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747 Dreamlifter

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  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
747 Dreamlifter
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, April 22, 2017 9:34 AM

My latest aircraft project is to do a Boeing Dreamlifter.  I picked up one of those Iron Maiden kits, at a discount because of the missing decals.  I have measured, then cutaway the top fuselage where the new cargo area will go.  That cargo area will be a carved wood assembly

 

Here is what it hopefully will look like when done.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November, 2003
  • From: Virginia
Posted by Mike F6F on Saturday, April 22, 2017 10:43 AM

Interesting project Don.

What lead you to plan replacing the cargo area with wood?

Curious.

Mike

 

"Grumman on a Navy Airplane is like Sterling on Silver."

  • Member since
    April, 2016
  • From: Parsons Kansas
Posted by Hodakamax on Saturday, April 22, 2017 12:33 PM

My, you are ambitious Don! That looks to be an interesting project. I did inspect the subject and shot a few pictures. An interesting point is where all of this is fastened together with some serious plates and fasteners. I'll try to see if find some more detail pix on that.

Anyway, cool project, keep us posted! I'll be watching.

Max  

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Saturday, April 22, 2017 1:09 PM

Hmmm , Mike F6F;

 I think I would have to ask the same thing .  T.B.

  • Member since
    April, 2016
  • From: Parsons Kansas
Posted by Hodakamax on Sunday, April 23, 2017 7:56 AM

I think I understand what Don is going to do. This cylinderic cargo area is going to be manufactured on a lathe and the material is irrelevant. Clever thinking Don!  Smile

Max

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, April 23, 2017 11:28 AM

Nope-can't do the cargo compartment on a lathe- it is not round.  It is sort of lightbulb shaped in section.

However, my early modeling experiences with non-flying scale models were with what we called solid models.  These were before plastic kits, and the kits were wood, sawn to profile, and in better kits, also to planform (top view).  The builder had to carve the cross section. I did enough back then that I am a pretty proficient carver.

In plastic I could cut formers and skin most of that area with styrene sheet, but the front and rear of the cargo container is made up of compound curves, which are hard to make in plastic without carving a mold and vacuforming, or laying up fiberglas on a mold.  Since I would have to carve molds anyway, to me it is just easier to carve the whole thing, so it will be heavy!  But there a lot of landing gears to support it!

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    April, 2016
  • From: Parsons Kansas
Posted by Hodakamax on Sunday, April 23, 2017 12:21 PM

OK, I'll buy that. It will still be clever!

Max

  • Member since
    December, 2002
Posted by 7474 on Sunday, April 23, 2017 4:22 PM
A have a few friends at Atlas Air and some of them have flown the Dreamlifter, I might be able to ask them something if you need it. Good luck, I'd like to do this project one day.
  • Member since
    January, 2003
  • From: Washington State
Posted by leemitcheltree on Sunday, April 23, 2017 6:33 PM

Those things are a bit of a beast.  I get to see them almost every day.  Rumor has it that our ex President and CEO of BCA, Ray Connor, was at a function honoring Joe Sutter (the father of the 747...RIP Mr. Sutter) for his contributions, and through the windows behind, a Dreamlifter (LCF) rolled past.....everyone looked....and Ray turned to Joe and said..."Joe - I'm so sorry for what we did to your 747".
They're pretty amazing.  It's incredible to see an entire 787 42/44/46 section, or a set of 787 wings being pulled out of the back of an LCF (the whole tail swings to port).....then the slow tow into the factory.  Wicked.

Cheers, LeeTree Remember, Safety Fast!!!
  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, April 24, 2017 8:25 AM

Hodakamax

My, you are ambitious Don! That looks to be an interesting project. I did inspect the subject and shot a few pictures. An interesting point is where all of this is fastened together with some serious plates and fasteners. I'll try to see if find some more detail pix on that.

Anyway, cool project, keep us posted! I'll be watching.

Max  

 

Thanks.  Yes, a couple of closeups of those areas would be great!  The photos I have only show things like that on the front and bottom.  Are there any on the tail section?

