18" Sperry Monoplane - RC Groups
Thread Tools
Feb 05, 2013, 07:10 PM
Registered User

18" Sperry Monoplane

Yes, it's me back with a build thread of my own for a change. It's been a while since I did a proper build (I'm not sure foamies count) and, since Charlie was kind enough to cut the parts for me, I thought the least I could do was start a build thread. No doubt he was beginning to wonder what had happened to his efforts.

The idea is to use a Vapor brick, 160 mAh Nano-Tech battery (single cell) and a Nine Eagles version of the P-51 motor unit - although that has yet to be seen. It can only swing a 4" prop without hitting the ground, but there's just a chance it may be too much motor for my old style Vapor brick. However, I do have a 7mm unit in reserve in case I don't feel like shelling out for a newer brick. Which, I am told, has a higher rated ESC and the ability to reverse servo direction at the brick.
I'm hoping for a flying weight of below 40 grams, but we'll see how things go.

Anyway, I fought my way into the model room (read junk pile) and dragged out a building board, some balsa strip and a load of pins. Since tinight was the night the wife goes to bed early to watch her favourite programme (one I can't stand), the coffee table in the lounge was taken over as a building bench for the evening.
Here's how it's going so far. Mostly 1/16 balsa with a few 1/32 balsa ribs and a tiny bit of 1/32 ply. The laser cut parts I've used so far all fit just fine and the wood grade looks just about right for a lightweight. Just maybe this one won't need changes to the cut file.

Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Feb 05, 2013, 07:39 PM
Registered User
Cool! Color me subscribed!
Feb 05, 2013, 07:59 PM
Or current resident
glewis's Avatar
I'm in too!
I ran a P-51 motor on the old vapor brick with a prop cut down to 4" on my Trojan. It handled it fine.
Feb 05, 2013, 08:38 PM
Übung macht den Meister..
Deuce's Avatar
Feb 05, 2013, 09:31 PM
Fly, dangit!!!
Led Zepplin's Avatar
I'm in too! Good luck Pete.

J. B.
Feb 06, 2013, 01:04 AM
Registered User
Bill Smudge's Avatar
I'll be watching,

40 grams eh', no strain on the back hauling this one around.... hehe..

Feb 06, 2013, 05:51 AM
Registered User
Yeah, I have to watch the weight with my back. To be honest I'd prefer it to come out around 30 grams, but doubt I can get it that light. Much, of course will depend on covering and how much detail I add. Unfortunately I'm already having thoughts about an aluminium foil covered nose, louvers and dummy cylinder heads/exhausts. Fine if it needs the nose weight, not so good otherwise.

Thanks for that info, sounds very promising for simplifying the motor installation.

I doubt too much will get done today, apart from the other fuselage side and u/c leg. I need some 1/32 sheet for laminating the tail outlines and won't get a chance to buy some until tomorrow. Just have to hope it isn't too windy or I'll never get it to the car in one piece.

I can see I'll have to stock up on that sort of thing, and some more sizes of 1/16 strip because I have a series of these little models taking shape. So far I have the Sperry, a White Monoplane, Eastbourne Monoplane and Stahlwerk drawn up. I'm seriously considering a Nieuport 11, Martin MO-1 and Aeronca Defender. Other possibilities include Bellanca Skyrocket, Bellanca Light Tractor biplane, Lublin R-XII, Rennard R17 and Monocoupe 110. Yes, I realise that several of those are well outside my usual 'comfort zone', but I happen to like them. With the vast number of rubber power plans available as reference, this list could easily get a lot longer - without including the non scale types I have in mind.

Why this sudden interest in small models? Well, it isn't really that sudden. I've always liked small models but it's only recently that cheap, reliable radio gear has become available. Combine that with the new column I write (all about just such models) and it seemed a good time to indulge myself. RTF types aren't really my thing, so I'll get double the enjoyment by drawing up my own plans and then building at least some of the models.

Feb 06, 2013, 06:54 AM
Or current resident
glewis's Avatar
The Ember prop is a lower pitch and might be better for your application. It is advertised as 100mm x 60mm. You could clip a few mm off the tips and reshape to a more scale appearance. That will unload the motor a bit.
I'm on a bit of a small model run now myself. With this new equipment it gives me a chance to revisit some of the models I built as a youth and get them to actually fly this time!
Feb 06, 2013, 09:59 AM
Registered User
portablevcb's Avatar
Well Pete, glad you can finally show a build in here.

