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Old Jan 27, 2013, 02:13 PM
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Vic Smeed "Mams'elle" -- Britplan Build Off, January 2013 to June 2013

My first Mam'selle I built in 1962 and flew it free flight. Long gone, too.

I'm attempting to build a new one for e-powered r/c. I have a bunch of questions that I want to resolve before I start cutting wood:

Mam'selle has a lifting tail, as do just about all Vic Smeed's designs. Do the various r/c conversions continue to use the lifting tail, and if so, what changes to decalage, thrust line, and c/g were used? I'd love to have an idea of what changes in general are done to rigging, thrust, and dihedral for a successful r/c conversion. Also the suspiciously short nose has my attention. Have folks found a need to stretch the nose, and if so, to what degree?

Thanks, folks, for any experience and advice. I found that the older thread on this topic is too old to post to, so here's a new one.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 02:19 PM
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Joined Mar 2011
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Hi Peter!!
I´m not very expert on this, but my first build/learning plane was a Tomboy reduced, i builded as per plan and forgot to enlarge the nose, so have to put two coins on nose, but everything else was made as per plan... but i´m shure someone with more experience will be glad to help you!
i will be watching with interest!
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 02:46 PM
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United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi
Joined Aug 2009
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Hey Peter,
I have a couple of Smeed designs in my collection, Popsie and a Debutante. Both have a little less dihedral than the plan, but that was more from personal preference and they would probably fly just as well on standard settings.

The Popsie was built with standard nose dimensions, but I did ensure the battery and other gear is forward (slightly) of the c of g. Same with the Deb, although I did have to build a lighter tail group and shift the battery to the nose to achieve balance in the correct postion.

The lifting tail is fine.

sparks
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 02:52 PM
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South-west France
Joined Sep 2007
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Hi Peter

Cannot be too specific about the Mam'selle as I have never built one. However, I have built a lot of vintage free-flight power and rubber models converted to radio control and electric power, and in general I find that you don't have to make any real alterations to the rigging except perhaps to shift the CG forward a little, IF that is you want to fly them like the original, mainly climb on full power, cruise on half throttle. If you want to fly them like a contemporary radio model, including aerobatics, then a reduction in decalage might be in order. Personally I stick to the tailplane sections of the originals, and, although it is a matter of personal preference, I don't extend the nose (the rubber model conversions usually come out spot on for CG, if not nose heavy, as rubber models have long noses. The problems with the power models, especially the older ones which were designed for heavy vintage engines, can usually be solved in an electric version by getting the battery as far forward as possible), but like I say, it's up to you.

The photo below is a lovely electric Mam'selle built by my good friend (and former editor of Electric Flight International) Stephen Mettam, as you can see it uses the original nose length and tail section and was/is an excellent flyer.

I've added a link to this thread to your entry in the Britplan Build Off thread.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 06:41 PM
Edubarca
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Colombia, South America
Joined Oct 2009
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Way back in 1961, I built two Mam'selles. First one, flew away on the first flight. Never recovered. It was powered with a Cox TeeDee .051. Second one, with a Cox Medallion .049 lasted a few months but eventually, also flew away. In my opinion, these beautiful free flight models of the past should be built and flown as intended by the designer. I install RC equipment because nowadays, I'm not fit to chase the models all over the countryside. But I keep the spirit of free flight sport models and I usually install only one servo for rudder similar to the original rudder trim tab, just for turns and not allowing the model to fly away. Good luck with your Mam´selle!! It is one of the prettiest Smeed designs together with the Débutante.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 06:46 PM
Bob Imp
UK, Cardiff, Cardiff
Joined Nov 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterH View Post
My first Mam'selle I built in 1962 and flew it free flight. Long gone, too.

I'm attempting to build a new one for e-powered r/c. I have a bunch of questions that I want to resolve before I start cutting wood:

Mam'selle has a lifting tail, as do just about all Vic Smeed's designs. Do the various r/c conversions continue to use the lifting tail, and if so, what changes to decalage, thrust line, and c/g were used? I'd love to have an idea of what changes in general are done to rigging, thrust, and dihedral for a successful r/c conversion. Also the suspiciously short nose has my attention. Have folks found a need to stretch the nose, and if so, to what degree?

