Just in time for the upcoming Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome RC WW1 Jamboree, our .25-size Fokker E-III Eindecker is ready for action. We offered the CAD drawings for this sport mission-ready machine in Part 1 of this series in a downloadable PDF. The prototype highlighted here was build, covered and finished up in only four weekends of spare time. Let’s pick up where we left off–fitting the wing to the fuselage.
Here I have placed the wing in the saddle area to check the fit. The leading edge needed to be sanded a bit more to fit the shape of the wing saddle cutout. Once everything fits properly, the fuselage and the wing can be covered. For this Eindecker, I just vintage/Antique SolarTex fabric and Gray MonoKote for the metal surfaces.
Notice here that I also shaped and covered the cheek cowlings just behind the firewall side formers. They are made from 3/4 inch thick balsa blocks and sanded to shape, covered and glued in place.
The next step is to attach the wing with a couple of rubberbands and to center the wing in the fuselage. Measure from the tips to the sides of the fuselage, they should be the same measurement for each side. Next place the pilot bust where you like it and then place the dashboard in position to figure out the size of the cockpit opening. Mark the top of the stringers.
When you cover the plane go ahead and install the control surfaces and glue in the hinges. While you are at it, solder up and connect the elevator and rudder pushrods and clevises.
Here you see the completed cockpit deck. The rounded top forward of the cockpit is covered with thin 1/32 inch plywood.
The engine cowling is horseshoe shaped and is open on the bottom. It is easy to install with five screws along the back edge. I drilled pilot holes through the cowling and into the balsa cheek cowlings. I then enlarged the holes in the model and glued in a section of the yellow Sullivan pushrod material to act as a insert. The screws thread easily into the inserts after they are glued in place with thin ZAP CA glue.
After the covering was applied, I cleaned the landing gear wire and spray painted it with flat black Rustolium primer and sealed with a spray clear coat of Polyurathane. Notice the bomb and bomb drop have been installed. The bomb drop mechanism is spring loaded and is connected with a thin cord to a servo arm exiting the fuselage bottom. The bomb is a length of broom handle with some thin plywood fins. Simple and rugged.
Notice that the inside of the engine compartment is also painted. I sealed the plywood and surrounding wood surfaces with brushed on thinned epoxy glue. Once cured, I painted with Rustolium paint for plastic and clear coated with a few spray coats of polyurathane.
Here’s the finished, flight ready Eindecker waiting to be loaded into the trailer. No time for decals! But maybe there will be some available from a vendor at the Aerodrome. Be sure to come out to the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, the WW1 RC Jamboree is hosted next weekend by the Mid-Hudson R/C Society club.