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Two little Brewsters, now a Buddy Build.


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This has been on and off for a bunch of years now, not saying I’ll even finish it this go round, but we’ll see. A squirrel for a few days, I think.   Of course, it’s the dreaded Special Hobby Brewster, and it hasn’t been a horrible build so far. I spent a lot of time on the cockpit, adding wiring, braces, cables and such, along with a multitude of Barracuda placards, and… they’re all invisible after the fuselage gets closed up.
 

The fit on this thing is actually pretty decent, and as far as short run resin and styrene hybrid kits go, is pretty darn good. 
The engine was built a few years back and I had just slapped it together OOB.  Since, I have installed one set of plug leads and will add the rear plug leads over the tops of the cylinders. 
One thing that stands out to me and now drives me nuts (I never noticed before, just slapped it together, is the inside if the cowl is absolutely devoid of engine baffling and the carb intake and oil cooler ducts are not provided at all in the kit. Just open air behind the cowl ring and the openings.  The oil cooler and airbox are provided in resin on the rear of the engine and are visible through the wheel wells. No wonder the US Navy and USMC said they ran hot. :rofl: 
So I have three options:

1. Ignore it.

2. Try to insert some shaped card stock to approximate a couple ducts, or.

3. Break the engine out and do it right, if I can avoid the dreaded crunch and tear gremlins.

I think option 2 makes most sense .

I also cut apart the elevators and stabilizer to hopefully give this old girl some proof of life by loosening up her stiff ways  I’m playing with doing such to the rudder as well, but maybe not.

Sorry about the dust. This build is old

 

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17 minutes ago, Clunkmeister said:

So I have three options:

Your Brewster seems to be more than worthy to be finished Ernie. Seeing the seams inside the cowling, I would tend to option one, finish the build and lay on a beautiful paintjob to hinder the eyes of the beholder to wander to deep into the innards ;).

Cheers Rob

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I think I’ll gingerly try to remove the engine from the rear, along with it’s bulkhead. I may regret it, but somehow, I doubt it.  But that’ll give me the room I need to work the inside of the cowl correctly.

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It would be nice to see it finished, I set out to build a dogfight double once, a Nate and a Buffalo, I finished the Nate but never started the Buffalo which is a shame as I do have s soft spot for it.

Cheers

Dennis

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Hubert, Pappy Boyington had glowing reports on the early editions of the Buffalo, at least until the Navy loaded it all down with extra armor plate, arrestor gear, less powerful engines, and other junk.

Boyington claimed the early Buffalo could outturn an A6M, which is quite the feat in and of itself.  But they were slow and needed all the power they could get.  The engines heated up and as a result, the pilots had to pull back on the loud-levers.

The Finns figured it all out, they tore the Wrights apart and found a problem. A simple fix was installing one of the piston rings upside down, and that increased compression, lowered fuel and oil consumption, and gave it back it's lost power.

They also took out all the extra, unneeded junk they thought they could do without. Extra armor plate, extra ammo, and all unneeded doodads.  The Finns received only 44 Brewsters, and they fought the airplanes through the entire war, first on our side, then on the Germans side.   They thought so highly of the aircraft that they actually went out and constructed a Brewster clone out of wood, to see if it would work out, but it came in way, way too heavy.

One Brewster managed to rack up the highest number of enemy aircraft destroyed by one single airframe in all of aviation history.  Probably totally due to how long lived they were with the Finns.

I've come to the conclusion that many of our cast offs seem to do very, very well when given to nations or Units with absolutely nothing to lose.  Chenault figured out the P-40 and how to fight Ki43s, A5Ms and A6Ms with it. The Soviets certainly figured out the hated P-39 and carved a huge slice through the vaunted Luftwaffe with it, and the Finns do really, really well with the despised Brewster.

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8 hours ago, Martinnfb said:

I also have Brewset hiding somewhere in the closet, so if option3 won't pan out. There is on option 4, you get another kit  from Canadistan.

Yep, I have a secret weapon as well. A spare box of kit parts that I had to raid to replace missing parts in this kit, so I do have an entire new front section if needed.

The quality of the rest of the build is decent enough to make a good case for the cowl needing to be fixed along with adding those ducts. Once I saw the missing ducts and loud, proud "LOOK AT ME, SEE THE LACK OF CARE BY THE BLIND, LAZY BUILDER" join lines,  I just can't ever unsee them.

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I think I’ll gingerly try to remove the engine from the rear, along with it’s bulkhead. I may regret it, but somehow, I doubt it.  But that’ll give me the room I need to work the inside of the cowl correctly.

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Ok, GREAT SUCCESS!

Well, half success.  Got the engine out with no damage, but I buggered the cowl, so I’ll use the redundant -2 cowl that comes with my -1 kit.  That’s using the ol’ noodle!  But as you can see, the seams are great, so we’ll get rid of them and then we’ll somehow fabricate something that looks like ducts for the oil cooler on the bottom, and carburetor air intake on the top.  We’ll install the extra plug wires now as well.  There also has to be better pics of the equipment on the gearbox. That square plastic blob looks mighty simplified.

I need to look for some good reference pictures, because there’s no way on Earth that Wright racial didn’t have some form of baffling around it. 

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I agree with you about the qualities of the bird, Ernie, at least the -1 version before it got overloaded with a wing area that was not very big to start with (on the other hand, with hindsight of 80 years of various conflicts, any aircraft designer should now KNOW that the original spec will be overpassed by combat demands, and weight will increase. Reminds me of the debate between European countries at the time of the Rafale/Lightning specs' writing. Dassault wanted the bare aiframe 1 ton lower than their British / German counterparts : they ended up going separate ways).

The only thing that always looked a potential area for trouble in my layman's eyes was the undercarriage design. I always felt it looked way to flimsy to be slammed regularly on the planks of an aircraft carrier. But then again, with hindsight, one can become the smartest a@#&&.e in the word ;)

Hubert

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7 minutes ago, Martinnfb said:

3D9F2B92-F527-4AAA-99AA-F716A0C3279A.jpeg.95f9f31f4f2bbe5a8aa309a8c1b46a23.jpegDoesn’t the distributor ring be placed behind the pushrod assembly?

asking for a friend :)

Hmmm. Kind of looks that way, doesn’t it?

Quite honestly, I never checked any references while doing the engine other than blindly following the instructions. The plot thickens…

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Well, a bit of looking also finds a multitude of versions of the R1820 as well.  Different cylinder designs postwar, and a multitude of ignition ring styles, etc.  Prop governors changed depending on the prop used. 
The SBD used the 1820 as well, and various versions at that.  Then we can get into the Ash-21 and M-71 versions..  The An-2 uses this engine, and the latest versions have been developed so thoroughly that they bear only a passing resemblance.

One thing for sure, Wright painted the gearbox the wrong shade of grey through its decades of production. Wright used a totally incorrect much darker blue/grey on the gearbox, where it should have been the much lighter grey I used on mine. How dare they!

 

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The R-1820 design went through a number of iterations. On the -F, the ignition ring was definitely behind the pushrods’ tubes. On the early -G as well. Then, it changed, but I am still struggling to find on which version this happened. Ditto for the cylinders’ finning. As time progressed, and metallurgy and production techniques improved, as well as the octane level of fuels increased their energy density, the number of fins grew significantly to dissipate the extra-heat. I think I remember reading somewhere that the cooling area was multiplied by 5 (at least) over the life-time of the 1820.

On the color pic above, the cylinder is definitely a late design. It looks like a B-17 engine at first glance. Definitely not the right one for a Buffalo ;) !

 

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