WW1 1/3 Flying Museum Quality 1/3 Scale Sopwith Pup




Introduction: WW1 1/3 Flying Museum Quality 1/3 Scale Sopwith Pup

This is a fully functional flying remote control 1/3 scale replica of a WW1 Sopwith pup.
It is powered by a 60cc twin cylinder four stroke petrol engine the wing span is over 100 inches.

This model showcases how 3D printers can be used to manufacture high quality 3D printed parts.

Many innovative 3D techniques are displayed in this aircraft including using 3D printer to make dies to form parts

I hope you enjoy the presentation.

I have added some youtube videos to help bring it alive because that is the end result we want when building flying remote control scale replicas

I enjoy displaying the model and flying it.

King regards

Step 1: Sopwith Pup 1/3 Scale Flying Replica: Many Many Custom 3D Printed Parts and Techniques

This model really showcases 3D printing technology.

In the construction of this aircraft a 3D printer was used to manufacture many parts that are fully functional or parts that replicate the original parts in scale. The 3D printed part in this project really show case that the 3D printer are fully capable of manufacturing very useful and functional parts.

Key 3D printer components:

  • Pilot face is 3D printed I use facegen so that the scale pilot is actually me.( That is pretty cool)
  • I designed the flying wire separated and they are fully functional and are 3D printed.
  • The 1/3 scale vickers gun is designed in separate parts to scale and 3D printed.
  • I drew the instrument dials in CAD and they are 3D printed, the needle in the instruments move.
  • The control stick is designed using CAD and is 3D printed , the control stick moves as the elevator and ailerons are activated.
  • I designed a die and 3D printed it, this die is used to press out soft aluminum parts for the aileron inspection windows on each wing.
  • The ammunition shoot was designed using CAD and then printed and sheet-ed with litho plate to give a fully realistic look.
  • The dummy engine was designed in parts and assembled to replicate the original engine design in scale.
  • The air pump used for fuel pressure has the crank housing printed using 3D printer and then other parts are machined to add to the scale realism.

This project took over 2000 hours and the 3D printer helped enormously in being able to fabricate parts to the scale required after I had designed and drawn them up.

Pre flight

Fist flight

First flight

First flight 1

Step 2: Functioning Control Stick and Instrument Panel

Instrument panel

The dials for the instruments were designed in CAD and then printed to the required scale.

The instrument faces were draw and printer and a pendulum setup was used so that the needles in the instrument move when the aircraft moves..

The control stick handle and the knuckles that allow it to rotate were all drawn using cad and then printed using a 3D printer.

The control stick is connected to the servo system so that the control stick moves when the control surfaces are deflected.

Control stick movment

Step 3: 1/3 Scale Dummy Le Rhone Radial Engine Complete With Spark Plugs.

The 1/3 scale engine was designed using CAD and then sectioned so that the parts could be printed due to their size.

The parts are glued together using ABS glue and then painted so that it look realistic.

If you brush acetone onto printed ABS parts it generates a smooth finish and can give a more desirable texture

If you look closely you can even see the spark plugs.

There is a 200 watt sound system between the dummy engine and the real engine. This sound system when activated plays the sound of a real Vickers machine gun firing.

There is a very powerful LED light in the muzzle of the gun and this flashes in time with the machine gun firing.

All this is activated by the transmitter.

Step 4: Additional Parts ABS Die and Flying Wire Seperators.

The scale aileron inspection window surrounds were made by first designing a two part die and printing it out in ABS.

The die is then used in a hand vise, and presses soft aluminum parts that form the window surround.

The ADS die works well and I used a little soap to stop the pieces sticking to the die half's.

The surround is then mounted and painted and the clear plastic window is then added.

The pulleys rotate when the ailerons are activated.

Step 5: Scale Air Pressure Pump

The pump crank case was designed using CAD and the printed using the 3D printer.

The part is the painted using silver paint before all the other parts are added to form the completed pump.

Step 6: Additional Parts Added to the 3D Crak Case

Brass parts are machined and added to the 3D printed crank casings to form the fully scale assembly.

The propeller is laminated and then hand crafted.

This shows how a range of materials can be used with the 3D printed part forming the heart of the assembly.

The 3D printed crankcase was designed to mount the bearings so that the propeller freely rotates.

This propeller rotates in the main propeller wash.

The image also show the steps I use to design and mill small metal parts (see the bracket for holding the pump)

Step 7: 1/3 Scale Vickers Machine Gun.

It is difficult when building scale replicas to get the detail and the parts the size you want, but with a 3D printer it is no problem.

The 1/3 vicker gun is a very good example.

I designed the gun to full scale and then sized it using the 3D printer.

I had to make the gun in several sections because of it size.

I was amazed how well the barrel come out as it is very thin.

With model aircraft weight is a premium and it is important when designing 3D parts for this application to make them as light as possible.

The gun is also fitted with a very powerful LED in the barrel. The LED flashed in uni sum to the on board sound sysytem

Step 8: 1/3 Vicker Machine Gun

Once the 3D gun is printer it is then painted in the right color to add to the scale effect.

You can also see the 3D printed windscreen and pilot.

The finish is outstanding when all the components are painted and come together.

Step 9: Ammunition Shoot.

Another interesting technique is to design the part, print the part on the 3D printer and then use the part as the structure. Laminate it with aluminum sheet. The final part is outstanding and fits perfectly

Step 10: Pilots Head

Using Facegen with the 3D printer is great fun and you get fantastic results.

You can be the pilot in your own scale aircraft.

A bit of painting and they look really good.

It is amazing the comments I get when people see these results.

Step 11: Final Pilot

Pilot ready to put into the aircraft. Just need to add the glasses.

3D printing and Face-gen is just fantastic

Step 12: Super Charged Inlet Manifold.

Another 3D project.

3D printed inlet manifold.

There is nothing you cant do with this 3D printing if you have the innovation and the imagination.

Thanks for reading this.

Step 13:

3D Printing Contest 2016

Participated in the
3D Printing Contest 2016

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    9 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Are you going to share the 3D files so others can build this beautiful Sopwith Pup?


    Reply 4 years ago

    I can share the files if people want

    I am also doing magazine articles on building this aircraft

    Australian magazine "Airborne" has all the details.

    email me at areomoedller@outlook.com


    Reply 2 years ago

    hey can i try to send you a mail but not working

    can you send me a mail marco.m@quicknet.nl

    i have some intrest in the 3d file,s



    3 years ago

    Beautiful job! I'm just now getting into the 3d and began for the same reasons, for my rc planes. Are there stl files for the cockpit pieces?


    4 years ago

    This a really really awesome. Very well done.


    Reply 4 years ago

    Thank you Krieglers,

    Applying skills to projects like aeromodelling is really rewarding.

    You can focus your skills and develop engineering knowledge and innovation.

    Using modern manufacturing technology like CAD/CAM and 3D printer, lasers, mills and lathes really helps you become efficient and effective.. You do really develop very useful skills.

    Building a 1/3 flying scale model is not much different from building the full size.

    I just really enjoy flying from the third perspective.

    One weekend I get to fly a WW1 aircraft and the next weekend I get to fly F1 pylon racers.

    We build big models because the fly and fee like the real thing.


    4 years ago

    Totally brilliant. Now for the next project, a Fokker D VIII....


    4 years ago

    Wonderful stuff, brilliantly done!