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Ultra-realistic airplane model

1/12 scale model built from the ground up
  [vote for,

This is a model that would require extensive video-based tutorials and the patience to actually watch them all. You will assemble every piece of the plane. The landing gear, hydraulic systems, jackscrew and ballscrew assemblies, push-pull rods for flight controls and flight control actuators. Radios, avionics, instrument clusters, etc. Wiring and everything else you need is included. True to reality, all ducting and floor panels are constructed of composite materials (kevlar, carbon fiber, JD Lincoln, and/or fiberglass. depending on the airframe), which you have to construct.

The duct and floor panel kit includes precut kevlar/fiberglass sheets (uncured, cloth form preimpregnated with the appropriate resins), aluminum permanent molds for some duct parts, and a plaster kit for constructing plaster molds which are busted out of the duct when it comes out of the Easy Bake-style miniature curing oven. Due to the thickness of the materials used, the amount of plies of each duct part would be accordingly reduced so it all fits properly. Also includes a miniature bandsaw for trimming the ends off the ducts when needed. Everything you need for entire production process. The only parts that are premade are the wheels , tires, and metal fuselage components (skin panels, longerons, stringers, etc.) which you have to assemble into a complete fuselage.

This is a model for the truly diehard model-makers, the most OCD of them out there.

21 Quest, Jan 26 2014

5 years, and not even matching materials. http://www.wired.co...n/2014/01/obsessed/
[swimswim, Jan 26 2014]

Some simpler things to model - not 747 http://home.iwichit...stfly2013-10-Bx.htm
Start simple; work up to crazy complex and OCD [popbottle, Jan 26 2014]


       Given that many fiberglass parts are less than 12 ply, and those that are depends on multiple plies for any sort of strength, they won't scale with any commercially available fiber.

       Also, is this supposed to be a functional model? If so a lot of other things won't scale.
MechE, Jan 26 2014

       One issue I see is that not everything scales down that easily. The other issue is that it seems like a lot of work for a model plane.

       Why not just build it 1/1 scale?
DIYMatt, Jan 26 2014

       I had the same idea about semi tractors when I took a mechanics course to delay student loan repayments. I wanted a scaled down tractor model that I could assemble like the real thing.

       Now that I've had some experience working on the trucks, although I've gladly left that behind for now, I see that there are some procedures that really don't scale down well like dropping a transmission which is really all about the size and weight of the object. But I bun the idea because I had the idea before.
rcarty, Jan 26 2014

       True, a lot of the ducting only consists of 2-3 plies. Carbon fiber reinforcement buildups are typically 4 plies. I don't have much experience with JD Lincoln, but Kevlar, fiberglass, and carbon fiber can be stretched quite a bit, which thins the ply considerably. Stretch it thin enough, and use fewer-than-spec plies, and I think you could get the scale right. It might not be functional (ie, won't hold up to the kind of stress experienced in a fully pressurized aircraft) but I imagine the size could be achieved. Same goes with the wiring, you're not going to be able to duplicate every single wire in a modern aircraft at that scale, but for a model you could get functional flight controls and lights at least.
21 Quest, Jan 26 2014

       A "kit" is a "kit" such that the scale doesn't matter to the definition of "kit". So, since build-it-yourself full-size airplane kits do exist, this Idea probably qualifies as "baked".
Vernon, Jan 26 2014

       I like the idea of such a model for several reasons. First of all, it's surprisingly fun to build an ECS duct. Precured Kevlar and fiberglass plies are neat to work with. I would probably recommend against JD Lincoln material in such a model because it uses a formaldehyde resin which is just plain unpleasant to be around when you peel the backing off, and I'm pretty sure they don't use it on all planes. But fiberglass and Kevlar? Loads of fun there. Another reason is simple cost appreciation. I think a lot of folks would be amazed if they knew how labor intensive aircraft manufacturing can be. The multimillion dollar pricetag really starts to make sense when you see what's involved in making the damn things.

