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Curtiss 1A Gulfhawk

FlyingTyger

Well-known member
#1
History:
The Curtiss Gulfhawk was a one-off demonstration/airshow airplane flown by Al Williams starting in 1930. Which, to me, made this a perfect candidate for the Barnstorming challenge for FF '23.
There were 4 basic versions as this plane went through several modifications. Originally it was mostly a Hawk 1 export version with different tail surfaces and landing gear. This version was powered by a Bristol Jupiter engine built by Bliss and was painted in a red and silver scheme.
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The Bristol engine was later swapped out for a Wright Cyclone engine (version #2) trimmed with a ring cowl.
ghawk1.jpg

After a crash, the plane was rebuilt with a metal-skinned fuselage (version #3) and given its now iconic orange and white paint scheme. Williams flew this plane through 1936 when he replaced it with the more well-known G-22 "Gulfhawk II", a modified Grumman F3F.
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In 1958 Frank Tallman found the airplane and purchased it from Al Williams. He spent 4 years restoring the plane and installed the P&W Wasp and radial bumped cowl that is still on it today. It currently resides in the National Air & Space Museum.
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The Model:
I will be building my model as the last version Al Williams flew. This one has the orange and blue scheme with the ring cowl.
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I will be using Dick Barron's 1/6 scale plans which the AMA plans service has been nice enough to print at 72" for me. These plans are for a traditional balsa/ply airframe, but I plan to use a mostly foam construction inspired by builds done by Josh Orchard, Carl Lydick, John Morgan, and Keith Sparks. I have been studying these types of builds for the last few years, and have completed some smaller planes trying to learn these foam building techniques. Now it's time to try a large scale airplane!
 
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FlyingTyger

Well-known member
#6
Finally off the starting line! With my other projects wrapped up I was able to start cutting pieces for this one.
Since this is a balsa plan being built from foamboard, I have to adjust for the added thickness of the foam. I also scaled the planes up 14% which affected the thickness on the prints. Well, I got very lucky. The fuse is designed to be sheeted with 1/8" balsa. That thickness scaled up 14% calculates to 0.14". That is nearly the thickness of DTFB with the paper removed. At least close enough for me.
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I now have all the main fuse formers done.
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The next step will be to figure out the firewall.
 
#7
Finally off the starting line! With my other projects wrapped up I was able to start cutting pieces for this one.
Since this is a balsa plan being built from foamboard, I have to adjust for the added thickness of the foam. I also scaled the planes up 14% which affected the thickness on the prints. Well, I got very lucky. The fuse is designed to be sheeted with 1/8" balsa. That thickness scaled up 14% calculates to 0.14". That is nearly the thickness of DTFB with the paper removed. At least close enough for me.
View attachment 232047

I now have all the main fuse formers done.
View attachment 232048

The next step will be to figure out the firewall.
Looking beautiful