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Making Old Timers More "Flyable"?


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Afternoon All,

 

I'm keeping half an eye on a potential quick project for next winter (between my long refurb list) and I'd really like to build another Old Timer. My first build back in to RC at the start of Covid was a Junior 60 from Ben Buckle. I LOVE the build style of Old Timers - all stick fuselages, beautiful wing shapes, and I'll always opt for fabric covering because I enjoy it. 

 

The only problem is, as much as I can appreciate the joy of nudging it around the sky, backing of the throttle until it sits in the wind nicely and watching it potter about gracefully, after a while it is incredibly boring. 

 

Are there any Old Timers that lend themselves to a more "sport flying" set up - 4ch conversion, fairly adventurous wind ranges, and mild to moderate aerobating (pretty much B Cert schedule stuff)?

 

Depending on which engine will be spare at the end of the season, I'm thinking of either an Elf biplane or a Falcon but i'm wondering if there's anything else - maybe Bristol M1c from Balsa USA might scratch the traditional build itch, but be more fun in the sky. 

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Posted (edited)

As to flying the old timers... I have a Ben Buckle Scorpion , & Junioer 60 cutrrently flying & a Super 60 in the loft awaiting a new wing..... As much as I have enjoyed flying various types of models over the years... yes im not old at almost 51 but comign back into the hobby last year I know find myself leaning more towards the older models which I wud never get bored of just plodding round the sky at a nice slow relaxed pace rather than taring around the sky like a rat up a drain pipe ,, I can do it all day everyday easily and right now prefer that more relaxed style of flying way more than say flying my Panic or Ruckus.... I even have an old Waterhouse & eley Superfly ,, yes the 3 channel figerglass trainer and recently i picked up a DB Centurion,,,  I even love and enjoy flying my diesel powered glider which i was flying both days at the weekend

 

I also spent 11 years flying at the Hop Farm Show in Kent and Wings & Wheels in Harlow ,, but now my mad capped sling it round the sky like I stole it days are long gone and I think I'm gradually becoming an old fart type of flier..:classic_laugh:

 

 

 

 

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Edited by GaryW
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I think modifying models like a junior 60 etc to become mildly aerobatic , B test aeros, is to kind of miss the point of that type of aircraft, which is  pottering gently around on calm days, putting the Tx down and laying on your back and enjoying the gentle perambulations of the model. Gentle aeros? How about a Tauri, or a KK Fleetwing or a Falcon 56. all plans available.

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23 minutes ago, Martin Dance 1 said:

I think modifying models like a junior 60 etc to become mildly aerobatic , B test aeros, is to kind of miss the point of that type of aircraft, which is  pottering gently around on calm days, putting the Tx down and laying on your back and enjoying the gentle perambulations of the model. Gentle aeros? How about a Tauri, or a KK Fleetwing or a Falcon 56. all plans available.

Unfortunately that type of flying isn't worth getting out of bed for. The building is lovely, but I can't do more than one flight like that anymore.

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Payneib, yes you can so modify the old timers. Flat bottom wing, less dihedral, beefed up, more power, but it’s then a different beast. 
Buy a chair, then do touch and goes, until the touch gets to 60 meters. Not boring. Or a complete circuit executed at 3 meter altitude. Not boring.

The Bristol would be nice, or most bi planes, 

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 Frog Jackdaw, could be described as a three channel trainer that can be quite aerobatic with increased rudder movement/size. Ailerons could be an easy addition. 

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You could always build a vintage model but use a semi-symetrical wing section.  The thick Clark Y section or even undercambered sections  of these, originally free flight, models was to get them climbing quickly, not to penetrate into wind.   Also bear in mind that any designs with a lifting section tailplane were intended to have the centre of gravity at 50% or more of the wing chord as they were single speed models.  At least the Junior 60 with its flat plate tail and 'conventional' centre of gravity would adapt more easily.

Most vintage models with modern engines are massively overpowered compared to the originals, so getting off the ground won't be an issue.

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Posted (edited)

+ 1 for the Astro Hog.

 

Or how about an Uproar? Stick built, symmetrical wing section, finished runner up in the European Aerobatic Championships in 1959. The plan is available on The Outerzone. There are three different versions: https://outerzone.co.uk/search/results.asp?keyword=Uproar. There is also a short-kit of the Uproar by Belair Models now being marketed by SLEC: https://www.belairdigital.co.uk/detail.asp?id=1029. My Uproar is pictured below.

