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When to Maiden your first new build?

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charlie holdford11/01/2020 13:02:40
69 forum posts
208 photos

Hi All

I have almost my finished my Lysander, which I have enjoyed building. So at what stage do I commit aviation?

I know I will get all sorts of answers, and will make the decision even harder but please try to give a reason

My own thoughts are....

1. Fly it when it's fully fitted out and detailed, as I may just start another build and never completely finish it.

2. A soon as its airworthy, set it up, taxi it and get it up. If it's a dog it may be easier to correct or bin it without "wasting time" detailing it.


Don Fry11/01/2020 13:48:16
4557 forum posts
54 photos

Get it up when it will. Reason 2.

It might need correction. I built one with the lightest tail end I could build, fearing tail heaviness, then had to stick a load of lead on the tail, and then lived with a flimsy tail end for ever.. a new normal weight tail would have worked. But, some planes, whatever reason, just don't live up to expectations. They are a dog. You just don't like it, and never will. It's the hanger queen in the corner, never gets flown.

cymaz11/01/2020 14:13:10
9196 forum posts
1186 photos

Wait until the weather is in your favour. Gentle breeze down your runway is, as you know ,ideal.

  • It means that you can see the plane reaction to the Tx rather than trying to fly it to weather conditions.
  • Get a club member to check for correct surface throws.
  • double check cg
  • do a thoroughly sorted range check...with power on as well
  • end of excuses...go fly
Paul Marsh11/01/2020 17:49:36
3969 forum posts
1190 photos

If you need to ask the question, then I don't think you are ready to fly it yet. Sorry not being nasty at all just wondering how many test flights and models you've built in the past.

Best to get someone else to go over it and if unsure then maybe get them to test fly it - as long as they are proficient as well and a known decent flyer.

Allan Bennett11/01/2020 21:28:43
1654 forum posts
49 photos

I always wait until it's completely finished. Otherwise, if I fly it 'naked' and it flies well, I might lose interest in doing any more decoration/detailing. If I've built in accordance with some reputable plans, and have got the c of g right, I'm unlikely to need any significant physical alteration to make it fly well.

I agree with Paul Marsh's warning too.

Rich too12/01/2020 09:21:15
3060 forum posts
1070 photos

Number 2 generally. I have often maddened in the past without finishing and fitting the cowl.

Paul Marsh12/01/2020 10:45:09
3969 forum posts
1190 photos
Posted by Rich too on 12/01/2020 09:21:15:

Number 2 generally. I have often maddened in the past without finishing and fitting the cowl.

Which could be a disaster. What happens is this, you balance the model with the cowl in place and remove it for a test flight and the model is now tail heavy(and crashes), or at least difficult too fly. On a warbird, the cowl fitted weighs quite a bit and even then the model was little tail heavy with it on, take the cowl off...?

Chris Walby12/01/2020 11:22:20
1199 forum posts
299 photos

Option 2, but with the cowl and all major parts fitted.

No problem with electric as the model will stay oil free and the detailing/paint will not add that much weight or change the balance, but always worth checking the CofG if things are changed.

I have a IC model that I intend to do the above and will just have to de-oil for the final painting as this has two benefits

  1. I can pick a primer paint scheme that is far easier to see than a leopard pattern for the maiden
  2. I can add the final detail and colour scheme once I have found out if is old and very infrequently used plan set flies or not.

    This is my first change in scale, very modified and complicated build for me.

I am reminded of a club member you spent hundreds if not thousands of hours only to loose the model on the maiden. The quality of build and finishing was way better than I could ever hope to achieve and at that point I thought I would build and fly, then finish/detail at a later stage. Of course this is not necessary if the design is well proven and its just easier to cover it the once up to finish state.

PS - I was reminded at our club where a model was test flown but had engine issues so the cowl was removed, engine problem resolved the next flight was carried out without the cowl. Only problem was the quite significant weight to get C of G was in the does the motto go?

I agree with Paul, if you fly it without the cowl and get it all nicely trimmed in, would fitting the cowl then need it trimmed in all again?


Edited By Chris Walby on 12/01/2020 11:24:34

cymaz12/01/2020 11:27:09
9196 forum posts
1186 photos

I’ve maiden a few planes for other people. I ask them is the cg correct, we check if needed. If they don’t know it stays on the ground. Run the engine up, any issues it’s on the ground, same with the high/low throws and range check.

Other than that it’s tell the owner I will do everything in my life to bring it back in one piece but that something sometimes happens.

