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Workshop Build-Along — Sopwith Camel Part 13 — Wings are the Thing!

Workshop Build-Along — Sopwith Camel Part 13 — Wings are the Thing!

Now that the Camel can sit up on its own articulated landing gear, it’s time to clean off the bench and start gluing ribs to spars.


With all my wings, I start by pinning the spar to the board and then I use a couple of the ribs to space the trailing edges and sub-spars. The trailing edge here is 3/32 inch x 2 inch balsa sheet on the bottom side only.


This assembly took about 20 minutes. All the ribs are made from 1/8 inch lite-ply material. Notice the 1/8 x 1/2 inch balsa top TE on top of the bottom TE sheeting. The root rib is 1/4 inch balsa and has a doubler for the blind nut attachment point.


Speed savings here is using 3/8 inch birch dowel for LE. Also there are half ribs in front of the main spars.


The four inner root ribs are solid and have holes for the wing joiner tube and aluminum wing tube.


There is also an alignment pin just forward of the main spar.


Here the socket and wing tube are test fitted into place. The angle provides the proper 4 inches of dihedral for the bottom wings when plugged into the fuselage socket tube. The root rib is angles and is square to the socket tube.


As usual, the ailerons are built in place in the wing and will be later cut free and hinged.


All the aileron tubes glued into place.


Here the wing tip parts are starting to take shape. The tips will have a center later of lite-ply and then 1/8 inch top and bottom balsa layers all glued together.


With a little sanding and work with a razor plane, the wingtip bow blends nicely into the TE.


At the main spar I used wedges of 3/8 inch balsa to fair in the bows to the last tip rib.


The trailing edge sheeting also must blend into the tip bows. Some filler here and there will make it nice and smooth for a neat covering job.


Underside of the wing shows the aileron hinge line. The leading edge of the aileron will be shaped to a taper so it can be top-hinged later on.


I raised the aileron hinge line a little more than scale to keep it in a straighter line. Also this helps form an under-camber shape in the tip bows.


Camel low wing

Here’s the Camel with both lower wings attached! Looks sort of sporty! Next we’ll tackle the cabane struts and the top wing. Stay tuned!

Part 14: http://www.modelairplanenews.com/blog/2014/09/16/sopwith-camel-build-along-part-14-cabane-struts-and-top-wing/

To see the previous installment (part 12) click the link: http://www.modelairplanenews.com/blog/2014/08/12/workshop-build-along-sopwith-camel-articulated-axle-assembly/


Updated: February 12, 2016 — 1:03 PM


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  1. Hi Garry! I have been following this build along and I actually started to build my camel using your plans that you shared. Thank you. I am actually building everything from scratch however the wings are taking me to long to cut each piece. I was wondering if you can help me get the company that you used to actually laser cut just the wings for me. Do you think that they still have the file?

    1. Hey Eddie, Jamie Johnston of Arizona Model Aircrafters produces the kit and he has all my files. You can contact him at: Jaime Johnston (Jaime326@aol.com)
      If he does not reply, I have a good contact for laser cutting, it is Pat at http://www.lasercutUSA.com, he is excellent and quick. If you use him I will send him my files. let me know. you can contact me at work at: gerryy@airage.com
      good luck with your build.

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