First flight was in June '93, and she still flies.Original scheme - current scheme
It started with the chance purchase of a 1:48 scale plastic kit, I already had a C160 Transall flying and so knew the sort of size I wanted, plus it had to have retracts and drop bombs. Oh, and one other thing, it had to fit in my car along with the C160 and other planes. Now at that time I had a Fiat Punto, not exactly a large car.
Structure is about 95% percent balsa, with a foam nose and foam front rings to the engine nacelles. Weight is the biggest problem for an electric powered model, so every thing was kept to a minimum. My concept is to build to withstand flight, not to withstand crashing, it sure makes you fly with more consideration for the plane.
Transport?, to keep most of the heavy bits together, I split the wings just outside the nacelles, (3/8 diameter hardwood dowels in paper tubes, 2 each wing), the fuz was split straight behind the trailing edge, leaving the tail attached to the back end of the fuz.. The 2 fuz halves are joined by 1/8 ply tongues into 1/16 ply boxes, with nylon screw lock.
The wing is built up using 1/16 balsa ribs, full depth 1/4 spar, and 1/16 balsa sheeting top and bottom, the section?, Eppler 214, again same as the C160, it works.
The fuz is 3/32 balsa former's, made up from strips, the whole lot sheeted in 1/16 balsa. The main strong points are the links between the retracts and the battery tray, well 28 cells have to land on something, the rest is just there to support the covering. The motors and gearboxes are mounted on 'engine bearers', actually 2 pieces of 1/2 square balsa with the motor taped to them, with electricians tape, like to see you do that with a pair of 40s.(update - currently, new belt drives are screwed to the bearers)
The covering, that's where thing first went wrong, I thought silver would be nice, and used Litespan, it looked great until on sunny days,the heat wrinkled it badly, my fault according to the manufacturer.
So the following winter, off came the Litespan, and tissue and dope went on, (so did some weight), but the new paint job did make it look impressive.
To the scale purists out there, I am not a scale modeler, I like to build and fly models. I colour and detail them how I want. Eventually I decided to do a 'nose job' and chose the 'Bat out of Hell', well it was about the easiest to do.
How she progressed -
Gears - 3:1 gearboxes, they break easy, so then H-500 Belt drives 3.6:1
Props - 12x8
Punctilio, pusher and tractor (one motor reverse timed), 2006 now APCe 14x10 both tractor,
Cells - 28 x 2400mA Nicad, 4x 7 cell packs, motors in
series. - 2006, 14 x 3300mAh nimh,
2x 7 cell packs, motors in parallel
Weight - originally 11lb 14oz flying, (28 cells Nicads),
10lb 8oz flying, (14 cells Nimh).
Elevator - Ailerons - Rudder - Motors - Retract -
Operating bomb bay.
2011 July, at long last she
flies with brushless motors. I don't think it was
really necessary to change other than my old Nimh
packs are getting very long in the tooth, plus I now
have a few larger capacity Lipos in use. Still fly
fantastic, but the continual reduction in weight seems
to make her harder to actually get back down on the
ground). But who's complaining ?, not me.
Props - 13 x 6.5 APCe
- 2 x 3s Lipo 4400mAh, (one pack per motor)
- 9lb 11oz flying, ( 2lb less than when first