Author Topic: Airbus A310/A400 Un-prepared Airfield Airliner  (Read 20868 times)

Offline kitnut617

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Airbus A310/A400 Un-prepared Airfield Airliner
« on: July 02, 2014, 10:25:28 PM »
Going to do this in Canadian North livery following an experience I had one time going 'up-north' in a 737 and then landing on a private gravel runway that serves a diamond mine camp.

At any given time there are 2500 people at the camp, the only way in is up the Ice Road in winter and flying in during the summer.  Personal are changed around at about 100 people each day (that's a 100 coming in and 100 going out) so my thoughts were what if you could move 200 people each day and use something that could use the existing infrastructure.  C-130's use the airfield regularly so I'd expect an A400 could use whatever the C-130 can. 

The idea then is to put an A400 wing onto an A310 fuselage which sounds quite simple  -----  until I started looking into it.

Here's a pic of what I'm attempting (kindly put together by Kit [PR19-Kit])

Offline kitnut617

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Re: Airbus A310/A400 Un-prepared Airfield Airliner
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2014, 10:40:37 PM »
I had made a start a while ago but everything got put on hold, top pic is from then, the bottom pic shows where it is today.  All I have done so far was to sand the A310 fuselage sides and cut out a wing box from an A400M and glue that part to the top wing half.

Offline kitnut617

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Re: Airbus A310/A400 Un-prepared Airfield Airliner
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2014, 10:51:04 PM »
Big part of the planning was getting a set of decals for it,  JBot Decals does a number of 737 sheets in the scheme I wanted to do but after a couple of emails to them asking if they could do a custom set for me I got no reply.  I then asked Kit if he could help me out and we were in the process of sorting things out when I suddenly got an email from JBot saying my decals were ready (without saying that they were actually taking on what I wanted).  Which put me in a spot ---

Anyway, Kit was very understanding when I explained what happened.

So these are the decals I'll be using specifically sized for an A310 fuselage  - in 1/72 that is --
« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 02:06:39 AM by kitnut617 »

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Re: Airbus A310/A400 Un-prepared Airfield Airliner
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2014, 02:18:06 AM »
This is going to be great!
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Re: Airbus A310/A400 Un-prepared Airfield Airliner
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2014, 06:25:22 AM »
woo hool. Terrific start, totally prepared

Offline tsrjoe

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Re: Airbus A310/A400 Un-prepared Airfield Airliner
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2014, 01:09:27 AM »
waw, this is going to look amazing, a big b... too :D  8)

Offline kitnut617

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Re: Airbus A310/A400 Un-prepared Airfield Airliner
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2014, 09:38:30 PM »
Thanks guys:

As usually with my what-ifs, I like to have some plausibility to them, switching the wing seems a bit weird but these photos show they're quite close in size and wing area.  I'd imagine the A400M airfoil is more advanced than the A310's being of later design and that a large area of it is covered by prop-wash which I'd guess helps with lift.

The A310 fuselage is a couple of inches longer than the A400 fuselage, but it's marginally smaller in diameter, the A310 measures 76mm (in 1/72) whereas the A400's measures at 78mm.  The big difference is in the cross-section though, the A310 is dead round, whereas the A400 is only round from the 8 o'clock position, up to 12 o'clock, and back down to 4 o'clock. The cargo floor runs straight across from 4 to 8 o'clock and below that the bottom of the fuselage flattens out some, so that it measures 71mm from top to bottom.

Another project I'm working on is a stretched A400M, which actually ends up about the same length as the A310 fuselage (I'll post this build some time later)  which is the reason why this build is going ahead --- I had to buy two A400M's to do the stretch which left a lot of spare parts left over ---  ;D  But if you're thinking I'm going to have a lot of A310 parts left over --- well no.  The kit is an Aircraft in Miniature one, and I had written to Neil (the owner) asking if he had a pair of left-over fuselage halves (or some rejects) I could buy. He said he had so I bought them.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 10:01:26 PM by kitnut617 »

Offline kitnut617

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Re: Airbus A310/A400 Un-prepared Airfield Airliner
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2014, 10:05:52 PM »
Going off topic slightly to the recent USAF air tanker acquisition, if all the USAF wanted was a 767 size tanker, why did Airbus offer the A330 where the A310 (which is practically the same size as the 767) would probably served it better in the competition.

Offline kerick

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Re: Airbus A310/A400 Un-prepared Airfield Airliner
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2014, 11:56:19 PM »
I wonder why Airbus even entered into that competition since everybody knew the US military and Congress would not settle for a non American made aircraft. Wasted a lot of time and money.

