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Handley Page O/400

O400 Finished

A Handley Page 0/400 of No1 Communication Squadron D8326 Based at RAF Hendon.

Lots of time spent on research. It was difficult to find really good photos of any 0/400 that are good enough. 

I do have very good three view drawing so will rely on these in conjunction with the photos.

Unusual colour scheme. All white except for the engines and strutery.

Free Flight at 1/24th scale, which will give the model a span of 50" in old money. It will be powered by twin electric brushless motors driving 5x3 three blade props. Knight and Pridham flight profiler, 2 x 10amp ESCs and a 300mahr li-po battery.

Fus 3-4 reduced.jpg
Fus bracing 1 reduced.jpg

Basic box fuselage with 3/32nd spruce longerons. Formers are laminated ply balsa. Lower wing spars are doubled up spruce to support the wings, engines and U/C. The interior of the gunners position was fitted while I had access. Detail photo shows the thread bracing to keep the fuselage stiff. I do not use diagonal bracing as these break out in a heavy landing and jangle about in the rear.


The upper central cabane was fitted and braced. Top wing was then added. A lot of time was spent making sure that this fitting was very accurate. Extensive use of the ubiquitous cereal packet jig was used to line up the strutery and u/c. The wheels are turned from laminated balsa with ply outers. The u/c is sprung using a torsion bar along the mainspar. Lots of wire bending and soldering here.

Engine cowlings.jpg
engine rear fitted.jpg

Forward engine cowlings are boxes of balsa covered with 1/64th ply and lithoplate. Radiator slats, 1/64th ply. These are removable to allow the mounting of the motors.

Rear cowlings are vacuum formed from acetate sheet. This was quite a long job but the static appearance, after the paint job, of sheet metal, was well worth it.

Upper wings.jpg
Lower wings.jpg

Upper and lower wings are a traditional build having spruce spars, 200 balsa ribs and 200 riblets. A good friend kindly CAD drew them for me and I had them laser cut.

Wing tips are 1/16 aluminium tubes wrapped around 1/32nd balsa.

The only deviation is the use of carbon tube leading and trailing edges for strength and to help prevent wrapping.

tail surfaces.jpg
Tail surfaces rear.jpg

Tailplane, fin and rudder structures are 1/32nd balsa sandwich. 20swg wire holds top and bottom together. I have had a lot of flights with this model and found that the elevators are very vulnerable in a landing if the tail swings round and have replaced them with solid laminated balsa ones carefully sculpted to give impression of fabric covering. 

Finished airframe front reduced.jpg

Hey Presto

Covered reduced.jpg

Silk over Jap tissue covering. Note that the rear and front gunners position, as well as the cockpit and hatch for the electrics are left covered so that interior fittings are protected from the spray paint. 

Finished u.c..jpg
O400 Finished

White paint is Tamiya spray cans. Took quite a lot of paint to get a dense enough coating to be realistic. Black cowling, struts and the markings and registration are Humbrol enamel. A final blow over with Tamiya clear gloss to get the right surface texture.

Finished front reduced.jpg

Fitted the motors and the electrics in the hatch behind the pilots.

Added the remainder of the scale detail, rigging, control cables, air pumps, cockpit details, exhaust pipes, scale props and last but not least the "drivers". More lead was needed to get the C.G. in the right place.

Model weighs in at 1 Kilo, flight ready.

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