 

Then there are Chris Olsen's low wing designs, the Uplift and the Upset: https://outerzone.co.uk/search/results.asp?keyword=Chris+Olsen

 

Nearly there. (1).JPG

Nearly there. (2).JPG

Nearly there..JPG

Edited by David Davis 2
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Posted (edited)

When training rookie pilots who come along with a vintage style model, I always find there is a tendency to zoom up and stall when too much throttle is applied, speed build up in a turn or from an inadvertent dive. This is a hindrance to the ease of learning. The best and easiest trainer I have tutored with was a Vmar model whose name I can't remember but it had a symmetrical section wing which was immune to the zooming effect.

Edited by Andy Stephenson
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Trouble is that the vintage models are very good at what they do - but to get to 'B' flyability you will be modifying most of it's stability out of it...

 

Take a look at the Frog Jackdaw. The plan is available on outer zone for download, is all built up like a Super 60, and can be built as a 3 function trainer/lazy floater or a 4 function aerobatic model - just build the two styles of wing.

 

There is a thread on here on the re-furb of one.

 

Tom

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  • 5 weeks later...

Your bog standard Junior 60 is incredibly manouverable and flown well it does pretty accurate rolls, rolling circles, flys inverted with a bit of effort,over power it with an OS 52 and you can do masses of things with it, and it completes the B  to a good standard as well but you will need the power and speed for the outside loop.

 

The only thing it cant do is knife edge, otherwise the rudder is as responsive as ailerons for rolls..

 

 

 

Edited by Jason Channing
knife edge
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You might also want to consider a Frog Jackdaw - the often forgotten competitor to the Super 60, and a more lively model. Although designed for single-channel (rudder only), the plans also showed up to full-house controls (aileron and elevator). It is around 60" span, so similar size to the Super 60.

 

Its not as "floaty" as a Super (or Junior) 60 and is certainly capable of loops and rolls. Originally designed for a 3.5cc diesel, "back in the day" many were fitted with Merco 35s, which gave them sprightly performance. Mine flies adequately on an ASP30 4-stroke. An electric conversion should be relatively simple, as there is a nice big hatch for the fuel tank.

 

Mine has full-house controls, and has flown on "giga-ized" reeds:

 

DSCF1830_red.jpg.a2d28566fd1927de8e6918b555cbaf35.jpg

 

DSCF1835_red.jpg.c2522f977895090a06f7e4bc4445e52b.jpg

 

Plans available on Outerzone.

 

--

Pete

 

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Pete Christy, that is a very attractive Frog Jackdaw you have there.

Considering how early the Frog Jackdaw was released (1960), it was really quite an advanced model for the day; well, at least having the four channel option was.  Given that it preceded both Keil Kraft's Super 60 (1961) and David Boddington's Tyro (1966) and Tyro Major (1973), it appears to have set the trend for the shape of all of them.

As I understand it, the Frog model aircraft and engine production was shut down more or less overnight to make way for Cindy Doll production, as Cindy was seen as a far more lucrative product, to compete with Mattel's Barbie.   Bear that in mind if you're ever considering giving either Cindy or Barbie cockpit room in your model!

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3 hours ago, Robin Colbourne said:

Pete Christy, that is a very attractive Frog Jackdaw you have there.

Considering how early the Frog Jackdaw was released (1960), it was really quite an advanced model for the day; well, at least having the four channel option was.  Given that it preceded both Keil Kraft's Super 60 (1961) and David Boddington's Tyro (1966) and Tyro Major (1973), it appears to have set the trend for the shape of all of them.

As I understand it, the Frog model aircraft and engine production was shut down more or less overnight to make way for Cindy Doll production, as Cindy was seen as a far more lucrative product, to compete with Mattel's Barbie.   Bear that in mind if you're ever considering giving either Cindy or Barbie cockpit room in your model!

 

 I've got a Barbie in my Auster.

Barbie Pilot.JPG

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Another model the OP might want to consider is the Astro Hog from 1958, generally acknowledged to be the first practical, low-wing aerobatic model. It certainly set the benchmark for those that followed it!

 

I don't have a picture, alas, but the plans are on Outerzone, with accompanying pix.

 

4 hours ago, Robin Colbourne said:

Pete Christy, that is a very attractive Frog Jackdaw you have there.

 Glad you liked it! At first, I flew it on a Grundig reed set, converted to 2.4 GHz, but it tends to swing a bit on takes off, and needs you to be quick on the rudder! Much easier with proportional radio!

