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Assembly starts with one of the biggest units of the aircraft, the center section of the fuselage. That is followed by the wings, which are put together in an assembly aid to prevent warping of the aluminum. The horizontal stabilizer gave us some trouble at first—we noticed a slight distortion, which had to be corrected by drilling out every single rivet. By the time we started assembling the rest of the fuselage, we’d learned our lesson. We designed a gimble made out of stainless steel inside of which the fuse is suspended, making warping virtually impossible. As an added bonus, the gigantic fuselage can now be moved around much more easily.
People always want to know why we made our Beaver so big. Well, for one, it’ s tremendous fun and nothing is cooler. But there are more reasons. One of them is the diameter of the aluminum rivets (more than 12,000 of them!) we use to assemble the aircraft. For our purposes we chose the smallest rivets available with a diameter of 4.5 mm. The rivets of the original Beaver measure 6 mm, which in 40% scale would have required a 2.4 mm rivet. In order to make the slightly larger size of our rivets look just right we employed a small trick: the rivets on the model Beaver are just a bit farther apart than on the original aircraft. We can assure you, however, that you won’t be able to see this with your bare eyes and that the riveted surfaces on the completed aircraft look absolutely perfect.
Another reason for the large size is the thickness of the aluminum sheets—a mere 0.3 mm! With a smaller aircraft we would’ve had to go to 0.1 mm. That, however, would have been problematic since our laser and water jet cutting machines can’t handle aluminum sheets that thin.
Lastly, we didn’t just want to build a model aircraft that looked like the original Beaver—we also wanted it to behave like the original Beaver in the air. The inertia of our model is such that once the plane is airborne it is virtually impossible to tell the difference between the ‘small’ one and the ‘big’ one.


Wednesday, June 28 2017 © 2009 Arns Multimedia / CHILI con MEDIA