One Knight in Boston, FF to RC conversion of Bill Hannan design - RC Groups
Thread Tools
Mar 02, 2013, 05:51 AM
AMA 986339 FCC KB5LAM/4
davidterrell80's Avatar
Build Log

One Knight in Boston, FF to RC conversion of Bill Hannan design

I'm going to participate in the "2nd Balsa Builders Conversion Contest" after all.

The contest thread is located HERE.

My subject is Bill Hannan's "One Knight in Boston" scaled to 30-inch wingspan (188% of the original). I found the plan on Outerzone.

I'm planning to go very light, 3-channel, probably tissue or 'onion skin' covering and will try to get away with a UM motor, brick and servos... but, we shall see.


Last edited by davidterrell80; Dec 28, 2014 at 10:35 PM.
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Mar 04, 2013, 03:15 PM
Registered User
conrad907's Avatar
This is an interesting looking plane David. I like the rounded nose block on the plan better than the flat one in the picture. 3 channels with no ailerons?

Mar 04, 2013, 04:04 PM
AMA 986339 FCC KB5LAM/4
davidterrell80's Avatar
I agree with your assessment of the nose block.

I think the 3-channel will work if the dihedral is sufficient. If I build it light enough, it will be a slow flyer. The underwing struts will let me keep the wing structure to a minimum. I'm thinking a 1/16 upper and lower cap strip without a web. I'm planning to sheet the first two bays with 1/32; make the wing-fuselage intersection a one-piece section, removable with the wing, so I can can make a smaller box to store it. I will put diagonals in the 3rd and 4th bay to handle landing loads. The servos and electronics will be on a 1/16 horizontal shelf below the wing that extends forward to support the motor. I'm also thinking of placing a 1/32 transverse, vertical bulkhead below the wing LE and the electronics bay, for a battery shelf, with access through an opening beneath.

I may also choose a different color scheme... perhaps like a SE.5 (antique white beneath and OD green above) and add some guns.
Mar 06, 2013, 12:16 AM
AMA 986339 FCC KB5LAM/4
davidterrell80's Avatar
Well, the snow is here. There's no decision, yet, on the status of work. I started work on the "Night," and on the off chance I get a snow day tomorrow, I will try to complete the airframe structures, rigging, and systems installation.
Mar 06, 2013, 04:13 AM
Registered User
I'm glad to see someone doing this one. I spotted it a few years ago, in a book, and it has influenced a couple of my own models. Only profile and the 'F' word (foam) but quite good flyers. I look forward to seeing how you get on.

Mar 06, 2013, 12:29 PM
AMA 986339 FCC KB5LAM/4
davidterrell80's Avatar
Thank you Pete, I'm honored to have you speak so. I was fortunate enough to meet Bill Hannan when I was 18, back in 1976... oh my, that's a while ago, when I think of it. He and his wife were very kind to a young modeler and I've enjoyed building several of his plans.

I'm waiting for the February 2013 issue of Flying Scale Models to get to the local hobby shop, so I get the second page of your AirCamper plans. I've looked at your work and have a great respect for you designs. I only wish I had the space to store larger models once I built them.

30 years ago, I had dreams of building a "real" AirCamper and had purchased plans and several partial kits for wing and tail surfaces. The birth of a child with medical problems put that dream and my modeling on hold until about 20 months ago. I've renewed my modeling... and in 4 or 5 years, God willing, I might attempt to build a man-carrying aircraft. In the meanwhile, your beautiful design might temporally "scratch that itch."

The Washington DC area is closed down due to a significant snow storm. I've decided to surge this build and try completing the airframe in a single day. I've completed the fuselage sides and rudder/fin before lunch. I plan to frame the fuselage and build the elevator/stabilizer before dinner, and have the wing finished before bedtime.
Mar 06, 2013, 02:09 PM
Visitor from Reality
HI David
Your view out front looks remarkably like Chicago on the whole. You're getting more 'quantity' - I don't think we're getting 'quality' though. On the whole, I still shudder some at the first winters when we moved to just by Rockville in 1994, around the corner from you in MD, and the 'ice storm' was re-invented.

You are doing one cute ultra large scale model here. Bill has a real sense of aeromodelling humour and taste - his books on rubber powered FF various have a place of honour in my 'library'. It should fly fine, and you shouldn't have much trouble packing the radio gear in that fuselage

Good luck with her, though by now you're probably doing test flights around your parking area.

Mar 06, 2013, 06:22 PM
AMA 986339 FCC KB5LAM/4
davidterrell80's Avatar
I worked on the Knight most of the day, probably investing 7 hours on the plane. I worked at my high table so I could stand for the exercise.

The snow has stopped but the weather guessers are saying snow showers until midnight. The temperatures are above freezing and not expected to dip down but for a few hours, just before dawn. I hope that means the wet will not turn into ice.

But I was able to complete the majority of the fuselage structure. I still need to add some sheeting to the upper fuselage, where the wing attaches. I'm planning to attach the wings to the fuselage and, then cut them away with the top-central part of the fuselage. That will form an integral hatch that will allow me to remove the wing and gain access to the electronics and servos.

The structure is almost all 1/8-inch balsa, with 1/1-inch sheeting in the forward panels, inside the gussets.

