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Torbogdan

Fokker DR 1 Building log

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Great, looking forward to more pics. No such thing as too many pics of Fokker aircraft. Well at least the E series and the F.1/Dr.I and the D.VII, in between were some really horrible aircraft before they moved to the thick airfoil section.

Nirvana, mtaylor, Canute and 2 others like this

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424AB54D-8065-462E-9003-4EF8E93B7B78.jpg

 

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First a picture of the frames then the same frames and engine mount mounted in the jig. A bit tricky as all the frames will need to be perfectly aligned to each other. I must say that the instructions are very good. At first I did not like them so much but now I have changed my mind totally. It is almost like a kitchen cook book, just follow the instructions exactly and you can´t go wrong... 

 

It is a good idea to read ahead a bit for each new part or section you are building. Reading ahead and looking at the pictures of the finished parts helps a lot as it is othewise slightly like not seeing the forest for all the trees. When you know what the finished piece/section will look like you get a much better picture/understanding of the instructions you try to follow to get there.

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Adding the stringers to the frames. Not easy, at all...;) Getting everything aligned and centered and  not having the top stringers  "pop loose" as there is some tension is difficult..

 

Some picture from the drawings how the parts should be aligned to fit each other

F5237B7A-95C1-4F9F-9469-65996E4D698F.jpg

 

757D5546-F3B7-4D30-ADC5-CF89A6ACA088.jpg

 

Important to note how close the engine frame are to the other frame, the first of the "aircraft frames".

 

using one rubber band was way too tight. using two was way to slack. But using the clamps and two rubber bands was perfect. That way I could adjust the tension perfectly. 

I want the rubber band to hold the stringer in place but not really put much pressure on it so that it bends or deforms or pushes the frames out of alignment.

FBBD58F8-240C-4E63-B689-EB51D5BCB5A9.jpg

 

The two top stringers in place. It took quite a long time to get everything in place, Now I will glue them in place. I will use cyanoacrylate glue aka super glue. The instructions says epoxy, but this should work.

 

B57AC4C9-EF02-4D8A-876C-FFC6BC1C770C.jpg

The two top stringers are not to join with the last frame. Two shorter stringers go from the second to last frame to the last frame. So far so good.

 

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Yes, the two top stringers end one... I thought two frames short but there should be a piece that goes from a couple inches below the top stringer from that frame to the rudder post at the end of the fuselage, that forms a recess on top where the tailplane goes, and it should have a distinctly positive angle of incidence to offset the inherent tail-heaviness. But yes, you can see how assembling an aircraft out of steel tubes required a fancy alignment jig.

 

However, they also didn't have to get it quite as right as you do, very few WWI aircraft had fuselages that were fully cantilever and self-aligning, almost all had internal rigging wires with turnbuckles of some kind, and ground crews had to regularly go through an annoying process of realigning the fuselage through use of those rigging wires because once you got it straight, it immediately started to go out of straight again.

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A quick update before off to work. Being excited how last evenings work worked out I got up earlier than necessary this morning and added a few more stringers. So far I´m very pleased.

 

I can imagine realigning the fuselage with tension wires must have been a chore. Was it the maneuvering of the aircraft during air combat that was partly responsible for the "twisting" of the fuselage? I had no idea this had to be done. But since the aircraft was covered with cloth did they remove and replace the cloth or did they have "access panels" in the skin so to speak?

 

Amazing what can be learned here by knowledgeable people:D

 

B7FDA3CE-E752-4AFF-AE2F-7AB9F1E78938.jpg

reklein, mtaylor, hexnut and 14 others like this

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It was a similar chore for the wings of aircraft with external bracing wires, with the time required multiplied by the number of bays in the wings. This was another reason ground crews liked the later Fokker aircraft as there were no external bracing wires, with both the Dr.I and the D.VII the wings were fully cantilever (some of the first); early prototypes of the Dr.I had no interplane struts. But that made pilots nervous and there was a bit of resonance so they added the very thin struts of the production version. Those struts should be very thin on your model, they only really had meaningful strength in the tension direction. With the D.VII they skipped over the pilot complaints by adding minor N struts to the wing cellule, but again they were there just to prevent vibration. 

