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Jim Davis Lancaster

Anyone remember it or have a photo?

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Colin Leighfield12/08/2020 21:47:30
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Dave told me that a few years ago he got seriously into Wakefield for a few years, he was competing at top level.

I think that all of Jim’s big planes flew with converted chain saw motors. 44cc? There was also a Me109E with one of those that I saw written off at Weston Park shortly after take-off, Dave was flying it. I asked him recently what happened, I think he said it was a transmitter error (got the wrong one?!)

The high wing pre-fabricated model was the Slim Jim, although it was thought of as a trainer, with a 60 up front it was very capable. I had one from around 1979 and it lasted for about twenty years until I scrapped it because it was carrying more than its own weight in soaked-in oil! That was the plane I was flying at Fradley when two RAF Tornados out of Cottesmore flew under it when it was inverted at the top of a loop around 500 ft. Next thing I knew it was reported as a near miss and was investigated by the AAIB. Dave told me that one of his jobs at Jim’s was to build these and also the low wing version, the Low Jim.,

After Jim’s Erdington shop got burned down and he moved into the new place nearer the city centre it never seemed to be the same and didn’t last there very long. I remember seeing the Lancaster up there in the roof. Didn’t someone say that it finished up in the USA? Some may remember that when they did the cross-channel flight with the Spitfire that a young Chris Robathan was one of the team, he is in the cover photograph of the RCME magazine edition when they reported on it. Chris checked me out for my “A” certificate. Sadly he died suddenly quite young some years ago.

Jim Davies did a lot for radio control flying and Dave did a brilliant job of the show flying with those big and successful scale models, quite astonishing to us in those days.

Andy Stephenson13/08/2020 10:21:58
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I had a low-jim I bought as an unwanted kit at a club meeting, it was meant for a .40 size engine but I only had an HP.61 so it needed a load of lead-shot in the tail. During the first flight it had tailplane flutter being over powered and quite slim at the tail end, the lead shot drained out through a crack that had developed as a result of the vibration. The next thing I knew was I didn't have enough elevator to hold the nose up and it ploughed into a field. After mending and reinforcing the tail it flew for years when I finally gave it to one of the younger penniless members of the club. Before that I used it to try out my OS.61RF Pumper and tuned pipe, 500ft loops no trouble.

David Ashby - Moderator13/08/2020 11:04:48
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Dad snapped this at Woodvale in 1978 (very rainy if I recall). Is this the Davis Lanc? I assume not judging by the markings and the flat top fus'?

1978,202.jpg

Edited By David Ashby - Moderator on 13/08/2020 11:05:47

Edited By David Ashby - Moderator on 13/08/2020 11:07:02

mal brewer13/08/2020 11:17:29
334 forum posts
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Posted by David Ashby - Moderator on 13/08/2020 11:04:48:

Dad snapped this at Woodvale in 1978 (very rainy if I recall). Is this the Davis Lanc? I assume not judging by the markings and the flat top fus'?

1978,202.jpg

Edited By David Ashby - Moderator on 13/08/2020 11:05:47

Edited By David Ashby - Moderator on 13/08/2020 11:07:02

Hi David, that's not the JDM Lancaster, that is the Roy Lever version. You can see why it was known as the 'Plankaster' due to it's boxy type appearance..................Mal

David Ashby - Moderator13/08/2020 11:20:18
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Ah, thanks Mal. thumbs upwink 2

Andy Stephenson13/08/2020 11:42:11
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I'm sure the one I saw fly at Sywell in the 70s was smaller than the Roy Lever one and the two pilots flying it were definitely standing by the runway and not in the back of a car. Could this have been the JDM Lanc.

Andy.

Maurice Dyer13/08/2020 11:44:55
102 forum posts

Roy Lever, Powermax.

Bought a charger off him at Sandown Park once. Never did work. Speaking of Sandown, I recall in the late 70s Dave Wright was flying for JDM: one time they rigged up two or three big paddling pool type things and Dave flew this magnificent S6b off (and back on it). He was a brilliant flier. Happy days. 😁

Maurice

mal brewer13/08/2020 11:52:23
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Posted by Andy Stephenson on 13/08/2020 11:42:11:

I'm sure the one I saw fly at Sywell in the 70s was smaller than the Roy Lever one and the two pilots flying it were definitely standing by the runway and not in the back of a car. Could this have been the JDM Lanc.

