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Old Nov 14, 2012, 01:02 PM
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Simple scale designs that somebody ought to kit

So there're dozens of J-3 kits and way too many 172s out there for something that has the romance and flying qualities of a UPS truck. How about all the beautiful or funky airplanes that don't get kitted, especially in parkflyer size (say 30-48" wingspan and minimal weight)? I'm thinking aircraft that would be simple to build in balsa (so the wonderful Republic Seabee is probably out, and the BV138 too) and therefore suitable for a hack builder like myself. Also easy to build light, with truss fuselages that don't require wood skinning for strength.

So how about some suggestions for aircraft in this category?
I'll start:

Bellana Cruiseair/Cruisemaster (the later Vikings don't do it for me--the vertical stabilizer looks like it was designed by a marketing director)--Gorgeous and funky. The originals were slab-sided and had a Warren truss rag-and-tube fuselage, so duplicating that in balsa would be easy. The wheels retract straight back and stick halfway out in the slipstream, so a retract model wouldn't even need doors. And you'd have the only cardboard Constellation at the park.

Bellanca Aircruiser--Actually almost any early Bellanca would be funky or interesting, but this has a nice balance of lovely and weird. The mostly slab-sided fuselage would be easy, but the inverted gull sequiplane wings would take some doing. Nobody would accuse you of having a flying cliche.

Bucker Bestmann--Looks a bit like a bf 108, but smaller. Slabbish sides, flat fuselage bottom, straight-tapered wings and non-retractable gear ought to make a simple parkflyer model. I'd skip the swastika.

bf 108

Culver Dart or Cadet--There's one short kit of this out there that I know of, through Manzano Laser, but it's kind of big and heavy for a park flyer. The Dart was a rag-and-tube job, the Cadet wood stressed skin. Both lovely. For extra authenticity, the Cadet was also produced as a radio-controlled target drone, so if your model didn't fly well you could take it to the skeet range just like the originals.
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 01:43 PM
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There's nothing keeping you from designing, building and kitting those models. Go for it Bill.

Larry
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 02:16 PM
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Yeah well I'm building the first model kit (Pat Tritle hybrid spacewalker) I've done since a couple of Guillows-type mini FF birds as a kid (and 'helping' my Dad with two control line models), so scratch building might wait until I have more experience. You can get plans for that old (out of production) Guillows Cruisemaster kit online though and it doesn't seem like that would be a really hard build.

Besides looking at design suggestions people come up with, I have a faint, forlorn hope that one on the real designers on the forum will get inspired by this thread and crank out a short kit of something cool!
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 02:31 PM
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Cleveland has plans for the Aircruiser. http://www.clevelandairline.com
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 02:44 PM
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There's also the issue of knowing how to alter a design for RC flight--many designs need either a longer tail moment, larger fins, or both. And then if you get into anything with elliptical or heavily tapered wings (DH 88, Dart/Cadet, Mosquito) you have to be careful to get enough washout to avoid tip stalls but not so much you alter the flying qualities. Some of the Culver aircraft had permanent leading edge slats on the outer wings for this reason, but who know how that works at low Reynolds numbers? For a one-off scratch build you could play with the aileron setup to reduce the effective camber at the tips, but it would be pretty lame to produce a kit like that! Unless you're Art tech and have a really pretty AT-6
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 02:45 PM
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Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmullen503 View Post
Cleveland has plans for the Aircruiser. http://www.clevelandairline.com
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Mercer View Post
There's also the issue of knowing how to alter a design for RC flight--many designs need either a longer tail moment, larger fins, or both.
Those modifications were necessary on some scale designs for free flight for stability reasons. They are not necessary for scale RC models because RC scale models can be controlled just like the full size models.

Larry
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Those modifications were necessary on some scale designs for free flight for stability reasons. They are not necessary for scale RC models because RC scale models can be controlled just like the full size models.
I have to disagree. Full scales with smaller horizontal tail surfaces can cause heartburn, too. Look at Midwest's infamous "Success Series" kits; built even slightly nose-heavy, pulling too much elevator stalled the tail, causing nose-ins on approach. I saw several do it, and it wasn't a stall-spin, just an abrupt nose down and crash.

