John Cooper's Rubber Powered Freeflight Page 3


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Fiat CR42

This No-Cal plane features a motor stick made from rolled 1/32 balsa tube. The complex camoflage and markings were printed on white domestic tissue via an injet printer. The model flys quite well, but only to the left. It would either stall or spiral if I tried flying to the right.

  • wingspan: 16 inch
  • weight: 11g without rubber
  • power: 1 strand of 1/8 inch
  • design: John Cooper
  • built: 2007
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Curtis F9C-2 Sparrowhawk

This is my heaviest indoor freeflight plane, despite my effort to lower the weight of the kit. I substituted 1/32 balsa for the rear half of the fuselage and many wings ribs. The plane has removable wings; the upper wing, via slots and the lower wing via balsa spars in paper tubes. Despite its weight the plane is a stable flyer, although a little fast

  • wingspan: 76.2 cm
  • weight: 102g
  • power: 2 strand of 1/4 inch
  • design: Dumas
  • built: 2007
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Breguet 14

This is an all balsa sheet model, inspired by the plans on Paul and Ralph Bradley's site. It is a stable flyer but needs more work to get more altitude and more duration.

  • wingspan: 44.5 cm
  • weight: 19.5g
  • power: 2 strands of 1/8 inch
  • design: John Cooper
  • built: 2007
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Morane Saulnier A1

This plane is build from a Dare kit. The kit is clearly high quality and intended for experienced modellers. I have started to trim it indoors, but had numerous heavy landings. I am going to complete trimming outside in tall grass.

  • wingspan: 73.9 cm
  • weight: 72 g
  • power: 2 strands of 1/4 inch
  • design: Dare
  • built: 2007
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Guillows Lancer

Another outdoor model, flying happily indoors, the Lancer is an excellent beginners plane and an excellent flyer. At about US$ 9.00, the kit is great value and I was surprised at the quality of the wood, die cutting and the plans. I made several minor changes to the model, but I believe the model will fly nicely if built unmodified. The only real weakness of the model is the landing gear; it will break after the first few flights. I would suggest leaving it off, or, as I did, replace it with bent wire. I used one piece of wire with about 3cm sandwiched between balsa and glued between the longerons on the bottom of the fuselage.

  • wingspan: 61 cm
  • weight: 25 g
  • power: 1 stands of 1/4 inch
  • design: Guillows kit (modified)
  • built: 2006
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Vought F4U4 Corsair

At 98g, the Corsair is pushing the limits of what can fly indoors. None the less, the fighter flies in very stable circles, although quite fast. The plane was mostly a stock build of a Herr kit. The well fitting, laser cut parts made it very enjoyable and quick to put the frame together. The major modifications were a removable wing, and a large flap on the port wing to counteract the torque.

  • wingspan: 76 cm
  • weight: 98 g
  • power: 2 stands of 1/4 inch
  • design: Herr kit (modified)
  • built: 1999
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Fairey Firefly MkII

The Firefly is built from Lubomir Koutny's beautifully rendered plans. I modified the plans to use fewer stringers and fewer wing ribs. The plans include no written instructions but are very detailed and accurate. The model flys quite well and really needs more space than an indoor gym has. I originally started with a 3 blade balsa prop but had to switch to a 9.5 inch Peck because the blades were always breaking on landing. Plans can be bought from Mike Woodhouse here: www.freeflightsupplies.co.uk. Video

  • wingspan: 71 cm
  • weight: 51 g
  • power: 2 stands of 1/4 inch
  • design: Lubomir Koutny (modified)
  • built: 2006
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Lockspeiser LDA-01

Another Walt Mooney plan, the plane is still in the trimming phase. Unlike most models, the issue with this plane was being too nose heavy because of the short moment of the rear cowl. Typical of canard models, it will not stall - it just slows down and descends.

  • wingspan: 13 inch
  • weight: ~12 g
  • power: 1 strand of .080 inch
  • design: Walt Mooney
  • built: 2006
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Morane Saulnier MS225

This is probably my best flying peanut model. It is covered with light domestic tissue. Domestic tissue has advantages for this size of model. It is more opaque than Japanese tissue and is far less likely to cause warping. Video

  • wingspan: 13 inch
  • weight: ~11 g
  • power: 1 strand of .080 inch
  • design: John Cooper
  • built: 2005
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dehavilland Canada DHC-5

This plane has alot of potential and is capable of long flights. It has, however, one major problem - its flight path is random. This makes indoor flying difficult as it constantly runs into walls. The issue is that large lengths of rubber in the nacelles bunch up so that thrust is inconsistent. Video

  • wingspan: 51 cm
  • weight: ~20 g
  • power: 2 strand of .080 inch
  • design: John Cooper
  • built: 2005
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