Friday, November 30, 2012

SB2C-5 SAC Sideview

The following are the same drawing. The first one is the way I usually do these illustrations, with a dimensioned box that can be used with a copier that scales the copy to the desired size. The other two can also be downloaded. One will probably turn out pretty close as printed out.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

F-4 Stabilator

The F-4 stabilator pivoted from a point above the surface of the stabilator at its juncture with the side of the aft fuselage. The necessary opening was covered by a plate that moved with the stabilator. Note that the top of the plate was not quite parallel with the upper surface of the stabilator.
 (The Phantom in this case is a YF-4K. The colored lines are a temperature-sensitive paint that changes color at a specific temperature.)

A view from the other side, this time on an F-4A (the stabilator has the cambered leading edge modification):

A view from the side with the cover plate removed:
This picture and the one below were taken and provided by an anonymous contributor

And a view from behind and below looking up and forward showing the carry-through structure covered by the plate and the stabilator actuator.

Drawn from pretty good McDonnell data and drawings, including check of 35 degrees sweep at 1/4 chord. Does not include leading edge slat. Outline shown "true", not a top view.
 Revision A:
USAF stabilators were eventually modified with a blunt arrowhead-shaped reinforcement plate at the forward juncture of the inboard and outboard panels. This appears to have been introduced with the addition of maneuver slats on the F-4E (see However, there was no similar reinforcement associated with the similar maneuver slats introduced on the Navy F-4S (see There are indications that a reinforcement was added to this area on some Navy Phantoms, but it was probably a standard repair rather than a required modification at overhaul or in spares production. There are reports of Navy Phantoms with the USAF reinforcement but these may just be the use of a stabilator from USAF stock.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Airfix 1/72 A4D Outline

The following, including the illustration, has been revised since first posted. Also, for a more complete discussion, see

I've been a bit suspicious of the accuracy of the Airfix A4D nose shape since I first saw pictures of it. On ARC there has recently been discussion about the scale, with speculation that the Airfix kit is undersized. So I compared the kit fuselage to the best Douglas drawings that I have. Based on this evaluation, it  looks like the overall size is okay, but the rudder extends downward a bit too far, the horizontal stabilizer is mounted a smidgen low, and the nose is in fact notably off.

 Of those, only the nose profile looks worth fixing to me by giving the lower side a little more upsweep. Canting the whole nose upward would be even better.

Saturday, November 3, 2012