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Author Topic: Nieuport 11 Bebe - Build  (Read 28166 times)
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Rich Moore
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« on: May 04, 2015, 09:38:18 AM »

I aim to build a 1/8th scale rubber powered Nieuport 11 for the outdoor nationals 2016. Another short nose subject, but with swept wings and dihedral. I will be fitting a spinning rotary and aim to get my documentation right, from the start. There is no shortage of photos for this subject, but if anyone has any photographs to share then I would very much appreciate it.

I am announcing this here and now so that I might be able to get help with a few things before I start.

For example, I am confused by the shape of the fuselage. The first picture shows that the taper is straight sided. The second shows more of a curved taper. Any thoughts?

Rich
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billdennis747
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« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2015, 10:31:01 AM »

For example, I am confused by the shape of the fuselage. The first picture shows that the taper is straight sided. The second shows more of a curved taper. Any thoughts?

Rich
Rich, the first picture is perfect; use that. As someone pointed out, the fuselage was not 'crack and cement' but must have curved sharply aft of the cockpit (I think this is visible), the rest being a straight taper. The uncovered structural shots you have confirm there was no sharp bend. The drawings show a curve and they need a simple modification to put right (a common fault with Windsock drawings)
I don't know what the second photo is. The cowl looks wrong - could be a replica!
If you use the first photo, the judges will want straight lines.

Just for info, I have built two Nieuports - diesel and rubber, and Mike Kelsey flew a Bebe last year. All very stable without dihedral. Dihedral on a Nieuport looks as bad as...an Albatros, D7, DR1...
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Rich Moore
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« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2015, 10:35:24 AM »

Thanks Bill, just the kind of clarity I need!

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Just for info, I have built two Nieuports - diesel and rubber, and Mike Kelsey flew a Bebe last year. All very stable without dihedral. Dihedral on a Nieuport looks as bad as...an Albatros, D7, DR1...

Absolutely. I wouldn't dream of adding any. When I said it has dihedral I was referring to the lower wing.

Rich
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Rich Moore
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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2015, 10:39:31 AM »

I am developing a healthy suspicion of colour photographs of old aeroplanes. I admit to being guilty here of trying to spark a debate regarding the straightness of the taper because I thought it might be fun...
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« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2015, 10:59:00 AM »

As Bill suggested, that colour pic is not of an old aeroplane, but of a replica which is not especially accurate.

The world's only surviving Nieuport 11 is hanging in a similar posture at the Le Bourget museum. You can get to some excellent pictures of it by following this link:
http://www.airliners.net/search/photo.search?regsearch=N556&distinct_entry=true

There is a flying replica with the Old Rhinebeck collection in the USA, and I can't testify to its accuracy so any colour pics of a flying one should be discounted as evidence.
http://oldrhinebeck.org/ORA/nieuport-11/

Even though the N.11 is a pretty tiny aeroplane a 1/8 scale model is a biggie for rubber power, so hats off to you for general ambition.
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Pete Fardell
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2015, 11:30:52 AM »

'Nieuport Fighters in Action' has this underside contempory shot. Looks pretty straight again.
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Rich Moore
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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2015, 11:50:20 AM »

Excellent, thank you. Nice shots showing the structure through the fabric.

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Even though the N.11 is a pretty tiny aeroplane a 1/8 scale model is a biggie for rubber power

Wingspan will be 37" and so is quite big, but the Bebe isn't much bigger than the Dr.1 and I think my 1/10th Dr.1 is a bit on the small side. 1/8th scale therefore makes sense to me. I'm quite excited about it...
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TimWescott
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« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2015, 12:47:30 PM »

One of the things that I hope would happen, should someone invent a decent time machine, would be that a scale enthusiast would go back in time, buy some good (period) camera equipment, and come back with some good quality negatives of all these old subjects.

Of course, to avoid the whole "oops, I killed my grandfather" paradox you'll have to be careful with the really oddball prototypes and one-offs.

An alternative to modeling the actual thing (and this would make me want to hurl, so don't think I'm telling you that you must do it) would be to make an accurate model of one of the currently flying replicas.
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IndoorFlyer
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« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2015, 01:00:57 PM »

Many replicas of older airplanes use steel tube fuselage structures (instead of wood) for safety considerations, therefore their construction details may be quite different.  Wing and landing gear attach points, a real firewall etc.  Joe Pfeiffer built some of the nicest Nieuport replicas; at least he used original rotary engines.  Used to watch ole' Walt Addems fly his Pfeiffer replica out of Jim Nissen's private airport in Livermore Ca back in the 1980's...

http://www.earlyaviators.com/eaddems.htm

I love a good story behind a specific airplane being modeled (sp?), so if I were building a XI, (but I'm not) I'd go for Walt's since he is an interesting pioneer aviator, and his plane is well documented. He donated the plane to the Museum in San Diego. The EAA Sport Aviation magazine has a good feature article on the Pfeiffer/Addems Nieuport.  It was published back in 1963.

