Most modellers are intrigued by Bi-planes and I am but another person that thinks every modeller should have one. So I went searching through a very large stack of my fathers somewhat historic magazine collection for a good looking bipe that I felt wasn’t outside my building skills. Along came the Sporty Ace in a 1981 RCM.
So a quick call to William Deal in Hobart, an A4 sized version of the plan in the post and he had it blown up to a size suitable for my OS 55AX engine in no time. Thanks again Will.
The building started firstly with the wings, they didn’t present too much of a problem. Not many new tricks there.
Then came the fuselage: this was reasonably straight forward until I came to setting up the top wing and building the cabane. I opted for the folded aluminium cabane over the birdcage antique soldered look. Firstly I was instructed by the master (Merv) to fit the bottom wing and make up a jig to hold the top wing where it should live. “Make sure it is exactly where it should live and make sure it won’t move whilst you’re mounting your cabane. If it’s wrong I’ll break it and you will have to start again.” were the words stated. After an amount of time, and pressure, a jig was constructed and a cardboard cabane template was made.
The cabane sections were cut from a sheet of aluminium and folded. The pressure was huge at this stage and things were more than triple checked. The wing was then bolted into position and all was glued and bolted and the jig removed. The most difficult part was over. I then made up an undercarriage and axles, fitted some wheels, planked up the top section of the fuselage and mounted the engine. The rest came together fairly quickly and the covering was laid on, which made it really start to look like something. I still need to fit the radio gear before the first flight. I’m in no rush as I figure a little more experience at flying doesn’t hurt. We will probably see it fly shortly after the New Year
I hope this inspires more of us younger people to scratch build as the older guys we need to tap into are getting fewer, and the skills and knowledge they have will fade with them.