By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by CML

Going old school

100 inch classic

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Andy Butler16/08/2012 15:05:25
455 forum posts
384 photos

Well the Quaker Flash and HK Phoenix 2000 are ready to be flown so my mind flitted about for another project and landed on an old, uncovered but built Balsa Cabin Rhapsody 100" electric glider. The wings are fine and in need of a bit of a sand and covering. The fuselage was taken down, hoovered to remove cobwebs and inspected. Now bearing in mind this was built many, many years ago, I can't believe I had built a banana. This wasn't a little bit out, it was a massive, jurassic, megalithic banana of such monstrous proportions I had no choice but to put it out of it's misery. And no, I won't be posting any photographs.

So did I have the plan to build another fuselage? A rummage around in my stack of plans came up with the required drawing, albeit cut from the full size plan but no matter. I have some sheets of 1/8" x 4" balsa so .....let's build a retro, slab sided, built from proper wood electric glider fuselage that was last constructed from this plan in the last century.

Steve Hargreaves - Moderator16/08/2012 15:22:24
6731 forum posts
191 photos

Andy, surely you can blame the curved fruit issues on many years of storage whilst uncovered....the wood will have absorbed moisture & was straight as a die when it left your board I'm sure.......teeth 2

Interesting model....I recently rescued my Balsa Cabin Sonata from the loft to throw off a big hill must be over 30 years p

Chris Bott - Moderator16/08/2012 15:57:43
6709 forum posts
1392 photos
1 articles

Hmmmm, wonder where my old Sonata E is? Might have a rummage..

Or was it a Serenade? It was the smaller one, does anyone know?

Edited By Chris Bott - Moderator on 16/08/2012 16:01:42

Olly P16/08/2012 16:12:54
3215 forum posts
181 photos

Hmm...and my Hi Fly will be ready shortly - I feel some retro glider guiding coming....


Andy Butler16/08/2012 18:27:28
455 forum posts
384 photos


I would build it first - might fly a little better smiley

The Balsa Cabin range all flew exceptionally well. The Sonata and Sonata E were both around 78", the Rhapsody is the electric powered 100" and the Fantasia was the unpowered version (with the same wing IIRC). The Serenade was, I think, about 64" and powered with an .049 or similar. I still have a Sonata kit in the workshop too. Going to hang on to that I think.

It will be good to get this built using a modern brushless / Lipo set up. The original had a Speed 600 and 2.8 to 1 gearbox with a 12 x 10 folding prop and 7 or 8 sub c nicads. Had a wing loading similar to that of the Titanic.

Next - cutting into the wood.

Former Member16/08/2012 18:32:19
3578 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

fly boy316/08/2012 19:51:55
3602 forum posts
21 photos

Nice idea Andy, but I have often thought that modern designs may result in a more efficient flying model. I love the retro look and flying qualities of the Ben Buckle type models, but I also wonder as the old designs are good, but may be bettered by modern thinking. Could be well off the mark with this one pal. Cheers

Edited By fly boy3 on 16/08/2012 19:52:55

Andy Butler17/08/2012 13:38:13
455 forum posts
384 photos

FB3 you may well be right, modern technology and materials are at the very forefront of what we do, I remember my first radio set was a four channel RCS system with servos the weight and size of half a house brick and yet now, at least in the Phoenix I've got 6 metal geared micro's each rated at 2.5Kg torque for a tiny fraction of the cost in real terms.

However there's just something very satisfying about hacking lumps of wood and turning out a model that flies well and that you enjoy. It won't outperform a modern moulded missile but that for me is part of the charm.

fly boy317/08/2012 14:55:01
3602 forum posts
21 photos

Hi Andy, I totally agree with you re the hacking of wood as you say. Our friends across the pond have a saying i agree with, " Wood flies good". I like it. Cheers

edwards flyboy17/08/2012 15:43:47
60 forum posts
29 photos

Funny how things seem to happen all at once I had a built and covered Sonata E . hanging up in the shed ,this was finished to ARTF. It must have been more than 15 years ago . I recently glued it all together and it looks great,Now then what to replace that speed 600 eith i,m sure the nce point will be interesting as the lipo can go right behind yhe motor, will keep you posted

Andy Butler22/08/2012 13:23:41
455 forum posts
384 photos

Well I've cut into some wood at last. Cut the fuselage sides and a kit of parts, tail plane, fin and rudder and some other odds and ends from 1/8" sheet. I've run out of 1/4" square so I'm waiting on a largish order from SLEC before I can do any more.

I have an EMP 3542 1000KV brushless motor and a 60A ESC already so I'm thinking of using them, probably overkill but I can always prop it down a bit. I also have a Keda 2217 860KV motor that will produce about 220watts on an 11x 6 folding prop. I'll have to see what the all up weight is to decide between the two.

I should be cracking on with this once the wood arrives. It is a very simple build and identical to the Sonata of which I've built one or two (6 at the last count and a kit in the workshop). I managed to build one in a weekend once - and that was using PVA!

