Heinkel HE-177 Project

by Dean Fisk

The Heikel 177 is built from a 1/72 scale model and pictures from several books. I decided to make the model 3.2meters (126 inches) in wingspan as it is the maximum size aircraft I can transport. This model comes to about 10th scale in size. The Plans were hand drawn from 1.5 meter paper sheeting, I built the model on top of the plans as to keep it straight. The model is built from white foam from market fruit crates and balsa wood, this makes for a relative cheap model to build, since this model has a square fuselage it is easy to construct. The main task is to keep this model under 7kgs in weight so it is won't require an permit to fly, with a wingspan of 3.2 meters this will be a challenge. This model will have four retracts 2 on each wing, and will be powered with two Saito FA82's or similar


Radio: JR pcm9x2, dual receivers 2 batteries
Engines: Saito 82a fourstrokes mounted on antivibraton mounts.
Propellers: 14 * 6 or 15 * 4 wide blade, Want to use 12 * 6 four blade if you can get them!
Wingspan: 3190 mm
Retracts: Robart air with 4 * 3/8 oleo's "two on each wing"
Time to build: 6 months.

Centre Wing/Fuselage
The centre wing section was the first component to be constructed; it comprises foam ribs sanded to shape with cardboard tubing to enable the outer wings to plug in. Plug in wings utilise cardboard tubes and aluminium inserts. The model has flaps and four air retracts two on each side, the wheels don't retract in to the engine nacelle but in the wing. I am using one servo for the throttle and one for the flaps to keep the weight down. To cover the model I will use this light silk fabric that is strong and cheap. The fuselage is quite long so I had to make it two parts, it will be joined as the last stage of construction.

Fuselage halves with foam formers

The fuselage is constructed of Balsa and foam formers after cutting out the formers and slotting them with the balsa strips this technique gives the lightest fuselage i can make and the cheapest. 1.5mm balsa shetting was then applied to complete the external appearence ready for sanding and covering with cloth.

I will fine silk from a clothing store as covering, to minimise damage due to handling, "Little fingers can go through the balsa". 

Tail Construction Details
Like the fuselage ,the tail is a similar construction, balsa and foam formers, by following my plans it soon was completed in one night, over engineering was absent in this stage.

Finishing the He-177
Once the model is constructed and sanded, spray putty and microballons in Dope was applied to make for a smooth finish. The paint was matt black underneath and sides with alaskin gray, on top which was close enough to the pictures, "probably similar to JG-53 colors".
Once painted, the engines, radio retracts were installed. Im using dual receivers with two independent batterys for safety just in case a receiver dies in flight, this will give a second chance as each receiver controls half the plane. There is 9 servos in this plane and its weight comes in at 7.1 kgs. The retracts split in each side of the wing like the real one.

In flight
Whats it like to fly! well it flys like a trainer and has the tendency to float on landings. Its on the slow side but that adds the Realism of flight. Since it has a light wing loading. Flying in high winds is not recommended, probably less than 20 knots is ok. Flying on one engine is a breaze, its first flight was on one engine and I didnt know it. Having charactistices of light weight, engines close to fuslage and a large fat tail helps.


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