Sidewinder. Radio control sport model.
Quote: "Full size perfromance from a compact pattern ship.
It all started in the fall of 1978, after two seasons of campaigning an Ace Super Pacer (oz2284) in everything from fun-fly's to pattern contests. The Super Pacer's a nice plane to fly and absolutely deadly in fun-fly competition, but I wanted something else for serious pattern work. So I asked myself, what is it that makes those other planes fly the way they do? What makes them fast and smooth?
After looking closely at the more popular pattern designs, I found that a lot of them had things in common. First, these ships are flying at speeds that are either fairly fast or supersonic! What makes them that way? Start with the engine: with the amount of power that a Schnuerle .60 puts out, it's not hard to imagine the speed obtained by these monsters. But along with this raw power has to be the right airframe to allow that power to be utilized in the best possible fashion. These airframes are usually very clean and slick, aerodynamically, which makes for less drag and thus more speed. It also allows for another desirable characteristic - smoothness of control. Of course, the designers of these planes have to deal with such things as nose and tail moments, center of gravity, and root chord thickness; but when these are placed in the right combinations, the result is a fast and smooth aircraft.
The main feature that allows the modern pattern ship its speed and easy maneuverability is the wing. Most designs use either a tapered or swept wing, and quite a few use a combination of both. Sweep in the wing allows more dihedral stability in the design and also more potential speed. The tail section is usually also swept back to some degree, and a notable amount of anhedral is present in later designs. Basically, that's all there is to a pattern ship, except for some minor details that are a little too complicated to explain right now, but all that adds up to a plane that is fast, almost invulnerable to wind, smooth and easy to fly. Now the only problem left for me was to get all that neat stuff to work in a plane only one-third the size!
The only logical way to do this was to kind of scale down a .60-powered ship to my desired .19 to .30 engine size. Why that small? Mostly because I really wanted to improve upon the Super Pacer design and because I had an extra Super Tigre 23 hanging around. The finished product was the Sidewinder, a ship that had nothing in common with the Super Pacer except the balsa wood. The Sidewinder had been designed with all the goodies that its larger counterparts had - swept and tapered wings, swept tail group, anhedral stab, and fast and easy construction. And she flew exactly the way she was designed to fly - like a pattern ship.
The first Sidewinder was test flown at the Ace R/C factory and field, where Tom Runge, Proprietor, was nice enough to even give us a tour. I had spent the better part of the night before outfitting the bird with hardware and radio, only to arrive at Tom's with a 20-25 mph wind blowing...."
Sidewinder, MAN, June 1980.
Direct submission to Outerzone.
Article pages, thanks to RFJ.
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