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Jan 04, 2019, 02:34 AM
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Happy New Year Gentlemen!

Great news! My entry for this year's Coupe Des Barons has been accepted and the organisers have increased the maximum permitted size of four-stroke engines allowed in the competition from a 40 to a 52. As I have six four-strokes of which would be eligible, so I'm one happy bunny! I am in the process of building a second Baron as a reserve model just in case I stuff in Boris while practising. I don't usually give my models names or genders, but Boris is the name I gave to my Baron because he is finished in spoof Russian WW1 colours!

I have already built the tailplane of the new model and the wing structure is well advanced. The standard Baron wing is over-engineered in my view, picture below, so I am building one based on a Keil Kraft Super 60 structure, three balsa spars and balsa sheet between the leading edge and the mainspars, but to a Baron's outline and the much narrower Baron Clark Y aerofoil. Photos to follow.

The standard Baron kit features 6mm (1/4") square balsa longerons and 6mm plywood nose sheeting. I plan to run the longerons in basswood and use 1/4"balsa in place of the plywood on the reserve Baron. Do you think that I should reinforce the structure with a 1mm thick ply doubler? Pictures of the standard kit fuselage under construction for last year's event below.

As for the engines, I own an OS52 Surpass, a Magnum 52 FS, two OS 48 Surpasses and two HP VT 49s. I'm tempted to use one of the HP's as you can gain a few more points using an engine dating from the 1970s or earlier but the HPs are very heavy and not very powerful so I will go for power and fit the 52 Surpass in the new model. Boris is currently fitted with an SC 32 two stroke and needs a little TLC. I propose to find out what's involved in replacing the SC with the Magnum so then I'll have two fourstroke Barons to choose from. I intend to finish the new model in inter-war RAF colours, silver overall with squadron markings and to call him Bertie!

I have shamed another six clubmates to enter this year's event so we will have quite a team, nearly 9% of the entry. The event takes place on 7th September. I'll keep you posted.
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Feb 05, 2019, 02:13 AM
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Fuselage of my Reseve Baron in the SLEC jig below. I've changed the construction a bit. On the original model the forward section is made from plywood, I have substituted 1/4" sheet balsa. Actually it's 6mm balsa so it's a litle thicker and I've had to sand it down to match the longerons. The longerons themselves are from basswod instead of balsa. Metal geared micro-servos will be mounted in the rear fuselage for the rudder and elevator and an OS 52FS will power the model. I have already built the tailplane, fin and wing halves using a conventional D box wing structure instead of the multi-spar construction of Mr Chauzit's original wing. I am hoping by this means to produce a lighter model than standard.I still need to make up a firewall from 1/4 plywood and the wing centre section. Should I glass the tank bay or will the basswood longerons provide adequate strength?
May 12, 2019, 10:50 AM
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Gentlemen, having talked about building a lighter wing for my reserve Baron for long enough, I've finally done it.

I've used the Baron's wing rib which has the same chord as that of the classic British trainer, the Super 60. However, the Baron's wing rib is thinner than that of the Super 60 and instead of having seven spars including turbulators the Super 60 only has only three. Its leading upper leading edge is sheeted back to the upper spar. I chose to use balsa sheet on the underside of the wing as well as far as the lower front spar just producing a full D section.

I also reinforced the 1/4" sq (6mm sq) balsa spars with carbon fibre tow and used full depth plywood dihedral braces and 1/16" (1.5mm) webs between the spars as well.

This has produced a very rigid and lightweight wing for this year's Coupe in September.

The standard wing is shown to the right of the new one.
May 27, 2019, 11:56 PM
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I assembled the Reserve Model with its lighter competition wing yesterday, in a sort of rough and ready manner, in order to check the centre of gravity. The engine mount was only screwed to the firewall with two small wood-screws, the tailplane was pinned in place and the wheels were simply pushed on to the undercarriage.

The model was originally designed for a 19 two-stroke. For the competition, La Coupe Des Barons, four-stroke engines up to a 52 are permitted. Because the OS52 is so heavy I fitted two standard servos in the rear fuselage to balance the model. If the model had proved to be tail-heavy I would have replaced them with smaller, lighter servos of the same power.

