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Ziroli F6F Hellcat Build
mecallahan
#1 Posted : Sunday, March 26, 2017 3:49:19 AM(UTC)

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On December 9th, 2016 I started a new build. The subject is a Ziroli F6F Hellcat.

The Hellcat was designed and built by the Grumman Aircraft Company of Beathpage
New York as a replacement for the Grumman F4F Wildcat. The Hellcat was a all
metal, mid-wing, monoplane fighter with a retractable landing gear and folding
wings. It was powered by a Wright R2800 engine rated at 2,000 horsepower, this
was the same engine that equipped the Corsair and P-47 Thunderbolt.

The Hellcat was armed with six .50 caliber browning machine guns mounted in the
wings. It was also capable of carrying under wing stores, such as bombs, rockets
and external fuel tanks.

My model will represent a F6F-3 Hellcat flown by US Navy ace Alex Vraciu of East
Chicago, Indiana.
mecallahan attached the following image(s):
m_220px-Vraciu_June_19_1944_downed_six.jpg
m_2e0a38f5f92f8020f5106a800b51dd1b.jpg
mecallahan
#2 Posted : Sunday, March 26, 2017 8:54:25 AM(UTC)

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The model will be built from Ziroli plans. The kit was bought from National Balsa.
Robart rotating retracts and tail wheel. Engine will be a DLE 85cc gas. Cowling
and plastic parts from Ziroli. Finish will be fiberglass and paint. Markings from
Kirby Kustom Graphics. Futaba radio and Hitec servos.

The specs from the Ziroli plans are, Wingspan 95 inches, Length 75 inches, wing area
1700 square inches with a finished weight between 32 and 42 pounds.

Construction is of standard model materials, balsa, aircraft ply and lite-ply.

Mike
mecallahan
#3 Posted : Sunday, March 26, 2017 9:04:50 AM(UTC)

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Construction began on December 9th. It started in the usual Ziroli way with the
building of a crutch for the fuselage. It will be built around this crutch.

I strayed from the Ziroli plan some by cutting my fuselage formers in half, making
a top and bottom half. This allows me to build the top half and sheet it with it
still pinned to the board. This (to my way of thinking)reduces the chance of
building a twist into the fuselage.

I also built the horizontal stab and elevators so that they would be ready when
I got to the point of running the push rod guides.
mecallahan attached the following image(s):
m_DSCF1231.jpg
m_DSCF1232.jpg
mecallahan
#4 Posted : Sunday, March 26, 2017 9:08:54 AM(UTC)

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The fuselage formers and stab supports them the stringers are added. The stab is
just there to see what its going to look like.
mecallahan attached the following image(s):
m_DSCF1233.jpg
m_DSCF1234.jpg
m_DSCF1238.jpg
mecallahan
#5 Posted : Sunday, March 26, 2017 9:14:48 AM(UTC)

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The fuselage sheeting begins. This part took a while. I cut the sheeting into small
strips to make going around the curves easier.
mecallahan attached the following image(s):
m_DSCF1242.jpg
m_DSCF1243.jpg
m_DSCF1244.jpg
m_DSCF1245.jpg
mecallahan
#6 Posted : Sunday, March 26, 2017 9:20:07 AM(UTC)

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once I had enough of the fuselage sheeting in place I unpinned the fuselage
from the board and flipped it over and added the wing saddle, motor box, bottom
half fuselage formers and stringers.
mecallahan attached the following image(s):
m_DSCF1246.jpg
m_DSCF1247.jpg
m_DSCF1252.jpg
m_DSCF1256.jpg
m_DSCF1263.jpg
mecallahan
#7 Posted : Sunday, March 26, 2017 9:23:12 AM(UTC)

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Fuselage bottom continued.

mecallahan attached the following image(s):
m_DSCF1264.jpg
m_DSCF1266.jpg
m_DSCF1267.jpg
m_DSCF1269.jpg
m_DSCF1270.jpg
mecallahan
#8 Posted : Saturday, August 18, 2018 5:40:35 AM(UTC)

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The Hellcat work is suspended until the Corsair is finished.
Airplane ADD (attention deficit disorder) strikes again.

