Storm Petrel. Lightweight RC trainer for .20 engines.
Note when this design appeared in 1991 RCME both the plan and the article text were printed with the designer Tad Davison's name wrongly spelled as 'Ted Davison'.
Quote: "Presenting Ted Davison's lightweight trainer for .20 size motors.
In the late autumn of 1988, I found myself at a loose end with little or nothing to do. I had exhausted the supply of small running repairs to my modest collection of model aircraft. If memory serves me correctly the weather was foul - much too bad for flying after much deliberation, I turned to the back issues of RCM&E for inspiration.
Initially, I looked for an engrossing winter project; something to absorb my concentration on those dark stormy evenings when there is little to watch on television. About this time my daughter was becoming interested in aeroplanes. She was approaching the tender age of three but had an intellect far advance of her years. I mention this not simply out of parental pride, but she made an ideal subject on which to test a theory. So often, when describing the flyability of a given aircraft, have I heard the expression 'so easy a child could fly it' that I wondered whether this could be so.
An aeroplane of this type may not look complicated outwardly, but having laid the ground rules for the model it is surprising how difficult a project it eventually became. It is true there were more taxing projects I could have chosen but there is something to be said for returning to one's grass roots. It enables the modeller to evaluate personal experience and gives perspective to an individual's accomplishments.
Inspiration duly came from the pages of my magazines. I saw features in other models that I liked which were thrown into the 'melting pot' with ideas of my own. The outcome was the Storm Petrel - a dainty, intrinsically stable, three channel trainer with commendable good looks. The name Storm Petrel, as ornithologists will know, is taken from a sea bird of that name. This creature is so flightly and agile that it appears to possess the ability to walk on water. It glides effortlessly on a breeze and is a joy to watch. The model lives up to this part of its name.
Let us ponder for a moment the word 'trainer'. A trainer is widely regarded as a suitable first model; one that flies in a stable fashion. A trainer should have the capacity to fly slowly thus giving ample thinking-time, and a trainer should have no idiosyncrasies that are likely to give the pilot a heart attack. All too often I see newcomers to aeromodelling arrive at our local flying site with aircraft that are not really suitable for training purposes. Even some so-called trainers give cause for few raised eyebrows.
The Storm Petrel is designed specifically for those who have never flown a radio-controlled model before. I do not make the claim that the Storm Petrel is the 'definitive' trainer but she is streets ahead of many kit-built aircraft, especially some almost-ready-to-fly (ARTF) types. This is substantiated not least by virtue of the fact that she is much lighter than most. In David Boddington's own words, 'weight is the enemy of aircraft', and this a fundamental principle.
I am not in the habit of making unjustified claims for my aircraft but as a tool for building confidence, she is positively brilliant. With more than a modicum of success, the newcomer is likely to stay with model aircraft. This benefits us all.
Fuselage construction. I have always held the opinion that the world of radio controlled model aircraft should not be the preserve of the rich. I am dismayed when I look through the pages of advertisements at the price of radio equipment, engines and ancillary components. I often wonder how an old aged pensioner, schoolboy, or (another category long overlooked) the disabled can ever hope to afford to make an entry into this hobby. I can do little to amend the situation with regard to engines or radio equipment, but what I can do is enable those mentioned above and others less fortunate than myself to build an aircraft a little at a time when they can afford to so..."
Storm Petrel, RCM&E, March 1991.
Direct submission to Outerzone.
Update 05/06/2018: Replaced this plan with a corrected copy, thanks to Circlip.
It seems RCME printed this plan with a mismatch between the side view of the wing rib and the plan view of the wing layout (see comments).
Quote: "Have modded plan to suit difference in wing chord. Chord reduced to same as Fuse cross section. Have put a double border round title block to differentiate."
Article pages, thanks to RFJ.
Previous scan version (as printed in RCME, with mismatched wing).
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