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Christen Eagle I - Royal Kit
Specifications - Wing span 56" - Weight 8lbs - Power OS 61 Two-stroke - Finish - Coverite fabric - cellulose paints - colour scheme masked and sprayed - overall coating clear fuel proofer.
Although some years back when purchased, I can say that this came out to be one of the prettiest models I had. Apart from the fact that the kit was excellent in all respects, I took special attention in the finish, especially in the masking of the complicated colour scheme, using contact paper cut to the proper pattern. Prior to colour spraying the edges of the masking were sprayed with a clear varnish so that paint would not run under the masking.
The model earned second place in a Concours D'Elegance contest held way back. Its flight characteristics are definitely not for the beginner or the faint hearted. A delightful barnstormer with which you can do anything, but quite a handful on the ground and in the hands of the unexperienced.
Unfortunately, after a couple of years, the fuel proofing yellowed the white finish of the model and the model acquired an untidy look. Although it was a pity, (it took me three months to put on that colour scheme) I decided to recover the entire model. In order to "appear" as a new model, I decided to change it into a Pitts Special, which is quite similar in appearance. The model is still in existence, but has been passed on to our local provider of modelling goods (his name is Simon Delia and he will be very pleased if he could help in any way - e-mail him and try him out!)in exchange for, yes, you guessed! A Carl Goldberg Ultimate!
Click over picture to view full screen Back to the top
Great Planes Ultra
Specifications - Wing span 55" - Weight 6.5lbs - Power OS 46 SF Two-stroke - Finish - Wings - ProFilm covering - Fuselage and tail feathers - Epoxy primer and two part epoxy paint finish.
A joy to fly and a perfect aerobatic trainer, I enjoyed this model for a considerable length of time until one club member made me sell it to him! This photograph was taken in the middle of summer (temperatures around 35 degrees) and that explains my lack of clothing! We normally fly after 1800hrs until dusk as otherwise the engines will get too hot, the covering films will become wrinkled, the cockpits will mist over, and the tarmac would be too hot to walk on!
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Wik Diabolo Back to the top
Specifications Wingspan 87" Weight 14lbs Power ST3000 Epoxy fuze aand foam wings - Finish - Two part Epoxy paint
I have to include this model as again, this is one of my favourites. Unfortunately it is no more due to a radio failure resulting in a complete write-off. The model was an excellent flyer and precise aerobatics could be executed with relative ease. It was built from a very good German kit manufactured by Wik Models. No bad habits, except a tendency to snap roll at low speeds and no push, which is to be expected. The ST3000 is an excellent engine and used to turn an 18 by 8 prop at 7 600 revs on o% fuel. I did have the intention of installing a smoker on this one, but its demise made me switch to my other model, the Carl Goldberg Ultimate.
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Pitts Special - Modified School Fly - Turbo II Back to the top
This picture shows three different models which have their own particular story:
1. Pitts Special - This is in effect the modified version of the Christen Eagle shown in my first picture. It sports a new colour scheme and I used Pro-film for the orange covering and pro-Trim for the associated graphics. The colour scheme belonged to a full size version of a Pitts, but I don't recall the details - I saw it in a magazine and I liked it. The model, as I said above, is now in the hands of a fellow modeller, Simon Delia, who is also the best supplier of modelling goods on the isdland.
2. Modified Schoolfly - This model, which has since been written off in a mid-air collision, is a modified version of the BB models School Fly, a very good trainer which can be used for the milder aerobatics and great for Sunday flying. It is all built up, powered by an OS 40 FP, all up weight 4 lbs, wingspan 55 inches, covered in Solarfilm. The mid-air came during a flying session with one of my fellow members, Mario Vuitale. We were attempting to perform formation flying and during a turn his right wing touched my left wing, which broke off resulting in the usual plastic bag rekit. His model kept on flying (at that time)and I was not pleased! Two days later, however, he was flying the same model when suddenly the wings parted company from the fuselage and Bingo - another plastic bag rekit. Postmortem investigations revealed that the front dowel holding the sings had sheared internally in the midair and gave way a couple of lights later.
