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Posted by V1VrV2 | Jul 27, 2015 @ 03:01 PM | 1,855 Views
A while back I had a conversation with Bob Martin and he told me that when he was making the original Hobie Hawk occasionally when drilling out the wing roots that the drill bit would load up with swarf and blow out the plywood on the wing panel. He had enough of these that he would cut off the roots and make 6 foot wings out of them. He never sold them but rather gave them to guys in the shop to use. He said the plane flew great. Like it was on rails.

That reminded me of the original plane I built that used curved wings that were 6 footers. That was the first prototype for the Superhawk I made back in the early 1990's. It was called a mini-hawk. I flew that one until I had a bad landing and made the 8 foot wings for it. I missed that 6 footer because it flew great on the slope.

Well I am now working on making that Mini Hawk again using what I have learned from lots of building over the years and today I finished the router jig and made my first set of wings for this new plane. Pictures are below.

I took a picture of this set of wings with an original Hobie set of 2 meter prototype wings I picked up with Brian Joder of years ago. Hobie Alter saw these wings and said they never made it into production as he sold the tooling before that could happen. Very rare wings...

My wings are 36" per panel and Hobie's were 39" (1 meter) each panel. Mine are a bit shorter but I will be flying this on the slope so I wanted speed anyway! Hobie had his proprietary under camber airfoil on his and I used an RG-15 airfoil. This thing will be killer on the slope!

Anyway here are a few pictures:
Posted by V1VrV2 | Jul 24, 2015 @ 05:35 PM | 1,463 Views
After a couple of confused e-mails that RIT Dye is not taking to the CAB canopies I had to do some digging.

It turns out that RIT has reformulated the dye compound because of availability of ingredients in the dye. This was started in 2011. They slowly implemented the change to their formula over the last few years so that all their newer dyes will NOT dye the canopies made from CAB plastic.

The good news is that they are just now starting to make a new dye marketed under the RIT name as "Dye More". This is specifically made for plastics and synthetics. The bad news is that it is so new hardly anyone has it.

Here is the link:

Initial tests of this new dye indicate it needs to be heated for better penetration of the plastic. Curt White says the canopy needs to be immersed immediately so steam from the solution does not form on the canopy before immersion. Speculation suggests that the steam penetrates the plastic surface and keeps the dye from entering the plastic causing an uneven dye job.

Another company makes a product called "iDye Poly" that works. They make several colors and I found mine at Hobby Lobby and Jo Anne fabrics. It may be at other locations as well. I will post a picture at the bottom so you can see what the package looks like.
Posted by V1VrV2 | Jul 07, 2015 @ 05:57 PM | 1,740 Views
If you get to the Pacific Northwest (Seattle-Boeing Field) You MUST stop here. You can see JFK's B-707 Airforce one (and see for yourself inside) The original prototype B-747 (make money or die for Boeing) and soooo.. much more. Enuf talk. Take a tour....Continue Reading
Posted by V1VrV2 | Jul 06, 2015 @ 10:03 AM | 1,545 Views
I have recently completed work on tooling that allows the reproduction of stabilizers and rudders for the Hobie Hawk. This has been a long tedious process but the parts are drop in replacements for the factory original pieces.

Just FYI, The original Hawk tooling changed hands a few different times and as a result the alignment and drilling of the stabilizers (along with the dorsal fin) varied as much a a politicians promises before election day. In other words, there was and is no consistency to the alignment.

The stabilizers I make are drilled in a machined tooling that is aligned in all axis. When you fit them to your Hawk, if they are not aligned across with the wing, that's because of the Factory set up of the dorsal alignment jig. Not to fret! If the misalignment is minor, you can CAREFULLY use a heat gun to heat the dorsal just enough so it will bend. DO NOT HEAT THE FIBERGLASS TAIL CONE! It will soften and fail! You may need to mount the stabs for leverage holding the twist in while the plastic cools. It doesn't take much so don't over do it! Do not heat the stabs either!

OK, the plane will fly fine misaligned but anything that is twisted causes your trim to be off to compensate and that is extra drag. Something to consider anyway...

Each set requires composite parts that replicate the injection molded pieces is reproduced singly. That takes time. The alternative is to do nothing and have no parts. There is substantial time and effort put into
...Continue Reading
Posted by V1VrV2 | Oct 28, 2014 @ 02:39 PM | 3,374 Views
I was recently diggin' through my old plane stuff and found this build video from Birdworks by Steve Hendirks that shows step by step how to build his RC Gull semi Kit. This kit is no longer in production but if you have one sitting in your closet this might help you to build it as intended by the designer. Enjoy!