 

The Pfalz D.XII  came out not long after the D.VII and was a reasonably good fighter aircraft but ground crews disliked it in comparison to the D.VII because it not only had external bracing wires, it had two bay's worth to get straight.

 

The fuselage got out of straight by being (except for AEG and Fokker that were steel tubing) wood covered in fabric that was exposed to the elements daily plus a wide temperature range (it get very cold upstairs remember) plus any loads they put on it. For the same reason ships have adjustment methods for almost all of the standing rigging, WWI aircraft wings and fuselages moved and changed and needed regular adjustment.

 

Fuselage fabric could generally be removed, most had "stitching" somewhere (usually on the bottom) that today would be called lacing, and could be unlaced and replaced. I'm not entirely sure about all aircraft as some didn't have visible stitching, but it's hard to imagine how they could perform the required task with it on. 

 

My knowledge of the actual process is somewhat limited, but I know they would set the tail up on something so that the reference lines, usually the top longeron, were level; the reference lines varied from type to type. They'd then use squares and plumb bobs and sighting tools to measure, and iirc they worked from engine backward. Each plane type had a specific documented process for these steps and I know there was generally a few phases where they'd get one or two axes right and then the rest.

 

More detail than that and you need to go to the Aerodrome forum, in particular the builders' forum where there are people who know orders of magnitude more than I do and who likely can tell you the exact steps for the Dr.I. 

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When I was going to continue with the fuselage I noticed that someone had used up all my glue... When I asked my 5 year old about it she just said she needed glue for her projects. Who am I to say that it was wrong...;)

 

So I´ll have to get some more tomorrow. So instead I started on the horizontal tail. The fuselage can be seen in the background.

 

The soldering on the tail went very well.

 

I have one question for you all. Should I paint the fuselage with silver paint to simulate the welded steel? Or should I keep the color of the different metals used for the model.

 

In other words should I keep it looking like a "true model" (no paint) or should I go for a more "miniature" look and paint it? I cannot make my mind up which to choose. I think both sides have merit. I´m like a donkey between two haystacks, I change my mind a couple of times a day:)

 

06ED8691-477C-4DD2-BA3A-8C673D46D021.jpg

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A tough choice to be sure. My inclination would be to go with my gut feeling on how it should look. You are after all, the one whom must be pleased with the finished product. I'm sure it will be a beautiful display which ever way you choose, as both will have their pluses and minuses. 

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My thoughts on the paint/no paint options. If you were building a plastic model of, say a model "T", or a ship, would you leave it the raw plastic color, or would you paint it? I would leave the wood parts with a clear coat, and paint the other parts the correct historical colors.

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I always thought one of those would look awesome half and half, only half covered. But I also think it would be pretty challenging to keep everything straight if you do that. If you think you can control the differential stresses, think about that method as it would look pretty cool.

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I've always liked models that are finished but unpainted. Not plastic so much but models that are what you'd call multi-media,styrene,brass,wood,photo etch etc. However in the end you may get tired of that and want a finished look. I have brass steam engine models that are unpainted and agonize (mildly) that they should be painted but then they lose that valuable look. Some of my favorite models ever are cutaways specially of sailing ships and WWII fighters but those are always completely finished so you understand how the planes and ships were built and loaded.

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I hope that was a not quite done pic of the horizontal stabilizer? As it's missing some reinforcing ribs on the elevator.

 

This shows the ribs in the correct locations but the curve on the elevator tips is wrong on both versions, F.1 on the left and Dr.I on the right.

FokkerFIvsDrIHorizontalTailsbyGarySewall

And here's the first Dr.I model ever, made in the Fokker factory in 1917. Note the curve of the elevator tips and the elevator ribs.

 

Image result for fokker triplane horizontal stabilizer

 

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Torbogdan,

Glad to see a plane build on this site. A few years back I scratch built this plane as part of the Fokker series with the Eiendecker E-IV and the D VII all being left either wood or brass as the original either wood or metal. One detail many of the kits overlook is the wind baffle behind the pilot's seat which was an attempt to reduce drag; while the British usually left a space at the rear of the fuselage to allow airflow. If you need any information or details let me know. Here are a couple of pictures of my build. Keep up the great job you are doing.

