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Thread: Building a Nieuport 11...

  1. #51
    Chad Jensen's Avatar
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    I need a mop for my drool pool now...thanks Bill.
    Chad Jensen
    EAA #755575

  2. #52
    Anymouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Ladd View Post
    Damn you!!!

    Someday I'll come up with something profound to put here.

  3. #53

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    It is an evil video!

    There's a bunch of WWI replica "all stars" in that video, too! Butch Witlock, Sharon and Dick Starks, etc., really go the extra mile in their planes. Russ and Rick with their authentic gauges and down-to-the-manufacturer's-stampings correct machinegun replicas just kill me (and oh, yeah, they are gas operated and "shoot" realistically).

    Mine won't be to that standard. I'm going for modern instruments on a panel (the N11 didn't have one - in fact it only had one gauge - a tachometer - placed on one of the tubes), riveting the ribs vs. stitching, etc.

    I'm also going to deviate from the historic paint pattern by putting roundels on top of the wings with the three color camouflage. The dark colors will show up better against the sky, and the roundels will really pop from above in the pattern (really slow green and brown plane against the ground might be bad).

    Everyone modifies the plans! Since I'm all but certain to put in a V-twin up front I have the need and luxury of a wooden floor; it's as per the actual N11 and the V-twin is so light that I'll need some extra weight up front. I'm also putting in brakes (not in the plans) and most likely going with a rudder bar instead of pedals.

    I spent the balance of a day at Liberty Landing with the KC Dawn Patrol folks and besides being the nicest group one could meet was absolutely transfixed by their Nieuport 11 replicas (built from Lee's plans).

    The good of the Airdrome kits:

    When they say inclusive, they mean inclusive - every bolt, nut, rivet, etc. included and clearly labelled.

    Inexpensive - Eight grand for a complete kit firewall back? Heck, even I can afford that!

    Support - not only is there a great builder's group, there's a larger WWI replica community out there to help out. And even more impressive, Robert Baslee will take one's phone calls and patiently answer even the most silly question!

    Heck, it's worth buying the kit just to get access to the builder's assist program, which is really a School of Building Techniques.

    Simple construction - the only welded part on the plane is the engine mount, where the cross members to the double H are put onto the long arms. All major machining is done; the gussets are pre-cut and only need minor deburring and adjustment.

    When they say it can be built in the space of a one car garage with simple hand tools they ain't kidding! One can see in my build pictures the most exotic tools are the pneumatic rivet gun, safety wire pliers, sheet crimping tool, swagging tool, and go/no go gauge for swags. The rest of it (sheet metal snips, pliers, clamps, etc.) are pretty standard fare and not too expensive. The belt sander is a Harbor Freight 40 dollar special (caught on sale) and the drill press was 110 USD (which I had bought previously). I'm into lumber and saw horses for about 150 bucks, but they're all useful for other things.

    The not so good:

    The plans are drawings without a narrative. I spend a long time looking at them and translating them into process and procedure using mental CAD. Some of the measurement references are counter-intuitive; sometimes things are from the end of a spar, sometimes from a part inside the spar - one has to really pay attention.

    The construction video that comes with it is generic (they work on a DVII), and while it does a good job showing a lot of critical tasks it skimps on others.

    Most of Robert's customers are working on their second or third plane when they show up with a check, so I'm a minority voice in the matter. One will need help and advice in the build. Fortunately there is not only a support group around these planes but a national organization of people that build their own planes one can hook up with, including technical advisors. See your browser's address bar for more information on this organization.

    While every gusset and bolt is included, there aren't any extras. Not a gripe - including extra bolts could easily double the cost of the kit - but be warned that if one loses a bolt or has to re-do a gusset or tube you're on your own to replace it. This is why I have a lot of "deep breath" moments; screwing up could get really expensive!

    Some stuff isn't included that are mandatory customizations. Everyone puts in a different kind of seat based on preferences, so Robert just gave up on putting it in the plans or providing material. Camlocks for the forward sheeting and cowl aren't included, as I haven't found anyone to agree on what are the best to use. It might seem like quibbling, but then one starts to price camlocks, understanding that the cowl will need around 10-15 of them, it's a real "ulp" moment. The seat harness isn't included, nor are instruments (which makes sense).
    Last edited by Frank Giger; 11-09-2011 at 05:42 AM.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  4. #54

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    Oh, and if you're unsure on your abilities, get the rudder ("Ruder") kit. Dirt cheap at 125 USD.

    Shipping is UPS, and it really does entail 90% of the skills needed for the rest of the kit. If one can build the rudder, one can build the plane!

    Even if one is thinking about the more expensive kits, grab the less expensive one, as chances are you'll put it to the side and re-do it anyway.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  5. #55
    I'm building a Sonex now, and had already been considering an Airdrome kit for my next project. This thread definitely nudges me in that direction...

  6. #56
    EAA Staff / Moderator Hal Bryan's Avatar
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    If I weren't contractually obligated never to own a single-seat airplane (read: married!), I could easily fall in love with one of the Airdrome Nieuports. The Taube is appealing as well - to me, that's the second-prettiest wing ever built.

    Anyone built one of Graham Lee's (2-seat) Nieuport 12s?

    Hal Bryan
    EAA Lifetime 638979
    Vintage 714005 | Warbirds 553527
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    EAA—The Spirit of Aviation

  7. #57
    Eric Witherspoon's Avatar
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    Thanks Frank, for the spar photos. I tried to find empty/gross (expected) weights for your plane, but couldn't. Did find the Wikipedia page that says there's only one of these 7/8 11's flying. I thought there might have been more, as the company seems pretty popular. Anyway, what I'm working on is a 2-seater, expected empty weight right around 500lbs, gross 1000lbs. They designed it for the Rotax 582 or Jabiru 2200. I'd prefer the more powerful engine, but the cost aspect is also pretty serious.
    Murphy's 13th: Every solution breeds new problems...

    http://www.spoonworld.com

  8. #58
    Chad Jensen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hal Bryan View Post
    If I weren't contractually obligated never to own a single-seat airplane (read: married!), I could easily fall in love with one of the Airdrome Nieuports. The Taube is appealing as well - to me, that's the second-prettiest wing ever built. Anyone built one of Graham Lee's (2-seat) Nieuport 12s?
    Hal, Hal, Hal...the single seat fighters the PERFECT goal to shoot for as a married guy. But, First, build the two seater...
    Chad Jensen
    EAA #755575

  9. #59
    bookmaker's Avatar
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    Hi Frank,

    Just logging in to your thread here. Robert needs to send you advertising funds for spreading the word about the AA kits.

    Someone mentioned that there is only one of the 7/8 AA Nieuports flying. I don't know if it is included, but Phil Arbee is flying a 7/8 scale AA built up as a N 23 that is a VERY nice airplane.

    Dale
    (building full size AA N 17)
    Dale Cavin
    Florida Panhandle
    Current Project: Airdrome Aeroplanes Full Size Nieuport 17

  10. #60

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    I saw that on wikipedia as well, and am dead certain the numbers are wrong; it would mean that there was only the prototype 7/8 N11 built.

    After all, you sent me pics of a Baslee N11 that had been built as well.

    I found the construction DVD day before yesterday (it was in with the McClintock DVD!), and discovered a few things I've done in interesting ways. I've got the bolts for the carry-throughs backwards, for example; it's not a huge deal, but will show when I cover. I'm debating cutting the wires (again) and taking the whole thing apart to reverse them.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

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