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Old Jul 05, 2012, 10:53 AM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar
South-west France
Joined Sep 2007
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Britkit Build Off 2012 - Mercury Mars - Plans Published, see post #90

Well, I've rested long enough on the laurels of the Sportsters successful flying debut, time to start something else.

Henry J Nicholls Mercury kit concern produced some very fine kits, in 1956 they introduced a range of five beginners 18 inch rubber models under the banner "Starflite Series". At the time I was 15 and moving away towards bigger models, having acquired a couple of motors as presents, but I had enjoyed several of the similar sized Frog Senior series models and so decided to invest 4/9d of my hard earned paper round money in the biplane of the series, the Mars. This proved to provide a pleasant few days of building and flew very well, returning around 45 seconds of stable flight without too much effort. Also in the series were two shoulder wing models, a low winger and a pylon/parasol design.



The Mars is really almost a sesquiplane, with the bottom wing being significantly smaller than the top, and also having no dihedral. Having located a plan for the Mars at Derick Scott's website (he also has two of the others) I decided that it would be nice to do another two times scale up following on from the Tom Tit and Mamba (BTW the former was published in this month's Q&EFI as a full size plan, and the latter is scheduled to follow just as soon as I finsh drawing up the proper plan!). This would produce a convenient size 36 inch model, like the Tom Tit, ideal for my "private" flying site and a 120/140 watt motor. So, here are the original plans, first step is to draw up a twice size "building plan" (i.e. minimum detail) and then get cracking on what should be a fairly straightforward build, I hope.

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Old Jul 05, 2012, 11:44 AM
Havin FUN
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United States, KS, Basehor
Joined Sep 2001
573 Posts
Hi Sundancer,

We can take our plans to the local "Print / Copy" place and they will enlarge
them what ever % desired..........no re-drawing..........just a thought...

Don - Basehor,ks
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Old Jul 05, 2012, 12:00 PM
So I'M meant to be in control?
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Ilkley, West Yorkshire, UK
Joined Nov 2008
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Now that is a good looking little airyoplane, George!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonnacrash View Post
We can take our plans to the local "Print / Copy" place and they will enlarge them what ever % desired..........no re-drawing..........just a thought...Don - Basehor,ks
I know George is in France, but in the UK, I found it to be far more difficult to find anywhere what would deal with anything bigger than A2 (paper, not glider!) size.... and they wanted a lot of money for the pleasure. I think the US is far better set up for this than the UK is......
[puts in large teeth and a curly wig]
"........unless you know different...???"


(showing my age a bit there!)
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Old Jul 05, 2012, 01:45 PM
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Pro copyshop I use can enlarge to any requiired size - larger than anything we need - and has a $10.00 minimum charge, for which I can often get a half dozen or more prints dependent upon individual size
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Old Jul 05, 2012, 02:11 PM
Sic itur ad Astra
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I always reckoned the Mars was a standard high wing cabin model that someone grafted in a smaller wing that was laying around, as an experiment. It's the sort of thing that I know I would do... don't even try to work out how my mind works..
sparks
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Old Jul 05, 2012, 02:26 PM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar
South-west France
Joined Sep 2007
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Thanks for the suggestions Gonnacrash and Applehoney, but there are two problems for me with copy shop blowing up;

1. This is rural France; we are 45 minutes from Limoges, two hours from Poitiers and two and a half from Bordeaux. To the best of my knowledge there isn't a capable copy shop in Limoges, at least I can't find one in the Yellow Pages.

2. Blowing up the plan to double would result in very thick lines, I would just finish up tracing round the outlines.

3.... Sorry, there are THREE problems.... Apart from the fact that I shall not necessarily be scaling material sizes directly up to twice size, most of the structure - wing spars, built-up tail plane in lieu of all sheet, nose end for mounting motor, fuselage for battery and radio access etc. etc. will be entirely redesigned within accurate scaled up outlines. All the new fuselage formers etc. would still have to be lofted which takes much longer than drawing the scaled up outline.

4...No, no there are FOUR problems (no one expects the Spanish Inquisition - that's one for Monty Python fans)...the last and most important one being - I ENJOY drawing up plans and if, as is likely, the model eventually appears in a magazine, a completely redrawn plan will be needed anyway.

