Cee Bird (oz11534)
About this Plan
Cee Bird. Canard pusher power model.
Quote: "Delightfully different! "CEE BIRD" Free Flight
The author and his friends have racked up hundreds of flights in all categories of competition with this canard design.
Years ago, the four-minute mile was the goal of distance runners. For me, 'Cee Bird' represents my four minutes. I've had successes building models over a thirty-year period, but so far this one is tops. Each new flight is still as excit-ing as the first.
Canards appear unusual, yet to perform successfully they still have to meet the same basic areodynamic requirements that enable tractor designs to fly. This is meant as an introduction to a little understood and too long neglected model type. If built under nine ounces, Cee Bird can still fly in competition under current rules. Speaking of rules, I recently watched Bob Hunter and friends flying 1959 designs that could match any of today's. So that for rules! Give me Cee Bird every time.
The two 1/2A and A Canards I flew at the '63 Nats were identical to the orig-inal version which I flew at the '59 Nats. From the very first flight these ships all exhibited stability supposedly lacking in Canard designs. The most noticeable feature of Cee Bird is the glide. With reasonable care, it is possible to achieve a glide so flat that when the stall does arrive the only part of the plane affected is the nose. The force arrangement is similar to a beam balance. In this case the CG represents the fulcrum. Too much weight in the nose will increase the glide angle, whereas conversely, not enough weight will make the nose oscillate up and down like our beam balance. The ideal setting is had when the nose barely oscillates (stall).
This job has 392 square inches but glides like a 1300 (I also fly a nine foot version). No doubt about it, this is a big 1/2A. As a result, the climb is brisk, but not spectacular. While no bomb, Cee Bird is definitely competitive. Cee Bird surprised everyone with its ability to fly after sundown. I expect to decorate my darkroom with San-Valeer's night contest hardware.
Of all my Canard experiments (1/2A, A, B, C; FAI Wakefield and Nordic) the force arrangement of the 392 Cee Bird is confirmed by over five hundred successful gas-powered flights. Other builders, notably CP 'Lucky' Moody, are having similar success with this design. In extending an invitation to build Cee Bird, I would like to point out its forgiving nature. In case of sudden impacts (crash), notice the well-protected engine and prop location. I can wear out a lot of engines because of this feature. The mortality rate on wings is very low, excepting weak spars. The fuselage design per-mits the wing and stab to shift with any kind of impact. The nose has punched a hole or two in old mother earth on occasion, but has no pylon to crack with resultant repair and alignment problems. All my problems have been cockpit errors or of mechanical origin. Plus careless material selection leading to either overweight or folding wing models.
Constructing Cee Bird is pleasant and rapid. Don't let that slice-rib wing scare you. Select wood carefully as weight is important. Total weight of finished model should not exceed 9-oz.
Wing: Lay out the leading and trailing edges first, cut and install 3/32 sq rib bottoms. Next install the spars. No mushy material here, please! While this is drying, slice rib tops from 3/32 sheet (I used an aluminum rib template). Cement rib tops and allow overnight drying. Connect the two wing panels with 1/16 plywood dihedral braces. Use 10 degrees or about 5 in dihedral under each tip. Plank center section and finish in customary fashion.
The stabilizer is built using solid sheet ribs (extra weight up front helps). Use 20 degrees dihedral or about 4-3/4 in under each tip. Sheet top of center section. Add tie-down and D.T. hooks after covering. Although the full size plans are almost self-explanatory, we will describe the fuselage construction in detail as an aid to developing a larger Cee Bird for FAI, B or C classes.
Build the fuselage upside down. Lay out a sheet of 1/8 x 2 x 36 in for the top. Using a ball point pen, draw a line down the center (both sides) of the sheet. Next measure and mark for width (one side only), the front #1 and #15 (at the firewall) formers..."
Cee Bird, American Modeler, November/December 1965.
Direct submission to Outerzone.
Supplementary file notes
Article pages, thanks to RFJ.
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