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Post  duaneh Tue Jan 16, 2024 1:08 pm

I recently acquired a Norvel .049 in a trade with 944_Jim, and need something to put it in. I've never had one of these engines before, so I'm looking forward to running it.
Kawasaki Ki-61 Swallow build Img_2010

On the prowl for something that builds quick and flies well, I thought of the Top Flite Junior Aces series that has worked well for me. By just changing the outline, it should be possible to build any WWII fighter, and expect it to fly the same.
The Kawasaki Ki-61 Swallow was an inline engined fighter with a layout close to the Mustang & Hurricane already represented in this series. It should be a straightforward build.

As always, it starts with a 3-view.
Kawasaki Ki-61 Swallow build 100_4910
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Post  akjgardner Tue Jan 16, 2024 1:48 pm

I have several Norvel .061s and .074s but no .049s. That’s a good airplane to build , looking forward to the build
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Post  Surfer_kris Tue Jan 16, 2024 1:57 pm

The Norvel engines are great, just be aware that you have one of the older models. These have a colder glow plug and they can also be a little tight in the crank to crankcase fit. Use a small prop load and plenty of castor oil and they run just fine. Will do a bit more than 20krpm on the APC 4.75x4 prop. Smile
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Post  944_Jim Wed Jan 17, 2024 3:56 am

And lots of break-in. I think I had close to an hour or bench time on my .074s. I called them ready once I could start them easily.

I miss the Mossie. Long live Captain Crunch!
Kawasaki Ki-61 Swallow build Img_2179

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Post  GallopingGhostler Wed Jan 17, 2024 5:05 am

Jim, Mossie is repairable. I can see strengthening the wing to fuselage joints, gluing triangular gussets, etc. Good thing about the standard balsa planes is that they can be restored.

This differs from the ARF's, which often use a lot of lightening holes. I saw a 1/5th scale ARF sport biplane with large gas engine reduce itself to kindling. It had an uneventful takeoff, climbed to about 50 feet, then for some odd reason took a nose dive and hit the tarmac. It was so thoroughly destroyed, that it looked like a jumbled array of toothpicks and covering.

The factory lightening holes helped with airworthiness, but did little for crash sustainability. Carl Goldberg, Max Hestor, Joe Wagner, Randy Randolph, Ken Willard, Walt Musciano, Frank Zaic, Jack Headley, Lee Renaud, and Sid Axlerod knew what they were doing when they designed what we know of now slightly heavier model aircraft. They could sustain some crash damage without severely rekitting themselves.

That Mosquito can be put back into flying shape with a little bit of work. (Been there, done that.) Stereo Clean my glasses Popcorn lol!
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Post  getback Wed Jan 17, 2024 6:46 am

Yeah Duaneh , the Norvel if new will need some break in and I think there ABC engine witch will need some heating no the head to get it loosened up at first start . But you may already know this // Looking forward to another Great Build from you sunny Gosh George don't get Jim confused he just started the Kingpin build lol! I Love This Forum!
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Post  duaneh Wed Jan 17, 2024 7:30 pm

Thanks for the engine tips. Yes, this one won't fly a plane until it can hold a steady run on the test stand.

I enlarged the profile image from the 3-view to the size I needed, and stuck it to some balsa. After a quick trip through the band saw, I had these.
Kawasaki Ki-61 Swallow build 100_4911

The basic wing structure is the same as the others in the series, and I built it to the plan. I won't have landing gear on this one, so I omitted the ply LG mount plate.
The horizontal stab for the Hurricane works just as well for the Ki-61.
Kawasaki Ki-61 Swallow build Plan10


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Post  944_Jim Wed Jan 17, 2024 8:51 pm

Hubba-Hubba-Hubba! WowZers! Lookin' great Duane.

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Post  duaneh Fri Jan 19, 2024 8:04 pm

I wanted to use this prop and spinner from a Cox P-51 on the Ki-61. Knowing that the Norvel shares the same mounting hole pattern as a TD, and can use Cox glow heads, I naively assumed this commonality would extend to the prop screw threads. Nope.  Norvel uses an M3 x 0.5 thread, not the Cox #5-40.
Kawasaki Ki-61 Swallow build 100_5010

Lacking a Johnny Cash Adapt-a-Kit, I had to make it work. First I cut the head off an M3 screw to make a threaded stud that fit the Norvel.  M3 is slightly smaller than a #5, and the pitch is finer. Crossing my fingers, I ran an M3 tap into the Cox prop nut. The resulting cross-thread looks bad, but when tightened, it holds.
Kawasaki Ki-61 Swallow build 100_5011
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Post  944_Jim Fri Jan 19, 2024 8:17 pm

There you go...looking great Duane!

I did much the same thing for my Scientific P-40 with AP .061 engine (very similar to the Norvel .061). I still have the spinner, barrel nut and prop stud "for the next one." Well...I still have the engine too.

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Post  rsv1cox Sat Jan 20, 2024 10:23 am

Nice fix on the Cox spinner which will look great on that model.

The Ki-61 Swallow is interessting to research, I always thought it the best looking of the Japanese fighters.

From wikipedia

Kawasaki Ki-61 Swallow build Ki-61_10
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Post  GallopingGhostler Sun Jan 21, 2024 12:58 am

The Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien was a development after the earlier Mitsubishi Zero, it was higher performance, high altitude fighter, yes, prettier. Always makes a nice subject due to its clean lines.

