Archives for February 2015

Carte Postale Fuselage

I am making good progress with the assembly of my Stevens Aeromodel 1926 Farman Carte Postale.

Precise laser cut balsa sheets of the Carte Postale

Precise laser cut balsa sheets of the Carte Postale

The kit is up to the usual standards of Stevens Aero. The website does an excellent job explaining what comes with the kit and listing any additional components needed to complete, such as electronics, glue and building materials. Note that all of the additional materials can be purchased from Stevens Aero.

It is also a nice feature that this line of ultra-micro indoor flyers are designed around the Parkzone electronics, to include the lightweight, miniature brick than contains the radio receiver, two servos and throttle control. With models of this small size having a standardized set of electronics helps a lot with flight success.

One of the keys to success with Stevens models is the high quality balsa employed that is accurately laser cut. The precision of the parts allows the model to be assembled with a dry fit. CA glue is then used to bond the parts when you are certain everything is in place. Stevens Aero uses some unique assembly methods with their RC models, clearly explained in their construction guide, that takes full advantage of computer drawn plans and laser cut parts.

Carte Postale fuselage under construction

Carte Postale fuselage under construction

It is crucial that you read the building instructions, with each step linked to a color photo, to ensure the parts are correctly put together. The result is a light weight and very strong model, but one built with a methodology quite different than any other RC model you have made prior. Just be sure you understand the step before applying the glue.

The fuselage just took a few hours to assemble and glue together. The build process allows for a self-jigging structure which allows for a completed fuselage without any warps. The engine mount has built in right thrust with a large enough cowl opening to insert the electric motor at a later stage.

So far so good, this is a great kit. The next step will be assembling the wing and tail surfaces!

My Next RC Building Project

My pilot training with Mesa Airlines is going very well. I just completed over three weeks of classroom instruction covering airline procedures and CRJ-900 aircraft systems. I am home now for a few weeks, awaiting my security clearance from the Transportation Security Administration. The TSA clearance is required before starting simulator training, which will be my next activity with Mesa.

Side view of the Carte Postale showing the wide wing chord of this unique aircraft

Side view of the Carte Postale showing the wide wing chord of this unique aircraft

While waiting for the go-ahead from TSA I will be carefully studying CRJ simulator profiles and procedures, as well as getting in some model building. I’ve chosen the Stevens Aeromodel Farman 1926 Carte Postale for my next building project.

Front view of the full scale 1926 Carte Postale aircraft

Front view of the full scale 1926 Carte Postale aircraft

The two seat sport flyer Carte Postale is an interesting airplane. There likely was just one variant built in 1926 by the French aircraft firm, Farman. Farman designers noticed a spare wing in storage from the large Farman Goliath airliner. Enterprising workers took this wing, sawed off the tips and mated it to an earlier design Farman David light biplane.

Side view of the Stevens Aeromodel Carte Postale indoor RC aircraft (from SA website)

Side view of the Stevens Aeromodel Carte Postale indoor RC aircraft (from SA website)

The almost comically wide chord of the Goliath’s wing provided the whimsical nickname of Carte Postale, or “Post Card.” The Carte Postale was flown locally and in the 1926 Coupe Zenith race.

I’ll start construction in a few days. The kit looks like the typical level of quality provided by Stevens Aeromodel. The outsized wing looks like it will offer smooth flight characteristics in our nearby indoor flying facility. Plus, the plane has the one thing required by all successful scale models, plenty of character!