Andy.

Hi Andy, I'm pretty sure the JDM Lancaster was smaller than the Roy Lever version,though still a very large model by the standards of the day.If the pilots were standing on the runway, it almost certainly was the Jim Davis model.................Mal

Edited By mal brewer on 13/08/2020 11:56:56

Maurice Dyer13/08/2020 14:05:32
102 forum posts

I've seen a YouTube clip (cannot find it) of Roy Lever being driven down the runway flying his. If I recall he was sat on the back of a three wheeler. God knows why, the Land was big enough to see. Maybe dodgy range on 27 megs !?.

Does anyone recall the name of a television series Roy did in the 90s ? He had a jet amongst others. Was it Model Mania or ??

Maurice

FilmBuff13/08/2020 14:16:36
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Posted by mal brewer on 13/08/2020 11:17:29:
Posted by David Ashby - Moderator on 13/08/2020 11:04:48:

Dad snapped this at Woodvale in 1978 (very rainy if I recall). Is this the Davis Lanc? I assume not judging by the markings and the flat top fus'?

1978,202.jpg

Edited By David Ashby - Moderator on 13/08/2020 11:05:47

Edited By David Ashby - Moderator on 13/08/2020 11:07:02

Hi David, that's not the JDM Lancaster, that is the Roy Lever version. You can see why it was known as the 'Plankaster' due to it's boxy type appearance..................Mal

Was that taken at the 1978 Control Line and RC Scale World Championships?

If so - there was also a large scale 747 flown - looked like it would fall out of the air at any moment.

David Ashby - Moderator13/08/2020 15:56:14
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Yes, I think so FB. Here’s the 747, also snapped on the same day. Sorry, a bit off topic now, apologies to all, hope you don’t mind. 

woodvale 1978.jpg

woodvale 1978,2.jpg

 

Edited By David Ashby - Moderator on 13/08/2020 15:58:53

mal brewer13/08/2020 16:53:40
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Posted by Maurice Dyer on 13/08/2020 14:05:32:

I've seen a YouTube clip (cannot find it) of Roy Lever being driven down the runway flying his. If I recall he was sat on the back of a three wheeler. God knows why, the Land was big enough to see. Maybe dodgy range on 27 megs !?.

Does anyone recall the name of a television series Roy did in the 90s ? He had a jet amongst others. Was it Model Mania or ??

Maurice

Hi Maurice, as I stated earlier the story going round was the reason Roy Lever used to fly from a chase car was because he couldn't mange the reversed controls when flying a model towards himself. Don't know how true that was,but I never saw him fly without the car. Incidentally, he also had a large scale Concorde,what it was powered with I can't remember,but I do remember the variable centre of gravity operated by a football bladder part filled with water ! Does anybody else remember this model ?....................Mal

Martin McIntosh13/08/2020 22:15:31
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Can I add my bit please?

The JDM Lanc was built by Arthur Robotham and Dave Wright who was the pilot. I attended the maiden flight which was conducted on the main runway at Fradley with special permission. I think that a TV crew may have been in attendance but not sure about that. It was powered by two petrol engines on the inboard nacelles with the outer props freewheeling, probably 100 cc in line twins.

It indeed flew at Woodvale putting to shame the square box Roy Lever version which failed to fly there.

I can confirm that it now resides in the USA.

Regarding the Spitfire, this was again built by the above and to 2/7 scale. The maiden was done at Sywell on the Press Day in front of one TV station only because the other lot got there too late. The grass was long and uphill, the 50cc single motor sounded feeble and I gave it a zero chance of getting off but it did and made one circuit.

When the other lot arrived too late I was asked to fly my Mitchel for them and later cringed at the televised landing.

They later built a 109 to the same scale.

The Spit flew at Woodvale and on the second day I got my 8mm cine camera out again to capture it. It took off across the runway, went into an uncontrollable half loop and crashed in the middle of the six deep crowd. It was coming down my camera lens so I jumped out of the way. Luckily nobody was hurt. It was then flying on a 27mHz split frequency I think but foul play by a rival display team was not ruled out.

The Spit was flown across the channel for about 40 miles to Lydd airport with Dave hanging out of the chase helicopter door. The heli had problems keeping up and Dave wondered why the model appeared to keep slowing down but the pilot told him that it was due to it occasionally climbing.

