Anderson Kingfisher (oz11867)
About this Plan
Anderson Kingfisher. Radio control stand-off scale seaplane model.
Stand off scale. 72 inch wingspan, for .60-.80 engines. Quality balsa, hardware, rolled plans, preformed wire. Made by Champion Model Aeroplane Company, Inc. PO Box 45, Keyport, New Jersey.
Note this kit included ABS moulded parts for the engine cowling/nacelle and the tip floats [see more pics 004]. Scratchbuilders will need to form these parts for themselves. It may be useful to refer to the Dennis Tapsfield Anderson Kingfisher (oz6038) plan, which does include formers for all those parts, although at a larger scale with a wingspan at 108 in.
Direct submission to Outerzone.
Update 30/06/2021: Added kit review from from Flying Models, October 1978, thanks to RFJ.
Quote: "FM Product Review: Champion's Anderson Kingfisher, by Russel Zubach. A big and beautifully executed kit of the homebuilt Anderson Kingfisher, at 72 inch in span for .60 engines.
Seaplanes are the only way to fly. I decided this years ago, for many reasons. I have always lived close to the water, near Raritan Bay, across from New York City. Years ago, to get some R/C flying in before and after work in my father's boatyard, the only place to fly close by was over the water - so it had to be seaplanes. There were always boats handy for any necessary chasing after the airplane, and the water seemed to be kinder to the model than the hard ground when something did go wrong. Flying in the early mornings and the evenings meant there was usually little wind and the bay water was usually calm enough for takeoffs. It was all salt water of course, but at least at that time the hazards of salt water corrosion did not worry me.
To go back in time a little, of the many R/C seaplanes I did fly. two of them stand out in my memory. One was a Sterling Monocoupe, on twin floats, flown single channel/rudder only with escapement control. The radio equipment was tube type with its associated expensive set of batteries. In the nose was a reliable McCoy .29 which powered that Monocoupe on many long and enjoyable flights. One other old timer, possibly the King of all Seaplanes, was my 9-1/2 foot span Custom Privateer (oz278) designed by FM's editor Don McGovern and kilted by Berkeley. This behemoth was also rudder only single channel escapement, but had the marvelous addition of a quick-blip escapement throttle control on the powerplant, an early Fox .59. The big Privateer would takeoff majestically after a very long, maybe 700 foot run across the water and a lot of urging as I followed it in an outboard powered rowboat.
Enough reminiscing - possibly Don let me write this Kit Review because I told him of my admiration for his Custom Privateer design. I still look hack on it as the most complicated, time-consuming model I ever built; but it was worth it. I still have a complete kit for another one; someday, build it. Now, I still live near the water, radio equipment is better than ever, and I continue to feel that seaplane flying offers more enjoyment than land flying. In this area, there are more ponds to fly from than normal flying fields so I naturally want to fly seaplanes.
There really are very few seaplane kits on the market to choose from; Champion's new Kingfisher offers a large sized model (72 in wingspan) and a scale appearance. It is set up to be convertible with very little effort for water or land operation and would appear to be a good choice for a competitive sport scale model. It is a fairly complicated project, definitely not one for a beginning modeler. Being a seaplane enthusiast, it appeared to he a welcome change from twin float equipped conventional models, and when I first saw it advertised, I couldn't wait to get hold of one.
The kit is not cheap; its list price is $120.00, but when you feel the weight of the kit box and get a glimpse of its well packed contents, the price is understandable. The model is of completely balsa built-up construction, and the individual balsa parts are extremely well finished. The fuselage formers are all built up, and the fact that those parts are plastic bagged for each former simplifies their fabrication. The hardware furnished is impressive; due to the design features of the strut-mounted engine nacelle, the retractable (really rotating up above the waterline) landing gear, and the strut mounted tip floats, much wire forming is necessary. All the wire parts are pre-formed, brackets fbr the firewall are brazed on, and the metal and machined wood parts for the unusual landing gear configuration are all very well done. My only criticism of the hardware furnished, and there are a lot of items there, is that a few more devises and bellcranks would have made it really complete.
There are several formed plastic parts supplied which save a lot of carving. The tip floats are in two parts, joined at a flange, and appear well designed to do their job. The engine nacelle has a top and bottom cowl which serve to hold the fuel tank in place behind the firewall, and a front section, made from two pieces which must be joined, to enclose the engine. The plastic used seems to be substantial, can be sanded and painted, and epoxy can be used for assembly of the plastic parts.
The packaging and overall quality of the kit is excellent; it is obvious that it was put together by someone who cares. The wood was very good and in all cases was cleanly machined. The ribs are die cut, and it is high quality die-cutting. I noticed that the plywood and hardwood parts were particularly well finished. Before getting into the construction I will mention several areas where I made slight changes to the aircraft.
Most modelers have certain features or ideas which they prefer, and can change a kit built airplane accordingly; of course, if major changes are made it would not be fair to blame the designer or manufacturer if the changes did not benefit the model. One change I made was to increase the wing dihedral slightly; the original aircraft had very little dihedral, and to keep the model's wing from appearing to droop, I put in about 1 inch dihedral under each tip.
Another change, in the interest of extensive off-water operation, was not to use the plastic windshield and side windows as shown in the kit. For the windshield, I shaped a block of urethane foam to fit and covered it with lightweight fiberglass cloth and epoxy. The side windows were not cut out. When painting the model, the window areas were masked out and sprayed light blue, with darker blue airbrushed around the edges. The appearance is good and there are no worries about a wave of water knocking the windshield loose.
One more change was to add a water rudder of aluminum sheet which swings down out of the rudder for water use; it was felt a water rudder would be needed for taxiing. For the wing struts, rather than use the spruce provided, I used aluminum streamline tubing with aluminum mounting tabs heli-arced together. The spruce of course would be satisfactory; the struts are merely decorative.
The instructions and drawings on the plans are sufficient to build the model; they did get quite a bit of careful study as this model is more complicated than those I have been used to. The basic fuselage construction is more like a boat than an airplane, with its built-up formers, stringers, and planking. The fuselage itself is not bad to build; but care must be taken not to let it twist out of shape as the planking is applied. I built up sort of a jig to hold things in place, which helped.
The fin and stabilizer assembly is quite complicated, as the high mounting position of the stab requires internal linkage to actuate the elevator. The fin uses plywood sections to hold this linkage and it and the stab must be joined before adding that assembly to the fuselage framework. To be able to add the fin and stab, I blocked the fuselage at a level position so I could add the fin/stab assembly and measure to insure the stab incidence was correct. After it was epoxied in place, the fuselage framework could be skinned to complete it. As mentioned earlier, a shaped urethane foam block was substituted for the plastic windshield. The landing gear must also be installed as the fuselase is being built..."
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