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Old Dec 16, 2012, 12:39 PM
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Dragon Rapide

I'm not a huge scale buff myself, but I recall seeing photos of models of this plane in the Tritle Appreciaton thread, and figured some might be interested in some history (and more photos) of this plane. It sure is a distinctive shape.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/1...meless-classic
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rafe_b View Post
I'm not a huge scale buff myself, but I recall seeing photos of models of this plane in the Tritle Appreciaton thread, and figured some might be interested in some history (and more photos) of this plane. It sure is a distinctive shape.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/1...meless-classic
I have heard it was the most efficient bi-plane design ever. Pat Tritle's design was kitted by Dumas Models as an RC model with a 42" wingspan. There are certainly some Brittish folks on this forum who are very enthusiastic about this airplane and will gladly offer up some interesting history. It has a starring position in early airliners with regularly scheduled service.

I built one several months ago and it was enjoyable. I did mine in Scottish colors.

Dave
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 02:22 PM
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I have more than 100 flights on a 96" Dragon Rapide. It was team built years ago by two great gentlemen that were more builders than flyers. The model was from the Schweitzer plans. Was glow powered with twin OS .50s, but would make a lovely electric model at that size.

Overall a joy to fly, but it did need some carefull attention in the air. It was slightly directionally unstable and was perfectly happy flying along a bit yawed to the left or right....

Flew beautifully with some rudder coordination. Was slightly better at wheel landings vs full stall and preferred short grass to the pavement.

We flew it in several team scale competitions around North Texas. One of my prouder moments in RC was when the famous Maxey Hester came over after a flight and told me that wheel landing that I had just made in a crosswind was one of the very best landings he had ever seen.

One of my favorite aircraft of all time.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 08:03 AM
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I had the great fortune to fly in a Rapide in October. What an experience and what a beautiful plane.
See my blog for a video of the flight, it's not the greatest as it is my first attempt at You Tube.
I have a set of Mike Payne plans for a 64" build which I am saving for retirement (3 years)
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas B View Post
We flew it in several team scale competitions around North Texas. One of my prouder moments in RC was when the famous Maxey Hester came over after a flight and told me that wheel landing that I had just made in a crosswind was one of the very best landings he had ever seen.

One of my favorite aircraft of all time.
Simply awesome, I really miss Maxey.
Chris...
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 08:08 PM
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If doing a Rapide to scale, be sure to get two things right in particular: the rake angle of the cockpit bulkhead, which slopes back further than shown in most drawings and kits, affecting the canopy and cabin window shapes, and the prop centrelines, which are 11 ft 6 in apart, not 12 feet. You'd be surprised how much these things affect the overall "sit" of the aircraft. Also, the fuselage sides curve almost continuously in plan, the only straight parts being from the rear of the cabin to the front of the tailplane; any drawing that shows them straight and parallel amidships is inaccurate, and probably has several other bits wrong, too. Best to work from photographs, and lots of them! Note that the lower wings are very slightly gulled, with -25' anhedral on the stub planes. Also, the rudder is taller than is generally appreciated.
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Old Jan 03, 2013, 06:20 PM
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More manual drawings.

Name: wingplan.jpg
Views: 104
Size: 181.4 KB
Description: Note extensive ply sheeting under fabric. Rather Fokker-like, non?Some extra details.
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Old Jan 03, 2013, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by payne9999 View Post
I have heard it was the most efficient bi-plane design ever. Pat Tritle's design was kitted by Dumas Models as an RC model with a 42" wingspan. There are certainly some Brittish folks on this forum who are very enthusiastic about this airplane and will gladly offer up some interesting history. It has a starring position in early airliners with regularly scheduled service.

I built one several months ago and it was enjoyable. I did mine in Scottish colors.

Dave
Hmmm, efficient based on???? I would think some of the Reno Bipes are more efficient
The Rapide is a nice looking bird though!
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Old Jan 03, 2013, 06:58 PM
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Hmmm, efficient based on???? I would think some of the Reno Bipes are more efficient
The Rapide is a nice looking bird though!
Efficient based on operating cost per seat mile, particularly fuel costs.
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Old Jan 03, 2013, 07:31 PM
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Very low drag and flat glide. It'll slither along for ages in ground effect, which is why the flaps were introduced.
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Old Jan 03, 2013, 07:51 PM
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I usually think of aerodynamic efficiency, but I guess she WAS an efficient hauler, and certainly "Brit" in her beauty, a very nicely designed aircraft. The DH ships had very nice lines on them, even the Mossie for a warplane, was gorgeous.

Mark
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Old Jan 04, 2013, 05:05 AM
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Check out my blog for some light hearted flight footage on board the real deal.
Chomp.
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Old Jan 04, 2013, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Welsh Dave View Post
Very low drag and flat glide. It'll slither along for ages in ground effect, which is why the flaps were introduced.
A biplane is never "very low drag", but the Rapide was better than most biplanes in this area... Biplane drag and the modest amount of horsepower contributes to the modest cruising speed of the Rapide. Care attention to streamlining, weight and high aspect ratio wings worked strongly in its favor.
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Old Jan 04, 2013, 11:00 AM
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[QUOTE=Thomas B;23708847]A biplane is never "very low drag", but the Rapide was better than most biplanes in this area... B

Comparatively speaking, of course. Many experienced monoplane pilots have expressed astonishment at the Rapide's flat glide by any standards.
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Old Jan 05, 2013, 06:23 PM
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Chris Golds did a nice, 60" electric Rapide. He said as per the full size it much prefers to be wheel landed, 3 pointers leading to a ground loop.
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