My 78" Mosquito Project; She's coming along now! - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 12-27-2020, 10:01 AM   #1
Max
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My 78" Mosquito Project; She's coming along now!


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From the back burner of my workshop is one of my pet projects that I've never got around to finishing. I've always loved this plane and always dreamed of flying it but just never got around to finishing it.


I bought this at the MAAC auction in 1982. I was told at the time that this model was started by Steve Carell(sp?) from Oshawa. It was mostly framework and unsheeted structure.

I don't even know who makes this, it came with no plans. I thought it was a Brian Taylor Mosquito, but the wingspan on this model is 78”. I did some research and found the Brian Taylor Mozzie was 72” Not having plans was first of many roadblocks to finishing this model.

The roadblocks came fast and furious. As a result, I've done very little work on this model over the years, There seem to be insurmountable problems that I couldn't solve at the time.

In those days, RC aircraft were built different than they are today.
What seems overwhelming at the time were:
  • Finishing the model with no plans
  • Hooking up the linkages to the flaps and ailerons
  • Fitting the engines in such a confined space
  • Figuring out how to make and operate the retracts in the wings.
  • Tail wheel: There was none I wasn't able to figure out how to install and hook up a steerable tail wheel.

Some of you might laugh at what might seem to be “nothing” to you, but remember, in those days, the convention for building models was very different than they are today.


In those days, there were no computer radios and servos were expensive. In those days you had ONE aileron servo, ONE flap servo and ONE throttle servo. So where did you put them? In the fuselage of course! The only way to do it back then was to put the servos in the fuselage and have push rods and linkages going out to the throttle, flaps, ailerons, and retracts. It would have been a messy, cramped arrangement and getting the linkages on and off e very time the model was assembled/disassembled would have been very time consuming.

For the life of me, I spent a long time scratching my head trying to figure out how to install the servos in the fuselage and how to hook up the myriad of linkages and pushrods that we go out to the bell cranks in the wing for all the control functions. Back Shelf!! LOL

For the retract dilemma, retracts in those days were only pneumatic, and installing pneumatics in a vertical folding landing gear was daunting for me at the time. Another reason I moved this project to the back shelf….

My biggest problem was installing two nitro motors and gas tanks. I had the motors and the tanks. But how the hell to make it fit? That was another daunting problem as there was not a lot of room in the nacelles. Back Shelf!!

The plane languished as a “someday” project as other projects took priority. In the last 38 years, I have moved this airplane into three different homes since I bought it, and it has suffered a lot of hangar rash in both moving house and getting shuffled about in my workshop(s) to make room for other projects.

This year I completed and flew a project that I've had on the bench for about 15 years, my Top Flite DC-3. I found the impetus to finish it the spring during the covid-19 lockdown, and was able to successfully maiden it later in the summer. The plane flew amazingly well and the joy I got out of seeing this project finally take to the skies really motivated me. This winter I had other projects on the bench but I couldn't stop thinking about this mosquito. So I took it down last night I started working on repairing all the hangar rash. I've been at it for two days now, and all the broken and damaged parts are slowly coming together. It's actually starting to look good and as I'm working on it, I'm amazed by how technology has solved all the problems that I found daunting in the past.

For example, today's modern radios and 2.4 gig frequencies have allowed us to put Servos in the wings and run the leads into the fuselage. Width 72 megahertz, that was a No-No because long leads tended to act like an antenna and create interference. With 2.4 gigs this is a thing of the past.
Today’s mini servos are small compact light Compact and inexpensive. 2 in the wing? 4 in the wing? Six in the wing? No big deal!

The next problem that is easily solved is the one I had about mounting the nitro engines and gas tanks. I'm going to build this electric, so all those problems are gone!. For those of you that follow me here you will have noticed that in my DC-3 project it was originally built for Nitros. Switching to Electric was the best thing I ever did as flying a DC-3 twin is as easy as plugging in a battery.

