|Going Electric - With Electro Flyer!|
It all sound impossible but when you think of how things used to be …. The Radio Queen model flew on a 2.5cc engine and was loaded up with HT batteries, an actuator, a receiver with a valve sticking out of the top of it (for those of us that remember what a valve is and how long a TV took to warm up!). She had to be capable of carrying all of this weight and fly with such little power, so why shouldn't it fly …. And by god it does, and beautifully, which is just as well or I may have been struggling to get an article out this month!
On a final note, for those who read last month's column, the nostalgia of it all got too much for me, my terrible habit of browsing eBay got the worse of me! I have just acquired a control line Spitfire identical to the one I had when I was about 10 years old .. it was actually made by Testors and a photo is to the right. I put the transmitter in the shot to give an idea of size - just 13 ½" span - it seemed much bigger when I was 10!
This in turn led me to another discovery … almost the same thing but an electric version .. a 13 ½" span electric control line Spitfire, still boxed and unused from about 1972 .. I will let you know how this goes next month.
Another acquisition is a triple engined electric model from the Far East. Two channel Radio but no ailerons, rudder or elevator. Throttle is either set at all motors on or all off. It turns by cutting either the left or right motor to make it turn - vectored thrust they call it - just about the only thing that was readable on the instructions!
As if this was not enough there is more to come. I have a Canadian style Custom Cruiser kit which will be powered by a Team Gear Mini Twin motor yet to build but my next project is another vintage job. This time it is a Vic Smeed design "Pushy Cat". A 40" span vintage high wing pusher model which I hope to use a speed 400 motor in and mini servos. This is not my usual type of model but I have a rather large garden in the middle of nowhere and the aim is to sit in my deck chair in the summer and indulge in the ultimate relaxation.
My Jiant Jabberwock (66" span Bi-Plane) is just about ready for it's final tests with twin speed controllers and 36 cells spinning a 20 x 10 or 22 x 10 prop at 6-8000 rpm and I will keep you updated with this as well. The new improved Sport Quad engine used for this is pictured to the right.
Model flying is great fun for all ages. It combines excitement, relaxation and comradeship all in one go. Electric flight is the clean quiet alternative to traditional powered flight and I believe the future of modelling. Clubs are losing their sites constantly due to the public's increasing intolerance of any form of disturbance so perhaps this may just keep us flying.
If you are not happy with your club's severely restricted flying times for powered models then take a look at the times you can fly "Silent Flight" . You might just realise how much fun you are missing out on if you don't have a go.
My aim is to make electric flight a real alternative. It's going quite nicely so far! I hope to be invited back (yes please. FS-Ed!) to bring you more on my projects. I don't really know where I find the time these days but I will try and bring you something new or at least further updates on projects each month for as long as they will have me.
If I can be of any assistance or you would like a Team Gear Motor/Set
for your model then just get in touch. Thanks to you all,