Tom-Tit Triplane (oz1562)
About this Plan
Tom-Tit Triplane. Indoor triplane model from Ray Malmström. Aeromodeller, May 1943.
Quote: "Besides being the miniature wing-walkers' nightmare, this tiny triplane can be flown indoors, out of doors and RTP. In short, for a very little trouble, and even less expenditure of balsa, the builders can posess a vest-pocket model that absolutely fills the bill for a general purpose model.
The Tom-Tit, on 800-900 turns, will consistently perform around the 40-50 seconds mark, and construction of this absorbingly interesting and unique 'kite' is simplicity itself.
The fuselage is of medium or hard 1/8 balsa sheet. Reinforce the front portion with mm ply. Bore the hole for the shaft at a slightly negative angle. Fit the undercart with 3/4 dia celluloid or balsa wheels. Line up formers 1 and 2 and cut slots for the top and bottom planes.
The wings are made up from details on the plan. A reverse tracing of the port wing panels is necessary. Fit the top and lower planes into the slots on the fuselage, after imparting the correct dihedral angle by cracking at the centre ribs X and Y and recementing. The middle wing is built in two halves and cemented to the formers. See that these joints are firmly made. Fit interplane struts. These struts impart a pleasing and necessary rigidity to the whole model.
The fin and tailplane need no explanation. Set the tailplane at 0° incidence.
Any propeller (balsa) of 4-1/2 in to 5 in diameter that may be handy can be used an the Tom-Tit. A slight touch of oil on the shaft considerably helps the smooth running of the 'engine.' For the more exact builder the dimensions of a balsa propeller are given on the plan. Well lubricated, and stretch round from the rear by the means of the 20 swg 'S' hook, the three strands of 1/16 in flat rubber will take 900 turns, but 750 should be used for all but the most important of flips. If the ship stalls, try adding a little weight to the nose. If the Tom-Tit dives, warp the trailing edge of the tailplane up a little.
The Tom-Tit Triplane may seem a little peculiar to the eyes of a generation fed almost entirely on the old familiar monoplanes and biplanes, but that certainly does not prevent the 'tripe' from turning in a sound performance. Spend an hour or two on the Tom-Tit and give yourself a treat."
Update 21/7/2023: Added additional article from Aviation Modeller International, June 2012, thanks to RFJ.
Update 30/8/2023: Added zipfile of extras, thanks to the Lurker.
Quote: "Afternoon, A couple of snaps of my build [pics 005, 006] and, if you're interested, the zip file contains...
- An in-flight picture courtesy of Andy Blackburn [main pic].
All as PDF:
- RM's original plan and article as found on OZ.
- Transcription of RM's article text.
- Brief notes on my build.
- Wings. Original plan & modified as built
- Tailplane. Original plan & modified as built.
- Part profiles
There's a video clip online here: https://vimeo.com/853976942 of a flight using 10" loop of 3/32" at 600 or so turns. Can probably squeeze a few more seconds out of it as the motor should be good for 850 or so turns. The clip was posted August '23 and, because Vimeo free accounts are space limited, will be removed at some point in the next year to make space for newer stuff. Cheers,"
Supplementary file notes
Planfile includes article.
Lurker files zipfile.
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by Ray Malmstrom
Rubber F/F Triplane
all formers complete :)
got article :)
Found online 07/08/2011 at:
Format: • PDFbitmap
Credit*: algy2, Lurker
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