It amazes me, the high altitude developments of WW2. The reason why the most recently developed Russian aircraft have thrust vectoring and larger tail surfaces that are quite articulate, I found out from WW2 research, these are needed at the highest elevations. Problem with WW2 aircraft is a ceiling limit, forgot what, 60,000 feet? The air was so thin that in a dive, the thinner air would make recovery from a dive more lengthy so an aircraft higher up often shot past their opponent.

I'd have to re-read the article, nonetheless interesting. Also, the electrically heated suits tied into a special electrical system on the aircraft, nichrome wires embedded in the flight suit not much different than today's heated motorcycle jackets and pants. The sub-zero temperatures would quickly freeze exposed skin.

Imagine what those B-17 and B-24 aircrewmen had to go through, exposed to unpressurized atmospheric air at high elevations in sub-zero temperatures to and from a mission, and this in the dead of Winter. This wearing their electrically heated suits with oxygen masks dealing with air pressure in the single digits. Totally amazing.
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Post  duaneh Sun Jan 21, 2024 9:05 am

I got the basic construction finished. Still need to make a tank, and cover the plane.
Kawasaki Ki-61 Swallow build 100_5012
Kawasaki Ki-61 Swallow build 100_5013

I haven't decided on a color scheme yet, there are a lot of possibilities. Unlike the drab navy planes, the JAAF fighters used colorful unit markings. I think I am going to borrow elements from these 3.
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Post  akjgardner Sun Jan 21, 2024 10:06 am

Looking Awesome
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Post  Surfer_kris Sun Jan 21, 2024 12:29 pm

Please don't use that prop for flying, display would be fine though. I guess it is a three-blade 5x3 prop?

The Norvel engines need to rev around 20krpm at least, in order to be happy, so use a proper APC prop e.g. the 4.7x4 one. These are a better suited load for the engine, and the prop will also hold up to the rpm.

Some cox props are simply too soft and they will bend forward in the flight, loosing their pitch etc.
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Post  duaneh Wed Jan 24, 2024 12:18 pm

Surfer_kris wrote:Please don't use that prop for flying, display would be fine though. I guess it is a three-blade 5x3 prop?

The Norvel engines need to rev around 20krpm at least, in order to be happy, so use a proper APC prop e.g. the 4.7x4 one. These are a better suited load for the engine, and the prop will also hold up to the rpm.

Some cox props are simply too soft and they will bend forward in the flight, loosing their pitch etc.

Hmmm... Yes I did intend to use that prop, and it is a 5 x 3. Factory prop for the Cox Mustang. I'm not overly concerned with extracting the last bit of power from the engine. These planes fly well on a reedie and I'm sure the Norvel will outpull a Black Widow. On the other hand, if the prop won't take the RPM, that's something else. I don't want to risk a thrown blade. I have a few APC 6x3's and Cox gray 5x3's. Maybe those would be a better choice.

I have the airplane finished except for a tank. None of the ones I have will fit between the engine and wing LE. I will make one that fits the available space. Weighs 5.7 oz. as shown. I guess a tank will add 1/2 oz. or so.
Kawasaki Ki-61 Swallow build 100_5014
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Post  rsv1cox Wed Jan 24, 2024 1:53 pm

Nice Duane, I like the paint scheme that you selected. The camoflague is a bit to busy while the lightning bolt is clean and works fine for this model. Too bad that you have to interupt the lines of this beautiful model with an external tank, so necessary in a profile. But, I have always been an advocate of an intergated into the fuselage tank, hides some of it and presents a more finished approach. Doubters think that it weakens the model, but it doesn't as it becomes an intergral part of the fuselage.
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Post  akjgardner Wed Jan 24, 2024 4:35 pm

Looking good Duane , I also like the paint scheme
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Post  HalfaDave Wed Jan 24, 2024 6:30 pm

Hi Duene,
Nice Ride ! Cool
I have done a Stuka, Me-109, Firefly and Typhoon along similar control lines. (Pun intended Very Happy )

The Norvell .049 will run a 5-3 three blade, but, will be bogged way down.
Try less prop. (A Cox TD.049 does not like that prop too... Very Happy )
As far as tanks go,
Try an un-pressurised bladder tank.
A tank that has no bubbles, to get to the carb.
Ask anyone who has tried one.
If you need nose weight, solder up all the brass and the extra fuel line plumbing...until it balances... Smile

Great Project Duane, It is great,
Thanks for sharing,
Take care,
Have fun,
Dave Fallowfield
MAAC 6437


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Post  GallopingGhostler Wed Jan 24, 2024 8:31 pm

That is a sharp looking Kawasaki Hien, Duane, You have certainly captured its charm in miniature, not to mention with the extra power, you'll be able to fly it on longer lines for better stunting. Cool
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Post  Mike1484 Thu Jan 25, 2024 7:01 am

A very nice build of one of my favorite Japanese fighters. Very well constructed and inspiring. Makes me want to build one.              Mike1484
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Post  getback Thu Jan 25, 2024 7:34 am

Very Nice ! As always your builds are clean / now on to the tank ! Very Happy
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Post  duaneh Thu Jan 25, 2024 9:56 am

Glad you guys like the color scheme! I wasn't going to attempt the mottled camo. I tried to represent a late-war produced Ki-61. These were delivered in natural metal, as the factory was trying to pump out aircraft as fast as they could between B-29 raids. The Aluminum Monokote color is miserable stuff to work with, so Dove Gray is the stand-in. I see that I missed the yellow LE identification stripes, will have to add those.

Bob, the integrated tank looks better and even improves fuel draw, but I wanted a removable tank for maintenance and for adjusting height.

Dave, I have never tried a bladder tank, but can see it would have advantages.

G.G., Longer lines! Yes, would give more maneuvering room if the speed is high enough to maintain tension.
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