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AirSail Piper Tomahawk restoration

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Jon - Laser Engines11/03/2018 22:55:49
4664 forum posts
173 photos

Time for a little story.

Way back in 2005 I turned 20 and for my birthday I received the Airsail Piper Tomahawk kit I had asked for. Built and flown within a year and powered with an OS 52 it served me well for 3 or 4 years until a landing accident cracked the canopy.

I forget the exact details, but Airsail had either stopped trading by this time or I wasn't able to fathom getting a new canopy from New Zealand. As I didn't fancy flying it as a convertible the model was mothballed while I decided what to do. After a while I tried to sell it but didn't have any joy so it sat unloved in the rafters of the garage with the engine removed and then sold off.

A few years ago I by chance mentioned the model to the chap who had acquired the rights to Airsail's products and he sent me an imperfect canopy that had been in with all the stuff he got. While dented it was more than good enough for what I wanted to do.

Given the weather has been so awful this winter I have been deep into sorting out all my models and I decided that the Tomahawks time had come. I repaired and repainted the cracked abs cowling, replaced the missing servos and fitted an enya 53 in place of the old OS. I also cleared off the years of accumulated dust and found the old solarfilm had survived totally intact even if it was a little yellowed on the white areas.

So, after a little work its all back together and looking almost as good as new. I wish I could remember the name of the guy who sent me the canopy as I couldn't have done it without his help and would like to thank him. hopefully someone can direct him to this post.

Here she is sat ready for the weather to cheer up!

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Edited By Jon - Laser Engines on 11/03/2018 22:57:19

Steven Shaw11/03/2018 23:12:05
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303 forum posts
163 photos

That would probably be Keven B on this forum.

Nigel Dell12/03/2018 07:46:57
367 forum posts
27 photos

Sweet! I am glad I am not the only one that holds onto everything Jon but that was worth saving👍🏻

Jon - Laser Engines12/03/2018 09:15:30
4664 forum posts
173 photos

Steven, thanks for that. I thought i had a dim memory of him using the forum. I will try and track him down.

Nigel, yeaa i just couldnt bring myself to throw it away. It got to the point where it was bin it or use it time though as it was only going to degrade further up in the rafters. I have to say though i was really impressed with how well it survived as very little was needed beyond cosmetic repairs.

Tim Hickey12/03/2018 12:40:58
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53 forum posts
1 photos

Apologies if wide of the mark but I though I read somewhere online that Lasercraftservices were going to start producing Airsail kits in the UK.. This I think was back in 2015 so things may have moved on somewhat.

kevin b20/03/2018 14:53:19
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1643 forum posts
165 photos

Things have moved on a bit, but only very slowly !

Unfortunately Dylan is now unable to continue with the laser cutting and kit manufacturing.

I am currently working my way through the (still) large pile of bits and have been able to produce a few kits from them. Spare canopies and cowls are not a problem.

Unfortunately no Chipmunks yet (lack of wood), but I can supply a few Gas Buggies, Voltimers, Volksplanes, Beavers, Austers (1900mm span) and Tomahawks.

If anyone is interested please pm me. I am not intending to market them retail.

I have also been in touch with a manufacturer, who wants to produce and sell the kits. My part will then be to help with R&D, to which there is another model at the prototype stage, with more to come.

I promised Brian Borland I would find a home for the kits in the U.K. It is just a shame that I was unable to do so before he passed away. However the new potential owners are keen to see the Airsail brand remain and grow and I, hopefully will be able to assist them

Kevin b Airsail news dept.

Edited By kevin b on 20/03/2018 14:55:37

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Edited By kevin b on 20/03/2018 15:00:13

Jon - Laser Engines20/03/2018 15:17:15
4664 forum posts
173 photos

Hi Kevin

Glad you found this thread and that Airsail has a future. I was saddened to hear that Brian had passed away as he was a long time Laser customer and i only found out many months after the event.

I hope you are able to get the models back into production and i will post the details of its re-maiden as and when it comes around.

kevin b20/03/2018 22:32:38
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1643 forum posts
165 photos

Hi Jon.

The kits will probably be going into full production the early part of next year. Some of them need new build manuals as the old ones are just fold out sheets (just like KeilKraft), which won't do for the modern builder. So guess who is doing the building ?

How are you going with the petrol Laser ? Haven't heard much for a while and what about the Laser induction electric motor I have heard about ? A little bird tells me we are due for some information soon.

TJ Alexander21/03/2018 08:22:02
103 forum posts

Nice!

Jon - Laser Engines14/04/2018 19:26:16
4664 forum posts
173 photos

Finally a day with decent weather and it was time to fly the Tomahawk.

And fly it did! for the first time in a decade the Tomahawk flew just as I remembered it. Being a better flyer now I'm certain its nose heavy and I think it probably always was which is why it didn't fly fantastically well in certain conditions.

I will be removing some lead and plan to have another go asap.

All in all it was well worth the effort as I thoroughly enjoyed flying it and more than a few members were fascinated by it as well

kevin b14/04/2018 19:33:15
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1643 forum posts
165 photos

Well done Jon.

Any photos?

If anyone is interested, I have a couple of old stock Piper Tomahawk kits left (I haven't built mine yet).

Jon - Laser Engines14/04/2018 23:58:15
4664 forum posts
173 photos

sorry no photos. I wasn't 100% sure I would fly it so didn't take a camera. Also I cant fly and photo all at once!

Paul Ritchie 122/09/2018 11:40:55
1 forum posts

Hi Kevin b, do you still have a tomahawk kit available?

David Jackson 126/12/2018 20:00:59
2 forum posts

Hi Kevin B,

I have an Airsail Tomahawk which I built a few years ago, and which needs a new canopy - having ground looped on landing !

I would love to get a replacement. Can you help ?

I'm more than happy to pay.

Best wishes David in Oxford

kevin b26/12/2018 20:50:09
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1643 forum posts
165 photos

P.M sent David.

The Airsail kits now have a new home and will be available sometime late 2019 and you should be able to get them from your LMS. The new owners don't sell direct.

For my part I will still have some involvement with the development of the existing and new models. If anyone else is in need of spare parts I will be happy to assist you in obtaining them.

Kevin b

David Jackson 119/06/2019 21:51:33
2 forum posts

Hi Kevin,

I'm still really keen to get a replacement canopy for my Tomahawk.

Do you have any further news on when/where these might be available ?

Thanks and best wishes,

David

kevin b19/06/2019 23:10:41
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1643 forum posts
165 photos

David.

P.M sent again.

Last one is still registering unread.

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