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Calypso Contest 3m


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Geoff Daunt20/10/2020 16:31:43
104 forum posts

Hi, l have just purchased this elderly Kit ,still in original box and as good as the day it was manufactured in 1992. Plan is dated 1992 and original Royal Mail label to purchaser is September 1992. !!!!

Comes with both the 3m and 3.3m set of wings. Research informs me the 2 inner panels are joined with dihedral. The plan however gives no dihedral amount/ angle The outer wing panels fit on straight to the inner panel.

if someone has this model could they kindly tell me the height of one inner panel at the end with the other panel flat, so l have a dihedral amount to work to.

Also there is no dihedral spar to fit and equally no holes in the root ribs to take any spar. One can see however the sanded ends of carbon and wooden spars built into the blue foam cut wings.

would it be strong enough just to epoxy the root ribs of the inner panels together with say 30 minutes epoxy.

Any Information/ advice much appreciated

MattyB20/10/2020 17:55:14
2393 forum posts
46 photos

This review is on Mike Shellim's site... You could try contacting him to see what he remembers. Certainly his example seems to have a three piece wing; here is some detail of the centre panel:

Butt joining the panels with no joiner will definitely not be strong enough. There must be more to it...

Edited By MattyB on 20/10/2020 17:59:51

Geoff Daunt20/10/2020 18:02:40
104 forum posts

Thanks for the reply. I saw this review when l was researching the Model for best information. How would l contact Mike Shellim ??


MattyB20/10/2020 18:17:30
2393 forum posts
46 photos
Posted by Geoff Daunt on 20/10/2020 18:02:40:

Thanks for the reply. I saw this review when l was researching the Model for best information. How would l contact Mike Shellim ??


Try this - I will also PM you the address I have for him...

Edited By MattyB on 20/10/2020 18:17:41

Geoff Daunt21/10/2020 08:43:02
104 forum posts

I was able to contact Mike Shellim but he no longer has the model or plans so could not assist me

So still need assistance if anyone can help . Thanks.

MattyB21/10/2020 09:04:39
2393 forum posts
46 photos

How many pieces is the wing in, and which joiners do you have? A photo of the panel root sections where they join would also be helpful. TBH I think the dihedral could be done by eyeball alone, but getting the joiners right is much more critical...

Edited By MattyB on 21/10/2020 09:06:35

MattyB21/10/2020 09:45:04
2393 forum posts
46 photos

OK, I think I have solved it... Pierre Rondel's site has an old review on the Calypso Contest, and there is a 3-view for the dihedral:

However, there is something else - he goes into the history of the model, and it seems clear to me you don't have the production (all moulded) Calypso Contest but something earlier...


Of course, most of you know Stuart Blanchard, but for the other, you maybe ignore that Stuart is not at his first attempt since the model which is being tested, is the newly born of a series of gliders which began a few years ago. At the very beginning, there was the Calypso and the Calypso Sport, both F3B gliders, of traditional construction, that is to say with fibreglass fuselage and pre-sheeted wings. Then came the Calypso Sport plus, with larger wings (2.90m). Those models were very successful in England, since about 300 samples got out from moulds. The Calypso Contest is the achievment of this evolution, with its moulded wings. You can choose between two wingspans (3m or 3.30m) and between two versions ( T-tail or V-tail ), an electric version being also available."

It's impossible to say for sure unless you can find Stuart Blanchard to check (maybe try the BARCS forum?), but I wonder if you have an early blue foam prototype of the Contest, prior to them producing the moulded versions? The interchangeable tip panels certainly point that way. It's either that or Calypso Sport Plus, but I don't think they were that big.

Either way I think the answer is clear - set the dihedral up as per the diagram (looks like a couple of degrees max), probably using a full depth ply joiner or two to make sure it is accurate. After that use one of the standard fibreglass bandage methods for the wings (on a model like this I would go for multiple layers of thinner glass, graduated from narrow against the veneer and getting wider with each additional layer). Obviously the wings will then need glassing all over if they are solely in veneer. If there is glass between the veneer and foam you may be able to get away with Profilm/Oracover, but I think I'd be worried that wasn't strong enough. Best of luck!

Edited By MattyB on 21/10/2020 10:15:40

Geoff Daunt21/10/2020 12:12:34
104 forum posts

Thanks Matt, that helps. I actually have 8 wing panels , 4 make up the the 3m span wing and the other 4 the 3.3 m wing. I am told the 3m was generally for Slope and 3.3 for flat field. I only intend making the 3m wing at present for Slope.

l have taken photos on my iPhone but when l click on the camera icon on this reply it says no photo albums found so l do not know how to attach on this site

my email is

if you would be kind enough to email me l will send my pictures via email and we can discuss further.

MattyB21/10/2020 12:23:33
2393 forum posts
46 photos

Now we know that the model is foam veneer, and that it was made in 1992 (which predates the Contest by 4-5 years according to the articles by Mike and Pierre) I think we can call it case closed without photos - you're going to need to butt joint and fibreglass bandage the two central panels, then glass over the top.

If you do want to attach photos though (it isn't the easiest) just follow this guide. Basically you have to open your albums, create one, then upload the files there. Only then can you "call" them from the album into your post using the camera icon! All a bit involved.

