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May 25, 2018, 02:00 AM
F3Foamie Pilot
Thread OP
Build Log

Slope Master Scratch Build


It's been 30 years since I built my first and only "Slope Master" by Sun Fair Aircraft Designs.

In 1988, I saw an ad in a model magazine for the Slope Master. At the time I was mainly flying poly gas bags, so this glider really grabbed my attention.

At that time I resided in Kansas, so the only decent slope I had was Wilson Lake which was about a 2.5 hr drive from home.

With a three day weekend coming up, I hurried and built the kit. I covered it with bright red monokote and gold trim. It looked fantastic.
Wish I had pictures to share, but that was well before digital cameras so I probably have a few shots buried deeply in the cardboard box archives in the garage?

So I loaded up the girlfriend (now my wife ) and the glider and headed to Wilson lake. At that time hangliding was still popular on Airport hill. This was well before all the RV camper pads took over the pilots LZ near the beach. There were several hanglider pilots at Wilson that weekend. We all flew together. I remember one of the pilots yelling down at me to fly right up under him so he could take a picture of my glider. He had a 35 mm on a lanyard and he snapped a couple of shots. I kick myself hard everytime I remember that moment cause I didn't track him down and get a copy of the shot.

I was rewarded with a wonderful flying glider, thanks to great conditions that weekend.

After that first time out, I was so impressed and happy with the Slope Master that I immediately ordered another kit.

I never built the second kit, rather I carefully rat holed it in my closet for future use.

Time passed (years) and other high performance (wood) gliders hit the market so the second kit stayed in storage. I knew that I wanted another one, but by that time kits were no longer available and I didn't want to build my second and only kit. So the only option was to use the kit as a template and scratch build a kit.

Life gets busy, so scratch building another glider was pretty low on the modeling to do list. Another factor was the fact that I was introduced to EPP gliders in the late 90's, by Dave Sanders of DAW. I have been building and flying EPP gliders almost exclusively for the last 20 years.

So fast forward to 2018' and I recently got in the mood to work with balsa again. This spring is the 30 year anniversary since I built my first Slope Master.

My stepdad had given me a large box of premium balsa long ago and it's time I put it to good use.

I'm mainly a kit builder so this will be my first, honest scratch build. I have decided to cut out enough parts to make two gliders, leaving the original kit intact.

My long time friend back in Kansas has an original, that our late friend Joe H. had built during the same time I built mine.

The pictures on this post are recents that he took for me for this build thread.

After two weeks, I have nearly completed cutting out all the parts. The only tools I used are a #11 Exacto knife, 150/220 sandpaper and a straight edge.

This glider is a true classic and it is near and dear to me. Hope you have an interest in this build.
Last edited by Slopemaster; Oct 02, 2018 at 10:50 PM.
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May 25, 2018, 02:19 AM
Geppetto
1stGeppetto's Avatar

Slope Master


I'm subscribed! I love this model. I have one in the box also. I'll be watching closely and your build may perhaps stimulate me to start mine as well.

Here is some motivation to get the thoughts flowing. One .pdf is of the brochure in the kit. The others are photos I collected over the years from downloads from the net.

The other .pdf is the plan of Ken Willard's "Slope Master" not to be confused for the Sun Fair Aircraft Design.

"Party on Ken"!

Geppetto
Last edited by 1stGeppetto; May 25, 2018 at 02:42 AM.
May 25, 2018, 02:38 AM
F3Foamie Pilot
Thread OP
Geppetto,

Beautiful, thank you so much for posting pictures.

This glider is very sentimental to me, so I'm really looking forward to the build after 30 years!

Ken
May 25, 2018, 02:43 AM
Geppetto
1stGeppetto's Avatar
May 25, 2018, 01:46 PM
Fun ain't cheap!
droydx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stGeppetto
I'm subscribed! I love this model. I have one in the box also. I'll be watching closely and your build may perhaps stimulate me to start mine as well.

Here is some motivation to get the thoughts flowing. One .pdf is of the brochure in the kit. The others are photos I collected over the years from downloads from the net.

