April 2004 - I thought that I
have been dealing almost exclusively with EDF-models long enough now und that
the time has come to do something completely different again. A nice contrast -
so my further thoughts - would be a fat Warbird with IC engine. :) Some years
ago I happened to see a Lavochkin - a russian fighter of WW2 - mit about 2
meters wing span which impressed me a lot on some modeling event. Unfortunately
I knew neither the manufacturer of the kit (if it even was from a kit) nor
further details. I just knew it was a Lavochkin and that it had a strong petrol
engine... Now, we have internet, haven't we? Step one was to search it for
pictures of Lavochkins and it quickly got obvious that the aircraft in question
was a La-5FN, the last and most powerful version of the La-5. It can be easily
identified by its "continuous" airscoop on top of the cowling (this
intake is there for the air supply of the supercharger).
Step two was finding a kit of this aircraft, which was also performed with the help of the WWW (without it the search would have become quite long I guess). I finally succeeded to find French scale expert Patrick Deslandes, who offers a kit of the LA-5FN with a wing span of 1.90 m. After some eMails - which Patrick answered fast, extensively and in English language - the "most complete" version of the kit was ordered, it has composite fuselage and cowling, balsa sheeted foam wings and tailplane, a clear canopy (with separate frame!) and some wood parts (bulkheads etc.)
Kit of the La-5FN
(click on the pics to see the larger high-quality version)
Weight- and stabilitywise the parts are really good, but you
should not expect a perfect surface. For example will the fuselage joint need a
good amount of rework. But as a semiscale model of this kind will need ample
treatment of the surfaces anyway, this is no big disadvantage in my eyes.
Generally spoken, this is no quick build kit for beginners, even it seems to
look a bit like that on the picture. Instructions are missing completely - I am
just receiving them by eMail with photographs. :) Fitting the retractable
landing gear will not be fun too I fear as the wing is not prepared for it.
To make a long story short, there are some challenges to be mastered, particularly as I did not build a model like this before. But, hey, we are Model Builders! That's the fun!
In the meantime I ordered a suitable landing gear at Hawe Modelltechnik. Regarding the engine, after extensive studies and thoughts I abandoned the idea of a petrol engine which I favoured in the beginning. Instead I ordered an English Laser 200V (2-cyl-four stroke with 33 cc, methanol), the "Rolls Royce of the model engines". ;) While the undercarriage will need another 3 weeks, the engine is on its way already today (April 10, 2004).
April 15 2004 - Today the Laser Engine arrived. At first glance already this seems to be a fine piece of English Engineering. :)
Mai 04, 2004 - this weekend I fixed the firewall and the engine - considerung side- and down thrust - provisorily.
To be continued...