Osprey 2 – Aircraft of the month

Osprey 2 C-FVOV.JPG

The Osprey 2 is a 2 place side by side sea plane featuring wood construction and was created by the same designer (George Pereira) of the GP-4 (see previous Aircraft of the month article)

This aircraft first flew in 1973 with over 500 examples built

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osprey_Osprey_2

They have one on display at the EAA museum in Oshkosh Wi, the EAA web site has sport aviation articles going back to 1970.

https://www.eaa.org/eaa/aircraft-building/kits-and-plans/m—q/periera-osprey-i-and-ii

Plans and Parts are still available for anyone looking to build one at:

https://www.ospreyaircraft.com/osprey.htm

While i was not able to find any RC aircraft of the Osprey, there are quite a few that have a bit of a resemblance on Outerzone

Laddie Mikulasko Designer of all kinds of RC aircraft with several Seaplane options has the Laker, a 70″ model from 1979

https://outerzone.co.uk/plan_details.asp?ID=7402

Ken Willard another well known RC aircraft designer has a few options as well

Likely best known for the Seamaster 40 & 120, ACE RC produced kits from the late 80′ and had ARF options as well:

Seamaster 40: https://outerzone.co.uk/plan_details.asp?ID=10212

Seamaster 120: https://outerzone.co.uk/plan_details.asp?ID=10817

I won a Seamaster 40 ARF at an auction back in the mid 2000’s not a bad performer but a higher power motor like a 60 or a modern electric setup is really needed for best performance.

As a side note the Anderson Kingfisher is also a similar homebuilt to the Osprey however not as many have been completed. I did a article on the Kingfisher in march 2020

DR-107 One Design – Aircraft of the Month

The One Design was created to make a high performance acrobatic aircraft on a low budget. It was designed to get the most out of a O-360 Lycoming motor. The Wiki page has a brief overview of the aircraft at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rihn_DR-107_One_Design

YouTube has a bunch of videos on this aircraft, here are a few

This video has a real good 3D cad overview of the structure

You can get the Plans and Materials for the One Design from Aircraft Spruce: https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/kitspages/onedesign.php

The EAA has a few dozen articles that cover this aircraft and they can be found here: https://www.eaa.org/eaa/aircraft-building/kits-and-plans/r—s/rihn-dr-107-and-dr-109

Finished ready to fly examples can be found on Barnstormers for $50K+: https://www.barnstormers.com/category-15896-Aerobatic–One-Design.html

For those looking for an RC version Outerzone has a 72″ span plans from RCM: https://outerzone.co.uk/plan_details.asp?ID=10576

Super Decathlon – Aircraft of the month

Back in the early 2000’s I got to do Acrobatic Training in a Super Decathlon at KPRC Prescott AZ. This aircraft is one of the best entries into Acrobatics & Tail Wheels, gaining more confidence and capability as a pilot.

The Decathlon started Production in 1972 and is a derivative of a Citabria.

Prices range from 50 to over 200K depending on year, condition etc.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Champion_Decathlon

There are some RC Options available. Great Planes made a 64″ kit that you may be able to find on eBay or a large hobby shop like Graves in Orlando FL. Outerzone has the plans for it at:

https://outerzone.co.uk/plan_details.asp?ID=10203

Osprey GP-4 – Aircraft of the Month

The GP-4 is one of those aircraft you see at an airshow that really makes you pay attention. Being around Experimental Aircraft since the early 90’s the common impression from the “general public” is something that is crude, slapped together and unsafe. The GP-4 is a dramatic example of refinement for something that is plans built, with a Aerodynamic shape, style and finish that puts production aircraft at 4X the cost to shame.

EAA w/ Sport Aviation info: https://www.eaa.org/eaa/aircraft-building/kits-and-plans/d—g/gp-4

Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osprey_GP-4

Company: https://www.ospreyaircraft.com/

Here are some photos I took at Airventure 03 & 06

From what I have found there are no available Plans, Kits or Downloads for the GP-4, however with modern tech like 3d scanning iPhones, Powerful Cad Software and 3D printers it would not be too difficult to create a RC version of this impressive Aircraft.