The other .pdf is the plan of Ken Willard's "Slope Master" not to be confused for the Sun Fair Aircraft Design.

"Party on Ken"!

Geppetto
I built the first red white one back in the 80's..crazy to see a picture of it now. I dont even remember who it got passed on to. It was a funny flier, very stall resistant, so much so that you could fly it backwards into a stiff breeze. They look great flying by. Enjoy the build and thanks for sharing!

Andy
May 25, 2018, 02:21 PM
DS Junkie
Screamin' Eagle's Avatar
Great looking design...go Ken!
May 25, 2018, 03:43 PM
Auzzie built planks
timbuck's Avatar
Wow great story an very cool old plank . Thanks for sharing.
But looking at that box of balsa bit scares me , give me a roll of carbon any day haha.
Latest blog entry: More colours
May 25, 2018, 07:25 PM
F3Foamie Pilot
Thread OP
Thanks guys for the interest and encouragement.

I'm really looking forward to the build(s).

For those of you who have followed my previous builds know that I'm not a very fast builder, but I always make it to the finish line.

There may be some time lapses between posts. I'm gonna try and refrain from posting everytime I glue two pieces of wood together. Of course I say that everytime.

I have nearly completed cutting and shaping all the required parts.

So stay tuned.
May 25, 2018, 08:41 PM
Held by Grace
BDOG1's Avatar
Hey Ken :
What s cool project !
Enjoy your time with the Exacto blade and the balsa,

There is something therapeutic about sitting down to hand cut ribs with a sharp knife ,good balsa and no rigid time frame.
I did a couple of “Bug” Dlg’s and a “Limit X “a while ago, cut them out on a piece of EPP on my lap as I watched TV with my wife.
I never noticed back in the day all the sailplanes and slope kits that were advertised in the magazines being a powered flyer,now it’s all I notice when I pick up a old RCM or Model Builder .
Mike
May 25, 2018, 09:36 PM
F3Foamie Pilot
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by BDOG1
Hey Ken :
What s cool project !
Enjoy your time with the Exacto blade and the balsa,

There is something therapeutic about sitting down to hand cut ribs with a sharp knife ,good balsa and no rigid time frame.
I did a couple of “Bug” Dlg’s and a “Limit X “a while ago, cut them out on a piece of EPP on my lap as I watched TV with my wife.
I never noticed back in the day all the sailplanes and slope kits that were advertised in the magazines being a powered flyer,now it’s all I notice when I pick up a old RCM or Model Builder .
Mike
Thanks Mike,

I think it's good to revisit our roots and rediscover modeling/aircraft designs of years past.

It's easy and understandable to focus on the latest and greatest stuff, but occasionally it's nice to take the 57 Chevy around the block.

Just getting the kit out brought back a lot of fond memories of my early soaring days, when life was a lot less complicated.

It's been quite a while since I had a balsa dust induced cough and sneeze.

Ken
May 25, 2018, 09:40 PM
F3Foamie Pilot
Thread OP
Geppetto,

I took a look at your blog (attachments).

You have some of the same kits I had. Love to get my hands on your Quicksilver and Windfree kits.

All I can say is, you got it going on. Way cool stuff dude !

I have a lot of respect for modelers like you.

Ken

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/member.php?u=81587
May 25, 2018, 09:42 PM
Registered User
JabiruAbe's Avatar
Looks like a great slope model. is that a foam core wing or built up?
May 25, 2018, 09:45 PM
F3Foamie Pilot
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by JabiruAbe
Looks like a great slope model. is that a foam core wing or built up?
Built up wing. All balsa construction.

Old School,

P.S. I will be posting pictures of all the parts and plans, probably later this weekend.
Last edited by Slopemaster; May 25, 2018 at 09:52 PM.
May 25, 2018, 09:54 PM
Registered User
JabiruAbe's Avatar
Ah yep. just had a proper look at the pictures and can see it just has a long leading edge sheet.
May 25, 2018, 10:25 PM
Registered User
Are you going to use the sliding servo tray for the elevons?


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