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Aug 15, 2017, 08:05 AM
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PaulB's Avatar

Has this got a chance or am I crazy?????

Hi Guys and Gals,

so, 09 October 1974 and I was drooling over the Cox’s control line Spitfire in the LHS.
12 October (my birthday) and I got the Spit, best present ever but unfortunately due to the guys in the LHS telling me to use the whole roll of line she never actually flew more than 1 circuit and was irreparably (for me at the time) damaged. A profile P51 from a Radio Modeller pull out plan followed but was never completed, girls, work and life got in the way. Forty years on and a cellar full of fixed wing, helicopters, Auto Gyros, VTOL, gliders and some other stuff that I have forgotten about but I have still never flown Control Line despite promising myself that I will, one day……

Model meeting nearby the other week and a Guy was flying Control Line so I started seriously thinking. Pulled out some stuff that I have read over the years that was stored away at the back of my brain and done some thinking about what I have and how I can easily achieve my aim.

The plan:- Buy a cheap as possible 2.4 Gig car pistol grip radio set and adapt the transmitter to become my handle. Remove the servos from my 26” Nutball ( ) and add a bellcrank to drive the elevator. I will fix a short adjustable pushrod to the rudder to add some right rudder to keep the lines tight. I need to source some lines going to the local fishing shop tomorrow but I also have kite lines already and some connectors.

So experts, do I have a chance???? The Nutball flies real slow but has loads and loads of power and I can fly her on 500 mAh to 1300 mAh packs so really light or real long flight times.

Thanks for any tips or advice in advance……….


PS, I take "you're crazy" as a compliment and a big pile of scrap foam really would not be an issue when trying!!!!

Last edited by PaulB; Aug 21, 2017 at 04:58 AM.
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Aug 15, 2017, 09:50 AM
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flyelectcl's Avatar
well it is not crazy. I have flown similar models in various sizes for years. Attached is the plan for the nominal 1/2A version with electric power. I make mine out of coroplast, literally indestructible.
Aug 15, 2017, 09:56 AM
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flyelectcl's Avatar
and here are some Pictures including a glow version. Actually the same one, just converted to electric. They make great trainers. t They are easy to fly the kids are soloing in a few tries. They are also stuntable and will hang like a 3d RC plane.
Aug 15, 2017, 10:10 AM
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I think the Spider wire line is the stuff you want, not the monofiliment. Sounds like a great waste of time. You may have fun whether you like it or not.
Last edited by aspeed; Aug 15, 2017 at 09:23 PM.
Aug 15, 2017, 10:57 AM
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PaulB's Avatar
@ Flyelectcl, Woo Hoooooo, pretty much exactly what I was thinking of so it looks like it could work.

@ speed, I am looking for braided steel, correct? I had kind of learned that monofiliment would stretch too much which is why I am looking around. I can order CL lines here in Germany but at a price, like € 30 - 40 for a set which if I add the price of the R/C system makes it an expensive 'have a go and have a laugh'.

Waste of time??????? Naaaaaaa, shopping, now that IS a waste of time, tax returns, they are a waste of time, playing with something that may fly, NOT a waste of time.

Aug 15, 2017, 05:50 PM
flyinglog's Avatar
Hello !

The idea you have was already tried out .
Also using the Car RC-Pistol as a Control-line Handle.
Electric flying with it is no problem. I would just use an extra hanle for elevator Control. The 2,4 Ghz ist not rigid enough for fast or heavy models and to clumsy and heavy for small ones.
Do you live in Germany ?

Best regards,
Aug 15, 2017, 09:22 PM
Registered User
I think the guys are using 10 lb. (5 kg.) test braided line that needs a special knot. There are threads that explain it better than I can. The AMA even allows it with a certain knot. I get my lines from this guy. I got 1,000 ft. or like 300 meter rolls for the $35 I think the .010" (0.25mm)would be lots for what you are thinking, or even the dacron line that we used years ago. Not sure what is available in Europe.
Last edited by aspeed; Aug 15, 2017 at 09:32 PM.
Aug 17, 2017, 02:01 PM
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PaulB's Avatar
Thanks a lot for the advice.....

Got a pistol grip on the way but away for the weekend so it will be next week. Looking around the scrap box to see what I can build a bell crank out of and may get to remove the servos from the Nutball tonight.

Aug 21, 2017, 04:59 AM
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PaulB's Avatar
Ok, I decided that it will either work or be a barrel of laughs trying so my new project is:- ‘Operation Mis-Spent Youth’.

