I have always liked the story of the Granville brothers and their planes, while I. really like their famous big barrel chested red and white R racers, their E has always been one of my all-time favorite airplanes. This model has a 30 inch wingspan, about the only way I will be able to display it is hanging it from the ceiling in my room. The fuselage structure is fairly close to scale, the wing doesn't have enough ribs to be scale since it was meant to be light to fly so I will add the necessary ribs.
Here are a couple photos of the real plane
There were four Model E's built in 1930-1931, their colors schemes were blue/yellow, red/white, green/cream, and green/yellow. I have always loved the green/yellow scheme on airplanes, so that's the one I am doing.
Here is a link to a very good in-depth article on building a wooden model from scratch, lots of good tips and I refer back to it quite a bit. This is a great site for free flight models, going through the different pages there are some nice videos of them flying their models, some outdoors, a lot indoors, I was really surprised at how long they could keep them flying, especially since they took off on their own. The site also has a number of free plans.
The box frame is built from 3/32 sticks. The instructions said the wing saddle should be built by layering two 3/32 sticks, but they kept breaking so I just cut those parts out of some sheet balsa and coated both sides with glue to give it a little strength. The instructions say the rudder post should be glued on now, I left it off until the formers were glued on, otherwise it most likely would have been broken off.
Super glue would make this a pretty quick build, but I have some pretty nasty reactions to the fumes, so I use both carpenters glue and Elmer's glue (white glue). Both give a pretty strong bond, it's just more time consuming.
The formers are glued on, next I need to add on the stringers. The stringers around the cockpit door will need to be modified as the kit isn't meant to have an opening door. That's a foot ruler in front of the model giving an idea of its size.
The stringers are partially glued in.
The Granville Brothers used engine turned aluminum instrument panels, I didn't have any luck trying to replicate it on some aluminum, so I tried doing it on the computer, this was my first attempt. The instruments are from Microsoft Flight Simulator, but they don't look very good after shrinking them down so I will either look for some real instruments or draw them myself. Lots more work to do here.
There are no pictures of the E cockpit, but I do have a partial cockpit shot of the Y (there were two of them built, basically a larger two place E), a shot of the Z. cockpit, as well as some cockpit photos of a replica Z, I will have to use these to draw up a cockpit for this plane.
Here's the cockpit of the Y.
Here's the cockpit of the Z.
I had really gotten burned out on airplanes after some problems on the site that I was one of the editors on and gave up working on model airplanes for quite awhile. I just recently pulled this out again and found the page I had on this model and was startled to see that it was back in 2005! I couldn't believe it had been that long.
The fuselage had broke on me a couple times, I noticed one of the bottom stringers wasn't quite right so I am just about done fixing that. I now have all of the stringers on top behind the cockpit glued in and the stringers on the bottom of the nose in as well. Even soaking the stringers would not allow the ones on each side of the nose to bend to shape, I cut about ½ of the way through the stringer on the middle former so they could be bent to shape without completely breaking. After they were all glued in, I then put some glue where I cut them to further reinforce them.
One way of filling in the nose so it looks like metal which a lot of people use is to fill in the rectangle between the formers and stringers with a piece of balsa sheet, that works, but it is very time-consuming cutting and beveling each piece and gluing them in. I am going to use 1/32 sheet to cover the nose. To make it wide enough, I put two pieces of sheet side-by-side and taped them together, then I flipped that over and then bent it so it was an upside down V and ran a bead of glue between the sheets. Then I pushed them flat and wiped away the excess glue, covered it with wax paper and put a heavy weight on it until it was dry. Now I have a nice wide piece of sheet to cover the nose.