Cessna U3-B, Part 1 by Jerry Testa


Cessna U3-B, Part 1 by Jerry Testa
Cessna U3-B “Blue Canoe”
Hello, my name is Jerry Testa and I thought it might be interesting to start a build column for our newsletter. So
I hope you find this interesting and perhaps get some useful tips as you follow along with me while I finish up
my next project. I have begun work on an old Royal/Marutaka kit of the Cessna 310, which I will be modifying
into the U3-B Version used by the US Air Force. It has 72” wingspan and powered by… well I’m still working
on that. We will be joining this build already in progress but I will help you catch up as we go along. I’ve
included a photo of the actual aircraft I’ll be modeling.
I started the fuselage first because it needed the most modification out of the other major parts of the aircraft.
The U3-B has more windows than the standard 310, sports a split windscreen and does not have a rear window;
in addition it does not have the ventricle fin that is common on other 310’s.
The fuselage is framed in a very nice quality light ply, but because this version will not have a back window I
needed to make new formers for the rear turtle deck. The original 310 had a slight dip in its back to
accommodate the window, which needed to be eliminated. By creating two replacement formers that are
slightly taller than the original allowed me to plank the rear deck and create a nice straight line from the vertical
fin. You can see this in photo #1
Next thing that needed to be addressed was the change in window setup. The original had two long windows on
either side, which needs to be changed to three. This was actually simpler than it sounds because all I did after
the entire fuselage was planked was to trace templates I made from a three-view drawing onto the fuse. I
roughly cut them out with an x-acto and then carefully shaped them with my trusty Dremel. You can see this in
photo#2 and 3
The plane will be built with retracts. I still have a little more re-designing for this because the kit did not provide
for this. I left the underside of the nose un-planked until I can figure that one out. I will most likely go with
Robart pneumatics and the nose gear will need to be a 108-degree type in order to get the proper look I’m going
for. Robarts are expensive so it will be a while until I get to that again. Check photo #4
In the next installment we will be building the tail feathers and mounting them to the fuselage and possibly start
the nacelles.