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Author Topic: Miles M3A Falcon  (Read 757 times)
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Squirrelnet
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« on: August 01, 2020, 01:06:37 PM »

Ok after much thought I think I'm going to have a crack at this one. It's such an interesting aircraft I'm finding it difficult not too

I'm using the David Rees/Walt Farrell  Plan which can be found in the plans gallery but I will add a few changes to make it more suited to the outdoor uk weather.

Power will be rubber and it's my first go at a larger rubber scale model

I'll make the wings knock off with wire wing joiners and at least initially I'll use scale dihedral. My plan has printed out at 29.5" span so I'll go with that making it a rather odd scale of 14.2:1, still who's counting

The Rees type wing construction looks interesting, I wonder how it would stand up to rigours of flying outdoors? I had a look at Mike Stuart's site on making a Rees wing for his Redwing and despite my initial fears it looks like a fairly straight forward process. A conventional wing with solid ribs would take a bit of plotting but is certainly the other way to go so I'm torn between the two at the moment. Any thoughts out there ?

Here's a link to Mike's article (hope that's alright Mike) http://www.ffscale.co.uk/rees.htm

I think I would hope to make this for general flying not a calm days only model.... subject to the model agreeing to that in the trimming process of course

G-AEEG is certainly a handsome aircraft and luckily many photographers seem to agree so finding good shots on the internet is not a problem . I even found an instrument panel shot and a nice full colour shot of the Miles logo good enough for making decals.

The aircraft was at Old Warden for a while but I'm not sure its there anymore, it's not listed on the collections site so I guess not. I have so many good pictures I don't really need to see it up close anyway...maybe I'm just looking for an excuse to go and have a look around the collection  Grin
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billdennis747
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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2020, 01:19:49 PM »

It's gorgeous isn't it. It hasn't been at OW for a long time; I seem to recall hearing it had been sold and thinking it was a shame.
Whatever you do - don't just slice the ribs! I believe this kind of cock-up even has it's own name/number.
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Russ Lister
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2020, 01:24:37 PM »

Looking forward to this one, Chris  Smiley
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Squirrelnet
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2020, 01:48:24 PM »

Thanks Russ

Quote
I seem to recall hearing it had been sold and thinking it was a shame.
I just checked on G-INFO and it looks like it's based at Biggin Hill now https://siteapps.caa.co.uk/g-info/
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Indoorflyer
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2020, 02:20:41 PM »

Dave Rees designs were all primarily "outdoor" flying models--- @Flying Aces Club (FAC) events...
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BG
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2020, 02:39:45 PM »

Yes Rees designs almost all flew outdoors. Even some of his indoor models got time outdoors. The wing construction does fine as long as you are reasonably careful with it. The ribs can be fragile so it helps to add uprights in the large gaps between the spars, and TE/LE. I would say you might have more to worry about flying indoors where hard surfaces abound.

B
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Pete Fardell
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2020, 07:38:44 PM »

A really lovely choice of subject, Chris. This’ll be another real beauty of a model in your hands I’m sure.

I think G-AEEG is at Biggin Hill now, according to this: https://shippingandairlines.co.uk/historic-aircraft/falcon/
Nice little film of it on that website too.
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Walt
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« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2020, 11:23:01 PM »

Hi Chris- I'm delighted to see this thread.  I've built two of these and they fly well. i lost the first one and my current one is in the Spanish Civil Wars color scheme.  I don't think Dave ever built the Falcon.  You will find the Rees wing is easy to build and very strong.  For the ribs, I usually laminate two layers of 1/32 x 3" wide over a solid form, and slice the ribs from that. I tend to use 1/16th wide slices, perhaps a bit more than Dave might have used.
     Please let me know if I can be of any help.  There is a bit of an issue with one of the formers, I think it was D- it might need some adjustment.   I will be following this with interest.
Walt Farrell
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Squirrelnet
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« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2020, 01:06:26 PM »

Well thank you all. I think there are enough positive comments about the Rees wing for me to have a go at one.

Walt - It's really good to hear from the designer of the model, do you have any pics you could post on the thread of your Miles Falcons past or present it would be good encouragement and I'm sure others would be interested to see too. The Spanish civil war scheme sounds great.

I had a look at former D and it does appear to be a tad to wide compared to the plan view but it's a very minor problem. I was thinking I may do the top half as a lamination of 1/32" basswood anyway to try to give a more open look to cockpit as that former is very visible through the screen

My plan is to make the wings knock off, if nothing else to aid storage and transportation. My thought is to use 3/32" balsa solid ribs at the dihedral break and wires in ali tube attached to the spars, this will then be gusseted with large gussets ( possibly 3/32") to spread the load back to the root ribs in event of a hard arrival. I'm thinking I will use magnets to hold the outer wing to the fuselage or even just rely on the sealing strip to hold the wings on. G-AEEG has a chrome sealing strip at the dihedral break which would be easy to replicate with a strip of chrome tape which could also double up as method of holding the wings on. Internal rubber band mounting feels like it would be a bit OTT on this model ( not sure Huh).