H-4 Hercules – Spruce Goose – Aircraft of the Month

H-4 Hercules 2.jpg

I recently got to see a very interesting documentary on moving the H4 Spruce Goose from California to Oregon on YouTube. I got to see this unique aircraft at the Evergreen Aviation Museum just outside of Portland Oregon, on a few days off from a company trip in 2014. https://www.evergreenmuseum.org/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evergreen_Aviation_%26_Space_Museum. If your into historic aircraft this Museum is one of the best in the country with the Smithsonian NASM in Washington DC, USAF Museum in Dayton Ohio & the EAA Museum in Oshkosh Wisconsin as peers and is well with the drive alone from any of the surrounding states.

When you see it in person its difficult to get the whole aircraft in one shot with out a wide angle lense

Much of the structure is actually laminated wood with grain direction for optimized strength and is a pre curser to modern composite aircraft structures. They have a few displays of some details of the construction methods along with a scale model of the aircraft under construction.

An ominous shot from a rear quarter view with a ME-262 and a FW-190 showing what this war bird would have been up against if it would have been operational in the war.

My personal thoughts on the aircraft with the context of seeing the 2004 movie the aviator and a few documentaries on Hughes is its a mix of a technology path finder paving the way to large aircraft structures and systems while being a tragedy for Hughes personal aviation career. He was never the same after this project.

Aircraft like his racer and XF-11 had fairly quick development times however the H4 flew 2 years after the end of the war it was supposed to support. Because the project was under a government contract with government funding it Aircraft like the Grumman albatross and Martin Mars Evolutionary and nature compared to the revolutionary H4. However this difference was not taken into account for the oversight, visibility and pressure.

This aircraft serves as a cautionary tale for any company or individual taking on a “huge leap task” with out proper technology development and stepping stones setup at the beginning. Crawl, walk, run marathon or sprint. This is hubris that has effected my self and have seen first hand at companies I’ve worked for.

Lockwood Aircam – Aircraft of the month

The Aircam was developed in the mind 90’s by Phil Lockwood for the National Geographic Society for photography & research in the rain forest of the Congo

The twin engine’s mounted close together coupled with its slower flying speeds adds extra margin for getting into areas that may be considered too risky for more conventional manned photo aircraft. The view out the front is very UN-restricted and bubble canopies are available for flying in rain / snow.

The home page = https://www.aircam.com/

The aircraft has a good amount of coverage in EAA’s Sport Aviation: https://www.eaa.org/eaa/aircraft-building/kits-and-plans/00—c/air-cam

Factory is in Sebring FL, i’ve been by it a few time for the LSA shows they used to hold at SEF

3DAeroventures YouTube channel made a 3d printed Air Cam

Interested in getting epic aerial videos from your aircraft? check out the new GoPro Hero 9 Black edition with all kinds of mounting accessories

And for a good aerial photography alternate to the GoPro that has served me well is the EK7000 by Akaso, It has a remote control wrist strap & blue tooth connectivity that helps with remote mounting on an aircraft (wing tip, tail, under the fuselage)

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Stinson Reliant – Aircraft Of the Month

The Reliant is one of my favorite vintage planes, its also one of the few vintage aircraft I got some decent flight hours in.

In the 90’s and early 2000’s the Tillamook Air Museum in Oregon had aircraft rides in a few aircraft, one of them N1942A was owned & flown by a very nice man named Larry who sadly passed away a few years ago. He Knew I was a pilot and once the aircraft was off the ground I got to fly it around Oregon’s scenic coast line on trips my family made to Oregon every 2 to 3 years. 

Flight characteristics are quite easy going with well balanced controls.

