Natsneez-part 3 Fuselage and tings..!

It’s early 2020 right now, but this post was written last year, so it’ll make sense. Enjoy!

Hi and Welcome back! Well I’ve been busy as hell getting as much building work done on this plane, especially as we are having an amazing summer over here in the UK! It’s great being able to get home after a hard days work and – whenever time allows – chill in the garden with a beer, then maybe go for a skate, come back home and chill some more in the garden, with another  beer in hand and balsa wood in the other!

I’ve taken as many photos as I can to show you my progress. I’m really happy with the build so far, especially as I’m getting nearer finishing it. The pic below shows the bare bones of the fuselage completely sheeted and a quick sand over. Still a bit to go in this pic, but the subsequent photos below show the progress. Incidentally I have a copy of ‘P.E’s’ original build article for the Natsneez on this site. Just click here to download, print and read it. I found it very helpful.

It was around about this time that I started to think about how I was going to tackle the engine mount for the Cox motor and how the cowling and removable engine bulkhead was going to work. I started sketching out some ideas, since the only information on the plans is how P.E.  mounted his radial fixed engine and I am using a more standard beam fixed motor. Sketching is something I really enjoy anyway, and is a large part of my day job as a designer. Check out the pic below to see my thoughts.

Here’s a collection of pics showing the fuselage and engine mount with engine; tail unit and completed air frame. all looking really good 🙂

And here’s a close-up of the engine assembly, part-finished undercarriage and the very cool looking fancy bulkhead in the fuselage. That colourful thing is a sheet of celluloid used for the head stock of a guitar! It’s got the cut out to accept the pegs of the bulkhead which is at the back of the engine. Very cool assembly. I then cut some slots into the fuselage  to take the u.c. You can just see them in the pic.

Whats that hook thing on the engine bulkhead in the pic below? Well, that’s for retaining the whole engine assembly to the fuselage via a strong elastic band and short length of dowel, just as featured on the plans. I fashioned the hook from a cut length of 8 B.A. screw soldered to a length of piano wire bent into a hook shape. This was then fixed to the bulkhead, just behind the brass engine mount.

Here’s a collection of pictures showing the pieces so far. Engine is retained on the fuselage and the big block of balsa pieces glued together are for the cowl.

And here’s a pic of the brass sheet engine mount that I cut, bent and drilled to fit it. Cox motor temporarily fitted. Below that is the soft balsa cowl being carved to fit around the engine. All very satisfying!

Super snug fit around the Cox 09 motor. The gap that is between the bottom of the engine and the carved inner face of the cowl is for the tiny fuel tank.

Finally, here’s a pic collection showing the soft balsa cowl ruffed out and taped to the fuse, and the soft balsa block wing fairings which i might add look great now that there finished. The whole model has now been coated in a couple of coats of sanding sealer and rubbed down ready for covering.

Next post will be about the undercarriage and final covering 🙂

Posted in Free Flight.

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