Blue Note 4 (oz9098)


Blue Note 4 (oz9098) by Andy Crisp 1997 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Blue Note 4. Designed by Andrew Crisp, a 2.3metre span F1A free flight glider.

Scan from DBHL, cleanup by theshadow.

ref DBHL-7449.

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Update 09/06/2020: Added article, thanks to RFJ.

Quote: "Blue Note 4. Andy Crisp's F1A Free Flight Glider.

Andy Crisp is one of Free Flight's Characters. Originally an art teacher, and still an artist of some reputation, he now earns his living as a jazz musician. Andy has been at the forefront of free flight competition for over 30 years and has been a member of eight British teams at World and European Championships. At the same time he has always been keen to encourage the newcomer to aeromodelling and to simplify the sometimes 'exotic' modern building processes. What better track record could we ask for the designer for our first serious contest glider?

Why Blue Note? Well as a jazz musician most of my models have jazz connections; Blue Note is a record label famous for its Bop and Soul Jazz output. Blue Note presented here is the fourth in a series of long-spanned, high performance F1A class gliders (some readers may know the class better as A/2). It is not meant to be a beginner's model or a first contest glider but it is an ideal follow-on for those with reasonable building experience who are keen to improve their competition flying. If you have already flown the older style of A/1 and A/2 gliders, or are used to 'Vintage' or 'Nostalgia' models the performance of Blue Note will surprise you.

Despite its stretched proportions, it is not a difficult model to build. There are a number of constructional options available, from the full use of 'Carbon' components to a plain wood 'Low-tech' model. Obviously the former will be stronger and stiffer (and a little more expensive), but the simpler approach would still be adequate for calm weather. My own Blue Note does not feature the currently fashionable 'bunt launch', but it could take the rigours of this style of flying with thicker carbon wingspars.

The materials used are freely available in this country - addresses at the end of the article. I use the usual range of modeller's adhesives in my workshop: PVA (Aliphatic) and Balsa Cement for general construction; Araldite, both 24 hour and 'Rapid' for stressed parts and Cyano for tacking or where instant adhesion is needed.

Construction: It is best to start with the flying surfaces so that they can 'settle down'. Also the final balancing needs to be done with these completed and covered.

Wing: If you've never used a wing jig before, now's the time to build one. The curved surface makes constructing an undercambered wing as easy as a flat bottomed one on an ordinary building board. Details of this jig are shown on the plan. The 'shape' of the lower wing surface can be made from 'ribs' stuck on to a firm baseboard and covered in sheet balsa, or hot-wired from blue foam and again covered in sheet. This top sheet should be sealed and then covered with wax polish to prevent parts sticking. Once built the jig can be used for models other than the Blue Note providing the undersurface shape of the wing is substantially the same.

An indispensable aid for all building is a metal metre rule for stripping parts from sheet. Failing a proper rule any suitable straight piece of metal will do - aluminium angle, etc. Life is also made easier if a 'kit of parts' is cut out before beginning assembly.

Wood for the wing needs to be soft (5 to 6 lbs/cult) for the solid front portion, and hard (10 lb/cu ft) for the ribs and trailing edge. All should be quarter grain if possible. Note when cutting the trailing edge that it 'tapers' in width - for weight and strength distribution - even though the finished centre panels of the wing are of 'parallel' chord. Note also the spruce (or bass or obechi) 'rubbing strip' on the front of the leading edge. This takes the brunt of hitting obstacles on landing and is quite easy to carve and sand into the main aerofoil section.

Not having a power saw, and having to do things by hand, I hate cutting tapers in spruce, so the main spar only tapers in the shorter tip panels. The main panels get their tapering effect from the spars being doubled up at the root - easy to do and very strong!

As shown on the plan the spar has carbon fibre sheet reinforcing (this is finished laminated sheet and just needs cutting to size). I use 0.4mm which is still thin enough to cut with a balsa knife, or better yet, a Stanley knife. Using small G-cramps, clamp the carbon sheet and metal straight edge to a piece of, say, 2 x 1 timber. Cut halfway through the carbon and then turn over and repeat on the back. The required piece can then be snapped off like a piece of chocolate and finally cleaned up with a sanding block. Be very wary when cutting and sanding carbon (it sands easily). Small, undetectable splinters can easily end up in the skin; the dust isn't too healthy either - wear a mask and gloves if possible..."

Supplementary file notes



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Blue Note 4 (oz9098) by Andy Crisp 1997 - model pic

  • (oz9098)
    Blue Note 4
    by Andy Crisp
    from Aviation Modeller International
    October 1997 
    91in span
    Glider F/F
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 15/08/2017
    Filesize: 452KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: DBHL, theshadow
    Downloads: 1306

Blue Note 4 (oz9098) by Andy Crisp 1997 - pic 003.jpg

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User comments

Hi everyone, is this the Andy Crisp that taught Art at Temple Cowley school in Oxford?
Phil - 06/08/2021
Yes it is
Bill - 07/08/2021
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