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Old Jul 08, 2012, 09:39 PM
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My first C/L airplane was a Wen Mac Cutlass..

I received it for Christmas in 1959 in Anaheim, Ca, USA. I think it had a Mk 2, .049 that was hard to start and would roll for 1/2 a lap and fly for 1/2 a lap. I then bought a Cox TD4. It flew well and gave me my first great C/L accomplishment-flying a tank full of fuel without crashing. In 1971, I bought a Cox PT 19 at Fed Mart for $6.00. Removing the huge rubber spinner, it's hub and replacing with a Babe Bee screw and washer and spinning a Top Flite 6/3 prop increased RPM significantly. Removing the windscreens, pilots and stickers, drilling another hole in the bell crank to increase elevator movement and with Sig 40% nitro fuel allowed large and smaller inside loops.
In 1975, flying a Voo Doo with a McCoy 40 blackhead at Sycamore High School in Anaheim, a 10 year old girl bicycled up and insisted I meet her father, Dale Kirn who lived nearby. Dale hipped me to the all time great and Nats winner Bart Klapinski who hipped me to Gahr<Sp? HS and The Skyburners Model Airplane Club. Toney Guest, Pete Vitale, Don Wise and 20 or 25 other great competitors flying fast combat at 125MPH with Super Tigres and Fox engines! WOW! I saw the elephant and, working at Ca Model Supply had access to all I needed. I was soon flying modified Voo Doos with ST G 21 combat specials and competing. I remember contests in 1975 where we had 20 or 25 contestants and 60 or 70 spectators watching fast combat. I now live east of San Bernardino and have a Brodak P40 with an OS 35 stunt. I haven't been chased off the local soccer field, and wonder. Does anyone else fly C/L in the San Bernardino area? Would love to meet and fly...
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Old Jul 08, 2012, 10:00 PM
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No mental picture comes into focus at all

I remember a TD-1, not a TD-4. The engines I had that equated to your first were various OK Cubs, most of the smaller ones being low powered and hard to keep running. My first (that I had some hope of getting into the air) was an Enterprise "Air Racer" kit, similar to a Scientific "log", but for an .099. My problem was the Cub 099 had less power than a Cox 049.

It would require a quarter lap to get airborn, then would sag, and sink to the ground, still running, after a couple of laps. If I set the needle richer, to avoid the lean condition and rapid overheating, it would never reach a taxi speed sufficient to fly.

I had that in 1951, then I had a Guillow's Trainer III, and THAT actually would fly.


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Old Jul 08, 2012, 10:26 PM
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The Cox TD 4 was a profile trainer, yellow and blue, and held together with rubber bands. I can google a pic of one but can't seem to post the link here. it was Babe Bee .049 powered and came with the metal Babe Bee fuel tank. The front of the fuselage articulated to I think 3 positions, beginner to stunt. They are quite rare and were soon replaced with the PT 19.
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Old Jul 08, 2012, 10:49 PM
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When I Googled it, I found one image, of an unassembled one, still in its box.

The TD-1 had an all-metal, hollow wing, and AFAIK, was a good flyer (about 1958?).


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Old Jul 09, 2012, 01:58 AM
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Interesting about the Cutlass. I have a new one in the box. I always wondered how it flew. Sounds like it is a good thing I never bothered!

I am wondering how the Wen Mac Flying Wings flew. If I ever get out and try U-Control again (three planes ready and no time), I may just try one.

I have a TD-1 which I have had for about 30 years (it was used when I got it) and have always been tempted to fly it.

I have seen photos of the TD-3 and TD-4, but have never seen one in person.

Looks like you met some pretty interesting people!