CD
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mercer View Post
Bellanca Aircruiser--Actually almost any early Bellanca would be funky or interesting, but this has a nice balance of lovely and weird. The mostly slab-sided fuselage would be easy, but the inverted gull sequiplane wings would take some doing. Nobody would accuse you of having a flying cliche.
Just started my build thread for a FF conversion in the Balsa Builders forum:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1770067
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 10:16 PM
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Surely the list of Peter Rake's designs listed at Manzano's has at least half a dozen 30 - 40" models that would fit the bill perfectly!

Craig
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Old Nov 14, 2012, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by trumps View Post
Surely the list of Peter Rake's designs listed at Manzano's has at least half a dozen 30 - 40" models that would fit the bill perfectly!

Craig
If you are into real old time types!
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 03:51 AM
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Definitely not too many Bellancas in that list, although I do quite like the Skyrocket. I also find the Buhl Air Sedan quite interesting. However, neither are something I'd build at park flier size. Sub 25" perhaps, but cabin types aren't really my thing. I don't, to some extent, mind designing them, I just have no real desire to build them.

As regards more modern park flier size models that are listed:-
Andraesson BA-4B
Fokker FII
Martin MO1
Wright WP1
Issac's Fury
Waco SRE (2 sizes)
Waco 9
Verville Air Coach
G.W. Meteor
Stahlwerk
Farman Sport
Farman Moustique
Powell Racer
Rose Parrakeet

Most of those are fairly easy building jobs that can be detailed as much, or as little, as you like.

The biggest problem with this sort of thread is, of course, that not everyone likes the same thing. Personally, the types posted at the start leave me totally cold. I grant that volume sales aren't so important with short kits, but the type has to generate enough interest to be worth listing. It takes a lot of time and effort to design a model and prepare it for kitting, so it's always nice to know you'll sell more than one kit.

Pete
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 09:41 AM
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This thread also points out the problems with designing building. A Culver Dart is listed as desired. One is available. But, it is considered too heavily designed.

Yes, a short rant. Someone wants a certain design. One is out there but it isn't 'right'. Too big. Too small. Too light. Too heavy.

We have found that if 10 people here in the forum say they want a certain model, then one will buy it within the year it is released. Maybe we will sell 10 kits total of a specific design, especially the obscure ones. Heck, the really obscure ones we're lucky to even sell one.

Rant over.

Advice is to find a designer that 1) designs those kinds of planes, 2) designs the kind of structures you like, 3) likes your idea.

I realize this kind of thread is such a fishing expedition, but, you'll get much better response it you contact a designer directly. If you REALLY want a specific design then commission a designer to do it for you. A bit more costly, but, you'll get exactly what you want.

A couple more choices more in the DIY category.

Get existing plans and change them to what you want. This is not that difficult and you can come up with a really nice design.

Or, bite the bullet and design it yourself. Scratch building from a 3 view is a bit tougher but can be done, especially with the help available on this forum. You can get help on how to do the structural work, what airfoils to choose, and what materials work best.

Charlie
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 11:10 PM
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Well, originally I was thinking this would be a thread where people would suggest designs that could be kitted, but I guess I didn't phrase it well.

I may try to do a Bellanca, especially since plans are out there in the size I'd like, but I'm going to launch my current build before getting into something else--I build slow enough without two project going at once!
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Old Nov 17, 2012, 07:22 AM
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I must admit I'm surprised you haven't been inundated with suggestions. Even if I personally don't fancy drawing most of them, it's always interesting to see what people want.

Just from a designer's (dabbler's) point of view, and part of the problem, is that designers design with some return in mind. It becomes very frustrating when you get asked for a design, with a promise to build the prototype model, and then the person disappears as soon as they have their plan. Lots of time and effort expended for no return. Unfortunately, that seems to be happening more and more frequently, which rather puts off designers drawing types they wouldn't want to build themselves - unless it's for someone they know will supply the information they need.
Not a rant, just a sort of explanation as to possibly why many of these models aren't available as kits.

Pete
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