3. The third model is an original design by our friend Reno Psaila, who has since left the group and delved into the real one - he is building a full size two seater on the lines of the Lancair - nearly ready, I hear. The model has got a fibreglass fuselage and foam wings, retracts and an anhedral tailplane. It is very streamlined and the wing section is on the thinner side, contrary to present tendencies in aerobatic design. The engine , mounted upright, is a Rossi 61 with tuned pipe which is concealed along the top of the fuselage. The model is very groovy in the air, albeit on the heavy side - 9plus lbs with a wingspan of 61 inches. It has since been passed to a fellow modeller who fell in live with its looks.
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Top Flite F8F Bearcat II Back to the top
Wingspan - 61 inches - Power OS 61 SF - custom silencer - Unitracts Mains - Robart retractable tailwheel - Finish - Two part Epoxy paint on epoxy primer and filler.
Another flagship of my collection, the Bearcat was constructed to exact scale, using the kit as a very good starting point. The original retracts were home-brewed, and functioned a bit like the full size - they moved outwards on retraction - they proved to be flimsy, however, and were repleaced by a set of Unitracts. All the markings are painted on, including the Red Rippers logo. The colour of the finished aircraft raised some eyebrows amongst the modelling fraternity as the normal WWII Bearcats did not sport this colour. In fact, I preferred to use this colour scheme in view of the more attractive looks - the real aircraft belongs (or used to belong) to a famous collector of WWII warplanes, Stephen Grey, and was based at Duxford, UK at the time.
The model turned the scales at 9 lbs, and had a fully detailed cockpit, fully enclosed engine and muffler, complete with the nine-cylinder dummy engine. The photograph, which was taken during an exhibition, shows a static three-bladed prop used for static judging. In flight, the model was quite stable, but it suffered an early mishap - the backpressure line to the tank broke off in flight, the engine leaned out and stopped and the model rapidly lost airspeed and spun. Although the fuselage did not suffer any damage, the wing had to be completely rebuilt. It has now been passed on to a fellow club member, and I hope it will soon be flying again.
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Carl Goldberg's Ultimate Back to the top
Specifications: Wingspan: 56" -- Weight: 8lbs -- Power: Webra 120 2-stroke turning 16 by 8 APC --- Covering: Glosstex Radio JR X-347
This kit is very familiar with those who are familiar with the hobby. The only difference from the manufacturer's recommendations were that I installed a more powerful engine, reinforced the engine firewall with glass cloth and epoxy, and stiffined the lite ply with cyano at critical points. The performance of this model is superb. With the engine producing about 15lbs static thrust on an 8lb model, unlimited vertical performance is achieved easily. Knife edge loops and all the rest of those crazy manouvers are possible. The model is not extremely fast due to its biplane configuration. The capabilities of this model are only restricted by the pilot, and I am not one of the best!
Lately I have added a smoke system to the model, after a lot of experimenting as explained in my projects. The effect is very nice, although I still have to rework the silencer - it dropped off during my last flight and when opened for inspection, it was found that the copper tubing , which was only anchored at its exit, had split. So that is one other job on the list!
Philip Avond's F-15 Back to the top
Wingspan - 57" (1450mm) Length - 85" (2160mm) Weight - 14.5lbs (6800g) Fan - Ramtec Engine - OS 91 Finish/Construction - Epoxy fuselage, foam wings, Cellulose paints, fuel proofing.
Another flagship, this model was my first attempt at ducted fans. An excellent kit and an excellent flyer, it gained top honours in the open day event held by our Association this year. The model looks large and menacing, but is actually quite docile and not very fast. Take off runs are quite short and flares are a bit of cake. The most outstanding feature of this model is that it is only controlled by elevons - no ailerons and no rudders! I added a scale landing brake, which is siutated behind the cockpit and this works wonderful when coming in to land. The cockpit is fully detailed and I took great patience to do all the panel line details and wording, and there are lots of them! I plan to write a section in this home page on hints and tips and how-to's when I find enough time, and I will include the method used for the panel lines. The model has since won the heart of a fellow member, Josef Gatt, and is now in his possession. His flying is superb, and the model really looks real in the air.
