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Old Jun 18, 2012, 01:38 PM
Team Compass/KBDD Team Pilot
Ah Clem's Avatar
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Good Control Line for 1/2A Plastic RTF's?

40 years ago, I used the control line that came with the airplanes. I still have some, but it is, of course, 40 years old.

The Cox line was good, but a little stretchy. The Testors/Wen Mac line was better, but draggy. The Perfect control line was so stretchy, it was not useable.

Can anyone recommend a good quality (non-metal) control line for 1/2A plastic RTF's?

Thank you all in advance.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 06:52 PM
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Canada, ON, Cottam
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I can't recommend any non metal line because I don't recommend it. .008" solid or braided up to .010" steel or stainless gives much better control and doesn't want to come in on the cross wind quite as bad.(It is still 1/2A though) A lot of people are using the fishing line with the plastic coating, Spiderwire or something like that. It is steel line though too. Do a search on it, I think it needs a fishing knot to work good. Always do a 10 to 20 G pull test each day and each crash if things like that ever happen.
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 08:41 AM
Mike A.
Des Moines, IA
Joined Oct 2005
364 Posts
For non-metallic lines, you can now use Spiderwire (or any other brand) BRAIDED fishing line that is made of DYNEEMA or SPECTRA. Spectra and Dyneema are two commercial processes that produce a very high strength, low stretch line available in a multitude of colors and sizes. For 1/2A's, you can use just about any line but for anything larger, you want to stay with a 'braided' line rather than a 'fused' line because it resists breaking due to shock better (ie: when the plane gets a little loose and then hits the end of the lines). We have also found that you want to stay away from the no-name Chinese supplied "dyneema" found on Ebay - for one thing you don't really know what the material that it is produced from might be and for another, there is some initial stretch in them that you would want to 'pre-stretch' out. I made up a set for a combat plane from some of this at precisely 60 feet. I pulled them to 50 lbs (as is my standard habit) and then had to cut almost two FEET off and re-pull & measure. They have been fine ever since, but I still have this basic mis-trust of them. Also, they are more difficult to get tied into a knot that doesn't unravel and come out but this only has happened in my 'high force' pull tests (like over 50 lbs on one line).

This is not a plastic coated, steel leader wire - just a braided bait-casting line. It is approved for AMA combat and sport flying. For size advice, AMA requires that the diameter be the same as for steel lines - ie: for combat, you must use an .018" diameter, which translates to 100 lb. test. For the 1/2A's, I would recommend maybe a 20 lb. test line. These are pretty much abrasion-proof and tangle proof and a set will last a long time. The stretch of the name brand lines is LESS than that of steel, but again, on a 1/2A, this really isn't much of a concern. You will definitely notice an improvement over the dacron lines sold as 1/2A line material.

One final note - the biggest dis-advantage is the difficulty in tying exactly equal lengths, if you can't adjust the handle somehow. The knots are a bit critical, but the best we have found is to simply tie a double-overhand knot into a loop and use a line connector. You can Google "Palomar" knot and "Surgeons" knot for some more high-tech looking knots.

Added info - if you can, stay away from the low visibility green color - it disappears in the grass. There are some high-vis yellow and reds that are really nice to use when flying or pitting in the grass.
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 11:46 AM
Team Compass/KBDD Team Pilot
Ah Clem's Avatar
Joined Mar 2005
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Wow!

thank you both! Fantastic information.

I will be visiting the Sporting Goods store today.

I have one Wen Mac Turbojet and one Yellowjacket (Corsair) ready to go. I have an A-25 Banshee apart and am expecting a Dauntless today (same model in blue). Somewhere in the garage is a new, or almost new Cox PT-19, as well.

