The Fairey Spearfish BCD model

Part 2 of 3

The Fuselage

A BCD fuselage needs to be really tough.  They have to handle big heavy engines, rough landings, and even on good landings they take all the strain from the arrestor hook.


The basic fusleage, showing beech engine mounts, spruce strengthener along entire length, wing and leadout cut outs and the dowel is the arrestor hook anchor point.  Fuselage is built from half inch Balsa.


The fuselage is strengthened with ply doublers which go from the engine mounts, past the wing, and all the way past the hook anchor point.  Any less really is foolish, and is just inviting a 2 piece model.


Close up of the bell crank mount made from laminated pieces of thin ply, which is then screwed and epoxied to the spruce strip on top of the fuselage.  The 2 holes to the right are for the screws,  The other 2 holes are the bell crank mounting holes, and the recess accepts a piece of the bell crank assembly.


The bell crank mount screwed and epoxied in place.


This picture shows all of the major components at near completion.  The top half of the fuselage has been added along with the tail fin.  The tail surfaces are just balsa sheet, nothing much to mention there.


Glass cloth has been applied to the wing leading edge, and the entire fuselage.  This does increase build time and can be awkward to do at times, but is well worth it for the durability of the model.  I used a very good kit from Fibretech GB which included absolutely everything required, at a very good price.


Initial assembly of the major components.  Ensure the joint between the wing and fuselage is well fitting.  I also decided to add some landing and navigation lights just for fun, hence the wiring.  I used the 9 volt battery as tip weight.


After joining the wing and fuselage, it is a good idea to sink some cocktail sticks or similar right through the joint, to help keep things stable.  Also notice the red LED, which flashes!!!


Close up of the battery compartment, used for tip weight.  This would normally be a great lump of lead.

Go to part 3

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This article was first published:  22/09/2008

This article was last updated:  22/09/2008

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