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Jan 02, 2020, 06:55 PM
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RC Comet Firefly and Phantom Flash for Park 250


RC Versions of the Comet Phantom Flash and Firefly

Happy New Year 2020!

Some of you may remember MTM International from Gottingen Germany. MTM stood for Mikeís Tiny Models. MTM produced some fantastic brushed gear motors and small model accessories at the turn of the century. Many of my friends built an flew models powered by the S-100 Hummingbird motor which was designed for a 3 cell 800 mah Tadiran lipo pack. These revolutionary batteries were the first lipos I ever used. We have come a long way in 20 years

I designed an electrified Comet Firefly in 2000 with a wing span of 46 inches for the MTM Hummingbird motor. This was followed by a 38Ē Comet Phantom Flash in 2001. Both models featured a stick like fuselage with the 3 cell Tadiran pack in the pylon and the MTM Hummingbird servo taped to the bottom front of the fuselage. I flew these models for several years until I wore out the motors.

They we largely forgotten until last summer when I acquired an original 2000 era Firefly from a friendís collection. The model was built by the late Don Belote in 2000 and still had the Hummingbird motor, a Feather receiver and a couple of original Hitec HS-50 servos installed. I placed a Spectrum AR410 receiver in the model and tried it with modern Lipos. It few perfectly but the old brushed motor didnít have the same power I have been accustomed to.

I thought that it would fly even better with a modern brushless motor but I couldnít figure out how to mount the motor without butchering the nose. I then remembered the Eflite SE-5 which used a 6 mm ID carbon tube to mount a Park 250 motor. I found some tubes on line and prepared to modify the power system.

I removed the aging MTH motor and epoxied the tube and Park 250 brushless motor to the front bottom of the model. The result is stunning.

The Firefly ROGís off pavement in about 10 feet and climbs briskly. I programmed brake on the ESC and was pleasantly surprised at the glide ratio of the model. I get 8 to 10 minutes with a 2 cell 250 mah lipo and 15-18 minutes with a 450 mah 2 cell pack. I have had several thermal flights the longest of which was about 35 minutes with a mere 30 second motor run.

I decided to modify the plans to show the 2020 version of the Comet Firefly for any who are interested in nostalgic models from the 1940ís and 1950ís. While I was at it, I also updated the Phantom Flash plan for the modern power system.

The black and yellow Firefly is the original model from 2000 with a new Park 250 and an APC 8/4.3 prop. It still retains the original servos. It features a NACA 6409 under cambered airfoil and a lifting stab. It is covered with Litespan. It is one of my favorite planes for sport flying.

The Phantom Flash has a Clark Y airfoil and a flat stab. The Orange Phantom Flash is my original model from 2001 and was covered Microlite film. The red model was built by Phil Smith in Adrian , Michigan in 2002 and is still flying in 2020. Philís model is covered with Solite.

I will use Ultracote lite on new versions.

Plans and photos are attached. Construction is quire conventional and all parts are shown on the plans.

Jim Zare

January 1, 2020
Last edited by Sky Knight; Jan 11, 2020 at 02:28 PM. Reason: Add photos
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Jan 02, 2020, 08:20 PM
The dog ate my clearance
brokenspar's Avatar
Nice models, Sky Knight. It's great to see these designs kept alive.
Jan 02, 2020, 08:24 PM
I'd rather be flying.....
JeffMac's Avatar
Fun stuff...... They look very nice.....

Best regards,

jeff
Jan 03, 2020, 12:16 AM
sosam117
mcintmg's Avatar

Mike's Tiny Models and Dave Zare's Electric Designs


How I do remember Mike's Tiny Models (MTM) well. I still have some of his stock available, thought equipment has gotten a lot better now.
I built an original size Phantom Flash (1 6 inches), covered I clear Mylar, using a Ceto wide band Rx on 72mhz with WesTec linear servos, some French made speed controller that was 4 amps and using a 4 cell 150mah airborne pack. The motor was a coreless motor with a 6;1 ratio called a "Gnat".

First flight was out in Iowa in their football dome stadium where Joe Konefes watched me fly it. He enjoyed watching me fly his design (as R/C) around the dome along with a Jabberwock ( which had a MTM "S-100 Humming Bird" motor/gearbox 6:1 --- swinging a 9x6 carbon folder --- on 6 cell 130mah pack)

I purchased all the micros equipment from Mike in 1990.

