Re-Building the Q.E.D. Model Wing

“a short photo essay with brief commentary on the Q.E.D. wing rebuild… A short video of a test flight was also captured” 


Q.E.D. in Amesbury, MA
 Click to Enlarge Images  
Q.E.D. at Geneseo 2009

I recall the anticipation of the first test glides of my Gee Bee Q.E.D. model more than 20yrs ago in the back yard of our first house.  In the time between then and now, this model – I know, it’s not really a Gee Bee (see post) – has been flown hard in fair weather and poor, placing in its share of contests and even winning a few.  And I must admit to a crash or two along the way. 

The last crash was flying in an FAC Thompson Trophy mass launch event at the Rocky Hill sod farm in CT.  Unfortunately the sod had recently been harvested and the summer sun had baked the bald surface to hardpack.  Launching into the breeze, the Q.E.D. hesitated a bit and lost airspeed.  Many times before, the knock-off landing gear had prevented damage, but not this time.  She came in on a wingtip and crunched spars, ribs, the whole bit.

Fast-forward to last month.  In preparing the Q.E.D. plan for publication and examining the model for reference, I decided to re-build the wing and get her back into the air.  Following is a short photo essay with brief commentary on the Q.E.D. wing rebuild which took place over several days.  A short video of a test flight was captured and the link follows this post.

Pic 1 – The Initial Lay-Down. Wing ribs are cut out using the templates on the plan, followed by lay-down of the Trailing Edge and bottom Wing Spars.  Inboard ribs W1-W3 are fitted to the spars and trimmed at the aft end to join tightly against the T.E., and then cemented in place.  Next, the Leading Edge and top spar are cemented in place – except at the center rib, which is Cyanoacrylate-glued (CYA’d) together later when the dihedral is added.

Pic 2 – Install wingtips and build in washout.  Laminate the balsa wingtips with thinned aliphatic glue (Titebond).  Trim the wing tips to join tightly with the L.E., T.E. and lower wing spars. Note: don’t trim the spars to exact length during the Initial Lay-Down – trim them to fit snugly as the wing tips are fitted to the L.E. and T.E.   The wingtip should be raised 5/32in off the building board at the front wing spars, which are “cracked” at rib W5 to angle up or down to join with the wingtip.  Also note that the lower rear spar is shimmed up off the building board ~ 1/16in such that the rear spar rises to join the wingtip.  The rear spar slot for ribs W4 and W5 is deepened to allow the aft end of the rib to join with the wingtip.  This approach provides built-in washout at the wingtips which should be gently enhanced when dihedral is added and the tissue wing covering is shrunk.  Washout is important to flight stability with this model.

Pic 3 – Install the Landing Gear Mounts.  This is an important step as any time spent here will be saved many times over in repairs later.  Plus the knock-off L.G. is actually easier to make and much lighter than any fixed music wire gear could be.  Install the L.G. mount balsa sheet fill areas before you block up the wing panels and CYA the dihedral in place at the root rib L.E., spar and T.E. joints.   Remember to block up the T.E. slightly more than the L.E. to add in a bit more washout.  The forward and rear Dihedral Braces are cemented in place after the wing is lifted from the building board.  Now, carefully locate and countersink holes in the underside of rib W1 to receive the earring clutch main L.G. mounts.  The stiff nylon pins embedded into the top edge of the L.G. legs will plug into these clutches and the rear of the leg will be held in place by a small Velcro patch CYA’d to the underside of rib W1 and the sheet fill after the wing is covered with tissue.

Pic 4 – Making the Tissue Markings.  My original Q.E.D. carried the incorrect colors (shame, shame!) for the registration and racing numbers and this was fixed as part of this re-build.  The de Lackner/Galletti 3v indicates Orange with Black pinstripe for the Registration and Racing markings.  To make the Orange tissue markings pop better on the green tissue base, I printed the markings “Orange on Orange” with a black pinstripe using my Epson durabrite printer.  This worked nicely and to deepen the  contrast,I chalked the back side of the printed tissue with Orange Pan Pastel chalk and went over the printed black pinstripe with a Sharpie and straightedge.  The letters and numbers were cut out using a new Xacto #11 blade and attached to the base green tissue “skins” with a spray adhesive using the wing plan underneath as a location/alignment guide.  The vertical tail registration was simply printed on a small patch of green tissue and fixed in place with spray adhesive.  It all seemed to work well.

