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Old Nov 15, 2012, 04:58 PM
Frank Stickle's Avatar
Centreville, VA
Joined Apr 2009
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For Sale
Classic and very rare Thunderbird fuselage

Years ago I had Ron Wagner make this fuselage for me. The original Thunderbirds had a blade (or keel) mount for the radio, but I asked him to make me a bucket nose. I think he ended up making a couple. I never got around to building the rest of the airplane, and, in fact, sold my original Thunderbird.

Well, a few years later, in the early 2000s, I bought the T-bird back. I'd always loved it and I'd won a bunch of contests with it over a 4 year period or so. I stuck it away for a future restoration project.

Now, many years later, I am now undertaking that project and have decided to stick with the original fuselage, so I'm selling this one.

It weighs 15 ounces... a bit beefy by today's standards, perhaps, but I promise, this thing will take a lickin'.

These fuselages were laid up in a pressure mold with a bladder inside them that was inflated to lock everything in place. This one is made with E-cloth, kevlar and carbon fiber.

As you can see in the photos, there are little fairings that Ron molded that can be mounted to the top of the wing and used to blend the wing joint to the fuselage. I have shown some comparisons of this fuse to the original.

The overall length of my completed model, from nose tip to back of rudder was 61". I flew it with a 144" wing that was 10 1/2" at the root. The airfoils were SD 7032 at the root and SD 7034 at the tip. At the time I believe these were proprietary. I still have a set of templates made from Phenolic around in my shop somewhere. The stabs used the SD-8000 airfoild as I recall.

NOTE: The wing saddle will accomodate just about any airfoil. I have built a number of different wings for it, but at 80 ounces with the SD7032-7034, the airplane thermaled like nothing else at the time.

Dimensions are as follows...

Length - 57" from nose tip to rear of fin. With rudder added it should be 61" from tip to base of rudder.

Nose tip to front of wing saddle - 16 3/4"

Wing chord - 10 1/2"

Rear of wing saddle to front of fin - 24 1/2"

$150.00 plus shipping

Now lowered to $125.00
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Last edited by Frank Stickle; Nov 19, 2012 at 12:01 PM.
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Old Nov 17, 2012, 09:40 AM
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Roseville, California, United States
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Do you have any pics of what the finished bird would look like?

-hutch
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Old Nov 17, 2012, 10:43 AM
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Some clarification is in order here. The SD7032 was never proprietary, it came out of the Selig-Donovan series of airfoils and was widely published by Selig. Wagner may have had earlier access to it by virtue of his participation in producing some of the wind tunnel models for Selig (I did 3 or 4 myself), but it was never proprietary. The SD7032 was a "Selig-ized" version of the older Eppler 214.

I've never heard of the SD7034 or ever seen mention of it, perhaps you meant the SD7037, which is a lower camber variant of the SD7032, was published about the same time as the SD7032, and would be a logical transition airfoil for the SD7032. The SD7037 also found wide use as a stand alone foil on many designs in the 90's (Tekoa Shadow, Super V to name some).

Also, the SD8000 was a low camber wing airfoil designed for F3B (never found much success); perhaps you meant the SD8020 which is a symmetrical foil designed for tail surfaces and was much more effective than the NACA008 which was a popular tail foil before the SD8020 came out.

JT
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 11:11 AM
Frank Stickle's Avatar
Centreville, VA
Joined Apr 2009
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Nope... 7034. It was given to Ron Wagner for the Thunderbird. The coordinates for it are in Eric Sanders' Compufoil program. I have them as well, along with a set of accurate templates.Attached is a photo of Eric with his Thunderbird and an article from Soaring Digest showing me with mine as well as a few photos of the restoration project.

When I got the Thunderbird originally, Wagner was still awaiting the 7032-7034 airfoils. It came with cores for what I think might have been an Eppler 193 wing. He sent me a set of cores and spars (an entire wing kit) and the coordinates for the foils. Wagner's method for wing building (he also had a video) was awful... way over engineered and rediculously heavy. Luther Mitchell had built one too... I think it was the first production T-bird, but Wagner made the wing for him... it was an early model fuse of just kevlar and that turned out to be a disaster. Luther's plane originally weighed about 105 ounces.