I was also thinking of using scale dihedral I would be interested in your thoughts on this. Wire wing joiners and a tape sealing strip mean it would be easy to change this later if it doesn't work.


Thanks for the link to the Shipping and Airlines page Pete, more good photos and great to watch the video, it makes me want to get on with it even more now

So with that in mind, this afternoon I made up some formers for the bits which need to be formed.

First up are the wing tips, elevator tips and rudder outline. I've decided to use my usual method of laminated basswood as bamboo bending is not a technique I'm familiar with. I have some 1/32 Basswood  sheet which I cut some 1/16" strips and steamed and glued two strips together and then bent them around some formers cut from some spare 1/8" sheet balsa

For the Rees wing construction I'm going to follow both Walt and Mike Stuarts lead. The rib cap strips will be from two laminations of 1/32" x 1/16" wide. Looking at Mike's article on his site, the first job is to make up the former. Unlike Mike's Fox Moth and Redwing which have a parallel chord wing the Falcon has a taper wing and will need a taper former. I decided to make the wing former 3/4" wide which is a tad more than I need for the 11 ribs ( 11 x 1/16 = 11/16) no room for error herre  Undecided . The former has 1/32" ply end ribs to make shaping easier and after a bit of work with a razor plane and sanding block I have something that looks right. The centre section is parallel chord so I made a separate section for that which was just cut from some 1/2" sheet and doubled up to 1".

A couple of strips of 1/32" were steamed in a wallpaper stripper and glued together with Aliphatic. Rather than make a female mould to clamp it together I just bound it masking tape after waxing the former so it doesn't stick ( I'll find out tomorrow if it's actually worked) With the wing I'll obviously need to do another set for the other side and I've just realised I've forgotten about the 2 tip ribs so I may have to do a mini mould for those too






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dputt7
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« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2020, 05:52:32 PM »

Hi Chris,  Great project. I've built a few Rees type wings that have been tapered and I just cut a parallel block the size and shape of the root rib and formed the sheet over that.  As the wing tapers to the tip I cut the rib shorter, Depending on taper a percent off the front and a percent off the rear, as the rib sits on the spar it will easily conform to the correct shape. If it does induce a slight force all it will do is add a bit of wash out to the tip, not a bad thing in a low wing model.  The photo is an extreme example of a tapered wing built with a parallel rib block.

                                            Watching with interest
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OZPAF
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« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2020, 08:58:29 PM »

Another interesting build to follow Chris.

Quote
Rather than make a female mould to clamp it together I just bound it masking tape after waxing the former so it doesn't stick ( I'll find out tomorrow if it's actually worked)

I have also used a mod of this method of forming curved ribs and I used cotton strips - like a bandage, to hold the balsa on. I formed the wet balsa to the form first and when dry took them off, painted the contact area with PVA which I then let dry. Bound the sheets back on the form withe "bandage" and then used heat via a domestic iron to activate the PVA. It did need a bit of heat but worked well. No doubt the microwave would have done just as well.

John
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lincoln
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« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2020, 09:53:11 PM »

I don't know what it does to performance, but a so called Simplex airfoil could have all the ribs the same shape. Trim from the trailing edge only and the shape remains the same. There's no automatic washout, though. Search engines can find info. For instance:
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?369658-Simplex-airfoil-formula
https://www.hippocketaeronautics.com/hpa_plans/details.php?image_id=8534&mode=search
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Squirrelnet
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« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2020, 03:37:14 AM »

Thanks guys, I think I may have over thought the rib caps. I saw the root rib and tip rib on the plan and thought that would be needed to create the profile for them but now I think about it using a parallel block and trimming as you describe from the TE would give the same effect. Walt even mentioned he used a 3" wide block and still didn't get it.

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Squirrelnet
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« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2020, 01:42:53 PM »

Well the tape method seems to have worked Ok. I decided to hedge my bets and do two of my unnecessary taper section and one of my straight section which should give enough rib caps to play with and some over.

I built the fin and rudder too today. The basswood edging should be in the middle of a symmetrical section about 5/16 thick at its thickest point. An easy way I've found to do this is to pack the edge up, in this case with some 1/8" sheet and then fit strips of 1/32" x 5/16" for the ribs and 1/8" for the bottom edge and hinge line . Once its all dry it can then be sanded to shape
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billdennis747
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« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2020, 02:26:59 PM »

Chris. are you going to thicken up the sharp LE?
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Squirrelnet
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« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2020, 02:55:40 PM »

Quote
are you going to thicken up the sharp LE?

