Thread: Discussion Concept Fleet bipe 1/4 scale
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Old Nov 09, 2010, 01:22 PM
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USA, MA, Weymouth
Joined Mar 2004
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I've built the September 1980 AMA magazine's Fleet biplane....

Dear Metalbenderusn:

The PIPE Here, and a generation ago (1980-81) I was building up a smaller, roughly 1/6th scale Fleet biplane from the plans first offered through an article in the September 1980 Model Aviation AMA magazine, which is still available as Plan No.310, priced nowadays at $21.00 (a HECK of a lot more than I paid "way back when", when it was only at a list price of $6.25!!!)

The plans were meant to build up into a "generic" Fleet bipe, with a 56" wingspan, and meant originally for 35-40 two stroke power, and I had planned on using an HB 40 PDP I owned for its power...but I got totally HOOKED on four stroke power at about that time, with a Saito FA-45 "putt-putt mill", and managed to get the completed model, which had its plans completely re-drawn by myself in some areas, to create a very convincing miniature version of the Fleet Model 16B Finch at Old Rhinebeck. My completed model of the original ORA aircraft featured Frise-hinged ailerons, shock-absorbing spring loaded landing gear (even the tailwheel, too) an airfoiled lifting horizontal tail, and likewise airfoiled vertical fin (all scale features!!!) but the FA-45 proved to be a bit weak on the Finch's seven pound airframe, ready-to-fly, and my early-2000s purchase of a Saito FA-56 four stroke was meant to correct that long-ago oversight.

There are a few photos of my Fleet with this post, and two of them are "apparently" in the same flight attitude...actually, one of those "matching" photos is the full scale Old Rhinebeck aircraft, with the other one being my model in flight way back in 1984.

I've still got my dear old scratchbuilt Fleet, as one of the photos will also show (with it in storage), and when I can get back to work, after being laid off way back in September of 2008, I can start the process of restoring my ol'Fleet Finch, and getting a set of CAD-drawn plans drawn up for a Saito FA-325 radial=powered, 50% larger quarter scale version of it, again with a fully spring LG setup, the Frise-ailerons that allowed my original to turn equally well on either rudder OR ailerons alone (no kidding!) and the scale lifting stab/elevator that forced me to get used to WHEEL-landing the Finch just about every single time I flew it.

Now, for a new JOB to make it all affordable...

Yours Sincerely,

The PIPE....!!
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Last edited by The PIPE; Nov 09, 2010 at 01:28 PM.
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