My first version of the plane came in at about 90 ounces. But with lighter foam and Obechi sheeting instead of kevlar and HP cell sheeting on top of blue foam, as well as my own spar system,as well as my own set of stabs, I got the plane to weigh about 82 ounces. I was fantastic! To this day I think it was one of the... if not the greatest airplane I ever flew. Not competative now, of course, but my wing was bullet-proof and could take anytthing a winch could give it.

When I started flying this plane with that wing, the 7037 did not yet exist, though it came along soon after. No one else had the 7032 at the time I first launched that airplane. The 7034 remained proprietary and probably was unnecessary in the grand scale.

At some point I remember making some wing models for Selig myself.

By the way, I've lowered the price to $125.00

Attached also is a copy of a Soaring Digest article about the Thunderbird
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Last edited by Frank Stickle; Nov 19, 2012 at 11:59 AM. Reason: Because I kept finding more stuff to add?
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 06:30 PM
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United States, IL, Champaign
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Talk of proprietary Selig airfoils caught my attention here. The only proprietary RC airfoils that I did were ones done while at Penn State (after Princeton tests and before UIUC). During that period of time I designed some airfoils for Ray Olsen and also Sal DeFrancesco (hoping to 'make a killing on royalties'). The airfoils were:

S9000 used by Ray Olsen on the Blackhawk
S9037 used by Sal DeFrancesco on the Opus

Great airplanes, but not so great business model.

The airfoils were eventually released on 6/23/2002 (got the OK to release them). After that, I put them online. There were some related S9xxx sections also released at the same time (tail surface airfoils). They are also online (airfoil data site http://www.ae.illinois.edu/m-selig/a...d_database.htm).

So the SD7032, SD7034, etc were never proprietary, but people who built the airfoil wind tunnel models for the SoarTech 8 book did have coordinates before they got published.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 04:10 AM
Frank Stickle's Avatar
Centreville, VA
Joined Apr 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSelig View Post
Talk of proprietary Selig airfoils caught my attention here. The only proprietary RC airfoils that I did were ones done while at Penn State (after Princeton tests and before UIUC). During that period of time I designed some airfoils for Ray Olsen and also Sal DeFrancesco (hoping to 'make a killing on royalties'). The airfoils were:

S9000 used by Ray Olsen on the Blackhawk
S9037 used by Sal DeFrancesco on the Opus

Great airplanes, but not so great business model.

The airfoils were eventually released on 6/23/2002 (got the OK to release them). After that, I put them online. There were some related S9xxx sections also released at the same time (tail surface airfoils). They are also online (airfoil data site http://www.ae.illinois.edu/m-selig/a...d_database.htm).

So the SD7032, SD7034, etc were never proprietary, but people who built the airfoil wind tunnel models for the SoarTech 8 book did have coordinates before they got published.
Wagner always claimed that the 7034 was specifically designed for the T-bird and was proprietary. You once flew this plane out at the Manassas Battlefield with me. I think it was at a CASA gathering.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 09:30 AM
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United States, MD, La Plata
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Stickle View Post
Wagner always claimed that the 7034 was specifically designed for the T-bird and was proprietary. You once flew this plane out at the Manassas Battlefield with me. I think it was at a CASA gathering.
I remember that day, good times. BTW, I believe I still have a NIB Thunderbird kit that I bought based on seeing yours and Eric's. It's a beautiful sailplane!

Chris
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 11:17 AM
FS One
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United States, IL, Champaign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Stickle View Post
Wagner always claimed that the 7034 was specifically designed for the T-bird and was proprietary. You once flew this plane out at the Manassas Battlefield with me. I think it was at a CASA gathering.
All SD airfoils were public and freely available and done at Princeton, and only S9xxx series were tied up for some period of time (none no more however).

The Thunderbird is a vague memory for me, but I did/do own a Blackhawk (which was a follow-on, I think). The wings at the time were amazing -- bullet-proof all-carbon. The weak link (at least w/ mine) was the fuselage, which was cracked. I've still got everything ... Not for sale!
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 02:13 AM
Frank Stickle's Avatar
Centreville, VA
Joined Apr 2009
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It would be a shame If I can't find a home for this fuselage. It's as strong as a baseball bat but reasonably light. It would make an excellend slope plane, as well as a Thermal Duration plane.
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