Mediator build, part 2 – When is a fuselage not a fuselage?

By | December 19, 2020

Since I left the hobby around 1980, glider fuselages seem to have been on a diet – so many these days have extremely spindly bodies with hardly a curve in sight. I must concede, though, that the word ‘fuselage’ does in fact come from the French word fuseler meaning ‘shape into a spindle’. I’m sorry folks but spindly long-thin-stick fuselages just don’t do it for me AND they’re exactly the opposite of what you need for knife-edge flying and slow rolls.

First job was to cut out the 1/8  sides, 1mm doublers, and F1 through to F9. As I don’t have a jig and the fuse was deep and narrow I decided to stick all the formers to one side first before bending the two sides together. Each former had to meet the side at a different angle so each was temporarily held by a bespoke scrap of balsa.

When side two was added I used sash clamps to hold it all straight but it didn’t work well so I think I’ll make some sort of fuse jig for the next one. Any tips?

Before adding the bottom sheeting I put her back in the clamps to try and correct a slightly twisted nose. That worked a bit but I still had to add some balsa to correct it. I then found a slight bend at the tail end! Bit of a pain but not beyond correction later. I really must make a jig.

Then came the top sheeting, nose block, and canopy fashioned from as many scraps of soft 3/8 as I could find. I’d used ½” triangular section all along the top and bottom so I could do lots of rounding off the corners. After lots of work with the palm sander her rather pleasing shape emerged at last.


So here she is, temporarily pinned together in all her naked glory with, (as Kryten once said in Red Dwarf), “all her in and outy bits going all iny and outy”. Not a spindle in sight.
Happy Christmas everyone.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.