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Mainfame Parts and prints provded by manufacture?????

The fuselage in this spitfire is about 60% , of the parts provided by the Kit plane manufacturer. The remainder is the fuselage as I have constructed it. I used the original spitfire drawings to accomplish it. The structure is stronger and accommodates the Rotes 912 Engine. Everything forward of the cockpit is my design. Everything from the cockpit to rear on the bottom is all so my design. The picture to the left will change all most daily because the project is advancing rapidly.

 
 

 

The fuselage sections will cover the following items.

  • Main frame box build.
  • Add bulkheads.
  • Add stringers.
  • Add aluminum 1 inch square tubing to provide structural strength for the 912 engine.
  • Add engine mount on bulkhead.
  • Add longerons stringers to the fuselage.
  • Add cowling structures to accommodate the engine width.
  • Add structural fiberglass shapes for cockpit forward, top and bottom.
  • Add tail wheel assembly.

 

 

 

Main frame box build.

The fuselage frame is basically a rectangular frame made up of approximately 24 foot 7/8 th's square spruce rods. Each rode had a slot milled in two sides about 1/8 th inch from one edge. this slot is about 0.25 deep and will be used to receive a support grommet. It takes four total longerons to build the frame. You build two sides with separator spreaders at appropriate distances. See drawings to the left. This is how you made your first balsa model airplane.

After making the two sides, you then place top and bottom separator bars to obtain the initial fuselage support frame. At the front you actually use double longerons that extent from the engine back to the cockpit seat. This section will be enclosed in 12 mm aircraft plywood using the special epoxy glue mention previously. The epoxy is system three epoxy.

 

Add bulkheads.

The Frames are labeled by length from frame 0. Thus frame 80 is 80 inches from frame zero. This frame is the main frame of all the frames.

Eventually the wing center section will attach to this frame. The wing center box containing the landing gear will be attached to this frame. I will add a animation to the left in a few days. It is important that this frame is square. You'll only need a 26" X 24" area to work on. Use wax paper to protect your master print. When finished this would be a good time to paint the structure. I used a system three paint product which is compatible with there epoxy glue. System Three. You should park out the area's that will be epoxied and paint them. You will not be able to paint them later. Follow this procedure in all parts assemblies. I used 1/2 brass nails to hold parts in place. You can use claps if you want. The epoxy likes to be clamped tight enough to force epoxy to run out of the clamped area. When it runs just run a small paint brush over it to spread it evenly. Runs look very bad and are very hard to sand. I found out the hard way. The frame is basically four spares and 4 paired gussets, and four 3/4 pine angled blocks. All other frames are easier to make except for the engine bulk head frame 0.

 

Add stringers

The orientation of the box structure is the same as the bottom. You should build the top and bottom together for perfect alignment. Each cross member brace is placed a specific distance from the forward portion of the fuselage. You have to cut each brace to fit the slight angle of the outside box longerons. This is a critical cut to make. The epoxy is not a filler, and should not be used as a filler. You have to watch the epoxy and watch for runs. The first half hour is thee critical time. The epoxy after this time will stiffen enough to not run, but is still easy to separate the parts if needed! Each cross piece will have at least one gusset in each corner. Glue the gusset only and drive it into the appropriate slot. Once this is dried the only way to remove the part is with a hot air driver and a small putty knife. The epoxy crystallizes for you and is now easy to remove. toward the front you will see brackets for different engine installations. At the time I was building Loehle was unsure of how far forward the side longerons extended for the rotax 912 engine. They clamed that the original fuselage would accept the 912 without and frame changes. This absolutely incorrect. The engine is 2.5 inches wider on one side and three inches on the other. This requires a small pair of fake air inlets to be built. Mine are actually used as air inlets. Because there were so many versions of the spitfire the air inlets do not look out of place. They set exactly below the fake exhausts. I used the tree pair method you see on the Mark IX.

 

 

Add aluminum 1 inch square tubing to provide structural strength for the 912 engine.

The fuselage arrives in to long boxes, and contains a number of wood parts. Some parts are 0.75X .125 Georgia pine. You also get assorted small plywood 45degree wedges, these allow the frame to have a way to lock parts together. See drawings to the left. You also get 0.75 square X 12 foot stringers which become the box frame, everything else is attached. Imagine a box Kite and you get the picture. You also get some prints that have no measurements, and a few pictures of the original Loehle spitfire. The pictures are out of date and unless you know what you are doing, you are in for a big surprise. There is drawing for a work table which is about 24 ft by 4 feet. I made mine in 8 foot removable assemblies. They can then be used more convenient for later build. The key is make everything square and level. I recommend a good digital level, and a digital square. The drawing to thee left shows, gussets, slotted 3/4 22frame studs. I'll be adding better images shortly.

 

Add engine to mount on bulkhead.

At this point you will have built the aluminum engine mount. The 912 lends itself to a standard flat bed frame. The structure is 1/4 inch by 2 inch angle bracket. Welded as needed, with rubber shock mounted. I used Load engine mounts purchased from aircraft spruce. Thee engine bulkhead is structured from multiple layers of pine and plywood, with multiple sections of support grommets. I placed a metal galvanized bulkhead on the wood structure, for a better flame separator shield. Several hoses pass thru this bulkhead, using rubber grommets. Electrical, throttle cables, and other items .

Add cowling structures to accommodate the 912 engine width.

I had to make all fiber glass shapes from the engine back to just forward of the cockpit seat. At the time I used one inch strips as a base frame to support the fiber glass material. In order to allow room for the wider 912 I needed to widen the engine compartment by four inches. I designed the shape to accommodate air scopes to cool the engine. See the picture to the left. I have found out that the model 25 uses a better shape to accommodate the the bigger spitfire engine. I will use this new shape in the next model. I also have found a very nice hi density foam which is easily shaped and accepts epoxy glass easily. The shaping takes about ten times less time to build the structures. The wing tips took me less than three days to make, using this foam. also I made the under engine scoop and use it to house the oil radiator.

 

The final shape is added with parts made of plywood inserts, easy to cut out on band saw in a stack of ten each.

The spitfire fuselage gets its final shape with the use of longerons . I used the original spitfire drawings to determine the position of thes

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