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Cambrian funfighter spitfire as a slope soarer

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Hello Alex,

A mate of mine and I have both the Cambrian Spitfire and the Hurricane respectavely, as slope soarers and both fly very well as long as there is a good blow (force 4 to 5) to keep them going. Neither have the rudder fitted, just elevator and aileron.  This same mate now has the ME 109 and that also flies well.

Keep all the radio gear as far forward as possible to help with the C of G.

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  • 11 years later...

II found my Cambrian Bf109e to be a bit marginal as a PSS sloper. It's one of the older kits, from the 90's and has the heavy ply doublers, so needs a good blow to stay in the air, She flew very well as an electric conversion though. For the conversion to PSS I just took out the AXI motor, put a big nylon bolt through the spinner, with a ply backplate and captive nut inside the motor mount, added a receiver pack and a fair bit of ballast to balance. The Emil broke her back for the second time on the day this picture was taken and hasn't flown since. I made the cover plate to cover the big hole when I converted the model to electric originally. I think I would just fit a block of foam, coated with glasscloth, epoxy and microballoons, like I did with the Spitfire.


brimmond 7th june-1.jpg


I think the Spitfire has slightly more wing area, because I have a pair of Cambrian Spitfires -one that previously flew with an OS.25FP and then an AXI 2820/10 (RF-A) and one which was built as a PSS model by a pal (LO-K), which is much lighter and flies beautifully. One Spitfire brought down the other in a mid air and I now have both of them. Still waiting for a chance to maiden my pal's model that he passed on to me. I'd say based on four examples - he has another lightweight Cambrian Spitfire in PRU Blue - that the Spitfire does make a better PSS model than the Bf109e.. They all benefit from >10mph wind and are great fun. The Emil has a functional rudder, neither of the Spitfires do - I don't think any of them need it.


LO-K has a really nice design for the spinner, which is filled with lead and removable, clipping into the nosering with a neat little metal tab. That one lacks the heavy ply doublers of the Bf-109E and RF-A. I really should weigh them all and calculate the wing loading, which I will do in the week. Best of luck with your conversion to PSS.

Edited By leccyflyer on 22/11/2020 22:24:01

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Hey Leccyflyer, fantastic and very complete reply - thank you yes Your Emil looks the biz.

The 109's are in my 'office' and I would like to get them in the air. Part of the motivation is that I have not flown PSS and wanted a 'trainer' before I launch my beloved Fury FJ3 into the skies. From what you are saying the 109 is not ideal but sounds just about passable. I must say though all of the Spitties in your piccys look superb and I wonder if I might get hold of one and have a go with that. Its so easy to be led astray isn't it !

Now where's the Cambrian website ............

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From what I've seen he latest incarnations of the Cambrian Spitfire kits are suitable for electric flight and potentially build much lighter than the original Cambrian Spitfire kits. I'm just on my lunch at the moment, but after work I'll weigh the three Cambrian models and that will give an idea of why/how the Spitfires show as a better slope soarer.

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David, I've weighed the airframes and made a few calculations, which seem to reinforce my impressions from flying the models.

The lightest Spitfire LO-K weighs in at 2.25lbs (1020g) AUW, giving a wing loading around 15oz/sq ft.

The heavier Spitfire RF-A weighs in at 2.7lbs (1230g) AUW giving a wing loading around 18oz/sq ft

The Bf109E weighs in at 2.9lbs (1310g) AUW giving a wing loading around 19oz/sq ft.

RF-A geared up weighed almost the same as LO-K, having taken the motor, ESC and battery but she needed 250g of ballast to balance.

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Here's a couple of piccies - first to show the ingenious ballasted spinner fixing that my pal Derek fitted to the Spitfire for balance. That's a ring of velcro, with a neat little metal hook, which grabs the nosering.

Cambrian Spitfire PSS

Second, here's the cover plate that I made up to fit over the big 'ole when I removed the OS.25 and replaced it with an AXI 2820/10 on my Spitfire. It's just layered up over a foam plug, from a couple of layers of lightweight glasscloth, slathered with epoxy and microballoons, in situ. Then fixed with tiny self tappers. If I wanted to go back to electric instead of PSS it preserves the motor cavity as usable.

Cambrian Spitfire Cover Plate

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Some years ago my nephew Nigel removed the engine from his Club 20 racer and added an equivalent amount of lead in the cowling. We went to Devils Dyke in Sussex to test the plane out on the slope . After one failed take off he asked me to launch the plane (Chuck it !) as hard as I could into the wind. The plane then sped off like a rocket and covered the width of the slope several times very quickly, and had a tremendous roll rate. Good fun!

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  • 5 months later...

I have just bought a Cambrian Spitfire for electric Funfighter, which I am planning to make dual purpose ie electric to fly from my farm land, and PSS to fly off the slope with the prop removed. I am going to do a build blog which might be of interest soon. In my experience almost any power model will fly off the slope, some better than others depending on the wing section.

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