Thursday, February 23, 2017

Finishing Up the 2017 Fleet of Free Flight Models

I have been really busy building free flight models over the winter; contest flying at the 2016 Nats and two Minnesota contests has really got me excited about free flight.  Two of the models I had finished up the end of 2016 and made some test flights; BMJR Sky Demon e20 and Retro RC Retro Gnome Hi-start glider. Last weekend it was warm giving me a chance to further test fly those airplanes.  

BMJR Sky Demon

With the e20 Sky Demon I had straightened out a warp in the wing and gave it more downthrust. The power portion of the flight looked good but it was stalling in the glide. I put a tiny shim under the trailing edge and the flight looked much better. For my first attempt at towing up the Retro Gnome I had a friend launch it and I ran with some of the string. It went up but as I looked back I was blinded by the sun so did not see the rest of the flight.  My friend said it stalled; the towline was still attached by the auto rudder pin.  There was some damage to the wing but I tried it with the hi-start and a small amount of stretch. The glider went up fairly straight but the pin did not want to come out, after a few tries I gave up.

Retro Gnome Good Flight
Leading Edge Damage

That evening I repaired the glider and tried to stretch the rudder line and added a weight to the towline. The next morning before the wind came up I tried again.  After several attempts I was still having trouble with the line not releasing at the pin. On one flight it did release and the glide looked really good, just before it landed the DT went off bringing it quickly down. I have since redone the auto rudder line with less tension and using a washer that slips over a pin.


Polecat X P30
Starduster E36

Jetstream Towline

I have four more planes that are almost done but I am finishing up final details, mainly rigging the DT; Wilbur old time rubber model, Starduster e36 electric, Polecat X P30, and Jetstream towline model. I learned a lot building those models and I asked a lot of questions. I am going to Thank the people I remember giving me suggestions, no doubt I missed some people.  In no particular order:  Bob Hanford, Dan Berry, Jack Murphy, Hank Sperzel, Hank Nystrom, Dohrm Crawford, Rudy Kluiber, Norm Furutani, Ronnie Espolt, Paul Bradley, Brian Malin, Jim O’Reilly, Don DeLoach, Larry Davidson, Lee Campbell, Mike Myers, Steve Pollina, George Bredehoft, Gary Hinze, Harry Grogan, Chuck Powell, John Barker, Manuel Cisneros, Simon Blake, and Denny Dock. Also a list of the vendors that I used.

Bill Kuhl

Larry Davidson -  - parts
Texas Timers –   mechanical & electronic timers
BMJR Models -   Sky Demon Starduster e36
PearlFreeFlight -   Polecat X
Jim O’Reilly Plans -  Jetstream & Wilbur
Volare Products -  Propeller
FAI Model Supply -
Starlink Flitech -   Bandburner timers
BSD Micro -  elecronic timers
Everything Hobby –  local hobby shop
Retro RC -  Retro Gnome

Related Articles

 Wilbur -

Retro Gnome -

Starduster e36 -

Sky Demon e20 -

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