By now you’ve renewed your AMA membership and club membership(s), and you may have been working on that next Scale beauty you plan to fly this spring.
It’s time to think about attending trade shows such as the Toledo R/C Expo (held April 4-6 this year) and others across the country, as well as smaller regional shows. Even if it’s cold outside where you live, there is plenty of Scale modeling to do. Let’s get going! Are you ready to test-fly that new model?
Pietenpol Air Camper
I finally have the airframe ready to cover and have been looking at the cowling, which will be made from balsa and plywood and covered with fiberglass cloth. This makes a strong cowl and I hope it will look similar to the full-scale aircraft.
There are many Air Camper color schemes from which to choose. Many are here in the US, as well as in the United Kingdom and Europe. Some I like and some I don’t want to use on a model.
The aircraft is a floater and will putter around the patch on little fuel. I hope the O.S. four-cycle 72 will be enough to power it. When it flies, it will be on grass.
Getting the framework finished and all of the bits put together makes me excited to get the model in the air. We are still knee-deep in winter as I write this, so I’m anticipating flying this summer.
All of the servos are installed including the ailerons, which are mounted on a piece of 1/8-inch plywood located in the bottom of each wing panel. I’m working on the interior as well as adding detail parts, but I’m waiting until the weather breaks to paint.
Finding a suitable, fuelproof silver paint proved to be a problem, but I finally settled on Top Flite paint that matches the company’s MonoKote. The silver perfectly matches that of the full-scale Air Camper.
World War I
With 2014 being the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I, it will be interesting to see how many special Dawn Patrol events will be held. Thinking of that brings the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, located in Rhinebeck, New York, to mind.
There are plenty of Scale events to attend this year and some are also full-scale gatherings that offer modelers opportunities to get up close to some vintage airplanes. The Antique Airplane Association’s invitational fly-in is held annually in late August in Blakesburg, Iowa. The fly-in features everything from antiques to modern classics.
Scale at the Nats
You may have seen some models several times, which could be because of the growing number of ARFs. The popularity of models such as P-51s and Thunderbolts has fluctuated.
We have seen fewer scratch-built models during the past few years, so when a competitor appears with a new scratch-built model of a 1930s biplane, other pilots are excited!
Larry Botsford brought a Fiat C.R.32 to last year’s Nats. The full-scale Fiat was designed and built in Italy in the 1930s. The compact fighter had a 600 hp Fiat A.30 engine and was fast, agile, and aerobatic for a 1930s-era fighter. It was used by several countries during its service life, but later was outclassed by several monoplane fighters.
The full-scale Fiat C.R.32 was flown by Gruppo Commander Andrea Zotti during the Spanish Civil War. The group commander’s pennant was painted over the all-black roundel on the fuselage sides and on the top of the wing center section. Zotti flew for the Spanish Nationalists during the latter part of the war.
Larry’s 93-inch wingspan Fiat C.R.32, powered by an O.S. BGX two-stroke engine, performed flawlessly. He used a Spektrum radio system with six servos. He covered the model with fabric and fiberglass, then painted it with Klass Kote epoxy. The bridge-like wing struts are from Glenn Torrance Models. Larry used balsa, spruce, and plywood to build the model and designed his own fiberglass parts.
Larry also designed the plans, cut out all of the parts, and made the molds for the glass wheel pants and cowl. This is scratch-building. The three-views or scale drawings were from Peter Westburg.
AMA has a class for scratch builders: RC Designer Scale (also known as Museum Scale). The most unique and best-built models are in this class.
Fair skies and tail winds.