I enlarged the Phantom Flash to 28 inches and moved all of the radio gear from the 16" Phantom Flash to the 28" Phantom Flash.
For the motor/gearbox setup I asked Mike for a couple of "Little Bee 4:1 gearboxes". I made an adapter to the Gearbox to fit to a GWS 4.8 volt motor.

Just last year I got the old Phantom Flash out. Updated the Rx to the small Spektrum Rx, a new ESC for Lipos and it was flying as good as when I last flew it in 2001.

What happened to Mike's Tiny Models? Well, where Mike had all his inventory (at his house) Germany that year had a lot of flooding and he lost all his inventory in the flood, along with my order I made with him a week or so before the loss of his inventory. He folded up his business and he owed me about over $100 that I sent him by bank check (and the bank charged a exchange fee). Never got the money back. Remember this was before PayPal!

Jack has a photo of me flying my Phantom Flash (Last year)

I still have the MTM catalog and quite a bit of MTM's products.

As for the Zare's electric design Phantom Flash and Firefly. The wing layout are suppose to be the same (but they are not). The tail are suppose to be the same (Zare's are not). If yo look at the original plans of the Phantom Flash and Firefly, the Phantom Flash has undercamber ( for indoors) and the Firefly is flat bottom (for flying outdoors).

I'm not faulting Zare, he just wanted to get an old design in the air again?
Jan 03, 2020, 12:20 AM
sosam117
mcintmg's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcintmg
How I do remember Mike's Tiny Models (MTM) well. I still have some of his stock available, thought equipment has gotten a lot better now.
I built an original size Phantom Flash (1 6 inches), covered I clear Mylar, using a Ceto wide band Rx on 72mhz with WesTec linear servos, some French made speed controller that was 4 amps and using a 4 cell 150mah airborne pack. The motor was a coreless motor with a 6;1 ratio called a "Gnat".

First flight was out in Iowa in their football dome stadium where Joe Konefes watched me fly it. He enjoyed watching me fly his design (as R/C) around the dome along with a Jabberwock ( which had a MTM "S-100 Humming Bird" motor/gearbox 6:1 --- swinging a 9x6 carbon folder --- on 6 cell 130mah pack)

I purchased all the micros equipment from Mike in 1990.

I enlarged the Phantom Flash to 28 inches and moved all of the radio gear from the 16" Phantom Flash to the 28" Phantom Flash.
For the motor/gearbox setup I asked Mike for a couple of "Little Bee 4:1 gearboxes". I made an adapter to the Gearbox to fit to a GWS 4.8 volt motor.

Just last year I got the old Phantom Flash out. Updated the Rx to the small Spektrum Rx, a new ESC for Lipos and it was flying as good as when I last flew it in 2001.

What happened to Mike's Tiny Models? Well, where Mike had all his inventory (at his house) Germany that year had a lot of flooding and he lost all his inventory in the flood, along with my order I made with him a week or so before the loss of his inventory. He folded up his business and he owed me about over $100 that I sent him by bank check (and the bank charged a exchange fee). Never got the money back. Remember this was before PayPal!

Jack has a photo of me flying my Phantom Flash (Last year)

I still have the MTM catalog and quite a bit of MTM's products.

As for the Zare's electric design Phantom Flash and Firefly. The wing layout are suppose to be the same (but they are not). The tail are suppose to be the same (Zare's are not). If yo look at the original plans of the Phantom Flash and Firefly, the Phantom Flash has undercamber ( for indoors) and the Firefly is flat bottom (for flying outdoors).

I'm not faulting Zare, he just wanted to get an old design in the air again?
Forgot to include the original 16 inch Phantom Flash!
Jan 03, 2020, 04:29 AM
Registered User
JackHiner's Avatar

Mike's Tiny Models Mike McIntyre that is


There is a sod farm near Mike McIntyre's house where we fly small 1S models. Before Lipos 3 and 4 cell Ni-Cd packs. Here are a few photos at the sod farm. Jack
Jan 04, 2020, 02:21 PM
I'd rather be flying.....
JeffMac's Avatar

Phantom Flash unidome


All -

Jack and Mike - i remember the Unidome flying sessions, where we met. What a great time that used to be. Late in life, Joe Konefes relocated to Cedar Falls , iowa to be close to family. As a tribute to him, i redesigned the Phantom Flash to 40" using GWS equipment. This was 2000 or 2001 ? ...... He liked to see me fly it and would stand with me during a flying session.....

