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Fullfilling the dream... the ultimate rubber powered airplane


Enjoy Flight & Enjoy Life
Hey guys, here is our latest video we made with Josh at West Baden! This time, we decided to interview him!

This was my first attempt at any sort of "interview" with anyone... so, go easy on me... lol!

You can ask Josh, but I almost balked at doing this... However, Josh insisted that we should (even though he didn't know I was going to surprise him with some humorous props towards the end of the interview!)

Josh had given me boat-loads of information-- this man is an encyclopedia of knowledge...
Wait... Let me rephrase that for those young ones out there who have not seen (or touched) an encyclopedia.
Um, this man is a Wikipedia of knowledge just a Google search away?

Unfortunately, for brevity, I had to edit the video to something a little more manageable in length.
In the end, we had a good time making the video-- so, we hope you enjoy.

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I build things that fly (sometimes)
Shoot. Funny to see Joseph walk through there. He and his dad are members of our club and we see them flying pattern all the time. Kid's an amazing pilot.

Enjoyed the video!
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Free Flight Indoorist
Some degree of actual progress has been observed. That's not saying much.

First, something I left out before we left for West Baden. We have a logo!

The kit was loaded into the trailer like this. Upon arrival, I handed it off to its new owner and he proudly showed it off for a few hours before loading it up and taking it home. I think most folks present were quite excited about it, but not ready to pay for one.

I got a bunch of stuff put together for Hope's build, but first, those ribs and that stab template will produce a new stab for my own model. Hopefully Saturday I can test it out and not have that stalling nonsense anymore.

My last act for the evening was to press go on the new prop block. Errr...part 1 of 3 of said block. Not totally obvious in this photo, but that new block is MUCH bigger than the one in my hand there. That little thing in my hand is only for a 26" prop. I mean really, who flies on a prop that small?


Free Flight Indoorist
Brad, thanks for posting the video here. Y'all did a great job and Hope and I had a blast hanging out.

Wilmracer, yeah, Don and Joseph have both gotten into F1D and are getting quite good at it. I think Joseph can fly just about anything. Amazing skills.


Biplane Guy
That is a neat logo! If you ever get one in sticker form I'll slap one on my lap top with a bunch of the others. Looks like nice packaging too. I'm a sucker for a well packed kit!


Maneuvering With Purpose
This was my first attempt at any sort of "interview" with anyone... so, go easy on me... lol!
I thought you did a good job! It was interesting, you kept it moving along and you kept the guests and audience engaged. Maybe a little long but who knows? I'm not a serious fan, but I have a soft spot in my heart for these things and I liked it.


Hostage Taker of Quads
While nowhere near as entertaining as Nighthawks vids . . . I was able to catch video of *BOTH* the Hourglass II and a bit of steering using a carp pole:

. . . and the final flight time?


Now on to the Hourglass III!!!
My intuition says that one could make a bigger unlimited model, without it getting very heavy, by going with a braced biplane wing. Something along the lines of a traditional, old time biplane. Struts and wires. I suppose a 1/10 scale Chrysalis won't do the job, though.
chrysalis human powered plane simple drawing.jpg
Oh well.
dude, that is awesome. I hope you manage to break some records.

Dont think i would have the patience for building planes like that though.
I prefer when they can go a bit faster and i can "control" what they do hehe.


Free Flight Indoorist
BTW, I wish you guys would stop hiding the voodoo necessary to get c-grain motor stick wood to go around such small radii.
Have you taken a look at this video: https://youtu.be/rr3FlaORMJQ

You have to roll it good and tight inside the tissue, but other than that, there really are no secrets. That said, C grain 1/32 just isn't going to go around a 1/4" mandrel no matter how hard you try.


Biplane Guy
In theory is it possible to mate a mini vapor motor and servos to an F1D size airplane? That might be a neat project. You might still be able to use a variable pitch pro too.


Free Flight Indoorist
Brief detour...

Like most indoor fliers, I've built several Limited Pennyplanes over the years. Ironically, however, my first plastic covered indoor model was an Open Pennyplane by Clarence Mather. I built several over the years and they were decently fun, but I never competed in OPP until last summer. And I didn't have a proper model ready in time, so a hour before we had to leave the Nats for home, I slapped a VP prop on my LPP, rebalanced it, and put up a winning flight just under 10 minutes. The poor airplane looked so sad flying on a prop so completely oversized for its restricted wing.

Anyway, last fall, I took and old cobbled together F1M made itself from spare parts of other models, and clipped it down to OPP rules. And then had to add a ton of ballast to bring it up to weight. Anyway, I flew it recently on partial motors and the flight times were ok but not spectacular. Well, I flew it this weekend at our monthly meet (prior to that sweet video Dan got of the Hourglass II). After crashing the model doing stupid crap, I had to retrim it, and suddenly the flight times went up by over 2 minutes. So Bill Gowen's club record of 12:17 falls, and the new club record is 14:57. The national record is 16:18, set in 2005. I do believe that's going down soon since I can see a pretty clear path to longer flights.