BIRDWORKS RC GULL (1 hr 55 min 20 sec)

Posted by V1VrV2 | Oct 01, 2014 @ 05:52 PM | 4,019 Views
Completed build notices sent out today 04-25-2015.

Please check your personal email account for an attached PDF file regarding the completion of the build. Planes are now ready to ship.

Oh boy!

Here we go again with another build!

10/08 - Cut core blanks from foam and started hot-wire cutting all of it. Its gonna take awhile to cut it all. It seems like an endless mountain of foam! Kinda like eating an elephant I guess...

Picked up the plywood yesterday as well. Amazing how the Finn's get that birch plywood in 3 layers down to .4mm thick! Well, they charge enough for it anyway...

10/18 - All wings and tails are now hotwired and completed. I have a HUGE stack of blanks on the shop table. Had to build a new storage rack for the Finland Birch plywood as the old way wasn't going to be practical anymore. Space issues. Started cutting fiberglass and Kevlar for the fuselages. Pulled the older "Replihawk" tooling out (Hobie Hawk clone) to prep for the Minihawk build. I some of you ordered original Hawk tail peices. Stabs not a problem but the rudder foam jig needs to be rebuilt. The old one is too messed up from being in storage.

11/07 - Wing cores are all joined and cut all composite cloth for the fuselages. Lamination in progress on all fuselages for the next couple weeks. Cutting cloth blanks for dorsal assemblies and prepping molds. Machining new templates for traditional hawk rudder cores repairing damage from storage.

11/20 - Main...Continue Reading
Posted by V1VrV2 | Aug 27, 2014 @ 02:09 PM | 4,044 Views
Deposits are in, the build is on!

Today 9/24 all but one guy sent in their deposits for the Superhawk G1. He obviously didn't read all of the detailed posts and was very confused on the price and subsequently reneged on his committment to the build. There is enough serious interest I am going ahead with the build. By early next week I will pick up the plywood and foam on my way home from work to build the planes I have deposits for. Started pulling the jigs and molds out today and had about 1/16" of dust on them. Been awhile I guess! I will also be working on the Minihawk (two meter) during this build and will post pictures here of that as well. Standby you guys, you will get the best Superhawk ever built when all is said and done.

Hobby King Servoless spoilers needed for your plane:


The Hobbyking spoilers have been reported as unreliable and are rather difficult to remove for servicing. Therefore the build of G1's will now have TWO spoiler bays per panel for use with conventional servos such as the HS-55's (Hitec) or equivelent.

Check this video out.

VIDEO0081 Copy (0 min 13 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by V1VrV2 | Jul 03, 2014 @ 10:19 PM | 4,238 Views
Here are some documents that came with factory finished Hobie Hawks that had the RS Systems Single Stick Orange Box transmitter.

This was a very small (The RS company meant "Really Small" BTW...) single stick transmitter with a bright orange housing designed by Bob Novak back in the mid 1970's. By todays standards they are now obsolete wide-band AM equipment in urban areas especially. The FCC has outright banned the use of wide band transmitters for several years now so don't attempt to fly any vintage hawk with this radio. You could interfere with someone elses narrowband equipment, but worse yet the old AM receiver isn't built for today's RF environment. Bad JuJu all around.
Posted by V1VrV2 | Jun 24, 2014 @ 03:45 PM | 5,001 Views
This was a e-note sent to Brian Joder at Hobie Hawk dot com. He sent it to me and I just don't know who authored it otherwise I would post that as well.

Good times!

Posted by V1VrV2 | Jun 04, 2014 @ 10:19 AM | 4,365 Views
Here is a pair of 6 foot wing panels that I picked up from a guy in California several years back. I am unsure of their origin and showed them to Hobie Alter himself and he said they were definitely made on the factory tooling. He also said that they were doing alot of experiments with the tooling and that these could very possibly have been prototypes or experimentals for shorter wings. He said no six foot wings ever made it to market though as the production ceased after only a couple of years.

When Hobie Alter and myself went to fly in the past he saw these wings. He said that these were factory produced wings but he had no idea how they reached the open market. He then went into a memorable event on how some Hawks went out the backdoor by a very likeable employee he wished had not happened. A girl had sold many hawks from the loading dock that he very much liked. He was seriously dissapointed and betrayed... For whatever reason she got involved in trading his sailplane for "desireable assets" . Guess times don't really change thoughout the years.