       And Vernon, I highly doubt there are any build-it-yourself airplane kits where you have to make the composite components (laying up the plies, shrink-taping and precuring it in an oven to activate the shrink- tape and add compression, vacuum bagging it, curing it in a hotter oven, debagging the part after it's cured, etc.) yourself.
21 Quest, Jan 26 2014

       //won't hold up to the kind of stress experienced in a fully pressurized aircraft//

       The cube/square law works strongly in your favour, and would easily offset weakness caused by fewer plys etc. If everything could be scaled perfectly, a 1/12 scale model would be proportionally 12 times as strong as the original, so you have a lot of leeway.
spidermother, Jan 26 2014

       Well that's encouraging. Another cool thing about the kit is that once you buy the initial kit, you've got all the molds and tools you need to keep on building more of them if you want. You could just order new kits of precured materials and make the plaster for the breakaway molds yourself. If you want to build different model airframes, you could just buy expansion kits to add to your mold collection.

       By the way... I found this quite interesting... when making these ducts. We use Mylar tape, Teflon tape, nonperforated FEP (Flourinated Ethylene Propylene) tape, perforated FEP tape, shrink tape, and masking tape... not a single application of duct tape.
21 Quest, Jan 26 2014

       How many hours do you expect the assembly of this model to take? That's a selling point on high-end kits, you know.

       The composition and tone of this post suggest to me that the author is currently unemployed and intimidated by the unexpected burden of so much spare time, leading to days spent wearing the same pair of sweatpants, staring out of windows and wistfully reminiscing about his Air Force days.
Alterother, Jan 27 2014

       Of course the real model makers start with bauxite, and go from there.

       None of this namby-pamby premade fiberglass, you get sand and clay, and instructions on how to build your own 1/12 scale furnace and fiber extrusion machine.
MechE, Jan 27 2014

       And some titanium rod to forge into tiny fasteners.
bhumphrys, Jan 27 2014

       For the real anorak, start with reindeer antler, knapped flints and birch bark, and build your own civilization.

       Of course, it's not an actual anorak: more of an animal-skin parka.

       Interesting concept, though. Given a 'wild' environment, how many technologically-educated humans would be needed to rebuild a society to to your current (admittedly primitive) level, and how long would it take ?
8th of 7, Jan 27 2014

       I'm putting my money on 2,500 PhDs, engineers, and tradespersons going from 1/12th scale flint and bone to 1/12th scale LHC in 43 years, prep time not included (in order to make this a repeatable experiment with some degee of control, the raw materials to be mined and harvested must be located and assayed before the project begins). Off- scale concessions to functionality will be made when absolutely necessary.
Alterother, Jan 27 2014

not_morrison_rm, Jan 27 2014

       The big thing isn't the number of educated people you need. It's the number of farmers you need.

       Building the tech to build the tech isn't that difficult, but it means you've got to have a certain fraction of your population producing food to support those who are working on the tech. Early on this fraction is very large, since with no tech, the surplus an individual farmer can produce is very small.

       Thus the number also partly depends on the environment. Are we supposing post cataclysmic earth, time travel back to primitive times, or travel back to prehistoric times? If the former, and modern high yield, disease resistant crops can be salvaged, a little bit of early investment in moldboard plows and horse collars can probably keep your tech people alive without to much difficulty.

       If the middle, try the same basic technologies, but the more primitive crops and animals are going to reduce your output. Probably best if you give up on saving advanced physics, and things like neurosurgery. If you manage to keep math, Einsteinien physics and the germ theory of disease, you'll recover the rest easily enough.

       If the final, it's going to be much harder, since you'll have to isolate your seeds and domesticate your stock first. You're also looking at years of planting before you have enough crops to grow for food instead of just for next year's planting. That means the number of tech people you can support is going to be very low, and essentially none during planting and harvest. You're probably best off trying to maintain a high tech skill set or two, and make whatever language your reference materials are written in the official one, in hopes that your descendants are going to be able to figure things out down the road.

       Beyond that fact, you'd better hope that your selection of skilled/educated personnel is pretty well distributed. I know how to design a lot of mechanical things, and I actually know my way around glass blowing, and a forge, as well as some primitive wood working techniques. Ditto some basic chemistry. On the other hand, I've only got a so/so concept of how to set up a iron furnace, let alone large scale steel production, and no clue how to find iron ore or coal in the wild. My knowledge of steam engines is 100% theoretical, and only slightly better for water wheels. I know very well how to select a specific steel or other material for a given use, but not how to find or properly mix the correct additives to produce said steel. As to glass, I know you start with pure sand and lime, but not what the rest of the additives are, nor how to find them or pre-process them. I might be able to put together a brick/stone forge, but we'd better have a leather worker to produce bellows, and I've got no clue how to produce the cement for a good glass blowers crucible.
MechE, Jan 27 2014


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