Also a bunch of Addems documentation on the SDASM Archives flicker page.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdasmarchives/sets/72157633102796263/
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billdennis747
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« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2015, 01:02:12 PM »

One of the things that I hope would happen, should someone invent a decent time machine, would be that a scale enthusiast would go back in time, buy some good (period) camera equipment, and come back with some good quality negatives of all these old subjects.

Actually, the early photos are incredibly sharp and detailed; even more so pre-WW1. I have a photo of Bleriot's machine in a field at Dover and you can see the knots in the wood. Surprisingly, many of the German photos in WW1 are poor - why is that?
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TimWescott
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« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2015, 01:34:48 PM »

Actually, the early photos are incredibly sharp and detailed; even more so pre-WW1. I have a photo of Bleriot's machine in a field at Dover and you can see the knots in the wood. Surprisingly, many of the German photos in WW1 are poor - why is that?

It's not the quality of the pictures that I take issue with -- it's the lack of good sets of walk-arounds photos with instrument panels and details and all that nifty stuff.  Which isn't surprising, it's just not what you can get if you have a camera and you're standing in front of an airplane.
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Rich Moore
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« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2015, 02:11:59 PM »

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many of the German photos in WW1 are poor - why is that?

I suspect British cameras were of superior quality in those days, but I don't know. I had a quick look and there is mention of quite a bit of caution surrounding photos in WWI due to the obvious security risk. May be the Germans took poor photos on purpose so we couldn't tell where the knots were in their aeroplanes.
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Pete Fardell
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« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2015, 03:46:56 PM »

I think the really pin sharp photos from the 1900s and 1910s were glass plate photographs taken by expert photographers with heavy cameras and lots of paraphernalia. I suppose things got more inconsistent once convenience became the thing, and every Tom, Dick and Harry got hold of a Box Brownie or whatever.

Anyway, there are probably hundreds of Nieuport 11 photos around, including loads of clear ones so I reckon you'll be spoiled for choice. Especially as they were flown by so many nationalities.
I've got quite a few books with numerous photos, colour profiles etc., as when I made mine I went a bit OTT on gathering evidence. I always see a scale project as an excuse to buy lots of new books. So don't buy anything without seeing if I can lend you it first ( unless you want to, obviously!) For instance there's 'Nieuport Flyers of the Lafayette', the Osprey WW1 Italian aces book,  the Crowood Press's  'Nieuport Aircraft of WW1' and others. If you're going to be at Barkston in three weeks I'll bring them all along.
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Rich Moore
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« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2015, 04:26:51 PM »

Thanks for the thought Pete. There's no chance I'll get to Barkston before August though! If I'm lucky, I'll make it to dreaming spires in July. Ho hum. I made a start by ordering a book today. You're right - I am spoilt for choice with this one, but you can't have too many photos.

Just conducted an interesting experiment in CAD. I traced around a side view and superimposed it on a photo enlarged to the same size. Not far off, but could use a tweak here and there.
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Monique
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« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2015, 04:38:31 PM »

This is going to be a good one Rich, very nice size too.
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TimWescott
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« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2015, 04:45:09 PM »

This is going to be a good one Rich, very nice size too.

+1.  I can't wait.

Just conducted an interesting experiment in CAD. I traced around a side view and superimposed it on a photo enlarged to the same size. Not far off, but could use a tweak here and there.

Be careful with that -- photographs can suffer from geometric distortion, so you can't really trust even a straight-on side view to be 100% accurate.  If you're going to tweak the plans based on photos, do it with the photos you'll use for scale documentation.
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Pete Fardell
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« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2015, 04:58:36 PM »

I might get to Dreaming Spires too, although if I only make one trip to Oxford I'm tempted to wait till the new scale day there in September. Anyway,  meantime if you do want a particular book and don't want to fork out I don't mind posting it.

Going back to the fuselage taper thing for a moment, although the Windsock drawing shows an inaccurate curve (as Bill pointed out) the old Harleyford 3-view shows it as dead straight, after a little kink aft of the cockpit. I wouldn't vouch for the accuracy of those old drawings otherwise though.
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Rich Moore
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« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2015, 03:09:52 PM »

I'll make a start at the front...

The cowling form is prepared out of layers of MDF. The cowling will be 45mm deep but I have added an extra layer of mdf, adding 15mm to the form. I will try planishing an aluminium cowling first. This worked out well for the Dr1 although I didn't use it, thinking it was too heavy. I no longer think it was and this might be a good way of keeping the build balanced in the right place. If it is too heavy, or goes horribly wrong, I'll use it to make a plastic vacuum formed cowling.

