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Posted by Longhorne | Sep 26, 2021 @ 12:14 AM | 24,683 Views
D-Rock (Derek Micko) and I decided it was time to knock out another Fighter Face Off. This time Derek thought we should try going back to 30" wingspans since CoVid has a lot of folks who might not normally build cooped up and they might be short on building space.

D-Rock went with the Nakajima Ki-27 Nate fighter while I went with the Brewster Buffalo. These two airplanes saw a great deal of interaction in Burma and Malaysia at the beginning of WW2. The two were fairly evenly matched, although the RAF wasn't well supported in the early days and found itself in a war of attrition.

Unfortunately, unlike FFO1, D-Rock and I haven't had a chance to fly together yet with CoVid and all, but we did get our articles submitted to Model Aviation. The Nate debuted in the September 2021 issue and finished in the October build edition while the Buffalo was introduced in October and will finish in November. Free downloadable plans are offered for both models on the Model Aviation website:
https://www.modelaviation.com/fighter-faceoff-park (Buffalo plan will be available next month)

Lasercut kits with plastics and plans can be found at Manzano Laserworks:

And as always, this project started as a build thread here on RCG:
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...-Ki-27-Nate%21...Continue Reading
Posted by Longhorne | Sep 30, 2020 @ 02:50 PM | 5,956 Views
After digging through the internet for a simple scale waterplane subject, I stumbled across the Volmer Sportsman. This was a kit plane that was designed in 1956. About 1000 plan sets were sold, and roughly 100 finished airplanes took to the air/water.

My version was a bit of a departure from the usual stringer-centric approach that I prefer. Instead, this project is mostly sheeted to keep parts count low and build pace high. The result is also a bit more durable to allow being tossed in the car, as opposed to the more delicate Goose.

Model Aviation published the first of a two-part build article in the October 2020 build edition. They included a downloadable plan for anyone interested:

The parts count was kept low and simple in order to simplify handcutting. But these attributes helped keep shortkit costs down, too. The resulting shortkit is available thru Manzano Laser Works:

And as usual, this whole project started out here on RCG:
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...VJ22-Sportsman...Continue Reading
Posted by Longhorne | Mar 24, 2020 @ 04:15 PM | 14,421 Views
A relentless gang of RCG'ers twisted my arm to design a Douglas Devastator awhile back. Although reluctant at first (just wasn't initially a huge fan of aircraft) the result is a fantastic flyer that I really love.

The resulting build became the subject of a three-part article series in Model Aviation magazine running between October and December 2019.

Manzano Laser Works has added this shortkit with plastics to their lineup here:

Build thread can be found here:
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...TBD-Devastator...Continue Reading
Posted by Longhorne | Sep 05, 2018 @ 12:09 AM | 11,994 Views
Last year, Derek Micko and I challenged ourselves to knockout a pair of Warbirds that had met in combat. After considering many combinations, we finally settled on the Polikarpov 1-16 and the Curtiss Hawk 75 (export version of the Curtiss P36). We called our joint project the Fighter Face Off.

These two projects became the subject of the Fighter Face Off series of articles in Model Aviation, running from October thru December 2018.

Manzano Laser Works has added this shortkit with plastics to their lineup here:

Build thread can be found here:
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...e-I-16-Rata%21...Continue Reading
Posted by Longhorne | Jan 12, 2015 @ 12:02 AM | 16,520 Views
Last year, Steve85 got a Scale Build Off (SBO) going. My entry was a new design of an obscure British prototype. I ran across an old photo of this crazy looking Typhoon with fixed gear. Turns out it wasn't a Typhoon at all, but rather a Miles M.20.

The Miles M.20 was based on the Merlin "Power Egg" integrated powerplant mated to a simple wooden airframe. The idea was to respond to mounting Spitfire and Hurricane losses during the Battle of Britain with an emergency fighter that didn't compete with the more advanced fighters' assembly lines.

The result was faster than the Hurri, but not quite as fast as the Spit. It had no retracts or hydraulic system, the deletion of which resulted in enough room in the weight budget to install 8 Brownings in the wings and a very large fuel load.

The CAD work was completed during the 2014 SBO, butunfortunately not much actual building was done. Here is the thread with lots of info on how SolidWorks was used:

Steve kicked off another SBO so the project has been revived. The build is well underway now and can be found here:

Published in August 2015 Model Aviation as a free plan:

Shortkits available from Manzano Laser Works:
Posted by Longhorne | Jan 11, 2015 @ 11:26 PM | 15,060 Views
Update 8/23/16

This project was finally revived and completed. The prototype got all the details needed to make her a proper Dora model and she flew well with her retracts installed.

Since then a new wing design has replaced that of the scaled up 30" version. The new wing houses a robust retract mounting assembly without the need to cut the mainspar.

The updated design became the subject of a three-part Construction Series in Model Aviation from September thru November 2016. As part of the Series, the plan was released as a free download. In addition to the improved wing design, the new plan includes outlines for an upgrade to the Emil by replacing the chin and wing scoops of the Dora variant:

Manzano Laser Works is offering this shortkit with plastics here:
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I really love 109's. The little 30" one described below is a sweet flier. When I saw that Charlie at Manzano was working with another of his designers to develop a 150% kit, I couldn't wait to do the same.

The result is what Charlie is calling a Builders Kit. It includeds all the wood needed to build a 45" 109 and a copy of the smaller plan. No plastics, but these parts are easy to fab for advanced builders.

Mine framed up perfectly and flew just as good. The maiden was flown without the characteristic Dora scoop or the retracts that were framed in before covering.

