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Alien Aircraft Stearman PT-17 Kit Build-along, Part 3

Alien Aircraft Stearman PT-17 Kit Build-along, Part 3

 Our Exclusive MAN Workshop Build-along of the laser-cut Stearman PT-17 kit continues with some new detailed build photos from contributor Rick Bell. As you can see, the plane is coming along nicely and definately looks like the classic primary trainer biplane.


(Above) Here’s the top 3/32″ stringers glued into place. The laser-cut notches in the formers make gluing them into place a snap.

 (Above) Bottom stringers glued into place.

(Above) Detail shot of top rear stringers.

(Above) Detail shot of bottom rear stringers.

 (Above) Detail shot of top nose stringers.

(Above) Here’s the side formers glued into place. They are glued into notches in the fuselage to align them. These formers complete the round shape of the fuselage.

(Above) Here’s the 3/32″ side stringers glued into place. This completes the basic fuselage assembly.

 (Above) To allow access to the flight batterry, a cockpit hatch is built. Using the dash marks on the top of the fuselage cut out the opening.

(Above) The base of the hatch is pinned into place and then 3/32″ tabs are glued to the underside of the hatch.

(Above) Front and rear formers are glued into place.

(Above) The remaining formers are glued into place along a plywood reinforcing plate for the hold down screw

(Above) Scraps of 3/32″ stringers are used to tei the formers together defining the front and rear cockpits.

(Above) The cockpit is sheeted with 1/16″ balsa. You will need to custom fit the sheeting.

(Above) After fitting the sheeting, tack glue the sheeting at the corners, and then wrap the sheet into place tacking with thin CA as you fit the sheeting.

(Above) Here’s the front cockpit sheeting glued into place. Note that the sheeting is flush with the top of the  formers.

 (Above) Here’s the completed hatch. The rear sheeting is also flush with the forward former, and should be glued flush with the aft former. As you can see here, I made a mistake and glued the sheeting to the top of the aft former. I was able to carefully remove the error and glue the sheet properly into place.

 (Above) The hatch is a perfect fit! Now it’s time to start craving and sanding the fuselage to its final shape.

(Above) Here’s a shot of the fuselage with the tail feathers installed

 (Above) This is what the fairing around the vertical fins looks like before carving and sanding to shape.

 (Above) Here’s what the fairing looks like after shaping.

(Above) It’s starting to look like a Stearman!


That’s it for now. Stay tuned for more building details, next time we’ll take a look at the wing construction!


Updated: July 3, 2012 — 9:05 AM


Add a Comment
  1. I love this plane and have been looking for one about this size. Looking forward to future updates on this build

  2. take me back to my old comet kit days in the 50’s

  3. Robert R
    What I remember about the Comet kits cutting out all the parts that were printed on 1/16″ balsa sheets and all the bloody parts. Thank god for laser cut parts.

  4. Way to go Gerry!

    It looks like a lot of engineering hours went into that design.

    You are also doing a great job in puting it together. This is a great way to promote building kits. The world needs more builders.


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