It's a funky looking plane, but it's an easy build and flies nicely.



Ok, back to the purpose of this thread...

The prop block for Hourglass III is finished. That little red thing is merely the block for the 25.5" Hourglass II prop. Looks small by comparison. :eek:



Free Flight Indoorist
In theory is it possible to mate a mini vapor motor and servos to an F1D size airplane? That might be a neat project. You might still be able to use a variable pitch pro too.
No. Can't possibly do that. And I've never, ever, ever tried it. :rolleyes:

I need to build another now that I have those Plantraco modules.


Free Flight Indoorist
Well I got started making the templates for Hope's Hourglass II.

And lots of parts...

Sections assembled...

And there's the finished wing form:

You'll remember of course, that I already built her stab template because I used it for my own stab (which turned out too heavy and is just taking up space now).

Anyway, last night I went and bought a bunch of 4" wide 1/8" balsa sheets.

And I proceeded to use up all but two of those sheets. Yes, seriously.
But hey, check out what I made (and yes, those cute little wing and stab templates at the top of the photo are for Hope's Hourglass II). Oh yeah!!!


Free Flight Indoorist
It's been a bit since I've updated things here. Now I've got some nice progress to show. Hope and I are starting our actual builds as you'll see here.

First up, I built out a hub for mine. It's a little overbuild and I may go back and replace some of the hardware if I can get it to work with a smaller prop shaft and driver arms. As shown here, it's the hub on the right, and neither of these is finished as shown since the springs and screws hadn't been installed yet. The hub on the left was shipped out to a customer in Thailand two days ago. My hub is also finished now and looks like it will perform solidly. Hope will not be running a VP prop on her Hourglass II since it won't be necessary at Lakehurst on a plane with a 40 minute performance target.

I cut a bunch of ribs last night from a really nice piece of vintage Sig contest grade 1/32 that weighed out at 4.5 lb/ft^3. The ribs came out very nicely.

I finally got the wing and stab templates assembled. They are pretty big compared to Hope's Hourglass II templates:

The real story is here. This thing is going to be HUGE!!! Remember, these aren't the flying surfaces, they're forming templates for an airplane that will hopefully only weigh 3 grams. There have only been a handful of airplanes ever built in this size and wingloading range.

I got the prop ribs prepped...

Here are the prop blades formed up on the template with ribs involved:

This is where I gapped the outlines so that they wouldn't bond together while I was installing the ribs. Incidentally, the ribs were glued in with regular Elmer's white glue (NOT Elmer's Non Toxic Glue, which is absolute garbage and WILL NOT hold reliably).

Aaand a little instructional video on how I formed the outlines. I should note these outlines are made from 18" lengths of .030" balsa. The total outline circumference is 35", so I had to butt glue two strips together to make each outline.



Free Flight Indoorist
Time to talk about propellers...

Here we've got the spars installed.

Another view:

I built a twisted covering frame for this prop. Really I shouldn't have even proceeded with this prop. It was clear already that it was going to be too heavy. Oh well.
I used semi-unobtainium Y2K film, which is roughly .4 micron thick (OS film that I usually use is .5 micron). The film was attached to the covering frame with vaseline, which allows the film to be repositioned to get better tensioning:

Here's a blade on the covering frame:

Here's a video on how to form up the blades:
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Free Flight Indoorist
The wing was built up from wood that I spent considerable time testing and selecting until I got spars of a weight I wanted. Here's the wing on the build template:

And here's the completed wing frame. I cannot express how fragile and floppy this frame is. 547 mg is a pretty satisfying result, though.

Now for the crazy part... Here's the roll of covering, unopened for some 18-odd years: IMG_20180505_203036036s.jpg

I'm not kidding when I say this is the most rare covering material on the planet. I estimate that less than 50 complete rolls remain worldwide.

One last photo before that number comes to "less than 49"

I cannot describe how difficult it was to roll out 6' of this stuff. I also cannot describe the stress level. The film was kinked in one spot on the roll and I managed to end up with 5 evenly spaced holes which could have turned into huge tears if I hadn't been watching for them. These all got patched later...minimal weight penalty, and on a model of this type and size, no one will really notice them. This stuff really is beautiful.

And onto the biggest covering frame I've ever made. This may be the largest length of Y2K2 film ever placed on a frame:

Onto the covering goeth the wing. Just spraying the adhesive onto that huge wing was ridiculously difficult because of how floppy it was. Is. Uhm....

The wing has to stay on the frame for now... infrastructure needs to be prepared.

In the meantime here's a tip on building wings:
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