Interesting thread!
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Old Jul 09, 2012, 07:49 PM
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The Wenmac Mk 3's seem to have been the best of the Wenmac .049 lot. IMO, they were hard to start, tempermental and just couldn't compare to the Cox line. The Cutlass was way heavy and I was disappointed when my folks bought it for me-I was smart enough to see that a conventional front engine puller would probably be a better flyer. I think Wenmac made far fewer Cutlass's than the several other planes they offered.
Yep. Famous combat flyers like Howard Rush, designer of The Nemesis and John Jo, designer of The Super Voo Doo also flew with The Skyburners in the mid 70's. Toney Guest who was flying light fast Nemesis's pionered foamies.They were called Strikers, if memory serves. He originally was building Nemesis center sections and attaching the foam wings. He then realized he could build a balsa center rib then attach foam wings to the center rib lowering over all weight and time in construction. Toney also worked with Sheldon Hobbies in San Jose and Upton in modifing ST G21s. Lowering the exaust port awe,,,,what was it .011 inches, making a two piece head and using a phenolic retainer main bearing. He sent one to Garafoli, the Super Tigre manufacturer in Bologna, Italy and a few months later ST G21 Combat Specials appeared on the market-they were essentially a copy of Toney's engines with his formula for improved aluminum alloy. As I mentioned in my first post here, I was working for California Model Supply in Fullerton, Ca and Gene, the manager flew free flight and we had all the hot race engines, Webras, STs, Foxes, etc. We told the supplier we'd take every race engine he could get us and he sent us 25 ST Combat Specials. The store owner about had a cow but those ST Combat Specials sold in about 2 or 3 weeks. They would run about 10 or 12 MPH faster than the previous G21 35's.
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Old Jul 09, 2012, 07:58 PM
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LOL, yea, I worked on F4 Phantoms in the USMC and looked up the Cutlass because I couldn't remember what kind of record the plane had. It was a total loser around 1/4 crashed. OOPS! The Wenmac model wasn't much of a flyer either!
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Old Jul 09, 2012, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by tigreflyer View Post
LOL, yea, I worked on F4 Phantoms in the USMC and looked up the Cutlass because I couldn't remember what kind of record the plane had. It was a total loser around 1/4 crashed. OOPS! The Wenmac model wasn't much of a flyer either!

Wen-Mac Cutlass is one of the rarer RTF's and a nice one will bring a good price.

JK
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Old Jul 09, 2012, 09:01 PM
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LOL, yea, I worked on F4 Phantoms in the USMC and looked up the Cutlass because I couldn't remember what kind of record the plane had. It was a total loser around 1/4 crashed. OOPS! The Wenmac model wasn't much of a flyer either!

Actually the aircraft wasn't all that bad- the Blue Angels used it at one time for their solo act. The high loss rate was little different than with the Convair B-58; a case of a new type high performance aircraft, with pilots unfamiliar with the different handling required for same. Add in the naval environment and you have a recipe for disaster.

JK
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Old Jul 09, 2012, 09:18 PM
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My recollection is that it was one of several with a serious power deficiency

In the early 1950s, the companies producing jet engines made estimates of what the next development should able to do, and the pressure to keep up with the Red Menace was such that many designs were prepared based on those promises, so that when the latest engine was either a failure, or ended up producing far less power than predicted, the designs should have been cancelled.

But the Defense Dept was in such a rush, that tons of money would already have been spent, airframes would have been built, and rather than accept the losses, scrap the airframes, and go slower the next time, a last minute alteration in specs would be issued, to accept a lesser performance, or modify the airframes for a different engine.

The result wasn't always a disaster. The F-86D was always underpowered, but soldiered on remarkably well, as long as the pilots made appropriate allowances.

I suspect that the Cutlass design hit such a snag and was simply unable to fly adequately well with the limited power offered by the substitute.


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Old Jul 10, 2012, 08:31 PM
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In the early 1950s, the companies producing jet engines made estimates of what the next development should able to do, and the pressure to keep up with the Red Menace was such that many designs were prepared based on those promises, so that when the latest engine was either a failure, or ended up producing far less power than predicted, the designs should have been cancelled.

But the Defense Dept was in such a rush, that tons of money would already have been spent, airframes would have been built, and rather than accept the losses, scrap the airframes, and go slower the next time, a last minute alteration in specs would be issued, to accept a lesser performance, or modify the airframes for a different engine.

The result wasn't always a disaster. The F-86D was always underpowered, but soldiered on remarkably well, as long as the pilots made appropriate allowances.

I suspect that the Cutlass design hit such a snag and was simply unable to fly adequately well with the limited power offered by the substitute.


Kiwi
Exactly. At the time, airframe development was outpacing engine. Other examples are the Douglas A2D Skyshark and the Convair Tradewind flying boat as well as the F3H Demon.
The problem with the Cutlass was mostly the engines; by the time better would be online, the supersonic F8U Crusader was already on the horizon and it was thus already obsolescent.

JK
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 11:40 PM
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Exactly. At the time, airframe development was outpacing engine. Other examples are the Douglas A2D Skyshark and the Convair Tradewind flying boat as well as the F3H Demon.

The problem with the Cutlass was mostly the engines; by the time better would be online, the supersonic F8U Crusader was already on the horizon and it was thus already obsolescent.

JK
I've remembered another one, I believe. One of the Thunderjet-derived designs, probably the Thunderstreak, was terribly underpowered when loaded for a mission, and used up as much runway as a loaded B-50 did, so it couldn't be based at a normal "Fighter" strip, which was far too short.


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