Gee Bee R-1 (oz2906)


Gee Bee R-1 (oz2906) by Andrew Hewitt 1991 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Gee Bee R1. Free flight rubber model 1930s racer.

Quote: "This is quite a large rubber model despite the wingspan being just 21 inches. Small wings were all the rage for best dressed racers of that era. The original, it seems, was rather tricky to fly but Andrew said his very accurate to scale in outline creation has excellent flying qualities being stable and flies safely in windy conditions. The 1/12th plan is full size. Certainly a very famous plane and as a model would look rather special in the air."

Update 3/11/2022: Added article, thanks to Pit.

Quote: "DGee Bee R-1. Andrew Hewitt's roly-poly rubber powered 1/12 scale racer!

I have been designing, building and flying (not necessarily in that order) Scale rubber models for many years, always with a fresh challenge in mind. Many years ago I built a Peanut Gee Bee R-1 which flew very well indoors. Prompted by this success I progressed to this 1/12 version. The aim was to frighten the opposition at the Nationals. Flight trials proved the model's stability but a fast, downwind landing resulted in a damaged wing and removed all chances of qualifying.

The model is very accurate in outline and scores highly in Static, the only deviation from scale being the wing section. Flying qualities of the prototype are amazing. Though not a duration model it is very stable and flies safely even in brisk, windy conditions. You will find that your Gee Bee is built to withstand much fast flying (and punishment).

Build a barrel: Cut out fuselage formers F3 to F8. Mark stringer positions and cut slots with a 1/16 file. Laminate tail outline from four strips of 1/32 x 1/8 sheet soaked in water for a few minutes. Pin round a card former and leave to dry for at least five hours. Cut top and bottom keels from hard 3/32 sheet and pin over plan. Locate half-formers F3 to F8, making sure they are perpendicular. When dry glue the 1/16in side keel in place.

Carefully remove from plan and glue remaining half-formers in place. Add the second side keel. The fuselage will now be easy to handle. Fix the 1/32 ply braces to F3 and F4 (these ensure correct dihedral and incidence settings. The root stub rib and wing tongue are now firmly glued in place. Take care to align correctly on braces.

Now add all those stringers. Start adjacent to the side keels and work outwards, one side at a time to ensure the fuselage stays true. Now you really have a Gee Bee fuselage. Even though the stringers are only medium 1/16 sq, they add great strength.

Add the X formers between F3 and F4. Infill between them with soft 1/16 sheet, making sure the grain runs lengthwise for ease of bending. When sanded down this gives an excellent finish. Now begin the 1/32 sheeting. Start on the underside between F4 and F5, up to the root rib. Glue, with PVA, to the keels and formers only. Sheet the top decking back to F7 with light, straight-grained 1/32 sheet. Cut paper templates first. This saves lots of mistakes! The fairing at the rear of the wing is made from three pieces of soft 1/32 sheet.

Crack on with the cowling: Build up F1 from two laminations of 1/16 sheet, aligned cross-grain to give strength. Cut F2 from 3/32 sheet. A 1/16 box locates them in place, aided by the four formers Y. The cowl is then planked with soft 1/8 sheet... "

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Gee Bee R-1 (oz2906) by Andrew Hewitt 1991 - model pic


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Gee Bee R-1 (oz2906) by Andrew Hewitt 1991 - pic 003.jpg
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User comments

Gee Bee R1 had a 25' wingspan Plan claims to be 1:12 ..yet it says and is labelled as 21" It scales at 25" though.
An Odd error.
fred - 25/09/2020
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