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1/3 Fly Baby

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Chris Freeman 309/10/2019 05:29:50
272 forum posts
355 photos

A few months ago a long time flying buddy passed away and my son and I had the task of clearing out his hobby room and trying to sell the items for his wife. This has to be one of the hardest aspects of the hobby but it has to be done. Dennis was a Fly Baby lover and is the reason that I got to know him as I was building a 1/3 FlyBaby as a school boy and Dennis had just completed one. As luck would have it he stayed 1 block away from my aunt so it made my visits easier. My Fly Baby was not succesfull as it exceded my skills, equipment and budget so it was one that I had on my build list for a long time. Dennis built a number of Fly Babies including a 1/2 scale in the mid 80's and this was the biggist aircraft in the country at that time.

One of the aircraft that Dennis still had was an old 1/3 Fly Baby and when we cleared the workroom I was able to have a good look at it and saw that it had had a hard life. Another of Dennis's friends wanted to have the Fly Baby so it was bought by him. Jon stripped the airframe and started to rebuild it and Byron and I decided that we would use the plans that we found in the workroom and would build a new one. The plan is to have a memorial fly inn at the club were Dennis was a member and also where his ashes were planted along with a tree, and to fly the Fly Babies. Byron (my son) stays 6 houses away from me so it is easy to have a project build. He is building the fuselage and tail plane, I am doing the wings.

We are using a combination of plans and also the full size builds to gather information and ideas for our build. The power will be a Zenoah 38 that was also from Dennis and we found a set of 6" Dubro Balloon wheels amongst his stuff as well. The Build is progressing well and I need catch up with Byron as he started whilst I was busy on the twin.flb2.jpg flb1.jpg

Chris Freeman 309/10/2019 05:41:00
272 forum posts
355 photos

The red Cowl is from a World Models 1/3 Cub but is the wrong shape, we will be using a Balsa USA 1/3 Cub cowl to make a fiber glass one. The real Fly Baby was designed to use the motor, mounts and cowl from a J3 Cub so this will more scale. The wings will have tube joiners to make them easier to rig and less reliant on the flying wires.

flb3.jpg flb4.jpg

Martyn K09/10/2019 07:53:43
4977 forum posts
3624 photos

Love your work area Chris.

I'll be watching this


Chris Freeman 315/10/2019 05:24:01
272 forum posts
355 photos

Hi Martin

That is my son's work area which is very nice and also clean, My area,fb1.jpg though larger has a lot more clutter! I tend to always have a few projects on the go and I do not like hanging a project up if not fully completed so this does lead to full work areas.

Progress on the wings has been good, the ribs are mainly from hard 3mm balsa with some 3mm ply ribs for the wing joiner mounting. The tips are laminated balsa as the real one was also laminated. Both panels have been built, the one is sheeted and cap strips added, the second needs some sanding before the sheeting is done. The wing is nice and strong and quite light for its size. The joiner tubes are the next step and I hope to get this done on the weekend.fw6.jpgfw5.jpg

Chris Freeman 315/10/2019 05:25:50
272 forum posts
355 photos

Not as large as I thought, it seemed a lot bigger when I first built one 35 years ago!


Martyn K15/10/2019 08:50:48
4977 forum posts
3624 photos

Beautifully neat


Chris Freeman 322/10/2019 06:15:17
272 forum posts
355 photos

Byron and I spent some time on Sunday getting the wing tubes glued into the wings so that I can finish sheeting the wing panels. The Fly Baby has 5 degrees of dihedral so the tubes are mounted at quite an angle in the wing ribs. Once we were happy with the rigging the tubes were tack glued into the ribs so I can complete the gluing at home. I also made the cowl the was moulded in an ABS Balsa USA 1/3 scale Cub cowl. The shape is musch better than the cowl shown in the pictures which is a World Models Cub cowl.wb10.jpg wb11.jpgwb13.jpgwb12.jpg

Jon - Laser Engines22/10/2019 09:33:49
4826 forum posts
180 photos

This looks like yet another model i will have to build one day.

Denis Watkins22/10/2019 09:40:35
3911 forum posts
61 photos


The build is so strong and lightweight

The model must become a dream to fly

Chris Freeman 324/10/2019 09:32:39
272 forum posts
355 photos


This has been on my build list for over 30 years now so I am glad it is being built.


It should be a nice flyer, the real ones have a very good reputation for being gentle aircraft.

The main undercarriage on the real one is made from wood and the only suspension is from the wheels and ours is being done the same way. One aspect that I like about building a scale model is doing some research on the aircraft. I am doing the laminating of the main undercarriage the same as the real one.

fb11.jpg fb12.jpgfb10.jpg

Chris Freeman 324/10/2019 09:37:29
272 forum posts
355 photos

My Doctor has questioned my sanity with a number of my builds as he claims I like punishing myself, I think that he may have a point. I am now cutting out the parts needed for the dummy motor on my faithfull Dremel jigsaw.

wb16.jpg wb15.jpg

Chris Freeman 329/10/2019 05:02:03
272 forum posts
355 photos

All the parts have been cut out and assembly has started, this took quite a bit of sanding and carefull fitting to get the parts positioned correctly. I think it will look better than the ABS parts for a Balsa USA kit.


Chris Freeman 312/11/2019 08:24:41
272 forum posts
355 photos

The airframe is comming along well now, Byron has been working on the cowl and dummy motor, I have been working on the wing joining and motor fitting. Lots of sanding as well getting the wing to fuselage fit nice and then added a ply root rib. The cowl is also quite heavy now with the dummy motor so I added ply for the mounting screws.

The motor is shorter than the cowl so I made up a 6mm birch ply mount to fill this gap, just need to finish sanding it so that it can be mounted. The wings have ply pieces for the flying wire attachment points along with the blind nuts needed to secure the metal rigging plates.

The elevators will each have a servo with a push rod and the rudder will be push pull cable. I have started on the servo mounting and the horns needed to drive the control surfaces.



cymaz12/11/2019 09:36:11
8735 forum posts
1186 photos

What’s the motor...ic?

Chris Freeman 312/11/2019 10:02:53
272 forum posts
355 photos

We are going to use a Zenoah 38 so it is an old school petrol motor, we got this from my old mates estate so I hope it runs well as he had the ability to make most things unreliable, from radios to glow, petrol and electric!

Frank Skilbeck12/11/2019 12:21:13
4488 forum posts
101 photos
Posted by Chris Freeman 3 on 12/11/2019 10:02:53:

We are going to use a Zenoah 38 so it is an old school petrol motor, we got this from my old mates estate so I hope it runs well as he had the ability to make most things unreliable, from radios to glow, petrol and electric!

Good old reliable workhorses, friend has one in a Syd King Privateer that he hadn't flown for years, we took it to an LMA meeting, filled it up and 1/2 dozen flips later it was running fine.

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