The hydraulic u/c`s for these models were made by a club member called John ??? who worked for BLMC cars.

Colin Leighfield13/08/2020 22:26:26
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Hi Martin. Arthur was I think Chris Robathan’s dad (not Robotham?).Then young Chris was one of the team. The 109 you mention was the one I referred to, which was wrecked at Weston Park when it came in vertically from about 50ft just after take off. I think it was caused by a mix up with transmitters from what Dave has told me.

Martin McIntosh13/08/2020 22:46:28
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Thank god for 2.4 Colin. Not infallible maybe but it helps to stop that sort of thing happening again.

On my first F3A comp on 27 I got shot down by a rogue home built Tx on the adjacent scale line.

mal brewer13/08/2020 23:06:49
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Hi Martin and Colin, the mention by Martin of a Mitchel brings to my memory a cover photo of RCME of a line-up of the JDM display team.I think this was before the days of the big Lancaster and Spitfire. As I said, I never saw or heard about the Me 109, obviously I missed that somehow. Anyway, the line-up of models consisted of, as far as I can recall, a couple of Spitfires,one or two Mustangs, a P38 Lightning, a Dakota ( or C47 ) and a couple of B 25 Mitchels.Have I got this collection about right ? Also, was Jim Davis Models based in Stockland Green ?.................Mal

Andy Stephenson13/08/2020 23:20:56
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The JDM shop was at Marsh Lane Erdington although there was another one I never went to in Mansfield. There was also one in the centre of Birmingham which I don't think was there long.

Andy.

Eric Robson14/08/2020 07:59:19
331 forum posts
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Posted by Martin McIntosh on 13/08/2020 22:15:31:

Can I add my bit please?

The JDM Lanc was built by Arthur Robotham and Dave Wright who was the pilot. I attended the maiden flight which was conducted on the main runway at Fradley with special permission. I think that a TV crew may have been in attendance but not sure about that. It was powered by two petrol engines on the inboard nacelles with the outer props freewheeling, probably 100 cc in line twins.

They later built a 109 to the same scale.

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Thanks Martin and Colin, I was beginning to wonder if it was an age problem when there were doubts about the Me 109. I do remember asking about it and being told there was a problem. I was also sure the Lanc. only had two engines and now that has been confirmed. I think that is when I decided to scale down the Chris Gold's foam and brown paper Lancaster to 50" wingspan and fit two O.S. 20's in the inner nacelles, it flew very well not a lot of power but it would not have looked right flying like a pylon racer.

John Lee14/08/2020 09:30:51
792 forum posts
93 photos
Posted by mal brewer on 13/08/2020 23:06:49:

Hi Martin and Colin, the mention by Martin of a Mitchel brings to my memory a cover photo of RCME of a line-up of the JDM display team.I think this was before the days of the big Lancaster and Spitfire. As I said, I never saw or heard about the Me 109, obviously I missed that somehow. Anyway, the line-up of models consisted of, as far as I can recall, a couple of Spitfires,one or two Mustangs, a P38 Lightning, a Dakota ( or C47 ) and a couple of B 25 Mitchels.Have I got this collection about right ? Also, was Jim Davis Models based in Stockland Green ?.................Mal

Here you go Mal, the caption reads: "This is the Jim Davis Air Force! All but one of this R/C scale models, collected and prepared by Jim Davis and associates have been built from kits. The single engined models, three Curtis P.40s and three N.A. P-51Bs are from Top Flite kits. The two B.25 Mitchells are built from Aviette/RipMax kits, whilst the P-38 Lightning is a Japanese kitting effort. Only the Douglas C-47 (DC-3 Dakota) is scratchbuilt. Models are by Jim Davis Models demonstration team currently touring the major rallies."

jdm1.jpg

John Lee14/08/2020 09:35:13
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And from a couple of years later:

"One of the showstoppers of the Sywell R/C Expo at Easter were the two 2/7th scale 10ft 3in span Spitfires flown by the Jim Davis Demonstration Team. 35lb machines are powered by 55cc 'Denarm' chain saw motors driving 24 x12 in. props. Undercarriage retracts using purpose made mechanism based on RipMax Monoperm motor and Olympic radio provides the brains."

jdm2.jpg

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