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Balsa Cartoon Cutlass

From the plans made by Mr. Nigel Hawes

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john stones 102/01/2017 22:33:51
8584 forum posts
1358 photos

surpriseface 1

Fun Flyer02/01/2017 23:10:27
220 forum posts
31 photos

Gerry, that photo makes me feel so much better! I think mine dug a deeper hole though. I suppose yours is still flying too.

Mannyroad03/01/2017 00:14:54
184 forum posts
81 photos

Hi Guys, Sorry for long delay in replying.

Firstly, no (shame on me) I didn't range check it first, but I don't think that is the problem because, wrong way round I know, I range checked it after it crashed and the surfaces responded perfectly well.

Anyway, I flew it last week again, after range checking it with full motor, and with a new 7 x 4 prop, rather than the 8x6 that it crashed on previously. It set off fine, if a little underpowered, and soon gained speed. What was immediately apparent was how sensitive the plane was to control inputs in roll, but less so elevator. I had to quickly swap to low rates to have an easier time of flying the plane but it still proved sensitive, and yes, the C of G was doubled checked against the plan before flying.

Anyway, on its second flight, at some distance out, using a Spectrum 2.4 receiver with satelite receiver, i.e. long range, it suddenly seemed to lose some control, wallowing about aimlessly. I quickly turned it around and brought it close by, though all the time it felt underpowered. I had a little height at one point, rolled inverted and pulled up elevator, intending to complete a half loop back to level flight. But it really struggled to pull out of the loop and it almost did the seemingly classic Cutlass nose in. Tried it on full power at height and again it simply didn't want to pull out of the dive, as though the nose was too heavy or there wasn't enough elevator authority.

I think I need to try a different prop to get more power and perhaps dial in more elevator throws and less aileron throws because at the moment its a bit of a scary ride flying the thing and i'm not really enjoying it.

Will let you know what changes i make and how it performs.

Edited By Mannyroad on 03/01/2017 00:16:09

Paulo Peres19/06/2017 17:29:57
48 forum posts
65 photos

Finally the maiden flight took place! On the 10th pf June, my Cutlass took to the skies at last.

No pictures in flight, though. It only lasted about 50 seconds as the control throws (8mm each elevon) made it very difficult to control - huge tendency to roll at little more than half-throttle (its a fast model!), and crash-landed with minor damage. The underside of one fin needed reconstruction. Other than that, a really sturdy airframe and it will soon be back to its element after the control thros are set to 6mm as other members have suggested.

Photos of the model in company with the Can-Doo (it went along to get some sun )

2017-06-10 11.09.36.jpg

2017-06-10 11.09.20.jpg

Edited By Paulo Peres on 19/06/2017 17:33:17

ron evans19/06/2017 19:40:50
308 forum posts
21 photos

Hi Paulo, looking at the prop on your Cutlass it appears to be about 6"/7" dia, and assuming the wing is straight, is probably causing a torque roll with higher power settings.

Both mine fly with a 5x5 prop and have little torque reaction at any speed.

Perhaps you could try a smaller dia with a higher pitch, that should maintain power output and reduce torque effect.

Good luck next time out


Paulo Peres20/06/2017 16:51:06
48 forum posts
65 photos

You're quite right as for the prop - it's a 7". The wing is straight, confirmed by others with more building experience, so the torque roll is a good explanation for the control difficulties Nonetheless, I'll reduce the throws too.

Thanks for your msg and suggestion. I'll keep you posted.


Paulo Peres17/07/2017 15:55:45
48 forum posts
65 photos

Hello to all,

Last Saturday two more flights were achieved. Control throws were reduced to about 4mm and now performance is crisp but well mannered. Tried a smaller diameter prop with - 5/5 but it didn´t seem to produce adequate thrust, so no risks were taken.

As recently I've been flying an EasyGlider only, and with many busy aeromoddeling tasks performed on desks and judging F4 events, I'm really rusty. Thus, both flights ended in hard landings as this model is small and FAST. I loose orientation and the rest is history. The last flight ended about 1000 feet away with no clue whether it was flying straight and level, towards or away from me! After a 20 minute search, I've found it intact midway to the top of a pine tree... Seriously!! It sustained more damage to the stbd fin getting it on the ground

modelo paulo peres-15jul17_f1.jpg

Videos will follow ASAP.

Anyway, I had a huge grin on my face!

Best regards,

Edited By Paulo Peres on 17/07/2017 15:56:02

Paulo Peres10/10/2017 10:51:24
48 forum posts
65 photos

Hello to all,

As promised, here are a couple of videos from my flights with the Cutlass.

ron evans10/10/2017 14:01:28
308 forum posts
21 photos

Hi Paulo,

As with most small fast models it's best to keep them as close as possible, and wings tend to be more difficult to orientate at a distance too.

better luck next time


Paulo Peres10/10/2017 14:29:48
48 forum posts
65 photos

Thank you Ron for your post.

Couldn't agree more. Compounding on that, most of my aeromodelling activities for the last two years it's done at a desk... either building or being an F4B/C/H judge. When a flying opportunity arrives, it was mainly with an electric powered sailplane - lazy eights, thermals and slow flybys are not good for proficiency to handle these little beasts!

But as we say, 'the fun never ends'!!


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