Cessna C-34 - Free flight scale model, for rubber power.
Quote: "The salvation of Cessna's future. Cessna C-34, by Larry Kruse.
Regarded historically as the design that saved Cessna Aircraft from closing its doors, the Cessna Airmaster was the longest-running production series in the company's early history. The progenitor of the series was the C-34, presented here in a sport scale form, of which 42 units were completed. The aircraft evolved and was refined into the C-37, and then the C-38, both numbered according to the year in which they were designed. Ultimately, the series evolved into the planes which made the series famous, the C-145 and C-165 Airmasters, so designated by their engine horsepower.
This plane is a bit of a departure from the scale model designs I've been building and publishing over the past two or three years. Most of those planes were intended to be highly-detailed exact scale replicas of their full-size counterparts, in some cases right down to the specific numbers of rivets on the cowl.
This Cessna C-34 differs in a couple of areas from those planes, and can be thought of as being more in the Earl Stahl mode of scale designs. While the structural outlines are generally accurate, no attempt has been made to duplicate the scale structure or add excruciating details. The emphasis on this ship is flight performance. What I wanted was a good flying aircraft that looked like a C-34, not a highly detailed C-34 that looked like it would fly. My aim was to produce a ship that a modeler with average skills could build and come up with a reasonably good scale ship routinely capable of long, satisfying flights. Additionally, I wanted a plane that was rugged enough to withstand a full season of sport flying without spending an excessive amount of time in sick bay.
The Cessna proved its ruggedness on its first flight when it serenely flew into the side of a downwind motorcycle trailer. No, I'm not going to tell you it wiped out the trailer and emerged unscathed. It did lose its landing gear and popped the wing loose on one corner of the cabin area - but that was all. I don't think the trailer was appreciably damaged, either. Repairs (to the plane) were made very easily and quickly and the Cessna was back doing what it does best the next day.
Now, of course, if anyone wants to make the bird a super zooted-up scale spectacular rather than a sport flyer, that certainly would be possible. I would advise them to simply locate scale photos and a good 3-view and add details to their heart's content. The full-size C-34 had numerous little amenities such as an airspeed indicator, passenger entrance and exit steps, access panels, external control horns, door handles, and various filler caps and fluid tubes which would help pile up scale points for the competition-minded.
Construction notes. Since the fuselage presents the biggest building challenge, we'll start with it and move to the easier stuff as we go along. Lay out the first fuselage side, from the cowl back, flat on the building board. Install all vertical members and all gussets except those located where the fuselage will have to be cracked. Check the plan for the locations. Notice that the top and bottom longerons are not connected to anything at the front at this time. Later they will be pulled into position and cemented to F-2 in their respective notches. After the first side is completed, cover it tautly with Saran Wrap and build the second side directly on top of the first.
While the fuselage sides are drying, cut out all of the cowl parts from 3/32 inch C-grain sheet. The cowl rings and thrust plates can be stack-sawed to save a bit of time as can fuselage formers F-1 and F-2. F-2 can then be notched out by hand. Build the cowl much like a small drum by gluing the cowl spacers to the rear cowl former and then adding the two thrust plates..."
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