Here's the Mitsubishi Ki-46 "Dinah" that I designed and built. Twin rubber power ships are a bit trickier to fly, but when they are "on song", they are gorgeous in the air. This one is built to a 44" span, and competes in the Giant Scale class. It also uses traditional stick and tissue construction. I drew up these plans using some very detailed 1/72 scale drawings as the basis. I draw my plans in the "old school" manner, using a pencil, straightedge, French curves ...and lots of eraser (smile).
Taking the 1/72 drawings to a commercial copy center, I then enlarge them to the span of the model I want to build, in order to establish the correct outlines. I then lay transparent vellum over these enlarged drawings, and then begin drawing in the structure for the outlines and other structural elements. Wings and stabilizers get an outline, then spars and ribs are sketched in. Often the 1/72 drawings have accurate fuselage cross sections from which fuselage formers can be drawn, and then stringers placed running nose to tail.
Canopies are made from clear heat shrink tubing stock- the same material used to make tamper evident seals on vitamin bottles and similar. First, full size balsa patterns are carved and sanded to shape. I don't find the need to seal the balsa at all like a vacuum-formed pattern would need. The plastic is drawn over the shaped balsa patterns using a hair dryer to heat the plastic, and pull it into shape by hand over that pattern. Finished thickness of a typical canopy is approximately .005 inches.
Anyway, I find the entire process very gratifying and challenging at the same time.
My good friend Mike Stuart shot the video below (link HERE) this past July of a nice flight, with a few thermalistic bumps adding to the duration:
Best wishes for 2019!
Doug also send over two videos featuring his brilliant Kawanishi "Kyofu" he took part in our latest contest with (HERE). In the first video below the "Kyofu" is flying under rubber power (link here)
In the second video (link here) is flying with electric power.
I hope you enjoy this fantastic post as much as I do. Thank you so much Doug!