Fokker E1. Radio control scale model, for .35 - .40 power and three functions.
Quote: "I CANNOT think of any other scale model aircraft that could be put together for such a low investment of time and money - both becoming increasingly important criteria of model building. If you stick at it and miss a couple of episodes of Coronation Street, you should be able to build this model in just over two weeks, and the layout puts it in the beginner class for both building and flying. So, if you want to get in the air for that Class II competition a month away, this must really be it. My model is still in one piece after four years of rough flying. It's had a tougher life than the original ever had on the western front. However, enough of the commercials.
Anthony Fokker knew a good layout when he saw it and based his machine on the outstanding 1913 racing Morane-Saulnier Type G. Details of this appear in the Blandford Book on Pioneer Aircraft - with that two-view drawing you could easily modify the fin, paint green and there would be yet another variation to make the judge's life difficult! However, back to the Fokker. About 200 were built and, with the forward-firing synchronised machine gun, they ushered in the era of air combat and gained air supremacy over the western front from 1915 to mid 1916.
The original machine did not have dihedral so, as I like relaxed flying, I cheated and put a reasonable amount on the model, but if you wish to go all out for scale, I have seen this layout flying without dihedral, and on rudder and elevator only! With, say, 3/8in washout on each tip and reasonable reflexes you should get by (I only thought I'd mention it for those who might care to have a go!).
The construction really is straight-forward, and should present few problems. For a change, try to build the nose heavy and the rear light (I never can). Watch you don't overdo the solder on the rear skid assembly. I built up weight in the nose by fibreglassing lead strip onto the inside of the cowl. I really don't think there is much to say about the construction, it is so simple, perhaps just that it seems easier to build the lower part of the fuselage in the normal fashion, and mount the wings across the centre-section, and then build the cockpit on top of the wings whilst they are on the fuselage. This enables the top outline to be unbroken.
It has been said before, and it is quite true, that a scale model is more dependent on the finish than the actual building, and one thing about WWI models is that you don't have to go for a car showroom finish. A good practical finish is more authentic, and the more flying time it gets somehow improves its authenticity. The main aid to this authenticity is dying the nylon with Dylon. This is very easy to do by following the instructions on the pack. Dying the nylon saves the weight of colour doping and gives it that "three months at the front" look, after doping with three coats of 50:50 clear dope/thinners mixture. To get added strength, I tissue the model first and then cover with nylon; this takes a little longer but, over the years, I have found it repays the extra effort and you do not get crazing of the brittle nylon surface..."
Fokker E1, Radio Modeller, January 1976.
Direct submission to Outerzone.
Article, thanks to RFJ.
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