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Piper Pawnee

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Richard Harris11/01/2016 20:14:08
2236 forum posts
2057 photos

I have always fancied a Piper Pawnee so decided to take advantage of the rubbish weather we have been having of late and scribble some drawings down. I have been pleased with the way my little Snap Dragon low winger performs so decided to stick to this usable size sticking with the tried and tested power plant.

Construction has been slow as I am in the middle of a bathroom overhaul but today I managed to finish off the base colour covering.

Span is around 900mm with a weight of 200 grams, construction is basic using mainly balsa and lite ply.

Anyway, here are a few photos of my efforts so far:



Basic fuselage structure


Cowl is built in place then cut off


Turnigy 5g servos in the wings



All naked up against an Eflite cub



Meet Oscar Dustman, a home made pilot made from foam and a toy figure head, Ear phones are made from depron and a metal tie wrap, He has turned out ok.




Canopy templates 'in progress', will be transfered onto a pop bottle and cut out.



As it is this evening



And a shot next to Snap Dragon.

I hope to get the trim on in the next week, keeping my fingers crossed that this weather will change to get a maiden in.





Edited By Richard Harris on 11/01/2016 20:25:43

Lindsay Todd11/01/2016 21:42:41
1775 forum posts
1835 photos

That's a little cracker Rich very nice, always fancied one myself although a little larger perhaps. Linds

john stones 1 Moderator11/01/2016 21:58:56
11969 forum posts
1531 photos

Very cute yes


Robin Colbourne11/01/2016 23:55:02
784 forum posts
21 photos

Hi Richard, That's a nice looking Pawnee; coming along nicely! Have you decided on a colour scheme yet?

There are quite a few Pawnees in the UK, probably all of which are serving as glider tugs. The RAF Gliding and Soaring Association recovered theirs (G-SATN) recently, and I was privileged to have a tour round it at Halton last year by the person who did the work. It looks very smart now.


If black isn't your thing, then here are the other 33 UK registered examples. If you click on the reg you should get to photos of some of them.


G-PSGC is largely white: 


Edited By Robin Colbourne on 12/01/2016 00:00:52

Richard Harris12/01/2016 16:33:13
2236 forum posts
2057 photos

Thanks for the kind comments chaps smile


Thanks for the link, that gives me plenty to choose fromthumbs up I do have a roll of light blue solar trim to hand and there are a few blue trimmed examples on the list.


AVC12/01/2016 16:47:32
539 forum posts
147 photos

That a cool Pawnee Richard. Any heads up about RCM&E plan?

Richard Harris13/01/2016 17:47:20
2236 forum posts
2057 photos


If it flies and I am happy with its performance then I will submit the design for consideration. If it doesn't fly then I can always lose the wing and stick a set of rotors on top ! wink 2


Richard Harris18/01/2016 17:07:16
2236 forum posts
2057 photos

The canopy on the Pawnee is quite distinct so would stick out like a saw thumb if out of character which is why I decided to take a little time over it, well a couple of hours at least!

Front and rear cardboard templates were sellotaped onto a pop bottle and cut out , a 1 litre bottle is that much smaller and gave me better results than a larger 2L bottle.

Christmas is always a good to for recycling packaging and I managed to salvage some flat sheets of clear plastic from some kids toy boxes,this is what the side screens are cut out from. The front and side screens are edged in Litho plate and painted white.

Oscar has been treated to a seat (made from depron) and a four point harness, the belts are the elastics off a used dust mask which I am using in my bathroom at the moment, nothing goes to waste in the Harris houshold!

Not brilliant but perfectly acceptable for me.


On to the trimming.


Stephen Jones21/01/2016 21:27:03
2931 forum posts
1663 photos

Looking Very nice there Richard thumbs up


Richard Elliot21/01/2016 22:32:49
180 forum posts
118 photos


That's nice....very very nice, love that cockpit. Hope you get the plan published, everybody likes a Pawnee.

I really don't know how you design and build so quickly, I wouldn't have been able to change a plug let alone a bathroom and build that in the same time you have.teeth 2


Richard Harris22/01/2016 16:54:42
2236 forum posts
2057 photos

Thanks Steve,


As you know I am a firm believer in keeping models a simple and usable as possible, this model is simple as I could make it.

