[Headline: SMALL 2014—fun summer flying]
It is hard to believe that much of the traditional outdoor flying season has come and gone. Time passes too quickly.
One of my favorite flying events of the outdoor season is the Small Aircraft Lovers League (SMALL) event, held in early June each year. It is always great fun and 2014 was no exception. Held near Little Rock, Arkansas, the event draws people from near and far who have a great time flying a variety of model airplanes.
In between my flying activities, I like to see what aircraft might be of interest to those of us who typically fly in smaller venues. Several models caught my eye this year.
Keith Sparks, aka Mr. Park Flyer Plastics, brought some examples of his Cartoon Scale models to the event. He has two new additions to the lineup: a PT-19 and an aircraft based loosely on an airplane from the Disney animated film, Planes. Despite their cartoon appearance, all of the models in Keith’s kit line fly well. See the “Sources” listing for the Park Flyer Plastics information.
Another model that attracted my attention during the event came from Dave West, who lives in the Chicago area. He built a vintage Carl Goldberg Jr. Skylark with a twist. No, I don’t mean a twist in the wing, but a different power arrangement.
The Jr. Skylark kit was set up to be built as a twin-engine aircraft using .010 or .020 engines, or using a single .049 in the nose. Dave originally built his model as a twin engine using two Cox Pee Wee .020s for power. He found the performance lacking, so he added a Cox .049 Babe Bee up front. This combined the power options into one and the result was a unique-sounding Jr. Skylark with a nice performance. Plans for the Jr. Skylark can be found on the Outerzone website.
In addition to the RC models, FF and CL aircraft were flown throughout the four-day event. There also was plenty of time for talking with a great group of model airplane enthusiasts. I’m already looking forward to SMALL 2015.
The Creative Mind of Ron Sims
Ron Sims is an aeromodeler who likes to morph some popular RTF models into different airplanes. When not performing such acts of creative magic, he also scratch-builds models.
A nice example of his scratch-building is a 167/8-inch-wingspan model of a 1921 Nieuport-Delage Sesquiplan. While reading Smithsonian Aircraft: The Definitive Visual History, Ron came across a three-view of the airplane in a section about setting speed records.
He used wing blanks from Bob Selman Designs, a reworked ParkZone Mosquito fuselage, and some Depron foam sheets for the model’s major components. He also made the wheels with cross-grain balsa.
Power comes from a HobbyKing HXM1400-2000 brushless motor turning a GWS 5030 propeller that gets its energy from a two-cell 120 mAh LiPo battery pack. All-up weight is 90 grams. Ron said the model is a good flier that is slightly on the fast side. Hmm … on the fast side for a model of an early speed-record-setting aircraft?
Ron also passed along a note about a good motor and propeller combination for smaller models. He said a longer 8.5mm brushed motor that delivers good power is available from Horizon Hobby. When combined with the three-blade ICON A5 propeller, you have a great setup that provides good ground clearance. The part numbers are EFLU5152 for the motor and EFLUP3953953B for the propeller. Thanks for the tip, Ron.
From Red-Tailed Hawks to Butterflies
Professional artist Robert Dance has been applying his art and modeling skills to the creation of some nice flying objects based on nature. In the February edition of this column, I shared with you his beautiful RC red-tailed hawk.
Looking at the smaller side of nature, Robert has now created a 21-inch-wingspan representation of the Cloudless Sulphur butterfly. His artistic skills are nicely displayed in the markings of this remarkable RC model. Robert’s building skills are apparent in the photo of the AR6400 receiver brick’s installation. The motor is from a HobbyZone Aeronca Champ. Nice work!
That’s all for this installment. Please let me know what you are up to in the world of small-field flying. My contact information is in the “Sources” listing.[dingbat]
Park Flyer Plastics
Bob Selman Designs