I've also started to build some smaller stuff. Right now the IPS size is the smallest I have, but, the Parkzone P51 was a nice little thing to play with. And, I can take the smaller ones with me when we travel.

Pete, that Monocoupe sounds like a subject I'd be interested in too.

PS Ok now you guys are in trouble. I went 'shopping' for some micro gear. Now I think I need a Carbon Cub and Mig15. Vicki is going to kill me if I bring home an ARF
Last edited by portablevcb; Feb 06, 2013 at 10:20 AM.
Feb 06, 2013, 10:21 AM
Registered User
What is it with you and portly types? Shouldn't be any problem getting the gear into that one though, some of them are a bit of a squeeze. I'm currently working on the Martin drawing, but I can easily bump the Monocoupe up the list and do that next. While I'm in the mood for multiple different wing ribs I might as well get them both drawn. I might be getting tired of them by the time I get to the Lublin though.

Just for information, the Flivver and Flivver 2 work out great with the shorter nose. Balance on Flivver 2 was spot on. Then I got the balsa bug before building Flivver P.

Feb 06, 2013, 10:48 AM
Registered User
portablevcb's Avatar

It is a combination of things. I like the Golden Age stuff. I love models like the Ryan STA, but, I really hate carving balsa noses. I never get it quite right and that bugs me for the life of the plane. So, round cowls are better. Even better if I can get one of Sparky's cowls to fit like I did on your little WACO SRE.

And for the small stuff I like monoplanes better, just for ease of construction.

Glad the Flivver's worked.

Feb 06, 2013, 11:35 AM
Or current resident
glewis's Avatar
Originally Posted by portablevcb

I really hate carving balsa noses. I never get it quite right and that bugs me for the life of the plane.
Guess you won't be building a Parrakeet then!
Feb 06, 2013, 01:19 PM
Registered User
I find it very satisfying attacking a nice block of balsa with a razor plane and sandpaper, getting shavings and dust everywhere. I much prefer it to trying to plank awkward shapes and it saves plotting awkward formers.
Maybe, when I draw up the Monocoupe, which is the 110 Special according to Walt Mooney, I'll try to size it to match an available cowl or plastic bottle. It looks to be around 2.6" diameter but quite rounded at the front. Just possibly Sparky's 2.5" cowl would work if it had blisters added. Scale the model for the cowl, but cheat a little to keep the span 18".

Feb 06, 2013, 02:42 PM
Or current resident
glewis's Avatar
I would be interested in building a Monocoupe too.
Long ago I built a Sterling Models Peanut version. Did it up in the white with red scallops scheme. I had it trimmed out and flying very well, until my 5 year old nephew pulled up a chair so he could climb up and grab the model off a shelf.
CRUNCH.... R.I. P. little coupe....
Feb 06, 2013, 03:39 PM
Registered User
portablevcb's Avatar
Thanks Pete, that would be good. I can do blisters with some clay and a bit of resin. Punch the 'divot' and pour the resin. Glue them to the cowl.

We'd include the cowl in any kit as well.

Glenn, no, no parakeet or PT-22, etc, etc. Now, if some nice person who did a prototype would carve it and then send it to Sparky for tooling, then I might be willing to build one

PS I do love using a plane on wood of any type and size. I have a collection of old planes that I use when woodworking (along with spoke shave, braces and bit, chest drill and old hand crank drills, the original 'cordless' tool set ). A razor and small block plane for things like LE and TE shaping or rounding fuse corners. I just don't like sculpting compound curves and having to do all that sanding. Heck, if I like sculpting that much I'd be building from foam

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion 30" Sperry Messenger JohnBlankenship Scale Kit/Scratch Built 62 Nov 14, 2013 07:52 PM
Discussion Peck Polymers Sperry Monoplane Plans jmckie Free Flight 0 Nov 28, 2010 06:09 PM
Discussion Peter Rakes "Sperry Monoplane" Andycart Scale Kit/Scratch Built 87 Feb 06, 2009 11:03 AM
Speed 400 Sperry Monoplane Flight Problems JIMA Scale Kit/Scratch Built 53 Oct 25, 2003 07:01 PM
Peter Rake's Sperry Monoplane JRuggiero Scale Kit/Scratch Built 9 Oct 19, 2002 01:40 PM