Archives for October 2016

RC Guillows Jetstream

One of the nice aspects producing a website on radio controlled model aircraft is hearing from various folks who have made original designs and modifications of their flying aircraft.

I recently heard from Bruce regarding his modification of the Guillows Jetstream free flight rubber powered balsa stick model airplane.

Bruce used the ParkZone ultra-micro brick system to power and guide the Jetstream. As you can see in the pictures, there is not much room to install the control hardware. But Bruce made it happen and flew several successful flights.

Initially the center of gravity was not in the correct location and the Jetstream had a few “stability issues.” Bruce sorted through these on the early test flights. We have all been there with finding the correct CG location for a new model. Bruce fixed this out with a relocation of the receiver/servo brick location and the model performs well.

I have modified one Guillows kit for radio control flight, the Lancer, but not an aircraft this small. It is a testament regarding today’s lightweight RC gear that a project such as this can even be attempted. Good job and thanks for sharing, Bruce!

 

Front view of Jetstream RC modification

Front view of Jetstream RC modification

 

Jetstream side view

Jetstream side view

 

Jim’s Planes

One of the nice aspects of hosting a website is hearing from other modelers regarding their radio control flying and design experiences.

Jim getting Bleriot ready for a flight

Jim getting Bleriot ready for a flight

A great example is a note I received from Jim T. Jim enjoys flying aircraft designed and flown in the first decade of flight.  Those early aviation pioneers were still working to figure out what worked to make a practical flying machine.  The designs had a lot of character.

Best of all, due to the underpowered engines available at the time, the planes usually had sufficient wing area to fly low and slow.

I built a model of the Sig Demoiselle as well as created original designs such as the Blackburn Monoplane and the Fokker Spin. Jim actually designed a larger one quarter scale Blackburn as you can see in the pictures below.  Note that Jim used a convention Clark Y airfoil for his wing on the Blackburn and it worked out just fine.  This is a great example of doing what is needed to make a successful flying model.

Jim with Bleriot awards

Jim with Bleriot awards

Jim wanted to experiment with some smaller, electric powered models and he ordered my Blackburn plan. I cannot wait to see the results of his masterful craftsmanship with his build of the electric Blackburn.

Below are Jim’s remarks regarding his design and experience:

Hello again Gordon.  When I became fascinated with these old aircraft about 15 years ago no drawings were available anywhere so I obtained some early information on the Bleriot from mostly just hand sketches.

The information was all in the German language. After many one word at a time translations via the internet I drew up a workable plan.  I like to call this approach “cave man engineering” as in both aircraft I forgot about the 7 to 8 degree positive wing incidence characteristic of these underpowered planes.

I decided to use a more modern Clark Y wing for my quarter scale Blackburn, all in all fortunate for me as the plan worked out very successful.

During the first few flights of the Bleriot I had to forget all that I learned about radio control flying and start a new learning curve using cross control to counter adverse yaw during turns as well as employing rudder only and power-on landings (Editor’s note: The high drag inherent with these early designs mandated using lots of power for landings.  Any attempt to glide in would result in a very sudden drop for a hard landing).

As for the Blackburn that aircraft was a dream to build using my own plan. The flight characteristics were miles ahead of the early Bleriot.  I have won many awards and accolades with them both.  I must confess they are not 100% scale.  Here are some more pictures for you.

Cheers, Jim T.

 

Front view of Jim's 1912 Blackburn Monoplane

Front view of Jim’s 1912 Blackburn Monoplane

 

Detail of the Bleriot landing gear

Detail of the Bleriot landing gear

 

Front view of Jim's Bleriot

Front view of Jim’s Bleriot

 

Getting ready to taxi the Blackburn

Getting ready to taxi the Blackburn

Low flyby of the Blackburn Monoplane

Low flyby of the Blackburn Monoplane

Stevens Aero BuzzBomb 400 Kit Review

I added a page on my construction of the Stevens Aero BuzzBomb 400 radio control model airplane. The kit went together like all other Stevens Aero kits, that is to say just as the instructions showed.  The laser engineering employed in all of the Stevens kits comes through with the BuzzBomb.

I ran into a few challenges with the alignment of the outer wing panels as well as the placement of the landing gear. In the page I discuss fixes for these issues.

The completed BuzzBomb makes for a fun sport flyer and manages to capture the inherent stability and sound flying characteristics of the original free flight inspiration. The photo illustrated construction guide walks you through each step.  The end result is a well flying model that is different from the various ready to fly models at your local flying field.  Do give this model a try!

Front view of the completed Buzz Bomb

Front view of the completed Buzz Bomb