I also rebuilt the horizontal stabilizer on the Q.E.D. which was a bit droopy with age.  So now, the model should be good for another 20 years.  We’ll see!

Related Docs:

Gee Bee Q.E.D. rebuild test flight video; youtube

GMD R6H Q.E.D. -24in Wingspan, Flying Scale Model Plan, Tom Nallen2

Granville, Miller & deLackner Q.E.D. Art Card; Tom Nallen

Announcing The Gee Bee.com!

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                  Tom Nallen’s 2017

 

Tom & Bob Hall, Gee Bee Z designer

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Announcing The Gee Bee.com!


I’m excited to let you know about our new site www.thegeebee.com .  Tom1 and I talked about doing this for a number of years, but with work & kids it never happened.  Now it has. 

I’d like to do my part to help keep the Granville and Gee Bee story alive.  I’ve talked with June Granville (Dakin) and she’s fully supportive.  We’d like to tie in aeromodeling/scale modeling as a rewarding activity that can make aviation history come alive.  We’ll use thegeebee.com as a platform to release the many model airplane plans we’ve drawn over the last 50yrs or so.  Many of these are large-format and not suitable for newsletter publication…and we all know what’s happened to the model mags that used to run our sort of stuff.  We’ll see what happens.

Oh, and through an agreement with Jim Fiorello, Golden Age Reproductions Plans are being made available through The Gee Bee.com  as well.  These are the original, high-quality Joe Fitzgibbon offset prints, not copies.  We’ll start with ~30 plans with another 200 or so to come over time if there is interest.

There are no illusions of profit-making, but stuff on The Gee Bee.com is not free either.  This may wind up as a non-profit org and we have some ideas there, but first things first.

Anyway, check out the site and I hope you sign up for the free bi-monthly Around The Pylon newsletter – we’ve lost some of these lately too.  Around The Pylon will be brief and online-only.  We plan to share interesting bits from the Len Wieczorek, Bert Pond and other collections as well as new plan releases, freebie downloads and FF modeling stuff.  Subscribers get 20% discounts.  Contributors to the newsletter are welcome so let me know if you or someone you know is interested.

Please help spread the word by sharing this Announcement.

Hopefully society will reopen soon and we can return to our lives.

Thanks  and see you on the flightline,

Tom Nallen2
www.thegeebee.com

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About Those Nallen Plans..

From early years drawing on paper with an Engineer’s rule and No. 2 pencil, to later years with a computer and CAD software


 

    Browse Plans Now 

Model Aircraft Design


We (Tom Nallen’s) have been designing model airplane plans for nearly 50 years.  From early years drawing on paper with an Engineer’s rule and No. 2 pencil, to later years with a computer and CAD software, model aircraft design has been a constant.  It continues today, and while Tom Sr. has sadly passed, Tom2 will carry forward.  

For us, aviation history, scale modeling, and design are equal parts in a creative process.   By making our work available, we hope to help others discover this rewarding form of creative expression and consider designing plans of their own.

A little about the plans on The Gee Bee.com website.  You may notice that some of them are available elsewhere on the Internet free.  This is true – those plans were originally published in various newsletters and then posted to the Internet.  We’ve included some of these plans to offer a complete design series – Gee Bee and related aircraft, for example.  We will not offer any Nallen designs that are currently for sale by other vendors. 

We hope to continue to publish construction plans in modeling newsletters and magazines, although few magazines today publish traditional “stick and tissue” designs (topic of a future post).  Many of the plans offered on thegeebee.com are large format and not easily published in newsletters which prefer to include full-sized printed plans in 11 x 17 inch format. 

Digital Plan Downloads

We are particularly excited about the PDF plan download option for Nallen plans on thegeebee.com.  With a lower price, no shipping charges and immediate delivery anywhere in the world, we’re figuring many customers will choose this option.  In addition, PDF plan files are much more efficiently stored and the digital plan can be scaled up or down at the time of printing to meet specific  needs – smaller versions to be flown indoors or on smaller fields, for example.  Adjustments may be required for structural components specified on the plan, but this usually manageable.   As the digital plan download option is reasonably priced, we ask customers NOT to share the file with others.  Please refer them to www.thegeebee.com so they can purchase their own download.  More information can be found in the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) on the website.