Rearwin Speedster 6000 (oz692)


Rearwin Speedster 6000 (oz692) by Leo Dragonuk 1936 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Rearwin Speedster. Redrawn plan from the original from Burd Model.

Note the Burd 5 ft Rearwin Speedster kit first appeared in 1936. This here is a later redrawn plan, dated 1991.

Quote: "Rearwin Speedster 6000. Original design by Leo Dragonuk (1916-1989) for the Burd Model Airplane Co. Baltimore, Maryland. Incorporating 'Make it Practical' modifications by Doug McHard. Drawn by Bob Jones, SAM, England. Scanned and restored December 2010, pd1."

Update 6/5/2024: Added (later) 'Vintage Corner' article from Aeromodeller, Mar 1990, detailing Doug McHard's build of this model, thanks to ilgk48 and his post on HPA of the full magazine scan, see:

Quote: "DOUG MCHARD has kindly sent in an account of his sixty-inch rubber-powered Rearwin Speedster, a design kitted by the Burd Model Airplane Company of Baltimore, Maryland USA in the 1930s. Since he concurs opinions expressed in previous Vintage Corners about the accuracy of early flying scale models and the minor modifications needed to make them practical propositions, his comments are especially interesting and greatly appreciated.

During last year's Vintage Weekend meeting at old Warden Doug flew his three-year-old 60 in Meirow Stinson Reliant rubber-powered model which has featured previously in these pages and which appeared on the cover of the November 1987 Aeromodeller. Regular US visitor Danny Sheelds was particularly taken with the performance, and fondly recalled his own, identically-finished model. It transpired that both Doug and Danny had each first built the original kit (costing $1.50) almost fifty years earlier! Their conversation revolved around the monster, rubber-powered scale models which were at that time so popular and which flew so majestically.

Danny, who has lived all his life in Baltimore, naturally harboured a special affection for Burd products, for this company had produced three kits for in rubber designs in the mid-1930s (the Fairchild 24, Curtiss Robin and Rearwin Speedster) but he bemoaned the fact that in spite of the ever-increasing numbers of Vintage plans available from various sources, many of the most popular Burd designs, including the three mentioned, are still not available to collectors. Doug had not realised the rarity of these designs, having built some of them from the kits, including the big Rearwin which he, as an 11 year-old, had purchased from Elite Model Airplane Supplies of Manchester in 1910 for 9/6d post free.

Doug relates: Danny got me so enthused about the model (he has that effect on people/ that at the first opportunity I looked out my old plan and set about building it again. The results are now flying, and I must say that the Rearwin is one of the best-flying rubber-powered scale models that I have ever built. It is perfectly stable; and its stately progress around our village playing field stops the football matches dead! The flying speed of this model is so unhurried, and the glide so flat, that every landing so far made, perhaps fifty to date, has been a gentle rolling 'wheelie', the tail gradually settling as residual speed is lost and the machine comes to rest in the most realistic manner which is just not achieveable by smaller, faster models.

No one would pretend that the Burd Rearwin Speedster would score high accuracy points in a scale contest. It would be very easy to improve its fidelity with the aid of the vast amount of good data now available to scale modellers. To do so, however, would. in my opinion. destroy the appeal of the design and its importance as a piece of modelling history. Nevertheless, I am not against incorporating design alterations which have the aim of improving the durability of the model provided the overall structural appearance of the design is not significantly altered. I have included a few 'standard' amendments such as wire-reinforced sprung landing gear, detachable knock-off wings, removable tail surfaces, sheeted nose and re-positioned rear rubber anchorages. The main visible structural characteristics are retained, no extra wing ribs have been added, nor structural beefing-up of the fuselage.

Only one major alteration has been made. I considered the wing incidence angle shown on the plan to be far too great, and I reduced it by fifty per cent. The visible effect of this is to lower the height of the windscreen (incidentally bringing it closer to scale) but the reason for the change was purely aerodynamic. The eventual flying performance has confirmed the wisdom of the modification. Because of the generally small cross-sections of many of the structural members - 1/8 sq fuselage frame for example - some rock-hard timber was used. The resultant weight increase is relatively insignificant on something of this size with such a spidery structure.

The all-up-weight, ballasted with two ounces in the nose, is eighteen ounces and this produces a wing loading of less than five ounces per square foot. The motor comprises eight strands of 1/4in flat and four strands of 1/Sin flat FAI 'tan' rubber, made up into a four-foot skein with 150 tensioning turns then applied to reduce the length sufficiently to just retain the nose plug. Motor weight is 3-1/2 ounces. A flight of thirty seconds results from using 300 turns, the pattern safely containable within the confines of my little flying field. Maximum safe turns are estimated to be around 1200 which would produce about two minutes if you have the space to fly in and the desire to chase it that far!

In pre-war days one would have covered the fuselage with bamboo paper. This was a really tough covering material, made in a wide range of colours but now, sadly unobtainable. The fuselage covering contributes very significantly to its strength - particularly its torsional strength. Today, I find a very effective covering is white single-weight Modelspan overlaid with coloured Esaki Japanese tissue. The fibrous nature of the Mode'span combined with the directional grain and smoothness of theJap make a very tough durable covering. Low-shrink clear dope is used to bond the laminations. The wings and tail-unit are covered in lightweight red and white Japanese tissue with black numerals as specified on the Burd plan..."

Supplementary file notes

Article 1990.


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Rearwin Speedster 6000 (oz692) by Leo Dragonuk 1936 - model pic


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