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USA Build: A4D-1 (A-4A) Skyhawk, circa 1956, Southern California

An early Scooter in service with the US Navy Reserves at NAS Los Alamitos

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John H. Rood20/03/2016 15:48:48
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1a.jpg

So now to get further clarity on how the A4D configuration will play out here...

Some skull-scratching yielded a basic plan, beginning with setting up reference lines (yet more!) and then making a simple template to see how it will look. I have no expertise whatsoever in digital design/drawing, so this is all magically ANALOG ...

1b.jpg

1c.jpg

1d.jpg

John H. Rood20/03/2016 16:09:32
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1e.jpg

Template fits the centerline perfectly. So this template serves as a model for me to visualize world peace oops I mean where to proceed with the nose construction!

1f.jpg

John H. Rood05/04/2016 14:08:15
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OK, so the REAL reason I am building a Skyhawk is that they were uniquely equipped with a special propulsion system for slope-soaring enthusiasts.

Whaaaa???

That's right... FOR JUST IN CASE THE WIND DIES...

142194 gag prop at los alamitos -- from nan.jpg

 

 

Edited By John_Rood on 05/04/2016 14:22:09

Pete B - Moderator27/04/2016 20:43:01
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Hi John, Unfortunately we're not able to rotate images by editing the post. It may be that you're using an iPad or similar to take the photos? If so, there can be an issue of the orientation within the camera so it may be a matter of taking the pics with the camera in the same orientation that gives you a satisfactory result. You might find an explanation and some help in this thread.

Pete

John H. Rood27/04/2016 20:49:03
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271 forum posts
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Thanks, Pete. I understand you there, and I'll check out that link.

In any case, it's not a big deal --- and what I really need to focus on is the build itself! Cheers, thanks again.

Edited By John_Rood on 27/04/2016 21:07:15

John H. Rood18/05/2016 20:09:36
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Los Alamitos A4D-1

Another Los Alamitos A4D-1 Skyhawk; I believe this is BuNo 142234, possibly circa 1960 or thereabouts.

Los Alamitos A4D-1 starboard side

I'm sorry I can't give proper credit to the source for the above two photos... I can't recall where I found them online.

Edited By John_Rood on 18/05/2016 20:14:47

John H. Rood03/06/2016 22:23:01
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271 forum posts
391 photos

Blues.jpg

ABOVE:  A-4F Blue Angels -- I post this image tonight as we mourn the loss of Captain Jeff Kuss, USMC who died yesterday in his F/A-18 preparing for an airshow performance that was to happen this weekend in Smyrna, Tennessee. And the image below is not a Blue Angel Skyhawk, but for me it captures the mood here.

A4_aloft at sunset.jpg

Edited By John_Rood on 03/06/2016 22:39:50

Mark Kettle 103/06/2016 22:37:32
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A sad lost John, we got the news this morning as we woke.

Tim Mackey04/06/2016 09:29:51
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Lovely job John - and great text to accompany the picsl.

I do enjoy a witty blog and yours tickles my spot mate 😊

John H. Rood09/06/2016 23:30:30
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271 forum posts
391 photos

DRAWING IN THE NOSE CENTERLINE: As I mentioned earlier, the early Skyhawk "A4D" (A-4A, B, and C) variants each have a nose centerline that is higher than what's shown on Phil and Matt's build plans, which cover the slightly later E, F, M, L (et al) models. In an earlier installment here I sketched my take on what that early A4D centerline might look like, and now I have transferred it to the core balsa nose structure.

In this first photo the pencil points to my line penciled-in on the plans, and next I penciled it in on the balsa and highlighted here in blue. It will add to my other reference lines to later shape the nose curves. I feel it is important to "know" that centerline and place it correctly on the core structure, so as to get the basic "look" right from the get-go.

A4D_CL_1.jpeg

In this next photo, the lower edge of the ruler runs along that line. And I've now marked it on the balsa structure:

A4D_CL_2.jpeg

So now I feel more confident that the basic look and feel of the early Skyhawk nose config will be there!

