New Construction Report: Ka8b

A prototypical Ka8b, the D-5727. Source: Wikimedia Foundation.
A prototypical Ka8b, the D-5727. Source: Wikimedia Foundation.

Today, I’d like to announce my new model aircraft building project: A Schleicher K 8b (or short: Ka8b) on a scale of 1 : 5.

She’s a one-seater soaring plane from the 1950s, and due to her simple, but rugged construction she’s still in service today, especially suitable for beginners making their first solo flights.
That sound a bit like me, doesn’t it…

After cancelling the Thermy 4 project I’ve been looking for an alternative. My requirements to a model haven’t changed, so I’ve looked for a prototype which would fit in. However, there’s one addition: I’d like to build a semiscale model of a prototype which isn’t built from composite materials. So in the end, I came up with the Schleicher K 8b.

She does lack flaps, but if need be, I can camber the ailerons, just like I already do with the EasyGlider. In turn, she’s got Schempp-Hirth-style spoilers and that should do for the landings.

The Ka8b wasn’t designed to be a self-launching glider. There were and are some retrofitted engines to allow for flight enhancement or self-launch capability; they do have two things in common: They are built as fixed pylons on top of the aircraft, and they’ve fallen down the ugly tree, hitting every branch on the way down!

I do need some form of self-launch capability, if I don’t want to switch to bungee or winch launching. However, I will postpone this decision until the construction is well underway. Only then I will have to make a final call and until then I’d like to see some progress.

The Ka8b features a fixed undercarriage, which matches my initial specifications. Apropos, with the prototype the wheelbrake and spoilers were actuated by the same lever. So one could put bind both functions to the same channel. Since I don’t even know whether or not I’ll implement a wheel brake, I’m postponing that decision, too. Finally, the Ka8b sports a large canopy, referred to as “swiss canopy” which definitely add to her good looks.

I really had some good fortune with the blueprints: Achime Kleinegees has constructed a Ka8b as CNC-milled kit and he was kind enough to provide me with a set of diagrams to build a wingspan of 3 metres. Thank you very much, Achim!

That will save me a lot of headache, naturally, because I can build a tried model. So next time construction will start, that is preparing all the parts.

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