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FTFC20 Travel Air Mystery Ship by Basslord1124

basslord1124

Well-known member
#1
So here is my submission for FTFC20...the Travel Air Mystery Ship.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travel_Air_Type_R_Mystery_Ship

Just like the full scale thing where only 5 were made...the balsa versions aren't super common either (at least in comparison to other planes)

I did find these:
https://outerzone.co.uk/plan_details.asp?ID=7678
https://outerzone.co.uk/plan_details.asp?ID=2309

I have seen a few places where I can purchase plans too. As long as they aren't too expensive, I may do that. In the end I would like a good 30"-40" wingspan model.

The reason for picking the model is I remember first seeing it in my Real Flight simulator. The name caught my attention. And my wife, being the hippie she is, loved the name too. And without knowing much of the plane's limited history especially for racing, I found the plane on the sim to be what I would call a "lazy flyer". Plus with its long and rounded fuse it just kinda struck me as an easy going flying plane. Perhaps there was some sim settings that I hadn't changed or didn't notice that made it fly this way, maybe I was flying it too slow anyways, etc. I don't really know...just first impression was a nice relaxing flying airplane.

When preparing for this challenge and looking up airplanes, I looked up a list of the planes featured in the movie The Rocketeer (one of my favorite movies growing up) as it was kind of a "plane" movie. I knew about the GeeBee but didn't wanna do it for the challenge. Well sure enough, the Mystery Ship showed up in that list too.

http://www.impdb.org/index.php?title=The_Rocketeer

So that sealed the deal on my plane choice. Wife loves the plane and it was in one of my favorite childhood movies.

From there, I was amazed to learn that only 5 were built AND that they were race planes.

So anyways looking forward to the journey. :)
 

basslord1124

Well-known member
#4
It has dawned on me that as of right now I have hardly done anything with this. Just had a lot of stuff going on here these past few months that I haven't really devoted much time to building, flying, etc. Things are turning around though. Hoping to regain my focus and see if I can make some progress with this plane.
 

basslord1124

Well-known member
#8
Wow cool...thanks for the heads up @PsyBorg and @BridgeInspector ...I'll definitely take a look at it. :)

I think at this stage, I have came to the conclusion that I have doubts I will make the deadline for this (considering all that has went on over the past few months)...BUT I do want to tackle this anyways and at least attempt to build this plane. I'll keep updating this thread with any updates that happen.
 

PoorManRC

Well-known member
#12
I didn't realize the exciting History of this in the beginning....
My Dad knew Pancho Barnes from her "Happy Bottom Riding Club", which sat right in the middle of what is now Edwards Air Force Base.

Anyway... Howard Hughes, with Herbert Rowden, under Walter Beech (the SAME Beech!) designed this Plane, among several others. (Hughes wasn't always the glory hound. His name was rarely associated with this, because he was promoting his own H-1 Hercules Air Racer at the same time)

This Plane won the Thompson Trophy in 1929.
"Pancho" Barnes, actually a young rebellious Debutante, and the Granddaughter of the Man who started the US Army Air Force..... and loaded, promptly bought one of the prototypes. One of only 5 ever made.

The Plane was originally built with an Inline 6 cylinder Engine... But Pancho had a Wright Radial Engine fitted.
(Pancho's Pilot Licence was actually administered AND signed by Orville Wright!!) 😳

Anyway, always trying to shake her pampered image, she took that Aircraft, and promptly BROKE the cross country Speed Record that Amelia Earhart had recently set!! Then she went after Jackie Corcoran. The 3 were fierce competitors.
Barnes wasn't nearly as "attractive" as her rivals. That gave her a big chip on her shoulder, and made her mean, tough an ornery as well. Although she was always generous and sweet to the few she called Friends.


I hope my little Story Time wasn't too boring....
I always try to Honor my Dad's Memory. HE was a Great Man. Did Great things and knew Great People.

He was close Friends with Chuck Yeager, Kelly Johnson and Alan Shepard.
THEY were close Friends with Pancho Barnes. I never got to see the place, but I was told it WAS the Golden Age of Aviation, wrapped into one Ranch complex.

I'll leave you with pictures of her and her modified Mystery Ship! 😉

IMG_20200116_200021.jpg
IMG_20200116_195907.jpg
 

PoorManRC

Well-known member
#14
I'm happy to share these Stories!
In a way, I'm making up for being a 20-something BRAT, lost in my Dad's HUGE Shadow...
Things from our youth that we wish we could take back.
 

basslord1124

Well-known member
#15
Thanks to @leaded50 for bringing this up as he is also building a Mystery Ship (on his own though, not for this challenge)...it reminded me to give a few updates here as progress has been starting to "take off"

Had some personal stuff going on that really slowed me down in a lot of areas including my work with my RC planes. BUT I have decided I want to try and get this plane done by Flitefest.

As for right now, I have taken some existing plans and diagrams and tried to see if I can work on these in a CAD program. I have recently transitioned my computer from Microsoft Windows to Linux (me and my geek/tech life is a whole other conversation that I'll be glad to share sometime) and the big CAD program for Linux is one called FreeCAD. FreeCAD is also available for MS Windows as well. And it appears that FreeCAD has a steep learning curve anyways. I don't care to learn something new and I do like to challenge myself sometimes. However for this, I am feeling very tempted just to try and make it easy on myself and enlarge some of the existing diagrams/plans of the plane and try and work with that instead. I can take my sweet time learning FreeCAD in the background or in my spare time. Just a thought.

In the end though, I'd like to build this model somewhere between a 30" - 50" wingspan. That's it for now, I'll post more updates as I get them.
 

leaded50

Well-known member
#17
i also see a lot of the sketchses , as the one shared up in this thread dont have correct wingprofile... just look at the picture of the plane, wings are evenly rounded at tip.. not as on the sketch. "oval" .
 

basslord1124

Well-known member
#18
Well I enlarged the diagram from what I had and this is what it looks like:

mystery-ship-plan-enlarged.jpg


I measured the wingspan and it's looking at around 41". I took my original image and blew it up to 550%. Thinking this is a good size or I may still go a little bit bigger.

FYI...at this scale, the prop measured a little over 11". :eek: That is one thing I have noticed with the Mystery Ship is the prop size is actually pretty big.

Due to the more rounded shape of the fuse and the way this plane is layed out, I am thinking of doing a removable wing for easy battery access and transport. However, this might prove to be a little bit of a challenge for the wing wire supports...may just have to make those removable as well. I suppose I'll cross that bridge when I get there, assuming I go that route. I could make a removable top hatch for battery access too like I did on my Spitfire.
 

mayan

Well-known member
#20
Well I enlarged the diagram from what I had and this is what it looks like:

View attachment 160088

I measured the wingspan and it's looking at around 41". I took my original image and blew it up to 550%. Thinking this is a good size or I may still go a little bit bigger.

FYI...at this scale, the prop measured a little over 11". :eek: That is one thing I have noticed with the Mystery Ship is the prop size is actually pretty big.

Due to the more rounded shape of the fuse and the way this plane is layed out, I am thinking of doing a removable wing for easy battery access and transport. However, this might prove to be a little bit of a challenge for the wing wire supports...may just have to make those removable as well. I suppose I'll cross that bridge when I get there, assuming I go that route. I could make a removable top hatch for battery access too like I did on my Spitfire.
You can take a look at my design work of the DGA-6 I am sure you find my learning curve useful. I also see a lot of similarities between the designs so feel free to steal :). Regarding the wing struts look at this might give you some ideas.