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Restoring an old Flair Junior 60, Help and Advice needed

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Mike Collins20/03/2018 00:05:55
45 forum posts
62 photos


I have posted on another forum but this seems more active so hope I will get some additional help here.

I have got quite a few questions :D

I was recently given an olllldddd Flair Junior 60 in not so good shape. I can now see signs of previously surgery since I have been working on it.

I now believe the main wing is original even tho this is in good shape, its covered in a solartex that still isnt tooo bad.


The fusalage has been recovered at some point as after cleaning up the tail seating I could see signs of the original orange solartex around the tail area the same as the wings.

When I received it it still had a lot of red plastic film where it had been recovered so i stripped the fuselage of all covering, several bits of the balsa were dropping out but it is about complete. The glue that was used to hold it together has gone very hard and brittle and almost breaks like glass. This is no big problem and is coming on ok at the moment.



I removed what was left of the tail and cleaned the worst of it up.


The inside was painted red and was flaking badly so I scraped it all off, theres still a bit to do


The complete stab of the tail section had been very badly repaired, likely more than once.
and was a mixture of soft and hard balsas strapping broken bits together.

This is what is left after stripping it off


I would now like to build a complete new tail section correctly, would anyone have the correct plan for the flairs stab and fin? It is different to that KK one on outerzone.

Also the shaped bits around the side windows are missing so this part of the plan for these would be good too

I want to get all the shapes right to plan not just close

As can be seen from my photos, the elevators used a joiner bar between them. Was this correct to plan?
Most Images that I see of other peoples tail sections must use a |___| like a square U shaped piano wire to join them, admittedly this does look cleaner and appearance wise I prefer this method.

I also now realise the tail was originally held on with bands. I can see the original dowls have been cut off, one in front of the stab going through the fuselage and another protruded below the rudder at the rear of the plane.

When I got this the remnants showed the tail glued on. now I can see there are at least 3 options.
1. I can simply glue a rebuilt tail back on
2. I can replace the dowels and use bands as appears to be original
3. A 3rd Idea I seen was a single bolt below the rudder and a tongue idea at the front of the stabiliser.

Is there any reason I should not replace the dowels to put it back original, And if not which is better, gluing it back on or use the single bolt method ?

Im going to put a glow engine back in it and have 3 to choose from

I got the os max 20 fp,

an os max 25 (the one with the band round it)

and the blue bird NS 32, Ive not had this running yet but it feels good.

All 3 feel good but not run any yet,

Which would you use ??

I will get one of them Great Planes 1/4 Brass Spinner nuts for the weight, but what would be the right prop ?
and would a wooden prop be better for this ?

Would litespan be ok to cover the complete tail and fuselage to reduce weight in the tail?

I dont think I will recover the wing as its still pretty good, I may just repaint the black and white paints on it tho

I have since taken the hardwood servo support bars out and the heavy dowel pushrods.

I am going to move the servos forward as much as possible and try get them under the fuel tank.

To keep with the period of the plane I dont want to use snakes, I think this only really gives me a closed loop option to reduce weight on the tail. Ive never done a closed loop system so some pictures of a full system would be good for both ele and rudder.

I think my throttle servo may prove to be awkward with all servos moved forward and a closed loop system this is where I really could do with some picture help

for the wheels I have already ordered some 3.25 aluminium hub rubber wheels to add a bit of extra forward weight. Would this size be ok ??

Many thanks for taking the time to read all this, I know its a long po

Broken Prop20/03/2018 12:02:57
537 forum posts
1 photos

Hi Mike

The Flair J60 is a good model and should fly well. You will not need a powerful engine and the 20 or 26 should be more than enough. Start with a 11" x 6" prop and about 4 degrees of down thrust on the engine as well as some right thrust. Make sure the CG is correct as the plane definitely has 'homesick angel' tendencies!

You will need some weight up front so the brass propnut and wheels will help. Mount the engine as far out on the bearers as you can as this will help as well. Using a Dubro 4 stroke linkage kit may help with the throttle control rod run.

