BIG F-14 Tomcat scratch build project - HeliFreak
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Old 06-29-2009, 08:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default BIG F-14 Tomcat scratch build project

I've been debating on doing this project for the better part of a year. I finally ordered the plans i intended to use as a starting point and once i saw the infamous shape of the F-14, I instantly knew i was going to have to model my favorite jet once again.. The plan for this project is for it to be as close to scale as possible. This is will include working swing wings, fully detailed retractable landing gear, operation speed brakes, operational leading edge slats, working flaps, working spoilers, operational canopy, and probably a refueling probe as well (it wont actually "work" in the essence of being able to refuel). The plugs will be built with balsa and plywood. Then fiberglassed and primed to remove any deficiencies in the surface, then the surface of the entire airplane will be covered in .005 and .008" aluminum sheets. The sheets will be cut to accurate sizes to depict all of the panels on the full size airplane, and will have all of the rivet and screw detail inserted in them as well.
After all of this construction and detail of the plugs is complete, I will be making a full set of fiberglass molds for the airplane and constructing an all composite airframe... Once the first airframe is built, all of the details for the operational parts will be machined from a combination of G-10 and carbon fiber sheets, and all of the parts for the scale cockpits will be made. This project is planned to be a long one, but i hope to have the plugs built and ready for surface detailing by the end of the year. I'm planning on offering this as a kit once the plugs are complete, so i can recoup some of my investment.

For those wondering "how big is big". The largest fuselage bulkhead is 36" wide x 12" tall. The fuselage is 107 1/2" long and the wingspan is 110".

Anyways, here's some pictures of the various things i have gotten started on so far:

33 Fuselage Bulkheads:



Wing ribs and tail parts:



Complete short kit:


Custom 30" x 8 foot long building table (table is still 10" shorter than the fuselage):


Initial stabilator and control mounting design:


wing leading edge slat track:


Swing wing mounting "box" structure:



Wing box w/ wing bearing holder mount installed:


Initial design for wing bearing holder mount:
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Old 06-29-2009, 08:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I love watching your builds. I can't wait for more...
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Old 06-29-2009, 08:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by cfmorrell View Post
I love watching your builds. I can't wait for more...
glad to know there are a few who enjoy these things! I may start doing a you-tube video update once i get further along with the building...

Once i get back home this weekend (hopefully) i've got to come up with what size and how much balsa and hardwood i need. So the building should start middle of the following wing. I'll be starting with the tail section, then go on to the wings. Only once all of this is complete will i move into building the fuselage. Reason for this is i need the tail and wings to be built so i can set the dimensions and incidences for the wings and tail. I've also got to adjust the fuselage bulkheads a bit as the way they are cut now, their are a few major descrepancies in scale outline that need correcting.

Should be a very fun project.
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Old 06-29-2009, 09:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Where have I seen this before ??? Looks like good work Tom, hope you finish this one
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Old 06-29-2009, 09:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Where have I seen this before ??? Looks like good work Tom, hope you finish this one
lol... smartass
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Subscribed.
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Where have I seen this before ??? Looks like good work Tom, hope you finish this one
Oh, he will finish it, the real question is will he fly it? LOL
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Old 07-03-2009, 06:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Got a bit more stuff done today.. actually a good bit of stuff done.... I removed the vertical stab fairing "shapes" from the fuselage bulkheads, as they would be in the way of mounting the vertical stabs. Plus i plan to have these fairings integral to the vertical fins, as they will be a basis for gluing the verticals to the fuselage.. I also removed the cockpit hatch portion from some of the forward fuselage bulkheads and adjusted them to take the 1/8" floors. I modified the bulkheads to get the "curve" mentioned in some of the earlier posts, and got the jig cut out and assembled. I"m not satisfied with what you see in the photo's and it will get alot of changes to gaurantee the fuselage is 100% straight. Since i got the preliminary jig somewhat complete, i just had to install all the fuselage bulkheads and take some pictures. I also had intentions on building the horizontal and vertical stabs next week, but the local hobby shop's stock of balsa is currently Dead.. they didn't have anything that i needed, so i'll just have to keep working on what little i have left to finish and adjust before all i can do is "just build".

So here's some pictures:


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Old 07-03-2009, 06:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The only thing missing are the LED afterburners !!!
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Old 07-03-2009, 06:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HFG View Post
The only thing missing are the LED afterburners !!!
LOL.. and a shit ton of balsa! your starter shaft shipped this morning
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Old 07-03-2009, 06:42 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I was serious about doing the LEDs for ya. I think if we connect them to the throttle we can set the throttle position threshold where they kick in. When they kick in the can flash on and off (ramp up and ramp down will look cool) to mimic the after burners kicking in.
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Old 07-03-2009, 07:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HFG View Post
I was serious about doing the LEDs for ya. I think if we connect them to the throttle we can set the throttle position threshold where they kick in. When they kick in the can flash on and off (ramp up and ramp down will look cool) to mimic the after burners kicking in.