Back to the thread here, very nice idea! Looks like good progress and cudos for getting decals ahead of time. Always one of my hang ups on a project. I hope to see more of this one!

I whiffed a 737 in the same train of thought by moving the wings to the top of the fuselage to get the engines higher off the ground. Still sitting on the bench because I don't know what scheme to paint it in.

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Re: Airbus A310/A400 Un-prepared Airfield Airliner
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2014, 03:45:39 AM »
Going off topic slightly to the recent USAF air tanker acquisition, if all the USAF wanted was a 767 size tanker, why did Airbus offer the A330 where the A310 (which is practically the same size as the 767) would probably served it better in the competition.

Amongst other reasons because the A330 was still in production whereas the A310 was not.
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Offline kitnut617

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Re: Airbus A310/A400 Un-prepared Airfield Airliner
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2014, 04:50:57 AM »
A little bit of progress  ----

The Aircraft in Miniature kits have a unique way for assembly.  Most have a keel which helps keep the fuselage halves from collapsing when you glue them together and increases the strength of the fuselage.

Top pic shows the parts of another A310 in pieces, and also where I've glued the keel in on the one I'm working on.  The AiM kits are mostly advertised as being 'pre-cut', this does not mean they are 'cut-to-size', it just means the parts have been cut out of the sheet but there's still a lot of sanding to do.

I've now glued the other fuselage half on and what you have to do is ""flood"" the joint with liquid glue (what the instructions say to do), the bottom pic shows how I'm holding it in place while the glue sets

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Re: Airbus A310/A400 Un-prepared Airfield Airliner
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2014, 05:02:17 AM »
So the sledge hammer in the corner is for making "major adjustments" to difficult projects? ;)
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Offline kitnut617

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Re: Airbus A310/A400 Un-prepared Airfield Airliner
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2014, 05:11:15 AM »
 ;D

I have to make some adjustments so everything lines up right Jeff ----   :P

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Airbus A310/A400 Un-prepared Airfield Airliner
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2014, 06:03:35 AM »
This has the makings of one amazing project, Robert!

There's never enough Canadian airliners!

Brian da Basher

Offline kitnut617

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Re: Airbus A310/A400 Un-prepared Airfield Airliner
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2014, 06:39:46 AM »
Thanks Brian,  the next thing I have to see if I can get, is some of that pale blue the rear fuselage and fin is painted with.  I contacted Canadian North a while ago and asked what shade it is and they were kind enough to provide the paint code but the only place where I can get it is down in Ontario.  I'll give them a call tomorrow (or sometime soon).  When I got my decals I also got some real world ones for a 1/72 737-300 which Canadian North really do operate, I'll probably get either the Welsh Models one (got a couple of their other 737's in the stash) or the new Aircraft in Miniature one as soon as it's available.  The idea is to pose them together once built --
« Last Edit: July 10, 2014, 06:43:21 AM by kitnut617 »

Offline apophenia

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Re: Airbus A310/A400 Un-prepared Airfield Airliner
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2014, 04:31:57 AM »
Very cool idea (no pun intended) and I love the Canadian North livery!
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Offline kitnut617

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Re: Airbus A310/A400 Un-prepared Airfield Airliner
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2014, 11:50:13 PM »
Thanks ap' ----

I have now got the fuselage halves glued together and I've cut out the area that the normal wing fits into.  This area includes the original wing root fairing but I won't be using any of this so I've cut out most of it.

Top pic shows the score line that the kit has moulded in, this is where the cut should go, second pic shows what I cut out.  When I did this the plastic sort of stress-relieved itself and the horizontal cut ended up bulged out in places.  I've rectified that by glueing some brass channel along the edges.  I roughed up the inside of the plastic and the face of the channel so the superglue has something better to attach to.

Bottom pic shows the groove in the A400 fuselage that the wheel sponson fits into, I was going to copy this but I think I'll just cut this out and glue it to the outside of the A310 fuselage.  I'm doing this for a couple of reasons, firstly, the A310 fuselage is 2mm smaller in diameter than the A400 fuselage (76mm as opposed to 78mm) so the sponsons will have to be glued directly to the outside of the A310 fuselage instead of being in a groove.  Secondly, the three groups of rectangular holes you see are to locate the undercarriage frames and some bulkheads inside the sponson.  Cutting it out will allow me to use the A400 kit features to line up everything as accurate as possible.

