Rudi’s Fokker E-III ‘Eindecker’ Build

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RudiGreyling
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Ron Glover Flight Report and Video

Unread post by RudiGreyling » Thu May 11, 2017 1:22 pm

While we wait for the official build to start here is a well written flight report from 2003:

Ron Glover: Flight of the Fokker Eindecker
http://www.airdromeaeroplanes.com/glover-e3.htm


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Ron Glover: "It's September 29th 2003 and I'm lazily mulling around my little Fokker wondering if the wind is going to settle down and allow me to test fly my finally completed project. Every inch of the plane has been checked and rechecked for any discrepancies that might prove hazardous in flight. The plane is fueled, the sky clear and the wind is blowing like mad in the wake of a recent cold front. As I sit and anxiously await a break in the wind I can't help but wonder if this was how the First World War aviators felt before their flight to the front lines in search of a fight.

After waiting what seamed like an eternity, I decide that I just can't sit still any longer. I figure that if I can't get it airborne I can at least taxi up and down the runway getting a little more familiar with the ground handling characteristics of this little cloth covered beast. I coolly strap on my flying helmet and slip my foot into the stirrup located on the left hand side of the aircraft. With one swift pull I send my foot over into the cockpit seat and slide gently into the cramped compartment below. As I tighten my safety harness I flash a quick grin to my wife attempting to show my false confidence for success. With my attention now diverted to the instrument panel I begin the process of bringing the massive and earth shattering horsepower of the Rotax power plant to life. I switch the master switch to the "on" position followed by the fuel pump. A few shots of prime and the ignition switches to the "on" position complete the highly technical chain of events required to fire off the two-cylinder behemoth tucked neatly under the nose cowl. With a cool and confident "CLEAR PROP" I push the starter button and wait for the tiny little explosions within the engine to bring the RPM to idle speed. As the engine gauges settle to their operating temperatures I slowly advance the throttle starting a long taxi to the end of the 2200-foot grass strip.

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It's now just before dark and the wind has settled enough to attempt a flight. I had played with the plane enough to feel fairly confident on the ground so with the plane positioned at the end of the runway I go through the check list again, sub-consciously prolonging the inevitable attempt at a takeoff. Controls free and clear, dual ignition check, fuel and fuel pump on. All that is left is to check pattern clear and give it all it's worth. I remove my shaking and sweating hands from the controls to dry them on my jeans in anticipation of the upcoming event. Slowly I point the Eindecker down the runway and with one smooth motion I force the throttle lever to the stop. The rotax screams with authority as the plane starts it's acceleration to takeoff speed. A slight fwd motion on the stick unseats the tail wheel from the earth as I apply a very light pressure on the rudder petals to keep her guided in the right direction. A quick glance at the airspeed and tachometer assure me that the engine is putting out enough power to get the job done. As I pull back slowly on the stick I feel the little Fokker surrender to gravity and start a climb into the cool September evening. From my peripheral view I can see the ground quickly slipping away beneath me as the plane is climbing with surprising authority given that the wings are so short. I was maintaining a 50 MPH climb speed with little effort on the controls. The elevator and rudder were extremely sensitive as compared to the ailerons which felt as though they were firmly seated in cement. She was flying straight and true so I relaxed a little and let her build some altitude before my first turn.

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The pattern at this particular field is a right hand pattern so I leveled out the climb, reduced power to cruise and started a right turn to the down wind. As soon I bank the wings and ron-glover-e3-3.JPG (21589 bytes)start the turn I'm hit with a massive volume of air on the left side of my head. It takes me a few seconds to realize that I'm feeling the effects of an uncoordinated turn and am suddenly aware of how much more of an attention getter this is over the ball. With the plane back in coordination I complete the turn and head down wind to setup for an approach to the field. I decide to fly out farther and try a left hand turn only to find that again the plane slips into an uncoordinated turn with incredible ease. Nothing light rudder pressure doesn't cure but it tends to get into a slip or skid very quickly. I maneuver the plane in on a high and long decent for landing and pull the power back to 5000 RPM. The Eindecker settles into a beautiful decent and provides a very good view of the runway ahead. As I near the trees I get a few light bumps from the wind and start to reduce power a little more as I break over the threshold of the runway. I opt to keep the airspeed high and just feel for the ground in a wheel landing which proves to be of little effort for the Eindecker. She settles in perfectly on the mains and is a breeze to control as the tail slowly drops to the ground. As I taxi to my parking spot I begin to feel the thrill of what had just occurred. I had just completed my first ever test hop in an airplane I built in the basement. What an idiot I am! But I still love it!

