Digester - Digicon Tester - Radio control sport trainer model for Veco .45 power. 72in span, 1000 sq. in., .45-.61, 4 channel radio. Model # pl-137. Designed by Don Mathes. Featured in RCM 12-64.
Quote: "The Digester is, in many ways, one of the most remarkable models we have even had the pleasure of building and flying. The finest proportional trainer available today, it will also perform the entire AMA pattern with ease. Although the construction is completely straightforward, we will caution the unsuspecting beginner against taking the following article too seriously - we suggest, in fact, that the less experienced RC'er consult one of the old pro's in his local group before tackling this project. Read on and you'll find out why!
The Digester has many desirable features. Among them are such attributes as ease of construction and flying, ruggedness, plus an inherent stability with no loss of maneuverability. In fact, despite its large economy size and light wing loading, the Digester would make an excellent class II competition machine. Its most outstanding trait, however, is that it will not rip, rattle, warp, tear, or smell bad in warm weather. Patent pending.
This particular design came about as an effort to help my good friend Glen Sigafoose of Sig Balsa during a slack season. That, and the fact that as former manufacturers developing radio equipment, we needed a test vehicle for our proportional equipment. Thus, the name Digester - Digicon tester. The fact that there is ample room in the equipment compartments for any radio gear available today can best be illustrated by the fact that we flew this ship utilizing two complete radio systems - the various proportional rigs undergoing flight tests, plus a permanent reed rig with its servos cross coupled by trim bars to the proportional servos.
To date, the original Digester prototype is still flying and has logged well over two thousand flights without any form of mishap. In addition, quite a few RC'ers have racked up their first proportional stick time on this ship, learning to fly consistently and well with art ease that would be impossible on many of the proportional designs currently available.
This is not to imply that the Digester is a goat - the Veco .45 powering the prototype hauls the eight and a half pound ship through the air at a speed of approximately sixty-five mph! In the hands of a good pilot it will do the entire pattern including aileron maneuvers. In the hands of the beginner, it is responsive, yet forgiving. Power requirement is from .35 to .60, with a good .45 recommended.
The initial design of the Digester was accomplished quite scientifically. After carefully considering all of the top designs of the day, we discarded them one by one. Selecting a four foot length of six inch wide sheet from our lumber-mill, we drew the outline of a fuselage on it with ball point pen. Holding this pattern aloft and making noises like an airplane, we decided that the design looked just right. Obviously, therefore, it would fly. Besides, we had a pair of 3-1/4 wheels around for which we had to find a use. So, if you're going to build the Digester, go out and obtain the following:
(a) one proportional system
(b) one twelve-page Sig balsa wood order blank
(c) one rip saw and lumberman's axe
(d) a lease on an empty 5000 square foot industrial plant zoned for light manufacturing
(e) a helluva lot of glue.
You might also consider investing in a surplus parachute which you'll need when you get to the covering stage. Outside of that, the con-struction should offer no. particular problems. Since you obviously won't be flying with two separate radio systems, it may be interesting to note that the Northeast Cornier Bowery Boys made a complete flight evaluation of the Digester and discovered that two regular size cans of beer can be carried aloft with no difficulty - obviously an added plus for this design.
Construction. No problems should be encountered during the construction of the Digester. The most important factor is to have, at all times, an adequate supply of six-packs on hand. The plans, themselves, are self-explanatory. We know, for we drew them with a pencil and warped piece of trailing edge stock so the draftsman would have no excuse for inaccuracies. All he had to do was trace them..."
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