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RAF Aerial Target - one last little bit of weirdness for the GB


Marklo

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With the Nighthawk and the Kittens well on track and March 7th seeming a long way off I thought I’d add one more oddity to the GB :) 
 

 

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I read somewhere that all of the technology of modern airwar was devised during the first world and this little plane is one of those weird, before it’s time technology experiments from WWI.

 

In the same way as the term tank was used to describe the land battleships to confuse German intelligence. The project  was officially known as the RAF Aerial target, however it was actually in tended to be catapult launched and flown by remote control into attacking Zeppelins and then detonated. Which makes it the first military UAV and also the first guided missile.

Edited by Marklo
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resized_b34668f2-4fb1-49d4-89f4-083ccdb0Plans off the interweb  scaled to 1/48 and time to cut some blanks. It’s actually a bit bigger than the kittens with a 6m wing span ( ~20ft) this should  be a pretty straight forward build as it’s a fairly conventional monoplane and there’s very little rigging and no interior. So onwards.

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As my gran used to say, "There's nothing new under the sun", and as the world's first remotely guided missile this one deserves some long-overdue attention. Excellent subject choice :D 

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resized_84064dc4-5d57-43fe-80fb-03fe830fWings skinned trimmed and dry fitted, I’ve put a brass rod through the fuselage to hold the wings. Filler next and a milliput nose. I’ve also made four control horns for the rear surfaces. 
 

I’m thinking shaved cocktail sticks got the struts and square plastic rod for the skids. The rigging is the key and it’s a bit unusual the wing wires also go through the wing roundels so I’ll probably paint, partially rig, add the roundels hen complete the rigging. I’m assuming cdl and bare metal with what looks like a dark ( black ? ) leading edge.  Although I can’t make out any tail stripes in the photos ( I think I’ll still add them)  roundels are discernible not sure if they are on the top only and showing through the wings or top and bottom ( which seems more likely)

 

Anyhoo a bit of filler next I think. (Stupid autocorrect)

Edited by Marklo
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Taking shape nicely :thumbsup:

Given how little information is available on this subject I'd say your interpretation of the colours and markings are as valid as any can be.

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I think I’ve settled on humbrol 103  err 130 all over. 
 

Just totally confuse myself I had taken a tinlet of 103 and a tinlet of 130 out I painted the model with 130 ( satin white) then later on picked up the 103 ( cream, not a million miles from Tamiya Deck tan) and started painting, thinking I hadn’t mixed the paint properly. So the whole thing is now a light buff colour. Needs a little polishing and filling, then I’ll decide which paint to use. Probably the 103 but maybe with a few drops of 130.

 

More to follow....,

 

Edited by Marklo
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At this point it looks a lot like a free-flight glider or rubber-band powered flying model made from balsa and doped tissue. A model of a model almost.

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27 minutes ago, Col. said:

At this point it looks a lot like a free-flight glider or rubber-band powered flying model made from balsa and doped tissue. A model of a model almost.

Well if you think about it, it was just a big R/C model, granted with some explosives and a detonator added :) 

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11 hours ago, Marklo said:

Well if you think about it, it was just a big R/C model, granted with some explosives and a detonator added :) 

Sounds fun :D

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Very interesting subject and nice progress!

 

4 hours ago, Col. said:

I suppose we could argue that wood and doped fabric were the earlier incarnation of composite construction :hmmm:

That is indeed correct. Composite aircraft construction. Wood, fabric, wire, sheet metal--all used to provide various structural properties.

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I don't know which I find most impressive Mark, the way that you find such fascinating subjects or the way that you build them?  Top marks all round :thumbsup:

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On 1/26/2021 at 10:41 AM, Col. said:

What size of drill bit are you working with there?

0.8mm I think, but could be 1mm. I’ll fill the holes with ppp after it’s set and trimmed. The monofilament is 0.4mm.

 

Actually those 4 holes will be covered by the landing gear struts when assembled is completed.

Edited by Marklo
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resized_3b3050f4-1b0c-4298-ab24-6681fa7f
 

resized_366ebf4a-8bf3-478a-82b1-b8ae7850Thats the undercarriage and the rigging done. Just needs a little filler in the various holes. Some paintwork a prop and some cylinders and it’s done. 
 

I've examined the photos and convinced myself that there is no tail flash and that the black band on the wings is just a shadow so other than painting the struts and control horns and patching holes I’m calling the paintwork complete.

 

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Hi,

 

Looking good so far. The upper rigging is a bit unusual as on planes like the Bristol M.1 the Morane "Bullet" and the Eindekker it passes over a central "kingpost" or whatever it is called, giving a bit more of an angle to the "pull" it exerts. Of course they all had a pilot so perhaps it was more of a "roll frame". Still, as the wings have dihedral  and it was not likely to be pulling much "G" I imagine it would work. You certainly have come up with some unusual subjects and are far better at scratch building that I am😄

 

Cheers

 

Pete

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1 hour ago, PeterB said:

The upper rigging is a bit unusual

Yes it is a bit different, but I couldn’t see any struts or posts in any of my references ( 3 photos  and a plan) Now it might be because the wings have quite a bit of diehedral and only needed to be warped down, which would have meant less servos and hence simpler controls. I’m also thinking that it didn’t need to be as aerobatic as a piloted monoplane. So again warping one way only worked.

 

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And of course it was not expected to fly for any great length of time - I assume from the fact that it had an undercarriage that it would be test flow once or twice and after that just a one way trip to glory! I don't expect they would try and land it with a live warhead if it missed! Of course catapulting it would cause some stress I suppose, but it was essentially disposable.

 

Cheers

 

Pete

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