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I cannot explain the feeling of this first flight and will not even try to. I will obviously be doing more testing but up to this point I have learned that the Eindecker is an outstanding machine that I intend to enjoy to the fullest."
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Kit Unpacking

Unread post by RudiGreyling » Fri May 12, 2017 11:07 am

Build the Dream, Live the legend, Fly your Own Fighter!
Week 0: Unpacking Kit

With all the formalities completed, I can now let the cat out the bag...I have the kit in my workshop.

WOW!...I am so blessed and so lucky! After I completed my investigation, made my decision to build the Fokker E-III 'Eindecker' and after I applied for a build number, my telephone rings...Mr X (who wishes to remain anonymous)...says he sees on avcom I am interested in the Airdrome Aeroplanes kits, and we starting to chat. Long Story short, he bought an E-3 kit 10-15 years ago, started on the rudder, never progressed, stored it in a hangar, it got moved several times, several people evaluated the build, but no-one took up the task. BIG Thank you Mr X you saved me a lot of time and money!

The Kit
So I went and collected the kit, where it was stored in the back of a hangar, and below it is packed out in my driveway. Not a pretty initial sight! You can clearly see the age, the dust, the water damage on the boxes, some surface rust on the steel parts, tires perished, chrome wheels rusted etc. Never trust a book on its cover, so my investigation starts as I unpack the old kit. I wonder what was hidden in that green treasure chest.
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Airdrome Aeroplanes Claim on their website:
"All aluminum tubing to complete fuselage, wings, landing gear, cabines, lift struts, and formers. All aluminum sheet metal to construct gussets, cowling, & seat. All machined parts for control systems, lift struts, axles, and wings. All AN hardware to build aircraft, eye bolts, locknuts, thimbles, nico press swedges , aircraft cable (rudder cables, drag/anti/drag braces). Ball bearing rod ends for control system. Stainless steel pop rivets. Main wheels, tail wheel, spun aluminum nose bowl, plans and builders video. All covering supplies"
This is a fairly long post, but lets see some examples of the kit, so you can evaluate yourself.

Box of Long Tubes
The long box contain many many different lengths of Alu 6061 tubes, cut to various lengths, and is a bit intimidating at first. This is basically all the aluminium for the entire airplane airframe and wings!
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Green Treasure Chest
The Green treasure chest contained all the gold and important bits, all the hardware and bits and pieces. I will only show SOME EXAMPLES of the kit for you to get an idea of it below. Many more pictures will follow during the rest of my build. Here are examples of Alu tubes cut to length and some tubes already pre machined. They are marked and bundled together for each sub kit portion of the airframe.
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Alu sheet punched to size
Some of the alu sheets have been rough punched to size and then the builder needs to finish them.
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Machined Parts example Wheel Axles
This is typical a sub kit and hardware with machined parts. Everything sealed together in plastic. I am not opening it yet, until i get to that specific portion of the build.
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Example Wing sub kit hardware bags
Not going to open it yet, they are stored good and have so for 10-15 years.
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Example Landing kit hardware bags
The landing kit bag was open, so here you can see the sub kit hardware and how it is packed and labled.
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Example rivets and swedges in a sub kit
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Example of some Alu Brackets
The bracket comes pre cut and drilled for the builder to finilise.
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Example of steel brackets pre formed and drilled.
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Tailwheel kit
The supplied tailwheel. I will upgrade it because i fly from a hard surface and not grass
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Control Cables
The card board box was rotten, but the teleflex cables were still 100%
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The Cowl
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Spun Wheel Covers
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All the Covering Supplies are supplied
Everything to cover the plane is here. The Material is still good since it was sealed and kept in a dark place, but the fluids are now Time Expired. They supplied Poly Fiber covering kit.
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Fluids
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Tapes
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Brushes
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IN SUMMARY:
The 'old' kit looks fairly in good shape and complete. I will only really know when i start the build and need specific parts. The biggest stumbling block is that the PLANS & INSTRUCTIONS GOT LOST over the years while different people evaluated the build. I am in contact with the kit manufacturer to get replacement plans, but it will take a bit of time to get them ordered and shipped to South Africa. This will give me time to sort out odds and ends, before i can officially start to build anything.
Last edited by RudiGreyling on Fri May 12, 2017 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rudi’s Fokker E-III ‘Eindecker’ Build

