About this Plan
Red Eye. Radio control powered glider, for Speed 400 motor.
Quote: "Despite the name, this petite 52-1/2 in electric glider does not take too many late nights to put together. Red-Eye, by David Lovegrove.
This little model was designed and built early in 1994. Its first flight was a revelation, displaying an astonishing rate of climb and excellent soaring ability far beyond my expectations. It easily outflew its stablemate, a well known and larger kit model using a direct drive Speed 600, which I had built to gain experience of what was a new class of model to me. In all honesty, hardly a day has passed since that first outing without Red-Eye piling on more air time. The name? Too many late hours in the workshop - a memorial to the sunken cheeks and wrinkles, you might say!
Soon after completing the model, I learnt about the British Electric Flight Assocition (BEFA) and its series of fly-ins and competitions around the country. Not having designed Red-Eye for competitive flying, I had no idea how the model would compare. What the heck! I went, I flew, and although I didn't conquer (too much ragged flying near the landing spot), I was impressed with its competitiveness. Nothing out-flew or out-climbed Red-Eye and quite a lot of flattering comments and interest flowed.
On a brilliant day at ASP's Old Warden Silent Flight and Electric Day in July, ye hen' Ed grabbed me and said, Giz a plan, Mister! I did - money didn't matter much! Incidently, in gusty but lifty conditions, the model was exuberant that day. I almost lost it OOS (out of sight) in one slot!
As an apprentice 'crumbly', modern building techniques scare me rigid, so there's nothing exotic here, just plain balsa wood, by and large. The structure is sound - it's been crash-tested from 150 feet and I can find no fault in its integrity, so don't beef it up. I use PVA glue generally, but cyano is occasionally useful for lightly-stressed joints (if your nose can take it!). The fuselage doublers are fixed with Evostik.
Red-Eye is not for raw beginners, but should be well within the range of the modeller who has a few built-up kits or plan models under their belt. Interested? Let's go then.
Rather than a full blow-by-blow account, I will restrict myself to the less obvious points of construction throughout. These are my pet methods - if you think you can improve on them, be my guest! Ribs are made by the sandwich method. If you don't know what that is, ask the nearest grey-haired modeller - your Mum won't know! Inner panels are built first. Jig up the lower spars on scraps of 1/32 ply and pin the bottom TE (trailing edge) down direct. Add ribs, false LE, top spar, gussets and top TE. Don't forget to angle the root and end ribs. I go rib/web, rib/web, as this ensures each rib is vertical and also gets the webs done early (I hate that bit). Add the LE sheeting after trimming the false LE, then the capstrips and end bay fill-in sheeting.
Invert. Pin down the TE over a length of 1/4 in square and push a few pins through the top (now bottom) spar to keep things steady. Trim the false LE again and add sheeting etc as before. Glue in the anti-crush wedges between the TE strips at R1/R2 and R2/R3. Trim the LE sheeting and add the LE. Carve and sand the LE to section. Leading edge templates confer accuracy, eye-balling is quicker. You choose.
Tip panels next. Cut a 1/4 in medium balsa washout jig, tapered from 1/8 to 1/4 along the length of the TE. Pin it and the lower TE strip down together..."
Redeye, RCM&E, December 1994.
Direct submission to Outerzone.
Supplementary file notes
Article pages, thanks to RFJ.
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