Super Circus. Wingspan 64in, wing area 680 sq in, for .60 engines.
Quote: "From the Land Down Under comes one of the most unusual Pattern birds at Las Vegas. Super Circus, by Jeff Tracy.
The design of the Super Circus evolved from my regular FAI Pattern Aircraft, Super Gemini, and was a direct attempt to fly something different and more suitable for the new schedule of manoeuvres which were to be flown at the 1976 Tournament of Champions at Las Vegas, Nevada. The name Super Circus was chosen in recognition of the co-sponsorship of this great event by the Circus Circus Hotel/Casino/Spa. The Super Gemini has been flown in various forms for several years with some success but it was felt that these new manoeuvres could be per-formed more easily with a purpose designed model. Hence the design of the Super Circus was undertaken.
Design Concepts. An aircraft was required that would meet the demands of the New Pattern while retaining the smoothness of the current FAI type Pattern models of various designs currently in use. Basically the New Pattern differs from the FAI in that all of the round type looping manoeuvres and many of the round type eights had been replaced by square figures. Some of the manoeuvres now incorporate snap rolls and many of the new manoeuvres have vertical segments. Landing and takeoff points have been eliminated.
It was the feeling that the new design should possess the ability to easily cope with the many vertical legs of the new manoeuvres and to this end it was decided that the weight of the new ship should be kept as low as possible. Since the points for landing and takeoff had been eliminated and weight was a factor as well, the decision was made to go to a fixed undercarriage of the taildragger type. This saved considerable weight both of an extra wheel, leg, etc as well as that of retracts.
The extra drag of fixed undercarriage was partially overcome by the use of the wheel pants for streamlining. Besides it's being 'different, the taildragger's aesthetic appeal cannot be denied.
After preliminary tests with the FAI ship, it seemed that a shorter tail moment would greatly assist in the snap rolling manoeuvres. Towards this end the tail moment was shortened 2-1/2 inches and this, coupled with an already relatively sharp wing leading edge, ensured the good snap rolling characteristics which this design possesses.
In summary then the design concepts of the Super Circus differed from the regular FAI as follows:
1. Tail moment was 2-1/2 in shorter.
2. Tail dragger instead of trike.
3. Fixed gear instead of retracts.
4. The rudder hinge line was moved from the trailing edge of the elevators forwards to the elevator hinge line.
In fact these four changes are the differences between the Super Circus and the Super Gemini III. While the plans show these changes they could easily be changed back for FAI use. Both aircraft are completely competitive.The Super Gemini has won every major contest in this part of the world and The Super Circus, whilst none the less competitive, has proved to be a real ball to fly. So if something a little different is your thing and ou'd like to "learn" the new Pattern with an air-craft that looks the part as well as being designed for this purpose, then the Super Circus should appeal to you.
Construction. As the Super Circus is not a beginner's model, the following is a guide for the more experienced modeller with emphasis on accurate building practices throughout construction. Any extra pains taken during building to ensure an absolutely accurate airframe in all respects will be amply repaid during the flight trimming process and subsequently in flight characteristics. Ensure that both halves of both wing and stab are straight and true as well as identical in size to each other - this is also important for the ailerons and elevator halves. Trammmelling both wing and stab whilst joining their respective halves will ensure accurate overall surfaces if done with care. Further care is required when aligning wing, stab and fin as alignment is a most important factor in obtaining a top competition class aircraft..."
Super Circus, MAN, July 1977.
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Article pages, thanks to RFJ.
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