I also need to add the bamboo skewer to the leading edge of the elevator, which will allow me to remove the material between the elevator halves.
Mar 07, 2013, 08:56 AM
Visitor from Reality
How are you planning on fitting the wing? I've done a couple of ultra-large scale rubber model electrocutions, at 200% full size, and cheated horribly by adapting the structure to a bolt-one wing.They were both low wingers, so you couldn't see the bolts without getting a look at their bottoms, so to speak.

One thing I forgot on both mine - fitting a dummy rubber motor rear dowel pin in the 'scale' position.

Really should get enthusiastic and finish up my 'Erie Daily Times' low winger, from the 1930s design.

Mar 07, 2013, 05:03 PM
AMA 986339 FCC KB5LAM/4
davidterrell80's Avatar
Dereck, thanks for joining me on the journey.

I actually worked on the wing-fuselage interface today, when I got home from work. I'm making a portion of the upper fuselage into a hatch that will be integral with the two wing sections. The wing/hatch will be removable to gain access to the electronics and allow more efficient storage.

I will place two short pegs on the forward section of the hatch, to mate into corresponding holes, and will have a latching mechanism on the after portion. I'm thinking of making the pilot's head part of the mechanism, rotating the head to latch and unlatch the mechanism.

I also finished the elevator structure, putting a bamboo skewer into the leading edge and cutting away the remainder of the temporary structure.

Do you have a thread for your "Erie Times Daily"? I'll come cheer your on.
Last edited by davidterrell80; Mar 07, 2013 at 05:24 PM.
Mar 07, 2013, 05:16 PM
Visitor from Reality
HI David

Love the idea of the 'rotating pilot' to hold the back of the wing down.

The 'Erie etc' is sort of half-built, sitting on a shelf. Not my normal self these days, I'm afraid, something like that model should have taken me about two weeks once I got the plan bits printed out... Another snag is that a model like that is for floating around on nice calm days. Not something you get many of in Chicago.

Am presently building a large scale model of the 'Kaos' pattern ship for electric power, as that will be much better in 'normal' Chicago winds, but will do something to the Erie Etc next, honest.

Mar 08, 2013, 06:30 PM
AMA 986339 FCC KB5LAM/4
davidterrell80's Avatar
I was able to build one side of the wing last night and the other side this evening.
I setup and attached the wing sections to the hatch with white Gorilla Glue, so I can cut them away if necessary.

Next, I need to create the wing-fuselage latching mechanism, add the wing strut attach points to wing and fuselage, fabricate the struts and fit them together. I plan to pin the struts so they are removable.

Then, it will be time for landing gear fabrication.

Mar 08, 2013, 06:36 PM
AMA 986339 FCC KB5LAM/4
davidterrell80's Avatar
I was debating the marking scheme to use...

My first thought was to use a variant of the SE-5a markings.
Mar 09, 2013, 03:51 AM
Registered User
How do you think she'll turn with all that vertical fuselage side and narrow wing? IIRC, a profile foamy I did had a habit of snapping into a spin at the least hint of rudder. Could just have been me, of course, but might be worth being wary of.

Mar 09, 2013, 07:06 AM
AMA 986339 FCC KB5LAM/4
davidterrell80's Avatar
I'll consider the thought.

The plane I have that is most similar to the Knight, in geometric terms, is the scratchbuild foamy "Slowly" (photos attached, there are several videos of the plane in flight on the prototype's thread). She tries to fall off on the inboard wing in a tight turn. The turn radius is very tight and the airspeed over the inboard wing drops to essentially zero at such times, and the stalled wing falls. The substantial dihedral counteracts the tendency quickly but, I've added more expo (35%) than usual for me and I learned to use elevator in tight turns to keep the nose up. I thought of using a mix to make that automatic but, I want to have the tendency programmed into me, rather than the transmitter.

(Edit: Looking at the photos and pondering, I believe the high rudder in the Slowly might also produce a moment that counters the roll... I'll have to fly her and make some observations.)

I've also trimmed the Slowly to "FF glide" when power is off. The effective result was a plane that maintains level flight at about 30% throttle.

I have hopes the Knight will perform likewise. If having less dihedral than the Slowly proves problematic, I could easily slice the wing away from the hatch, having used gorilla glue for that purpose, and build a polyhedral wing. I also thought about:
-- adding a transparent membrane between the wing struts, to provide a righting force in a sideslip.
-- turning the elevators into elevons.
-- adding ailerons, in the spirit of the Lincoln-Beachey Monoplane.
Last edited by davidterrell80; Mar 09, 2013 at 07:19 AM.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Build Log Blackburn Skua, FF to RC conversion of Earl Stahl design davidterrell80 Balsa Builders 128 Aug 09, 2014 02:06 PM
Sold 2 JR DS 188 Digital High Speed Servos MOC $40 gva1956 Aircraft - General - Radio Equipment (FS/W) 2 Feb 10, 2013 11:00 PM
Rave White Knight / Space Ship One foamflyer Foamies (Kits) 10 Aug 03, 2005 07:59 AM
Rave Scaled Composites White Knight / Space Ship One foamflyer Scale Kit/Scratch Built 4 Jun 04, 2004 12:44 AM