Douglas DC-3 Dakota

In spite of a few issues, this is a very worthy scale project for a confident builder.  I have to say up front that this plan is a bit of a mess.  The photo from Model Airplane News looks good:


But when the plan is viewed with the drafting software a lot of inconsistencies become evident.  The bulkheads as pictured on the plan do not generally match the height and width as shown in the top and side views of the fuselage.  The nacelle bulkheads are way off.  Another really egregious error is the engine mount plate, which would protrude from the sides of the nacelle if cut as shown on the plan, so I’ve altered the shape to make it fit inside the nacelle.

Another major problem is F1 (or the nose cone).  I don’t get it.  My kit contains F1, which I don’t think was intended on the plan.  I sized it to yield the correct outline as shown in the top and side fuselage views when planked with 3/16 balsa.  Oddly, the fuselage sides protrude ahead of the F1 line.  I’m planning to build this plane, and I’ll probably just sand the front off the fuselage sides, then add a block for the nose cone.  I figure if you are building one, you should know how to handle these issues.

Probably the most important thing you’ll need to think about is the fact that there is a 3.65″ clearance between the nacelle centerline and the fuselage side.  As drawn, the maximum propeller size is 7 inches.  The wing center section can be stretched an inch on each side to allow 9″ propellers, which is good for electric or up to 20 size glow power.  I’m including an extra center section rib to help with stretching the center section.  You’ll probably also want to explore 3 bladed propeller options.

The fuselage formers are cut from lite ply.  When you order, please specify if you want the 1/4″ ply engine mounting plate, or if you want to leave out the plate and mount your electric motor or small glow engine to a flat firewall.  For the flat firewall option the firewall and second bulkhead have notches for 1/4 x 1/4 stringers to form the nacelle outline, which is then planked with 3/16 balsa per the plan.  If this explanation is confusing, just send me an email.