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The smallish Gadfly I started life in 1929 as an ABC Scorpion-powered conventional monoplane of simple lines and conservative design. Soon after, though, its ailerons were deleted and instead a new device was installed, the so-called "oyster" rotary ailerons, becoming the Gadfly II. Gadfly III had a Salmson AD9 radial. This rather simple and small Gadfly is representative of an entry-level project, but there are plenty of other good candidates out there. I happened to have an old Aeroclub Salmson 9AD white metal engine (Aeroclub accessory), so I will be building the Gadfly III (G-AARK) that had that engine. Photos can be found of it flying with either "oyster" or normal ailerons, but I will do the "oyster" ones, since have never seen them on a model. The techniques and resources used for the build are far from being written in stone, and there are many ways to solve scratchbuilding engineering challenges. The build is meant to be only indicative of some basic approaches to the task, for those interested in scratchbuilding endeavors. The completed model is here:
A very tiny cute little thing from 2 years ago: The light plane concept of course isn't new, and during aviation history a significant number of efforts were directed to produce a small, affordable, low-maintenance, low-power, low-consumption, one or two person machine that could be (hopefully) acquired and used by a large number of people. The concept, as we know, er...never really took off, but many interesting planes were produced, mainly in small numbers. England was one of the supporters of such concept, and organized many events and competitions to entice design and production of light machines. The Parnall Pixie is one of such machines. Designed by Harold Bolas, it was produced in the early and mid-twenties and came in four flavors: The Pixie I, a long wingspan, two person machine; the Pixie II, a short-span, one person plane; the Pixie III with some modifications and refinements, and the IIIa, a strange-looking biplane obtained by the simple prospect of slamming a small wing on top of the plane. The Pixie II, represented here, a sort of "racer", reached more than 70mph (110kph +) with a Douglas engine of 750cc! (bigger than the two-place Pixie one, that had a Douglas of 500cc). The plane had pleasant lines and had a very simple and awkward landing gear that did not have shock absorbers, but actuating just but flexing its steel components. A small number of Pixies was produced, and eagerly participated in many sport events. Other power plants were used, but always on the smallish side. The Pixie II was of reduced dimensions, with a span of 28"6' (5.43 meters!), so the model is also small of course in 1/72. Applying the habitual techniques I normally use for my scratchbuilt models, the main components did not take long to line up. Aeroclub prop, engine and wheels were added to speed-up construction. Care must be exercised in replicating the particular change in airfoil section: thin at the root and wingtip and thick in the middle, a detail some times obviated by modelers. A similar concept model of the De Havilland D.H.53 Humming-bird (manufacturer spelling) -a plane designed under the same concept and flown contemporarily to the Pixie- was just posted here. Originally it even had the same Douglas 750cc engine. Bibliography: Parnall Aircraft Since 1914 (E. Wixey) N.A.C.A. Technical Memorandum No. 261 The Light Plane since 1909 - J. Underwood The Light Plane Meeting at Lympne, Flight Magazine, Oct 18th 1923 The Lympne trials -Ord-Hume Decals again by Arctic Decals: