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Old 04-10-2016, 07:09 PM   #1
mwavesdave
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Jerry Bates F4F Wildcat


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I was asked a while back by my friend Kevin, if I could build a warbird for him. He'd chosen the Jerry Bates 1/5th scale F4F Wildcat, a subject I found very interesting indeed, and agreed to take on the challenge. Today, at the Shearwater Aviation Museum's Annual Spring Hobby Show, he braved the snow and slush, and brought a pile of stuff up, so I can start the build. He ordered the plans and laser cut short kit from Bates, purchased a Zenoah G62, Robart scale gear, a full cockpit kit, and there's piles of accessories, plumbing, control stuff, a lot to wade through. I'm still reading through the build instructions, but thought I'd take a look through the short kit, and start sorting things out.
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Old 04-10-2016, 07:16 PM   #2
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Re: Jerry Bates F4F Wildcat

Overall, the laser cutting looks good, but lots of evidence of near-burning, especially on the 1/4 ply. Balsa parts were exceptional. Quality of the parts looks very good, fit will be determined once the build starts. Couple of things with the short kit that makes me shake my head a bit. Tons of waste, which has to be accounted for in the cost, of course. Also, all that waste, see the photo, I'm guessing equals the weight of the cut parts, so the buyer is paying to have a lot of scrap wood shipped! The packaging of the parts could have been better, some balsa parts weren't protected from the heavier ply parts, and were dinged up. All in all minor stuff. It certainly though, made me feel good about the short kits I used to cut, where all parts were labelled, bagged, or banded together, and packed to avoid damage, and minimize shipping costs to the buyers. Granted we sold the kits essentially at cost, so our free labour wasn't accounted for ensuring the packaging was as good as it could get.
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Old 04-10-2016, 07:21 PM   #3
mwavesdave
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Re: Jerry Bates F4F Wildcat

We've only taken a cursory look at all the accessories, but as I go through them, I'll post photos. The cockpit kit is a huge box of plastic, cast resin, and all manner of bits and pieces, and will probably consume the most time of any portion of the build! I'll also comment on the plans and instructions, once I've fully reviewed them a few times. One question I have at the start, is the marked CG. It's well forward of the wing spar, and seems very far forward, even with the tapered wings. I'll definitely do some legwork to ensure it's bang on. The only mod discussed so far, is the elevator control, plans call for a very long CF 1/4"tube, but at first glance, I'm thinking a pull-pull system similar to the rudder would give better control, and less weight. More to follow!
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Old 04-10-2016, 08:42 PM   #4
CF105
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Re: Jerry Bates F4F Wildcat

Wow! You're jumping right in!

Interesting thoughts on the packing. Having only built a few small kits and one short kit, I wouldn't have thought anything of the scrap. But you're right - on a bird this size that would account for a lot of the packing space & weight. That said, shipping from Holman wasn't unreasonable.

Now, the retracts from Robart... That is another story! FedEx dinged me to the tune of $200 for brokerage, duty and banditry. I sent Robart and email about that and suggested they find another way to ship outside the US. To their credit they replied and indicated they were willing to use other methods if asked.

Thanks for taking this on, Dave!
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Old 04-11-2016, 03:54 AM   #5
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Re: Jerry Bates F4F Wildcat

Dave, when are you moving to Ontario so I can get you to build some of my planes??!!!
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Old 04-11-2016, 05:09 AM   #6
mwavesdave
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Re: Jerry Bates F4F Wildcat

When I retire, think Leeann and I should start a travelling road show with our RV, we'll stop, build, move on! lol
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Old 04-11-2016, 06:32 AM   #7
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Re: Jerry Bates F4F Wildcat

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwavesdave View Post
When I retire, think Leeann and I should start a travelling road show with our RV, we'll stop, build, move on! lol
This will be you, Dave, after a few years into your retirement LOL
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Old 04-11-2016, 12:40 PM   #8
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Re: Jerry Bates F4F Wildcat

Hell that's me right now! lol Actually, we're set up with the travel trailer, only debt is the $400 a month payment for that, and military pension of over 30 years. I'll build them for free, just for the fun of it. If it's something that peeks my interest, no need for payment. Leeann already veto'd any thoughts I had too of facial hair, or long head of hair, sigh. Would love to do all of the Ziroli stuff, David Anderson's stuff, etc. I've done enough Spits for now, but just about any other warbird, I'll tackle!
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Old 04-12-2016, 06:41 AM   #9
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Re: Jerry Bates F4F Wildcat

Last night, started the work on the tail feathers. The laser cut horizontal stab trailing edge popped out of the stock warped, but fortunately the center section is cut out after assembly. This allowed me to saw the center section about 90% through, so that I could pin it flat to the building board, and remove the warp. Construction of the stab is pretty conventional. Once both elevators are done, and the hinges mounted, and aligned, I can then sheet the stab.
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Old 04-12-2016, 06:44 AM   #10
mwavesdave
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Re: Jerry Bates F4F Wildcat

Elevators are built around a 3/32 balsa core, and use a brass tube and steel rod that goes through the ply hinges. In order to ensure good alignment, the brass tubes are built into the elevators, and then the section for each hinge will be cut. A length of 1/4 in brass tube is built into each end, for the elevator control mechanism.
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