Unread post by FLYGUYS » Fri May 12, 2017 12:51 pm

Exciting stuff Rudi, cant wait to see how the build goes. :D :D :D
Best of luck with the build and I'm afraid that I'll be bugging you now and then to get info on how to get a build number etc.
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Re: Rudi’s Fokker E-III ‘Eindecker’ Build

Unread post by RudiGreyling » Fri May 12, 2017 2:17 pm

FLYGUYS wrote:Exciting stuff Rudi, cant wait to see how the build goes. :D :D :D
Best of luck with the build and I'm afraid that I'll be bugging you now and then to get info on how to get a build number etc.
With pleasure just PM me, when you are ready. It is actually a very simple process, especially if you have done it once.
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Re: Ron Glover Flight Report and Video

Unread post by okflyer » Fri May 12, 2017 4:41 pm

RudiGreyling wrote:While we wait for the official build to start here is a well written flight report from 2003:

Ron Glover: Flight of the Fokker Eindecker....


Red Baron meets Eindecker

To invent an airplane is nothing. To build one is something. But to fly is everything.
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Re: Rudi’s Fokker E-III ‘Eindecker’ Build

Unread post by RudiGreyling » Fri May 12, 2017 5:48 pm

Thankx for the VERY NICE video okflyer.

I looked closely and it does not look like a AA Replica, of you look very closely you will see it has an under cambered wing profile. So I guess they wanted to make it close to the orignal as possible. The AA replicas has a modern more forgiving Clark Y wing profile. The scale looks also close to 100% because it looks huge..

PS: By tracking the REG number I see it is a 100% 10Meter wingspan replica of unknown origin: http://www.oldtimer-hahnweide.de/ott16t ... nnz=D-MWCJ
snip.JPG
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Re: Rudi’s Fokker E-III ‘Eindecker’ Build

Unread post by okflyer » Fri May 12, 2017 6:19 pm

RudiGreyling wrote:Thankx for the VERY NICE video okflyer.

I looked closely and it does not look like a AA Replica, of you look very closely you will see it has an under cambered wing profile. So I guess they wanted to make it close to the orignal as possible. The AA replicas has a modern more forgiving Clark Y wing profile. The scale looks also close to 100% because it looks huge..

PS: By tracking the REG number I see it is a 100% 10Meter wingspan replica of unknown origin: http://www.oldtimer-hahnweide.de/ott16t ... nnz=D-MWCJ

snip.JPG
@Rudi: you are right, is seems to be built without a KIT. The link expains that it is a homebuilt in original size.
The registration D-MXXX indicates that is is a microlight (the D-M is reserved for Ultraleicht class with 472,5 Kg Mtow two seater or 300 Kg one seater including ballistic parachute ). You need a flying sport device licence to fly the plane (big legal distinction between a plane and a flying sport device in Germany).
If I meet the pilot, I will ask him how it was built.
To invent an airplane is nothing. To build one is something. But to fly is everything.
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Getting Workshop Ready & Odds and Ends

Unread post by RudiGreyling » Mon May 15, 2017 7:59 am

Build the Dream, Live the legend, Fly your Own Fighter!
Week 0: Getting Workshop Ready & Odds and Ends

While I wait for the supplier to send me replacement plans I continued getting the workshop ready and did some odds and ends.

