About this Plan
Swannee - Single channel RC sport model. February 1966 Aeromodeller.
Quote: "Your full size plan. A 38 inch span single channel model. Swannee, designed by John Bowmer.
AT first glance Swannee is a scaled down version of the popular type of multi-channel stunt model. The lines may well have a touch of Ed Kazmirski's Taurus (oz612) but aerodynamically it could not be more different. Neutral stability is just the job on RCS 10 or Bonner Digimite, but it won't do for single channel work. This bird has every trick in the design book built in to ensure it knows which way is right side up, with adequate dihedral and decalage, a pinch of washout, large tailplane, old Uncle Frank Zaic's Year Book and all.
The Japanese (refer to David Boddington) have gone in for ailerons in a big way for single channel low wing, but unless you are a bit of a gadgeteer, or possess a motorised actuator, it is not exactly the easiest way of doing things. Because of the design features mentioned, this model controls quite happily on rudder, and it does have better control on take off. It doesn't roll out from. a turn quite so readily as the conventional high wing sports model, but one soon develops a touch of the opposite control to speed recoveries. While not set easy to fly as the designer's 'Erk' (MA Feb '63). It certainly looks better, is stronger, faster, takes off and lands better (with the wing only a couple of inches from terra firma on touchdown, the ground cushion effect is quite noticeable.)
Construction is a slight break from the conventional, too. With the main initial consideration of reducing building time, all-balsa construction is employed, and the resultant strength is amazing, while the weight compares favourably with conventional methods. It is suggested you cut out all the parts first, then you will have, for a very modest outlay, a 'pre-fab' type kit, and you can settle down to the enjoyable bit of glueing it all together.
The importance of selecting the correct grade of balsa for the job cannot be over-emphasised, in particular the wood for the wing skin, which should be straight grain medium soft. An indication of the grades to use for the different parts is indicated on the plan, but everyone has different ideas of what 'medium soft' means, so one must use ones common sense, giving consideration to the loading and function of each piece of wood in the model, see last months 'Basic Aeromodelling'. Anyhow, take time and care in your selection, even if it does result in strained relations with your favourite dealer. Build the model all of soft and you are setting yourself up for a steady job in the repair business. Accent on the hard and you will finish up with the proverbial winged brick.
As this design is not intended for the beginner, construction notes cover mainly points where the method deviates from normal practice.
Study carefully the sketches on the plan. Prepare and join the skin sheets, sand smooth the outer surfaces, cut the U/C slot and chamfer the trailing edge of the lower skins using a razor plane. Cut the ribs as illustrated and cement the inner leading edge strip, R2 to 6. W1 to 3 and R1 in place in that order. Accurately cut the triangular strip for setting the washout, and lightly cement in place under the TE..."
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User commentsJohn Bowmer designed this cracking little single channel model with the appearance of a mini-Orion multi channel aerobatic design and it was published as a free plan in the February 1966 Aeromodeller. I built one immediately, for a TD049 and pulse rudder control via a home built Mighty Midget servo driven by a home built switcher grafted onto my McGregor Minimac super-regen receiver and it turned out to be a super performer. I flew it every weekend for two years until it literally wore out. In 1991 I built another, again with a TD049 but this time with rudder/elevator propo from what then passed as lightweight equipment. This wasn't flown much due to a noise sensitive flying site (TDs do scream!) and was subsequently converted to electric with a geared 400 motor and 7 x AR500 nicads. It flew OK in this form but was really too heavy at 19 ounces to perform really well. This is the red and yellow model in the first photo [more pics 003]. This year I repeated the exercise with a brushless motor and 2S lipo and real lightweight gear coming in at 14.4 ounces RTF. This is the black and orange model in the other photo [model photo & more pics 004]. It goes just as well as my first one did, now with proper RET controls, it is just an absolute delight to fly. Highly recommended!
Sundancer - 25/07/2016
Over the last year or so, a flock of SWANNEES has been built in south UK. It is a delightful model to fly on either single channel (rudder only 'bang-bang') or with modern propo. I attach a couple of photos that may be useful to other builders [more pics 005, 006]. In the airborne shot, note the large amount of LE packing on the wing against the plan's fuselage profiles. This has been found necessary for RET flying with propo equipment, otherwise Pitch stability is excessive causing it it to be very 'balloony'. The other change we have made is to remove the negative tailplane incidence to place it parallel with the top edge of the fuselage. With these changes it retains strong positive Pitch stability but can be flown inverted with a bit of practice. SWANNEE does not like to be overpowered and, with electric power, 2S Lipos and about 80Watts are more than adequate. The wing is more than adequately robust and no 'beefing up' is necessary.
MikeSpencer_SalisburyMFC - 22/11/2017
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