Got a cheap 3 channel 2.4 MHz car tranny and receiver and have modded the ‘trigger’ to remove the middle position so I now have spring loaded full movement. I am following that it may not be the ideal solution but initially I am going to use the transmitter as my handle to keep it simple. Next step would (will) be a custom designed 3D printed handle incorporating my trigger but with the rest of the ‘important’ transmitter components contained within a box in my pocket or clipped to my belt. I will have to test how long I can make the wire that connects the throttle potentiometer to the PCB, if I can’t extend it enough I am thinking of strapping the ‘box’ to my forearm…..

Found a roll of 25 meter, 15 Kg 0.3 mm leader wire at my local fishing shop so that has decided my line length (12.5 meters, 41’) which may be a bit short but should help to keep the lines tight and I know that the Nutball flies slowly anyway. I forgot to get any connectors so I will have to bend some up tonight.

Hoping to be ready for the first attempts at the weekend weather and wife permitting….

Aug 21, 2017, 09:53 AM
Registered User
Some guys just mount the lines on the transmitter with little brackets, or a plywood handle that glues on to the transmitter. It depends on the design of the transmitter and the weight of the model. Scale guys do this quite often. Some just have the transmitter on their belt for throttle, and others like for combat just have a much smaller transmitter on their belt just for a shutoff. Saw one work very well on the weekend when the lines got cut. I have had limited success with an indoor foamy with one line and just using the transmitter with the line tied onto it. I used the functions from the rc plane. The lines would go slack quite easily, so maybe more tip weight was needed. It did give me a chance to fly the Sukoi indoors, as it was a bit too fast for me to control with the rc, and it never hit the wall that way.
Aug 23, 2017, 01:31 PM
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PaulB's Avatar
So, got my C/L Electro Nutball finished and had some time this afternoon. Got to the field, 15 kph gusting 20 – 25 so obviously not the weather for a maiden and my first C/L flights but unfortunately ‘sensible’ was never my strong point .
Set the lines to be what I though was level and tried to taxi, I soon realised that the wheels are way, way too small for grass (I remembered that I generally took her off from the paved strip). Tip over, add more up, tip over, add more up and be a bit more positive on the throttle, leap off the ground and looped to nose in! Ok, she flies, so I re-secured the battery and tried again but just nosed over all the time. My FB had landed by now and was watching so I asked him to give a hand, launch (more of a let go really) from belt level and she actually flew!!!!!!

The first lap was a real roller-coaster until I settled down and the next circuit was nice and flat, WOOOO HOOOOO, this is fun.
Two more laps but then the rudder started to flutter (I had ‘frozen’ on full throttle) so I lowered the throttle to slow her down. Not sure what happened, rudder may have come loose when she fluttered, a gust may have her or just too slow but the lines went slack and she nosed in stopping the fun for the day.

So, I got further than I did in 1974 which was the aim. I actually really enjoyed the minute or so, got the old pulse racing and knees knocking, loved it…. Already glued the nose back on and so I need to look for bigger wheels, secure the rudder properly (I just used a piece of 0.8 mm wire poked through the 6 mm Depron fin!!) and I want to reduce the elevator throw. Bit less wind with those adjustments and I am sure that I will be having a ball going around like a backwards clock on steroids…

Paul(twirly whirly)B

Aug 23, 2017, 09:57 PM
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It looks like you need full power in the wind. Little planes are not the greatest at taking off with wheels. You could omit them really, unless you fly alone. Control line is good to get the adrenaline going though.
Aug 24, 2017, 01:41 AM
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PaulB's Avatar
Yep, the fact that I am trying to fly a circle of foam with a diameter of over 2 foot isn't really the most efficient (as in aerodynamically) way to go....

I do want to keep the wheels so that I can fly alone as and when however as I was pondering last night (having just swapped the 40 mm wheels for 65 mm ones) I was thinking about a starting dolly with nice big (like 100 - 150 mm) 'take off from a ploughed field' wheels.

Now kind of thinking towards making a model specifically to fly C/L, even thought of a name and the rough shape is also in my head. That would be far more efficient and less prone to being blown around by the wind and the start dolly 'release' could be designed in from the start....

Aug 25, 2017, 05:39 PM
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PaulB's Avatar
Got to the field twice to day and had her in the air around 6 times (notice, I didn't say flights!!!!). Two or 3 crashes due to various things (every day is a school day) but had a lot of fun and I am ready to say that #my system# works.

Needs perfecting but in the mean time I have something to play with and learn from.

Control Line, 43 years later. Fesselflug 43 Jahre danach. (2 min 46 sec)

Aug 25, 2017, 05:52 PM
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