The next stage though it to make a half round section of styrene to fill in the cut out wing hole, my first attempt didn't work out very well. First off I've used too thick a sheet (2mm), I thought I read that AiM uses 2mm plastic on all their kits, but measuring the styrene thickness after I cut the hole out, it's only 1mm and then while trying to form the 2mm styrene it wouldn't form very well in one piece so I made a bunch of strips about 50mm wide, then glued these together after I had formed them.  Well that was a right cock-up so it's off to 'Plan B'.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2014, 11:59:33 PM by kitnut617 »

Offline jcf

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Re: Airbus A310/A400 Un-prepared Airfield Airliner
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2014, 02:14:12 AM »
Brave work Robert.  :)

Most likely the sheet AiM use is 2mm before forming. The process of vac-forming
thins and stretches the material.
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Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Airbus A310/A400 Un-prepared Airfield Airliner
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2014, 02:52:41 AM »
That's some very involved modeling, Robert!

Impressive as all get-out and it looks like you're on the way to making another prize-winner!

Brian da Basher

Offline kitnut617

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Re: Airbus A310/A400 Un-prepared Airfield Airliner
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2014, 06:16:23 AM »
Thanks guys --

What I'll attempt to do when I cut out the shape for the wheel sponsons is to cut inside the groove with the razor saw with a little bit to spare.  Then I'll sand it down to the correct shape. Once this is glued to the A310 fuselage, the sponson parts will fit around it --- hopefully !  I'm also trying to conserve as much of the A400 fuselage as possible because what's left will be used for my 'stretched' A400, so I'm doing some careful planning ahead for that project as I'm doing this one

Offline kitnut617

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Re: Airbus A310/A400 Un-prepared Airfield Airliner
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2014, 06:30:15 AM »
Top two pics show how the sponson fits into the groove, the bottom pic is the Scale Aircraft Conversions set of very nicely cast white metal u/c parts I'm going to use on this project.

Offline kitnut617

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Re: Airbus A310/A400 Un-prepared Airfield Airliner
« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2014, 02:03:23 AM »
Something I've to consider before I go any further with this --- nose weight !!

I decided to check what I would need, so I've just taped the tail plane onto it's approximate location (close as I can get it that is) because that's the only thing left to add to the rear of the fuselage, and then did a balancing act by placing the main wheel center line on the edge of a chest. I added the wing too and I had to add nearly 130 grams to the forward end ---- that's quite a lot  :o  and it's only just balancing.

I've now got to get it inside before I close the fuselage up.   :-X

It's interesting to note that on the A400M instruction sheet, it says to add 80 grams for that kit to sit on it's wheels  -- and that is right in the nose cone too ---

You can see where I've taped on the lead weight to the forward end so getting it closer to the front I might not need all the 130 grams for this one.

I think what I'll do right now is assemble the rest of the wing, apart from adding the lower half of the wing, there's a bunch of fairly large flap tracks to glue on and they're all behind the balance point. And while I'm at it, I'll get all the engine nacelles done and glue those on too.  Then I'll do a balance re-check ---
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 02:35:23 AM by kitnut617 »

Offline kitnut617

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Re: Airbus A310/A400 Un-prepared Airfield Airliner
« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2014, 09:29:34 PM »
OK, nose weight has been resolved.  Top pic shows what I did, using the other A310 I have I was able to work out a reasonable plan, I flattened out the two strips of lead I had cut, then folded each one three times with one fold wrapped around a length of square styrene strip.  I then crimped the lead around the strip then filed each end to match the fuselage profile.  Getting it into the glued fuselage was a bit tricky but I managed to get it placed as far forward as possible.  I can't take a photo of the result though but I gave each end of the strip a large dollop of Humbrol Tube Glue and giving it a test shake this morning seems to show it's glued in.

Next I added some spacers into the wing cutout area and added some backing strips to each end of the cutout (second pic), after that I've made a keel extension plus some formers to keep the shell reasonable round when I get to fit it in (last pic)
« Last Edit: July 17, 2014, 09:34:35 PM by kitnut617 »

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Airbus A310/A400 Un-prepared Airfield Airliner
« Reply #23 on: July 18, 2014, 04:21:53 AM »
Your incredibly thoughtful approach and brilliant engineering never fail to amaze me.

Thanks for posting the play-by-play, Robert! I'm having a blast following the action!

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Offline finsrin

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Re: Airbus A310/A400 Un-prepared Airfield Airliner
« Reply #24 on: July 18, 2014, 05:13:10 AM »
Ambitious and way cool project 8)
Like what you are doing with these kits.
Build pictures are interesting - do keep posting.