Hansa Brandenburg C-1
build log

 by; Ray McDougall






go to.....




       John Cole's beautiful Hansa at the 2005 Scale Masters

The most dangerous game

The heavens were the grandstands, and only the gods were spectators. The stake was the world. The forfeit was the player's place at the table; and the game had no recess. It was the most dangerous of all sports-- and the most fascinating. It got in the blood like wine. It aged men 40 years in 40 days; it ruined nervous systems in an hour. It was a fast game. The average life of a pilot at the front was 48 hours. And, to many, it seemed an age....
                                                                 Elliot White Springs, WWI ace

A 10-foot Hansa Brandenburg Model C1......follow along with me.....

The Hansa Brandenburg C1 is the Austrian version of the German Albatross type, intended for air reconnaissance functions. First designed in 1914, it was later to be built for production in several versions by a number of different companies. The C1 was easy prey for enemy fighters due to its poor performance, low engine power and sluggish maneuverability. Top speed was 96mph and range was 325 miles.

March 15 2007.....here we go;
Received the kit today from Arizona Models after a three month wait.....It is a 1/4 scale model of the WW1 Austro-Hungarian fighter Hansa Brandenburg C-1 Wingspan is 117" Overall weight is advertised at 25 lbs. but I expect to reduce that considerably and fly it on a Saito 180 with spark ignition. This  kit comes with brass and aluminum hardware fittings, engine, radiator, Daimler engine kit, machine gun, wire wheels, and scale cockpit details. The lazer-cut wood looks very nice and I notice already that the fit of the parts is very snug. Metal parts are water jet cut. All the parts are rough cut.....nothing is finished and there is a lot left to the imagination. The plans have almost no notations on them and the building manual tells very little. This kit is not for the faint of heart. I don't think there are any of these aircraft in existence today so my documentation will be a problem. Good photos are non-existent so I will have to build to the drawings supplied with the kit.


March 25.....
I love to build wing panels, so that's where I started, Both lowers are framed up already except for the tips which have to be laminated around a template. I am sheeting the leading edge because it shows that way on the full size drawings. I am also sheeting the two inner rib bays. The trailing edge is scalloped balsa instead of the wire.....it will be stronger, hold alignment better and look the same in the end.


The wingtip being laminated around a plywood jig, The basswood strips are soaked in window washing fluid [ammonia in it] for about fifteen minutes then clamped around the jig. I used white glue here. It will need a day or two to dry.


The plans call for [and the fullsize had] wire trailing edges on wings and tailfeathers. To do this on the model, in my opinion would not be practical.....I chose to use 1/8" styrene rod formed around the rib members using a heatgun and a simple plywood jig. The plastic rod is glued and taped to the rib tips using strips of Coverite iron-on fabric.....it is surprisingly strong. The tailfeathers are now finished in the rough.



April 2nd.
Building so many wings is getting to be a drag so I diverted my attention to some of the fun things.....couldn't wait to get at the the steering wheel and the Schwarzlose machine gun. Here they are.....



           Got to organize my time a little better !!

April 20th.
The fuse is all rough-framed at this point.....had a lot of trouble interpreting material sizes on the plans, there was not enough wood to build with the sizes shown so I had to innovate a lot and re-cut many of the former notches, nevertheless it will be fine. Construction is a little on the heavy side, but there's lots of wing here. Many of the bulkheads will have to be stained and varnished before the ply skin goes on otherwise it will be difficult to do later.


Some more small parts completed except for painting.....The gun ring will mount in the rear cockpit. The braking sprag is a visicious looking contraption, its mounted on the undercarriage, the pilot pulls a lever in the cockpit and this thing digs into the ground like a plough.....imagine what happens if you hit a root!!. The tailskid will mount to the rear of the fuse with the bungies attached inside. Some more small instruments shown on the right. They are all hand-made from small lazer cut pieces supplied in the kit, they require a LOT of work to get them to this stage. Nothing is like this out of the box.
Here's the pilot's seat which is built into the main fuel tank.....talk about sitting on a bomb!!

Its made of  lightply covered with some very thin, adhesive-back aluminum foil. The fuel gauge is on the pilot's right and the filler pipe is on his left. The fuel was hand-pumped from the main tank up to a small gravity tank on the upper wing. Both the pilot in the front seat and observer in the rear seat had a handpump and gauge to watch ..... just in case one or the other forgot to pump (or got killed).



The radiator is finished.....this goes in front of the upper wing. no parts or measurements on this in the plans so it is all scratch built from bits of balsa corrugated cardboard and screen from an automotive air cleaner.


No complete wheels in this kit....they have to be spoked with 40 spokes in each wheel, they all have to be soldered on both ends and a jig has to be built first to center the hub and rim. A lot of work here.





                                                                  Go to Hansa page (2)  >