Geoff Daunt21/10/2020 15:09:21
104 forum posts

Thanks Matty. Try as l may l just cannot transfer the photos in my IPhone album into this site.

l have no problem sending by email or WhatsApp etc and a Google search tells me they will be in jpeg.

when l next see my son in law he might be able to help since far more IT than me.

Anyway although the Model was advertised as aContest, the legend on the plan reads,

Calypso Sport: A high Performance F3B Sport plane and:

Caypso Racer: A high Performance Aerobatic Saiplane

By Model Technology 1992

The plan is dated Issue 7 : 01-12-92, although the model was shipped to purchaser on 02-09-92.

yes had planned to glass the wings.

How far out would you go in layering from central join - 6” either side sufficient ???

Martin Hodgson21/10/2020 16:20:24
24 forum posts
4 photos

Stuart B designed the Calypso (3m span) for F3b along with a slightly smaller (2.8m) span for F3f.

When people started using it for F3j he added the extra !ong tips to the design.

With the success of the foam version he then went on to create the molded wings and the V tail fuselage.

The wing is 3 piece. Tips plug onro the centre (I seem to recall the tips were interchangeable).

The centre was joined as follows, if I recall. The spar locations were chamfered. The panels were then butt joined. Once set the chamfers were filled with carbon tows across the joint. Presure was applied until set. The carbon was then sanded to profile. The whole wing was finished in fibreglass, with overlaps or tape over the joint at the centre.

I think I still have a plan in the loft. Give me a day or so to look.

Martin Hodgson21/10/2020 16:24:11
24 forum posts
4 photos

The join method sounds iffy but it was also used by Nick Wright on his World Champ F3b winning model as well as many Calypso models so it did work well.

MattyB21/10/2020 16:31:43
2393 forum posts
46 photos
Posted by Geoff Daunt on 21/10/2020 15:09:21:

Thanks Matty. Try as l may l just cannot transfer the photos in my IPhone album into this site.

l have no problem sending by email or WhatsApp etc and a Google search tells me they will be in jpeg.

NP - PM sent, send me the photos and I can post here.


Posted by Geoff Daunt on 21/10/2020 15:09:21:

How far out would you go in layering from central join - 6” either side sufficient ???

6-8" should be about right if you do 4-5 thin layers (it's so long since I've done this I've forgotten myself...!). Alternatively just go with Martin's suggestion if that was the stock method for this model, I'm sure it will be fine.


Edited By MattyB on 21/10/2020 16:33:16

Martin Hodgson21/10/2020 17:21:42
24 forum posts
4 photos

Some Details you may need like cg positions



Detail of the centre, with 2 layers of 180g tap/cloth over joint.

Whole wing was finished in 35g cloth and had 100g glass cloth under the veneer, along with reiforcment patches at the joints.


How the joint is layed up


How the chamfer is created


Edited By Martin Hodgson on 21/10/2020 17:35:24

Martin Hodgson21/10/2020 17:25:54
24 forum posts
4 photos

The only mention on the plan regards dihedral is 3 degrees as you see in one picture. That would be on both sides.

Geoff Daunt21/10/2020 18:10:43
104 forum posts

Many thanks Martin, l do have the plan and sketch of the Chamfering of the carbon fibre sections top and bottom of the spar . However the sketch only seems to indicate a Chamfer of an inch or so, maybe 2” maximum and like a previous jcomment it looked a bit iffy as a reinforcement joint.

So l think the answer is to do that chamfer joint and then reinforce with tapered layers out to about 6”. I will then glass the entire wing.

most important on your plan( and what l wanted to know ) was the dihedral angle.

My plan does not have a figure in degrees below the sketch, so you have wonderfully answered my fundamental question 👌👌

So that will be 6 degrees with one wing flat on the board.

Just thinking out loud..... 6 degrees itself difficult to see when joining a wing.

the inner wing panels are 75 cm in length, so if l draw a line out at 6 degrees on my plan from a horizontal line and then measure 75cm l will have a measurement down to the horizontal line of x cm or mm and use that for a block to hold up the wing🤔🤔🤔

l am sure some clever math person could work it out on paper but not me 🤣🤣.

please do tell me l am on the right track here. I want to do justice to the build.

thanks for all your responses

Martin Hodgson21/10/2020 18:30:01
24 forum posts
4 photos

I tend to draw out the dihedral too.

Yeh the chamfer was only a inch or so but it worked and worked well, never heard of one giving way.

Myself I would stick with it (Stuart knew what he was doing) but replace the 2 layers of 180g tape with 4 or so layers of 80ish gram getting progressively wider (easier to blend) followed by final skinning with glass fibre.

The key is to ensure you score/roughen the chamfered carbon well an apply good pressure to squeeze the epoxy/carbon in. Obviously use a good skinning/laminating resin.

Geoff Daunt21/10/2020 19:39:24
104 forum posts

Hi Martin, thanks for the further advice.

just remembered a friends son is a Math teacher, so asked the question 6degrees for a length of 75 cm. what is the vertical height from the horizontal.

Answer: 7.839634745074011

So Guess l will go for 8cm block 👍👍🤣🤣

Thanks again everyone for your input

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