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Old Mar 28, 2010, 04:00 PM
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Gluehand's Avatar
The windy west coast of Sweden
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Prairie Bird

Hello,
For decades, I've had a soft spot for the charming boxyness of the Prairie Bird, although for various and irrational reasons, I've never got even close to build it...
Today however, I raided my scrap box and finally put the flying surfaces together...

This is not meant as a building thread, as I have a couple of other projects higher on my list, although there may be one post or another uploaded during the progress.

What are your experiences of the Prairie Bird....?.....turkey or eagle...?....I am curious, as I understand many have built this bird over some time......

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Old Mar 28, 2010, 04:24 PM
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I built this delightful little model a long time back and I remember it as a nice flyer; don't recall any especially bad traits. As I think about it didn't someone do a large version of this model in Model Builder mag...Larry Jolly by chance? Not sure on this though...

Joe
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Old Mar 28, 2010, 05:11 PM
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Rio Rancho NM
Joined Dec 2004
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I've recently built a third, first was lost 8-9 years back OOS. On my 2nd and current ones I deepened the fuselage 1/8" or so and ran the bottom longerons straight back as far as the peg. Much less likely to get motor bunching that way. On the 2nd I added a bay to the nose. Longer motor and balanced better without adding weight. 7" balsa prop worked well Fun "right off the board" flyer.
bill
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Old Mar 28, 2010, 07:27 PM
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There is a Prairie Bird 50.
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/member.php?u=7178
LT

P.S. Almost forgot about the original article for the Prairie Bird by Bob Peck himself.

http://www.theplanpage.com/things/pb/pb.htm
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Old Mar 28, 2010, 08:51 PM
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Troy, NY
Joined Dec 2001
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I haven't had a P'bird in a few years, but the first one I built flew pretty well in spite of the heavy wood I used. The second one I did had the mods that Bill mentioned.

I flew the first one for a long time and then gave it away. The second one flew off and I guess was eaten by a tree.

I'd like to do another, so many models....
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 10:20 AM
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The Villages, Fl.
Joined Oct 2002
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I have built the Prairie Bird in the past and had lots of fun with it, be careful when thermals are around, it will find them and go to model heaven.

I recently scaled the PB to 20" and installed the receiver and motor from PZ Ember 2. It weighs just 1 oz and flies great. With a 130ma battery I get 12 - 15 minute flights.

Ed
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 01:32 PM
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Ed, that's a GREAT idea to use the PD with the Ember power unit! May have a go at that for next winters indoor flying. 20" wingspan sounds good. Thanks for the photo..that's a nice looking model.

Joe
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Old Apr 25, 2010, 09:58 PM
Culper Junior
eastern pa
Joined Feb 2007
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Thought Model Builder had a 1/4 scale edition of the Prairie Bird, called Humongus Sagehen or the like? About 86" wingspan?
Anybody build one or ever see one?
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Old Apr 25, 2010, 10:35 PM
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USA, CA, Laguna Niguel
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I had double size PB, 32" wing span. Two loops of 3/16 rubber and 1000 turns, she took off like a scalded cat, rolled over and dove into the ground. I saved the fin and stab. In tests, it flew great. I plan to build another.

Steve
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Old Apr 25, 2010, 10:36 PM
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Keremeos, BC Canada
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Yeah, I've lost a couple of Prairie Birds, helped beginners build a few more. The kit is great, the airplane is as good as anything else I've seen in its class (Embryo). I also have the 50" Prairie Bird plans... I really must build one one day, but my Dragonfly may get jealous (also a MB plan).
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Old Apr 26, 2010, 01:34 PM
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Catalonia
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I built a Prairie Bird two months ago from the plans and article by Bob Peck, as my third rubber FF model (after the Shoebox ROG and the KK Pixie).
I made it fully dismountable (wings, tail unit, landing gear) for easy transport.
My balsa was not very good, the final weight being 13 grams plus rubber.
I covered it with 12 gr/m2 silkspan.
Motor is one loop of 1/8" rubber.
I've used different props. So far best results are with a very simple 7" home made prop, with blades cut from a plastic bottle.
Flies around 1 minute with 700 turns.
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 11:47 AM
Zach
Illinois
Joined Feb 2004
806 Posts
Nice looking plane and I like the prop too. What did you use to make the propeller hub. It looks like some kind of plastic tube.

Are you sure this is only your third plane?

Zach
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 12:03 PM
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Wichita, KS
Joined Jun 2003
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I also enlarged the PB for R/C, at 40" span. Fun! http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...t=prairie+bird
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Old Apr 28, 2010, 08:49 AM
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Thanks Zach,
It's my third rubber powered model, but not my third model overall! I built several RC gas powered models and some RC gliders too... but now I've discovered the magic of rubber .
The propeller hub is the most tricky part of it. After different attempts I use three pieces of PVC tubing of different diameters, so that one fits tight inside the next.
Here goes a sketch that I hope is explanatory.
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Old Aug 28, 2010, 05:40 PM
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Catalonia
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Sadly I lost my Prairie bird some days ago.

I was flying her during my holidays in southern France. After some nice flights with a new balsa carved propeller I changed to a Peck 7" plastic one. On the second flight I probably put the nose block upside down by mistake... whatever it was, the plane just climbed up straight ahead instead of turning right as usual. As the motor wore some 900 turns, the model flew far away behind the tall trees surrounding the field, not to be seen again.

Here are some pics of the Prairie bird, taken shortly before losing her.
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