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May 04, 2012, 08:04 PM
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Brian76239's Avatar
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Build Log

Flyline Great Lakes Trainer - Complete a Project in 2014

I have been working on a Flyline Great Lakes Trainer as my winter
build project. I have wanted to build this prticular model for quite a while.

When I was doing some Research, I came across a number of Flyline Models
build threads here on RC Groups. One really big Fan of Flyline Models is
Mr. David Plumpe.

David has turned the Flyline Great Lakes Trainer into a Laser-Cut Short kit.
David wanted someone to do a "Test Build" to check the accuracy and Fit of
his short kit. This Build Log is the result of David's work making that kit.
Last edited by Brian76239; May 10, 2014 at 02:22 PM. Reason: Need to change title
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May 04, 2012, 09:08 PM
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Good for you. That was a popular model betwixt '76 and '80.
Haven't built a Flyline kit for many years. Although I found that hand cutting the bits allowed genuine selection of Balsa quality/density specific for each intended use/purpose/fitment.. Flyline took special/careful Care to use the right wood in the 'right' place.. that was a part of what made them good kits/designs.
I found it somehow theraputic to carefully cut/assemble all the bits as a prequel to assembly. Hand cutting has it's adherents.. still :-)
Laser cut kits often don't bother with that essential wood selection aspect...
a Major Failing IMO..
Hopefully there are no wood density issues as result... I would substitute any inappropriate ones as you trip over them during your assembly/build.
That was a well designed model... it has potential to be a genuine beauty
Herb and Hurst have not yet been equaled as designers, let alone surpassed. .imo.
May 04, 2012, 10:45 PM
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Brian76239's Avatar
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No Wood Issues


Your comments regarding Wood selection are absolutely right.
David Plumpe did a really good job picking the wood.for this Model.
So Far, No major Issues. Nice sharp notches on the wing ribs.

Anything that did need adjusting was Fixed with a few strokes of
an Emery board.

I'm absolutely sure that David Plumpe shares your feelings regarding
Hurst Bowers and Herb Clukey. The Main Reason that David created the
Short Kit was to "Preserve the Design" for other builders.

May 05, 2012, 02:24 PM
DPlumpe's Avatar
Brian -

Glad to see you doing a build thread - better you than me - and after all, you're the one doing all the work!

Bare -

I like to pick my wood, too. When I buy balsa I always weigh it and mark lbs/cuft (well, anything larger than 3/32"square), then stack it by weight. But in several orders with AKM totalling probably 60-80 "kits" over the past 9 years I've always asked on the DWG for "Medium Balsa", never gotten a wild piece of wood, and it all seems to be (I've only weighed samples) in the 8 lb/cuft area. Certainly never anything over 10 or under 6.

Actually, the Great Lakes plan calls for 1/16" hard balsa for the ribs and I called for 3/32" since I figured I'd be getting something lighter from AKM.

Brian did tell me the cowling formers 1-3 T&B were weak and needed special care. They're pretty slender 1/8" pieces. They're laid out on a sheet by themselves, so should probably ask for hard balsa for these.

When I build from a plan I almost always redo the plan in ACAD to check and adjust the fits, then use the DWG file of the parts to either send out for laser cutting or I transfer prints to sheet balsa and hand cut. I enjoy cutting, but quickly tire of making ribs, especially for a bipe. The worst ribs to hand cut are for tapered wings, where you can't use a common template. I'm presently building a 72" Fairchild PT-19 from a 1956 Chuck Hollinger design. I redrew the plan in ACAD, then transfer-printed the ribs to balsa sheets and cut them out - all 17 pairs for the tapered wing. After the first few hours I wished I'd sent them out for lasercutting!

May 05, 2012, 05:59 PM
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Dennis Sumner's Avatar
Great pick, I have an original kit on the shelf for one of these winters.....I"ll be watching your build.

What motor and battery are you planning to use?

Latest blog entry: RC Throw Gauge
May 05, 2012, 06:33 PM
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Brian76239's Avatar
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What is this "Work" you are Referring To

Hi Dave,

Nice to see that you found the Build Log.

Absolutely NO "Work" being done My End.
I'm Just taking a really Nice model Off the "Maybe Someday"
build List the Easiest Way I Know How.

I have the Worst time in the World Fabricating Parts.
Your Short Kit has made building this Model a Lot Easier.
Laser Cut beats Printed Wood Hands Down.

It Sure Beats trying to find one of the Original Flyline Kits.
They are getting Scarce and Expensive.

Stay Tuned. More Pictures and some Tech Stuff Next Week.

May 05, 2012, 06:41 PM
Closed Account
Great model I have built 3 of them over the years and most of the other Flyline models as well. The redraw to Acad is the way to go for sure, I may need to build another !
May 06, 2012, 08:24 AM
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mistairjoe's Avatar
One of my all time favorites.Joe
May 06, 2012, 10:36 AM
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Pat Daily's Avatar

Good luck on your Flyline Great Lakes! It should be a beauty--highly recommend you cover it with silk and dope.

