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Posted by Longhorne | Jan 11, 2015 @ 11:02 PM | 4,756 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 @ 10:26 PM | 4,197 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:

Retro RC added the updated 109 design to their fine lineup of kits:
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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 07, 2013 @ 11:53 PM | 4,984 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 @ 07:05 PM | 5,677 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 | 9,768 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 | 6,018 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 @ 07:12 PM | 7,618 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 | 7,867 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 24, 2010 @ 11:05 PM | 8,223 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: