1/3 scale Grunau Baby IIb maiden flight - RC Groups
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Jun 08, 2005, 01:36 PM
I care about rising air !
MTT's Avatar

1/3 scale Grunau Baby IIb maiden flight

As per SteveR's request, here some pics and maiden flight report :

First, the pics :
All-up, before covering :

Completed model :

It was supposed to have it's maiden flight at the Woodcrafter's event in Muncie, In, May 26-29, but it the first 3 days it was very windy, and I chickened out....
On top of all that, during a takeoff to tow my Flair Ka8 up, just after liftoff, I catched a gust, which flipped the Ka8 right on it's back , and made it hit the runway inverted...
And, I wasn't quick enough on the tow-release, neither was the tow-pilot, with the result that the tug also crashed....
Unfortunately, that was the bigger one of the 2 available tugs, so even when the weather conditions became ideal on Sunday, there was no tug available to tow the Baby, which spans 178 in, and weighs 23 lbs.
Pics from the WC event can be seen here

So, next Friday I trekked to Monticello, Il, to the JR aerotow, and got the maiden flight done there. Due to prior engements commited to by my wife (without consulting me... ), I could be there only Friday, and agian, missed the best days for soaring, conditions on Sat and Sun were just perfect :
One guy, doing cross country flying, made 27 miles !

Friday was so-so, solid overcast, but little or no wind, ideal conditions for the first flight of the Baby, which in spite of my nervousness ( there's a lot of hours in the model... ), was totally uneventful.
The plane flies very nicely, no bad habits, all I had to do after the first flights, was to move the CG back just a little, and adjust some of the control throws, for example, dial back the expo which I had programmed in on the rudder, due to the non-existent dihedral, and the relatively short tail, the Baby needs a lot of rudder for the turns.

I made a total of 7 flights that day, all between 15-20 minutes from release altitudes of approx. 1100 ft ( picolario )

Pictures from the JR aerotow event here

Pictures from the build here

Last edited by MTT; Feb 20, 2006 at 11:24 AM.
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Jun 08, 2005, 02:38 PM
Registered User
Thanks Michael, great photos, it's a fantastic ship. I can only imagine the hours you spent to complete it. Very sorry to hear about your Flair Ka8, hope it is repairable.


Jun 08, 2005, 02:59 PM
I care about rising air !
MTT's Avatar
Yes it's repairable, lot's of scratches and dings, from being dragged upside down along the asphalt runway, and the fin was torn off.
Since it already had lots of "hangar rash" before the incident, I decided it was time for an overhaul, tore off all the covering, etc., so right now it looks like this :

Last edited by MTT; Jun 09, 2005 at 07:03 AM.
Jun 09, 2005, 01:46 AM
Almost a Pilot
Mauilvr's Avatar
First of all, sorry to hear about the Ka8 - I'd have died of a heart attack on the spot if I had been in your shoes.

The Grunau Baby build pics are great - what an impressive plane. Thanks for sharing - great stuff!
Jun 09, 2005, 06:25 AM
Registered User
Ben Diss's Avatar
Originally Posted by MTT

One guy, doing cross country flying, made 27 miles !
I was Skips driver on Sat. On the last flight, we lost the plane twice. Once when he was at 3000 feet and we recovered it by 2000 and then again near the ground. The last time he just slowed and let it go in hoping for a soft landing. It worked, because it didn't have a scratch on it! It was very hazy and that all white plane got lost real easy.

I remember seeing the Grunau Baby. Beautiful airplane!

Jun 09, 2005, 07:48 AM
I care about rising air !
MTT's Avatar
Well, Ric, you know what they say : Crashing is not a matter of if, but a matter of when.....


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