Friday, May 1, 2015

Sky Rocket Rubber Powered Free Flight

Somewhere on the Internet I had spotted a picture of a rubber powered free flight that I thought looked rather unique. It reminds me of the look of spacecraft from comic books in the 60’s.  After posting the picture, George Bredehoft of Volare Products responded that this was a kit his company sells, I ordered one immediately. 

Flying Without Landing Gear

When I was finishing up on the Guillow’s PC-6 Porter I was building, I decided the Sky Rocket would be the next project on the building board. I examined the contents of the kit and  I was pleased with the light laser-cut balsa in the kit. Building the Sky Rocket is somewhat different than other rubber models in that most of the parts are interlocking; because of this the plan included is just for the wing. There is an instruction booklet that shows many of the building steps. I was familiar with type of construction in building radio control aircraft.

After studying over the instructional manual I was building at a really fast pace. When there is less cutting and fitting to do, construction moves along faster. This kit is listed as an embryo kit but this might not be the most competitive design because there is more wood used in the construction than other embryo models, this is mentioned in the kit description. With the propeller/rubber combination included the Sky Rocket will easily climb to a good height.

As I often get anxious to fly a new model I left off the landing gear and decided to fly my newly constructed Sky Rocket, thinking it would save weight and drag. The wing is held on by rubber band so that it can be moved for proper CG location. Without the landing gear I was moving the wing so far back to keep the airplane from going straight up and hanging on the propeller.

After some attempts at flying without the landing gear, I decided maybe the airplane would fly better with landing gear as intended. The kit included landing gear with wheel pants to further enhance the cool look. I was in a hurry again so I fitted landing gear from an old Guillow’s slip together airplane. This changed the CG location so the wing could come further forward at least a half inch. The all up weight with rubber is around 23 grams.

With the landing gear attached to the airplane I was ready for more test flights and pictures. It was rather windy but the Sky Rocket is a stable flying airplane. I had several flights and the climb was near perfect now with no hint of a stall.  The landing gear had broken off on the Phantom Flash I had purchased from Volare, I think I need to repair that to get the Phantom flying better again.

Bill Kuhl

Volare Products Website Link for Sky Rocket Kit

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