New lasercut kit - classic sailplane - input invited - RC Groups
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Aug 16, 2010, 11:58 AM
Confused? Who, me?
Roger Lombard's Avatar

New lasercut kit - classic sailplane - input invited

About three years ago I got involved in a project working with Vintage1 and Replikit that resulted in a 100" Minimoa. That project has been reported in my thread "1.8-2.5m Minimoa" and the full kit is commercially available for just under 130 in the UK. The thread includes links to pictures and a youtube video of the prototype and pictures of another, production, kit built by v1 fan

We have recently started a discussion about a successor and although we're getting input I was worried that some people able to offer input, or maybe interested in a new sailplane kit, weren't realising that the Minimoa thread had drifted away from its origins.

That's why I'm starting this thread.

In no particular order design/concept considerations are:

The original 2.5m wingspan of the Minimoa was driven by a wish to differentiate from the typically larger wooden kits which cost more and which not everyone has the time/building expertise/funding/storage/transport space to tackle. The idea was it would bridge a gap between the very expensive glass kits that are almost ARTF, and scratch building. However it is already clear that another model could go to 3m-ish (3.2 max) while staying with the original design parameters and not bumping into the 3.75/4m upwards heavy brigade.

The Minimoa proved that there is a market, albeit not huge, but sufficient for Vintage1 and Replikit to be ready to tackle another.

The Minimoa also proved that the design/manufacturing sources were capable of producing an excellent design that maximised the opportunities presented by their laser cutting facilities. The kit, as close as dammit is to swearing, "clicked" together in a way that simultaneously delighted both the inexperienced modeller (me, for starters) and the experienced builder who wanted a minor project that would bring quick results and a fine flying model.

It would be nice, but not essential, to go with a gull wing to use the production joiner system of the Minimoa and there is a minor argument that something that was fairly slab sided (so probably not gull winged) would be slightly easier (so quicker) to do. However I quote from an email to me from Vintage1:

"What I think is ideal therefore is something that is relatively easy to *BUILD* and finish to a high standard, I don't care if it's awkward to design, however. That gets done once only."


"Gull wings or not, I have no great worries either way. To do a pukka job is about (I've deleted his forecast so he's not toasted for it) days work whichever way you look at it. Likewise I am not hugely interested, and I don't think the target market is either, in shaving a fiver off and getting a sh*t model."

A sentiment I'm quite sure we'd all share.

If you haven't already seen the suggestions made thus far you only need to read the last two or three pages of the other thread. However please note that the kit must be wood - no glass moulding - and that makes the likely original model from which the kit is drawn to have been a wood/wood/fabric design. Although we've included the Blanik L-13 because one or two of us have a soft spot for it.

If you have a suggestion to make please bear in mind Vintage1 will need supporting documentation essentially including a decent set of 3 views. Also some recognition that whatever we choose needs to have a good airfoil because translating some of the older designs might resul in something that's not particularly penetrative. It must be capable of slope soaring although if it has thermal performance too so much the better

Sort of top of the pile at the moment are, again in no particular order,

Slingsby King Kite
Schleicher Ka-8
Scheibe Bergfalke IV

But that doesn't mean another might not yet be the choice.

Can those of you who have been kindly inputting to the old Minimoa thread on this topic now please switch to this one? And anyone else is welcome. Please bear in mind Replikit/Green Air Designs may be a UK company but it does have a US importer.
Last edited by Roger Lombard; Aug 16, 2010 at 03:05 PM. Reason: crappy spelling
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Aug 16, 2010, 12:37 PM
Registered User
EON Olympia 2b - fuselage similar in construction to Minimoa, much simpler wing, 1/5 scale would be 3m
My second choice would be a 1/5 scale K8b, also 3m; balsa fill-in for nose instead of glass

Aug 16, 2010, 12:53 PM
Woodstock 1's Avatar
Sperber Junior? Nice gull wing, no fancy canopy needed! My favourite silhouette at the moment..

Slingsby Petrel is the other..
Aug 16, 2010, 01:00 PM
Registered User

Wing problems & 3-view question

I like gull wings, and have (unbuilt) kits of both the Fafnir and Petrel. The problem is that these are highly tapered wings and 19m/17.3m respectively in full size, which makes the tips really narrow when trying to keep the span below 3/3.2m.

