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David Hooper10/09/2017 16:21:59
4 forum posts

Hi I am back to model after a long break , so I thought I would give planes a go (it used to be boats) so I got an Olympian 24" wingspan sport model. Set it all up ready to build and after perusing the plans 3/4 times and reading the instructions I have hit the following problem. The instructions say join the 2 pieces of fuselage using doublers, on the plans the word doubler is nowhere to be seen it just shows struts, so do I just put the wood onto the plan and cut to size or am I missing something.

Grateful for any help


Dai H

Don Fry10/09/2017 20:06:14
4382 forum posts
52 photos

A doubler is an area of the fuselage where there are two thicknesses of wood. It is an area where stress loads are carried. A common setup is the wood is doubled from the nose to the rear of the wing, then the doubler tapers towards the rear, to attenuate changes of stress. Without a look at the plan, can't say much more.

David Hooper11/09/2017 08:29:12
4 forum posts

Hello Don, many thanks for you help it's great that there are people like you that are prepared to help and advise people like me. I understand what you are saying but will call Westwing as nowhere on my plan shows how to do what you have explained. I think I may have to double the struts and if it is ok with you inform you of the result.

Again many thanks

Take care

Dai H

simon barr11/09/2017 08:45:41
1039 forum posts
16 photos

Any doublers shown on the plan will most likely be high-lighted by something like a black arrow head, which will follow the line of the doubler position over the main structure... if you get what I mean.

Ken Lighten11/09/2017 09:20:27
256 forum posts
42 photos

Hello David,

I think the instructions you have are referring to the strip of balsa glued onto the inside faces of the fuselage sides directly below the top edge where the wing sits, it acts as a reinforcement to the opening in the top of the fuselage and gives a thicker base on fuselage top for the wing to sit on. It's shown as a dashed line below the wing in the side view.



Jon Laughton11/09/2017 10:22:13
1185 forum posts
72 photos

Put simply a doubler is a piece of material that is the same shape as (or fits to) another piece, the idea being to 'double' or increase the thickness. A lot of traditional models will have fuselage sides that are externally made of balsa with corresponding internal ply doublers to give strength where it's needed. The plans should indicate the type of material using different patterns or notes.

Doublers are not just used in fuselages rather where there is a need to increase strength..full size aircraft also use doublers in structural areas of high stress/loads. In some cases for example Gulfstream business jet fuselage panels, there are 'tripplers' too!

Without seeing the plans I would suggest you cut two pieces of wood for each side of the fuselage & glue them face to face?

Hope this helps

Ken Lighten11/09/2017 11:56:29
256 forum posts
42 photos

Hi again David,

Jon is correct in his description of the term 'doubler', to clarify, my last post was referring to the plan for the Olympian, if you look below the wing in the side view you will should see a dashed line about 6mm below the wing, this is the edge of the 'doubler' in this case, if you look at formers F3 and F4 you'll see a notch cut into the top corners to allow for them



Cuban811/09/2017 12:20:31
2831 forum posts
1 photos

Nice little model is the Olympian, but even so is quite a challenge to get right and thus have a good performing model. I'm sure you'll get the 'doubler issue' sorted out - that's all part of the learning curve and the fun of bulding. can't add much to what's been said already, just build accurately (no warps) build light and take time over tissue covering.

it's not an easy skill to master and done poorly will ruin an otherwise fine model. Make up a simple practice wing from balsa scrap strips, nothing too elaborate but stiff enough to get your covering/shrinking/doping technique up to snuff on that first.

Good luck with the build, it's great fun (I've got a partially built Dumas DHC-2 Beaver on the go, just waiting for the tissue!) so much to learn, but a lot of help available for the asking.............we've all been there and made the same errors!

David Hooper11/09/2017 13:07:19
4 forum posts

Hi, many thanks to you all for you help and advice,I got onto Westwing and they were very helpful and explained to me what Ken told me (I phoned before I read the mail from Ken!!).

So again thank you all and it is a relief to know that if I need help you are all out there. So it is back down to the man cave and continue the build.

Take care all of you


Dai H

David P Williams11/09/2017 14:57:30
872 forum posts
284 photos

On many plans the outline of the doubler is indicated by triangular arrow heads.

Ken Lighten11/09/2017 16:26:27
256 forum posts
42 photos

enjoy the rest of the build Dai!

Tony Dimnick 111/10/2017 13:15:53
4 forum posts

Hello guys, I am a newbie here and also when it comes to planes. I am planning to buy one and want to ask what is the best and affordable for beginners like me. Thanks in advance.

Denis Watkins11/10/2017 15:56:57
4054 forum posts
75 photos

This time of year Tony, there are many Indoor flying events where you could go along and have a chat

Have a look too on the BMFA events calendar online

Also look at the Club Map on the BMFA site and have a chat with your local club

Jon Laughton11/10/2017 18:10:52
1185 forum posts
72 photos

Tony find your local club and join will probably be cheaper and enjoyable than trying to learn everything from scratch

Percy Verance11/10/2017 18:17:09
8108 forum posts
155 photos


Buy absolutely nothing until you've visited your local club a few times. Doing it that way will get you lots of useful help and advice. It'll also potentially save you money, as you may end up avoiding buying a totally unsuitable model and/or radio system........

Your local club will also have registered Instructors whom will teach you to fly free of charge. 

Edited By Percy Verance on 11/10/2017 18:18:08

Tony Dimnick 113/10/2017 13:22:11
4 forum posts

So I guess I have to look for our local club to help me out. I really have no idea about this. But thank you!

I'll still be reading posts here to help me in the future. smiley

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