Starlight (oz1221)


Starlight - plan thumbnail image

About this Plan

Starlight. Stunt control line model. Elliptical wing, partial flaps and Fox .35 power.

Quote: "A graceful, able, lightweight stunt machine, elliptical wing, partial span flaps. Designed around a Fox .35. Starlight, by Charles A Mackey.

The 'Starlight' was designed to meet the requirements of a competition stunt ship with the emphasis on appearance. If you find the lines pleasing, then your taste is in agreement with ours. The basic approach, as you can see, was a long, low elliptical wing stunter with a wing mounted landing gear.

The Starlight is the fifth ship of the same basic design. The first, as you may have surmised, was a semi-scale Spitfire that closely resembled the full sized British aircraft. It featured a thin wing (15%) and a ridged landing gear equipped with soft wheels. The Spitfire was fine in the air, but really spectacular on landings and takeoffs. The ship still hangs in the bedroom of Ronnie Peterson, accompanied by a shelf of dusty trophies.

Ronnie won a trip to the Nationals and placed 5th in senior stunt. Bill Netzband witnessed Ronnie's flying at the Nationals. Bill is a pretty good stunt judge among many other rare qualities. He reported the judges were conditioned for medium speed flying on shorter lines. Ronnie was flying the Spitfire slowly on 70 foot lines, and although very accurate, it appeared to be too different for the judges.

The second design in the series was painted metallic blue. It was test flown on a bright clear night (couldn't wait till morn!). That's where the name 'Starlight' was innovated. The ship was basically a Spitfire. I have good reason to believe that this was the first large stunt ship to feature adjustable leadouts. With this little trim device, we learned a lot. First, that it took 10° line rake to keep it out flying at slow speeds on 70 foot lines. Secondly, that this adjustment didn't necessarily apply to any other airplane, not even to the same design. We did finally adjust the Starlight to fly so slowly that we actually got a bit drowsy during the square eights. Sometimes we even forgot what maneuver we were flying. Come to think of it, this sometimes happens with the fast ones too!

About this time competition flying was all but forgotten around the old campfire. But a new friend wandered through the smoke and wanted to build a Starlight. We talked a while and agreed we would like one with a thicker wing that flew a little faster. We used an 18% airfoil and threw in a weighted aileron as on the Carrousel design and built an adjustable trim tab on the in-board wing. We colored it red. This one is still around in Indiana somewhere. It flew well and made us think a little more about airfoil.

I caught the contest fever again two weeks before the Chicago Nats and built the same basic design for an Oliver Tiger .015 diesel. It was completed the day before flying time and as is the usual case, bad fuel and lack of trim made flying on short lines necessary. The official flights were not the best, but we were not ashamed of them. The weight of this stunt ship was 29 ounces and it used a 20% airfoil. The landing gear was mounted in the fuselage. You can see with this com-bination of factors, landings were diffi-cult. When we later found time to trim it out, it weighed in at 32 ounces, and stayed tight on 70 foot lines..."

Update 24/11/2018: Added article, thanks to RFJ.

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