I need to build up another 40" Flash, mine fell apart after years of flying and associated damage.......

Sorry Skynight - your models are fantastic !

Best regards,

jeff
Last edited by JeffMac; Jan 04, 2020 at 02:26 PM.
Jan 04, 2020, 07:01 PM
Registered User
JackHiner's Avatar

Iowa Dome


Jeff, I remember the Dome. Great indoor flying with the high ceiling. I flew a Red Flash there and Joe was at my side. We talked about diesels. You sent me the plans for the rubber model Miss Production. I built three all different size for electric power. Small outrunners and a geared inrunner. Gave one away still have the red one. The largest hand the fuselage crush by a fellow giving me a hand launch. Flew in the SAM SOS event. Easy build but not the best model for this evet. Jack
Jan 04, 2020, 07:04 PM
Registered User
JackHiner's Avatar

Inrunner for Miss Production


Forgot the photo of the geared inrunner.
Jan 06, 2020, 08:35 AM
sosam117
mcintmg's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffMac
All -

Jack and Mike - i remember the Unidome flying sessions, where we met. What a great time that used to be. Late in life, Joe Konefes relocated to Cedar Falls , iowa to be close to family. As a tribute to him, i redesigned the Phantom Flash to 40" using GWS equipment. This was 2000 or 2001 ? ...... He liked to see me fly it and would stand with me during a flying session.....

I need to build up another 40" Flash, mine fell apart after years of flying and associated damage.......

Sorry Skynight - your models are fantastic !

Best regards,

jeff
Hello Jeff,
Good to hear from you.
You gave me plans of the Firefly a couple of years later. Though I never built a Firefly for R/C.
I went the way with Jabberwocks and Gollywocks and a few Joe Elgin rubber model designs.

Jack and I stopped going to the dome when those 3-D fliers took over the place. It was a nice place to fly though.

Mike Mac
Jan 06, 2020, 10:21 PM
I'd rather be flying.....
JeffMac's Avatar
Hi Jack - yes, the Red Flash R/C. i had / have the Red Flash freeflight rubber, still in flying shape.... Miss production - i built mine free flight rubber. I need to build up another some time......

Hi Mike - Also, yes, the Dome was great until the could care less about others types " took over ".... I still went and flew but it was never the same. Maybe some day again a UNI Dome fly could happen, but not likely....

Jeff
Last edited by JeffMac; Jan 06, 2020 at 10:22 PM. Reason: addtl
Jan 08, 2020, 04:31 PM
Registered User
I have downloaded both plans and they are lovely. Thank you so much for sharing. I do need some explanation on how the horizontal stabilizer attaches to the fuselage on the FIREFLY. I do understand the fin and rudder fit in the slot in the stabilizer for a strong fit.
I assume the fuselage would be cut away to the airfoil but the fuse side pattern does not show that. Thank you for your help.

Greg
Jan 08, 2020, 11:22 PM
Registered User
JMP_blackfoot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcintmg
I built an original size Phantom Flash (1 6 inches), covered I clear Mylar, using a Ceto wide band Rx on 72mhz with WesTec linear servos, some French made speed controller that was 4 amps and using a 4 cell 150mah airborne pack. The motor was a coreless motor with a 6;1 ratio called a "Gnat".
The ESC was a JMP which I made for Wes Technik (WesTec) in 1997, then for Bob Selman until 2007.
Jan 09, 2020, 09:03 AM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar
Just to say that I have never had a better speed controller than the Wes Tec (JMP) one I had installed in my indoor SE5A which used the little WesTec geared brushed motor and carbon fibre prop. The ESC was amazing, each click of the Tx throttle stick produced a precise change in RPM making control of the model in the tightest indoor sites a joy. Such stunts as touch and goes on a small trestle table used to amaze and amuse my clubmates and would have been impossible without the precision thrust control. Here is the SE doing it's thing with ease in a one badminton court sized hall.
Last edited by Sundancer; Jan 09, 2020 at 02:06 PM.
Jan 09, 2020, 11:32 AM
Registered User
Off topic, but I had the privilege of meeting JMP and flying with him last year.
He even brought as a gift for me, a tiny Rx he had made, but took it back on realising it was missing one part.
He even let me fly one of his vintage models. Really vintage, not a recently built vintage design.
Fond memories to cherish...


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