Friday, January 20, 2017

Starduster BMJR E36 Build Report

How I selected the BMJR Starduster kit for my second e36 electric free flight model starts many years ago when someone sent me a completely built ½ A glow powered free flight model less the glow engine. I only knew this person through emails but they must have thought I needed the model more than they did. For years it sat in my basement, I did have a Cox TD .049 but just didn’t get around to completing the airplane. A couple of years ago I thought I would try e36 electric free flight and ordered the electric components from Hank Nystrom – Texas Timers and bought a short kit for a Pearl e202.

BMJR Starduster e36
Structure of Starduster

My progress on the Pearl was really slow even with Hank gently trying to prod me to finish it. Then I came up with the idea of putting the electric equipment in the 1/2A model I had, turns out the model was a Starduster. For me having no experience with power free flight it flew pretty well, granted being a larger model it did not climb anywhere near as fast as an e36 model. After enough flying of that model, Hank convinced me I needed to finish the Pearl. My inexperience was more of a handicap getting the Pearl flying well but by the end of last year I had made many great flights with it and still have it in flying condition.

1/2 A Starduster Converting to Electric

Pearl e202 in Flight

This winter I decided I would have another complete e36 model flying and decided on another Starduster, this time one that was designed as an e36 model.  The BMJR kit is a full kit with an instruction booklet although I was able to build the Pearl fine from just the plans. Harry Grogan designed the e36 version and the construction was somewhat different than other models I have built. The wing has angled ribs that connect with the straight ribs way before the trailing edge. Thin 1/64” plywood is used to tie top and bottom spars together. The wing and stab appear very rigid before covering although somewhat heavy compared to the Pearl.

Wing and Stab Construction Starduster
Fuselage Construction

Fuselage Fitted for Timer

Covering for the fuselage was Esaki tissue; wing and stab were transparent Micro Lite. Electronics came from Texas Timers which is what I had used in the Pearl e202. I find the eMax electronic timer very easy to use and it has been completely reliable. In the Starduster I was able to use the provided plywood plate with a little modification and all of the gear fits inside of the fuselage. For power I am using the AX 1806N electric motor as I used in the Pearl, this is plenty powerful for my skill level.

Texas Timers Components 

Front of eMAX Timer

Sal Taibi the Designer of the Original Starduster

I seem to have a fascination with models and modelers of the past; the original Starduster was designed by famous free flighter Sal Taibi in 1958. Interesting reading can he found on the Academy of Model Aeronautics website in a document that is combination autobiography and biography. Several modelers have relayed found memories of Sal such as him driving his 56 Chevy to contests or testing an ignition engine by grabbing a live spark wire. 

Update 4/1/2017 - test flights were made and look pretty good. Quick DT as I just worked on power phase, in 5 seconds it was rather high.

Bill Kuhl

Related Links  Sal Taibi on AMA website  BMJR Models Starduster e36  Pearl e202 E36  Texas Timers  eMAX timer and accessories  ½ A Starduster with electric

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