Mike
mecallahan
#9 Posted : Thursday, November 22, 2018 7:59:55 PM(UTC)

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I've been working on the Hellcat. The main landing gear has been mounted
to check the fit of the gear in the rails and then removed. I have also
been working on mounting the center section to the fuselage. No holes have
been drilled yet, just working on getting the center section to sit flat in
the wing saddle. I have also been working on the outer wing panels. Going
to need them to check the fit of the wing tubes and how well they match the
outer wing ribs on the center section.
mecallahan attached the following image(s):
leftouter.jpg
mecallahan
#10 Posted : Sunday, November 25, 2018 4:57:20 AM(UTC)

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Still working on the right outer wing panel. All of the top side spars and
false trailing edge ribs have been installed along with the sheer webbing
on the main spar. Both sides of the spar, all the way to the wing tip.
mecallahan attached the following image(s):
m_20181124_205350.jpg
mecallahan
#11 Posted : Sunday, November 25, 2018 5:28:48 PM(UTC)

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More work on the wing.
mecallahan attached the following image(s):
m_20181125_214340.jpg
mecallahan
#12 Posted : Monday, December 03, 2018 5:34:50 AM(UTC)

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So the Hellcat build goes on, and on, and on. I've been working on
the center section flaps and the outer wing panels. I've got my wheels
canopy, tail cone and all the stuff to hook up the retracts. Soon I'll
be able to close up the sheeting on the wing center section. The
pictures are the left center flap dry fitted to the center section of the
wing and the right outer panel fitted to the center section.

mecallahan attached the following image(s):
m_20181203_062720.jpg
m_20181203_062732.jpg
mecallahan
#13 Posted : Sunday, December 16, 2018 6:11:34 PM(UTC)

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The wing center section is now bolted to the fuselage with 1/4-20 x 5
bolts. The landing gear has been installed, and the Hellcat is up on
her mains!
mecallahan attached the following image(s):
m_20181216_125438(1).jpg
mecallahan
#14 Posted : Saturday, December 22, 2018 4:25:20 PM(UTC)

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Saturday before Christmas 2018. Been working a little on the Hellcat. I started
vacation this past Thursday and go back on Jan 7 2019. A nice break where I hope
to get quite a bit done.

The last couple of days s I have been working on the vertical stab and rudder.
There were no shaped parts for the tip of the rudder or stab so you are pretty
much on your own.

What I did was trace the pattern of the tip parts onto wax paper and transferred
it to the wood blocks, then cut the general shape out on my scroll saw. Using a
razor plane and sanding block I got it down to a reasonable shape (I think they
look pretty good considering).

I just could not resist taking a picture with the stab and rudder in place.

If I don't post any more update between now and Christmas; A Merry Christmas
to all and a Happy New Year with lots of flying.

Mike
mecallahan attached the following image(s):
m_20181222_204618.jpg
mecallahan
#15 Posted : Tuesday, December 25, 2018 6:20:39 PM(UTC)

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Merry Christmas everyone! So between all the feasting and merry making
I found some time to work on the Hellcat center section flaps. It was
a bit of a chore to get a good fit between the flap section and the
wing trailing edge. Lots of sanding later I had a good interference
free fit. Next up, the outer flap sections and the ailerons.

mecallahan attached the following image(s):
m_20181225_171951.jpg
mecallahan
#16 Posted : Saturday, January 05, 2019 12:12:25 PM(UTC)

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Well my vacation is about over. Monday I go back to work (blech!)

I've worked on the Hellcat every day, at least four hours a day since
I've been off.

The original goal was to have her up on her wheels by the end of my
vacation. I blew thru that one before the vacation even started so
I needed a new goal. With some much stuff left to do on the plane
finding some task was not hard.

I wound up picking two. Getting the horizontal and vertical stabs glued
on and getting the belly pan glued on and sheeted. I also sanded and filled
the fuselage, cleaned up the center section flaps, built the ailerons
fitted up the locking bolts that keep the center section and outer wing
panels from getting away.

The next thing is to sheet around where the vertical fin meets the fuselage
and the scale exhaust ports at the front of the plane. The pictures
I'm going to attach show the belly pan and the stabs.

Happy New Year
mecallahan attached the following image(s):
m_DSCF1393.jpg
m_DSCF1396.jpg
m_DSCF1399.jpg
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