Northern Line F1A (oz14893)
About this Plan
Northern Line F1A. Free flight competition glider model. Wingspan 2.15 m.
Direct submission to Outerzone.
Update 29/10/2023: Added article, thanks to RFJ.
Quote: "Northern Line. Mike Cook's up-to-date F1A, ideal for the new season's free flight glider competitions
Mike Cook currently flys with the Maidstone Free Flight Group (MFFG) but hails from the Hull area of Yorkshire, hence the 'Northern Line' design name. During his 20 years of contest flying he has concentrated mostly on Glider and particularly F1A (A/2), achieving some notable successes - the Northern Gala, Nordic Trophy, SMAE Cup and Stonehenge Cup amongst others. In 2000 he made his first British team place for the European Championships and is firmly committed to the 'Modern' Bunter style F1A model.
The design featured here is the result of all that experience and would ideally suit the contest flier who wants to move on from the more traditional model to the high-tech. For those who are still not sure about 'bunting' a more basic 'zoom' launch fuselage version is also included on the plan.
Northern Line is designed and intended as something of an all-rounder. At 2.15 metres wingspan it could hardly be categorised as either a still air 'super-dooper' or windy weather 'clunk'; yet it takes these extremes - plus the middling conditions - easily in its stride. The model described and drawn in this article began life back in 1983 and has slowly evolved since then. The first carbon fibre version was built in 1994 and is still flying today. The plans presented in this article contain different fuselages for a zoom launch and bunt launch version of the model. I would recommend that you consider trying the bunt option in order to get the most from this design, but zoom launches would be quite acceptable if this is your first high-tech model and you want to 'test the water' slowly.
Carbon fibre and Kevlar: I'm sure that most people who've made the transition from wooden models to composite structures will agree that carbon fibre is, at best, unpleasant to work with. However, harnessing its considerable tensile strength within airframes has produced a new generation of extremely robust models with enhanced aerodynamic efficiency and, particularly for F1A, the strength to withstand high speed, height gaining launches. I've built four Northern Lines in the last nine years and they're all still flying competitively - this would not be the case with wooden models. Until recently I did use Kevlar cloth for the wing tip and tail shells; carbon cloth is far better.
Moulding carbon fibre cloth: Having decided to make the transition from wooden to carbon fibre models I invested in two modelling aids from Joe Maxwell of Scotland. Joe recently retired though it is still possible to purchase, or make, similar items to the ones described below. The first was a 'V' press with a leading edge radius of 1.5mm. This enables me to produce the 'taco' shells (D-boxes) for both the wing and tailplane. The procedure is very straightforward; just follow these steps..."
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