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Biplan's blog
Posted by Biplan | Nov 14, 2010 @ 11:51 AM | 3,344 Views
Wing span: 38.4" (975 mm)
Length: 28.7" (730 mm)
Weight with battery: 25.4 oz (720 g)
Scale: 1:12
Built from Z-foam and molded plastic

Maidened my new toy yesterday. I could not resist the F4F Wildcat when I saw it. It's the best built ready-to-fly plane I've ever seen.

The set is called BNF - bind-and-fly. It comes complete with everything one needs except a 2.4GHz transmitter. It's also available as PNP - plug-and-play - less receiver, battery and charger.

Brushless motor with 9x6 propeller, ESC and 4 servos are installed in both versions. Elevators, rudder and ailerons are hinged, control rods connected, except for the elevators.

The two horizontal stab halves must be attached to the fuselage. They fit perfectly into molded plastic supports, is reinforced in the center by a lightweight (carbon fiber?) tube and is secured with strips of tape that comes with the set. The wing halves must also be joined to the fuselage. They fit perfectly in molded slots, a lightweight tube reinforces the wing halves and each wing half is secured with one screw inside the fuselage. There was one spare screw in my set along with a longer velcro band for a larger battery than the 3S/1300 mAh that comes with the BNF version. The charger is plugged into a car's 12V connector (formerly called cigarette lighter) and each cell is charged separately via the balancer plug.

A 36 page, A-4 size well informing instruction manual in English and German is taped to the under...Continue Reading
Posted by Biplan | Sep 21, 2008 @ 06:11 PM | 3,566 Views
Look what appeared under the pile of old model airplanes up in my parents' attic! A well preserved Baby Birdie! It's just begging to be electrified.

Besides I crashed the Blade Dancer EPP plane and broke the fuselage in half. It's an easy fix, but I'm sort of fed up with it for now.

A small storage damadge is to my advantage: the rudder is broken off. I'm going to make it into a 4 channel control anyway, it's possible with the new micro R/C gear.

The NewPower Booster 10 outrunner from the Blade Dancer should be perfect for the Baby Birdie. Out comes the old fuel tank and the Tee Dee. The Tee Dee is like a regular, front induction engine with side mounting pads and a separate fuel tank, not a one piece, rear induction unit like the famous Baby Bee. It's mounted on a tiny nylon engine mount. The Tee Dee came off easily, but the engine mount is glued and attached to the firewall with 4 M3 bolts. It was definitely not made to come off again. I'll have to think about that for a while. The Booster 10 motor has a rear mount, but is considerably shorter than the Tee Dee. It's perhaps easiest to make a new firewall in front of the original one.

The wing and fuselage are held together in the usual method in those days; transverse dowels through the fuselage and rubber bands. That is something I'm not going to change. I think I'll have to remove the wing to change the battery because there is no fuel tank cover. I think it would weaken the structure too much if I make a...Continue Reading
Posted by Biplan | Jul 26, 2008 @ 05:31 PM | 3,547 Views
Another of the old planes that was retired back in the seventies or eighties and is still air worthy is a "stick" type plane. It emerged at a time where there were ads for all kind of "sticks" in the magazines. There was the Sweet Stick, Ugly Stick, Big Stick, Little Stick and about every name you can imagine. The sticks seemed to be quick to build and fly reasonably well for a trainer.

My brother decided to make an all wood stick from scratch rather then buy a kit. He designed it around a semi symmetrical wing profile to fit his hot, schnuerle ported HP .40 with a flow through muffler.

It flew well so I decided to build one, too. Only problem was that no plan existed, only a rough pattern for the wing ribs. I was serving in the air force at the time, way up at the North Cape in Norway with no model shops around. Had to make the fuselage out of common plywood and corrugated cardboard. Later I built a proper fuselage from balsa wood, it was somewhat lighter than the first one. I had a cross flow Enya .35 with a quiet, closed chamber muffler at the time. It had noticeable less power than my brother's HP so I made the wing span a little shorter by eliminating one wing rib at each end. I also added more dihedral. The SimenStick traveled with us all the way to the First European F3A R/C Championship at Koksijde, Belgium, in 1976 where I had the position of team manager and dedicated driver. I didn't get a chance to fly the SimenStick there, but it's still got the sticker on the wing.

Back to present time. I flew the Chocker D I into the ground a week ago - inverted - so I had to dismantle and clean the AXI 2820/10. The SimenStick has been sitting, ready to go, in a corner of the workshop for a couple of weeks only waiting for a motor. So I figured I could just as well put the AXI on the SimenStick while the D I is in for repair.
Posted by Biplan | Jul 11, 2008 @ 12:54 PM | 3,512 Views
My intention was to build and fly models with a wingspan of 1 meter (40") or less. I've come to realize that that's too small for the windy conditions usually encountered at our club flying field.

The attic at my parents' house is a treasure of old airplanes, both mine and my brother's. Some of the planes are still air worthy, others have only minor damage. I think I've figured out why some were never repaired; there were no full size plans with the kits so it was next to impossible to make spare parts.

I've discovered planes up there that I don't recall I ever had. Not all planes were found worthy to photograph for my album. I even found an unbuilt Schluter kit for a .40 size Manta delta. When I asked my brother if he recalled it, he answered leisurely: "Oh, yeah, that's a prize I won in a pattern contest. You can build it if you like."

I settled for a .40 size biplane, a Swedish constructed non scale plane named Josephin, one of those planes I bought used. Back then I first had an OS .40 FSR with OPS tuned pipe, 10x6 prop. Later I replaced the OS with a Saito FA-45 4 stoke with a coke can for a muffler, 11x6 prop at 8.800 RPM. Now I bought an AXI 2820/10 electric outrunner for it an renamed it Chocker Doppeldecker I. It was an easy conversion to electric: unbolt the old motor mount with methanol burner, bolt on the new electric with motor mount. Replacing the fuel tank with battery was also easy as there was a hatch already. Out went the throttle servo and ditto rod. There was plenty of room above the battery for the Kontronik ESC. I made a hole in the firewall for cooling air and an exit underneath. All up weight with electric is about the same as before. I chose a 4 cell A123 battery (LiFePO4), 13.2V nominal/2300 mAh. With a 12x6 prop at 8.500 RPM it's got more power than ever before and draws 49 amps static at full throttle.
Posted by Biplan | May 05, 2008 @ 05:09 PM | 3,698 Views
05may2008
I reentered the model airplane hobby again the spring of 2007 after a break from 1984. Now I'm going to build and fly the models I like, i.e. stand off scale models and strange oddities.

Luckily I saved all the small bits and pieces and my radio sets. The Futaba Module J-series transmitter works as good now as it did then with a new battery. The FG-series "gold radio" didn't even need a new battery, it works for an hour 40 minutes after some cycling. I've got a new micro receiver and servos for the really small models, though.

I enjoy building models as well as flying. Found my old photo album and discovered that I've bought more used planes than I have built models. Did I crash that often? Guess I was - and still am - a slow builder.

Funnily I don't recall what happened to the remains of the Radiomaster. I don't think I ever burned a wreckage like some others did. All that's left of the Radiomaster is the horizontal stab, elevators and ailerons.