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2m f3a plane. Lexicon.

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kc05/04/2020 00:10:05
6427 forum posts
173 photos

An amazing piece of construction I the only person to wonder whether such a bulky fuselage is really necessary for modern aerobatics?

Peter Jenkins07/04/2020 00:55:17
1529 forum posts
256 photos

kc, forgive me if I'm teaching you to suck eggs! Dan's design is based on one used by the current world champion and there are others that have even larger fuselages. What these designs are all seeking to do is to provide as good a performance in knife edge as the FAI F schedule contains a large number of knife edge and compound manoeuvres. The amount of fuselage side area helps greatly when you are performing KE loops or horizontal circles. The other issue is drag and today's aircraft are flown at as near a constant speed as possible whether climbing, diving or flying straight and level. Drag in the downline is also complemented by prop braking either from the ESC/motor or from an IC engine idling.

I can't find a way of attaching a document so I will leave you with a link to the FAI Sporting Code. Go to page 26 for the description of the manoeuvres in F21 and to page 35 for an Aresti diagram of the schedule.

I hope that will answer your question as to why a bulky fuselage is needed in modern F3A aerobatics.

Of course, there is also the matter of fashion. Some pilots love canalysers, others don't. If the world champion is using some aerodynamic tweak then everyone else will also want what ever advantage there is to be gained from the design. At the end of the day though, it is down to the amount of practice the pilot puts in and the ability to perform at your best when under pressure.

kc07/04/2020 11:00:07
6427 forum posts
173 photos

Peter, maybe it's mostly a fashion thing? Perhaps if a top pilot comes out with a stick fuselage or a profile one or just a scale like one and then wins everyone will follow suit! As just a bystander ( = club/sport flyer ) competition aerobatics appears to have gone to extremes now. Everything seemed a lot more sensible when a Loaded Dice or a Graphik were a suitable thing to have for aerobatics. Planes should look realistic perhaps?

Having said that the construction of this current model is magnificent and good to see someone designing and building for himself rather than buying fancy foreign planes.

Edited By kc on 07/04/2020 11:01:06

Nigel R07/04/2020 11:02:38
3756 forum posts
587 photos

You can't do knife edge loops - easily - without a large fuselage and big rudder, so I'd say not a fashion thing, in general. The exact shape, as in how to distribute that large side area, possibly a bit of fashion.

Loaded Dice? It was what was needed for the schedule of the day.

Competition planes will look as realistic as they need to given the rule set.

If you want "realistic" aerobatics, IMAC is the competition for you, it has a scale rule.

If you want aerobatics with a Loaded Dice, there's the retro aerobatics guys.

Your last point, absolutely.

However, I'd qualify that with the fact that most competing pilots are pilots foremost and less worried about building than they are flying and winning. If you have limited time available then practice is where you would spend it.

Edited By Nigel R on 07/04/2020 11:07:16

Chris Freeman 307/04/2020 12:03:30
353 forum posts
525 photos

Very nice build this, I admire your skills and will follow your progress with interest.

Dan Workman19/04/2020 16:31:21
55 forum posts
133 photos

Few more pics. Starting to plank the bottom of the nose. It was a tight bend so was a bit tricky. Each strip had to be soaked at the end to go round the curve







Ron Gray19/04/2020 16:41:00
1931 forum posts
803 photos

Used a fair few pins there Dan, I reckon about 120! Nice work as always.

Dan Workman19/04/2020 17:11:51
55 forum posts
133 photos

Thanks. Its such a slow process you can remove the bottom row of pins to use on a plank 3 rows up!

SR 7119/04/2020 17:11:59
433 forum posts
140 photos

Lovely building Sir,sure looking good

Peter Jenkins19/04/2020 19:37:01
1529 forum posts
256 photos

Dan, do you have a technique for chamfering the individual planks to ensure good contact with its predecessor and successor?


Dan Workman20/04/2020 09:18:30
55 forum posts
133 photos

If the bend is too tight for the balsa to get round i will plane a curve into the end and then just run a sanding block over it. Also i'll put a little chamfer along the whole edge which really tightens up the joint.

I'll also tack it to each former with thin cyano to help hold it all together while the glue dries.

Its a long process but worth it in the end. The only other way i can see to do it is with block balsa and shape it after. Would probably end up heavier though

will -020/04/2020 14:33:51
587 forum posts
19 photos
Posted by kc on 05/04/2020 00:10:05:

An amazing piece of construction I the only person to wonder whether such a bulky fuselage is really necessary for modern aerobatics?

These, although they look like aircraft, are actually airships and you need the bulky fuselage to get enough helium inside to lift it.

This was found to make the aerobatics much easier as all you have to then do is point the airship in the right direction and open the throttle to move it that way. The wings and so on are just for show.

They don't like to admit this, of course, it's very hush-hush which is why no-one ever mentions it.

Nigel R20/04/2020 14:47:49
3756 forum posts
587 photos


Dan Workman23/04/2020 10:34:21
55 forum posts
133 photos

A few more pics of the underside of the nose. The bottom/tail section was done by laminating 1/4 balsa, shaping then hollowing out.




Denis Watkins23/04/2020 10:44:38
4335 forum posts
104 photos

With something this beautiful

Are you tempted not to cover the model and just varnish the wood finish.?

Splendid skilled build

Nigel R23/04/2020 10:44:44
3756 forum posts
587 photos
Posted by Dan Workman on 23/04/2020 10:34:21:


Strangely hypnotic...

Fine work Dan, keep it coming.

Nigel R23/04/2020 10:46:17
3756 forum posts
587 photos

Yes Denis I'd be thinking one layer natural tissue and clear varnish, no paint, as a base.

If you've got it flaunt it.

cymaz23/04/2020 11:35:22
9197 forum posts
1186 photos

Maybe a minimal contrast pattern so you know which way is up. But, I’ve got to agree, natural wood finish would be great and unique

john stones 123/04/2020 11:57:03
11456 forum posts
1516 photos

Yup, It's beautiful.

Dan Workman23/04/2020 13:28:59
55 forum posts
133 photos

I agree. I've often thought of completely glassing a model like this and leaving it bare or spraying it. No experience in either though i havent taken the plunge yet!

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