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Thread: Forssman Triplane Build

  1. #1

    Default Forssman Triplane Build

    It all started with a picture of a wheel and a happy tease, or was that WWI?

    The research was fascinating, all kinds of politics and intrigue, money laundering, disappearances . . . I finally found an academic paper written on the Triplane and it revealed more than any other source, including the "planned" armament, payload, crew, and purposes of the design, very coolrific! I just had to have one no matter the facts!

    I finally complete the flock, I worked it down to 79 parts and 210 operations and here we are!

    By far my most encompassing project to date. Templates made, parts cut, then the details!

    30 engine nacelles that needed to be fitted to the wings, some on centerlines others on the top only . . .

    Once the parts were cut out of bass wood and dowels, sanded and sealed, they got covered with various colors of lozenge stickers-a huge job in its own, as I discovered the whole project in every aspect would become . . .

    Templates for everything-including the windows and would be gun ports, ailerons, elevators etc, etc, etc . . .

    Staging sets of matching lozenges became important since the elves are color blind

    Props! There were LOTS of props to make, 10 per model x 6 = 60 + spares

    Much was designed on sprues for building, here the tops of the laminated engine pods are fabricated, filler is added to meet the curves of the leading and trailing edges of the wings, then the lower strip is added and the pods are trimmed to length, then sanded round, and finally squared off on the ends for the radiators, all 60 times!

    Wheels were cut from 5/8" dowel, in 5/32" thicknesses, sanded, primed, painted, drilled and covered with lozenge hub caps

    A prototype was selected to test all the processes and brought to completion before the rest in case disaster might be lurking around the corner!

    Then production began in earnest, joining the main wings first . . .

    Bending up the wires! One continuous wire forms the central cabaine, upper and lower A frames on the fuselage, then carries down to the central lower engine pod, then through it to spread out and form the first inner landing gear struts, retains the wheels, then continues back up and anchors finally into the bottom of the lower wing. This has to be bent in stages as the parts are added as well as the remaining wing struts are installed too. This took a bottle of liquid courage and several long dark tea times to devise and implement, but it worked great!

    Stage one struts, front and back are bent into place

    Final rise measured and glued into place

    Lower ends bent into A shape and converged into a common dual strut to be inserted into the lower wing engine pod

    Outer struts installed into center wing

    Top wing carefully set in place, measured and glued

    Just too weird and cool at the same time not to try!

    Now for the bottom wing

    A good gap measuring expedition

    Set it aside to rest, and do it again 5 x

    When cured, the bottom center wires are formed into the landing gear struts, wheels slipped on, and more bending!

    Other mid struts join the fun as brace struts

    And it does all make some sense as you go

    Trim the outer struts flush, add the rudder and stabilizer and sit back and enjoy for a moment

    They are a strangely beautiful shape and would fly well as free flight models, as for the possible real ships? Who really knows. I do know they will get a lot of points and stares on the game matt!

    Hope you enjoy my flight into fantasy, the elves are still lining up!

    Now for something completely different . . . Clipper back drifting

  2. #2


    "Scary" doesn't even begin to cover it. Amazing stuff!

    But at this rate, haven't you begun seeing lozenge every time you close your eyes, David?


  3. #3


    Absolutely amazing!

  4. #4


    UNBELEIVABLE! Really, a lost for words!

    You truly have a gift!

    O’ are they for sale?

  5. #5


    Wow this was cool to see again Clipper...and one is about to start flying here in the PNW...been displayed all over...but actually flying thanks to OldGuy59!

  6. #6


    Wow, those are some planes. What sort of stats do they have, please?

  7. #7


    Hey Clipper! why don't you turn some of the build photo into a "HOW I DONE IT! E-book and sell them also, make mine out to "where the heck is stockton,ks?" lol

  8. #8


    David, the thread is a nostalgic wandering from my past that has been resurrected in the Skype Wars threads. See this thread:! and those therein for the details, there is a movement and management card in there somewhere . . .

  9. #9


    Peter, Never been to Kansas but I kinda liked the band and the things you guys do there with black and white film is awesome too!

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    We need a hobby sub-forum that just has all the threads of David's awesome builds!

  13. #13


    Brilliant, just pure brilliant.......

  14. #14


    Clipper, hope you don't mind, I used a few of your images on another website...


  15. #15


    Clippers fourteen lawyers are on the plane to Louisiana ....

  16. #16


    No worries, use them all you can, all the important and embarrassing bits are covered . . . just have fun with it all, that's why we do it isn't it? The Lawyers took off with Amelia . . .

  17. #17


    Thank and thanks for diverting the lawyers!

  18. #18


    OMG!!! This is awesome in more than just scale! They are soooo cool!

  19. #19


    Quote Originally Posted by clipper1801 View Post
    They are a strangely beautiful shape and would fly well as free flight models, as for the possible real ships? Who really knows.
    I strikes me that the real question would be would they get this thing off the ground.
    Limiting factor is how much power relative to the weight the engines delivered and how long a take-off run it needed.
    The narrow track landing gear strikes me as being a potential problem, this was after all long before the advent of concrete runways so there is a serious risk here of the thing getting bogged down in a grass landing field.

    Another thing is, just how much strength would a pilot need to work the controls?
    Last edited by Rabbit 3; 06-10-2013 at 08:35.

  20. #20


    Details, details, details! I think it was a blessing the war stopped the project, it would have used up a lot of good lives to pursue the design to reality. They were pushing the limits of the day without the benefit of the technology of the day. There was clearly a monetary motive in the concept and promotion that had left the engineers and technicians way behind. Check out the designs on the drafting tables of the real engineers and you will see some very different designs that had much more promise, but not as cool . . . read the German Giants book appendix section and you will see what I mean. Our game tables could not hold some the things they were thinking up! Let alone find someone crazy enough to make game models of them . . .

  21. #21


    Quote Originally Posted by clipper1801 View Post
    Let alone find someone crazy enough to make game models of them

  22. #22


    Quote Originally Posted by clipper1801 View Post
    Let alone find someone crazy enough to make game models of them . . .
    Coming soon to a convention table near you!

    See the AAR for the plane in action here: SND - International Skype Game - Slay the Leviathan - 8/9 June 2013



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