Although days are still being cold, short, and not suitable for our beloved hobby, it is the best time to fix or repair our models or even better, to build a new one to make some addition to our hangar and of course to come up with a new ship for an upcoming season. While it is still February, there is not so much time and I have chosen to build two new models. One beautiful Czech glider and the second one, I would say a classic gas job from the golden age of aeromodelling.
This is a Czech RC glider, designed by Jiri Michalovic, published back in 1962. Honestly, I did not know this model until it has been published on the Outerzone website by Martin K. and Daniel O. (thank you guys for such a nice contribution). I like the early RC constructions and this one I fell in love with at the first sight. Wingspan spreads to 80in, ready to flight weight I can only estimate to be somewhere slightly over 1000g. The model is a classic balsa, spruce, and plywood design, typical for the ’60s. Originally equipped with a single channel radio which is steering its rudder. Today we could use any suitable remote control having at least two channels. I would like to build the glider as it was, but on the other hand, being a bit afraid of bungee launch just with only a rudder. In such a launch, an elevator could help to avoid some “hard-situations” and in some cases, the only elevator is the chance to “save” the model from a worsening “catastrophic” scenario.
I have already cut out all necessary parts and start to build this beauty over the upcoming weekend. And one note at the end: for those who are real purists, there is a circuitry schema to build an own receiver on 27,120MHz. Although this frequency is still legal to use for any RC model in the Czech Republic, I would only recommend it for “hard-core” retro fans who are aware of what they want as this frequency is shared with any other applications like CB transmitters, toys, etc.
The other bird I have chosen is nothing else than the famous Curtiss Robin gas job designed by Joe Konefes back in 1937 and later kited by the COMET MODEL AIRPLANE & SUPPLY CO. This design is all balsa construction (this is typical for such models from this era) and a bit of hardwood (basswood or something similar) at exposed parts like an engine mount and its compartment or wing and landing gear struts. The wingspan is exact 72in. The plan states its weight to be less engine, ignition, and batteries about 2lbs…hm, such a weight to achieve would be quite challenging as I always do my best to follow the plan even in case of projected weight. Robin is designed to be a free flight bird – look at the airfoil and wing’s dihedral, it has plenty of natural stability, but who would not love to use an RC today? Four channels radio would be quite okay, rudder, elevator, throttle, and ignition kill switch will do the job well. The prototype was powered by the famous Brown Junior engine. I have a couple of those engines in my collection, but I decided to maintain their historical value and not to use them some time ago. I prefer to use modern petrol 4 strokes instead. Robin’s engine compartment allows installing my beloved SAITO FG-11, the “smallest” 4stroke gas engine produced by Saito. This engine produces more than sufficient power, but on the other hand has a nice “historical sound”, especially on lower RPMs with the exact wooden propeller. I have successfully flown with this setup in another famous ship from the same era: PB-2 design by Thracy Petrides, 1938 (I will put a short report about this model soon too).
I have chosen to buy a light-kit produced by BELAIR VINTAGE KITS company to speed up the build process of the Robin. It contains all shaped parts, already laser cut (the edges of the parts… I know, some additional sanding work is necessary :-)) For those who are interested, the Curtiss Robin is listed here.
Happy building and take care.