About this Plan
Horse-Fly. Radio control indoor sport electric model, for geared GWS IPS-DX288 motor.
Quote: "Fly RC Free Pullout Plan. An indoor biplane with vintage style. Horse-fly. Design and photos by LeRoy Satterlee.
The Horse-Fly is an easy flying vintage type biplane that exemplifies the world of flying in the late 1920s, without the bother of scale research or documentation. If you want to relive this colorful era, build your own Horse-Fly and enjoy a barnstorming tour of your local gym, or even the backyard and neighborhood.
I've been active in model aviation for 58 years. My most recent passion has been quarter scale airplanes, but I was suddenly bitten by the indoor flying bug about a year ago. Nothing has been the same since. As I learned about indoor flying with my first model, I decided to design my very own small electric biplane, the 'Horse Fly'.
The Horse-Fly is a sort of like, almost nearly scale kind of a copy of many old-time biplanes without actually being a scale model of any one of them. The design shown has a look that pleased me, and it flies well. It represents my second iteration, and includes swept and staggered wings, a Travelaire-type rudder and wing tips, and readily available GWS powerplant. Oh yes, I added a second cockpit, too. It's nice to be able to take someone along for a ride.
Airborne: I'm very pleased with the Horse-Fly's performance. Takeoffs from smooth surfaces are effortless and occur in 10 feet or less. Its flying speed and climb rate are very realistic. It barely loses any altitude when making sharp turns if small amounts of up elevator and opposite rudder are used. It will loop and spin, do lovely hammerhead turns, and even barrel rolls. One must remember to keep the nose down while descending in a glide to overcome all the drag from the struts and rigging. The descent flattens out and it can be stretched for nice scale-like landings with just a little power. Seven to eight-minute calm air flights are easy with a 7-cell 190mAh NiCd. A 2S Li-Poly pack of the same weight could provide flights of half an hour or more.
The Horse-Fly is not a fully aerobatic 3D unlimited vertical model. If slow flying, realistic looking old-time biplanes appeal to you, then the Horse-Fly is for you. What do you say? Let's get building and don't hesitate to experiment. We all learn from experimentation.
Tips For Success: Traditional construction techniques are used throughout, and a minimum of different material sizes is required. offer sonic construction hints for the more interesting bits below.
Build carefully, striving for good tight joints. Don't count on great gobs of glue to make up for poorly fitted joints, as they are weaker and add weight very quickly. Select stiff wood for all of the spars, longerons, and tail parts. Light wood is best for the wing ribs and gussets.
Laminations: Laminated parts are very strong and light-weight. I soak 1/32 x 3/32 strips in water overnight. Simple balsa forms work well. Remember, the outside of your form is the inside of the parts. You can get all the elevator and horizontal stab corners by laminating a full 360° circle around a 7/8-inch diameter form. Coat the forms with bar soap or wax, as we do not want our parts stuck to the form.
Lay three wet strips on waxed paper, blot them with a paper towel, and apply a thin layer of aliphatic resin to two strips. Stack the strips together and press lightly together using your thumb and a paper towel. Make sure the strips line up to produce a 3/32 square shape.
Tape one end to the rudder form about 1/2 an inch beyond the part area. Pull the laminate around the form, taping it tightly as you go, and then set it aside to dry overnight. [Editors note: If you are impatient, a microwave will complete the process in just a couple of minutes.] Once the part is dry, pin beside and not through it to hold it down to the plan. Complete the structure using 3/32 sticks and sheet. Choose a very hard stick for the elevator spar: it connects the elevator halves... "
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