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Camel build

Discussion in 'AviatorChat.com' started by snj5, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

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    #1 snj5, Sep 17, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I will try to post an update every so often on how the Sopwith Camel replica is coming along. I expect it will take a while.

    Issue #1 WW1 pilots were generally much smaller than me. In fact, most everyone still is. One of the reasons I went with a F.1 is the cockpit is large for a WW1 plane. I have tried to fit in a Pup, but really can't. The only WW1 planes that I have personally comfortably been in are the Dr1 Triplane (huge) and a Nieuport 17 (surprising but true). I have never been in or seen a Camel in person, but it's measurements are available. The side to side longeron distance is 27" across, the depth between longerons is about 33", and the seat sits 12" above the lower longeron. Armed with this knowledge and a glorious unsophistication, I visited Home Depot and assembled the Sopwith Camel Advanced Cockpit Simulator, shown below. While not quite but almost equalling the F-22 cockpit simulator, it did show that I fit well as long as I can get the rudder bar far enough forward. If the original drawings are close, it will be good at 40" seat back to bar. For a comparison, it's as wide as an Aeronca Champ inside. I'll continue to use the sim for testing control placement and ingress/egress practice.
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  2. Korr

    Korr F1 World Champ
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    I'm getting in on the ground floor of a thread that will span 5 years.

    Or ten.

    Good luck!

    :)
     
  3. Bob Parks

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    That looks really sturdily and quite roomy but I would trim the seat board so it fits entirely inside the frame and I think if the fuselage was lengthened a lot there would be something to hang the tail on and then I would put some fairing around too. Maybe some more length in the front to bolt the engine to would be cool. Beautiful workmanship, Russ.
    If there is anything that I can do to help you more, just let me know.
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  4. solofast

    solofast Formula 3

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    It would be a real bummer if you found out half way thru that you didn't fit.....

    Like when the guy was staring down Clint Eastwoods gun in the first scene of "Dirty Harry",,,

    He said,,, "I gots to know?"
     
  5. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

    Feb 22, 2003
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    Time for a monitor upgrade, Mr. Parks.
     
  6. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran
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    Excited that you are going in this direction. I know of a fellow who has some Rotary engines if your interested.
    Do you have drawings?
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  7. Spasso

    Spasso F1 World Champ
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    You should have bought a longer board for the seat so it could double as the wing. Save you a little time there and it would be really strong.:)
     
  8. dbw

    dbw Formula Junior

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    i have some ww1 period aircraft wheels ...let me know how original you are going to be...these are the real deal. dave
     
  9. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

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    PM sent
     
  10. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    #10 Kds, Sep 18, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009
  11. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

    Feb 22, 2003
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    Fuselage tubing on gear legs
    Brake components (mechanical drum) being fabricated. Will still use original rudder bar.
    Building replica throttle quadrant
    Researching field mods done to see if any applicable; looks like two possibilities:
    1. Opening cockpit forward top and sides to facillitate gun work and crew comfort
    2. Enlarging window in top wing for visibility
     
  12. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
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    Don't forget a 45 to shoot yourself in the head if you catch on fire.


    (Yup, I saw "Flyboys") ;)
     
  13. C4ever

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    I thought it was a spar carry through. I couple of long pieces of 2x6 and a handfull High-Shear Lagbolts (copyright) and he'll be just fine.
     
  14. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

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    No shortage of comedians on this site.
    :)
     
  15. dbw

    dbw Formula Junior

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    i guess i missed the project description...is this an exact replica or an actual aircraft?? just a joke but the link showed a modern radial engine and last i looked camels didn't have brakes..so i assume a rotary is not planned...i have a good running lycoming r680-17 and a nice hamilton standard ground adj prop.. i was [still might] going to build a 31/32 gee bee r1 just to taxi around in...i think it would look great on a trailer with the wings off.....
     
  16. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

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    #16 snj5, Sep 19, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    This is a flying replica, with some concessions for safe flying in a modern environment. Once you decide between having a museum piece or a regularly flying private aircraft (on a retiree budget), some of the decisions get easier.
    This airplane will have radial power, but the same hp as the original, and otherwise be a 1:1 replica with the same dimensions, wings, control surfaces, controls, instruments, approximate weights (this will be a wee bit lighter), speeds, performance and handling minus much of the gyroscopic ill effects of the rotary original (including a dangerous spin). There are three major changes to allow it to fly in a modern environment:
    1. Radial engine for reliability, safety and the ability to use a radio. Rotarys have a high RF emission and even jam aircraft radios within several hunderd feet around them. And try getting gallons of castor oil at new airports if you go somewhere. :)
    2. Brakes - for hard surfaces
    3. Steerable tailwheel - ditto
    One of the great aspects of these WW1 planes is that they all fall under the E-LSA regulation. They are very straightforward, safe, reliable and low maintenence (unless you use a 100 year old engine) and fun to fly with a nod to history and tribute to the brave men that flew them. And, wonder of wonders, relatively inexpensive for what they are. It also allows you to fly with other WW1 replicas, which like their later WW2 bretheren, is a hoot. And I've a friend with a N28, and a friend getting a Fokker Tripe.
    Will it be a museum piece? Well, close but probably not. Could you fly every weekend and to Oshkosh and back? Yes (if you had a few days).
    I think it will provide very dollar wise immense enjoyment as an E-LSA for many of my remaining flying years. I'm more pilot than curator.
    This should be a hoot.
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  17. GoFerrari28

