Author Topic: Engine project  (Read 1813 times)

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Fingers

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Engine project
« on: December 31, 2014, 10:46:50 AM »
So...I've been away and not contributing for quite a long time, for which I apologize. 2014 has been a nightmare year, and I can't wait for midnight tonight to kiss it goodbye. Be that as it may...

When able, I've been involved with several projects for the New York Aerosciences Museum (ESAM). One was the painting of an approximately 40-foot long mural of a WW1 aerodrome to serve as backdrop for our new Nieuport 17/Siemens-Schuckert D-1 exhibit. That took 13 months from start to finish, and was concluded with our celebration of the museum's 30th anniversary last August.

And the latest was the building of a dummy engine for the front end of a large flying model donated to us by the surviving relatives of one of our members who passed away earlier this year. This gentleman, a veteran of three wars, had been a dedicated model builder almost his entire life. His basement and garage were overflowing with plans, kits, modeling magazines, tools, reference books, materials and retired aeroplane models, much of which were donated to our collection.

Among these is a large flying model of a generic single-bay biplane, painted in U.S. Army blue and yellow training colors. Though I haven't measured it, its wingspan must be at least eight feet. It probably dates to the 1970s, and appears to have been radio-controlled. Our people have decided they'd like to hang it on display in our gift shop. The only problem is it has no engine or cowling. After some discussion and consideration, I volunteered to make a suitable dummy engine for it out of wood.

As the model itself does not appear to be a true scale replica of any particular aircraft -- its general shape suggests something vaguely from the Fleet family, only without the second cockpit, I thought it would be sufficient to give it an engine that roughly corresponds -- that is to say, something that suggests an engine of familiar shape and is historically appropriate, without being a slave to mechanical details or technical accuracy. And, of course, simplicity itself has its own virtue.

The Kinner 5-cylinder radial seemed to fit the bill. So I got out the ruler and took some mesurements, drew up some plans and made some templates, just as we would do to create one of the scale models we share here. If I may, I'd like to share the results with you here, by way of getting back into the swing of things...

lastvautour

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Re: Engine project
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2014, 11:38:06 AM »
The engine looks great. Will you be painting it? Ensure we get finished photos for our files. Any details would be welcomed.

Happy New Years Fingers.

Lou

Boomerang

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Re: Engine project
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2014, 09:28:14 PM »

 Looks terrific. Well Done Fingers

Fingers

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Re: Engine project
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2015, 01:48:32 PM »
Thanks, gents, and Happy New Year to all! Let's hope 2015 is better than its predecessor.

Yes, I'm painting the engine, and building a 26-inch propeller to go with it. I'll take pictures and send them along when I'm finished.

As for the engine itself, the crankcase is made from two basswood planks laminated together, cut to shape on a bandsaw and sanded round. Holes for the cylinders were bored out on a drill press with a 2-inch Forstner bit. The bases of the cylinders are made from a 2-inch dowel purchased at Lowe's. The top end of each base is bored out with a 15/8-inch Forstner bit. The finned cylinders took a little experimentation. First we tried cutting grooves in the poplar dowel using the metal lathe in the museum's Exhibit Shop. But the wood proved too soft and the fins cracked and broke off. So we looked around and found a mahogany plank in the shop's scrapwood bin. We ripped it on the table saw and laminated two pieces together, then turned it down to 21/16-inch on the metal lathe. It was my first experience ever with using a lathe and I found it both interesting and fun. Then we went back over the workpiece, scored in the fins and turned the ends down to 15/8-inch stubs to fit into the bases and a similarly-sized hole bored into the cylinder head caps, which I made later on from scrap pine and turned on my newly acquired wood lathe at home. The exhaust pipes and rocker arms are fashioned from commercially made wood dowels.

And that's the story.

lastvautour

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Re: Engine project
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2015, 06:15:48 AM »
Thank you Fingers for the background details. I await the finished photos.

Lou

Fingers

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Re: Engine project
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2015, 08:11:04 PM »
Done! Finished the engine and prop this afternoon. Will bring it down to the museum on Tuesday and install it in the model, for display in the gift shop. I'll try toi take a couple pix of the completed installation. Here's a few progression photos.

lastvautour

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Re: Engine project
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2015, 05:21:44 AM »
Very nicely done Fingers. I am sure the museum will be proud to display it.

Lou

Fingers

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Re: Engine project
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2015, 05:29:48 PM »
Okay, we installed the engine and prop in the model today. It's hanging in the gift shop now. Here's a couple pix...

lastvautour

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Re: Engine project
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2015, 07:07:56 PM »
Beautiful workmanship Fingers. A excellent display. You should be proud of your contribution to the museum.

Lou

lastvautour

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Re: Engine project
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2015, 07:16:47 PM »
For the 2015 completed projects, can you assess the approximate scale?

Lou
« Last Edit: January 18, 2015, 11:38:04 AM by lastvautour »

Fingers

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Re: Engine project
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2015, 12:47:26 PM »
Thank you, Lou. You're very kind.

As for scale, it's difficult to say, because the plane doesn't appear to me to be a replica of any particular aircraft. Just a generic sort of single-seater biplane in pre-war army colors. I never did measure the wingspan, but I know it's a good deal broader than I am tall, and I'm 5'9". Stood on its wingtip, we had to dip it to get it through doors, and standard door height is 6'8".  If I had to guess, I'd say the span was close to 8 feet. The prop is 26 inches, if that helps any.

buccfan

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Re: Engine project
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2015, 02:17:01 PM »
Excellent work Fingers, it looks great on the model. Regards Paul J.

Pete1616

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Re: Engine project
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2015, 10:07:05 AM »
Absolutely beautiful work, fingers! I've been avoiding that kind of detail, but.....maybe, given your info I may give it a try....Pete
Pete1616