Bandito. Radio control sport model.
Quote: "Doc Mathew's new .25 - .40 sport flier.
You've no doubt already looked at the pictures accompanying this article and (hopefully) have found the Bandit to have eye appeal. It's a whimsical take-off on the pursuit planes of the 1930's: the sort of thing we 'doodled' on the borders of church programs or in our Big Chief tablets when we were kids. Whatever you see in the Bandito. you have to admit it's sort of cute.
That 'cuteness' is likely the reason we have built no less than seven of them over the last 12 years. by would anyone do that? Simply put: because they are appealing esthetically, fly wonderfully, are not at all difficult to build from plans, and we couldn't make up our mind on a final configuration.
A lightweight variant was the first built as a proposal to kit manufacturer and, in many ways, was the most satisfactory. I lowever, the kitter felt it waN not structurally suitable for commercial use, so we built many other versions in attempting to meet their parameter.
Some featured locking lite ply fuselage boxes, some all sheet empennage, some sheet balsa fuselages, one had a D tube wing and so forth. Some of them also gained so much weight, they required .60 size engines and cruise speeds twice that of the prototype, just to stay in the air. A very ordinary run of the mill design in that form. A bastardization of a delightful concept.
One of the consistent design concerns has been the location of the main gear. Some of the prototypes had the mains in the wing, some a cut-out in the wing center section to fit over a gear mount farther aft than shown. All these variations added considerable additional construction complexity, with the only benefit being less bouncy landings if the model were three pointed. We eventually decided to keep the mains simple to mount and learn to land wheels on. A little bounce on landing is more than compensated for by vastly simpler construction.
The lightweight version shown was flown at an Ace float fly in 1989 and appeared as part of a commercial video and in the modeling press. That exposure led to numerous inquiries over the years as to when a construction article for the Bandito would be published.
While we frequently recalled what fun it was to build and fly that lightweight version, only recently did the urge to build another become irresistible. The Bandito is just too good a model design to remain in my 'never published' file, so we decided to build still another and share the Bandito with you.
In this low wing loading and low powered form, the Bandito is just delightful. It's nimble, well behaved, and just a joy to look at in the air or on the ground. Some of its appearance has been influenced by the Peerless Panther (oz5074) free-flight design of 1940 and a modernized version we designed for Model Aviation (12-79). In an odd way, the Bandito is sort of an old-timer in drag.
General Construction. Whether you can't resist the charm of this model, or choose not to build one, reading these construction notes might be worth your time, as we will share some ofa lifetime's collection of building hints.
The curved parts of this model can be easily cut out if one makes copies of them in a top load copy machine at Kinkos, etc cuts the copy paper to rough outline with scissors, adheres the pattern to the appropriate wood size with a glue stick, then cuts them out on a jig saw. Cut outside the lines, then use a sanding block to final shape. Peel off the paper pattern, assemble the outlines over the drawing, and glue. Remove and sand the outside edges with a sandpaper block and the inside curve with a piece of sandpaper wrapped around a cylinder such as a Pringles can.
Wing ribs can be constructed by using the copier technique to create a plywood master rib, then pinning it to the top of a stack of rib blanks to create a sandwich. Again, rough-cut with a jig saw, then final-sand down to the marks. Spar slots should be cut to a firm fit and to the proper depth. The technique we will describe later for the turtledeck stringers is also applicable for spar slots.
We have not included a bill of materials simply because if the builder has a good balsa stripper (such as Master Airscrew), many of the shorter strips can be made from scrap sheet created in building the fuselage and outline parts. If the builder prefers purchasing precut strip, obviously a different set of requirements will exist. Primary adhesive is medium CA with 20-minute epoxy used in the high stress areas such as the landing gear and engine attachments. Use is also made of thin CA and aliphatic resin..."
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