Work Surface / Table
You need a flat surface 5m x 1.5m to build the kit. Most people just take MDF board and fit it on top of 3 roof beams 5m x (150x50mm) standing on it ends and then put it on saw horses. I had 2 work tables that I fitted end to end and fitted 22mm MDF board across the top. The top is going to sacrificial since you going to drill and screw into it.
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Another angle
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Positioning Blocks
Round tubes on a flat table rolls around a lot, so i created some positioning blocks i can screw into the table to hold the tubes stationary.
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Unpacking and sorting the long box of Tubes
I unpacked the long box of tubes and sorted them. I still can't believe this is all the tubes required for the fuse and wings?
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Smoothing the Rudder Curve
I got the rudder built by previous kit owner, but I wasn't completely satisfied with one or two portions of the curve. So you make a paper template of the curve, then cut two blocks of wood and screw it in your table top.
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Then slowly, little by little, you coach the curve into the desired shape, bending and moving it bit by bit. Slowly the curve comes out good.
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Polishing Chrome Wheels
The chrome wheels had some rust and pitting on them.
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and the axle too
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I used a 3 step process to get them shiny again:
1) Soda Blast: (Soda is safer than sand blasting not taking material off. I made a home made soda blaster that was PITA but got the job done around the axel.
2) Coke and Tin Foil: You will not believe how good this works
3) Finally Brasso Polish with the wheel in the vice.

Home made soda blaster
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Easy to clean with brasso between the spokes when the wheel is in the vice
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A little bit of elbow grease and the result were stunning (L cleaned, R original)
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I really hope I get the plans by this weekend, so that i continue the build, but it all depends when they actually ship from the USA and how long it will take to get here...

Till Next Week,
Groete
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Re: Rudi’s Fokker E-III ‘Eindecker’ Build

Unread post by lodge » Mon May 15, 2017 11:28 am

best of luck Rudi,
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Re: Rudi’s Fokker E-III ‘Eindecker’ Build

Unread post by Pete » Mon May 15, 2017 9:04 pm

Am impressed with your soda blaster, am going to make one just like that to clean up some old motorbike carbs I have! :D
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Re: Rudi’s Fokker E-III ‘Eindecker’ Build

Unread post by RudiGreyling » Tue May 16, 2017 7:56 am

Pete wrote:Am impressed with your soda blaster, am going to make one just like that to clean up some old motorbike carbs I have! :D
Hi Pete, it works but it is a PITA to get a consistent flow. It cleaned the rims nicely but it took a lot of time and effort due to flow problems. This week i went and i bought a gravity fed sandblaster from Adendorf since i have one or two items that needs sand blasting too for future use. My recommendation is go buy this tool and use it for both soda blasting and small sand blasting jobs, costs R355.

http://www.adendorff.co.za/ProductDetai ... -Load/4272
sand.JPG
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Re: Rudi’s Fokker E-III ‘Eindecker’ Build

Unread post by Theuns v V » Tue May 16, 2017 4:11 pm

are the gussets glued and rivted or just rivets?

Looking good....makes me lus to build :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: Rudi’s Fokker E-III ‘Eindecker’ Build

Unread post by RudiGreyling » Wed May 17, 2017 9:04 am

Theuns v V wrote:are the gussets glued and rivted or just rivets?

Looking good....makes me lus to build :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Hi Theuns, No Glue on the gusset, just 3 or more pop rivets per tube member. Glue / Dope only applicable when covering the airplane in fabric.

PS: I need to add, if you are worried about pop rivets, these are steel pop rivets, and 1 single pop rivet (the smallest type used in the kit) can carry the entire weight of the airplane without failing.

Groete, Rudi.
Last edited by RudiGreyling on Wed May 17, 2017 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rudi’s Fokker E-III ‘Eindecker’ Build

Unread post by Hybrydza » Wed May 17, 2017 9:40 am

Subscribed! This is very exciting, good luck with the build!
When in doubt, gas it! It may not solve the problem but should end the suspense!
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Re: Rudi’s Fokker E-III ‘Eindecker’ Build

Unread post by Theuns v V » Wed May 17, 2017 5:08 pm

I know these avdel steel rivets are very strong indeed.


The epoxy used on some other planes only serve to stop any movement developing over a long time that's all. :)

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