With the rx battery moved to a forward position it balanced perfectly.
Aug 19, 2019, 06:36 AM
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Well here it is in its final manifestation! It only remains for me to tidy up the cowling and paint it in matching Cub Yellow and I'll be ready for La Coupe on 7th September. It is powered by an OS 48 FS Surpass because I damaged the cylinder head of an OS 52 FS Surpass in a test flight. While I've lost a little power but the engine is extremely reliable and economical. I've bought a secondhand OS 52 FS Surpass for £50 Sterling, ( $60.56 US or 54.55€) but I think I should stay with the 48 as it performs so reliably.

My weight-saving exercises seem to have worked as Bertie, my British Baron, is 11 ozs or 300 grammes lighter than the Russian version. That said Boris has three standard servos and a Magnum 52 up front, while Bertie uses three much smaller servos.

Incidentally we were going to take a team of seven down to La Coupe but one of the team has had to scratch because his little boy found one of his lighters and set fire to the bedroom. If his Baron had not been destroyed by fire, les pompiers killed it by squirting water all over it! Pity as he'd made a nice job of his model.

Let that be a warning to the smokers in our ranks!
Last edited by Monza Red; Aug 19, 2019 at 07:03 AM.
Aug 19, 2019, 08:47 AM
'Douglas' to his friends.
Originally Posted by Monza Red
... and set fire to the bedroom. If his Baron had not been destroyed by fire, les pompiers killed it by squirting water all over it!...
Which begs the question: what was he doing with a Baron in his bedroom..?


That's a quite tidy set of 'planes lined up there, Good Show.
Aug 20, 2019, 05:19 AM
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These are some of the other Barons we will be taking to the competition.

1. The first one is the club president's venerable model powered by an OS 30. Note the brown paper repair!

2. The second one is Francois' immaculate electric powered model. Francois is a retired ship's engineer and his standard of construction is always first class.

3. The same may be said for Ludovic's grey and red version powered by an OS 25. Ludo works as a panel beater paint sprayer for a Volkswagen agency.

4. The fourth model is Gerard's electric powered model finished in Belgian colours. I built it for him.

Unfortunately I do not have a picture of Jean-Luc's Baron but I will try to to arrange for a group photograph of us to be taken at the competition.
Aug 25, 2019, 04:00 AM
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Boris Baron with Hispano Suiza cowling!
Aug 28, 2019, 02:53 AM
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We have recieved the running order for La Coupe Des Barons! They've divided us up into eight groups of ten. I am to fly from Post 3 in the last group and the following members of my club have been drawn as follows: Jean-Luc will compete against me in the same group from Post 5. Francois is first away, Post 4 in Group 2. Gerard flies from Post 10 in Group 3, Ludovic from Post 1 in Group 5 and Roger from Post 1 in Group 6. Pictures of most of our Barons above. I'm getting quite excited!

The twin fifteen year-old girls, Clara and Iris Fesquet are drawn in Groups 2 and 5 respectively so will compete against Francois and Ludo.

Last year's winner has scratched from the event so there's a chance for all of us!

Mind you, I've just remembered Group 8 last year was made up mostly of experts who flew like demons!
Last edited by Monza Red; Aug 28, 2019 at 04:59 AM.
Sep 09, 2019, 04:09 PM
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La Coupe Des Barons took place on Saturday 7th September. My club, Berry Marche Modelisme or B2M for short entered a team of six pilots. All of the models except for Jean-Luc's are shown above. In La Coupe, pilots are divided into groups of ten which are numbered 1-8. Therefore, the maximum number of pilots the event can cater for is eighty. On the day 77 pilots turned up. Pilots are allocated a group and fly from marked positions on a fence marked 1-10. For example Francois, at 79 our oldest member, flew in Group 2, Position 4 while Jean-Luc and I flew in Group 8 from Positions 5 and 3 respectively. Jean-Luc had crashed his newly-built model in practice and resorted to his old model for the event. Roger Aubard, the club's president and best pilot opted to act as guide and helper to all of the other pilots, talking them through their manouvres, except for me!

Miss Blue Eyes, aka Trish and I decided to take two days to drive down the 472kms (293 miles) to the event staying the first night in Macon. I bought some white wine there and some red Beaujolais a little further south at Chenas. We reached the town of Chambery, population 62,000, only 50 kms (30 miles) from the event at about 5pm on the Friday afternoon but there were accidents allover the place and traffic was stationary for nearly two hours but we finally reached the hotel I had booked.