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    April, 2016
  • From: Parsons Kansas
Posted by Hodakamax on Monday, April 24, 2017 10:01 AM

My shots were not as good as these. The braces I was referring to are behind the cockpit door. They may not be relevant at your scale but were impressive when you walked up to it!

Being from Kansas, where the Dreamlifters operate, I followed the story a while back about a Dreamlifter landing at the wrong Wichita airport at night. Just a mistake but the craft was so heavy it caused severe runway damage and some real expensive repairs to the paving. That thing is a whopper! Confused

Max

  • Member since
    December, 2002
Posted by 7474 on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 5:32 PM
My buddies have close ups, can get specific close ups. Offering help if you want it, if not that's cool too
  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 8:09 AM

Don Stauffer

Nope-can't do the cargo compartment on a lathe- it is not round.  It is sort of lightbulb shaped in section.

However, my early modeling experiences with non-flying scale models were with what we called solid models.  These were before plastic kits, and the kits were wood, sawn to profile, and in better kits, also to planform (top view).  The builder had to carve the cross section. I did enough back then that I am a pretty proficient carver.

In plastic I could cut formers and skin most of that area with styrene sheet, but the front and rear of the cargo container is made up of compound curves, which are hard to make in plastic without carving a mold and vacuforming, or laying up fiberglas on a mold.  Since I would have to carve molds anyway, to me it is just easier to carve the whole thing, so it will be heavy!  But there a lot of landing gears to support it!

 

 

 Like building a solid hull ship model by lifiting the contours from a plan onto the block of wood, then shaping the wood to meet the contour.Big Smile  Do you have any plans to get the contours?  Or is it all guess work?  Pretty interesting subject Don.  

        

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 9:22 AM

scottrc

 

 
Don Stauffer

Nope-can't do the cargo compartment on a lathe- it is not round.  It is sort of lightbulb shaped in section.

However, my early modeling experiences with non-flying scale models were with what we called solid models.  These were before plastic kits, and the kits were wood, sawn to profile, and in better kits, also to planform (top view).  The builder had to carve the cross section. I did enough back then that I am a pretty proficient carver.

In plastic I could cut formers and skin most of that area with styrene sheet, but the front and rear of the cargo container is made up of compound curves, which are hard to make in plastic without carving a mold and vacuforming, or laying up fiberglas on a mold.  Since I would have to carve molds anyway, to me it is just easier to carve the whole thing, so it will be heavy!  But there a lot of landing gears to support it!

 

 

 

 

 Like building a solid hull ship model by lifiting the contours from a plan onto the block of wood, then shaping the wood to meet the contour.Big Smile  Do you have any plans to get the contours?  Or is it all guess work?  Pretty interesting subject Don.  

 

 

I managed to find a drawing of the profile view.  Rather than scale to actual aircraft, and again back to 1:144, I just scaled that drawing to 1:144, varified against kit overall length.  Found a good nose-on photo for the cross-section.  Did not need planform- should be pretty much same as kit except for slightly greater width in cargo area.  Yep, I do a lot of scratch ship models, and cargo area is simpler than most ships.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Thursday, April 27, 2017 7:27 AM

Don Stauffer

 

 
scottrc

 

 
Don Stauffer

Nope-can't do the cargo compartment on a lathe- it is not round.  It is sort of lightbulb shaped in section.

However, my early modeling experiences with non-flying scale models were with what we called solid models.  These were before plastic kits, and the kits were wood, sawn to profile, and in better kits, also to planform (top view).  The builder had to carve the cross section. I did enough back then that I am a pretty proficient carver.

In plastic I could cut formers and skin most of that area with styrene sheet, but the front and rear of the cargo container is made up of compound curves, which are hard to make in plastic without carving a mold and vacuforming, or laying up fiberglas on a mold.  Since I would have to carve molds anyway, to me it is just easier to carve the whole thing, so it will be heavy!  But there a lot of landing gears to support it!

 

 

 

 

 Like building a solid hull ship model by lifiting the contours from a plan onto the block of wood, then shaping the wood to meet the contour.Big Smile  Do you have any plans to get the contours?  Or is it all guess work?  Pretty interesting subject Don.  