The method is described in Eric Coates articles as complied by Vic Smeed in the book 'Scale Aircraft for Free Flight'.
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« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2015, 05:09:44 PM »

All of the Nieuports from the 11 up to the 28 had tapered fuselages from top to bottom.  The only exceptions were the 12 and 14 dual place aircraft.  Addems is not an accurate replica for the fuselage.  He made his fuselage without the taper.  I know of no model that has that taper (Guillows, Proctor, etc) and thus many use them as copies.
Incidentally, the other very obvious mistake that many make is that the lower wing is tight to the fuselage. Because of the taper the lower wing has a gap of several inches (in full size) at the TE of the wing. Other mistakes are made because very few decide to scope out details about the real one and just use what every one else does.
I know about the Nieuports as I have copies of the original drawings from the Nieuport Factory dated 1915.
Below is an AutoCad drawing of the Nieuport 11 showing the side, top and bottom for a peanut size aircraft. 
Enjoy.
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Rich Moore
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« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2015, 05:43:01 PM »

Thank you Dorme. Interesting point about the t/e gap.

I've found my self back in my garage 'workshop', so it must be spring. Started bashing out the cowling. This is my kind of fine scale modelling - with a hammer! I am using the 'if it starts to wrinkle, bash it' technique. Although, read 'bash' as tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap etc, etc.

I have worked my way slowly around the circumference of the form, many dozen times, tapping as frequently as I can in a zone of about 1 inch wide above the point of the form where the cowlings radius starts. The aluminium curls around the form quite happily as long as it isn't forced too much in one place. As it curls inwards, the metal wants to fold and it is important to keep these folds from developing inside the area of the final cowling edges. I have got it to a point a little further than these photos show, and I need to be careful as there are a couple of folds that could give me gyp.
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PeeTee
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« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2015, 06:14:40 PM »

Rich

Very interesting. What thickness aluminium are you using, and would it be possible to form litho plate in this way?
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« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2015, 06:52:15 PM »

The FSI Nieuport plan is nearly accurate but doesn't show the lower wing
separation that dorme pointed out. Interesting though. I think most often
than not most builders refer to the Nieto drawings. While its basically good,
it doesn't show the lower taper. Everything else on that drawing seems to be
in order although I haven't researched it enough to be 100% positive.
Great subject Rich. Will be following along.

Skyraider
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F F modeller
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« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2015, 06:53:08 PM »

Properrrr Jooobb!  Smiley
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« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2015, 12:25:52 AM »

Despite the short nose and flat upper wing, I found the Nieuport 11 is a very stable rubber model. On hand winds only, I used to hand launch my Peanut off my front porch, it did one circuit of the front yard and I would, often as not, catch it as it cruised by.  I always wanted to fly it indoors with max winds etc.

I attribute the stability to wing sweep and the dihedral of the lower. I had a fake fixed rotary in mine, with all the cyls, but figured a spinning effort was too much work, at that size. Larger version should handle it better(?). I was thinking make the cyls rotate around a fixed crank case. This would allow for thrust adjustments without disturbing the cyl's  rotation and visa versa. However large diameter bearing, without chatter may be a problem. I was thinking having plastic vanes on the cyls to rotate. On my P=nut, scale crank case dia. was sufficient to allow stretch winding motor, out the front

I used Ian Stair's  Nieuport 11 scale drawings, which I think quite good. He shows what I believe are correct fuselage taper at both upper and lower longerons. IIRC, basic Nieuport 17 fuselage frame and tail surfaces are dimensionally identical to 11. You might want to consult Rosenthall and or Bergen Hardesty Neu. 17 drawings.

On a side note: I grew up knowing Walt Addems, Jim Nissen, and Joe Phieffer. My pop was friends with them all and believe "our" old Fairchild 22 was sold to, rebuilt, and flown by  Phieffer and sons, for many years.  I knew Jim Nissen as the manager of San Jose Municipal Airport (now SJ international) but during WW11, he was an Ames (NACA) test pilot. He was the only pilot to have purposely flown a P-51B as a towed glider!  When i was 9, I went with my dad to view his original JN-4 project, which he eventually restored to flying condition.  Walt's Nieuport was actually one of two built by Joe Phieffer. IIRC, they claimed the finished empty weights came out within 7 lbs of each other. Joe had also built a Sopwith Pup replica.  I recall an interesting mock combat exhibition, with Addem's  vs Jim Applebee's Fok E-111 replica, at Merced Fly-in, about 1960.
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Rich Moore
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« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2015, 02:55:15 AM »

Quote
Very interesting. What thickness aluminium are you using, and would it be possible to form litho plate in this way?

0.7mm thick, and dunno about litho plate. The sheet gets stretched around the contour so is thinned out. Litho plate would probably get too thin.

Thanks PP - I am using Ian Stairs drawings as a basis at the moment. I am mostly trying to inhale information at the moment, so its great to get posts like this.
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