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Retractable landing gear revisited

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  • Retractable landing gear revisited

    My latest project involved some metalworking. The plan was to build a toy plane that looks like a DC-3 (or C-47, or Dakota...) with a retractable landing gear. Looking through some drawings of the real DC-3, I found that the gear retracted forwards into a wheel well just aft of the engine, so I had to find a way to rotate the gear along an axle in the back use a moveable link in the front that you can slide forward or aft to move the gear in or out. In the end I resorted to making the sliding mechanism out of a pair of paperclips. This involved lots of fancy work with a pair of needle-nose pliers, but in the end I got it to work somehow. Now I just had to design the plane around it.

    The plane is a straightforward cut-and-glue affair made out of 1/4' oak. It was my first time using oak instead of my usual pine or aspen craftwood, but I found that the extra density of the oak allowed me to cut the details a lot more sharper and closer to the edges that I would have dared with my other models. The fuselage and engine bays are cut out of one layer, which gives the total a rather flat look, but also makes the result more toy-like and less model. The props were cut out of the same 1/4' oak and fastened to the engines with some nails. In a later stage I might add some wooden beads to the top of the nail to simulate a prop spinner. but for now, I am satisfied with the result of a rather primitive but overall charming toy plane.

    I am not that sure if the metal wheel assembly is something I would want to repeat in other models. It looks kind-of crude. So your personal views on this would be greatly appreciated.

    Yep, it's a DC-3, flat one-layer fuselage Sitting on the tarmac, you can clearly see that the fuselage is just one piece of 1/4' oak Another view, clearly showing off the landing gear

  • #2
    I probably would have made a couple of "arms" on each side of the wheel to attach the linkage so the wheel can still turn. I like the concept though.

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