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Mighty Mini Master Series Spitfire

Grifflyer

WWII fanatic
#1
The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter plane that was used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and other Allied countries before, during, and after WWII. The Spitfire was designed as a short-range, high-performance interceptor aircraft. The Spitfire features a unique elliptical wing shape which is aerodynamically, the most efficient, because elliptical spanwise lift distribution induces the lowest possible drag.
The elliptical wing on the Spitfire wasn’t originally incorporated into the plane to minimize drag, but rather it was made to house the landing gear along with ammunition and guns inside a wing. The ellipse was the shape that allowed for the thinnest possible wing with the most area inside, giving engineers room inside to hold the necessary things.

When I set out to design the Spitfire, I wanted to expand my horizons with designing FB planes by trying out some of the Master Series techniques developed by John Overstreet. To keep things simple, and easy to build I chose to go for a fuselage that has a frame that gets skinned in foam, rather than taking the "mold together" route that Overstreet uses. I put a lot of work into adding the scale details using just foam. Like the large wing fillets that characterize the Spitfire, and all the radiators under the wing, and even as far as adding little exhaust stacks. I've also designed 3D printed exhaust stacks, and radiators for under the wing, which will be shared on Thingiverse. Because of the small nose and large size of the Mini Power pod, this design won't have a power pod or even a standard FT Mini Firewall, but if you already have one of the Mini Firewalls, you can make a few simple cuts to make it compatible with this plane. I really liked the shape that @nerdnic was able to achieve on his Spitfire canopy, link to his plane so I took his and made a few changes to make it fit onto my bird.

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@BATTLEAXE graciously reached out to me to help put together this nice video for the plane. So go show him a some love, watch some of his vids, and toss him a sub you can find his channel here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUFM8PpAbZs1F8PEJhgS2EA

Overview-

Speed-
Top speed is very respectable, and while your at speed the plane is very smooth. It slows down very well for landing and remains very stable as your speed decreases.

Handling-
The handling of this plane is very docile, the roll rate is very scale and smooth. The tracking on this plane is outstanding while right side up and inverted!

Stalls-
The stalls on this model are very gentle, and occur at very low speeds. The ailerons aren't the most effective thing at speeds so they can get a little mushy when you are coming in for a landing, but it's not uncontrollable I've landed this bird in a stiff crosswind without any issues.

Aerobatics-
Since the plane lacks a rudder the aerobatic ability is limited to the basics such as, Loops, Rolls, Inverted, Split S's etc.

Take offs-
I like launching this plane by holding it right behind the wing, wrapping my fingers around the wing fillets and giving it a firm toss.

Landing-
Landing this model is like any other FT design all you need to do is lower your airspeed and flare it in. Which I actually found to be a little difficult. Because this plane is quite slippery, I found myself struggling to lower my airspeed enough to land, and I've been starting my glide right before I turn into my final leg for landing when I usually chop the throttle to start the glide once I'm in my final leg.

Skill level-
If you want to put in the time to build this plane, it'd be a great first or second plane that uses ailerons, but since it's a pretty involved build it might not be the best plane for someone who is still expecting to crash.

Plans: Spitfire Plans V1.1
Instructions: Spitfire Instructions
3D Printed Parts: Thingiverse Link


Thanks to @GremlinRC for taking these plans and converting them to a Dxf file format so all of you with laser cutters or CNC machines can cut this plane out: Spitfire Dxf's
 
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Grifflyer

WWII fanatic
#2
I will be designing a Mighty Mini sized Spitfire Mk.II it will have around a 30 inch wingspan, and to increase simplicity this will not be a swappable design so the motor won't be able to be swapped to another design, but you should be able to swap your ESC as long as your motor leads are long enough. So far I've got the front half of the frame cut out and assembled!!
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jfaleo1

Junior Member
#11
I've got the first segment skinned.
View attachment 145805

I'm curios that since the firewall won't get a layer of tape to hold it in place, if the firewall will stay mounted to the plane...If it falls off I might just try and make my own powerpod or make a fancy 3D printed firewall.
Are you just gluing at the end of the foam or is it back further? I have slotted the foam at the sides and bottom before to give more stability. The Quiky firewall is just glued to the foam board and it is overpowered, it showed no sign of damage yet. So either way it should work.
 
#12
Are you just gluing at the end of the foam or is it back further? I have slotted the foam at the sides and bottom before to give more stability. The Quiky firewall is just glued to the foam board and it is overpowered, it showed no sign of damage yet. So either way it should work.
It's going back a little bit, see post #2 it's in the little slot, behind the first former.
 
#17
I finished the skinning the fuse...kinda
I originally was going to make the rear fuse piece out of one piece, but it's really hard to get the tight curve along the bottom when you have nothing to grip onto. If I make the rear fuse two pieces it will end up with a seam down the middle but the benefits outweigh that one drawback. For example, installing the elevator servo will be easier, assembly will be a lot easier, and it might let me do a bubble top variant.
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I didn't bother trimming the piece or putting on the curved part that goes under the elevator because it might end up getting changed and I don't really need it to test flight.
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The Hangar

Well-known member
#18
I finished the skinning the fuse...kinda
I originally was going to make the rear fuse piece out of one piece, but it's really hard to get the tight curve along the bottom when you have nothing to grip onto. If I make the rear fuse two pieces it will end up with a seam down the middle but the benefits outweigh that one drawback. For example, installing the elevator servo will be easier, assembly will be a lot easier, and it might let me do a bubble top variant.
View attachment 146298

I didn't bother trimming the piece or putting on the curved part that goes under the elevator because it might end up getting changed and I don't really need it to test flight.
View attachment 146299
It’s coming along nicely👍 Looking forward to building and flying it!