The next problem that is easily solved is the retracts. Today servoless retract make it a breeze. I have a set that I intend to mount in here. There will need to be some work on the geometry But I figure that should be an evening of measuring and calculating to get it to fit .

Next the tail wheel steering should be a piece of cake with a micro Servo in the back with a Y harness to the rudder servo.

I'm hoping to be able to keep at it this winter. I know this model has always been pushed to the back burner has a “someday” project But I'm hoping to make this one the “now”-day project and leave everything else alone. Only time will tell, but I intend to keep plugging away at this baby until it's finally in the air.
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Old 12-27-2020, 03:45 PM   #2
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Re: My 78" Mosquito Project; Time to sh*t or get off the pot!!

Cool project! Looking forward to some pictures!
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Old 12-27-2020, 03:50 PM   #3
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Re: My 78" Mosquito Project; Time to sh*t or get off the pot!!

Here she is as of now..

Repairs included fixing broken/missing sheeting, missing and broken ribs, missing and broken longerons, and fixing the vertical fin/rudder that was broken and flopping about.

There is still work to do on the ribbing for the flaps and elevators. The top surfaces are not too bad but the bottom is missing a lot of these ribs.







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Old 12-28-2020, 08:00 AM   #4
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Re: My 78" Mosquito Project; Time to sh*t or get off the pot!!

Believe it or not, the photo's above is the first time this model has been assembled in decades. In the years I have moved and shuffled this model about, the tail had been broken several times. The repairs were quick to keep the damage from getting any worse. But in my haste to fix it and chuck it in the back, I was sloppy.

In addition to being able to measure the wingspan, yesterday I thought I would check out the tail alignment to the wings. Nothing was right. I guess I didn't do a good job repairing the tail back in the day because it was done fuselage only without the wings attached for reference.

When I looked it over, I noticed was a small gap between the elevator and the saddle. Now that the wings were on, I could check the alignment and incidence of the empennage. Nothing was right. . The gap in the horizontal stab gave the stab a 3 degree positive incidence. With the wings on and the model in the cradle and leveled, I could see that the rudder was not in the vertical either.

I spent the afternoon cutting everything free and re-gluing it to align it to the wings. It was work but I slept better last night knowing at least that part of the model is back to original alignment.
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Old 12-28-2020, 07:28 PM   #5
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Re: My 78" Mosquito Project; Time to sh*t or get off the pot!!

Today I thought I would tackle the tailwheel.
I looked around the fuse and reconsidered putting a servo in the back. There is not much room there. Also, I am worried about the model being tail-heavy.

I decided to go with a tailwheel bracket affixed to a ply plate that I can mount under the elevator. I figured I could run nyrod to the tailwheel if I could drill through the formers from the rear to the cockpit.

I found a piece of carbon rod long enough and attached a drill bit to the tip using tape.






Then aim carefully and twist the rod/drill while pressing it forward through each bulkhead.


Here it appears at the front of the model.


I made a mounting plate to fit within the confines of the tail. Positioning was limited due to the elevator pushrod running up the middle of the opening. I had to position it so that at full up elevator, the pushrod is just a millimeter from the tailwheel bracket


Once the epoxy set, I assembled and hooked up the tailwheel.



Feels good to start making progress on this model
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Old 12-30-2020, 09:50 AM   #6
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Re: My 78" Mosquito Project; Time to sh*t or get off the pot!!

Now that the tailwheel is done, I thought I would tackle the next problem that always held me up: Retracts.

To keep it simple I decided to use a servoless retract. This wont be scale because the gear will fold back rather than up. But it will be simpler.

I used a 3-1/2 inch balloon tire to calculate the clearances between the rear of the retract bay in the fore-aft, and in the vertical so that it would nest inside the bay when the gear doors were closed. With these numbers, I could figure out where to put the retract mechanism and the mounting blocks.'

