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  1. Time for another project. One of my themes is modelling cropdusters in 1/48 - I have completed about 30 most of them scratchbuilt. This one caught my eye a little while back - it's a US designed cropdusting biplane, the Eagle DW.1, which first flew in 1977. That's correct 1977, who'd have thought. A distinctive feature is the incredibly long wings (55ft, 16.8m) with a very narrow wing chord and almost glider like in appearance. Some clever design trickery was used to improve the roll rate. Initially engined with a radial, it is more commonly found with a 300hp Lycoming flat six which in my view makes for a prettier aircraft and will be the subject of my model. Gross weight is 2450kg and a load of ~1250kg could be carried. 95 examples were built between 1979 and 1983 - including a couple that came to Australia (that will be the scheme I model). The picture of the a/c below is shared from user "G.Verver" on Flickr in a banner towing role. So, onto the project. I actually started this in July 2021, and have taken a few photos along the way. The pace is going to pick up a bit from here as I have finished some recent projects. First up I had to refine some pretty rudimentary plans (which I think were enlarged from a Janes of the era). I've drawn these up in CAD including deciphering of the all important cross sections. The fuselage aft of the engine is basically box section to about halfway up - then a compound curved deck over that, with the canopy perched on top of all that. The box section part of the fuse is straightforward enough - just some cut to size styrene (carefully!) and some bulkheads at strategic points. A little forward planning required to make sure I had room for the cockpit later on. The top deck was going to be vacuformed for which I need to make a master. This begins with creating a skeleton - styrene base, main spine, cross sections 'ribs' added (slightly undersized to allow for thickness of plastic to be moulded). The skeleton doesn't need to be pretty - little chunks of plastic offcuts here and there to support the ribs The wing(s) were next on the agenda. Wings are very long, constant section - apart from a tapering of the chord and thickness towards the wing tip. The upper skin, and lower skin are each cut to size from 0.75mm (30thou) styrene sheet. Cut skins about 1mm oversize at the leading edge. (allows room for a bit of skin curvature over the wing, [it's easier to sand back vs fill gaps...]} Trailing edges sanded on INNER surfaces to a knife edge taper. Don't skimp on the knife edging... Main spar from a strip of styrene (40thou in this case) and very lightly tacked into position (if I glue it 'properly' I'll get deformation in the wing curvature when top and bottom are joined). Leading edge (not show here) from 20thou styrene strip. I've elected to leave the entire trailing edge dead straight - and insert the wing tip tape later on by doing a 'cut and shut' - ie crank that part of the wing forward to preserve the trailing edge, and fill/sand etc) Next steps will be: Glue and clamp the trailing edge first (not too much glue, and not too heavy on the clamps. Leave 24 hours. Then glue and clamp leading edge. NO glue on the main spar (again, to avoid skin deformation). A bit more heavy handed on the leading edge glue as there'll be a bit more stress to overcome. Leave 24 hours. Clamps off. And a wet sand with course wet and dry to get correct wing profile. From there - shift to finer grade wet and dry, and a bit of Milliput if required). Also in this pic you can see the progress on the master for vacforming the turtle deck - early days just the one coat of car bog at this point... Here we see the wings now joined up but pre-sanding down. Tips yet to be 'cranked'. And the master for vacforming the top deck visible in the foreground. It took about 3 coats of car bog to get to this stage from the earlier version above. Here we see the vacformed and cut to size fuselage top. I will cut out the cockpit opening after gluing. Leaving it intact ensures I don't get unwanted warpage/distortion when I glue. On the box section of the fuse - I have glued thin 'alignment strips' which will apart from helping with alignment will also give a bit more meat for the glue to bite into (ie far preferable to a butt joint for this sort of application. The basics of the cockpit interior have been added - the floor and formers for the seat bulkhead and seat base. With a quick squirt of black while I'm there. Detail will be added later once the cockpit opening is opened out (quite large) - it's pretty spartan inside... and here we have the fuselage top and bottom joined and held with some builders tape. It doesn't look like much at this stage but confident it'll scrub up. Also the wings are now sanded. The tips have now been 'cranked' - a cut and shut by removing a thin wedge of plastic, inserting a short spar to provide a) alignment and b) strength then glueing. I've given it one coat of Milliput - but have now gone for the Mr.Surfacer 500 to get rid of any remnants of the join. Note the wings are built slightly overlength - which will be remedied when I insert the dihedral and/or the fuselage in the middle! The black cutting matt underneath if 30cm wide (an A4 sheet) which give you an idea of the wingspan Next steps will be clean up fuse, make the fin and tailplane, make masters for the engine cowl and canopy etc etc....
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