Links on the web to the Bristol Blenhiem:-


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_Blenheim

http://www.warbirdalley.com/blenheim.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_Blenheim

http://www.blenheimsociety.org.uk/

The image below show the state of the project as of Decemebr 2008. It is BIG!.....but light too.
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Links to construction images and video of the Blenheim:-

Blenheim Construction

Blenheim Undercarriage

Blenheim covering

Blenheim finishing

Blenheim completed


I guess the first seeds of building a scale Blenheim may have started back in 1995 at RAF Mildenhall. It was here that I saw and took video of Graham Warner's MK IV restoration fly.

This was not my first encounter with a MK IV. My first encounter occurred 50 years earlier (1945) as an air cadet in the ATC. I was on camp at RAF Woodvale at the time and had a chance to fly in one.

I was given the choice of the gun turret or the nose, lying on my stomach with my chin resting on my observer chute. This was definitely the 'best speck'.

Previous flights at other camps had been mainly Airspeed Oxfords. My first ever flight in an aeroplane was 90 minutes of circuits and bumps with a pilot under training. Oxfords seemed to take forever to take off with 3 or 4 bounces before coming unstuck.

The Blenheim was a revelation. The extra noise of the twin Mercury engines compared to the Oxford's was considerable. But even with the increased acceleration and the trees at the end of the runway coming closer at an every increasing rate, and mindful of the Oxfords, I
think my heart skipped a beat or two. But no worries, rotation was quick.

So, this is the aircraft, often the only offensive aircraft, the RAF had in the first few years of the Second World War. They were the only RAF aircraft to serve in all of the contemporaneous commands and every theatre of war.

The first offensive sorties against all of the axis powers Germany, Italy and Japan were carried out by Blenheims.

There are very few books on the Blenheim, yet over 50 about the Spitfire. "One would therefore expect Blenheims to be proudly remembered" so wrote Graham Warner in his most recent book, The Bristol Blenheim a complete History.

I am doing my bit my building a scale model of a MK IV or 'long nose' as they are sometimes called.

Building started in October 2001, 4 months after my Concourse de elegance success with the Lysander. I must have been having withdrawal symptoms.

For the princely sum of £18.75, NEXUS sent me the plans for a Bristol Blenheim 7, or so the invoice stated. Code RSQ1637. Could this be a secret MK of the Blenheim released within the 50 year statute?

Thankfully no, it was in fact a two sheet plan for a MK 1, with added information to extend the nose to a MK IV.

At that time I had very little useful data on the type (Graham Warner’s comments come to mind). So a request to Andy for a note to be put in the Hawk brought a binge of stuff from members, for I thank you one and all, as they say.

My first thought was to see if the drawings were reasonably accurate. This was not to be an absolute scale model, but I wanted to ensure the profiles would be true, thus were the drawings of a ‘designed to fly’ or a true reflection of the aircraft.

It is clear from Graham Warner’s book that there are many variants, but with a couple of rare exceptions, these were additions to suit military needs, weapons systems etc. These additions did not appear to change the profiles significantly.

The plans !! well, there is not much to say, because compared to the Lysander plans, there is no comparison. There are glaring dimension errors on separate sheets, in particular with engine and wheel well which caused some re-jigging that is not yet fully resolved.

The profile of the back end of the fuselage, and around the tail plane required research and correction too. The plan referred to enclosed notes, which where not enclosed. A phone call to NEXUS produced a poor, part copy of an article from a magazine that did not reveal its name apart from that it was issued in December/January 1991.

The plan is for a foam wing with profiles for the aerofoils. There are other observations about a built up wing. This does leave you (for better or worse) able o do your own thing. As weight was going to be my watch word, I was not overly concerned.

So thus far, the construction is traditional, but I have tried to build as light a structure as possible. With a wingspan of 85 inches, I have opted for a laminated balsa/ply for the main spars and a built up leading edge. I have bored out, cut holes and carved away any surplus material I could, hoping I can achieve less than the prototypes stated 13lb all up weight.

At this stage of construction (December 2008) with one engine installed in weighs 6 ¾ lbs. The second Enya 53 four stroke will add an additional 14 ½ oz.
More details of the Blenheim and other aircraft that I have made can be seen in our wiki: http://modelaircraft.wikispaces.com/

Extracts from the unknown magazine are given below

David Thomson (December 2008)

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