The 2014 One-Design gas model is the Midwest Fortastrop early Nostalgia model. Only early Nostalgia-legal engines are permitted. Plans are available from the National Free Flight Society (NFFS) Plans Service for $7. Order plan number 255. Campbell’s Custom Models has a short kit. BMJR Models has a full kit.
Bill Schmidt drew the plans for his 21-inch wingspan Vindicator. Four strands of 1/8-inch rubber are used to power the 8-inch Paulownia wood propeller. After being covered with Peck Japanese tissue and finished with nontautening nitrate dope, the model weighed 1.5 ounces.
The Vindicator used the P&W R-1535 twin Wasp Junior double-row, 14-cylinder engine. It was the same type of engine Howard Hughes used in his H-1 Racer.
Reese Otts built his 20-inch wingspan Allied Sport from the Golden Age Reproductions combination kit, which includes both the Allied Sport and the Fairchild 24 Dime Scale model. He elected to use a 53/4-inch red plastic propeller.
Reese was pleased with the kit’s tissue. He preshrank the tissue and used one light coat of Krylon Crystal Clear for the finish.
Reese is a prolific builder and a frequent contributor to the Free Flight Cookup group on Yahoo. The online group always has a couple of group builds called “cookups” in progress. Check them out and join the fun.
Pat Murray is a talented builder and flier. He will not shirk from a challenging project as evidenced by his incredible Beriev patrol bomber. Chris Starleaf, noted for spectacular models, brought the Beriev to my attention.
Pat began this project by purchasing a Masterkit 1/72-scale model of the Beriev. When he saw its long, twin nacelles he was hooked. He scanned the three-views and put the scan into AutoCAD.
He spent several days outlining the three-view and adding the model structure. A minor glitch developed in the enlarging process. Intended to span 36 inches, the plans ended up with a 371/4-inch wingspan. That made the model into the Jumbo-size Flying Aces rules category.
The build was standard and quick with two exceptions: the nacelles and the wing/fuselage joint. Pat tried using balsa sheet tubes for the front part of the nacelles but was unhappy with the results.
While on a trip to Houston, Pat found some thin basswood strips that curved perfectly around a form he carved from foam. The resulting structure was light and firm with plenty of room for the rubber motor. There are no traditional formers, only thin strips of basswood with the longerons glued directly to them.
The other problem area was the wing fuselage joint. Pat had to enlarge some of the mating ribs, and then sand them to the correct shape.
Pat conducted his flight testing before any finish or the addition of scale details. He usually tries to complete the model, and then trims it for flight. Sometimes he gets lucky and doesn’t damage it before it is flightworthy!
Pat didn’t want to take that chance with the Beriev. After the model was covered, Pat used masking tape to temporarily fasten the tail surfaces for flight testing. It took four separate trips to a field roughly 20 minutes away to work out the bugs. The grass and weeds were knee high! I cannot stress enough the importance of high grass for testing if you can find it.
Each time Pat went out, a problem occurred. First it was loose propeller blades. When a blade popped loose, the vibration created mayhem! Despite the tall grass, there was still some damage to the front of the fuselage.
After other issues (such as flying surface alignment and operator error) were ironed out, the model began to show great promise—at least good enough to warrant completion.
With a little help from a fellow club member, Pat painted the model in one afternoon then spent the next several days completing the detailing. That effort took place only six days before the FAC Outdoor Championships in Muncie, Indiana, in September 2013.
On Wednesday evening before the contest, Pat gave the model its first full-power flight test. It was late in the evening and the bugs were out along with the high humidity. Pat only had time for two flights. He made adjustments that night. Pat was unable to make any other flights until Friday afternoon.
Conditions were fantastic, so up it went! The Beriev’s first official flight was 48 seconds, followed by 57, then finally a 60-second flight. Pat was pleased with those times. The model cruised around like a gull searching for thermals.
It seemed to find a boomer on the last flight, but resisted turning into it! Pat noticed that what had been a nice, tight right turn, opened out somewhat into wide right turns. More right rudder or even right thrust may help the model seek out better air. At least it will get better altitude going upwind.
The model’s pertinent specifications are: 371/4-inch wingspan; 331/2-inch fuselage length (including nose and tail projections); 91/4-inch hook-to-peg length; 81/2-inch three-blade propellers counter-rotating inward at the top; 155.6 grams all-up weight with motors; two loops (35-inches long) of 1/8-inch rubber, plus one loop of 3/32-inch rubber in each nacelle; and a 183-square-inch wing area. Pat is seriously considering trying 10-inch two-blade propellers to see if there is an improvement in the performance.
Thanks, Pat, for a great report and congratulations on a beautiful model!
Switching from the large to the diminutive, Anthony Asla has built an 8-inch wingspan Royal Air Factory S.E.5. It’s a lightweight model, carefully covered with condenser paper. Needless to say, it flies indoors!