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How to build an aluminum can plane--Mitsubisi Zero
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Author:  JLO [ Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:33 pm ]
Post subject:  How to build an aluminum can plane--Mitsubisi Zero

Here are some pics of my last build. I skipped over most of the fuselage, vertical and horizontal stabilizer construction because it was covered on the previous build.
This calls for all the usual supplies, xacto knife, scoring tool, hot glue, mat, straight edge and a couple other odds and ends.
Cutting the cans consistently is easily done by buzzing the ends off using a dremel tool.
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I typically cut through the ingredients chart as shown. I use the upper dark line as a point on either end. This is very useful when the top edge needs to be cleaned up.
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The first step in constructing the lower half of the wing is to cut and smooth out 8 cans. Gently roll in the opposite direction the can wants to roll. Next, make a straight edge along the top of each can using the top of the ingredients chart for reference.
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Once trimmed, shingle them in long skinny line. I typically overlap approximately 1/8"-3/16" . Tape each seam entirely.
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After taping all sheets, fold the first sheet back and apply heavy bead of hot glue. Repeat until all seams are glued.Image
Next, tape pattern in place and mark each end of the score with a scoring tool. Once done, flip over and connect the dots using a scoring tool. The scores help the wing stay flat. Once scores are done, the wing my be cut out.
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Once this is done, mark wing location for supports and then cut wing out using template
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Cut two folded wing supports for each side and glue in place using marks as guide
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Add additional glue at all seams
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No pattern is need for the top half of the wing. It is formed by constructing a 4 can sheet as with the lower. A 1/8"-3/16" tab is made and glued to bottom(print side) of wing.
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Author:  JLO [ Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How to build an aluminum can plane--Mitsubisi Zero

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Fold can over wing supports creating a smooth airfoil and apply a bead of glue along trailing edge of wing. If it doesn't lay properly, an iron can be used to remelt the glue.
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Once glued in place, using the bottom side of the wing as a template, cut off the top excess.
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Do the same on other side. Glue bottom center of fuselage to wing. Prop wing tips up for dihedral angle and glue top of wings to fuselage.
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Canopy is cut out and taped together. Once taped, glue the inside.
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Glue canopy front in place starting at the top. Install gun shroud and glue to fuselage.
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Since I planned on painting the nose, I used whatever cans I had laying around. Start by cutting top off as shown
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Next collect 42 tabs and put in 6 stacks of 7 and glue. Form center section(same as wheel s in warthog build). Glue 6 stacks around circumference of center section.
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Cut out prop, glue to second layer as shown and trim using original as template, repeat for other two. Center section is made the same way except it is three layers instead of two.
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I chose to paint the nose section to give it the Zero look
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Glue engine as shown to slightly diameter reduced can bottom and cut a hole in the center, and drop into nose as shown. Once in position, glue around can bottom with a heavy bead of glue.
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Install long skinny screw through center of propeller assy, insert in drilled hole, flip over and drip glue down screw.
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Still gotta get around to removing tape, but almost there..
Tah-Dah
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Bullet holes and flames added for effect
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Author:  Texman [ Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How to build an aluminum can plane--Mitsubisi Zero

Ingenius use of the pull tabs for the engine! Very cool.

Author:  ngwithrsd [ Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How to build an aluminum can plane--Mitsubisi Zero

Looks pretty good. I never quite understood the reasoning behind scoring the cans. I try to keep my can surfaces as dent and ding free as possible so it has a completely clean finish.

Author:  JLO [ Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How to build an aluminum can plane--Mitsubisi Zero

I have noticed in many instances planes have lines running the length of the fuselage. I try to mimic these with the scoring to a degree. Some planes have more lines and others less. I have found scoring makes forming a little easier. One the ottom of the wing, it could have had a double layer rather than the scores.

Author:  ngwithrsd [ Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How to build an aluminum can plane--Mitsubisi Zero

Just curious. It makes sense since there are lines on some of the older aircraft. I did a World War I series and did some with scoring and some without like on the Albatross DVA and I found that I just wasn't a fan of scoring. I guess you can call it personal preference. I like the can shiny and un-dented and unblemished in any way. If it is, I use it for reinforcing only.

Author:  hardlec [ Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How to build an aluminum can plane--Mitsubisi Zero

The lines (sometimes) are corrugations, to give the skin strength. These fell out of favor as they created drag. When speeds got higher, the drag increased, so other options were developed.
There are also a few situations where the plane is made of fabric stretched over wooden ridges.

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