Friday, November 13, 2015

Volare Cloud Tramp Review

Until I can get to some free flight contests again about the best way I can feel somewhat connected to people with this shared interest is to enter “postal contests”.  In the Internet age sending flight times recorded by the honor system can be sent over the Internet along with images and video. This past Labor Day Weekend I had entered the Sky Bunny Postal hosted by Gary Hinze and had a lot of fun flying the same airplane as other people around the world.

Cloud Tramp in Flight

Volare Cloud Tramp Kit

Early August is the Cloud Tramp Postal which really isn’t so much a competition but the simultaneous flying of the rubber powered free flight Cloud Tramp model designed by Charles Grant who is famous in both full-scale and model aviation.  The entire name for the event is “Charles Hampson Grant Memorial International Mass Launch Of Cloud Tramps” which is hosted by the website “The Cloud Tramp Homepage”. 

Cloud Tramp

Volare Products sells a laser-cut Cloud Tramp kit for a reasonable price so I had purchased the kit along other items in my order, there is the option to purchase the kit with a balsa propeller blank but I used the included plastic propeller. Building the kit can be done easily in a single evening; it is all sheet balsa with no covering needed. The plans had appeared originally in Model Airplane News magazine, August, 1954. There is a copy of that article along with modern instructions.  You are given parts for the option of using an “L” bracket for the motor hangar or use a prop button; that is the option I used.

Needed to Move Wing Back More

On the Cloud Tramp the wing is below the fuselage and the rubber motor is above which is contrary to new designs where the rubber motor is always below.  This can be an issue in that when the rubber motor is wound real tight it will bend the fuselage upwards causes the stabilizer to rise in the rear and the propeller shaft in the front. Until the tension of the rubber motor reduces; this can give excess climb to start with when there is already excess climb from the power burst of the rubber motor. It has been suggested that gluing a non-stretch string such as Kevlar to the bottom of the fuselage will cure this problem.

Veterans Day 2015 was my only flights of my Cloud Tramp model and the weather was not ideal. As high wind and rain was forecast later that day so I got out early for some flights. It was windy at times and the temperature was only in the mid 40’s. After pushing the wing back to cure a bad stall, the Cloud Tramp made some good flights. It appeared to fly stable even with the wind. More right turn was needed so I bent and glued a rudder tab and flew again early afternoon before it started to rain.

Always Landed on the Wheels

Bill Kuhl

Related Links

Cloud Tramp Homepage

Cloud Tramp Articles on Endless Lift by Gary and Darcy

Volare Products Cloud Tramp kit

Charles Grant Biography AMA Website

Gateway to Aero-Science - Charles Grant book from AMA 


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