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Go Back   The Aerodrome Forum > WWI Aviation > Aircraft > Replica Aircraft


Replica Aircraft Topics related to the construction of WWI replica aircraft

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Old 16 May 2008, 07:38 PM   #1
Nick
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Sopwith Snipe Project

Thought I'd post a few pics of my Snipe project to update where it's at.
Still plodding away slowly but surely. This is my first attempt at building an aeroplane and have found it to be a most enjoyable and rewarding learning experience.
Basically I'm trying to keep it as close to original as I can except for the engine which will be a W670 radial. Would love to have gone the Bentley way but a bit out of my price league so this will have to do.

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Old 16 May 2008, 07:42 PM   #2
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This is the instrument panel which is almost done.





Cheers, Nick Caudwell
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Old 16 May 2008, 07:47 PM   #3
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I started 3 years ago with all the ribs. These are fairly straight forward to make and I thought if I made them first I would find out if I enjoyed the building process or not without spending to much.





Well that was it, I got sucked right in, and onto the next stage.


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Old 16 May 2008, 07:52 PM   #4
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I then went onto some of the more complicated bits, my thinking being, now that I found out I enjoy the process I'll go for some harder bits which could possibly grind it to a halt should I not be able to make them.







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Old 16 May 2008, 08:02 PM   #5
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Speechless!

Nick,

To quote a speechless Walter Cronkite when Armstrong stepped on the moon...

".....Boy,...just look at those pictures!....."

I gotta tell you though, your scaring me a bit with those fittings!

I've noted that Sopwith seemed to draw these several ways, 1d early on in my case, then 2d for the Pup. How are yours!

Absolutely magnificent Nick, I'm truly inspired to plod on!
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Old 16 May 2008, 08:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
I've noted that Sopwith seemed to draw these several ways, 1d early on in my case, then 2d for the Pup. How are yours!
Hi Joe,
Thanks for your kind comments.
Re the plans I guess these would be called 2d, is that right?



Anyway there are no flat sheet drawings so you have to draw them all up that way allowing for bend radii in all different directions etc. I imagine they were originally stamped out before bending up so I would have thought there would be flat sheet drawings somewhere, but have never seen any.
You end up with a bunch of pieces like this that you then have to go and bend up! I have used 4130 instead of the original mild steel plate and the bend radii is really a bit tight by todays standard. However if you try redrawing it with a more favourable radius it completely changes the fittings so you're stuck with it. This was the first batch.


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Old 17 May 2008, 02:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
Hi Joe,
Thanks for your kind comments.
Re the plans I guess these would be called 2d, is that right?


Anyway there are no flat sheet drawings so you have to draw them all up that way allowing for bend radii in all different directions etc. I imagine they were originally stamped out before bending up so I would have thought there would be flat sheet drawings somewhere, but have never seen any.
You end up with a bunch of pieces like this that you then have to go and bend up! I have used 4130 instead of the original mild steel plate and the bend radii is really a bit tight by todays standard. However if you try redrawing it with a more favourable radius it completely changes the fittings so you're stuck with it. This was the first batch.

Cheers, Nick
Nick,

Yes, that is what I meant. Mine for the Schneider and Baby are shown in the flat "stamped" condition, then the later Pup drawings are as you have them.

I am very likely to take the same route you have with respect to order of construction. Ribs, then fittings, (squeeze in a bomb or two for fun). These fittings should take up a fair amount of my available time.

I have a two location scheme Nick, manufacture in one city in a tiny workshop, stowage then eventual assembly in another location.

Let me ask you this....

For long term stowage of wood members, (ie, struts, ribs, ailerons, short pieces of airframe.

What do you recommend for maintaining dimensional stability of the wood in a hot humid environment as far as coatings and or packaging?

If you were to store those fittings for awhile, (say ten years) what would you do, spray them and bag them?

I'm thinking about a vacuum bag system for this stuff. Your plane is well loved in it's own room! I still have to build my assembly location.
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Old 17 May 2008, 03:19 AM   #8
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Snipe

Nick:
Have to say we enjoy your back and forth with Joe and others re: Sopwith constructions. It is one thing to mull over original and Replicraft plans and to tease out details in a vacuum, but following real-time dialogue with a group of serious builders who have "done their homework" is a rare priviledge. Find myself returning to Pup plans with some insights that had not occurred the first time through.

So, what sources have you used for wheels, guns and instruments? Magneto switches look original. If you could mention how the W670 engine mount will be accommodated based on Bentley mount plans, that would be of great interest.

Great job on this.

Thanks.

-pete
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Old 17 May 2008, 04:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
I have a two location scheme Nick, manufacture in one city in a tiny workshop, stowage then eventual assembly in another location.

Let me ask you this....

For long term stowage of wood members, (ie, struts, ribs, ailerons, short pieces of airframe.

What do you recommend for maintaining dimensional stability of the wood in a hot humid environment as far as coatings and or packaging?

If you were to store those fittings for awhile, (say ten years) what would you do, spray them and bag them?
Joe,
Your two location scheme should work okay as you'll start off with boxes and boxes of bits for quite a while before you suddenly start assembling
them.
Good question re the dimensional stability of the wood. I'm sure there would be lots of Forum members better qualified than me to answer that one.
My workshop / garage doesn't really go through huge temperature changes and I've just got the ribs and most of the timber on racks. I was planning on varnishing it all once I assemble the wings. As for the fittings, yes just sandblast, prime and paint them to stop the rust and box them up.

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Old 17 May 2008, 05:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
So, what sources have you used for wheels, guns and instruments? Magneto switches look original. If you could mention how the W670 engine mount will be accommodated based on Bentley mount plans, that would be of great interest.
Hi Pete,
Thanks for your comments
The wheels were made by a local guy (Phil De Gruchy) who does great work on old racing car wheels, motorcycles and has done stuff for Point Cook museum as well. I gave him the Replicraft plans for the Palmer wheels plus some photos and he has done a great job of faithfully reproducing them. He works from his shed in his back yard and probably the one person round here who does that sort of work. He even trench rolled the rims to get the right profile.


The guns I got from Repligun. Initially I was getting them through someone local as well but unfortunately he went broke and the people who took over were no longer interested. I guess you could make them yourself but it's another complete project in itself.

The instruments are all original and working. I have picked them up all over the place. The pilots watch from ebay, the Altimeter from a local collector, the Airspeed indicator from a country auction, The tacho from a restorer in Queensland. The Pulsometer & inclinometer from Guy Black. The Compass is actually a Type B which I got off Barnstormers. It's very similar to the original Type 5/17. I have one but it still needs a bit more work on it.
The switch box is an original Mk 111 which I got from a collector in the UK and the Throttle quadrant is an original Snipe one with the part number as well. I haven't touched it, I just bolted it straight on. It was a very lucky find. The magneto switches also are original.

As for the engine mount, originally with the Bentley the forward and rear mounts were braced by the motor itself. What I have done is merge the original forward mount design with a Stearman engine mount ring and braced that to the rear mount with 4 stays.

Cheers, Nick
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