To be honest, I got sidetracked with other projects and still need to mount that scoop, the retracts, and the cockpit needs detailing too. But I'm trying to catch up my Blog

Build thread is here: https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=1988776
Posted by Longhorne | Mar 08, 2013 @ 12:53 AM | 15,177 Views
I fell in love with the Ki61 when I saw a plastic model that my uncle built when I was about 8. The only inline-powered Japanese fighter of the war, the Tony was a very capable aircraft but plagued with reliability issues. Ultimately the Benz knock-off was dropped and the last airframes where pressed into service as radials as Ki-100's.

My version fits in with the rest of the 30" stick-framed Infield Engineering fighters. I bumped the size up a hair because the Ki61 had longer, high aspect ratio wings than most of its contemporaries and it looked too small at 30". The result is a really sweet flyer.

Here's the build thread:

Shortkit from Manzano Laser Works can be found here:
Posted by Longhorne | Nov 04, 2012 @ 08:05 PM | 15,828 Views
I've been drooling over the Fun Cub for quite awhile now. Building scale planes is my main RC interest but when it comes to flying its hard to beat an ARF for sheer fun and minimal stress. I've seen the Fun Cub flown in small spaces, at float flies, and night flies and it always performs well.

But the problem is that I'm a tightwad. I just couldn't drop $200 for just the foam. So, eventually my boy and I decided to design a Fun Cub of our own. Just for kicks we bumped ours up to 60". We went with a flat foam fuse and tail for quick building, a built up wing that could be loaded with LED's for night flying, and a 480 on 3S 2200mAh LiPos to fit in with what we have on hand.

The maiden was flown without main gear, cowl, or battery hatch. This Cub came in at 34oz with 300 LED's installed. That's ~4oz lighter than the 55" Fun Cub without lights. She flies great! I figure anytime you add three clicks of trim and then knock out a mess of loops, rolls, and inverted flight on your maiden you can say that.

Paul and Drew
Posted by Longhorne | Jun 09, 2012 @ 10:35 AM | 23,902 Views
Last fall I had the good fortune of being connected with Model Aviation Editor Jay Smith, who was looking for a designer to work up a Grumman Goose in the 48" range. Adding an inch put the project at 1/12 scale.

The design is the typical stick and tissue type construction with the option to sheet the fin and stabs. The planked hull makes the fuse very rigid and easy to keep aligned while building. The resulting 37oz AUW produced a fairly large model that is still easily flown over a baseball field. It will even launch of off damp grass with ease.

As this was my first flying boat, I had some concerns when it came to the maiden at our local lake. These turned out to be unfounded as flying this lightweight off of the water was a piece of cake. It now gets flown more than anything else in my lineup.

The plan is available from the AMA's Plans Service and a short kit is offered by Manzano Laser. Here's the build log for the project:

Shortkits from Manzano Laser Works can be found here:
Posted by Longhorne | Mar 17, 2012 @ 12:26 AM | 16,329 Views
Catching up on an older project: here is the little Pete racer that I did for the Funbuild 4.

This one was designed for use with the guts from a u/m P51 or the like, but when it was said and done Pete weighed in at just under twice what those smaller birds do. He didn't have any problem getting off of the ground and making the circuits, but there was no excess power for any aerobatics.

At some point, little Pete will be repowered with something a little more punchy, but for now he'll just sit in the rack looking good.

Build thread is here: https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=1364090

Published in June 2016 Model Aviation as a free plan:

Shortkits available from Manzano Laser Works:

Posted by Longhorne | Nov 07, 2010 @ 08:12 PM | 18,135 Views
There's alot of 109's around the RC scene, but it seems that the later models get all of the attention. I've always thought that the earlier marks looked cleaner and more agressive (so did Adolf Galland). Also, the earlier squared off planform is a little easer to build, so here we go.

The goal is to work up another 30" stick-and-tissue type design that covers the basics of the early models. The differences between the A thru D models are pretty subtle, but the E diverged significantly in the appearance of its collection of radiators and scoops. By vac forming scoops for each I'm hoping to kill all these early birds with one stone.

Update: this build is now finished and the 109 flew great. Everything has been released to Charlie at Manzano. In the end, I elected not to include vac-formed scoops for the Emil as they are too easy to fab from balsa, but the A-D chin scoop is included. Here's the build thread: https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=1348690

Shortkit available from Manzano Laser Works:
Posted by Longhorne | May 25, 2010 @ 12:23 AM | 17,989 Views
My nine year old son proposed that we design and build an airplane together, and I thought it was a great idea. But while I was thinking that we do an L4 or some other simple high wing type of thing, he decides a B25 is the hot ticket. I guess I shouldn't be surprised as he has been exposed to a B25 for as long as he can remember--our neighbor is a part owner of one.

Well, why not? I was planning on trying a twin pretty soon anyways.

Build thread is at https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=1311223.

Shortkits with plastic available thru Manzano:
Posted by Longhorne | Jan 25, 2010 @ 12:05 AM | 18,413 Views
Well, I guess I should put something on this page. Might as well park some projects that I have in the queue. If nothing else, that will make it more likely that they will see the light of day.

The next thing on the hit list will be a 30" Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate (Frank). The goal is to make a playmate for the 30" F4F Wildcat that was completed last year. Not that a Wildcat ever met a Hayate--by the time the latter took to the air the F4F was no longer a frontline fighter. But while a Zero would seem more logical, Bosley did such a great job on his 30" Zero that something different is in order.

Of the remaining Japanese birds, the Hayate had the longest nose and was beautifully proportioned. I've been tempted to blow it up to 40+" and add retracts, but maybe that will come later. . . .


Shortkits with plastic available from Manzano Laser Works: