A selection of models

On this page is a small selection of the models I have flown over the years. The buttons on left take you to particularly significant model, either good or bad, of recent years. The rest are here simply because I have either a decent photograph of it or because I remember it. One of the problems of that occurs when you have been doing something for nearly 40 years on & off is that you forget things! Sadly I do not have a decent record of some of my early attempts, but maybe that is for the best anyway

Great Lakes Special                                                                             July 2009

Another go at one of my all time favourite models. This will a bigger version of previous Great Lakes (see below). It will is 63 inch span and has a 26cc petrol (gas to you yanks) XYZ engine up front. Designed in 3D using SolidWorks CAD system, with laser cut ribs, fuselage, formers etc. Eventually flew in September 2010 as the end of 2009 early 2010 was my "annus horribilis". It flies very nicely - still need to finish some of the details e.g spats for the Scale comp the year 2011.

BRUHA -                                                                                               March 2009

A new design fun-fly by yours truly. 51inch span, ASP .36 up front; novel wing section like Tempus. This was published as an article and plan in the January 2010 RC Model World magazine.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT....                            Jan 2008


I have decided that I need something slow and gentle for the quiet moments when I don't want to thrash a 3D model around like a demented harpie. So I have bought a Buccaneer, a 1937 design, originally free flight, then single channel I guess. Kit was supplied by Ben Buckle.


Mine is 3 channel, a Saito 40 up front, Solartex in blue and yellow. This has really taken me back to my roots and has been great fun to build over the Christmas break. Just need some soft summer evening now....


Just a bit of a whinge...there were a few shortcomings with the kit e.g. not enough of some lengths of balsa, pre-cut parts that didn't fit (not even close) but worse of all no where near enough clear plastic sheet for the windows. While I'm happy to be nostalgic about the actual model making I don't need to relive the experience of poor kit quality thank you very much!


"Infamy! Infamy! - They've all got it in for me..." to quote Kenneth Williams from Carry on Cleo. I don't hold a lot of store in Fate and the Gods etc but sometimes; just sometimes; I think that somebody up there has got it in infamy. How else do you explain the fact that on a clear flat calm sunny February Sunday morning with only two models in the air the other one swipes through the back of my fuselage!!!!!! I ask you - what are the odds? Third flight - just got the engine running like a sewing machine, trim sorted nothing to do but admire the grace and poise of the Buccanner in the clear sunshine and the next split second "CRUNCH" and the front end is headed rapidly to terra firma and the tail feathers with servos still attached are spiraling down into the top of the tallest tree on the perimeter. AAARAGGGHHHHH.

What's left is shown on the left.  17/02/08


Turns out to me my fault for over gunning the too large engine and allowing it to loop over my head. It's not a 3D model you dummy - it can't roll out at the last second.....!!!!!!!


OK I re- build it yet again and it is now flying brillantly with an ASP 20 2st. 40 minutes of fkying on 6oz of fuel ! Only problem is I have to watch I don't get a crick in the neck.

HANGAR 9 - FUNTANA X100                                                               Sept 2007


OK I wanted a 'big' Fun-Fly and I wanted to re-use the Zenoah 26 out of the Glen's Extra. After much deliberation in September 2007 I bought the Funtana X100. Pic on left is taken from Hangar 9 site; I haven't got one suitable yet.


Despite misgivings from the good guys at Slough Models the Zenoah does fit nicely as shown opposite, but I did have to take about 35mm off the engine mount. Also the battery pack is as far back as I can reach and still replace it if necessary, and a few ounces of lead are required on the tail. I used the original tank supplied; just changed the internal bits for gas, and moved it as far back as I could (the wing tube stops it going on the CoG).


At the time of writing (Jan 2008) I have had a dozen flights and it flies superbly. The extra weight of the Zenoah and the lead seems to worry it not at all, and the power of the Zenoah seems spot on.


I am waiting for the site to improve (its very muddy again) before taking it out with the new Biela prop. Carbon fibre and a finer pitch than the wooden ones I have been running. I'm hoping the new prop will help with torque rolls (.... like I can do torque rolls.....!).