A4D_CL_3.jpeg

Edited By John_Rood on 09/06/2016 23:32:11

John H. Rood10/06/2016 15:20:28
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Nose curves:

A4D-1 and A4D-2 (later redesignated A-4A and A-4B)

image.jpeg

This was a test and evaluation aircraft at China Lake; note how the orange-yellow day-glo band is wearing badly -- a common thing with the hi-viz paint back then.  

  • The A4D-1 lacked a refuelling probe, which was introduced with the A4D-2.   
  • The A4D-2N introduced a lengthened nose to accomodate upgraded avionics, and this variant was redesignated the A-4C.
  • The A-4E and F introduced a still-longer nose with a lower centerline angle. 

 

Edited By John_Rood on 10/06/2016 15:56:23

John H. Rood10/06/2016 18:06:08
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Wing Rib Positions: Extending the lines with a pencil.

extend.jpeg

John H. Rood11/06/2016 18:51:28
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Fuselage Cross-Sections:

Finding and then pencilling-in their centerlines so these section drawings can be transferred unto stiffer material and serve as templates for shaping the fuselage.

centerlines.jpeg

Edited By John_Rood on 11/06/2016 18:55:26

John H. Rood11/06/2016 19:39:23
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271 forum posts
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centerlines2.jpeg

John H. Rood12/06/2016 21:42:48
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Templates are now done; paper on cardboard.fuselage_templates.jpeg

John H. Rood01/07/2016 00:56:01
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271 forum posts
391 photos

Where but the kitchen to properly open the Ancient Scroll... Hark! The build plans, kinda yeah the rough-hewn TORAH for our A-4 Skyhawk misadventurings here...

img_3729.jpg

And to lay down a heavy thick piece of glass to both FLATTEN the plans (Traplet really SHOULD provide them ROLLED) but moreso, provide a nearly dead-flat surface for building the 3/8" thick sheet balsa tail feathers.

I have completed assembling the tail parts and prepared the 1/16th balsa sheet wing skins;  all looks good.  However frustrated as I am unable to upload the pics -- the old software this website uses software is too cumbersome for me to use my via iPhone.  I shall try again later when I can get to my Mac.

 

Edited By John_Rood on 01/07/2016 01:11:00

Edited By John_Rood on 01/07/2016 01:18:00

John H. Rood02/07/2016 21:24:35
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271 forum posts
391 photos

img_3796.jpg

John H. Rood02/07/2016 21:36:54
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271 forum posts
391 photos

Guys, unfortunately I can't seem to use this web forum's software efficiently;  mainly it is just far too frustrating for me to post photos here.  

A better way to see my progress is via

  • Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/john.rood.902
  • and/or Instagram https://www.instagram.com/johnny_rood/

I am no tech expert, but is it just me, or is ModelFlying's web forum system using an antiquated software?  Their image "album" system, at least for me, is far too time-consuming!  Seems it flips photos in ways we don't want, it does not reliably "remember" names and titles we give to our images, so we can't file them in a logical (e.g., alpha-numeric) system so we can see and access our image files quickly for posting them.   Or maybe somehow I'm just not getting it?  

I'd love to even just simply copy and paste an image URL from my Flickr account or Facebook or Instagram, and then post it here, but thus far I am wholly unable to make that simple task happen here.   

Edited By John_Rood on 02/07/2016 22:09:26

John H. Rood04/07/2016 18:26:24
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271 forum posts
391 photos

Well, I got over my little crying jag cocktailcocktail and am back on the beat... here on the 4th of July the port wing panel is in the werks and the wife has brought me some mango sorbet with blueberries... recommended for any intrepid sky-voyager trying to build a model of the A-4 Skyhawk.

img_3818.jpg

Edited By John_Rood on 04/07/2016 18:43:57

John H. Rood05/07/2016 13:24:33
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271 forum posts
391 photos

4 july 2016.jpg

That was last night; and this morning, per Steve Houghton's idea, I made up some fill-in strengthening pieces at the center-section TE. I sandwiched aileron stock with some 1/16th sheet to bring bring it up flush with the rib curve.

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