Thanks, folks, for any experience and advice. I found that the older thread on this topic is too old to post to, so here's a new one.
I built a Mamselle some while ago I think I enlarged it slightly to around 55" span and lenthened the nose very slightly. Everything else was as the plan and as you can see it flew very well. You would have to do something really silly to prevent any similar design flying, even with radio assist the model can probably fly better when left alone! After all, this is what they were designed to do and slight alterations don`t seem to make much difference. A perfect demonstration of this characteristic is the Scorpion which I have built sucessfully in sizes ranging from 44" to 110" with some in between ( 55" and 72") and even a biplane version and all flew in a very similar manner! I think that any sucessful design can be "adjusted" without causing any problems!
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 09:13 PM
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Mt Evelyn, Melbourne, OZ
Joined Dec 2008
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I had no trouble with my Mamselle.
Built as per plan, just control surfaces added.
I kept all the plan sections and angles, standard nose length.
CG as per plan.
Still flies beautifully after several years.

The little Schlosser 0.5RC is about as quiet as an electric with the long exhaust extesnion which also diverts most of the slime.

Does lovely loops and barrel rolls, but a slow, low throttle cruise past is most satisfying.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 10:27 PM
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Granby, CT, USA
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Mam'selle

Warren, any chance you could tell me the flying weight of the Mam'selle that you posted?

Thanks very much.
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 06:00 AM
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Hi Peter,
My Mamselle weighs 17 1/4 ounces.
No lightweight!
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 06:11 AM
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Long time since Met's Maam was in EFI George, might have been given away in the move.

Regards Ian.
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 09:26 AM
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United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi
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Originally Posted by Warren B View Post
Hi Peter,
My Mamselle weighs 17 1/4 ounces.
No lightweight!
..no doubt giving the little Schloss plenty to do at over 17 oz Warren, its good that they are a fine little powerhouse.
sparks
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 12:05 PM
RFJ
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Quote:
Long time since Met's Maam was in EFI George,
Steven Mettam's Mamselle was featured in the May/June 1995 edition of EFI.

Ray
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 01:50 PM
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United States, AZ, Phoenix
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Built a Shereshaw Champion last year, converted from FF to 3ch RC, which looks alot like the Mam. As others have described, you don't need to change anything and it will fly very well. If you want it to handle more like a contemporay RC model (e.g. Sig Kadet, etc), then I've found the following changes work well on conventional OT cabin models

1) Make it 3ch (R/E/T); no ailerons - Ailerons are very ineffective with the high dihedral of OT models
2) Wing dihedral around 15~17deg (total) - Gives a nice amount of yaw/roll control via rudder only input w/o being too rocky
3) Zero the wing/tail relative incidence - Reduces climb with throttle effect to a managable level
4) 3~5deg downthrust relative to the wing/tail - Reduces climb with throttle effect to a managable level
5) 1~2deg right thrust
6) Balance 35~40% of MAC - Lowers pitch sensitivity to pilot input

Here's my Champion build link if you'd like a little more detail

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1698317

All of these don't change the appearance of the model very much from the original in my opinion. However, the tradeoff is really personal taste more than 'will it fly'
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 06:18 PM
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r/c rigging changes

So...did the Shereshaw Champion have a symmetical airfoil horizontal stabilizer/elevator? The Mam'selle has a flatbottomed airfoil on the horizontal stabilizer/elevator, any ideas whether that suggests any re-rigging?

I've scratchbuilt a bunch of sailplanes with full-flying stabilators, and I've always had safe first flights by balancing on the spar (no sweepback) and making the bottom of the wing and the stabilators parallel. My thoughts on the Mam'selle were to do the same, making the horizontal stabilizer/elevator without an airfoil.
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterH View Post
So...did the Shereshaw Champion have a symmetical airfoil horizontal stabilizer/elevator? The Mam'selle has a flatbottomed airfoil on the horizontal stabilizer/elevator, any ideas whether that suggests any re-rigging?

I've scratchbuilt a bunch of sailplanes with full-flying stabilators, and I've always had safe first flights by balancing on the spar (no sweepback) and making the bottom of the wing and the stabilators parallel. My thoughts on the Mam'selle were to do the same, making the horizontal stabilizer/elevator without an airfoil.
Of the four OT models I've scratch built recently (1939 Cleveland Fleetster, 1.3xScram, Astro Viking, Champion), they all had symmetric stabs so I don't know how much a flat bottom stab would affect 'my formula'

I think your plan of making the wing & stab bottoms parallel is smart and what I'd recommend as a good starting point. If you have to shim the wing up/down a little after flying, that's easy enough to plan for before construction starts

John
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