I greatly appreciate the info!
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Old Jun 21, 2012, 03:12 PM
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Los Angeles
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The Dauntless and Banshee fly pretty well, straight and level. They run a lot better with a Cox gray fibreglass 6x4 prop and about 15% to 20% nitro.
Chris...
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Old Jun 22, 2012, 11:01 PM
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Colchester IL
Joined Oct 2009
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I made a set of .008 yellow spectra lines with palomar knots 10 lb test. It works really well. I'm even flying 40ft lines with my 70s era lil snip combat with a hopped up cox reedy. I'd start with about 32ft and go from there.
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Old Jun 25, 2012, 10:56 PM
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I like the 30 lb Spiderwire. It's strength is overkill but it's still thinner than the old dacron, and less likely to tangle than the lighter weights. I fly my lightest plane, a Li'l Satan on it and it works great Very little drag. I use the palomar knots where possible, and Eagle Claw fishing clip-swivels for the hookups.
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Old Jun 25, 2012, 11:06 PM
Team Compass/KBDD Team Pilot
Ah Clem's Avatar
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I ended up with 20 lb. test Spectra mono filament braided fishing line. Of course the only color the Big 5 had was "Moss Green" (won't make much difference as I am color-blind).

So now I have the three Wen Mac's ready (just need to install the lines and find a couple more control handles). The Banshee is ready to go (I cheated and put a late model Testors motor in it). I have an early Cox Cub that needs the motor mount/windshield replaced and the engine gone through next. The Dauntless arrived, but is too nice to fly. I have retrieved another one I had in the garage, which is not quite so nice, and will probably fly that one.

I am also have a somewhat tired looking P-39 on the way (hopefully it can be made flyable).

It sure is good to run these little engines again (noisy, but it smells great!).

Thank you all for the suggestions and the assistance. It is very much appreciated.
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Old Jun 28, 2012, 09:13 PM
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Testors' plastic Model planes were IMO Far more interesting in selection and appearance than Any of the Cox offerings.
Complete Shame they came out as the 049 'fad' was in it's final death throes.
Coulda driven COX into actually trying harder..after decades of sitting on their asses.. but it was too little and Wayyy too late..
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Old Jun 28, 2012, 10:44 PM
Team Compass/KBDD Team Pilot
Ah Clem's Avatar
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"Testors' plastic Model planes were IMO Far more interesting in selection and appearance than Any of the Cox offerings. "

Yes, they had some pretty interesting models. A lot of them were from Wen Mac, which it appears they acquired in the 1967-69 time frame. By the time I started flying for them, the Dauntless and the T-34 Spotter were gone, as was the P-38. The P-39 (Jungle Fighter) and P-63 were still in production, as was the larger Cosmic Wind. The Fly'em series was out, as were the WWI Biplanes and the BD-5 (which never flew all that well, IMHO, but was pretty neat looking).

I guess this type of thing is gone forever.
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Old Jun 28, 2012, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ah Clem View Post
I ended up with 20 lb. test Spectra mono filament braided fishing line. Of course the only color the Big 5 had was "Moss Green" (won't make much difference as I am color-blind).
But I bet you can still see it contrast better than grass colored line. I bought the bright green spectra 30lb the other day and flew it with my Baby Flite Streak and it did fine. It's not as supple as the Spiderwire but once it gets castor coated that may change.
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Old Jul 02, 2012, 07:58 PM
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Try "Fireline" from the fishing shop. The late George Aldrich was experimenting with it around the time he passed on and thought it had great potential for the little guy stuff. He tried Spiderwire and wrote me he didn't like it.

JK
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Old Jul 02, 2012, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ah Clem View Post
"Testors' plastic Model planes were IMO Far more interesting in selection and appearance than Any of the Cox offerings. "

Yes, they had some pretty interesting models. A lot of them were from Wen Mac, which it appears they acquired in the 1967-69 time frame. By the time I started flying for them, the Dauntless and the T-34 Spotter were gone, as was the P-38. The P-39 (Jungle Fighter) and P-63 were still in production, as was the larger Cosmic Wind. The Fly'em series was out, as were the WWI Biplanes and the BD-5 (which never flew all that well, IMHO, but was pretty neat looking).

I guess this type of thing is gone forever.

Not when you can find it on fleabay or in garage sales.

I still fool with this stuff as a reminder of "back in the day". My late mother and grandmother used to save up S&H Greenstamps to get the Wen-Mac stuff for me.

JK
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