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FF-47 Howard DGA-9 Construction Notes|
Howard DGA-9 Construction Notes
Here's the Howard. I think
I sort of got carried away with the trim!
It is almost entirely per plan with no extra details except
for the fairing at the bottom of the windshield, the prop and the
engine cowl extension.
I built the wing as one unit. I built the center
section first on top of the top view so that ribs 9 aligned with
the sides of the fuselage. Then I built the two wings without the
inside ribs at A. Then I pinned the center section flat, glued the
two inside ribs to ribs 9, lifted the tip of each wing to the required
dihedral (I used 1/4 inch since it was for display) and fitted the
leading and trailing edges and
the spar to the outer rib.
When I assembled the wings (left, right, center section) I pinned
the center section over the plan, trimmed the leading and trailing
edges and the spar of the left wing to fit into the center section
with the dihedral set, applied glue and aligned the leading edge
with the plans. Then I did the same with the right wing and used
a straight edge to position the right wing so that both leading
edges were in a straight line.
After the glue dried, I covered, painted and trimmed
the wing assembly which I glued down onto the fuselage after the
fuselage was covered, painted and trimmed.
To get the look of an engine in the front of the
cowl, I put a small nail in the center of the end of a piece of
1" wood dowel, cut the head off, put a piece of coarse sandpaper
with a hole in the center over the nail, glued it to the end of
the dowel, then trimmed it around the edge to the diameter of the
dowel. Then I put the nail into a hole drilled in the center of
the nose block and pressed the end of the dowel with the sandpaper
on it against the block as I rotated it. This fairly easily cut
a recess into the nose block which I painted with aluminum paint.
Cowl cavity tool.
I added one extra spreader piece at the bottom between
the 2 fuselage halves about 1/4" forward of the piece directly
below the wing leading edge. This is where the sharp inward bend
of the stringers starts and it helped establish the shape.
On the fuselage, I first covered the area in front
of the windshield with a piece cut out
of a file card because the compound shape would have been
hard to cover without wrinkles. After covering the nose, I glued
on the raw nose block, then covered from the block back to F1,2,3,4
with 2 pieces of 1/32 balsa sheet, each half way around, to form
the engine cowl. Then I sanded the nose block to blend with the
shape of the cowl.
For ease of attaching the gear, I put a small 1/16"
sq strip on the inside of each wheel pant for the strut to butt
against (I squared off the end of the strut) and put a similar strip
on each side of the bottom of the fuselage for the top of the strut
to butt against. It was easy to assemble each gear, matching the
wheel-to-strut angle on the plans, then gluing each to the fuselage
with the strips to help position and support them.
There was no indication on the plans about the thickness
of the stock for the wheel pant parts so I used 1/16". With
the wheels also 1/16", they slipped snuggly into place after
painting and stayed without pins or gluing.
I used a 4.2" propeller I had lying around.
By the way, the propeller was mounted by forcing the handle of an
artist's brush in from the back side until enough of the rounded
tip showed to look like a spinner. Then I cut it off, leaving 1/2"
sticking out the back side. Since the taper of the handle resulted
in it being bigger towards the rear, I roughly sanded the piece
sticking out to get rid of most of the taper, then drilled a hole
in the nose block to fit the piece of handle.
The completed model weighs
19.9 grams (0.705 ounces). This was a lot
of fun, hope you like the results.
Editor's Note: Mr.
Campbell built his Howard for display. Some of his construction
methods, such as the heavy application of paint, should not be used
if you want to fly your plane using rubber power.