Spitfire Mk IX Floatplane

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Avatar bjofuruh 9 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #53399
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    bjofuruh
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    I have modified my Spitfire Mk IX to take floats, since I presently have no proper airfield.
    I had a pair of old home made floats laying around that I figured would fit the Spitfire Mk IX perfectly.

    One full size Spitfire MK IX was modified with floats in 1944, and according to reports it flew very well. Probably the fastest seaplane of the time.
    So how about the model?

    My Spitfire is modified in this way:
    1: Removed the landing gear.
    2: Patched over the wheel wells with 2mm plywood and a layer of carbon fibre.
    3: 3D printed two symmetrical airfoil shaped pylons, glued to the underside of the wing across the patched up wheel wells.
    4: 3D printed two adaptors so the floats (originally made for a completely different plane) would fit the Spitfire pylons.
    5: Screwed on the floats to the adaptors.
    6: Made a ventral fin in 3mm balsa and glued it to the rear underside of the fuselage.
    7. Checked the weight and balance, and went out for test flying.

    Technical data:
    Take off weight, with battery and floats: 6130 g
    C/G: Exactly on the marked spot under the wings.
    Motor: Turnigy Aerodrive 5055-320kV
    ESC: Phoenix Castle 100A
    Battery: 35C 6S 4500mAh
    Propeller: 18x12E
    Mixed flight time: 10 min.

    How it flies:
    Unfortunately, I have no video of the plane yet. Will try to get someone to help me with that.
    Taxiing: I have no water rudder, so some speed must be kept to get the air flow going to get directional control. But no problem to steer it and keep it straight.
    Take off: About 40-50m in no wind condition, half flaps extended.
    Climb out: Flaps up, get some speed and it climbs away with ease.
    Handling: It has a slight tendency to side slip into the turns, even with the extra ventral fin, so I mixed 16% of aileron to rudder. Works great. The elevator control seems to be somewhat more sensitive with floats, so I increased the expo from 50 to 60 %. Still one must handle the elevator with some care (just like the full size Spitfire).
    Otherwise the floatplane handles very much like the landplane. And with my motor setup, it is very quiet.
    Aerobatics: Loops, Rolls, Stall turns, Immelmanns etc. are easily carried out, although the plane feels notably heavier than the original landplane. Still a lively plane.
    Landing: Very easy, just apply full flaps and glide down for a flaired landing. The wide stance of the floats make it extremely stable on water.

    A challenge to 3D-designers!:
    My Spitfire Mk IX Floatplane is a bit too heavy. I need help to make a lighter floatplane version.
    Could anyone with a great interest in this plane and the ability to create advanced 3D-models, look into of the following matters?:
    1: Modify the original wing in this way: Remove the landing gear attachment and wheel well assembly. Straighten the wing spars where the landing gear now occupies the wing. Make strong-points for the float-pylons to be attached to the wing. They are located exactly over the centre of the existing wheel wells.
    2: Make a 3D-printable model of the pylons with attachment points for the floats. I can submit the 3D-model of my pylons. I think they can be made lighter and still strong enough.
    3: Make a 3D-printable model of the floats. I made mine in wood and styrofoam. They are a bit on the heavy side. I can submit 2D drawings of mine. They are a perfect fit for the Spitfire Mk IX.
    4: Make a 3D-printable model of the ventral fin.

    If anyone is willing to help me with these matters, I am sure we could create a super floatplane, probably better than anything else.
    Contact me on this forum, and I can submit whatever I have.

    • This topic was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by Avatar bjofuruh.
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    #53420
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    bjofuruh
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    I have a brief video-clip of my Spitfire Mk IX Floatplane.
    Apologise for shaky video and poor lighting condition.

    Spifire Floatplane Video

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