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Flea Fli RCME July issue free plan

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Bob Cotsford18/06/2018 11:13:22
7724 forum posts
428 photos

It's always worth contacting Steve at Vortex with the dimensions, I've found him very helpful in the past. It sounds as though they have a lot of plugs for canopy sizes that don't feature in the advertised range. If there were enough demand maybe they would produce a short run for this design?

Martin McIntosh18/06/2018 11:40:54
2697 forum posts
1004 photos

Thanks for the ideas. I think I tried Vortex earlier but the site did not state dimensions (could have been Phoenix).

I have a couple of vacformers but despite eventually making all five for my Lanc. I got sick of wasting material due to creasing.

PatMc18/06/2018 12:12:50
4041 forum posts
502 photos

An alternative to the Flea Fli is the RCM&E May 1970 free plan Bar Flea , the wing span & area are a little greater, there's also more fuselage side area.

I built mine back in the day with a tail dragger u/c but often flew it with the u/c removed. Initially powered by an early version Fox 15 later with a Fox 25, finaly with an OS Max25 it was my second low wing aileron model.

bar flea.jpg

kc18/06/2018 14:16:43
5824 forum posts
167 photos

So there is a Bar Flea as well as the Bar Fli. There is also a Millibar which is a 90 percent version of Bar Fli at 52 inch span. Millibar is RCME plan RC 1098. All these look just a little more work to make the turtledeck.

Edited By kc on 18/06/2018 14:19:41

Martin McIntosh17/07/2018 20:32:50
2697 forum posts
1004 photos

The model is now finished and almost ready to go but the cg is a problem. To get it anywhere near will require 50g of lead in the tail would you believe. This would bring the weight up to 3lbs. The retract units are very light and I don`t think that they contribute too much.

This takes me to another problem which is a little off thread but may be of interest to others.

I have used HK MCR retract units before with no real problems. A couple of the ones I wished to use died so I ordered some new amplifiers plus a complete spare set but all of these only worked with a HK servo tester, not any of the Rx`s I cared to try. After a real ding dong with HK they are sending replacements but refuse to test them with a Rx first, so back to square one. However, I had a set in another model so tried these which were working OK. Nothing in the Flea with an Orange Rx. I then realised that the Rx in the other model was a Spektrum AR7000 so I tried one in the Flea and bingo, all OK. I measured the output pulse from the servo tester and it was the full 5V but the other Rx`s FrSky, Orange etc were only putting out 3V. They have obviously changed something in the amplifiers for some reason (or more likely an error) so be warned.

Pics of the completed model to follow.

John Duncker17/07/2018 21:05:12
69 forum posts
7 photos

I built a Flea Fly from the original free plan back in the late 60s. Built as per plan with a Veco 19 rc it flew very well and would do OK flying the full aerobatic schedule of the day.

It had Kraft RC gear with their small servos. I built it light.. Today a Magnum 15 would fly it nicely.

I flew the snot out it for years and have fond memories.

Martin McIntosh20/07/2018 11:28:27
2697 forum posts
1004 photos

Now finished bar the canopy which I am trying to order from Vortex but their order page is not working. Will probably take it to the field today to at least check out the motor.

It has turned out rather weighty at 3lbs including 60g of lead in the tail which only brings the cg back to 2.5" from the LE. 3" from the LE as shown on the plan looks a little rearwards to me.

flea fli 001.jpg

flea fli 002.jpg

flea fli 003.jpg

flea fli 004.jpg

Martin McIntosh20/07/2018 15:58:50
2697 forum posts
1004 photos

Pleased to say that the maiden was uneventful. A little right aileron trim needed, probably due to the lack of right thrust, elevator trim spot on and it will do slow and point rolls even without a canopy. I did not try a spin to check the cg. Oodles of power from the OS 26S

Martin McIntosh21/07/2018 19:21:25
2697 forum posts
1004 photos

Took it up again today to make some tweaks and tried a spin. Very glad that I did not try to get the cg as far back as shown on the plan because after neutralising the controls it continued to spin for 1 1/2 turns instead of my preferred 1/2 turn so I think that some of the lead can come off the tail.

Martin McIntosh30/07/2018 23:00:27
2697 forum posts
1004 photos

Some more pics with the canopy now fitted. Will report back when I have flown it again and perhaps tweaked the cg a flea fli 005.jpglittle.

flea fli 006.jpg

flea fli 007.jpg

Mark Kettle 131/07/2018 07:30:30
2156 forum posts
1302 photos

Nice Martin, love it. A question:- hows the front of the wing retained with the front wheel in that area?

Howard Winwood31/07/2018 09:01:53
10 forum posts

i remember the Bar Flea from the 70's very well, built a couple, used OS25, could land it at my feet every time.

Best of the range though, in my opinion was the Slik Fly, mid wing design, very smooth and flew like a dream on a 60 motor.

Martin McIntosh31/07/2018 14:26:45
2697 forum posts
1004 photos

Thanks Mark. The wing is simply retained with a piece of 2.5mm carbon rod either side of the cut out, glued into the LE and locating into holes in the former.

Nigel R31/07/2018 16:58:33
2440 forum posts
401 photos
Looks ace Martin.

Proper squeeze to get all that kit in the airframe!

I Like the colour scheme, too.
Mark Kettle 131/07/2018 23:35:36
2156 forum posts
1302 photos

Thanks Martin.

Martin McIntosh02/08/2018 11:50:34
2697 forum posts
1004 photos

Took it up again yesterday. The main difference the canopy made is that it will now sustain KE but rolls in the direction of applied rudder so will need a little mixing out.

I removed 50 of the 60g tail weight but it made not one iota of difference to the spin exit so I shall just have to live with that. Ran out of up on landing so increased the elevator movement. May as well re fit the weights as the cg is now only 1 7/8" from the LE. Would be interested to hear how others get on with.

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