Our club, the DC Maxecuters (Col Hurst Bowers was a member), once had a bull session at the Flyline Models factory back in around 1977-- I use the term factory loosely because it was a separate space in a Butler Building in the Virginia suburbs of DC).

Hurst and Herb showed us around and how they made up their kits--they would carefully select the wood weight and grain for the parts, cut the balsa blocks, cut the music wire to the appropriate lengths, roll the plans and covering materials, select the decals, etc. They had specific boxes printed for each model in the Flyline line of models--each with artwork printed on the outside and boxes of various sizes depending on the aircraft that could be packed and mailed in standard size mailing boxes.

The room was full of printed plans, balsa stock, boxes, other materials, and had a large assembly table. Don Srull (a consultant designer for Flyline and my flying buddy for the past 30 years) suggested that they should use standard size wood blocks rather than cut individual blocks for each kit. They resisted that--they wanted to do complete kits of quality, but with little profit margin.

Their assembly of the kits was a labor of love. The Flyline Kits were every bit the equal of the old time Cleveland kits of the 30s and are real collectors items today. As they became more and more successful, Hurst would hire handicapped folks to help in the work of packing each kit. Finally Hurst sold his half of the company to Herb and Herb passed away soon after and the company disappeared with Herbs relatives. Sad day for modelers! There was a time when you could find many Flyline Model kits in any good hobby shop--sadly those days are gone forever too.

Hurst once told me a good way to screw up a hobby was to try to turn it into a business! He continued to design and make all kinds of models until his passing in December 2004. What a great southern gentleman and a lover of things that fly!

We sure miss both of those guys!

Here is my double sized, 44 inch Velie Monocoupe (started from one of Dave Plumpe's short kits and modified by me and covered with silk and dope). This was taken yesterday at Shangri-La south here in central Virginia. Don Srull was flying the plane while I photographed it.
Last edited by Pat Daily; May 06, 2012 at 02:28 PM.
May 06, 2012, 02:07 PM
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Brian76239's Avatar
Thread OP

Welcome to Everyone

Wow. Lots of New folks adding Good Stuff to this Build Log.

Denny - Here are the parts I'm using for the Great Lakes:

Motor: BP Hobbies 2814-8
Battery: Thunderpower 3s 2200 30C
Esc: Electrifly Silver Series 30 Amp
Servos: Hitec MG65
RX: Futaba R617FS

FlyBoB54 - Nice to have a previous builder looking over my shoulder.
Let Me Know if you see anything that Doesn't Look right.

Pat Daily - The Covering is going to be White K&S Silkspan and Nitrate Dope.
I thought about Silk but decided to Use what I already had on hand.

Many thanks for Sharing your Personal History regarding Flyline Models.

One More thing: Your Velie Monocoupe Looks Sweet.

May 06, 2012, 10:45 PM
Registered User
Have you seen Bob Benjamin's build thread on his web site? Quite detailed. Here is a link to the end of it:
May 11, 2012, 11:56 PM
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Carnifax's Avatar
As a huge fan of the Great Lakes Trainers, I was excited to run across this thread to see so many people actively engaged with this model. As luck would have it, I ran across a Flyline kit of this model along with an old Cleveland kit too.

I think I'll build the Flyline and hang on to the Cleveland kit.

I will be following this build closely and gladly raise my hand should a short kit become available!

May 13, 2012, 02:43 PM
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Brian76239's Avatar
Thread OP

The Short Kit is Available


I got my short kit from Mr. David Plumpe.
I was searching for a Flyline Kit when I ran across his build threads
for several other Flyline Models.

David made an entry into this Build Log on May 5.
Send him a Private Message.
May 13, 2012, 04:01 PM
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Brian76239's Avatar
Thread OP

Finishing the Wings

The bottom wing uses a flexible cable for the ailerons.
I used #507 gold-n-cable from sullivan products.

The bottom wing is attached to the fuselage with two 1/4 inch dowels in
front and a 6-32 nylon bolt in back. I added 1/16 plywood to the bottom
of the bottom wing for reinforcment.

The top wing has no ailerons and the outer panels are swept back.
The spruce joiners are the tricky part. I had to make several attempts
before I got all the angles right. I used slow cure epoxy for joining the
panels together.
May 13, 2012, 05:24 PM
DPlumpe's Avatar

Sorry, short kit is NOT available

Sorry, but Brian got my last short kit for the Great Lakes. I'm trying to get "kits" of several Hurst Bowers designs proofed before releasing my CAD lasercutting drawings for general use. If there's a LOT of interest in the meantime I'll get another batch cut. Parts will cost about $12-13, plan ~$5, plus ~$5 Priority Mail. That's my cost. If interested, email me (rather than PM) and I'll make a list.

Low-res plan & parts attached.

-Dave Plumpe
plumpe (at)

Originally Posted by Brian76239

I got my short kit from Mr. David Plumpe.
I was searching for a Flyline Kit when I ran across his build threads
for several other Flyline Models.

David made an entry into this Build Log on May 5.
Send him a Private Message.

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