Model: F-14 Tomcat from Freewing Wingspan: 1.55m Length: 1.50m Scale: 1/13 Engine: 2x EDF 80mm Take-off weight: 6Kg Accu: 6S Lipo Pilot: Hans Weishaupt Event: Ragow Germany I am going to start a thread on my latest project. The idea here is to give fellow modelers a view of how I am building this aircraft with the hopes it will help some fellow modelers on construction techniques I am using here. Because of the complexity of this construction and design, I felt it would be appreciated. It is going to get very involved.

The F-14 is quite a advanced model to be scratch building. I have always said: "The two most difficult model aircraft to build are the F-4 and the F-14." I know there are a lot of models that are difficult to build, but these are certainly two of them.

I have been building models for almost 60 years now and most of them are scratch build. I had a business, "Custom R/C Aircraft" and manufactured a complete line of scale RC duct fan jets. Here is a link to the site a very good friend, "Paul Marsh" has created that shows a lot of the stuff I have done through the years. If you click around on the photos, it will take you to the aircraft and otherYa know, I think through the years I have just about built everything one can think of. All sorts of scale aircraft, pattern, racers, sport, etc. etc. So I am always having to come up with something new to get my attention.

I though the F-14 would give me a whole new challenge.

When deciding on a aircraft to build, the research begins. One has to decide what size they are interested in. What items are available that will be needed to build it. What other F-14's built by others are out there and how are they built. Also one has to download a complete collection of F-14 photos, walk-a-round photos, 3-views, and just about everything one can find on the F-14.

Another thing a modeler has to do is determine what he is going to use this aircraft for. True scale for competition will require different construction than if you are just building this aircraft for your own pleasure to fly at your club field. I don't do competition anymore, been there, done that. The object here is to just make it the best flying and most scale F-14 I can.

I found a few F-14's available. There is one that is about the size of your house and is actually a ARF. Complete composite model and will cost about $20,000.00 to complete. (This is not me, I do not consider a 20 grand ARF a model airplane) Another is a couple little foamies made in China. It is shown on many of these China sites and I will not list the names of them here. I refer to them all as "Out of Stock" and the first time you need a part to keep flying it, "Not Available". And foam is not me either.

Another company makes two different size F-14's. One as a kit and one as a short kit. Both are smaller than I am interested in and I would not deal with this company anyway. I loved their way of just having the mains retract and just sticking out the side of the fuselage. (No Class)

Hobby Barn sells a set of plans ($65.00) and also a short kit from these plans. ($330.00)

There are also plans for different sizes on E-bay.

I decided to go the size of Hobby Barns F-14. I want to use 90mm fans and I fell this is the right size for them.

Now I do not believe in re-inventing the wheel. If there is a short kit the size I want and it cost $65.00 for the plans to get the templates of the formers and ribs, the cost of the wood and time to cut all these formers and ribs, not cost or time efficient.

I was able to get PDF files of the plans and I purchased the short kit from a laser design service I am not going to mention here.

So here I go.

The first thing I do is build the basic construction of the wings. I know these are going to be needed for fitting and sizing when building the fuselage.

I study the plans on how they are being built. I find that the construction for the pivot area of the wings is not to my liking and decide to change that to my own design. Rather than building that area up with a multitude of ply lamentations, I decide to extend the top and bottom ply mounts out to the third set of ribs with 1/4" hard ply.

The person who built this F-14 back in 1988 used only the stabulators as elevons to control the aircraft. Although I am sure this will work at speed, I feel I want better aileron control for slow speed and especially landings. I have decided to use the outer section of flaps for ailerons. Can't use the whole units because of them folding into the fuselage when the wings retract. (The actual F-14 does not have ailerons, it has wing spoilers that come out of the top of the wings.)

All the wing ribs had a round section cut out of the ribs in the area of the flaps, making these ribs very fragile and difficult to keep lined up. I glued the section from the scrap ply that fit this are in place. I never have figured out why these half round cutouts are there in the first place.






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