The bathroom however is a different thing, in my wisdom I decided to spend 10 mins cutting a slot out in the wall to run a 15mm pipe up to a shower unit. All kitted out in the correct PPE a attacked it with my grinder. I am unsure whether you have ever ground red bricks but when I turned round I couldn't see my hand in front of my face. It took several hours to settle which rendered my time on the Pawnee pretty much useless for a few days to clean up the mess! needless to say I have now purchased a bolster chisel!

With limited time I have managed a start on the colouring, pretty standard using solartrim wetted and slid into place. Until I know that it flies I will leave off the decals and any extra detail, on to the electrics, wing struts, hatches and all those boring jobs we have to do to get a model flight ready which sometimes stall a model at the last hurdle.





Richard Harris22/02/2016 17:10:32
2236 forum posts
2057 photos

I took advantage of a long awaited half decent day taking the Pawnee out for its maiden after work. Due to the long grass it was hand launched into the light breeze, a few clicks of down trim and it was away. The 2 s 500mah pack gave me at least 5 mins of scale speed flying which was fine for me. Aileron response is good and when rudder is initiated as well it turns on a 'six pence', it feels very lightly loaded.

I had two flights and noticed a touch of left yaw on the down wind legs (easily corrected with rudder) so I will add a touch of right thrust. Unfortunately I was out on my own and without my camera girl so no pictures I'm afraid.

Just a few finishing touches to add then sit and wait for a suitable day to take some snaps.

As you can guess I am really chuffed with this one smile


Martyn K22/02/2016 17:19:34
5154 forum posts
3761 photos

That looks fantastic

Nice one Richard


Tim Hooper22/02/2016 20:59:59
2929 forum posts
2424 photos

Nice work, Mr Harris!


Stephen Jones22/02/2016 23:25:42
2931 forum posts
1663 photos


I Join the club , No camera man/girl and waiting for some nice sunny weather .

Ohh yer ........

Steve wink

Steve Adams22/02/2016 23:46:42
196 forum posts

Would be nice to see that in RCM@E Rich,

Would make a good indoor flyer to....If it were to be submitted is it worth giving your fantastic Uncanny design another go for resubmission as that was/is a great design from someone who is world renowned for producing auto gyros and being great at them to! BTW does anyone know when Riches Revolver is due?


Steve laugh

Lindsay Todd23/02/2016 10:34:23
1775 forum posts
1835 photos

Excellent, look forward to seeing this one in the flesh. Linds

Richard Harris23/02/2016 12:26:57
2236 forum posts
2057 photos

Thanks for the support gents, very much appreciated thumbs up


I'm looking forward to taking her out again, I looked at my motor and ESC set up last night and they are 3 s capable. I have plenty of room in the front battery bay so it would make sence to purchase a couple of 450mah 3 s packs (they are less thatn a £5 each) to try out, obviously propped to suit. Always better to have a little extra power if and when needed.


I am contenplating a larger version with flaps etc



Revolver is me, I hope to get it all done and dusted when time allows me to. As for UnCanny I will ask David the next time I see him, it makes me smile everytime I fly it /well did fly it, but that's another story! It is a crying shame not to share it with others.


Thanks again



Edited By Richard Harris on 23/02/2016 12:28:08

Martian23/02/2016 13:36:41
2703 forum posts
1271 photos

Nice little Pawnee Richard they are not the prettiest plane but I love them , as for a bigger version it would be good I built a 60 inch with flaps duster and full set of lights from a modified 48 inch control line plan it w as hard work but it looks pretty good I. Blogged it on here definite need for an up to date plan for a larger version

Richard Harris24/02/2016 16:48:54
2236 forum posts
2057 photos


Yes I have found the thread, looks really goodthumbs up

I have now added the wing struts, U/C fairings, exhaust pipes (which double up as cooling holes), and dummy tailplane brace wires. Apart from waiting for decals that is pretty much it, a few shots taken this afternoon, hopefully a flight video will be next.





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