You requested good 3-views. You want them posted here?
the Olympia has a 1/4 scale plan by Cliff Charlesworth, plus his book "Scale Model Gliders" uses the Olympia for a demo construction project. 3-views also available in Martin Simon's series of books.
Aug 16, 2010, 01:04 PM
SB-28 UK Display Pilot
GeeW's Avatar
Which version of the Bergfalke IV? They had 2 completely different fuselages. One was typical B'falke and the other looked like a K-13.
Instead if the oft modelled K-8 why not a Scheibe Zugvogel IV, SF-26 or even a SF-27 (either straight or the M/ MC version) similar but different? There's a couple of full size ones in the UK to go look at.
I think you are right about the need for a scaley glider at a manageable size. Would love one myself.
Cliff Charlesworth also thought that something like this was needed many years ago when he came up with the Senior.

EDIT I meant the Zugvogel IIIa not IV, thanks Skylark3f
Last edited by GeeW; Aug 16, 2010 at 01:43 PM.
Aug 16, 2010, 01:25 PM
Registered User
vintage1's Avatar
The very best 3 view is this one

VERY unusual subject but I reckon a very good flyer might result. The wing looks 'right' to me.
Aug 16, 2010, 01:27 PM
..full opposite rudder..

Zugvogel IIIA

How about a Zugvogel IIIA?

It's got the same construction as a K8 and has the same performance in flight as a K18. Certainly not an overmodelled glider!

See the attached photo.
Aug 16, 2010, 01:41 PM
Registered User
vintage1's Avatar
very good plans on the Weihe as well.

Really, good 3 views or plans for free without copyright are the main thing. Its hard to 'guess' at a correct fuselage shape.. for example.
Aug 16, 2010, 01:48 PM
..full opposite rudder..
There's a nice 3-view of the Zugvogel in the same Martin Simons book as the Skylark 2 "Merlyn" I can get all the detailed photos of the Zugvogel you'd need too!

Merlyn would make a nice model too though.
Aug 16, 2010, 01:51 PM
SB-28 UK Display Pilot
GeeW's Avatar
Another suggestion Scheibe B-Spatz
Some one is doing a BIG version on retroplane
Last edited by GeeW; Aug 16, 2010 at 06:11 PM.
Aug 16, 2010, 02:57 PM
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The SKY MAN's Avatar
What about the standard austria?
Aug 16, 2010, 02:58 PM
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vintage1's Avatar
looks good as well.
Aug 16, 2010, 03:15 PM
Gary P
A beautiful gull wing such as DFS Reiher or Slingsby Petrel (they look very similar).

Preferably 3 - 3.5 metres or so, rather than smaller (since those graceful narrow-tipped wings fly better if not too small, and also, the current Reiher and Petrel kits are huge, 5-7m, so anything up to 4m would be small and novel).

You know those beautiful gull wings would sell the best, it makes business sense.
Aug 16, 2010, 03:23 PM
Confused? Who, me?
Roger Lombard's Avatar
Watching a youtube video of the Eon Olympia, very pretty and nice clean lines btw, I came upon this

Lovely cross wind landing in a glider that has significance for me - first one I went up in, at Great Hucklow/Camphill a VERY long time ago.

What's also interesting is that although we're all familiar with "rats deserting the sinking ship" - watch VERY carefully at 2:23 and you'll see a gliderborne rat deciding this was one landing he wanted nothing to do with. Either that or it's one of the occupants cacking themselves.
Aug 16, 2010, 03:24 PM
Registered User
PeteSchug's Avatar
I'm very partial to the Olympia even though the fuse would be more work than a Ka-8.

For its day it was a very modern looking sailplane and I have always regarded it as a classic design.

Many years ago there was a plan for a Wolf glider in Model Airplane News. It was Wolf Hirth's glider and he demonstrated and taught soaring all over the USA with it. I build a fuse but never got any further. That's another sailplane I would love to build. Hmm... Time to look in Simons. Yes, it's there! Not all that common, I know of only one plan for it and it was a nice looking sailplane even for its time.


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