Friday, November 18, 2016

Model Airplane Building in Full Swing

Although it has been warm enough to fly model airplanes outdoors so far, the daylight hours have dwindled until it is getting dark just as I leave work.  My evenings are now spent building model airplanes for next flying season although last year I flew some outdoors all winter long.  For next year I am building a variety of competition outdoor free flight model airplanes. 

Wilbur NOS Rubber Model

Selecting models that introduce me to new building techniques that I have not yet tried in previous models makes the build even more interesting, or I might try a new covering type that I have not used before. After going to the 2016 Free Flight Nats and meeting Jim O’Reilly I decided I wanted to build a nostalgia rubber powered model. Jim gave me some recommendations and I settled on the Wilbur rubber model that was designed in the 50’s. This introduced me to a type of fuselage construction where the fuselage was constructed almost entirely of angled strips of balsa. It was a fair amount of work but the fuselage is amazingly rigid.

Polecat X Wing


In the 2016 flying season I flew a beginners P30 model the NJAPF at the Nats and two smaller contests, it worked well for me but it is not considered a super high-performance model. I had previously had purchased plans and rib kit for the Polecat X P30 designed by Don DeLoach so decided to build that model for next contest season. This model introduced me to carbon capped ribs and building a rolled balsa fuselage, I have not attempted the fuselage yet. I plan to cover the model with ¼ mil Mylar covering which will be new to me.

Retro Gnome

Texas Timer Micro DT

Sky Demon E20

Ready for covering is a Retro Gnome free flight hi-start glider, the building techniques are not really new to me but I have to setup the auto rudder function. Auto rudder keeps the glider going straight on tow but when tow line releases the rudder moves enough to cause the glider to fly in a circle. I am also using the Texas Timers Micro DT for the first time. This is a mechanical timer which should be more accurate than the viscus and fuse DT’s.  I am also building a Sky Demon e20 model with conventional construction but will use an electronic timer/DT from BSD Micro that I have not worked with before.

Recently I have had some pictures and writing published in model aviation magazines. A couple of mentions in Aeromodeller Magazine published in the UK, the latest issue mentioned my Fantastic Foam Flyer simple rubber powered model and the after school program created by teacher Jon Kemm in the UK. Ronnie Espolt who lives on the US west coast and works with the foam airplanes also was mentioned. Pictures I had taken of 2016 Nats were in NFFS Digest and my description of the Nats was published in November 2016 Model Aviation Magazine. My hope is that getting the name of people that are promoting model aviation for young people and I into media will create more awareness to what we are trying to accomplish.

Bill Kuhl

Related Weblinks    - Wilbur   - Polecat X   - Retro Gnome  Texas Timers Micro DT  - BSD Micro electronic timer/dt for E20 - Sky Demon e20  - Aeromodeller Magazine  - Model Aviation Magazine - Jon Kemm  - Fantastic Foam Flyer

No comments:

Post a Comment