Graupner Gee Bee Sportster - RC Groups
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Aug 18, 2003, 03:09 AM

Graupner Gee Bee Sportster

A friend of mine handed me his transmitter a few weeks ago and said "here fly this thing". I was really impressed with the flight characteristics of this little plane. For the most part, I'm not a fan of ARF's, I don't fly foamies and I really don't like how small planes fly. This little plane doesn’t fly like a little foamie ARF!! It really tracks and flies like a .40 size plane.
To make a longer story shorter... my friend wanted a racing buddy and he bought me a Gee Bee Sportster by Graupner. I took my building skills and created a fleet of racing machines that are really getting a lot of attention at the local flying field.

This photo was taken at our field, my first of the fleet.
Here is a link to my web-site with construction photos and details of completed planes.
Links to images at the bottom of the page.
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Aug 18, 2003, 03:26 AM

The fleet

Here are 5 different planes all built from the Gee Bee Sportster kit by Graupner.

Aug 18, 2003, 11:43 AM
Visitor from Reality
Hi Mike
Now that is real cool! I have a box-stock one, which flies fine though BARFs don't really do much for me.

As mine is still nose heavy with everything whacked to the rear end, I might just print out your photo to inspire me to do something with it this winter.

Getting the decals off would be a long and arduous first step, I suspect.

Thank you for the work you put into your website. You have the battery in the photos mounted way up front - mine has it as far aft as possible - the model was built box stock for a review - and is still nose heavy. Did you move the fuselage servos aft ?

Love that P-shooter, suspect the painting skill needed is way beyond my level ...


Last edited by Dereck; Aug 18, 2003 at 11:50 AM.
Aug 18, 2003, 11:42 PM

Pea Shooter

Your comments on CG is something I haven’t figured out with the Graupner kit. I have flown it with CG at the leading edge of the wing all the way back to the spar. The only effect when it's forward is inverted flight needs a lot of down to maintain level flight. We mostly fly pylon style racing for 10-15 laps and then a few victory rolls and land.
The PJS 800e outrunner on 8-KAN 950's make a very good combo. The AUW is at 22 oz's, even with all of the modifications.
The Pea Shooter is my favorite racer, with 1 1/2" cut off the nose it really carves the turns nicely. The only painting I do is with a foam brush and latex semi-gloss paint. The rest is done with my vinyl cutter. The other fun part is making molds for custom cowls and wheel pants, then watching the plastic get sucked down with my vacuum box.

Aug 20, 2003, 01:11 PM
Trampling out the vintage
Really great and exciting work. I think our hobby is too stratified -we have the scale nuts on one hand, who won't touch a model unless it's really scale, and the sport fliers who don't care what it looks like. You strike a happy medium. Even many scale nuts will have trouble figuring out that you are pulling these designs of one basic model.

Creating the "illusion" of scale is a part of the hobby that is too often ignored.

If you fly much you will crash. Time spent on a model is important and your work shows a way to cut the time and produce a good "scale" result. Thanks for the posts.
Aug 20, 2003, 06:43 PM

the "illusion"

!! Creating the "illusion" of scale is a part of the hobby that is too often ignored. !!

Greg your feedback is great, thanks. My main goal was to create a class of racing planes that the novice and the seasoned flyer could complete with. Being a builder for the fellows at the flying field, I wanted to create a look that was distinct enough to tell planes apart while racing. This is where the “illusion” came in. While doing research I found that the Golden Age Racers, military trainers and some of the civilian aircraft had a same plan form that very much resembled the GeeBee Sportster.
Myself and another club member are trying to put together a mentor program for pylon racing. This also helped us gather enough people to have a monthly event. In pylon racing you need a flagger per plane and a caller for each pilot. The seasoned pilot and the novice are paired up to make a team. The seasoned flyers all race together and then call for the novices and keep them on a winning course. It looks like three to four planes in the air at one time will be the limit.

More to come as things progress!

Aug 20, 2003, 08:56 PM
Registered User
Great job mixing these designs. This is one of the best flying planes around too.
Aug 21, 2003, 12:44 AM
Registered User
bozmonster's Avatar
Those look great, the Ryan is awesome! I have one myself, run it on a Mega 16/15/5 on 8 HEcells and a Graupner 6.5x4 scale prop. Its a great combo of speed, acrobatics, and great scale looks in the air.

Aug 21, 2003, 11:32 AM
Visitor from Reality
!! Creating the "illusion" of scale is a part of the hobby that is too often ignored. !!

See if you can unearth a copy of Gordon Whitehead's book on Flying Scale Models - dates back some, I think I bought mine around 1981! Gordon designed around two dozen scale models, for 15 - 25 glows, around 48", and they all captured the air of their prototypes superbly well - and made good sports fliers to boot.

After flying the GeeBee 'stock' - if the urge strikes you, I'd suggest springing for Mike's drivetrain, or something like it. The stock stuff works, but his sounds a lot more fun. The model isn't really a BARF, IMO, more a quick building foamy kit - you even get to cut a couple of pieces of wood to size

If anyone in the DC Metro area fancies one - PM me to discuss a great deal on a completely built one, box stock, and truly RTF. You get to collect it though. Nice model, just doesn't really fit in my fleet.


Aug 21, 2003, 11:43 AM
Trampling out the vintage
BTW - I am one of the scale nuts I referred to. I don't want to give offense to my many friends here. Sometimes I get so caught up in the details I forget to see the whole model. Electric-2000's approach is a refreshing reminder.

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