This aircraft has always intrigued me, so I thought I would see if I could make one using FT methods. I was going to make it the same scale as the Golden Age Racers, but that would have been a 12' wingspan which was just a little too big so I made it 1/8th scale.
I drew the plans in AutoCAD and started building the fuselage. Interestingly enouph, I started with the seats. I'm not sure why, but I wanted it to have some interior detail as well and this seemed like a good beginning point. Next came the cockpit and front passenger area section.
Next I started on the center section of the wing.
Once the wing center section was skinned, I used a light weight aluminum shower rod for the main spar carry through.
From there the rest of the fuselage was added on.
Center section set into the fuselage.
Front of fueslage installed.
Horizontal stabalizer and elevator detail.
Tail has been added.
Wing ribs being tested on left wing.
Servo installed in wing.
Servo extention wires roughted through center section and front of passenger cabin.
Passenger area detail
Left wing skinned.
Wing test fitted.
Aileron test fitted.
Next was the design and installation of the TriMotor signature landing gear. This required some 3D printing of special gear fittings.
With the gear came the assembly and installation of the outer engine nacelles.
One of my good friends offered to 3D print the fake radial engines for me. This was a dramatic improvment in the scale detail of the aircraft.
Now it really started to take shape! At this point I was confident that I could complete the build..... now would it fly? That's another question entirely!!
First motor taxi test.
Hooking up aileron servo.
Right wing completed and installed .
.... and painted.
1/8th scale Ford TriMotor next to the 1/6th scale 1930 Laird Super Solution.
First Taxi test with all three motors.
First high speed Taxi test. ( It lifted off well before I expected. Landing gear fitting failure.... back to the drawing board.)
Maiden flight It Flys!!
More strenghting needed in the lower landing gear fitting... redraw and reprint.
Second flight from GoPro cam
Second and third radial engines arrived! Thanks so much Jared!
Intallation of the radial engines.
Now on to Flite Fest West!!
Well, that didn't go as planned. The extra drag created by the radial engines along with not letting the airspeed get high enouph caused it to stall on take off at FFW.
But the good thing about building in foam board..... what can be built can be fixed! :-)
With the extra drag, the motors overheated. The next step will be to go to bigger motors and use 4cell batteries.
This has been a challenging but very rewarding project. I hope you have enjoyed the journey !