I know.. sounds good to! The idea you have sounds kickass!
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:09 PM   #13 (permalink)
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HEY tom i'm in let me know when you ready to start pulling molds i dug out some of my glass tools hell if you need me to i'll build the vac table i'm bored that kind of stuff is fun and the fumes arn't bad either
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Old 07-04-2009, 08:35 PM   #14 (permalink)
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So impending doom (rain) forcasted for tomorrow led to a trip to the LHS today. yesterday when i looked, they had a small assortment of balsa, but everything was mixed up and i didn't feel like sorting thru it. Anyways, after 4 hours today, i came up with enough sheeting to get started on the build. I finished up all the parts needed for the stabs, minus the root and tip block (LHS didn't have anything big enough) to start building. Here's a pictures of the parts for the other stab, and one 1/4 complete stab (still gotta do the root/tip block, and finish.





After looking around the internet for a bit today, i found matt haltons website and his electric speed 400 size pusher F-14 (32" wingspan). For those who have no idea, he's the original design of the EDF JHH F-14. His pusher version is 72% the size of the JHH EDF. Anyways, i might find myself scratch building one of these during this build. After-all you can never have to many tomcats right? Plus it'll give me something to play around with until the 1/7 gets done. I'd "like" to get 100-120mph out of the little pusher. But we will see...


Hope ya enjoy the thread. If anyone wants to get rid of some 3/32" x 4 x 48" balsa sheets for cheap, shoot me a PM.. i need about 60 to 80 of the things and at $2.20 a sheet, its expensive!
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Old 07-04-2009, 09:26 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Man, this is going to be good! I love it already!

Seeing that pic with all the cross-sectional pieces laid out so as to see the shape and size is like getting a glimpse of RC jet heaven.
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Old 07-05-2009, 10:51 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Lil bit more work done so far today.. Made up the root and tip blocks for 1 stab, and the tip block for the other. Ran out of balsa to do the root block for the other stab. I've still got to sand both of them, but other than that, they are done minus glass and detailing. I also took the stab shaft bearing mounts and installed them to there respective bulkheads, make sure the bulkhead centerlines were aligned. After doing that, i couldn't help but slide the stab shafts into bulkheads. This really gave me an idea of exactly how big this model is going to be. the ruler is 20" long in the picture.




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Old 07-07-2009, 11:55 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Wow. This thing is going to be huge!

I followed your F-18 build with great interest and am looking forward to seeing your new project come together.
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Old 07-07-2009, 05:55 PM   #18 (permalink)
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One horizontal stab is complete and ready for glassing... If i can find my fiberglass and have enough laminating resin left, i might get that done tonight.. I also got the mock-up wingbox assembled and installed to the C20 and C21 bulkheads. Using 3 squares, 2 laser levels, the jig i cut out earlier and about 45 minutes later, I got it all lined up. Wing box is made of 1/4" thick birch ply w/ 1/2" balsa triangle, and then AN-3 bolts w/ 1/4" OD carbon spacers. I wasn't going for strength on this box since its just used to align the 2 bulkheads together so the wing incidence can be set later on.. Here's pictures. I'm going to try and get the other horizontal stab done tonight as well, so the tail will be done minus the verticals.




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lookin for another Vibe 50
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Old 07-12-2009, 09:35 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Both stabs are complete and ready to be fiberglassed, primed and then surface detailed. The plans for the Vertical stabs arrived and i'm going to build them and the rudders before i do the glass work to the horizontals, that way i can do all four at once (i've got to do a bit of fiberglassing on the rotors of an autogyro i'm buidling for a friend as well). Here are 2 pictures showing the horizontal stabs mounted into the stab bulkheads w/ a 4 foot bubble level for size reference (as if yall haven't gotten enough of these already)


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lookin for another Vibe 50
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Old 07-13-2009, 07:10 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I apologize for the slow progress, but i'm still waiting on my balsa order, and being a newly wed, the wife expects me to spend as much time with her as the tomcat... anyways, i got a bit more work done today before running out of both balsa and glue... Hopefully national balsa will have my balsa order shipped out tomorrow since i placed it with them friday. I've also got 2 16oz bottles of glue coming (1-medium, 1-thin) which i fully expect to use completely once the sheeting of the fuselage begins. Anyways, both vertical stabs have been framed and sheeted, all thats left to do is cut out the parts for the rudders, the leading edges and the tips, shape, final sand and glass, then they will be ready for detail work.. here's a few pictures showing the stabs in "progress" of being built. Sorry, but i forgot to get pictures of the mods i did to make the vertical stabs removable.

Now that these are all done, i can start laying out the wing ribs and spars, so that once the sheeting arrives they will be ready for the leading edge caps (and slats) to be made, and the wings to be sheeted...



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lookin for another Vibe 50
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