Bittern - Rubber competition model.
Quote: "FOR those who are inescapably in the light-weight groove, this model will have little appeal; but for those to whom looks mean as much as performance and who prefer models in which these two qualities are judiciously blended, the Bittern is just about the ideal. The fine lines of the model won for the designer and builder the first prize in the Duration class of the Second National Model Aircraft Exhibition at Dorland Hall, 1945, and since that date its proven flying performance has now earned its inclusion in the Aeromodeller Plans Service range, for appearance alone was not enough to justify a previous incorporation.
The general design of the model puts into practice many of the theoretical recommendations that have been extolled by the slide rule kings for years, and seldom have so many good points of design been included in one model. In this case they can definitely be said to work, and well. The elliptical flying surfaces are the ideal for efficiency, and the high mounting of the tailplane keeps it clear of the worst of the disturbed downwash from the wing. The mounting does not suffer in strength either, the usual drawback of this arrangement on duration models, as cunning structural design keeps the weight down without a disproportionate loss in rigidity.
Slim cantilever undercarriage legs are internally sprung and take all landing shocks in a most efficient manner. A thin rubber band is the only external attachment, and this is necessary to prevent excess splaying of the legs. It will be noticed that these undercarriage legs are unusually short, and this is due to another most novel feature of the model, a three-bladed airscrew. This device may not be so much to the liking of the theorists, but it does result in better appearance and it does work perfectly. The incorporation of a tailwheel is a pleasing addition that does not detract from the performance in the slightest.
Despite the Bittern's good looks, it is no pansy and will stand up to all the normal knocks a model is expected to endure. A glance at the plan reveals the reason, for apart from the undercarriage already mentioned, a knock-off wing mounting in the form of a sprung saddle is fitted, and the whole construction is carefully stressed to give the maximum possible strength from the weight of material allowed. Even the common calamity of a tail-slide at take-off arising from an unkind gust of wind is unlikely to result in more than superficial damage, for the whole tail assembly is joined to the rest of the fuselage by a simple fixing on the weak link principle which gives way instantaneously when trouble starts.
Notice how very sensibly the principles of mixed construction are carried out, with balsa used for all the parts where strength is a secondary consideration whilst obechi is carefully specified for all components where it is of primary importance. Here, then, is a good looker that is a good flier, that is strong yet not weighty, that has a sound' performance, a hearty contempt for prangs, and an exciting appearance that takes it way out of the rut."
Scan from DBHL, cleanup by theshadow.
Direct submission to Outerzone.
Update 02/01/2018: added article, thanks to RFJ.
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