After that was done, I could make and assemble the mounting blocks.



Based on my calculations, I used the assembly to transferring the location of the blocks on the bulkhead.


First test fit looked good.


Checking opening and closing clearances with a strut and wheel



I noticed when I did the first gear that I made it parallel to the wing. I forgot to account for the dihedral!!, The second gear I compensated for the dihedral. But now my struts would not be parallel. Before gluing, I thought it would be a good idea to check parallelism. I assembled the model and placed long piano wires in the retracts to make sure they were parallel. They weren't. I had to carefully enlarge the holes for the gear blocks at the right places to get the struts parallel.


Once all looked good, the blocks were glued into place using epoxy. Once this is all cured, I will have to add some re-enforcing blocks to the bulkhead to make sure the gear does not rip off under load.
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Old 12-31-2020, 07:37 AM   #7
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Re: My 78" Mosquito Project; Time to sh*t or get off the pot!!

Impressive and gives hope to those of us who have a long standing "abandoned" build in our workshops.

Mine is from the late 1970s ... a Robert Sweitzer Beechcraft Staggerwing, the last G17s version with the cowl blended smoothly into the fuselage. I got as far as making two perfect fiberglass cowls and the stab. I suspended construction because I came to distrust the Sweitzer's wholesale adoption of the full size plane's incidences (including a stab set at negative 3degrees, 40minuts), the lack of any successful reports of actual flight performance and the then lack of retracts going beyond 90degrees of movement. Still have the bones and plans... maybe one day (smiley)

btw, when Top Flite a few years ago brought out their arf large Staggerwing, from what I learnt from others, it did not copy Sweitzer's adopting of the full size plane's incidences .... and, it "cheated" the retracts, modifying the bottom fuselage center section to allow the use of retracts with only a 90degree movement.
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Old 01-01-2021, 11:19 AM   #8
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Re: My 78" Mosquito Project; Time to sh*t or get off the pot!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaely View Post
Impressive and gives hope to those of us who have a long standing "abandoned" build in our workshops.

Mine is from the late 1970s ... a Robert Sweitzer Beechcraft Staggerwing, the last G17s version with the cowl blended smoothly into the fuselage. I got as far as making two perfect fiberglass cowls and the stab. I suspended construction because I came to distrust the Sweitzer's wholesale adoption of the full size plane's incidences (including a stab set at negative 3degrees, 40minuts), the lack of any successful reports of actual flight performance and the then lack of retracts going beyond 90degrees of movement. Still have the bones and plans... maybe one day (smiley)

btw, when Top Flite a few years ago brought out their arf large Staggerwing, from what I learnt from others, it did not copy Sweitzer's adopting of the full size plane's incidences .... and, it "cheated" the retracts, modifying the bottom fuselage center section to allow the use of retracts with only a 90degree movement.
I know what you mean. So many problems to solve tends to stall a project.
I have been enjoying my time in the workshop this winter, something I have not been able to do in the last 15 or so years. My biggest detractor was work. This was the first year in decades that I stayed home all fall and winter. Usually my overseas trips start right after Thanksgiving and go off-and-on until middle of April. When I get home from these trips I am so bagged-out that I don't feel like being in the workshop. I have forgotten how much I enjoyed listening to music and working on a project while my mind has a chance to detox. Very therapeutic!
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Old 01-02-2021, 09:23 AM   #9
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Re: My 78" Mosquito Project; Time to sh*t or get off the pot!!

Got the hinge blocks installed and hinges on all the control surfaces.





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Old 01-06-2021, 03:05 PM   #10
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Re: My 78" Mosquito Project; Time to sh*t or get off the pot!!

Servos installed in wings and fuse.
**Note to self**: Make sure flap servos on both wings all travel in the same direction..... you know.. for "next time"....



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Last Photo added: Dec 15; Warwing Foamy for FPV

Last edited by Max; 01-06-2021 at 04:27 PM.
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