Bill Schmidt sent pictures of his nice Ryan Fireball. I had always thought the full-scale airplane was a post-World War II development, but it was developed during the war.
A squadron of Fireballs was ready for deployment when the Japanese surrendered. It was the first fighter produced by the Ryan Aeronautical Company, better known for its trainer aircraft.
The Navy wanted to get into the jet engine arena, but the early jet engines didn’t have enough power for a carrier takeoff. When the twin jet McDonnell FH-1 exhibited the ability to take off from a carrier, the Fireball was decommissioned.
Bill’s model has a powertrain of four strands of 1/8 rubber and a Peck 7-inch propeller. Covered with Japanese tissue and finished with nontautening nitrate dope, the 21-inch wingspan model weighs 1.6 ounces without the motor. The plans were drawn by Joseph Wherry and published in the February 1945 Model Airplane News.
Grant Carson sent a photo of his latest Society of Antique Modelers (SAM) .020 replica Playboy. This one replaces one lost on its first contest flight because of a DT failure—which replaced the previous one also lost on its first contest flight when the fuel shutoff timer stuck. Grant hopes to get more than one contest flight from this Playboy!
It was built from a Penn Valley Hobby Center replica R/N kit. The kit has plans and material for either the Pylon or Cabin version. The covering is Nelson Lite Film from England. Penn Valley Hobby has a nice selection of stick-and-tissue kits and supplies. Check under the R/N models listing for the Playboy replica kit.
Bob Sowder chose the Top Banana for his latest Nostalgia Gas subject. He describes it as a beautiful, straightforward design. I concur.
With 700 square inches of wing area and weighing 35 ounces, it’s the perfect size for B or C Nostalgia. The Top Banana currently has a Johnson .35CS optimized by Bob Mattes. The flying surfaces are covered in Polyspan; the fuselage is covered with two layers of .75-ounce glass cloth.
Bob thanked Terry Thorkildsen for his guidance on the project.
Megow Waco Custom Cabin
When I first met Jack Kacian he was flying a 1/48-scale model he fabricated from foam sheet that he had formed over the parts of a plastic model kit. It was an amazing project, but that’s another story.
Jack has gone in the opposite direction with his 50-inch wingspan Giant Scale Megow Waco Custom Cabin. To facilitate storage and packing, the wings are removable. They are held in place by a combination of magnets and rubber bands. The rubber bands are attached to hooks in the root ribs and stretched through rocket tubes mounted in the fuselage. Dowel keys are used to ensure proper alignment.
The wing struts are mounted with wire hooks on the strut ends that slide into aluminum tubes mounted in the wings and fuselage. Jack found out the hard way that the struts needed keepers. One of the wings folded during a low-power test flight. Luckily it happened in slow motion, resulting in only minor damage. After that close call, Jack installed dental-band keepers.
The covering was white Sig Plyspan. Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bombay India Ink dye was applied with foam brushes after the covering was attached to the airframe. The propeller is 16-inch formed balsa reinforced with carbon-fiber tow. The blades are mounted to a ball-bearing, freewheeling hub that allows pitch adjustments.
The model weighs 330 grams with its motor and three loops of 1/4-inch Super Sport. Jack has great hopes for the Waco. A few test glides showed that it’s a floater!
If you are looking for FF activity in the Wisconsin area, check out the Bong Eagles website. Click on the 2014 Calendar for a list of events and contests.
Science Olympiad Students
My good friend, Karl Geis, has coached local high school Science Olympiad students for several years. See his latest results by searching YouTube, using “Montana Science Olympiad Elastic Glider 2013.”
Using Purple Glue Stick
I have been using nitrate dope to adhere Polyspan to the framework of my models. After reading an article by David Charleston, published in the SAM 26 Coastal Flyers newsletter, I am going to try purple glue stick. I already use it to attach Japanese tissue.
David applies the purple glue stick to the framework. When it becomes tacky he applies the Polyspan then secures the bond with a covering iron. The heat seems to melt the adhesive and strengthen its grip. He also experimented using purple glue stick with MonoKote and found that the results are better than relying on MonoKote adhesive alone.
The write-up can be easily accessed on the Pensacola Free Flight Team website article index. Click on “glue sticks, purple.”