Talking to Bob Martin about these as well he said that during his stint with the Hawk tooling they had a few rejected 4 foot wing panels come out from the wingrod drilling stage before the rib bays were routed out. He said that occasionaly the drill bit would "blow out" the thin plywood surrounding the hole because the drill loaded up with swarf (chips). They would cut off the bad part at the root...Continue Reading
Posted by V1VrV2 | Jun 02, 2014 @ 03:24 PM | 4,424 Views
Here is an original set of info sheets sent to me by the Hobie Model Company way back in 1976. These prices are almost 40 years ago so imagine in today's $$ what it would be! FYI the Historical US CPI data calculates these prices should be multiplied by 4.33 to get what it would be in today's dollars.

That means a $399 Hobie Hawk with radio finished would be $1727 today.
The sheets below say there was a clearance sale on radio ready finished airplanes at $299 that's $1294 today.

A kit was $109.99 which is $476.25 today.

A CAB RIT dyable canopy was $5.28 and is $22.86 in today's dollars.

Notice they sent me two price lists. From January 1976 to March 1976 the price of a canopy (and some other items) went from $2.40 to $5.28. a whopping 220% increase!


Posted by V1VrV2 | Mar 26, 2014 @ 03:30 PM | 4,218 Views
The last cheapskate RC modeler broke my back this week.

Wanted ads that want stuff cheaper than it can be made for... Or the guy who asks you to make a part for his sailplane that you own the tooling for and ignores you when you say its done? He later e-mails you to say "gee I guess I forgot about that?" and STILL ignores you? After you built it custom for him based on a promise to pay...

Or how about the guy who asks you to build a canopy for his plane for free because he said he doesn't have time but it looks like you do?

Or what about reviewers that want your builds for free and want to resell them for profit when their done with minimal effort and expense on their part?

Having 50+ people on a waiting list for an extremely rare and time consuming build for Superhawks that simply ignore you when you say they are ready after spending 6 months of your "spare time" building them. As if you were some bothersome telemarketer disturbing their dinnertime...

I'm not talking just about the Joe Schmoes out there. I had some standing orders from people like *&^%$$%%^^ Composites on the East coast that JUST IGNORED my completion of reserved build e-mail notices.

To those of you who know what following through means, thank you. You are men of your word.

Thats it.

I'm done.

No more making stuff for other people in this hobby.

I was told years ago there was NO money to be made in RC stuff (unless your really big or high end).

I made enough money to buy some very nice shop equipment and a number of nice planes. It's no get rich quick scheme for sure...

Guess I should have listened years ago.

With that, I am officially retired from the RC manufacturing Biz.

I quit.
Posted by V1VrV2 | Sep 29, 2013 @ 12:29 AM | 5,010 Views
Here's a chronological documentation outlining the construction process on 12 Superhawks. Also attached is the PDF build manual for the original Superhawks that are featured here as well as the Superhawk G3 build sheet. It took about 4 months to do this build and yes, it was ALOT of work! Enjoy!

Note: This plane is no longer available. I am no longer manufacturing any planes.

Posted by V1VrV2 | Jun 12, 2013 @ 07:39 PM | 5,018 Views
Been working on this for awhile. I needed to make a true to scale original tailpost and dorsal assembly for the Superhawk but needed it to have the capability of accepting larger joiner rods for a beefed up stabilizer assembly so over the last year I have been working on molds that can accurately replicate the injected molded parts of the original plane. Anyone that has a Hobie Hawk knows how rare and scarce original dorsals are because they are no longer made. Building the molds was a new process for me and involved alot of experimentation and trials but the work paid off and I can now replicate the tail assembly out of composite materials.

The dorsal is a double sided molding laminated from fiberglass cloth, S glass tow and carbon tow. Much stronger than the plastic dorsals on the Hobie hawk but then again I can't injection mold them several hundred per hour either!

It took one day to make the tailpost and two dorsal halves and another day to fabricate the bellcrank and mill the slots and holes. Very time consuming but the parts work. Yipee! A total of eight seperate molds and five pins are required to make one dorsal.
Posted by V1VrV2 | May 28, 2011 @ 09:31 AM | 7,802 Views
It's been awhile since I built anything like this and There are enough advancements with radio gear, materials, and control technology to make this project work. The goal will be to make a full scale Bald Eagle from composites utilizing the build experiences of myself and others to make this thing look as real as it can get, including no cheater fins or vertical tail surfaces. Yes, it has been done. My only fear is that where I fly there are LOTS of real Bald Eagles (Skagit River, Washington) and what will they do when encountering this thing? The talons of a Bald Eagle are 6 inches from front to back. When they close, they are like a pitbull's jaws. Good luck dislodging them...Only one way to find out I guess...

