ScaleBirds, Home of the 63% Scale Hellcat replica kitplane project.

LiteFighter One: A ScaleBirds Story

Hey there everyone!  Sorry its been so long.  I just finished the update for the RFA magazine and sent that off - I wont copy that, just might hit some of the info.  

We painted the frame in primer and made some of the internal components.  We are back at the sheet metal work again - making fuselage skins and clamping them in place with clecos.  Cant rivet yet - need to install some stuff and also paint the inside of the skins first. Although we did rivet in the inter-bulkhead stiffeners on the aft fuselage skins.  That really worked well and was easy to do.  We made the firewall bulkhead and capped the turtledeck skins - quite the ordeal with that!  Ruined several pieces until we figured out the strap method to bend them and hold them in place to drill and cleco.  In the midst of fabricating the forward skins right now.

Trying to work a little every night and get back up to full steam on the project.  We had a lot of distractions in September and it is tough to get over the inertia all over again.  The project seems to ebb and flow that way.  Get going real great then bam slow down for a holiday or an event, then arrgh!  Everyone becomes busy doing other stuff for a while and then we have to push on it  till it starts going again.  Momentum!!  Gotta keep it!

We are completing the engineering on the wing and the CAD models for the tail.  We are planning to start the tail feathers next in hopefully a couple weeks.  I want them and the fuselage looking great by Christmas - that would be a fantastic gift!  I think it is realistic but a challenge.

After Oshkosh, I decided to swap the engine out on my Fisher Avenger V for the Scarlett 5Si we have waiting on the Hellcat.  Having the Avenger flying with the Verner will be a great way to get operational experience with the engines.  It will be temporary but a good way to get going.  For this swap, I designed and fabricated a new engine mount and the fixture to hold it all in place for welding.  It came out great and I just painted it today - Blue!  One of the trim colors of the plane.  I also designed an oil tank and have a shop fabricating it out of aluminum.  We will sell them to Verner owners as a great solution for the larger 5 and 7 cylinder engines.  The 3 cylinder and small 5 need a smaller tank.  We can do that too when it becomes an issue.  I also bought the WarpDrive three blade prop that will go on the Hellcat to power the Avenger.  It will be interesting to have the test data from both aircraft of this engine and prop combo.   

Well, back to work!  Gotta keep the Mo!

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