 

 

 

 

I managed to find a drawing of the profile view.  Rather than scale to actual aircraft, and again back to 1:144, I just scaled that drawing to 1:144, varified against kit overall length.  Found a good nose-on photo for the cross-section.  Did not need planform- should be pretty much same as kit except for slightly greater width in cargo area.  Yep, I do a lot of scratch ship models, and cargo area is simpler than most ships.

 

 

I thought that was how you were going to do this.  Even looking and the photo Max posted, there are enough features to verify the scale, convert, and get your measurements.  Looks like fun.

        

  • Member since
    March, 2008
  • From: Charleston, SC
Posted by kg4kpg on Thursday, April 27, 2017 8:45 AM

Here's some pics when we had our last air show in 2008. Of course, with Boeing here now the Dreamlifters are in and out daily. Someome, like Zvezda, needs to kit this plane! One of these days I'll go over to see about a tour, if they do them.

Chris

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, April 27, 2017 8:53 AM

Thanks, Chris.  That is a great shot of the logo.  It will be a help when I do the decals.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, April 28, 2017 11:59 AM

Got the cargo bay blocks ready to carve.  I will not glue them in right away- I will do rough carving first, to be able to use bench plane for roughing, then glue the carved blocks into fuselage to do final carving and filling.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Saturday, April 29, 2017 7:56 AM

Don,  I say this again, its going to be fun to watch how you transfome this.  

        

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, May 02, 2017 9:46 AM

Question, guys!

I have been starting working on some of the smaller detail parts while resting from carving.  I have not found good enough photos of landing gear struts and parts to answer this question- what color are they?  In some photos they look white, in others maybe a pearlescent white, and in yet others sort of an aluminum color.  What color are these parts on a 747?

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    March, 2008
  • From: Charleston, SC
Posted by kg4kpg on Tuesday, May 02, 2017 12:10 PM

Looking at my picture from under the wing it looks as I remember, satin white paint but very dirty. 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Wednesday, May 03, 2017 9:39 AM

Got the rough carving of the cargo area done- ready to insert it into the fuselage for final fine carving, filling and sanding.

Here is a bad picture- sorry- overexposed (too close with flash) and out of focus.  Oh well.

 

The little plane is a new one I just bought.  I give more about it in the Tools forum.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    January, 2003
  • From: Washington State
Posted by leemitcheltree on Wednesday, May 03, 2017 4:51 PM

Bloody good start!  A balsa plug -  a good idea.  Easy to carve, and easy to "fix" if things don't look right.

They see a lot of use - not much down time - they're always on the go.  And the only pressurized section is the nose.  Everything behind the start of the "hump" is unpressurized.  I think they've even started carrying cargo below "B" deck.  LOTS of rules and regs for that....no flammables....not even a paper manifest. 

Cheers, LeeTree Remember, Safety Fast!!!
  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, May 04, 2017 9:25 AM

leemitcheltree

Bloody good start!  A balsa plug -  a good idea.  Easy to carve, and easy to "fix" if things don't look right.

 

Actually, it is Aspen.  I find balsa hard on knife edges- ruins blades faster.  Also not as homogenous as some other woods. Also balsa is harder to finish, very open grain.

I find basswood by far the best carving wood, but it is expensive.  I use Aspen or Poplar (quite cheap) if the carving will not be to complex,  without many compound curve areas.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    June, 2008
Posted by lewbud on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 7:20 PM

Very cool build Don.

Buddy- Those who say there are no stupid questions have never worked in customer service.

  • Member since
    August, 2015
  • From: the redlands Fl
Posted by crown r n7 on Friday, May 12, 2017 9:03 AM

Great prodject I seen one at MIA 

 

 

 

Nick

  • Member since
    March, 2015
Posted by Toshi on Saturday, May 13, 2017 3:28 AM

What a fantastic and ambitious project.  I'll definately be following along.

Toshi

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Trumpeter 1/32 Corsair with AM goodies

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