Anyway, being largely straight lines the Mars will be a much simpler scaling up job than my last three, the Tom Tit (loads of curves), the Mamba (swept surfaces) and the Sportster (loads of curves, funny shapes and an awkward 1.8 scale up factor). So having a twice size copy made would barely save any time and the cost, including the fuel for the necessary drive, would far outweigh the cost of doing it my way (a piece of lining paper, sharpen the pencils a couple of times and a few hours enjoyable work with calculator, drawing board, french curves, ruler and compasses)

I appreciate it may be a problem if you have never drawn a plan before, but as I have been drawing own designs and scaling up magazine plans for over fifty years now, it is second nature to me.
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Old Jul 05, 2012, 02:47 PM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar
South-west France
Joined Sep 2007
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Originally Posted by sparks59 View Post
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I always reckoned the Mars was a standard high wing cabin model that someone grafted in a smaller wing that was laying around, as an experiment. It's the sort of thing that I know I would do... don't even try to work out how my mind works..
sparks
See what you mean Sparks (my mind is probably as twisted as yours!) but I suspect not in this case, as Cyril Shaw and Ron Warring were responsible for the Starflite series and I suspect these two pretty talented designers probably worked from scratch. However, what you suggest was not unknown, there was a model called the "Phony Tony" which, I think held the British biplane rubber duration record at one time, which was, I am sure, created in just that way. Also I recall that when Ken Willard set out to break the Russian held radio control duration record with his "Breathless" design, in order to comply with wing loading regulations when the model was loaded with fuel for hours of flying, he added a bottom wing to the high wing monoplane. He then discovered that it wouldn't fly as the drag of the wing was greater than the lift it was contributing. So he worked out the minimum extra area required to comply with the loading rules and built a small wing, thus transforming the model into a sesquiplane, this worked and he broke the record (which, considering he was using rubber powered escapements giving rudder, elevator and motor control from just a single channel - one button - Tx, was a considerable feat I think).
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Old Jul 05, 2012, 04:37 PM
Havin FUN
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United States, KS, Basehor
Joined Sep 2001
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Sundancer,
Off the subject... 1977 found house plans we wanted to build except flop it (reverse everything)..so I did the reversal drawing myself......staked it all out...excavator dug..foundation man laying out forms...wife/me standing there on big pile of dirt overlooking the operation...he yells to his forman while holding house plans...
"This Friggin house won't fit in this hole "... we nearly FAINTED... but all came out beautiful, no changes he had just mis read !!!
Don - Basehor, KS
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Old Jul 06, 2012, 07:23 AM
RFJ
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Northern Ireland
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Quote:
there was a model called the "Phony Tony"
Awful thing - a real rule stretcher At least in naming it the designer admitted what he was up to.

Our club used to run a competition for longest glide time from a set engine run. Obviously you want a fast climbing model with a good glide but all l had at the time was a Kwik Fli III ( good climb, poor glide) and a Super 60 ( poor climb, good glide)

Obvious, I thought - combine the two so I strapped the SS wing onto the flat top of the KF fuselage. The resulting very short flight was totally uncontrollable and put me off biplanes for years.

Ray
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Old Jul 06, 2012, 07:27 AM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar
South-west France
Joined Sep 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gonnacrash View Post
Sundancer,
"This Friggin house won't fit in this hole "... we nearly FAINTED... but all came out beautiful, no changes he had just mis read !!!
Don - Basehor, KS
Bit Scary Don - at least if I get one of my drawings wrong I will still have somewhere to live!
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Old Jul 06, 2012, 07:35 AM
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Australia, WA, Perth
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When I first glanced at the plan I thought the lower wing drawing was the tailplane! Whoops!
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Old Jul 06, 2012, 07:36 AM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar
South-west France
Joined Sep 2007
4,426 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by RFJ View Post
Obvious, I thought - combine the two so I strapped the SS wing onto the flat top of the KF fuselage. The resulting very short flight was totally uncontrollable and put me off biplanes for years.

Ray
Strewth Ray, even I wouldn't have tried that one. My maddest "bitsa" involved a TD.049 powered rudder/elevator Sharkface. This was pretty quick, but in the search for even more speed for our club pylon race I strapped the TD049 pod from my Soarcerer onto it. That worked, running on Super Nitrex (30% nitromethane) fuel it was now ballistic and the sound was epic (no silencers!) but the extra weight on top meant that unless the turns were flown with utmost delicacy it rolled inverted on rudder application. Made life interesting (and a bit frightening for the flagmen) at the pylons
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Old Jul 06, 2012, 07:39 AM
Blueplaidcanard flyer
sdy. ny
Joined May 2007
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Or the copy shop folks might do bad math and you get a 3 meter.
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Old Jul 06, 2012, 07:43 AM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar
South-west France
Joined Sep 2007
4,426 Posts
Yep, forgot about that one Rab!!
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Old Jul 17, 2012, 08:26 AM
Sic itur ad Astra
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United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi
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All quiet on the western front
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