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The Albatrosmain structure before covering. Note the sliced ribs (at left) and undercambered airfoil. The cowl and spinner (above) are vacu-formed plastic. Wing struts are light 1 be much stiffer.


say, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my model flew very well.

The structure is not unusual in any way, so I won’t go over the building sequence, ex- cept for a couple of points. These will largely reflect the way I build and approach the fin- ishing. This is a peanut scale biplane, so you will have to keep it light to fly well. I use laminated balsa strips for all the flying sur- face outlines. Select the fuselage longerons with care. I prefer them to be quite stiff so there is no bending from the tissue shrink- age. That’s right, I cover peanuts with Japanese tissue and shrink it tight with wa- ter, the old fashioned way.

A word about the wings. If you’ve never built one with an undercambered airfoil, don’t be afraid to try it. Freeflight models have utilized undercambered airfoils with great success for many years, and there is a

-inch balsa. Once covered with tissue and dope, they will

reason for that. They fly better at the slow speeds of our models, and this is particularly true for a high drag biplane. I used sliced ribs for this model, as I do for almost all my models without tapered wings. I find sliced ribs to be faster and lighter than cutting and notching solid ribs.

You can use light balsa for the wings. Ex- pect them to be a little flimsy while you’re sanding, but have patience. The tissue will greatly stiffen them after shrinking. And more than usual. When you cover under- cambered wings, you have to glue the bot- tom tissue to each rib. I use thinned Sig Bond and a small brush for this. When you cover the top, you will be tempt- ed to only apply glue to the edges of the wing. This is a comical mistake. The tissue on the wing bottom will only shrink in small sections, between each rib. The tissue on the

top will shrink all the way across the wing. You get banana dihedral so pronounced you will take photos to show your friends before recovering. Covering your shame, I should say. No, you must also glue the top tissue to each rib as well. The result will be a very strong wing. Block up the rear of the top wing tips 1

⁄16 inch to produce washout. The business end

I built the first rendition of this model with a cowl and spinner built up of balsa and hollowed out. They look fine, but dent easily during landings. The second model I vacu- formed them from light plastic and I prefer the look and durability.

-inch scale engine kit. This is detailed on the plans. It may seem extra work, especially since almost all of it is covered by the spinner,

mers 1

I built up the rotary engine from a Peck Poly- ⁄2

A Peck 1


-inch scale engine kit. Cut away the front and back of the crankcase

(above left) and it will work very well. David only put heads on the two lower cylinders that are exposed. Cut away the back of the rest to reduce weight. Thrust button is


1⁄16-inch ply with balsa plug. Add a Peck thrust bearing. Printed lozenge tissue (above

right). This is the way the real covering was made in 1918—pre-printed. The sheets are 11 × 17 inches. It will handle water shrinking and doping with no problem.


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