 

Here the cowling is hammered out of .020" dead soft aluminum.

58d04cd92f864_DRILeftFrontCloseup.jpg.8d54fa21907f129424ff64061eafcc59.jpg

Here is the wind baffle behind the pilot seat.

 

58d04cfa124b2_DRILeftRearOverall.jpg.f531a6652f131ac2d56f647381a4d9e6.jpg

The tail plane that you are working on.

 

58d04d0ea4d3c_DRITailplane.jpg.b4997ae9b4f090fbcb68f190704d02ad.jpg

Let me know if you need anything.

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Torbogdan, Thanks! WWI planes are my first love and I have more planes that I want to build than I have time left to build them. Here is a link to my other plane builds. Check out the Sopwith Camel it was built as a half and half from the upper left side it looks like a complete plane and from the lower right side you can see the structure details. This was requested by the client it was built for along with a spare engine for display as well.

If you are going to cover do so before final assembly.

 

http://www.wwi-models.org/Images/Foran/

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Plank on frame airplane modeling...a far cry from the plastic models of my youth. Makes me want to take a stab at a WWI biplane or triplane. Or recently, I was diverted by a You Tube modelers chanel specializing in WWII aircraft https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-Mdr1mgVuU. The level of detail and finishing is amazing. And those damned Pocher classic automobiles...

mtaylor, vossiewulf, Canute and 3 others like this

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All the pieces so far! I have decided to "paint" the model so the metal parts have been spray painted with "plate metal" color. Wooden parts I will keep "wooden". It takes time but it is a very rewarding kit to build. I really look forward to putting all these subassemblies together. Then it will really begin to look like an aircraft instead of a pile of parts. I also look forward to some "easy" building of the engine and getting all the details in place. And although I enjoy soldering it will be nice to be more or less done with it (for the moment at least!)

 

Some work left on the stabilizer and tail section on the aircraft and then, I guess, time to build the final jig. Once again a great kit!

 

6F9EC470-0023-4C0B-892B-61ED77CF3E8F.jpg

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No picture update but work continues! Unfortunately the stringers on the body separated from the frames so I had to reglue them. That was a small setback. Then my soldering iron gave up so I had to buy a new one. So finishing the stabilizer took far longer than necessary. Now I´m working on the control stick and its assembly. Going pretty well. I´ll try to upload some picture tomorrow or day after that!

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En tre och en halva, jo jag tackar.

Guys, this is the type of beer I miss so much over here in the US.

They are full of flavor and low on the alcohol. So it is a good modeling beer.

 

Edit, glad to see you back at the work table.

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Skål och välkommen!:D I did not expect a Swede in the US on this site! Yes a most excellent beer.

 

Working on the aileron/elevator control sub assembly and the rudder pedals on control brace. Lots of strings to be attached. But most strange as I ran out of string before everything was done. I´m missing about 3-4 feet of string in the kit. The length of string in the kit is at least 3 feet too short. I´m not a wasteful person and have not wasted any significant amount so far. It says the kit includes 5 yards which should translate to 457 cm of string.

 

rudder pedals use (approx) 4+4+30+30= 68 cm 

aileron/elevator (approx) 4+4+30+30+30+30=128cm

41+41+41+41=164cm

 

Altogether 360 cm which should leave about 97 cm for the cross bracing in the frames and fuselage bracing. I have not yet started on the fuselage bracing and have yet to do three of the four 30cm piece for the aileron/elevator...

 

Even if the kit included 5 yards it still feels bit tight with 97 cm for all the fuselage and frame bracing. But now it was not even close to being enough string in the kit.

 

It is no big deal, I´ll just buy some in a store (or steal some sewing string from my wife...) But I do feel such an expensive kit should have had enough material. It was the same with the 1/64 ix 1/16 inch strips. It was not enough in the kit. 

 

 

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Tor,

A good morning to you.....

This is something I think we all have experience from time to time with MS products..... the close shortness of one item or two.

Hopefully you don't have to run out and getting replacement.

 

Forgot to mention, send me a 3 1/2 as it is more than two years ago I had one.

Jack12477, thibaultron and Canute like this

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