Prototype Build – Volume 1 Part 4: We have a fuselage!

It’s been a week of hard work but I am amazed at how well everything has come together. I set out to design something that could give the pleasure of building a life size model of the Spitfire Mk.IX, as one would a small scale model plane out of a kit. I am happy to say that that was exactly the experience!

A lot of the time spent was simply waiting for the epoxy glue to harden, which could take anywhere between 12 and 18 hours. If I had unlimited workspace I could have done a lot more things in parallel and things would have gone even faster still. However I want the prototype to be built in a home workshop in order to experience the same potential problems customers may have.

The parts fit together beautifully. It was a delight to be able to simply drop the screws in place for the instrument panel in order to set the distances correctly for the panel supports. The translation from the 3D Cad model to the cutting patterns has gone extremely well. I am preparing assembly drawings as I proceed, picking up on pertinent points to be noted in the Build Manual. So hopefully that will be nearly ready for publication when the prototype build has been completed.

We have captured the weeks build on a time lapse camera and has resulted 1,5 minutes of video 🙂 You can check it out here:

Week 1 of the build caught on camera

The intercostals remain to be placed which I will do over the weekend, except for Frame 9 which will only be placed once the rudder pedals are positioned. Other than the seat, the door frame and the canopy supports that just about concludes the wood part of the build. Now we will focus on getting the rest of the numbering and checking done (900 to go out of a total of 2000 odd components!).

And then we start preparing the platework cutting and bending patterns. In the meantime we can make aeroplane noises while sitting in the cockpit!

7 thoughts on “Prototype Build – Volume 1 Part 4: We have a fuselage!”

    1. Hi, I have built one Spitfire for display about ten years ago. Not in the garden, but it was on display at a museum. It’s now been withdrawn and is being rebuilt. My second Spitfire replica is the one I am using the Heritage Sim templates and parts for. It saves a lot of work having these parts designed for you for that section anyway. Although with the strange times we are in, I have not been able to get the templates for the frames made from the CAD drawings.
      Non- essential business. Fortunately with making a full size Spitfire there is plenty to do and so I have made my own frames for those sections, wings etc. Until things improve in 2021. Good luck with your project.
      P.s. if you have it in your garden, make sure it’s well anchored and use a fibreglass covering as otherwise it’s a constant repair project.

        1. Hi, No I don’t have either. I occasionally post the odd photo when I have made something on Facebook for either the MkV, or MkXVI, but apart from that very little in that regard.

      1. Thanks for your comments and well noted advice! I apologies for the late reply but lots seem to be going on and the frustrations and worries of Corvid has seemed to take over all priorities! It is still my ambition to fulfill my dreams of a semi static replacer, albeit with an engine and prop for the ultimate effect
        Kind regards
        Tucker

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