WOT ANOTHER ONE!                                                                               December 2006

I decided I needed something with more penetration in the strong winds we seem to be suffering from lately. The 'FunFlys' are all a bit light and get blown around like fluff.


So I have obtained and built another WOT 4. This is the mk3 version with the taper wings, looks very sexy. I have made mine with 30% extra width ailerons and airbrakes. Airbrakes are for days when there is no wind and I want to stop on the patch. Hopefully I've covered all the bases now!


This will be my third WOT 4. There are also a 'rash' of them up the club site. There is always at least one around but there will be five I think with this one. Just shows you can't keep a good plane down.


Update on airbrakes: I took these off and sealed them back to the wing as the airflow kept forcing them open while flying. Didn't find them that useful so got rid. Irvine 53 is a little cracker - quiet, powerful and reliable.

MAGIC 3D                                                                                                         May 2006

The YT International Magic Formula shown opposite was bought 2nd hand as a stop gap.  Flown briefly with an old SuperTigre .61 the Magic 3D was under powered. Then I bought 2nd hand OS 70 Ultimate only to find it was one of the engines that wouldn't run and OS don't have a fix for. Finally fitted with a 2nd hand SAITO 72 and that makes a super power plant for this model. I have had loads of fun and still going strong. Model has been virtually recovered following various minor prangs and or/sprung joints. This model produces more 'fun per pound' than anything else I've had...

Extra 330S: This is the Glens Models version of the Extra and this is by far the best model I have flown to date!! (Dec 2005)

Laser 150 powered 68" span (1.7m) it weighs less than 10lbs (4.5Kg). Needless to say it is adequately powered and will go vertically out of sight in 20-30 seconds. It will also fly very slowly and retains very crisp and positive control at all speeds. It will do the book (I assume this - as I can't yet!). For more details click on the picture or button left. However I still managed to prang it big time and had to get a 2nd fuselage kit.

This has been repowered with a Zenoah 26 but has subsequently suffered another prang and another fuselage re-build. I did a 'cut+shut' with the remains of the two fuselages from the two crashes. Still flies OK but I am now nervous of flying it in less than ideal conditions. Come the summer (of 2007) I expect it will get more air time.

3STYLA: OK so I have succumbed to the trend and got a Fun-Fly/3D model. This is a kit from RC World. It is fitted with a JEN .56 from Just Engines. This is a great model to fly, but there were a few problems with the instructions and the JEN .56 engine has been a bit iffy.

Still a good very good model. For more details click on the picture or button left.

This finally went to the big hangar in the sky at the end of July when I took my eyes off it to watch a seagull......................!!! PLONKER

Blackhorse SU-31 another moment of weakness that seemed like a good idea at the time. I bought this ARTF (Almost Ready To Fly) as I wasn't getting time to build. It seemed OK but it flew like A PIG!! In the end new a wing solved the flying problems at a stroke, and it went on to be a 'general hack' model.  For more details click on the picture or button left.

X-Fire prounced "Crossfire", my first (and so far only) serious venture into electric models. Avaialable from Pete's Planes, this a Howard Metcalf design orginally; so a good pedigree. Flew OK but didn't excite me, so I sold it on. Had a rather bad start in life when I launched it for the 1st flight with the ailerons working in reverse! For more details click on the picture or button left.

Tempus (as in Tempus Fugit! - sorry) This is my own design that was published in Radio Control Model World back in 1991. It can be flown as a 1st low winger or as a moderatley agile aerobatic machine. The young lady holding it is my sister in-law, Vanessa, who was conned into coming out on a bitterly cold January day for a 'photoshoot'. She is still talking to me (just)!  The model used a novel double reflex wing section, most Fun Flys now have something similar.  For more details click on the picture or button left.

CARL GOLDBERG ULTIMATE:This ended up with a new lower wing made in foam, and completely re-built  top supports and cabane struts after a cross wind arrival with wind coming off trees on the far side of the patch (that's my excuse).  I was fitted it with a Laser 150. It flew very well. Under cart and spats were by CarbonCopy in place of  feeble wire system provided by Goldberg.

