Archives for June 2016

Ron’s Foam Yard Ace

Yard Ace electric powered RC model airplane on a fly by

Yard Ace electric powered RC model airplane on a fly by


The Yard Ace is one of my earlier model aircraft designs. The Yard Ace uses a simple layout with a high mounted wing and straight lines for the tail surfaces.  In short, an ideal set of plans for a first time builder as well as someone who would like to make some simple modifications to the existing design.

Yard Ace three channel RC plane front view

Yard Ace three channel RC plane front view

Ron just sent in some pictures of his version of the Yard Ace and the results speak for themselves. Ron had the neat idea to use foam as the building material for his variant of the aircraft.

Ron reports that his version came out a bit tail heavy, but he was careful to add sufficient nose weight to ensure the model balances at the correct center of gravity location. Proving his knowledge of aerodynamics and aircraft design, Ron plans on building a second Yard Ace later this summer using a slightly longer nose moment to compensate for the tail heavy condition.

In addition to the nose modification Ron will install the pushrods inside the fuselage as well as moving the servos to an interior location for a tidier appearance.

Ron, great job and I look forward to pictures of your second version of the Yard Ace!

Plans for the Yard Ace are located here. You likely have sufficient wood and other building materials in your parts bin.  Order a set of plans and create your version today!

Side top view of Ron's foam Yard Ace

Side top view of Ron’s foam Yard Ace


Rear view of Ron's foam Yard Ace

Rear view of Ron’s foam Yard Ace


Side view of Ron's foam Yard Ace under construction

Side view of Ron’s foam Yard Ace under construction

Bristol Brabazon

I have not been able to make much progress on the Buzz Bomb over the past two weeks. The United Express summer flying schedule out of Dulles Airport is very busy this year.  So the good news is lots of time flying around the eastern half of the United States in the CRJ-700, but less time in my model airplane workshop.  July should be a lot better with a few days of vacation to look forward to!

The Bristol Brabazon being towed to the flight line

The Bristol Brabazon being towed to the flight line

I added a page today on the development of the Bristol Brabazon, an early attempt by the British to build an airliner that could fly across the Atlantic non-stop.

We take long-range air travel for granted these days. Just as recently as June 3rd of this year, United Airlines inaugurated the longest non-stop flight by a U.S. airline with service between San Francisco and Singapore.  The length of this flight depends on the headwinds, but the initial flights were around 16 hours and 40 minutes.  I predict this will be a popular route as the previous stop in Narita or Hong Kong enroute to Singapore has been bypassed.

But these long range non-stop flights entailed a great deal of development. Work had to be done on everything from aircraft design to the all-important use of efficient jet turbine engines.

The Bristol Brabazon was an early attempt to meet these long range flight design goals. Much dedicated engineering effort went into this remarkable aircraft.  But commercial performance targets were not clearly understood in the mid-1940s, with the result that only one Brabazon was ever built and later sold for scrap after less than 200 test flights. A remarkable story worth reading.