Next morning we arrived only just in time to register but soon the competition was under way. We had no members flying in the first group so we watched the others flying the "Caisse Baguettes" round. In this round you have to try to knock over balsawood sticks which are only 1 metre above the ground. Some models hit the ground, others either missed each other by millimetres or collided with each other. Spectator reaction ranged from disappointment to outright schadenfreude and shocked or sarcastic cheers rang out! Then it was Francois' turn. Francois can get rather nervous but Roger counselled him throughout the ten minutes of the round. He did not hit any sticks but his model survived to go on to the next round.

Gerard was less fortunate in Group 3. An inexperienced pilot, after two or three passes, he flew too high and too slowly and stalled. The fuselage snapped in three places and he was out of the competition.

We had no-one in Group 4 but Ludo who built the beautiful grey and red model pictured above, flew in Group 5. With Roger again providing advice and guidance, he flew the round and knocked over two sticks, the model surviving to the next round.

Roger flew in Group 6. He had once finished tenth in the French National Championships and he is a much better pilot than anybody else in our team. Jean-Luc carried his model to the start line, Roger took off and circulated with the rest of them. The Contest Director sounded his air horn and they were off! I watched the models fly past but could not see Roger's. His motor, an old OS 30, had cut and he was forced to land but he had knocked over three sticks on the first pass.

With Trish and other members of out club helping, Jean-Luc and I took our models to the starting boxes. The previous Wednesday, 4th September, I had gone with Trish to our local flying field. There I flew the Baron with a 13x4 prop and which proved to be suitable for slow speed flight but with a 10x8 fitted to the OS 48 FS, the model flew much more quickly. I therefore decided to fly the 13x4 in the first round.

I had made final adjustments to the engine in the pits. The mighty OS fired up straight away. Trish carried the model to the start-line I took off, climbed magnificently and circulated waiting for the others to get airborn. The CD sounded his airhorn... ... and my motor cut! I managed to affect a forced landing.

Jean-Luc was less lucky. His motor cut and he stalled and crashed severely damaging his model. I offered to help him to repair it but he wasn't interested. He spent the rest of the day helping out his clubmates.

The next round was a pylon race around two pylons. Francois dealt with the situatation by flying his under-powerred electric model high above his competitors but nonetheless succeeded in flying around 20 pylons. Ludo with his model powered by an OS 25 two stroke giving away a lot of power to the OS 35 AXs, managed 17. Roger managed only 9.

I had changed the prop to a 10x8 and I was having a great time flying much faster than I had ever flown the model before and was over-taking several competitors. I managed several pylons before I noticed that the tailplane was vibrating. After a couple of more circuits I was ordered to land by the contest director on safety grounds. I was allowed 12 pylons. Last year with an electric powered model I had managed 23.

Then we all adjourned for a four-course French lunch.

It's late here and the evenings are getting colder. I have driven nearly 700 miles (1127 kms) in the last few days and I'm rather tired. I hated driving these days so I'm going to bed. Part 2 of La Coupe Des Barons 2019 tomorrow!
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Sep 09, 2019, 05:19 PM
'Douglas' to his friends.

Thanks for the great write-up, Part I; looking forward to Part II when you're up to it (in your own time, of course...). I really must make the effort and attend a meeting, just for the experience and ambience. I'll make a note of next year's dates if your team is participating (and if they have any 'planes left..!). Get some rest; it's well deserved.
Sep 10, 2019, 01:04 AM
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La Coupe des Barons 2019.
Part 2.

The third test last year was the Chasse Renard or fox hunt in which a trainer slowly towed a crepe paper streamer while the rest of us tried to cut it off with our propellers. Apparently this was deemed too wasteful of Barons and too stressful for the trainer pilots, consequently a spot landing contest was adopted. Pity as I enjoyed the Chasse Renard. Two rectangles,10 metres by 5 metres were marked out on the ground. The object was to land and stop in one of the rectangles.That was worth 10 points. If you landed in the rectangle but rolled out you scored three points. If you landed outside the rectangle and rolled in as Francois did, you did not gain any extra points. Once all of the aircraft in a group were airbourne, the Contest Director told the No 1 pilot to cut his engine and attempt to land in one of the rectangles. If his aircraft landed a long way from the rectangle, as most did for by now a stiff breeze was blowing, the second pilot was told to cut his engine and attempt a landing and so on. Those few that landed in or close to the landing zones were cleared away by a helper. Roger, Ludo and I all managed to land and stop within 1.5 metres, (five feet) of the landing zone and each of us was awarded ten points for a successful landing. So was Francois. In fact of the fifty-six surviving Barons only three managed to land and stop within the rectangles.