 Engine was bought second-hand, and seemed OK when I gave it a quick bench test. After fitting to the model though I found that I couldn't get the tick over down below about 4,000 rpm! With  a 16X8 APC prop it meant that somebody had to sit on the tail to stop it running away on tick over!  After trying everything I could I sent the engine back to good old Mr Tidy at Laser Engines, and after a refit costing a mere 45 it is now as sweet as a nut.   I also fitted a flexible mount, using six rubber bushes. click on image to enlarge for more details. However this has had to be replaced with a rigid system, as there was too much movement at tick over. You live and learn. Alternatively you listen to Neil Tidy who doesn't recommend flexible mounts for his engines! Sold the model early 2005.

TWIN BASED ON GALAXY MYSTIC, never got a name except 'The Beast'.

This was a modified Mystic with twin Laser 75's. It flew very well and sounded beautiful, which was why I fitted twin Lasers. I spend a lot of time matching the engines as I was very worried about it pulling evenly. On the 1st flight one engine stopped prematurely. They only thing I noticed was that the model didn't climb as fast!! However it took up too much space in the workshop and took too long to rig at the site. Sounded beautiful but it had to go.

Great Lakes Special My own design 'stand-off' scale aerobatic bipe. 54" span powered originally with a   Saito 80 with Perry pump. Taken out of service in Sept 93 after a bit of tumble, then re-covered and powered with a Laser 90. Sounded gorgeous and looked really nice in the air.  Eventually retired hurt. One day I may put the plans out for this but I need to re-draw them in CAD first.

Own Design

Swept forward wing delta based on Predator featured in RCME&E. Flew well once it got off the ground. Eventually flew without the canards which are ineffective in the prop wash. The model appears to suffer from Wing-in-Ground effect; see text of article that also appeared in RCM&E: WIG. Downloadable CAD file in zipped DXF format available.

AL FRESCO Another my own design again, this time a 72" pattern ship. Used the same funny wing section as Tempus. Flew very well with a OS 120 Surpass pump in it, but I couldn't get the noise level down to an acceptable level; at least not at an acceptable price!

Eventually scrapped it as too heavy for the job.

Glens CAP232 58" version. Smaller brother of 68" Extra. Bought at Sandown May 1999 and fitted with MDS .58. Didn't have much luck with this, nice kit but not up to the combination of my landings and a grass patch. Sold it on before it suffered too much

The superb Acrowot, possible the best sports model ever designed. This is my version. It was 4 seasons old when this was taken. Originally fitted with a SuperTigre .61 ABC, it has now been upgraded to a ST .90. It won't go vertically for ever though .... eventually it runs out of fuel!  Eventually broke it. Built another but made it far too heavy, glassed the fuse. and put in a Laser 90. Loads of power but glided like bricks don't! Not a good idea. Moral of story; a heavy model is a bad model no matter how good the original

Flair Puppeteer on flight box waiting for another sortie into the wild blue yonder - TALLY HO! Fitted with Laser 60 made a nice relaxing flyer for late evenings with the sun glinting off the polished ali front. But bored with this one a flogged it on. Supposedly met its end 'strafing' the fuel pipes at Boscombe Down and the pilot forgot to pull up in time.

Own Design This a camera ship used to play with aerial photography. Loosely based on the good old Super 60 with increased wing area and a Laser .60 up front to give it the oomph. Flew well, better with the camera out.  I gave up aerial photography as I only ever got one image that was recognisable!

SUPER 60: Just for a laff - me in 1972 (or there abouts) complete with hair, flares, newspaper print shirt (wasn't I trendy) and a good old Super Sixty. I think it had a Merco .35 and Fleet radio gear, but I can't be sure.


This heralded my return to the sport after a short lay off till I completed my first degree at Southampton. Used to fly this from the old airfield at Beaulieu in the New Forest.


For more nostalgia visit my Autobiography page, if you dare!

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