Andy Butler30/08/2012 15:48:10
455 forum posts
384 photos

Well SLEC delivery was last weekend and I also dug out my old SLEC fuselage jig that I had in the loft and never got round to assembling. A trip to B&Q had some contiboard sorted, they even cut it free for me, and the self adhesive sheet was carefully stuck down. I now have to drill 92 holes for the captive nuts to go in so the angle brackets can be used anywhere on the jig. The captive nuts were all a bit rusty and nasty so I ordered a pack of 100 BZP items for £3 odd from Ebay. So now I'm waiting for them.

The Keda 2837 motor I ordered from GS arrived and was in a shocking state. I did leave a review on the website so won't bore you with it. I've now ordered the same Turnigy Aerodrive SK3 2836 1050KV as I have in the pheonix 2000, a really beautifully made, high quality motor that will spin an 11 x 6 or 7 without breaking sweat. I've got a 40A ESC with it too so should be nice and light, even with a 3s 2200mAh Lipo. So I'm waiting for that too.

Edited By Andy Butler on 30/08/2012 15:52:07

Andy Butler01/09/2012 18:52:54
455 forum posts
384 photos

Well the bits I needed turned up on Friday so the jig is made and building continues. Some Photo's for your delectation and delight;


Small but perfectly formed - Turnigy Aerodrive SK3 2836 1040KV.


The wings from the original build - just need a good sanding and then covering.


The jig in operation


Back end.....


Front end.


Nice and straight.

Mark Powell 201/09/2012 20:00:14
430 forum posts

fly boy3

Modern versus old. I have thought about this too. But looking at the KK Falcon thread, 90 inches or so span, flies fine on a four stroke 50 or less. Others are similar. Today a lot are designed for build simplicity, by ourselves or the 'Asians'.Straight wings, square tips, etc. And a lot of sheet construction which makes them heavy, and no stronger. Few can be bothered to build up a tailplane. Quick results versus performance. Even the relatively crude and 'budget' late 1940's KK Junior 60 is a revelation.

And a typical modern 'real' light aircraft has an inferior performance to a WW1 SE5. And it is not due to 2 or 4 people rather than one. But that is another issue.

fly boy301/09/2012 20:10:17
3602 forum posts
21 photos

HI Mark, I totally agree with you. I have a 30years + old Super Scorpion, flies on as 32 MDS. A wonderfull flyer, and draws comments from club members every time it flies. Cheers

Edited By fly boy3 on 01/09/2012 20:10:53

Andy Butler05/09/2012 13:51:08
455 forum posts
384 photos

Well I was looking at this last night and decided that I couldn't live with the front former / motor mount. I didn't have any 1/8" birch ply so I used lite ply but somehow it just didn't look as if it was up to the job. I had visions of the motor pulling the front out and taking the receiver and servo's with it!

I had some 3/16" birch ply so I made another motor mount from that and surgically removed the lite ply one and epoxied the new one in. Now this one I'm much happier with. The manipulation of the front end left it feeling a little weak so I'm going to add a 1/16" ply doubler in the front section back to the front of the wing seat former so that should sort that out. That's what I love about building either from a kit or plans, things evolve as you go through it and you can add, take out or modify just about anything to get it exactly how you want it.

A (fair) bit of sanding and it should be about ready to cover.

Steve Hargreaves - Moderator07/09/2012 10:32:56
6731 forum posts
191 photos

You've done the right thing Andy....Liteply isn't up to the job.....we tend to think of electric as "less powerful" than IC because of the smooth power & lack of vibration.....electric motors do tend to produce more low down torque & swing larger props than IC & need if anything a more rigid mounting....thumbs up

bouncebounce crunch07/09/2012 10:49:26
1739 forum posts
212 photos

I like the advise here, as i am moving a couple of old models to electric as the prices are reducing and dont want to see them suffer unless it is my thumbs.


Bob Cotsford07/09/2012 13:19:23
8152 forum posts
449 photos

I built a Flair Sunrise a couple of years ago which I electrified. Modern mini servos and 2.4, LiPo and 2815 brushless, Fibafilm covering - it went off like a rat up a drainpipe, it was easy to get the wings fluttering though. It's limit was really mild breezes, it was just too slow for the average British summer day. On a calm evening it was in it's element though. Stripping a plastic gear in a micro servo on rudder saw it bite the dust.

Flair Sunrise electrified

Miketgd07/09/2012 18:24:42
68 forum posts
22 photos

I have recently complete a Flair Sunrise - my first built-up kit in 30 years! Made a few mistakes as I had to relearn how to read a plan and make sense of the instructions. No laser-cut parts in this kit! However it flies well and will be good practice for the next two larger soarers at 118" and145".

sunrise 4.jpg

Logo was photocopied:

sunrise logo (2).jpg

and converted to:

sunrise logo.jpg

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of RCM&E? Use our magazine locator link to find your nearest stockist!

Find RCM&E! 

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Wings & Wheels 2019
Cambridge Gliding Club
electricwingman 2017
Sussex Model Centre
Advertise With Us
Do you use a throttle kill switch?
Q: This refers to electric-powered models but do you use a throttle kill switch?


Latest Reviews
Digital Back Issues

RCM&E Digital Back Issues

Contact us

Contact us