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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. Rood26/09/2019 05:36:36
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268 forum posts
387 photos

Epoxied the wing panels together; dihedral and alignments all seem good so far.

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John H. Rood26/09/2019 20:08:52
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268 forum posts
387 photos

eacd7fc2-91b3-4035-8fdc-15bc62dca841.jpeg

Entering the LOOKS KINDA LIKE A MANTA RAY’s FACE phase of the wing build.

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John H. Rood28/09/2019 04:28:21
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268 forum posts
387 photos

Fuselage: Making the engine intakes. Just in case someone reading this has never done this kind of thing before, the sheet balsa parts you see here are sections of what will become a "block", stacked together, glued, and finally shaped to resemble an aircraft engine air intake.

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The trick, however, is to make OPPOSITE halves.

And, though they might APPEAR to be identical, they're not. Look closely at the vertical line... it runs at an angle! So, at least for me, it takes some attentiveness here to not screw up this simple-looking task when gluing the parts together!   Me? I SCREWED IT UP!   I've had to re-do my starboard set.  One must remember to make two halves, two OPPOSITE sides, and meanwhile the correct side profile must be maintained.  Look closely at the side profile on the plans... note the downward "droop" angle on the intake.  That's ALSO true when you look at it from for and aft:  the fuselage section droops downward at those intakes.

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Edited By John H. Rood on 28/09/2019 05:42:27

John H. Rood05/10/2019 20:24:42
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268 forum posts
387 photos

So with my vast talent for mixing things up badly, I labeled each of them as to port/starboard/fore/aft:06

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Then tracing the aft cross-section from intake bulkhead "A-1" gets the sanding underway:

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Next I managed to remember that the early Skyhawks had a shorter intake ass'y, and its entry lay perpendicular to centerline, not canted like the later A-4E/F et al. So, after making the adjustments, I cut and glued and shaped and here is what I ended up with:

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Peter Garsden06/10/2019 20:26:06
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1722 forum posts
1297 photos

Tricky those air intakes John, I remember doing mine and getting them to blend in was a nightmare. Good for you adapting for scale.

John H. Rood16/10/2019 19:14:35
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268 forum posts
387 photos
Today I was trying to insert images from my Flickr account but apparently I still haven't figured out the elusive secret mojo here!  
So, here are some images via my album here on RCME. 
I am now at the point of shaping the fuselage with the help of cross-sections and photos.   Check out these interesting shots from NACA wind-tunnel tests "way back when": 
lal_82161TD.jpg
 
lal_82156TD.jpg
lal_82157D.jpg
lal_82158.jpg
lal_82159D.jpg
 
And this one of a NAS Los Alamitos-based reserve A4D also gives a nice reference view of the A4D-1 and -2 (A-4A/B) engine inlet.  Note, too, that this aircraft lacks the gun at the wing root fairing:
Los Alamitos A4D-1
 
 

Edited By John H. Rood on 16/10/2019 19:55:47

Phil Cooke16/10/2019 20:26:57
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2535 forum posts
1790 photos

I had appreciated the intakes were shorter on the A/B but the photo suggests there's no splitter fairing either! nerd

John H. Rood16/10/2019 20:52:29
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268 forum posts
387 photos

Right you are, young man! No splitter fairings -- my sloth doth reigneth -- there is a method to my madness! idea

Meanwhile, here's an A-4B prang aboard the USS Great Orme. Excellent reference on shapes and details!

ps -- Maybe it thinks it is a PSS model or something, abusing Mr. Meade's custom 3D-printed refueling nozzle and all?

Snafu_fore.jpg

Snafu_aft.jpg

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