 

Its a little bit under powered with the ASP 30 4-stroke, and needs a decent take-off run and short grass. I'm not terribly impressed with the ASP. It doesn't have a smuch get up and go as my OS 20 FS. I wish OS still made the 28 FS...!

 

The ASP broke a rocker a while back, and while it was away being repaired, I fitted a 25 2-stroke, which made it a LOT livelier - but not quite in keeping with its vintage! 😁

It also emptied the rather small tank quite quickly!

 

The ASP is now back in place, and peace and tranquillity has been restored!

 

--

Pete

 

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7 hours ago, Jason Channing said:

Your bog standard Junior 60 is incredibly manouverable and flown well it does pretty accurate rolls, rolling circles, flys inverted with a bit of effort,over power it with an OS 52 and you can do masses of things with it, and it completes the B  to a good standard as well but you will need the power and speed for the outside loop.

 

The only thing it cant do is knife edge, otherwise the rudder is as responsive as ailerons for rolls..

Ah!  A Meatloaf moment ('You took the words right out of my mouth...')

 

I built mine for (early) electric and nursed it round one sedate circuit.  It quickly got 'engined' with an original OS 40 4S (currently running a 40 Surpass) and it now it's as sedate or hooliganly as you like.  It's the only plane that makes my rolling circles look good.  The only thing that rules it out for the 'B' is that it won't spin properly.  And I disagree with the notion that these planes were designed for 'pottering'.  They were designed to climb to height fast with a screaming diesel or petrol and trimmed for a long flat glide.

 

To the OP I'd say the Astro Hog is a good candidate, but with a needlessly complicated build.  I'd suggest going on 'Outerzone' and use the matrix search function to narrow down your desired size to the mid '1940s to mid-1960's date range...

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22 minutes ago, Peter Christy said:

Another model the OP might want to consider is the Astro Hog from 1958, generally acknowledged to be the first practical, low-wing aerobatic model. It certainly set the benchmark for those that followed it!

 

I don't have a picture, alas, but the plans are on Outerzone, with accompanying pix.

 

 Glad you liked it! At first, I flew it on a Grundig reed set, converted to 2.4 GHz, but it tends to swing a bit on takes off, and needs you to be quick on the rudder! Much easier with proportional radio!

 

Its a little bit under powered with the ASP 30 4-stroke, and needs a decent take-off run and short grass. I'm not terribly impressed with the ASP. It doesn't have a smuch get up and go as my OS 20 FS. I wish OS still made the 28 FS...!

 

The ASP broke a rocker a while back, and while it was away being repaired, I fitted a 25 2-stroke, which made it a LOT livelier - but not quite in keeping with its vintage! 😁

It also emptied the rather small tank quite quickly!

 

The ASP is now back in place, and peace and tranquillity has been restored!

 

--

Pete

 

Pete,
Before you wrote this last message, I was thinking of asking you about the ASP 30FS.  I have been trying to get one running, to go in a Junior 60 I bought at Old Warden, but finding it a real struggle.  Like you I have an OS20FS, which, with its choke lever I found pretty easy to start.  I've read differing reviews about the ASP.  Some say flick start only, others say an electric starter can be used.  I have had a few bursts out of it but it seems to have very little compression, and doesn't want to start unless primed in the exhaust (which I consider is risking hydraulic lock).

Also what fuel do you use in your ASP? Specifically what % nitromethane and what % synthetic and %castor, if any?

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1 hour ago, Mike T said:

Ah!  A Meatloaf moment ('You took the words right out of my mouth...')

 

I built mine for (early) electric and nursed it round one sedate circuit.  It quickly got 'engined' with an original OS 40 4S (currently running a 40 Surpass) and it now it's as sedate or hooliganly as you like.  It's the only plane that makes my rolling circles look good.  The only thing that rules it out for the 'B' is that it won't spin properly.  And I disagree with the notion that these planes were designed for 'pottering'.  They were designed to climb to height fast with a screaming diesel or petrol and trimmed for a long flat glide.

 

To the OP I'd say the Astro Hog is a good candidate, but with a needlessly complicated build.  I'd suggest going on 'Outerzone' and use the matrix search function to narrow down your desired size to the mid '1940s to mid-1960's date range...

 

The Junior 60 does spin well  but you need to deeply aggrevate it first, in a way that is not suitable for a b test. (usually from a top of a loop) Good to hear your abusing it.

 

Some of the people I fly with hate it but then I have been told of past club members in the 60's doing the same stuff with reed radio so we're just keeping the tradition alive.

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