A closed loop system is easy to install for the rudder, but I don't know about fitting one for the elevators. I used a snake on mine but perhaps others can advise. The kit uses a 'U' shaped piano wire elevator joiner as you have surmised. A quick search on the 'net will give you details of closed loop systems.

Rebuild the tail as light as you can and cover it in litespan. These old timers have too short a nose and need a lot of weight up front to compensate for the tail moment. Remember that 1oz added at the tail end needs 4oz of lead up front to balance the plane!

Hope this helps and good luck with the restoration.


Ron Gray20/03/2018 12:41:43
887 forum posts
231 photos

Not a Flair Junior but this thread gives the details of a closed loop system for rudder and elevator **LINK**

PatMc20/03/2018 13:43:47
3715 forum posts
476 photos

Hi Mike, just a few quick comments before I dash out to, hopefuly get some slope soaring time with a Graupner Amigo.

I did this blog showing the refurb & electric convert of my Flair Jnr 60. Some of the points you've asked are covered within it.
This version on OZ is the original KK 1955 version that Flair kitted with mods for full RC. When I have time I'll search out my own plan & scan the tailplane.

I wouldn't get hung up on the cg. Contrary to perceived wisdom the cg isn't at all critical, I fly mine with it a lot further back than shown on the Flair plan, there's a drawing in my blog that shows where mine is positioned. The original KK plan didn't have the cg shown so it was probably in the instruction sheet & I suspect it's nearer to where mine is than on Flair's plan. In the 1950's it wasn't uncommon to have the cg at around 50% chord or even further rearwards this actually gives the model a wider range of power settings without it rearing up at the higher end, it also improves the glide.

Don Fry20/03/2018 16:32:18
2507 forum posts
30 photos

I had one, and I put the 4 ounce clunk tank upright in the engine bay. This enabled me to put the servos right at the front of the cabin, battery under the servos. It flew for years without any added weight. Engine was a magnum 25. Overpowered. I think mine was the original 1946 version.

All I can say, if the cg is too far back, it takes a lot of lead to correct it. If too far forward, a small amount strapped on the back sorts it out.

J D 820/03/2018 16:43:23
851 forum posts
53 photos

When I converted my free flight Mercury Matador to RC I used litespan to recover the tail,weighed no more than the original painted tissue an is a lot tougher.matador 2

Mike Collins20/03/2018 21:09:52
45 forum posts
62 photos

Thankyou for the replies guys,

looking at some of the other pictures, I think I may be missing some shape from the nose section too ?

Should there be another shaped piece of balsa on the front of mine behind where the prop would be, it looks a bit flat now

Broken Prop20/03/2018 21:19:11
537 forum posts
1 photos

It looks about right to me Mike. The J60 has a very blunt nose, but it can be disguised with a spinner.

Mike Collins20/03/2018 23:13:31
45 forum posts
62 photos

I have cut out the bits of balsa where the old pushrods came out of the rear of the fuselage.

I will do a push pull for the rudder coming out of the top instead and still not decided how I will do the elevator.

I like the hidden control horn idea that I have seen in another thread, but where do i find a small diameter but longish control horn that will fix to the piano wire i guess it would be like a steering horn with a grub screw to lock it to the wire ?

Mike Etheridge 121/03/2018 00:19:34
1415 forum posts
391 photos

I have recently carried out the refurbishment of my KK New Junior 60 which the Flair version was based on . The wings were re-covered in 1976 with doped nylon which looks much the same as Mike's wings. I have not flown it yet since it's refurbishment but have added an elevator which is linked with a snake tube. I have retained the original balsa push rod to control the rudder. The original engine was an ED Racer which I have substituted with an OS 20 for now.




Edited By Mike Etheridge 1 on 21/03/2018 00:20:46

Mike Collins21/03/2018 00:20:54
45 forum posts
62 photos

ahh it was PatMc's hidden horn I like

Don Fry21/03/2018 07:19:37
2507 forum posts
30 photos

A grub screw on the hidden horn is not good. Solder it.

