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Posted by brett.c | Jun 07, 2020 @ 01:54 AM | 3,964 Views
I downloaded the plans for this from areofred because I likes the lines of the fuselage.
The plane was designed by Jim Rice and appeared in RCModeler back in June 1983.
Apart from the obvious departure from balsa and glow to foam and electric, I also changed the styling of the wingtips and horizontal stab.
And to give it more of a 1930s flavour I added wheel pants.
Detail build log is here

Wingspan: 1250mm
Airfoil: S-8035 14% Symmetrical @ 1deg incidence
Weight: 1320grams
Motor: Turnigy 3536 1200kv
ESC: Hobbyking 50A
Battery: 2200/4s
Servos: Corona 929MG
Prop: 9x4.7

I've had only three flights so far but I have to say that she really lives up to her name. A real dream to fly.
The Dream machine (1 min 39 sec)

Posted by brett.c | Mar 20, 2020 @ 09:53 PM | 7,551 Views
The Quick Silver is a brown paper covered foam scratchbuild made up from left over parts from an FMS Blanik LET 13 glider.
The Blanik had passed through several club members hands before I finally buried it for good.
Undeterred I decided to savage what I could, electronics mostly, and build something better.
Wings were hotwire cut from XPS foam as was the top deck. Fuselage is mostly 10mm thick XPS foam shaped to suit. Tail is made from 5mm gray depron.
The whole lot was then covered with brown paper and PVA glue to make a super rigid airframe.
Paint is just some cheap silver enamel from a can.

The end result is a rather nice flying model. Not super fast but fast enough for me. This is my first V tail and I was surprised at well it performs. It has loads of rudder authority and the controls are very smooth and precise.

Motor: FMS 2408 1700kv
ESC: Turnigy 30A
Battery: 1300/3s
Servos: 4 x FMS 9g
Prop: FMS folding 9x5 cut down to 7x5 for 3s operation.
Wingspan: 1000mm
Weight: 600grams
Posted by brett.c | Jan 04, 2020 @ 07:26 PM | 7,024 Views
This is my take on the classic 60s pattern plane the El Gringo, also known by it's smaller version the El Gringito.
The plan form of this design really suited what I had in mind as good sports model. Something akin to Mustang etc.
I downloaded plans from Outerzone and found slightly clearer ones on post 222 of this blog
Mine is scaled down to 1250mm (49") and is built entirely from foam with brown paper covering.
For more details see my build log

Wingspan. 1250mm
Weight. 1380grams
Wing Loading. 53g/dm3 (17oz)
Motor. Propdrive V2 3536 910kv
ESC. 50A
Battery. 2200/4s
Servos. Corona 929MG
Prop. 11x5.5 APC
Posted by brett.c | Jul 22, 2019 @ 11:24 PM | 3,285 Views
Bucko is another name for a Bronco, which is what inspired this little plane.

I already have a Bronco (see earlier blog post) and I have always been impressed with the way it flies.
Therefore I decided to make a sleeker and smaller version of it.
I also wanted to try out a few new methods of building.
The entire airframe was hotwire cut from XPS foam and then covered with brown paper and wood glue.
This made for an extremely rigid airframe, albeit a little on the heavy side.
But the excess weight has not adversely affected the flying qualities as she flies just as well, if not better, than the Bronco.
In fact, to say that I was impressed on the maiden flight is an understatement. She is an extremely nice flying little plane. Fast, aerobatic and very easy to control.

Wingspan: 850mm
Length: 640mm
Weight: 670grams
Battery: 3s 1300
Motors : 1700kv blue wonders
Props: 7x4 APC
ESCs: 20A
Servos: 9g
Posted by brett.c | May 20, 2019 @ 11:52 PM | 3,025 Views
I've had this F4F for a number of years now and although it has never been in a major prang it did need a bit of a refresh.
Beside, my eyes just ain't what they use to be and the blue grey scheme was getting difficult to see.
Time for a prewar dress up.
Much easier to see now and IMHO looks a lot nicer too.
Posted by brett.c | May 20, 2019 @ 11:25 PM | 3,026 Views
I built this out of spare parts and left overs from old planes.
No dollars were wasted on this build because none were spent.
The wings and tail are modified from a Phoenix 1600mm glider that a fellow club member had rammed into a lighting tower.
Fuselage is made up from 15mm thick blue foam which was salvaged from some packaging material that I found at work.
This was then covered with 30gpm tissue paper and painted with cheap rattle can enamel.
Retracts came from a Durafly Corsair and were pinned to stop them twisting 90deg.