Royal Super Decathlon Back to the top
Wingspan 96" - Weight 16lbs - Power Laser 180 twin V four stroke turning an 18 by 6 prop- Finish Coverite fabric and two part epoxy paint - Radio JR 347
This model, which attained its share of merits ever since it started its life, is one of my favourites. Built from a Royal kit, I made various modifications in an effort to enahnce the model and improve its nearness to the real thing. The cockpit interior is fully detailed, down to the upholstery and the radio equipment is reached from a hatch from the underside of the fuselage. Unsightly aileron servo connections were eliminated by passing the servo leads through the wing struts. The engine is a jewel in engineering and the sound it makes has to be heard to be appreciated. It is mounted inverted, and this necessitated the need for an onboard ignition system. Initial tests indicated that if the engine idled for anything longer than one or two minutes, ones of the cylinders went off and would not reignite. The onboard ignition solved this problem. The model is docile in flight and the engine has enough power to pull it around the skies. Aerobatics are quite limited, however. The paint scheme and serial number of the aircraft were copied from a full size version which I found out in aviation magazines. The model lives on, and I have just finished maintaining the engine in preparation for further enjoyable flights.
Practical Scale Tiger Moth Back to the top
Wingspan 72" - Weight 14lbs - Power OS 120 Four stroke - Finish Coverite heat shrink fabric, cellulose paint, clear fuel proofer
This model has quite an interesting story. It was originally purchased about fifteen years ago by Mr John Earland, a fellow club member and ex-Vice President of our Association, and he commenced construction with great care as it was his intention to finish up with a very good replica of one of his favourite aircarft. The construction was completed after some time and the airframe was a beauty to behold. Other committments, however, impeded John from completing the model, although he had everything on hand. One day some years back he was talking to me and I asked him about it, and he gave me the impression that it was his great wish to see the model completed and flown at least once. I could not resist the temptation and I offered to complete it for him. Needles to say, I took great pains to finsih up with as near a scale model as possible and the result can be seen in the picture. Rudder and elevator controls are as full size, cockpit interior is complete, the engine and silencer fully enclosed, and the paint scheme the exact replica of its full size counterpart. Such details as airspeed indicator on the struts, opening cockpit doors and scale rigging were all part of the job! I test flighted the model some three years ago. It was definitely overpowered and flew very happily on half throttle; inverted four stroke engines, however tend to cool off their plug at half throttle and I went dead stick after a while; the model was landed with no damage at all to the complete satisfaction of John. Thereafter, I didn't hear much of the model; all I knew was that John was keeping it in his den and enjoying its presence hanging from the ceiling, fully rigged and ready to go. Some six months ago I had a call from him and hew told me that he would be moving to smaller apartment and he had no space for the model and would I have it?!! Needless to say, it is now in my possession, rerigged with PCM radio and an onboard ignition system and waiting for some good weather!
Comet Clipper Back to the top
Wing Span - 72" Engine - OS 26 Four stroke turning a 12 by 4 Weight - 4lbs Finish - Yellow transparent Solarfilm
This model was built from a plan obtained from the American Magazine Radio Control Modeller , and the reason for building this rather complex old timer was simple....I had an OS40 four stroke! Although seemingly simple, the actual building of the model is quite complex, having an elliptical wing section which is undercambered at the root and progreses to a simple lifting section at the tip. The tailplane alone has over 100 bits of balsa!! As it turned out the engine was far too powerful for the model and I used to fly it only on idle setting! Then, about a year ago, I was flying quite low and happened to pass over a couple of active Txs of fellow members and SMASH!!! Although the model was not a complete write off, the engine was! I then acquired a OS 26 four stroke and some six months later, I repaired the model, which had suffered damage to the fuselage only. It is now flying happily on this engine, although it is also overpowered!
More to come! Still under construction - Revisit.