Engine Doctor21/03/2018 08:11:21
1968 forum posts
19 photos

I had a Jnr 60 many years ago powered by a very old clapped our OS max 20 or may have been a 25. The model was heavy but flew very nicely. It had plenty of power and once airborne was throttled back so any of your engines would be OK although I would go for the Older OS . The BlueBird is happier reving a bit more and the FP are ok provided the crank bearing / bush is ok .

Alan H21/03/2018 12:01:38
35 forum posts
1 photos

Link to the Mk2 Junior 60 on Outerzone:-


As has been mentioned, the Flair Junior 60 is based on the 1955 Mk2 KK Junior 60

Mike Collins24/03/2018 22:27:45
45 forum posts
62 photos

OK, I cracked on using the remnants of the old tail.

I have gone with a hidden horn for the elevator soldered to the piano wire. and will bolt the tail on with the single bolt.under the rudder.

For the bolt i drilled straight through the balsa under the rudder down to where the nut is and then glued a piece of snake sleeve in the drill hole to stop the hex bolt going all the way through and out the bottom.

I have covered it in orange litespan which is pretty close match to the orange solartex on the main wing

The tail section so far, Still need to sort hinges.



Where i mounted the bolt in a small piece of ply under the tail.


The nut in the small ply plate under the tail


Colour match to the main wing


Out of curiosity,

Which should I use, Pinned hinges or CA hinges for the rudder and Elevators ??

Dwain Dibley.24/03/2018 23:08:41
921 forum posts
917 photos

My personal preference is CA hinges, they are easy to fit, just cut slots and slide 'em in......, however........

With a bit more patience you could fit pinned hinges, (assuming you mean the ones where the two halves are joined by a metal pin ) they will need epoxy and cocktail stick "dowels" to help keep them in place. The option with these is you can put one giant hinge pin thru the lot of them, making the flying surfaces detachable for repair/recovering.

Nice work B.T.W. Matey.. thumbs upsmile d


Mike Collins27/03/2018 23:07:05
45 forum posts
62 photos

A little progress but first a question

I think i am going to use a lightweight snake for the elevator, but can i trust a clevice self tapped directly onto the solid inner as in my picture below ?

it was a job to get it to self cut its thread but as can be seen in the photo the thread looks good and its well tight on there.

Alternatively, with all the weight saving i am doing on the tail and changing the pitch of the stabiliser, could I get away with a 9g servo on the elevator under the stabiliser as the stab is removeable?



other pictures i dropped the trailing edge of the stabiliser by an 1/8 inch. as can be seen the longerons that support the stabiliser have raised at the front end, (look at the pencil marks)

I rebuilt this tail end out of lighter balsa too.

The leading edge of the stabiliser is in the exact same position as before I modded it to drop the trailing end.



I have also replaced the old side panels under the windows to get shot of all the filler that was in them


a photo to show the sanded angled plywood plate for giving the engine its downthrust


and the servo tray i made to move the servos forward, hopefully this will work out ok, im just trying to make sure the beldon pushrod that i will use for throttle will be smooth and non binding if i push the servos this far forward and low in the fuselage.




Edited By Mike Collins on 27/03/2018 23:12:07

Mike Etheridge 127/03/2018 23:25:01
1415 forum posts
391 photos


You are missing a metal threaded connector in your first picture. It is crimped on to the snake and is screwed on to the clevis as below:


Mike Collins27/03/2018 23:29:46
45 forum posts
62 photos

Hi Mike,

I have got the crimped threaded connectors, but someone else suggested I try self tapping the clevis directly on the snake.

It does seem strong and well, i cant pull it off. Just was looking for anyone else that may be able to confirm if this is ok or not

Dwain Dibley.27/03/2018 23:36:33
921 forum posts
917 photos

It looks Ok, but I always shove some thin wire or carbon rod down the snake inner, to give it a bit of strength, cos they can snap clean off.



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