Ghoulie II. Radio control delta slope soarer.
Quote: "Ghoulie II. Designed for fun and adrenalin. Keith Thomas on how to build his 27 inch Delta Sloper
This is a very small, highly acrobatic, extremely twitchy little plane whose only purpose in life is to sharpen up your reflexes! It is dirt cheap to make, quick to build, and dead easy to carry from the bottom of the hill to the top. It requires a small receiver, a very small battery and two micro servos. You'd better check that your includes a suitable mixer, too, since there's no space inside for any more gubbins -mechanical or electronic. 'Ghoulies' also encourage good eyesight and respond well to long grass. Have I tempted you? No, I thought not. Well, I'm going to tell you how to build one anyway, since D.J. asked me to!
This model is my sixth delta slope soarer. if you happened to read my comments on model development in last issue's Slopeside, you may be alarmed at this news. Since my approach to development always results in a heavier, more complicated model which flies worse than its predecessor, the sixth model in any series is likely to represent State of the Art with a capital F. But fear notl 'Ghoulie II' is only the second in this particular line. True, it's 10% bigger, 50% heavier, 200% more complex and - at first - wouldn't fly, but every big mouth has the occasional bout of teething trouble. Take heart from the thought that Ghoulie II is much better now than Ghoulie III will ever be.
The first of my 'Ghoulies' descended from the attic workshop in 1983, and was a classic case of ripeness for modernisation: crude, unlovely, but a real good flyer, The 18 in span wings were of ordinary white foam, cut by my sophisticated BK/S technique (bread-knife/ sandpaper), and covered in some old veneer which had peeled off a damp cupboard somewhere. I intended installing all the gear in the thickness of the wing, but it just wouldn't fit, so a sort of fuselage bulged up around all the protruding bits.
Each component was accommodated in its own rectangular recess chopped out of the foam - a method which I can heartily recommend to nobody. The servos were mounted in wells cut in the underside of the wings, and were simply jammed in place. Simple and secure - but how d'you get them out again? Access to the receiver and battery, gained via a small top hatch, was hopeless. The dumpy little fuselage - see photograph in the last issue of 'Silent Flight' - finally put paid to my original idea of a tiny, really sleek delta. But, to my considerable surprise it flew really well. It could handle strong, blustery winds, rolled Like the clappers, and-had the excellent low-speed handling which is a characteristic of the delta layout.
I had a bundle of fun with this ten ounce model, but I have to admit that I kept on crashing it. The problem was always the same: I would let it get a little too far away, then not notice which way it was rolling until it struck the ground. Indeed, my poor little Ghoulie bounced and cartwheeled all over the White Sheet downs, but never suffered serious damage.
The ghostly ghastliness of the model's construction gave me many a nightmare, so when one or two sane modellers declared that they wanted to know my secret, I was forced to produce a more respectable version. Hence Mk II. The wings were more or less the same size, but were of built-up construction (how I hate working with foam). They were pushed apart by a new, all-wood fuselage 6 inches wide, so the span crept up to 24 in. The generous width of this funny-shaped box gave me plenty of room for the gear, each component lying flat on its back, so to speak, so I was able to build the fuselage with an ultra-low profile - about 1.25 in deep at the centre. In fact, the symmetrical wing section is maintained for the whole of the fuselage. At the time I had ideas of making a series of alternative wings for my broad-beamed little body, so I made the panels pluginable. More of this anon. With the bits screwed together, my second 'Ghoulie` looked really slinky! There was just one little problem... the damned thing wouldn't fly.
Well... it would, and it wouldn't. As long as I pointed it into wind, it sat there happily. I could dive it, roll it, even do most of a loop with it, but when I initiated a turn my sleek little glider slid into the ground sideways, like a slate falling off a roof. The only significant thing I had changed was the depth of the fuselage, and it was pretty clear that all that shaved-off side area actually used to DO something. Oh bother, I said.
To cut a longish story short, adding side area forward, whence I had removed it in the first place, made no difference, but moving the fin back by three or four inches did the trick. And that's the state of play at tea-time. The wingtips had by now grown short and curly, so the span had crept up again, this time to 27 in.
At this stage I must mention one of the most frustrating things that has ever happened to me. I decided to build a complete new model for this feature, so that I could provide a series of detail photographs. Accordingly, I built the model, devoting most of a roll of film to the entire sequence. I've just developed the film and discovered that the (new) camera has a faulty shutter: only two of the shots came out. I said it before, and say it again: bother.
So - sorry about the missing construction shots. On the other hand, the process gave me the chance to check out the plans and build a new set of alternative wings, which I've now test-flown, so I suppose it wasn't all wasted time. Incidentally, the new wings give a span of 36in and are swept back by an extra 5 degrees. This results in a trailing edge sweepback of about 10 degrees, and a completely different look to the model. More later.
Fuselage. All the hard work is in the fuselage, so let's start here. This way you can overcome all the problems right at the start, before you get fed up with the whole thing. Make sure you have your receiving system to hand, as it's essential to check early on that everything is going to fit in the limited space.
The fuselage is a curious shape, something akin to a sawn-off tortoise, and you will find it impossible to pin anything down flat, This is the procedure..."
Hi Steve, Here is the plan and article for the Ghoulie 2 slope soarer from Silent Flight, Winter 1991. This one is making its way up the build list so I will send some pics later, Regards,
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