Roy's RC Hobbies

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Tony Nijhuis Douglas DC-3 Dakota kit Build.

This is my build of a Tony Nijhuis DC-3 Dakota form the RCM&E plan and parts kit.

 For the most up to date info on my Dakota build click on this link to my Dak Build Log on RC Groups.

As with all my model builds this is not going to be the fasted build ever, in fact I brought the kit back in 2004 when the plans were first published. Ever since the kit has sat in my loft. Still better late than never it time to make a start, motivated by the fact that a fellow club mate has also started building one and is already a long ways a head of me. It would be so nice though to have a pair of Dak’s flying together.

The wing span is 1836mm (72”) AUW is 3.180 Kg (7 lb) max
My model will be finished in civil marking of G-APML, the first aircraft I ever flow on.

End of day one. 2 side built ready for sheeting, Next day one side sheeted.


Both fuselage sides sheeted & control snake outers fitted, and ready for joining.  


Home-made Steerable tail wheel assembly, Wing ribs after an attack of the SoftBore tool.


   Tail group and main wing centre section under way.


 The wing frame is built over the plan as three panels. Then once removed they can be joined ready for the wires to be installed.

The next stage is to sheet the wing in balsa, this is done by cutting the sheets to shape & then joining them before fitting them to the wing. they are then lightly sanded ready for fitting. It's a good idea to install all the wiring &  pull through for the servo leads, in to the wing at this stage.

Once all the sheeting is fitted and trimmed to size the next stage is to fit the wing leading edges. These are cut from the sheet balsa and glued over the falls LE before being shaped to the wing profile.

Mark out where the nacelles & ailerons are, so your  ready to cut them out of the wing. You can cut out the nacelles now but leave the ailerons until later if you are going to cover the model in glass cloth. You should by now have a model that's starting to look like an aeroplane.





The nacelles sides are self jigging, onto the main wing spare, & once fitted the rest of the nacelle assembly can be built up. The hard wood retract mounts on mine are fitted higher up in to the nacelle, to take my own design undercarriage.





Next on the list of things to do is fit the wing to fuselage and install the wing locating dowels. After this the tail group can be fitted, but make sure that everything is set to the correct line. 

With the wing in place next come the wing faring, this can be a bit tricky so take you time. After that comes the tail faring, My model needed  the longer faring that was part of the Dak's high speed kit. This was a simple job of replacing the kit parts with new ones made from soft 1/4 balsa.

By now your model should be looking a little bit more like an aeroplane, & ready to start the covering process. For this I used lite weight glass cloth & Eze Kote water based resin from Deluxe Material. This again is a process were you should take your time, add one cote at a time & rubbing back in between. Then finish off with a couple of cotes of filler and primer, until you have a perfect finish.    

Time to add some colour, so out with the masking tape and off we go.  Just to add a little more stile, I thought flush fitting windows would look much better, plus think of all that extra time I could spend making them.



Time to complete the wing & fit the nacelles, of course I couldn't just fit them as standard. No that's to easy for my Dak, I needed the large air intakes on top of the cowling's. You guest it more time needed to make, mould & fit.

So to the finished aircraft, some 7 years after buying kit! (Click on the photo below to see the YouTube Video)



 The Original My Model is based on Ex Martin Baker.