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DH84 Dragon

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Chris Bott - Moderator04/02/2018 13:41:24
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6346 forum posts
1299 photos
1 articles
Hi Chris I'm loving this so far. I'd love to do one myself one day if plans were ever available.

On the photos, if you make sure the cursor is in the place that you want the next photo and then do the insert, they should end up in the order you intend.
Percy Verance04/02/2018 15:44:41
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6730 forum posts
133 photos

Chris, Ivan Pettigrew does a plan for either a Rapide or Dragon (I can't remember which), along with some other nice DH aircraft. All electric and all good sizes. www.ivansplans.com

Percy Verance04/02/2018 15:47:13
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6730 forum posts
133 photos

I just looked Chris, and it's a Rapide at 76 inch span, so not quite what you're looking for........ The wingtips would frighten me a bit.......or to be precise, the possible handling characteristics resulting from them. secret

 

Edited By Percy Verance on 04/02/2018 15:49:54

Chris Reid04/02/2018 15:53:24
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201 forum posts
83 photos

Thanks Percy, but for me the designing is at least half the fun of aeromodelling. To start with a clean sheet of paper and end up with a flying model is a great buzz. I designed most of my model fleet, and selling a design to a magazine to pay for it is very satisfying too.

Chris Reid04/02/2018 16:04:07
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201 forum posts
83 photos

Two Chris's in play had me confused. Thanks for the photo insertion advice Chris.

There are a fair number of Dragon Rapide Plans about, and there's a possibility that David Ashby may buy my DH84 Dragon, a, if it flies, and b. if I can face the detailed workup of what will be a complex plan. I'm only doing mine so that I can replicate the "Chrisair" original decor. Vanity but fun.

Chris Bott - Moderator04/02/2018 16:43:07
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6346 forum posts
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Thanks Percy. No the Rapide is not for me I already have enough pointy wings ta.

Chris I can only encourage the drawing up of the plans. It would certainly go straight in near the top of my to do list.
Chris Reid11/02/2018 17:15:08
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201 forum posts
83 photos

Not so much progress this week. The battery box is in, and I have made up the giant block of balsa that will eventually become the shapely Dragon nose. This will be removable for battery insertion.

img_5438.jpgimg_5439.jpg

Chris Reid14/02/2018 16:49:01
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201 forum posts
83 photos

I may never carve a nose block from the solid ever again!! However, it's come out not half bad.

nose block.jpg

cymaz14/02/2018 17:39:56
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7686 forum posts
987 photos

I congratulate you on your effortsyes

Chris Reid28/02/2018 10:48:55
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201 forum posts
83 photos

Slowish progress again this week. Busy elsewhere, and chilly in the workshop. The two centre section wing mounts are done, and the 1/16" fuselage side skins made up so that the window openings can be cut out before they are fixed. The tray for the tail servos and receiver are in, and I've also purchased a 1/10 scale latex pilot who fits the cockpit well.

The wing mount location took time as the wing centre sections had to be sanded to shape to fit the fuselage and define the points for their mounting screws. I will use my usual wing mount system. Two steel pins at the front that are set strongly into the leading edge, and engage with holes in the ply bulkhead, and two screws and blind nuts at the rear. I'm never sure whether I should do the design work on paper first, or make the detail fitting of small parts up as I go along, and draw it later. In the case of the Dragon, the lower wing lifts upwards against substantial fuselage members, but the upper wing doesn't have much structure to hang on to. I've probably over engineered mounting it a bit, but better too strong. In any case, the lift will be shared across the two wings, and the model won't pull a lot of "g" ever.

sides and wing mounts rs.jpg

Chris Reid05/04/2018 19:44:22
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201 forum posts
83 photos

nacelles kit rs.jpgcockpit 2 rs.jpgSlow but meaningful progress in the last few weeks, interrupted by a birthday reminding me of the advance of anno Domini, but with the compensation of spending it with grandchildren.

The Dragon has got to the stage where 90% of it is built, but finishing it will take as much time as has been spent so far. The main task recently has been completing the removable nose which has come out pretty well. The original aircraft cockpit appears in two forms, one with the roof finished in white, and the other glazed. I imagine the roof glazing would have been the way it came out of the factory and, since I have fitted a pilot and a photo image of the real instrument panel, I am going to glaze mine. The removable nose plugs into four holes in the main bulkhead with locating pins, and secured by four very strong magnets which click on to four countersunk screw heads. I don't think it will blow off! I have also found room for a LED nose landing light powered by two AAA cells.

