Perforated split wing flaps were the hallmark of the SBD Dauntless. Their inner side was reinforced by the “grid” made of stringers and ribs. Because these flaps were often wide open — during landing or in dives — I have to recreate their internal structure. In this and the next post I will describe how I did it.
All the SBD flaps had fixed chord (they were made from perforated sheet metal of rhomboidal shape). After studying many photos I assume that all their ribs have the same size and shape — also the parts attached to the trapezoidal, outer wing section. It seems that Douglas factories built all five flaps of the SBD in the same way, using unified components. The flaps for the external wing panels had to be twisted a little during riveting — most probably on appropriate mounting pads. The trailing edge of the upper flap is the trailing edge of the whole wing. It was a thin wedge, profiled from a sheet metal and riveted to the flap skin (Figure 15‑1):
In the previous post I have modeled the aileron bay in the SBD Dauntless wing. However, it was one of the cases when I followed my intuition and the mathematical precision of the computer models instead checking how this detail looks in the real airplane. So let’s do it now. I have reviewed many photos, Figure 14‑1 shows the one which is the most useful (made by my friend in 2014 in one of the air museums):
In the previous post I have formed the general shape of the Dauntless wing. Now I will work on its trailing edge, separating the aileron and flaps. They were attached to the internal wing reinforcements. These reinforcements were distributed in parallel to the trailing edge (Figure 13‑1):
In the first step I will split the wing mesh along this line. However, before I do this, let me mention a certain geometrical effect which can be surprising for many modelers. (Frankly speaking: it was also surprising for me — I knew that such an effect exists, but I thought that its results can be neglected for this wing area).