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Finally! After three and a half years this project came to fruition. On Friday 9th October the second version of John's DB Sports and Scale MK1 Spitfire had a successful flight. The following is his account of the project. 

First Version

The first version had its maiden flight on th 17th July 2013. The following video shows the awful conclusion!

It was a rookie pilot error. I fed in the power too quick, held in up elevator too long to avoid nosing over, but the tail did not lift, resulting in lifting off with not enough airpseed and tip stalling.

The plane was damaged in all the wrong places, so after some deliberation it was written off and a new kit was purchased! I obviously used the retracts and engine again which contribute to fifty percent of the cost.

 

phoca thumb l P1010376 phoca thumb l P1010564The first build commenced in January 2012, and was completed in August 2012.

 

 


It took a bit of time to get the engine running so that it was not over heating, which is why it wasn't until July 13 that the first model had its maiden flight.

Second Version

I started the build of the second model in September 2013, and it was completed in the middle of 2014. It was good to have a second go at building the model as I had learnt a lot from the first build. The only real modification I made was to split the cowl into an upper and lower half. The second aircraft turned out two pounds lighter. This time I had some taxi trials to get used to feeding in the power and getting the tail to lift. All went well and those watching thought I was going to take to the air!. 

Second Maiden Flight

So on Wednesday 15th July 2015, two years to the previous maiden flight exactly, the second MK1 Spitfire had its maiden flight. The aeroplane lifted off nicely, and only a little down trim was required. All was well and looking beautiful. Engine temperature was OK, but then after about five minutes of flight the engine cut out with no warning in just the wrong place, upwind. "Put it in the crops" shouted Mick. So I turned downwind and was going at quite a pace, turned to come back into wind and made a fairly tight turn which made all watching think it would tip stall. It didn't and I belly flopped the Spitfire into the forgiving broad bean crop. The only damage was a broken prop and undercarriage door. I got away with it knowing that I had an aircraft that flies well.

Success eventually

So after a new prop and minor repair the next three months were all about trying to find the cause of the engine cutting out. Eventually with some more cooling and modifying the carburretor air intake the engine seemed to run without getting too hot or cutting out. 

So on 9th October 2015 weather was perfect, and the Spitfire took to the air again. The engine behaved and so after about five minutes I lined up for a landing. The approach was good and I touched down but hadn't quite flaired out enough so the plane nosed over. Nothing serious, ready for another day! Very very satisfying.

Next will be to try some maneovres and landing with flaps.

The following pictures show the build of the first model which I thought might be interesting for those who like to build. None of this ARTF stuff here. There is something very satisfying about building an aeroplane to seeing it fly successfully.

The Story

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