Flies really well. Quite quick and only needs 1/2 throttle for most flying. Very maneuverable and slow flies well. Take offs and landing are a breeze.
All round this is a rather pleasant plane to fly at any speed.

Wingspan: 1125mm
Weight: 1205grams
Motor, Turnigy 3536 1250 Kv
Prop: 9x5
Battery: 2200/4s
Servos, 9g with the elevator being metal geared.
Posted by brett.c | Sep 09, 2018 @ 01:11 AM | 3,573 Views
This is my version of a clipped wing cub built up from a clapped out old Funcub which I hadn't flown for quite some time.
I used the Eflite Clipped cub as a guide because they are of a similar size.

Wings were shortened by 150mm (1250mm tip to tip) by removing some of the center section. Dihedral was reduced to zero.

Other mods include:
Relocating the rudder and elevator servos to the tail.
Enlarged battery hatch.
Extending the ailerons to 380mm and removing the flaps.
Modifying the rudder.
Adding wing struts.
New landing gear located further aft.
Liteply engine mount and battery tray.
Filling and smoothing of the entire airframe.

Motor, 3536 910kv
ESC, 40A
Servos, all metal gear
Battery 3s/2200
Prop, 11x5.5 APC
Paint, White enamel from a rattle can with color packing tape.
AUW, 1350grams, compared to the Eflite cub's 1360grams

Flight performance is quite good and she tracks very nicely.
Much more of a sport flyer than the Funcub ever was, and this is what I prefer.

Update: I now fly it on a 4s/2200 and the performance is fantastic. Unlimited vertical and loops are as big as you want.
Roll is rate is excellent and very axial. Will hover but hard to maintain control with such smallish control surfaces when compared to a 3d ship.
Does knife edge, a bit, more of a side slip really, but all the usual sports plane maneuvers are smooth and easy to perform.
Slow flies well and lands very smoothly and gently on minimal throttle.
Posted by brett.c | Jan 29, 2017 @ 01:00 AM | 5,419 Views
This is my own design of a high performance twin.
The wing came from my rather unsuccessful Dornier Wal. It was shortened to 1100mm and the ailerons were lengthened.
The rest was scrathbuilt from MPF and covered with coloured packaging tape.
Results so far are good. Very fast and maneuverable. Tracks nicely and is easy to fly. Great vertical performance.
Originally I tried it with 8x4 props and the performance was poor. Loads of torque roll and sounded very warbley.
Switched to 7x6 and she flies a lot better, sounds better too and much quieter.

1100mm wingspan
1100g auw
2x 2826 1200Kv
2x 30A ESC
7x6 APC props
2x MG servos R+E
2X 9g Digital Aileron servos
2200/4s Battery.
Posted by brett.c | Feb 03, 2016 @ 02:23 AM | 7,047 Views
After my last couple of scale builds I wanted to build something that was a little more function over style.
The type of plane that encompassed all the attributes of a good natural flier.
After studying a few articles on the subject I came to the conclusion that the WOT4 was as close to being the perfect all rounder as you could get.
It also has the advantage of being a very simple design and therefore easy to build.
I found some balsa plans for a WOT4 clone here

The fuselage was not to my liking and I wanted a top loading battery hatch so the fuselage was redesigned with a more sleeker shape and a slightly longer nose. The scale was reduced to 80% to give a wingspan of 1030mm.

The results is a very attractive little plane that is an absolute hoot to fly.
Light on the wing yet slices through the wind with ease. Very maneuverable and reasonable turn of speed. Good glide slope too.
A great all rounder that performs just as I expected.
Scratch built WTF4 (0 min 14 sec)

Material: MPF with balsa leading and trailing edges.
Covering: HK packaging tape
Motor: Turnigy 3530 1200kv
ESC: Turnigy 45A
Servos: HXT900
Prop: 9X4.5, will change to 9x6
Battery: 1300/3s. Can take anything up to 2200/4s
Weight: 750g with 1300/...Continue Reading
Posted by brett.c | Jan 18, 2016 @ 04:50 AM | 7,395 Views
Classic flying boat of the 20s and 30s.

Wal Flying Boat. Dornier D016 scratch build. (0 min 16 sec)

Model plane foam covered with 18g/m glass.
Scheme is Spanish Nationalist Air Force.

1250mm wingspan
1250g auw
2x 2826 1200Kv
2x 30A ESC
8x4 APC props
2x MG servos R+E
2X 9g Digital Aileron servos
2200/4s Battery.

