[Headline: “New” old and “old” old]
Vintage model airplane designs hold a special place for many of us in the small-field flying community. For some, it is reliving memories of favorite models from earlier days. For others, it is an admiration for quality designs, no matter what their age.
I am fortunate to be able to share with you this month two vintage models that provide good examples of design appreciation and warm memories. The first is from Al Robinson. Al appreciates the great work of notable past-era designer, Ken Willard. Many of Ken’s designs are tailor-made for small-field flying.
Al chose to do a new build from Willard Pageboy plans. It is powered by the recommended Cox .010 glow engine, but uses current-day radio gear consisting of a HobbyKing OrangeRx R415 micro receiver, two 3.2-gram servos, and a single-cell 400 mAh LiPo with a 1-gram voltage booster. All-up weight is slightly less than 31/2 ounces.
Also on the subject of reliving fond memories, Rodney Taylor’s vintage Minnie Mambo was built nearly 50 years ago in the 1960s. Back then, it was powered by a Cox .020 glow engine. Rodney kept the model, and remembering how much fun it was to fly back in the day when flying RC was more challenging, he decided to give that old Minnie Mambo airframe new life.
The original covering was stripped and replaced with current-day lightweight heat-shrink film. Some new wood was used where needed. He also replaced the Cox .020 with an AXI 2204/54 brushless motor driven by a 1,000 mAh two-cell LiPo battery pack. Rodney reported that the refurbished 11-ounce model flies beautifully with longer flights than when it was powered by the Cox .020.
Nice work, Al and Rodney. These are great examples of a newly built vintage design and a restored vintage model. Both are full of fun memories.
Unique Free Flight Designs
Al has been involved with this hobby for a while and is familiar with Free Flight (FF) model airplanes. Included in the rich portfolio of FF designs are some interesting, and in some cases unique, designs.
In the interesting/unique category is an obscure Goodyear racer by FF designer Clarence Mather, called the Grey Ghost. The original plans have a 13-inch wingspan. Al scaled it up to 191/2 inches, allowing him to use the components of an E-flite UMX Gee Bee racer to convert the model to RC.
A unique feature of Al’s Grey Ghost is that the motor is mounted amidships and uses a piano wire propeller shaft to drive the pusher propeller. With a flying weight of 4 ounces, Al says the model is a joy to fly.
Plans for the Pageboy, Minnie Mambo, Grey Ghost, and many more, can be found on the British website Outerzone at the address listed in “Sources.”
Bob’s Shrink-Ray Machine
Bob Aberle has completed a few laps around the model aviation hobby track. During his trips he has developed a keen eye for good aircraft designs, especially those that will work well in the sizes we typically like for small-field flying.
When Dick Sarpolus’ Thermix ’13 design was published in the August 2014 issue of Model Aviation, Bob saw a great small-field design. It only needed to be slightly smaller than Dick’s 900-square-inch model.
After some head scratching, Bob decided that a model with a 54-inch wingspan and 275 square inches would be the right size. The plans were shrunk and the reduced-size Thermix ’13 Park Flyer (PF) was built.
It has a flying weight of 9.7 ounces. Powered by an E-flite Park 300 brushless motor and a three-cell 750 mAh battery, the Thermix ’13 PF (Park Flyer) has proven to be a great small-field flyer.
The plans and construction article for Bob’s Thermix ’13 PF can be found in the November 2014 issue of RC Micro World.
Giving the Propellers Character
Throughout the years, GWS has given us a nice selection of propellers for electric power. They are easy to spot at the flying field because of their bright, safety-orange color. Modeler Sam Will, from the Phoenix area, felt that bright, safety-orange did not always look right on some of his models.
His solution—one also used by other aeromodelers—is to “adjust” the look of the propeller using permanent markers. Sam’s approach may be of interest if you would also like to tone down that bright-orange GWS propeller on the front of your model.
Sam describes his method for creating a wood grain look. “After a thorough cleaning, I get out my black fine-point Sharpie and draw a series of radial random lines from the hub to the tips. I then use a brown Marks-A-Lot permanent marker and start coloring the blades. Luckily, the Marks-A-Lot quickly blends the Sharpie into its basic color, darkening it. As I work, I let it get streaky and make sure I cover the entire blade—both sides.”
Nice tip, Sam. Thanks.
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]
RC Micro World