nine hundred thirty-eight were made before production was terminated in 1983. Piper had fallen victim of economic hard times as the small-airplane manufacturing industry collapsed in the United States.

The Brave's configuration is excellent for a rubber-powered Flying Scale model. Except for an enlarged horizontal tail and increased dihedral, this is a faithful representation of 285 hp Continental engine powered models of early production. Later editions used more powerful Lycoming engines with slightly changed cowl shapes. Of course, to meet our objective of a trim-appearing, lightweight craft, the various appendages added to the wing and underbelly for aerial applications are not simulated. The prototype aircraft, early in the test program, flew in this "clean" configuration.

Construction: This is a low-tech model - the sort remaining popular with a host of fun-flyers. In fact, had the Brave been conceived half-a-century ago, I likely would have designed and flown a model very similar to this project. Though easy to build, the large cockpit enclosure and upswept wingtips may present a new challenge to some. Select balsa with an eye to strength where required and light weight where possible. Any of the popular adhesives may be used; I still prefer the long-popular cellulose cements for most of the joints.

Fuselage: Construction is conventional. Assemble the primary fuselage structure side frames, one atop the other, using firm longerons and lightweight crossmembers. Accurately shape and position the low density 3/32 sheet members of the side frames where the fuselage and wing mate, to establish the desired wing incidence angle.

Place the two side frames inverted over the aft top view (station F-7 to tail post) after having first cracked top and bottom longerons at F-3 and F-8 so the sides will conform to the angular contour of the airplane's body. Firmly glue the cracked longerons to reestablish their structural integrity.

Once the basic frame is complete, glue the fuselage formers in place and add the stringers. Use a long, straight 3/4 wide spline with fine sandpaper glued to the face to touch up any irregularities in the shapes or positioning of formers before gluing low-density 1/32 sheet to the upper forward fuselage and nose. With several narrow pieces and care. I covered the contoured lower nose with th3 material; others may find it preferable to fill in this section of the nose with thicker sheet or the popular blue foam.

Notice the triangular 1/16 sheet horizontal tail mounts at the rear of the fuselage. Cut and position these, right and left, with care, since they will establish the incidence angle of the tail when it is later glued to place.

Four pieces of 1/8 sheet balsa glued together, crossgrained, are used to form the nose. Cut the square holes to receive the removable nose plug, as well as the simulated air intake for the engine, before joining the parts. Glue the nose block to the forward sides of station F-1.

Carefully trim (and with a sanding block, dress) the nose and adjacent sheet-covered areas to the configuration shown. An alternate approach is to make the entire nose block (with plastic thrust button, wire shaft and propeller, ahead of station F-1) removable..."

Update 3/12/2023: Replaced article with a clearer copy, thanks to Pit.

Supplementary file notes



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Piper Pawnee Brave (oz14963) by Earl Stahl 1997 - model pic


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User comments

Thank you, Earl. The older the better. I salute you and all the other trailblazers who zoomed up the Ultimate Thermal!
Miguel - 04/12/2023
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