Started on the drawings for the prototype. Gave Compufoil a good workout yesterday. Sure beats hand drawing all those airfoils!

Ordered some true scale Bald Eagle eyes from a taxidermy shop that are correct for the bird. Woodcarvers use them and its a good thing they did the research on the eyes. They are not yellow. They are off white and have a dark band around the outside. I figure the face has to be accurate. I don't want this thing coming out looking like a chinese parrot-like knockoff.

The last Bald Eagle I built was years ago when I was still in high school. It was about the same size as this one but had a rudder. Bob Hoey has since then blazed a trail for RC birds since then and also a Japanese gentleman has done a great deal of research on how...Continue Reading
Posted by V1VrV2 | Mar 06, 2011 @ 03:08 PM | 8,014 Views
I fly mainly at 2 sites here in Skagit County, Washington.

The first is Fort Ebey State Park located on Whidby Island. Whidby Island where they filmed "An Officer and a Gentleman" years ago. It is the current location of Navy Base Whidby Island and the flying sites are located on the West side of the island. One faces Southwest and the othe faces West. Both look out Westward on the Olympic Mountain Range across Puget Sound and Northwest across the Sound is Victoria BC (Vancouver island, Canada) and directly North is Vancouver BC.

The SW facing site rarely has a straight to the face headwind. 99% of the time it is crosswind from the left (South). Usually the only time it is good to fly this site is as a storm front is approaching with a Low pressure system off the Washington coast. The winds here can be hurricane force. I've seen guys in body suits and goggles leaning into the wind flying their ballasted slopers. Most of the time it blows 15-25 Kts during the Fall, Winter, and early Spring. Summer flying has winds that are calm or northerly. Not good unless you have a power assisted glider. Thermals would be abundant then I would guess. This site has literally several square miles of flat farmland behind the slope to land on. Couldn't be better.

The other site is the West facing Gunnery Site on Fort Ebey. It is the old location of a heavy gun emplacement overlooking a sweeping 180 degree view of both the Straight of Juan De Fuca and South towards...Continue Reading
Posted by V1VrV2 | Mar 04, 2011 @ 03:57 PM | 8,179 Views
Man... Where do I start with this?

After meeting Mark Triebes and sponging up all I could from him on build methods, I thought I had enough info to get by on - until I saw this post:

Oh boy! This was a opportunity I could not pass up.

The Schizo (other designs are the Psyko and his latest, the Stalker - hmmmmm...) is DP's rendition of an F3F plane. It is built using LOTS of carbon fiber and CNC milled molds. He literally dumped THOUSANDS of dollars into this tooling. The plane has an airfoil cross section designed by his good pal Joe Wurts. It was made for speed and low drag. It lives up to that reputation. It had some VERY, VERY good runs with F3F contests.

I went to Daryl's shop at Lake Havasu, AZ and spent a week there learning how he builds planes. The materials used are expensive. Carbon fiber 1K plain weave wing skins, Rhoacell cores, LOTS of CF tow in the fuselage. He builds for light weight and what he called "Daryl Proof". For those of you who know Daryl, he likes to destroy planes on launches. He's a very optimal flier and builder albeit he gets his planes from sponsors on trial basis. Man, I wish I was that good!

Daryl is a FUN guy. Had a blast in between marathon building sessions on the Schizo. Here's some pictures from that visit:...Continue Reading
Posted by V1VrV2 | Mar 04, 2011 @ 03:11 PM | 8,013 Views
This just had to happen. I have always wondered how the newest and latest models were being built. Hollow molding has been around awhile but the rest of the world seems to have "stepped on the gas" and taken the hobby into a whole new dimension. Here in the USA, very few if any high end molded planes are made here. The vast majority are made in Europe and Eastern block countries and the quality is outstanding.

I remember when flying "gliders" was chucking a plane off a hill and having fun. Now its all about competition and who has the latest Euro-moldie wonder plane. Planes get outdated as fast as new computer or cell phone technology. Designs have gone from the drafting table to CAD 3D renderings converted to machine readable DXF files for cutting molds from solid billet aluminum blanks in $100,000+ machines. This is after an aerospace engineer (or wanna be) analyzes multitudes of low speed airfoil polars and data to get that extra 0.0001% efficiency from the design. In the hands of a proficient pilot these designs can kick some butt on the contest venue. In mediocre hands, its just another plane obeying the laws of gravity.

These planes can cost several thousand dollars just for the airframe alone. The radio systems have gotten so sophisticated you practically need an engineering background to comprehend all the programming functions. I have a manual on CD (yup, no more books!) that is written like a college level chemistry textbook. Sometimes...Continue Reading