Builder #5: Frank Deeth - email for more information

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Start date: Officially April 2007 but unofficially about 1995.

First flight goal date: Too far away to contemplate at this stage.

The Project: Tail Chase


Since starting the SAC Spitfire it evolved that I should build the two seat Tr.9 version. A few differences with Russ's aircraft is the pointed broader cord rudder of that series and the larger elevator balance horns. In this folder you will see progress of my tailplane coming together as well as the areas where I have modified the plans.

As well as changing the profiles slightly I have also decided to manufacture the parts in a very similar method to the original with no ply sandwich covering of the rudder and elevators...just fabric like the original aircraft. To this end I have increased the size of the materials used in the ribs and in the spars as well as thicker plywood webs on those spars. It has been a laborious project to 'stretch' the rudder ribs and rudder spar for the larger dimensions. I have used original Spitfire drawings quite a lot for the overall dimension increases as well as other sources to make sure the material sizes would be large enough. Check out these pictures of ORIGINAL AIRCRAFT to get an idea of the larger rudder compared to the early model aircraft.



Started construction of rudder spar first. Method of construction is the same just dimensions of materials and unit larger to follow larger original part. The important thing to note is I used the same tip profiles in the plans but used laminated plywood rather than solid spruce specified in the plans. Production line of rudder and fin ribs started to develop also. Because of the changes there have been a few areas that I could not finalize but rather will have to design on the run. Most of it is around the area of the trim tab and how construction with take place.


Above - rudder and fin rib jigs, ready for production

Posted 12/16/09 - Progress has been slow since x-mas 2008 but in the last six months things have began to pick up a bit. Pictures show the rudder spar being completed and drilling the holes for rudder hinge attachment. I have since run a few mockups to check some positioning of the rudder ribs and that dimensions are correct. Recently I glued the rudder ribs to the spar and installed the trailing edge ply to get a sense of the final shape. I think it looks about right to me. As mentioned earlier the rudder tab will need to be built 'on the run' so to speak adapting the current plans and fittings to the different profile of the larger late Mark rudder. The tab will be built the same way as the current SAC design. I am currently working on the elevator and stabilizer ribs then I will get a move on with the fuselage frames and longerons. Stay tuned....


11/2/2010 - A few pictures below of the finished stabilizer and elevator ribs, as well as the two stabilizer spars coming together with front and rear webs being glued on. I have since finished both spars and now have all of the tail feathers finished and ready to glue together. I am waiting however, until the fuselage is starting to go together as it looks like to root ribs of the stabilizer must match the profile of the rear fuselage so I will be gluing these parts together in situ on the fuselage. You might think it could get a little frustrating making all these parts with little "visual progress" but I think it is best to get as much done of a "kit of parts" early in the build. Later, should the enthusiasm fade a little, you will have relatively quick visual progress happening to spur you on.

11/23/2010 - A picture of the finished horizontal stabiliser spars. Although the curved tips look finished they need to be profiled prior to final assembly.

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