A real handful in the maiden flight. A bit tail heavy and way over powered.
Added 30g to nose and remapped the throttle curve to give 50% output at 70% stick. Sill 100% output at max stick which gives good takeoff power.

Now a very nice model to fly at scale speeds. Very graceful and looks great in the air. Not tested on water as yet....Continue Reading
Posted by brett.c | Nov 22, 2015 @ 03:00 AM | 7,651 Views
Scratchbuilt from model plane foam and XPS.
Covered with glass cloth and wbpu.
Hand painted with water based paint.
Scheme is based upon White 93' flown by Lt Col Sergei Dolgushin.

Wing design was based on a Mig7 slope soarer and modified to suit.

Wingspan 1000mm
Weight 980kg
Turnigy 3536 1250kv
10x7 prop
40A plush speedie
HXT900 servos
2200/3 battery
Frsky 7ch Rx

Flight report.

1st flight was nerve wracking to say the least. A bit too tail heavy and poor directional stability. It was a real fight to get her back in one piece.
2nd flight. Lead added to correct the cg issue. Flew better but nearly lost her again due to the directional stability issues and a cross wind. Another fight to get her back in one piece.

After all that I was very disheartened with the plane so I put her aside for a few months.

3rd flight. Vertical tail surfaces increased by 15% which made all the difference. Now she flies like she's on rails. Very stable and easy to fly. Fast with an excellent rate of climb. No tip stall tendencies noticed, however I reckon it would be savage in that regard if not careful.
Belly landings are easy enough as she slow flies better than I expected.
Looks fantastic in the air

Scratch built LA7 dolly take off (0 min 10 sec)

Posted by brett.c | Apr 15, 2015 @ 02:07 AM | 12,781 Views
What do you do with an old busted up Kinetic glider?

Something a little different than the tired old formula of 800mm mini gliders.

Wings have extra carbon spars and are glued in place. Vertical stabs are ex Kinetic horizontal ones. Twin booms are 10mm carbon. Tailplane is depron.
Very tightly packed fuse with 1000mA battery, 2 x 20A ESCs, elevator servo and Rx, but it all fits after a little surgery.

The result is a very tight flying little plane with great vertical performance. Props are not counter rotating but it doesn't seem to effect the performance. Nice business like sound to it as well.
Battery life is good and glide performance, though nothing like the kinetic , is still acceptable.


Motors 2730 1700kv
ESCs 20A
Props 6x4
Servos 5g
Battery 1000/3s
Weight 380g
Posted by brett.c | Apr 15, 2015 @ 01:43 AM | 13,166 Views
Interesting Russian concept from the prewar period for a twin engine fighter bomber.

Mine is a little different from scale with less tapered wings and an extended nose for CG purposes. I guess you could call it the G38-2

Took me a while to get this plane dialed in as the CG was a bit tricky to attain. Once setup right it flew like a dream. Very tame tip stall habits, probably due to the kfm2 wing. Reasonably fast and quite maneuverable.

Throttles are set up with differential (rudder), which comes in handy when launching from the dolly.
And for crazy flat spins too.

Material: Model plane foam.
Wingspan 840mm.
Weight 560g
Motors 2730 1700kv
ESCs 12A
Battery 1300/3s
Props 6x4
Posted by brett.c | Jan 09, 2014 @ 02:26 AM | 10,901 Views
Yep, I fell for the pre Christmas hype and then by new years day the bipe was a pile of tripe.

The good:
- Flies fantastic, best foamie I have ever flown.
- Motor is smooth and powerful.
- Servos are very smooth, much better than HXT900s.
- The foam is of good quality, very dense and a smooth shiny finish.
- Very well packaged, despite the birthmark on the fuse left by the carry handle
- Decent instructions, although the suggested throws are a little confusing.
- Control horns etc are all good quality. Kind of Multiplex like but even better IMO.
- Looks soooo sexy, even better naked without those ugly decals.

The bad:
-The decals come off easily, which was not too bad for me because I hate them.
- The LG spats dig in on the shortest of grass. The LG slot flexes too much and compresses the foam.
- Spinner screws are too short. Use servo screws instead.
- Not enough down and right thrust out the box.
- The suggested CG of 95mm is a little far back for most fliers. Most prefer 85mm.
- Oh, and the wings fall off, well rip off really, and far too easily.

Mine lasted 8 flights before the lower right wing tore off during a blender. It fluttered to earth while the rest just plummeted straight down from 10+ meters.