Then we all got ready for the final round, the dreaded Limbo in which you have to fly beneath a goalpost 10 metres wide by 4 metres high. As the Baron only has a 1.5 metre wingspan this sounds easy but you just try it! The survivors of the first group took off took off. Every one of their models was wrecked within the next five minutes. In fact the round had to be run in two halves as one of the Barons brought down the goalpost after crashing in to it! This happened twice in subsequent rounds.

Then it was Francois' turn to fly. He managed six passes and several touch and goes which were not recorded in the results. A touch and go is worth 3 points then his propeller touched the ground and whipped off the cowling and electric motor as neat as you like. Roger managed one pass then wrecked the wing of his model against the stanchion. I was surprised to see that is wing was made out of expanded polystyerene foam with balsa strips over laid to simulate wing ribs. Ludo wisely opted out of the Limbo claiming that he loved his model too much and that he had engine problems so I had to uphold the honour of the club. I changed the propeller for 13x4 and as I waited for the event to start I noticed for the first time that several of the models in my group were powered by four-stroke engines. Perhaps the organisers had deliberately put all of the four-stroke competitors into the same group. I shook hands with most of the pilots and wished them good luck. We took off. My first pass was too high but I managed to fly under the cross bar at the second attempt. The sun was by now in our eyes and the next pass was to one side. I prepared for another go when... ... my engine cut again! I landed out in the winter wheat, the judge said that he had awarded me one successful pass worth 10 points. I watched the rest of the round. Towards the end of the five-minute slot only two models were airbourne, a red electric powered model and a blue model powered by a four-stroke. They proceded to follow one another with metronomic precision until the propeller stopped on the four-stroke and he landed dead ahead. The electric model continued to clock up pass after pass until the CD started the five second count down, "Five, four ,three.." at this point the model hit the goalpost and was wrecked! I retrieved my model. The wing had become displaced in the forced landing and had slightly damaged the forward fuselage. Easy repair.

Doubtless all of this will have been recorded on the official video which will be published in a few weeks time. The group photograph and the provisional results are available below. Four of the B2M contingent stand at the extreme right of the picture in our pale blue club polo shirts: Jean-Luc stands extreme right with his model finished in olive drab with RAF roundels; Your Humble Servant stands next to him, silver model RAF roundels; Roger stands next to me, cream and dark yellow model; Gérard is behind us, black and transluscent orange model, Belgian roundels; Ludo's grey and red model is held up high at the back towards the centre of the group. I haven't been able to identify Francois and his Antique Solartex covered model but it's there somewhere.

In the end I finished 54th overall, one place down on last year but there were more competitors this year so proportionately it was a better result for me. If I had been allowed my 10 points for the limbo event I would have finished in 50th position.I don't think I'll bother with an official complaint! Francois was the best of us finishing in 30th position,a real case of the tortoise beating the hares if ever there was! He also won a prize for being the oldest competitor! Ludo finished 46th, Roger 48th, Gerard 67th and Jean-Luc 70th.

The twin fifteen year-old girls, Clara and Iris Fesquet were among the three entrants who didn't turn up on the day. Trish said that they'd probably discovered horses. I said, "Boys more likely!"

Last edited by Monza Red; Sep 10, 2019 at 01:11 AM.
Sep 10, 2019, 06:06 AM
'Douglas' to his friends.
Sep 11, 2019, 02:04 AM
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There was an especially good looking Baron at the event, built by a couple of young lads. It survived the event.
Sep 12, 2019, 06:48 AM
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A few more pictures for you.

1. Team B2M at La Coupe. From left to right: Jean-Luc, Roger, Ludovic, Francois, Gerard and me.

2. Me and my mechanic!

3. Trish, Bertie and me.

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