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Dec 16, 2010, 02:19 AM
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Teals1's Avatar

Vintage build

Heron Gas Buggy - This 1939 vintage model was designed by Frank Gagne. The 48 inch wing span has an area of 345sq in. It was available in kit form from Airsail NZ but is no longer.

For me this build came about through the purchase of a second hand Mills 1.3cc diesel engine. When I went to collect it, the model was thrown in free along with 2 mini servos, a pair of blow-up trexler wheels! (the ones in the photo are for show only) A very good deal I feel.

Although the basic skeleton framework was there, there has been some work in getting it to the covering stage. The fuselage had been tissue covered but was full of holes and the wings had been covered in blue solar film. All this had to be stripped off, as well as some further structural work done. Undercarriage is at present being held together with rubber bands as this needs solder attention - there also a wire arch between the wheels to go in.

It will be covered in a mix of red and blue litespan and airspan which seems to be virtually the same material. Further progress will be slow as I will be unable to do anything further until late February due to work commitments.
Last edited by Teals1; Dec 19, 2010 at 06:51 PM. Reason: Kit no longer available
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Dec 16, 2010, 03:19 PM
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Teals1's Avatar

Further info

This model was originally designed as a free flight model. The plan has since been redrawn by Airsail showing RC changes. The wing section is a Grant X9 being an aerofoil with undercamber and high lift. This should produce a slow flying model. The Airsail plan recommends an engine of between 1 - 1.5cc. With the dihedral one definitely does not want to overpower the model. It has been specifically designed as a nice slow vintage model and needs to be kept within the spirit old timers. Two plans given to show differences between the original and the newer Airsail version.
Dec 17, 2010, 09:04 AM
If the winds blowin, I'm goin!
CashRC's Avatar
Looks like a fun project. Please keep us posted, I want to see her fly!!
Dec 18, 2010, 07:03 AM
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adamtc's Avatar

Ive got one of those awaiting building. Sadly not in production anymore.

Nice model . Im hoping to use a paw 1.5cc for a bit of FF action.
Dec 18, 2010, 07:59 PM
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Teals1's Avatar

Gas Buggy

This is where I am at now. Covering is well underway. Rest off the fuselage will be red and there will be black trim added. Just fitting the pull-pull link to rudder and snake for the elevator. Built hatch for radio gear (receiver & batteries), then it's just a matter of soldering the landing gear, fitting the wing hold-down dowels, and finishing off the engine installation. No further work now until after I get back at the end of February.
Last edited by Teals1; Dec 18, 2010 at 08:36 PM.
Dec 18, 2010, 10:39 PM
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Looks great. And looks like the Mk1 version of the 1.3???? Should go well.
Dec 19, 2010, 12:15 AM
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Teals1's Avatar

Mills 1.3

Yes Gossie, she's a little honey. Have only given it a short run in the garage but it is an ideal match for the model. Am enjoying getting back into diesels again.
Dec 19, 2010, 04:53 PM
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Chris Jenkins's Avatar
Lovely !..what a little charmer this one is. Looking forward to updates in due course.

away for Christmas ?...too bad
Dec 20, 2010, 06:07 AM
Sic itur ad Astra
sparks59's Avatar
Originally Posted by adamtc

Ive got one of those awaiting building. Sadly not in production anymore.

Nice model . Im hoping to use a paw 1.5cc for a bit of FF action.
Hey Adam,
I might have thought the PAW would be a tad much for's a different delivery to the Mills, but would be interested to see how it goes if you go ahead... I'm thinking of what to build as an RC assisted FF for my Macclesfield Marvel!
Dec 20, 2010, 11:22 AM
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adamtc's Avatar

My PAW is the R/C version ... works fine. I can go slow or like a rocket!
Dec 25, 2010, 06:56 PM
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simple, light and tidy. i like it. hmmmm - how about a 2x version for a modern light weight gasser in the 20 cc range? just a thought......
Dec 26, 2010, 04:41 AM
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Stan Rose's Avatar
Just found this thread and was immediately struck by the similarity of the design to the KK Junior 60 (albeit with a smaller wingspan). Since this design predates the Junior 60 by some 7 years it raises the question "Were KK aware of this design in 1946 when the Junior 60 was first published?"
Dec 26, 2010, 05:44 AM
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Warren B's Avatar
I think the one that was closest to Junior 60 was Paul Plecan's Simplex.
Not sure how close it really is as I've not checked dimensions, wing/tail planform is very similar, just needed a cabin.
KK was doing this rather a lot if you also think of the Scorpion (Andrew Murray's Answer) and Falcon (Ben Shereshaw's Cloud Cruiser).
Dec 26, 2010, 04:29 PM
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I built one of these a few years ago, and you're right, don't over power it.

I tried a number of different engines, Taipan Tyro (**waaayyy** too much power), Gilbert .11 side-port glow (not enough), PAW 80 (not enough), PAW 09 (too much at wide open).

The model flies best very slowly, a bit over over walking pace. It has quite a lot decalage so tends zoom when speed builds up. It also has a lot of dihedral which can overpower the fin resulting in dutch roll. I didn't try mine freeflight but it seems to have all the makings.
Mar 15, 2011, 11:41 PM
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Teals1's Avatar

Heron Gas Buggy

Ok, just a couple of more pictures to show that progress, albeit slow, is being made ! The internal shot, although poor, shows the installation of the small servos. The other is the covered fuselage. Everything seems to be coming out light which is a good start

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