I would say that trimming a model would have little effect on how it flies being tail heavy. It would still be pitch twitchy with throttle and elevators. Refitting the cowl it’s nose heavy so trimming would be needed but move a battery back and rebalance when home 

Edited By cymaz on 12/01/2020 11:29:52

Edited By cymaz on 12/01/2020 11:32:08

Richard Forder-Denham03/04/2020 02:05:23
8 forum posts
22 photos

I have spent 10 years on and off (more off than on) building my spitfire off Tony Nijhuis plan.

i have never flown - somewhere in those 10 years I bought a Seagull trainer, I was just putting out feelers to a local flying club, had a look around last summer and was starting to get my mind in the game then along came COVID-19.

bad news for learning to fly but good news for my spitty build (time on my hands due to self isolation and need to escape to my man cave! The dog & I are the only two Y chromosomes in the house)

the only thing is that my spitty will be finished when I eventually head out to the flying club with my L plates, the temptation will be there, I just hope they don’t let me do anything stupid!!
or I may come home with a big box of kindling for the fire🤡🤡

Peter Miller03/04/2020 08:23:19
10959 forum posts
1272 photos
10 articles

A Spitfire for a first model??

Keep it and look at it until you can fly well or let a good pilot make the test flight.

David Davis03/04/2020 09:13:58
3683 forum posts
688 photos
Posted by Peter Miller on 03/04/2020 08:23:19:

A Spitfire for a first model??

Keep it and look at it until you can fly well or let a good pilot make the test flight.

I agree with Peter. The real Spitfire pilots weren't beginners were they?

Stick to your trainer Richard until you can take off fly and land the model by yourself. Then build or buy a WOT 4. When you can fly that successfully, that is the time for maidening that Spitfire.

I feel that none of us will be maidening anything for quite some time yet.

Richard Forder-Denham03/04/2020 09:29:42
8 forum posts
22 photos

My 1st build was a Maricado, I picked up an RCME in smiths whilst waiting for wife & no.1 child and there was this free plan, got the bug there and then.

I needed something to fill the void after doing a full nut and bolt restoration of a Triumph Spitfire!

I never got to flying stage as an unfortunate incident in the garage whilst having a house extension turned my Maricado in to a part built model & when looking for more wood for repairs I came across the Tony Nijhuis 62.5” spit, I bought a laser cut wood kit, cowl & pilot and knocked it up off plan - almost

I also bought a damaged seagull trainer on eBay along the way, which I repaired and is ready to go, so I just need to not do anything stupid!7347ba7d-dd63-45cb-92f1-f1161e495969.jpeg

David Davis03/04/2020 09:57:44
3683 forum posts
688 photos

Is it a Boomerang Richard? They are my favourite 40 sized ARTF trainer.


Geoff Hoolahan03/04/2020 10:27:32
28 forum posts
2 photos

img-20180529-wa0004 (1).jpgWell, I started my first build on the day that my number 1 son was born. I'm advised that it was probably a DB Mascot, but of course I couldn't fly.
In an attempt to clear out my garage I was planning to put it in a skip, but Number 1 son stopped me and said, I want to see that fly one day.

So many years later, having got myself an 'A cert', I converted it to electric and with a pit crew of my flying buddies from Corfu, we took this 29 year old plane for it's maiden flight. It performed perfectly.


Edited By Geoff Hoolahan on 03/04/2020 10:30:22

Richard Forder-Denham04/04/2020 01:52:01
8 forum posts
22 photos

It’s a Seagull Arising Star, it’s had a going over and is a bit of a patchwork.

The engine was gummed up freed it up with a soak in WD40 and ran it up on my test bed - worked just fine.

all ready to go - just need a virus free world 😃

fingers crossed that my repairs don’t all peel off 1st time out and that it doesn’t plummet to the ground!🤬


cymaz04/04/2020 02:15:18
9196 forum posts
1186 photos

Those Arising Stars are an absolute joy to fly. Mrs C has one ! 

Edited By cymaz on 04/04/2020 02:16:12

Simon Chaddock04/04/2020 08:33:12
5692 forum posts
3026 photos

To answer the original question and Covid 19 permitting:-

"The maiden takes place when the desire to see it fly exceeds the desire to finish it off"

Redex04/04/2020 09:56:30
156 forum posts

Just finished my Galaxy Models Musketeer, however unable to fly at the moment - so which model next !!

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