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A fairly severe 'nose' job!

Repairing the HP 115

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Simon Chaddock21/09/2017 16:29:19
5621 forum posts
2987 photos

Some weeks ago my Depron EDF Handley Page HP 115 did a good lawn dart emulation!

No great surprise as the wind was rather too strong and turbulent for such a lightweight.

This is what it looked like before.


And now.


The missing portions of the structure ended up as Depron 'confetti' and went straight into the bin. wink 2

However as I have discovered in previous "crashes" these lightweight 'built up' Depron structures crumple progressively so although in this case something like 24" (600 mm) of the nose has been completely destroyed (including the battery box) the rest of the structure, including the LiPo, is completely undamaged and still operational!.

As it is such an interesting plane, both in appearance and to fly, it deserves to be repaired.

I designed and built in from scratch in June 2015 so the only real limitation is my ability to remember exactly how I did it! wink 2

Fortunately I did prepare and still have fairly detailed plans with all the fuselage formers shown.

This gives some idea of the missing bit!.

nose plan

Edited By Simon Chaddock on 21/09/2017 16:32:54

G194021/09/2017 16:33:45
3523 forum posts
1 photos

The thing is, Simon, will we see it flying at Ashbourne on October 5th?


Chris Walby21/09/2017 16:55:18
1117 forum posts
266 photos

All I can say is well done for putting it back together (my Vulcan has crashed more than its flown, but the last one was all my fault so it doesn't count!).

Good luck and please post a few rebuild photos as its a very interesting subject.

Rob Ashley21/09/2017 17:16:24
256 forum posts
86 photos

Hi Simon,

What an interesting looking model.

Shame about the damage and I am not sure it will buff out...Definitely worth fixing though.

Gary Manuel21/09/2017 17:27:45
2196 forum posts
1540 photos

Good luck with the repair simon.

Hope to see you and your HP115 at next year's DVMFC open weekend. Hopefully less wind next year.

onetenor21/09/2017 20:17:44
1901 forum posts

There are pics on Aeromodeller forum

Simon Chaddock21/09/2017 23:32:46
5621 forum posts
2987 photos


Even if I get it complete and the weather is kind you wont see it on the 5th as the Sunday is on the 8th! wink 2

Andrew Price 222/09/2017 01:03:56
816 forum posts

I seem to remember seeing the original parked, unloved, for quite some while at Radlett.

Bad luck on the "mishap", Simon.

Having seen a repair or two of yours in the past I know this will be repaired, improved and back flying in no time.

Another project to enjoy following!!

ceejay22/09/2017 08:33:59
427 forum posts
322 photos

Geoff if he turns up on the 5th non of us will see it,

Ashbourne Scale Day is on the 8th Octwink

tee hee!!


G194022/09/2017 10:58:23
3523 forum posts
1 photos

Oops. My excuse is that the 5th is a very important date burnt on my mind for over 50 years - Avice's birthday


Simon Chaddock22/09/2017 16:40:04
5621 forum posts
2987 photos

The forward half of the fuselage was originally built as a planked half shell over the plan. The other side was then completed before the complete nose was glued to the rear half of the fuselage.

As the damage is more severe on the RH side the intention is to build the required RH nose portion and glue that to the plane in order to give a structure be able to complete the LH part.

The RH nose under construction over the plan.

RHnose 1

Complete and ready to be lifted.

RHnose 2

The RH section glued to the existing air frame.

RHnose 3

As it is all in 2 mm Depron at this stage it is very delicate and wobbly but it should only get stronger and stiffer from now on I hope!

Colin Leighfield22/09/2017 22:51:33
5982 forum posts
2501 photos

It looked a bit like the kind of wreckage that the AAIB love to piece back together in a hangar at Farnborough when trying to find out why it crashed! Clearly your end result is going to look somewhat tidier than their usual efforts. Definitely worth getting that one back together again, too good to scrap it.

Robert Armstrong 223/09/2017 07:51:51
234 forum posts
23 photos

The jigsaws in the AAIB hangar are put together with sadness for the most part I would imagine. I had a tour a long time ago. An interesting but melancholy place. Still dominated by the Lockerbie 747 when I was there.

Colin Leighfield23/09/2017 08:14:52
5982 forum posts
2501 photos

Quite right Robert. I've never forgotten the way they developed this approach in the investigation into the Comet disasters 1952/54. My light-hearted response to the task that Simon was taking on didn't reflect any disrespect for the work done by the AAIB. They even investigated me when I was involved in an incident flying a C172 from Coventry many years ago, fortunately they exonerated me and Coventry ATC got it in the neck!

Simon Chaddock23/09/2017 23:01:33
5621 forum posts
2987 photos

Just in case the weather is suitable on the 8th........

The LH formers added

LH nose 1

Note the asymmetric nature of the damage. The LH wing is virtually undamaged whereas quite a bit of the RH is missing.

The LH planking in progress picking up the existing fuselage skin..

LH nose 3

The missing RH wing formers added and a start made on the 'solid' load bearing cockpit canopy...

RH wing root

The next tricky job will be the battery compartment.

Edited By Simon Chaddock on 23/09/2017 23:02:19

G194023/09/2017 23:16:17
3523 forum posts
1 photos

I admire your dedication to Depron, Simon. I'm just completing a cartoon scale Eurofighter in Depron I bought as a kit at the Nationals swap meet. It's an interesting exercise and I'm just hoping it actually flies! However it's just confirmed how much I prefer balsa and plywood but each to his own, I guess. Perhaps I'll get to like it; you never know!

Do you buy UHU Por in gross boxes?


Simon Chaddock24/09/2017 11:12:12
5621 forum posts
2987 photos


UHU in gross boxes? I probably should!

If you completely plank a plane for minimum weight the process is almost the same whether in Depron or balsa,

My Martin Baker MB5 (indoor electric control line) is made almost entirely in 1/32 (0.8 mm) balsa sheet.


MB5 front

In fact as Depron is so light you can afford to be a bit 'cruder with thickness' in places with very little weight penalty.

About the biggest problem, particularly if you use POR, is it is almost impossible to sand a joint smooth. The POR is so 'rubbery' it hardly sands at all so it always remains proud no matter how much Depron you sand away. wink 2

Edited By Simon Chaddock on 24/09/2017 11:12:54

Simon Chaddock25/09/2017 09:57:22
5621 forum posts
2987 photos

Nearly there!

Cockpit canopy complete and the RH wing skin added.

RH wing skin

Only the battery box and the nose cone still to do..

Simon Chaddock27/09/2017 14:58:44
5621 forum posts
2987 photos

The fuselage is so deep (or is it the battery is so small) that it can be mounted vertically in the fuselage.


Being so far ahead of the CofG the nose cone is made up from 8 Depron 'rings' to keep the weight down.


All the skin complete.


After several 'goes' with lightweight filler and sanding it can be painted.


Not perfect but not too bad. wink 2

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