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    #17 GoFerrari28, Sep 19, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2009
    Speaking of which, we haven't heard much from Johnny "I don't fit in the 328 I just bought" Lamour.

    In all seriousness, this will be a great build to watch. I've done a number of RC planes, but nothing even remotely close to this that would fly.
     
  18. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

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    #18 snj5, Sep 19, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Thanks
    The engine thing is interesting as Camels were not engine dependant, although they all had 9 cylinders. There were LeRhones, 2 kinds of Clergets and Bentley engines. I think in the Ferrari community we tie the identity so much with the engine (as well we should with Ferraris) it defines the vehicle.

    So, I'll just tongue-in-cheek say I have a 9 cylinder Rotec powered Camel. :)
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  19. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

    Feb 22, 2003
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    I saw Flyboys too - I think I'll use it to shoot at other airplanes in the pattern that cut me off.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XrHtNN8l-U

    Wait for the very end...(Spoiler Alert)
    :)
     
  20. Bob Parks

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    Russ, are you saying that you have a fuselage frame on the gear ?
    If so , I think the steel tube fuselage is the best ides because the wooden frame of a Camel is a nightmare of a basket weaving project. The longerons are routed out between uprights and the entire thing is full of wire rigging and fittings. Brakes can be fitted to wire wheels and are very advisable for modern airport ops as well as a steerable tail wheel/skid. These old airplanes are purposely tail heavy on the ground so the tailskid would dig in. What beautiful pictures you are posting of a Camel. Whose is it and where can I get some of them? A great project.
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  21. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

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    #21 snj5, Sep 20, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    That Camel is owned by the New Zealand movie producer Peter Jackson, and features in all the Wanaka Air Shows, often flown by American Gene DeMarco of Old Rhinebeck fame. It has a Bentley BR1 engine, BUT,...it also has rudder pedals and a steel tube fuselage. :)

    Here is a GREAT Youtube feature on this aircraft, with it flying in formation with a Spitfire - the first time ever these two have flown in formation!! Very moving!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6PnKUEFX8g
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  22. dbw

    dbw Formula Junior

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    just a note on early aircraft wheels...once they got beyond skids most wheels were adapted motorcycle or bicycle units...when people began to take things seriously, production units began to appear.
    in the us eclipse [a maker of bicycle components] made special hubs, lightweight and set up with thinwall bronze bushings for a hollow axle. the spoke flanges were wide and the hub was offset to the outside of the aircraft. very early[ww1] units had radial spoking pattern [in pairs] that gave good vertical loading with lateral cross spoking for side loads...as no brakes were used tangential patterns were avoided...clincher type rims and tires [most often smooth and white] were used as they were light and period straight side tires required heavy and dangerous lock rings.

    these wheels were often fabric covered and if a wheel or tire needed work often a giant cotter pin held the whole unit on and it was replaced and repairs done elsewhere.

    so..if you see a jenny with cross-laced wheels with treaded black tires...well it's been "updated".
     
  23. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

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    #23 snj5, Sep 21, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Yes, the welded tube fuselage is on the gear legs. I am currently looking for some offset wheels (to be accurate).
    As I said before, there were several field mods made by pilots later retro-fitted by the factory. I figure those pilots knew what they were doing, so I will probably follow.
    Shown first is a period photograph of the opened up top center section improving visibility and ingress/egress. Second is a photo of Canadian Camel Ace Billy Barker with the cockpit coaming widened and opened up.

    My biggest concern, which is a bit in the wait-and-see category, is where the CG ends up. These planes originally were notiously tail heavy, and a big American in the cockpit isn't going to help. :)
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  24. Chupacabra

    Chupacabra F1 Rookie
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    Wow, I just started reading this thread. This is going to be awesome! Congrats on starting on such an undertaking!
     
  25. Bob Parks

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    Is there any weight delta between the rotary and a radial? I believe that the rotary would be heavier than a modern radial and then I've seen lead weights strategically placed , too. I'm really excited about this and if you can produce a Camel as pretty as the one in the photos that will be a wonderful sight. Would one of the Russian radials be good or too much power?
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