 I assume you mean the wing LE not the fin?  I thought the 1/8 "sq LE could be sanded into a nice softer round profile I guess I could go for 3/16" to give more section to sand round, I hadn't thought to be honest ? or is a sharp LE on the fin a problem ?
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billdennis747
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« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2020, 05:07:07 PM »

Chris I meant the wing, only because it is such a feature
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Jack Plane
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« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2020, 10:32:30 AM »

Interesting and attractive subject Chris - I shall follow (the build that is)!  Smiley
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« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2020, 11:37:37 AM »

+1 on that

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Squirrelnet
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« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2020, 01:31:21 PM »

Thanks guys  Grin

A bit more progress today

The tailplane is symmetrical in section so I thought I would make it in a similar way to the fin and rudder with added stage of making the edge up as unit from the laminated basswood and balsa strip for the TE and LE . The centre section is from 1/4" x 1/16" which will be sanded to shape once its all assembled. The plan called for bamboo for a centre spar but I don't really do Bamboo !!! so I've used some 1mm carbon rod instead. Once both bits had dried I could pack up the edge by 1/16" and glue it all together

The fuselage is more complicated. Its built as two half shells so not wanting to create a Miles Banana I've decided to steam the main longerons into shape and at risk over over engineering it I have substituted the main side longeron for a strip of 3/16" x 1/16", I may add some stiffening to the section behind the wing too where you tend to pick it up and launch from so I don't crush it the first time I pick it up.

I even had time to start making some blanks for the formers
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TheLurker
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« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2020, 01:56:44 PM »

Following avidly and with eyes peeled for ideas to nick.  Have already seen one idea which I intend stealing for my next scratch project, the formers.  Delightful.  You're going to have to start registering stuff with the patent office you know.  Smiley
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Squirrelnet
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« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2020, 01:16:30 PM »

Thanks Lurker, all royalties payable to Flying Squirrel Aviation - suitable currency - advice and comments and more build threads I can steal ideas from too  Cool

I had a go at the fuselage today and have a rough basic shape that has something a bit Miles Falcon to it as reward.

Once the former blanks had dried I could attach the paper patterns to them that I had cut from a copy of the plan. I found if I use a very gentle application of Pritt stick it was enough to hold the pattern in place while I cut them out with a scalpel but not so much, so that it can be easily peeled off when finished.

I did find the problem former too it's Former F its about 5/32" too short. Adding strip to the bottom seems to work and keep the notches for the longerons about right. Former D is about 1/32" too wide when compared to the drawn plan view but not really a problem. I have found the plan to very good and former F apart very accurate and faithful to the 3 view I have, it's a joy to work with such clear drawings ...thanks Walt

The fuselage is built as a half shell over the plan so all my formers were carefully cut in half down the centre line, pre forming the longerons has help keep things straight so when I lifted the first half from the plan the centre line stayed straight. It was then easy to cyno the other half of the formers back on and add the respective preformed longerons to the other side.

Taping the tail and fin on and I have something that looks quite aeroplane like for a few days work
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Tim Horne
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« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2020, 05:39:32 PM »

Looking good Chris. The view down the inside of the fuse is really nice when it’s straight (like yours). Mine are all too often frustrating Angry.
For attaching paper patterns you can get a repositionable stick. I use one called Scotch up. Unless you leave it for days to dry out the parts can be easily removed.
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« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2020, 04:37:20 AM »

I don't think I've ever built a fuselage as straight as that!!!
Ron
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Squirrelnet
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« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2020, 02:03:11 PM »

Thanks chaps... I don't think I ever built a fuselage as straight as that either  Grin

Thanks Tim I'll have a look for that in my local art shop, that would save a bit of effort

The Miles has turned a bit fiddly now. The extra stingers have been added which lined up pretty well from the drawn positions on the plan, just few tweeks to get a decent looking straight (ish) run. For the cockpit area I thought I would use some light 1/32" sheet which I 'steamed' into place by pouring some boiling water on it and taping to scotch tape roll to dry. I've added in some sheet for the other windows and a section which I'll cut away to give the distinctive pointed shape once it's dried. I'll cut the windows out later once I've got it sanded to shape

The nose section just says 3/'32 sheet so I think I will make a former I can remove to mount the nose former in the right place for the trust line and to keep it all central and the add some 3/32" or maybe even 1/8" sheet planks which I can then sand to shape.

The plan states 4deg down thrust which is very helpful but no side thrust is shown.

I would have expected 3 degs or so, any thoughts on side thrust or does a low wing model like this not need any ?

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