About this Plan
Birdman. Free flight model for Jetex 50 power. Profile model of Léo Valentin, France's famous birdman.
Quote: "The Intrepid Birdman from France Monsieur Valentin, by Ray Malmstrom. Half a sheet of 1/8 and a sheet of 1/16 balsa - Jetex 35 or 50, cement and dope are all you need for this novel scale flier.
We suppose it is true to say that Leo Valentin, the French birdman leads a somewhat up and down existence. Up in an aeroplane and then down on his wooden wings and a parachute or two. It is also true that such a game needs courage of a very high order, and there must be many of us who would go a long way in order to see this intrepid son of France do his stuff. However, there may be few opportunities of seeing an actual demonstration by Leo himself. But here is a model of him, which when you see it soaring around in the blue, will not only give you a very true impression of Leo himself on the wing, but will also intrigue you by its flying ability. Be the first in your group to fly a 'Leo Valentin'. He's an eye-catcher believe us. Even fuel-soaked digit-twisted, power bods have been known to look up with interest when Leo was above them, cheerily breasting the upper air!
Just cut out, paint and fly!
There is no sense in telling you how to build him. He’s too easy for the old 'sheet of instructions' lark. Just cut him out of sheet, adding the hard wood block, drilled ready for the screws of the Jetex 50 clip. Cut out his wings, slip them through the slot and cement. Add the wing tips, balance by modelling plasticine onto his helmet (it even makes the helmet look more realistic!) and Voila! Leo is ready. Decorate him either with a ball point pen (ultra-quick method) or for a real effect, paint him with poster or powder colours (suggested colours are shown on the plan) using these with as little water as possible. Then when absolutely dry, give a coat of thin, clear dope, putting it on quickly with a really soft large brush.
When Leo lands on his chest on concrete or gravel, he says it makes him feel sore (!), so please choose some soft grass for test gliding. Providing the balance point is correct, as shown on plan, the glide from shoulder height, should be long and shallow. Due to the weight and thrust of the offset Jetex 50, Leo may bank rather steeply on his first powered flight, probably to the left. Stick a small spot of plasticine onto the outer part of the opposite wing to correct this. Actually, a steep bank in either direction can easily be corrected this way. If he stalls add a little weight to his helmet. If he fails to climb and seems nose (sorry-head!) heavy take some plasticine off. Well thats your lot!
Take if from the lads who have watched the original Leo - he really is fun to fly. So build him carefully, keeping him as light as possible and you’re all set for some flying fun that is DIFFERENT. Vive Leo Valentin! Vive La France!"
Quote: "The Birdman has been on my HDD 'since forever', I found it and cleaned it up many years ago, but didn't get around to sending it to you. I seem to remember it as a Ray Malmstrom design, but not 100% sure, someone out there will know. The scaling can be determined from the diameter of a Jetex 50??"
Note I have scale this from the 3in wide sheets used to make the delta wing, giving a total wingspan of 12.6 in. Hope that's right. Steve.
Direct submission to Outerzone.
Supplementary file notes
Article (reprint from S&T #103).
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