Although the other wings broke on impact the plane held up quite well considering the hard impact.
The breaks were all clean and very little of the foam was compressed.
Even that darn foam spinner survived.

The failure was probably the combination of several...Continue Reading
Posted by brett.c | Jan 09, 2014 @ 01:23 AM | 8,551 Views
Scratch built from the ground up in my shed and completed around 13 years ago.
Took me over 10 years to build, so that's nearly 1/4 of a century all up.
Not sad to see her go in the end. No more modified cars for me.
Now I have plenty of money to spend on toy planes instead ...Continue Reading
Posted by brett.c | Nov 30, 2013 @ 08:36 PM | 8,544 Views
The originals were built in either float or land versions and won the Schneider cup back in 1925.

They are a lovely looking plane with some interesting prewar paint schemes to choose from.

Mine was built from a wrecked STA Ryan so it is mostly EPO.
Upper wings Fuselage and horizontal stab are all reworked parts from the Ryan.
Rudder, tail fin, and lower wing are MPF foam.

Turnigy 2836/8 1100kv motor.
40A Plush ESC.
9x6 APC prop.
HXT900 servos
1300/3s nanotech battery
Wingspan 780mm
Weight 780g

It's a little on the heavy side so the wing loading is quite high.
Still, it flies very nicely and doesn't seem to have any bad habits.
The motor is plenty powerful and flight times are quite good.
Takeoffs are very short, although it does have a tendency to swing rather abruptly.
Landings can be a bit tricky as it drops very quickly if the power isn't maintained. After a few LG benders I'm starting to getting the hang of it.
Speed is what the original was designed for and this one scoots along quite nicely.
It flies scale like at 1/2 throttle and will do most aerobatic maneuvers at around 3/4 throttle.
Posted by brett.c | Oct 26, 2013 @ 11:50 PM | 9,118 Views
This my second build of one of these kits.

This time I wanted to build a little hotliner so the rudder was not required.
Motor is a Turnigy 2730-3000kv driven by a HK30A ESC.
Battery is 1000/3s and servos 3x HXT500s.
Prop is 5x4 apc, which was cut down from a 6x4.
The battery tray came out of an old Kinetic.
Wings were strengthen using 2 strips of 6x1 carbon glued together. The wings are now rock solid and would carry a house brick.

She's quite fast and very stable. Carries the 1000mA battery quite well and still glides nicely.
Posted by brett.c | Jul 16, 2013 @ 12:07 AM | 9,951 Views
I got a bit tired of tying to drill out props while holding by hand, so I built a little jig to make the job easier.
It also ensures that the holes are straight and centralised.

The aluminium block is a scrap manifold I found at work.
All other pieces are either aluminium of stainless.

I use a step drill to enlarge the holes by hand. I find it easier to control than using a powered drill.

The step drill goes from 4-12mm in 1mm steps. Each step is 4mm deep. I still have to get my hands on an imperial step drill.

The T spike thing is used to centralise the prop while is being clamped. Centre hole is 10mm. More than enough for the electrics I play with.

I've enlarged the holes in several props using this jig and each one has come out perfect.
Posted by brett.c | Jul 15, 2013 @ 09:03 PM | 10,434 Views
I have a 800mm EPP foamie for practicing 3D but wanted something a little larger and easier to fly smoothly. The HK Yak 55 fitted the bill nicely, is available in the OZ w/house, and is certainly cheap enough.

Build went quite well as there isn't much to the thing. The supplied hardware is quite good and the instructions adequate.
I added extra ply to the motor mount and opened up the battery slot. The wings are glued rather than held with rubber bands.

Setup is:
4x 929MG HK servos
Frsky 4ch Rx
Turnigy 3530 1100kv
Turnigy 45A speedie
1300/3s Nanotechs
APC 11x5.5

This setup gives about 5-6 min playtime. It has plenty of power and good speed. Feels light in the air and can perform most 3D maneuvers quite well.
I tried a 2200 battery but the plane was too heavy to fly nice and needed tail weight for cog.

Great plane and very easy to fly.
Posted by brett.c | May 31, 2013 @ 11:21 PM | 9,558 Views
I've just finished repainting and detailing my little bronco.

A smoother finish was achieved using a mixture of wbpu and talc as a base coat. Lots of sanding and then a water based grey enamel (house paint) applied using a wide brush.
Decals are from the Durafly Skyraider.
Not scale but good enough for me.