Exhausting Work

Work on the Viper has progressed a little of late, in between work, family, other hobbies and life in general.

One of the tasks at the top of my list was to strengthen the structure of the wings, so that I could replicate the mounting points at the engine housings, without the need for an additional (and unsightly) mounting at the intake. This is based on the original filming model, Revell and Moebius models, and unlike the full size mockup. To do this I added some longitudinal bracing and cut out holes to reduce weight.

I ended up with three longitudinal braces and they all add a great deal of strength to the structure, so much so that it is rigid under it’s own weight and solves my mounting point issue.

I’ve also been keen to get the high engine exhaust nozzle constructed and mounted.  I know this was going to be laborious and time consuming, due to the detail.  I found the best way to do it was to do a little at a time, an hour here and there to break up the monotony.

After much cutting, drilling and riveting I was finally able to position it and see the big picture, ready for the final steps.

Then some further work and mounting.  I paid particular attention to the recessed gap between the rear engine housing and the exhaust nozzle.  I wanted this to look right and it was worth the extra effort – I’m happy with the outcome.

Just a little black to give that burnt exhaust nozzle look.

Still a little more to finish up the nozzle but it’s looking the part.  Then a further two more to build…

I’m planning on putting the wing sheeting back on, as well as the tail fin for a pre-Christmas / build status photo shoot, so stay tuned for that in the next few weeks.

Stay safe out there. 

6 thoughts on “Exhausting Work

  1. You must have quite a machine shop where you live to fabricate all that you’ve done so far. And you’ve got the the skills to use them, too. Bravo, my distant friend. I’m afraid you may have better skills than I, which is okay. Although I’ve worked with heavy pneumatic machinery, lathes, milling machines, and most shop tools in my lifetime, I don’t have nearly the experience to call myself a master machinist. I can tell you that by far, this is the best representation I’ve seen of a full-scale mock-up to date. ‘Proud of you, brother. Thanks for the update. Keep the faith and be safe!
    ~Ken Wyvill
    Henderson, East TEXAS

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Ken! Great to hear from you and I hope all is well with you in Texas.
      I don’t have much in the way of machinery, mostly hand operated tools. I do have a power metal drop saw, a manual metal folding brake, power drills, air shears and air riveter. But that’s about it really – it’s all basically hand built. Probably would be a much quicker build with a fully equipped machine shop and someone with the right skills 😁. I’m learning as I go. I don’t have any professional experience working with tools, but I’ve always loved to build things. I’m loving the opportunity to be able to bring the dream to life!
      Stay safe my friend

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hey, Scott!
        We are both perfectionists, which is why we take our time to get it right. I am with you on the shop scene. I’ve got about the same stuff, including a 10-inch drill press, a miter saw, a belt sander, 2 14-HP routers, and a table saw. I wish I had a lathe, a milling machine – especially a CNC one, and a drop saw like you’ve got. I used to have to cut pipes on the one when I was a machinist. Precision was number one over there. And I operated an 18-inch machine (metal) lathe and a CNC that I had to write programs for. Having worked on Pratt & Whitney R-1800’s and R-2800 radials, specializing in the superchargers, I’ve picked up a bunch of experience. But nothing I’ve done on my own comes anywhere close to what you’re doing. On the job, I’ve had to rework aircraft parts and I’ve shot thousands of rivets using an air hammer and a bucking bar, lol. Are you using the pure aluminum O rivets or just pop rivets in your construction?

        I’m retired, now, at 54, and ‘finally living the dream to delve into my r/c project of the Viper finally with more time on my hands. Btw, thank you for following my progress. I totally appreciate it a lot. I don’t think anyone else is following me, and it’s probably because I’m not paying a subscription to advertise to larger groups or even at all. Also, I wanted to add that I love the way you did the recess spacing between the center combustion chamber and the rear thrust nozzle. Brilliant. Plus you’ve shown me how I could mount my wings and vertical stabilizer better and safer than the studio and model companies did on the other versions. Totally genius. ‘Hope you don’t mind if I borrow the concept for my r/c version. I’ll be sure to give you the credit for it.

        Lastly, when I showed my wife your latest progress, she was literally blown away. I mean, she kept saying, “no way,” “omg,” and “that’s sooo awesome!” So buddy, you’ve got other fan, now – right here in East Texas. 😀 Now she wants me to build a full-size version. haha Never gonna happen. 🙂
        Gotta get outta here, now. Dinner calls. Keep up the good work!
        Have an awesome one, Scott!!
        All the best,
        Ken Wyvill (salvage0ne)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Ken
        That’s awesome that you worked on the big P&W radials and worked on aircraft. It was a career aspiration of mine way back when – to do aeronautical engineering, but the highway of life took me in different directions.
        I’m using pop rivets for my construction – it was a compromise, but in the end pop rivets are good enough for what I’m doing.
        Well done on retiring at 54 and being free to do whatever you want. I’m aiming for 55, which is still 3.5 years away for me. In the meantime I’m setting myself up for post-work lifestyle. I’m sure that will include lots of R/C
        Feel free to use any of the build concepts I’ve used. I’m making most of it up as I go along, but if it’s useful then by all means go for it.
        Great to hear your wife appreciates the Viper project as well – she’s definitely a good catch and a keeper 🙂

        All the best and stay safe

        Liked by 1 person

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