Humongous Sage Hen (oz15187)


Humongous Sage Hen (oz15187) by Bruce Edwards - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Humongous Sage Hen. Radio control sport trainer model. Wingspan 84 in.

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Quote: "Hi Mary & Steve, Please find attached plan and article for the Humongous Sage Hen by Bruce Edwards... 84" span enlargement of the Peck Prairie Bird 50 - based on Larry Jolly's Big Bird (oz12039) - which was itself an enlargement of the Peck Prairie Bird embryo class rubber FF model.
Kind regards, Ian Salmon."

Update: Added article.

Quote: "What this lightweight seven-footer lacks in sexy curves, it more than makes up in its ability to be easily built and flown by the rank beginner. It's the ultimate R/C trainer. Humongous Sage Hen, by Bruce Edwards and Al Alman.

This design originally started out as a dandy little 18-inch rubber-powered model manufactured by Peck-Polymers. Then, because he liked it so much, Bob Peck kitted an even dandier .10 to .15 powered version called the 'Prairie Bird 50' that turned out to be a superior basic trainer; it was easy to build, very slow, very stable and very forgiving.

But for all its inherent goodness, Mr. Peck's Prairie Bird 50 needed improvement in one area: it was kinda small and therefore hard to see at any real distance or altitude.

So, since we can't offer the world what it sorely needs, a five-cent cigar, we decided that the next best thing would be to out-dandy the Prairie Bird by making it into an 84 inch Humongous Sage Hen. Our basic philosophy was based on a very simple fact of life, that BIG BIRDS FLY BETTER!

But why 84 inches? Well, what really happened was that Bruce's old calculator had a stroke when first turned on, coughing up a factor of 1.68 just as it expired . . . and since this happened on his birthday and remembering that he was born on the cusp, Bruce was convinced that 84 inches had been predestined. (It was written in the stars, is what he actually said.) Of course, in the face of such an overwhelming scientific argument, Al had to agree that 1.68 was a very nice factor, indeed.

By this time you're probably looking for the wild and extravagant claims usually found in most other construction articles - promises that the plane will be great for both training and aerobatics along with subtle hints that bad breath, body odor and a shallow personality will also improve once you've got this terrific new design flying.

Well, surprise, surprise - we're not about to blow any smoke about the Sage Hen because like the five-cent cigar, there also ain't no free lunch. In other words, this bird can't and won't double as a basic and aerobatic trainer. Like any aeroplane it would be too severely compromised to do both jobs well.

Our one and only promise is that built and powered as recommended, the Hen will be the best possible trainer for a beginner. It'll make learning to fly a most enjoyable and low-stress adventure, allowing you to build up confidence, solo and then progress on to an intermediate trainer in jig time.

The problem is that all too often guys will end up with the worst design to learn on, with the result being: 1) they're so intimidated by the airplane that they never feel comfortable enough with it to even try to solo - usually because it's too fast, leaving them with the terrible feeling that their reflexes are hours behind the bird and will never catch up with it; or 2) they finally do solo, but only after an unnecessarily frustrating and protracted period of time - and even then remain quite shaky if a competent pilot isn't standing beside them during each and every flight.

The fact is that too many people are lost to our hobby because they start with the wrong airplane. . . and end up with a learning curve that is too flat. Where is it written that learning to fly must be less than enjoyable, and full of nervous frustration, anger and an overpowering feeling of inadequacy?

Three prototypes of the Humongous Sage Hen were built and have racked up something over 100 hours of wonderfully relaxed flying time so far. And nine youngsters (ages 8 to 65) have discovered how satisfying and easy on the nerves it can be to learn R/C by starting with the Hen - a plane so well suited to a beginner's needs. Four of the students never flew before and the other five had been trying unsuccessfully for years with the wrong type of 'trainer.' All nine, including Al's eight-year-old, Adam, zipped through training and soloed with ease - mainly because this airplane builds gobs of self-confidence and self-reliance.

Even experienced pilots can enjoy this gentle bird. We personally accounted for well over half of those 100 hours doing touch-and-go's, chasing thermals, taking photos and dropping candy - with skis and floats planned for the future.

Obviously we had nothing to do with this design's remarkable stability. She started off 'right'; a light, flat-bottomed airfoil cabin design with ample dihedral and a long tail moment coupled with a very generous amount of tail area.

But by enlarging her wing area to 1,265 square inches, Bruce came up with a size that's not too big - yet at a nominal 7-3/4 pounds she's very lightly loaded (about 14 oz/sq ft) and therefore flies effortlessly on the wing with only a Saito 45 for power.

Which brings us to a few words about engines and control systems. You don't need or want anything much more powerful than a Saito 45, nor do you want scads of rpm or too much speed. All three prototypes flew outstandingly well with Saito 45's (one also flew well with a Davis Dieselized World Engines Brat 25) and large props, like a 12x4, 12x5, 13x4 and 14x4. If you use a two-cycle engine don't go over a .40, and do try something larger than the typical 10x6.

The Sage Hen was not meant for aerobatics. She's a putt-putt. You can, however, push her into some wide barrel-rolls and loops by carefully trading altitude for airspeed - but cramming in an oversized, more powerful engine would be a bad move.

Also, she was designed to fly with three channels (rudder and elevator on the right stick and throttle on the left stick). Messing with ailerons would be an absolute waste of time because they wouldn't be anywhere near as effective as the rudder, and you'd be lugging around a bunch of dead weight to boot..."

Supplementary file notes



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Humongous Sage Hen (oz15187) by Bruce Edwards - model pic

  • (oz15187)
    Humongous Sage Hen
    by Bruce Edwards
    from Model Builder
    84in span
    IC R/C
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 16/03/2024
    Filesize: 661KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: IanSalmon
    Downloads: 429

Humongous Sage Hen (oz15187) by Bruce Edwards - pic 003.jpg
Humongous Sage Hen (oz15187) by Bruce Edwards - pic 004.jpg
Humongous Sage Hen (oz15187) by Bruce Edwards - pic 005.jpg

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