Building the Inner fuselage
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Preparing the formers

Most formers that come with kits are not ready-to-use. Various holes may need to be drilled and if the formers were die-cut they may need to be replaced entirely if the edges have been crunched. It is important that the formers are built as accurately as possibly.

A good set of formers will make construction much simpler and will also help ensure that the fuselage remains straight. Most kits have rectangular formers for box fuselages. In this case all you need to do is take a height and width measurement and then use a good square to mark the cut lines.

  • Interior cut outs in your formers should always have rounded corners. Not only bo they look better, but they are also stronger than sharp corners.
  • Drill the front face of the firewall for the engine mount, fuel lines and throttle linkage. This aircraft will have a tail wheel so there is no nose gear mount.You may want to countersink fuel line holes to prevent the edges from cutting the fuel lines.
    Also note that the holes for the engine mount screws have been enlarged slightly on the rear face to receive the blind nuts
  • It is quite easy to make a perfect nose ring. Simply select a piece of plywood witht the appropriate thickness, draw the centerlines and the outer diameter of the spinner.
    The diameter of the nose ring should be slightly larger than that of the spinner assuming the fuselage tapers normally. The inner circle only needs to be large enough to pass the thrust washer with a little margin for error
  • Drill a 1/8" hole in the center of the former
  • You can then trim off most of the excess using whatever method you are comfortable using, but do leave enough material so the former can be sanded to final shape
  • You can also sand a slight taper into the former by tilting the block so that the former matches the taper of the fuselage.
  • I leave the former slightly over-size so I can finish sand it after it is glued on the fuselage. Here you can see that the former is a hair larger than the spinner backplate
  • Cut out the inside of the nose ring when you are satisfied that the outside edge is correct
  • The complete set of formers from the nose rearward shown in order from left to right, top to bottom.
    The center former in the bottom row goes in the center of the radio compartment. The cut-out at the bottom is to pass wires from the servo compartment to the receiver/battery compartment.
  • Note the former at the bottom left. This former is located at the leading edge of the wing. The holes for the wing dowels are already drilled to simplify mounting the wing.
  • Note that the dowel holes are as far apart as possible. The farther apart these holes are, the more stable the wing mount will be

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Model Airplane Articles

» Introduction to Building
» Laying out the Fuselage
» Building inner fuselage
» Preparing the formers
» Jigging and Dry Fitting
» Building it Straight
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» Installing onboard gear
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