When designing a model, especially one that approaches scale, the easy bit is achieving an outline which will stand friendly scrutiny. Once you have an outline, designing the structure to support it can often pose problems. The temptation is to put off the really tricky bits, and hope inspiration for a build solution appears out of the blue; which it often does. The undercarriage design looked difficult, but I'm pretty sure I have a mental design that will work. Similarly, the wing fixing to have permanently rigged outer wing panels will follow something I have done before. The engine nacelles had me stumped for a while. They are complex shapes, curved all over and with non parallel sides with the undercarriage suspension units going up into them. However, they are very distinctive Gipsy Major shapes, and vital to the final appearance, so they have to be right. I think I've got the design sorted, and I've kitted some of the structure. Hopefully, the build will work out.

cockpit 1 rs.jpg

Fun Flyer05/04/2018 20:38:17
249 forum posts
31 photos

Could this be considered as a canditate for the Free Plan in the Autumn Special? (Or does it have to be yet another Warbird)

Fun Flyer05/04/2018 20:51:29
249 forum posts
31 photos

Lovely piec of work by the way Chris.

TJ Alexander05/04/2018 22:18:13
96 forum posts
Posted by Chris Reid on 05/04/2018 19:44:22:

Slow but meaningful progress in the last few weeks, interrupted by a birthday reminding me of the advance of anno Domini...

Surely you mean Anno Dominie?

onetenor05/04/2018 23:29:41
1717 forum posts

yessmile My mum and dad went on their honeymoon in Rapide (DRAGON) and mum said that as she was biggish lady she was asked to sit alongside the pilot to aid correct C/G. Is that actually possible? Are there two crew seats? BTW that was Sun 15th Sep '40 and we all know what that day was  don't we ?

Edited By onetenor on 05/04/2018 23:48:36

Chris Reid06/04/2018 08:57:00
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201 forum posts
83 photos

Thanks for the comments guys.

I daresay our worthy editor may offer to have me produce a plan for the Dragon, but I'm not sure I can face the task as it's a complicated build that will be a lot of work to draw up properly. I am making build notes and taking build photos so t's a possibility.

"Dominie" is a great pun. I thought of making a Dominie so that I could do it in war camouflage, but the Dominie is a Rapide in drag, and I didn't want to do those pointy wing tips.

Both the Dragon and the Rapide are single pilot aircraft so the larger mum must have been asked to sit up front rather than by the door. My model cockpit is slightly wrong in that access to the cockpit in the real aircraft is by a narrow opening at the right hand side of the central pilot's seat.

My design used two identical bulkheads for fuselage battery box access and the cockpit rear - I spotted the error too late to go back, and in any case I go for reasonable scale appearance without going overboard on exact detail. My DH 60 Moth, pictured earlier, cured me of that. Super scale detail adds lots of work which you can't see when the model is flying.

CR.

Chris Reid09/04/2018 16:06:16
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201 forum posts
83 photos

Well the nacelles kit of liteply formers and 1/8" sheet balsa sides looked like a good idea, but didn't work out in practice. The first problem was that the bendability of the sheet sides wasn't consistent, and they didn't bend equally when tensioned with rubber bands. Secondly, after being bent for a while they tended to snap at the narrow portion. I had a couple of goes making stronger sides, but the design was obviously flawed, even painting the sides with water didn't help: it just took longer before the snap occurred.

And so to plan B. I'm going for that old favourite, lamination on a shaped former. I'll use two layers of 1/16" or possibly 3/32" sheet, and a grade that will bend easily on to the former. The PVA glue sticking the laminations together will help with the flexibility. Once the PVA is dry, the sheet sides will have taken up the proper curve with no excess strain. I should have thought of this from the outset, but hoped to avoid the labour of a former. Sanding a big lump of MDF to the final shape took a little time!

nacelle failure rs.jpg

nacelle laminator rs.jpg

Chris Reid10/04/2018 12:33:51
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201 forum posts
83 photos

So far so good! The laminating system works. It will come out of the airing cupboard later.

CR

nacelles clamped 1 rs.jpg

Chris Reid12/04/2018 11:17:47
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201 forum posts
83 photos

Deep joy! The lamination of the side members of the nacelles has worked perfectly. The built in curve is just right, and the formers slot into place with only the lightest of pressure from rubber bands to hold them in place. Next step will be to glue them together, install the motors, and make access hatches and the stringered upper surfaces.

CR

nacelles lamination 2 rs.jpgnacelles lamination 1 rs.jpg

Chris Reid13/04/2018 16:43:11
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201 forum posts
83 photos

The nacelles have all gone together pretty well. I've spotted a minor design glitch that will have to be worked around, but nothing that can't be fixed. Rounding off the upper surfaces, and final finishing should be straightforward.

motor installation rs.jpg

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