One of the best attributes of the Reliant is its “realistic” cockpit, cabin and useful load. It’s a common sad joke in the US that many general aviation aircraft when you divide useful load by seat plus small cabin sizes you end up having to be 5′ tall and 100 lbs per person. Not with the Reliant there is plenty of room and capacity to spare.

Here are some mint condition Reliants I saw at Oshkosh 06

Here i am standing next to one for scale.

 

Some of the Reliant’s where powered by a Guiberson A-1020 Air Cooled Radial Diesel engine, I came across this interesting video of them running one on the Cars and Engines YouTube Channel

There are some good RC options as well.

125″ Span by Dick Barron on Outerzone

https://outerzone.co.uk/plan_details.asp?ID=5680

57″ Span from Sterling on Outerzone

https://outerzone.co.uk/plan_details.asp?ID=2385https://outerzone.co.uk/plan_details.asp?ID=11765

Top Flite made a real nice 100.5″ version, its out of production but there are quite a few un-opened kits floating around.

One of my favorite Hobby Shops, Garves RC In Orlando has one you can order online, and they show up every now and then.

https://www.gravesrc.com/top-flite-stinson-reliant-sr-9-kit-1-08-1-99-100-5.html

Some Canada options for the same kit

https://www.greathobbies.com/productinfo/?prod_id=TOPA0310

and a good write up on the build and details

https://www.rc-airplanes-simplified.com/rc-model-airplane-kits.html

Søren Steinicke Sørensen YouTube Channel has some good videos on the Top Flite version

Some Interesting Finds about the Stinson Reliant on Amazon:

Hallmark Keepsake Ornament – 1936 Stinson SR Reliant

I Think I have this one, my mom bought it for me years ago.

Gearbox STINSON RELIANT GULF Airplane Coin Bank

1/48 Stinson Reliant Airplane

Plastic Model Kit

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De Havilland Mosquito – Aircraft of the Month

One of the most unique Propeller driven aircraft of WW2 I think is the De Havilland Mosquito. While most of the aircraft where classified into fighters or bombers, the Mosquito has an in between status with out the typical draw backs of combined use aircraft.

One of the other unique features of the Mosquito is it’s built out of wood. Despite being seen as an inferior material, performance numbers for top speed where in the same ball park at over 400 mph & a service ceiling of 37,000′. This aircraft also served all the way up to 1963 well into the jet age.

https://www.airforce.gov.au/sites/default/files/minisite/static/7522/RAAFmuseum/exhibitions/restoration/current.htm

With 8 forward facing machine gun’s right in the nose this aircraft packs a serious punch.

 

For the RC readers there are some options:

Outerzone has a great free RCM Plan from 1978, this model has a 67″ span and would likely make a good electric model, preserving the streamlined cowlings.

https://outerzone.co.uk/plan_details.asp?ID=5482

There are also some discontinued kits that may pop up on ebay or at an RC auction:

Freewing de Havilland Mosquito 1400mm (55") Wingspan – PNP

https://www.horizonhobby.com/product/mosquito-mk-vi-bnf-basic/PKZ6350.html

 

 

EA-7 Edgley Optica – Aircraft of the Month

 

This aircraft of the month is the Edgley Optica a Observation aircraft designed to be a low cost alternative to Helicopters. It was developed and manufactured in England in the 70’s. 22 Aircraft where built

The 8 Hour endurance at Loiter speed is impressive. The center mounted Ducted fan is something usually only seen on models.

A dedicated web site for the aircraft can be found at: http://www.optica.co.uk/index2.html

Sketchfab has a online 3D model where you can see many of the details of the aircraft at: https://sketchfab.com/3d-models/edgley-optica-b9a0cc7a21344aee94d147362edbcda5

And for some YouTube Videos:

MS Flight Sim X has a freeware sim aircraft you can download at:

https://flyawaysimulation.com/downloads/files/15773/fsx-edgley-optica/

Outerzone does not currently have any options for the Optica but there is a UK web site where you can buy plans for a 2M wing span version with .60 glow power:

Edgley Optica – Plan

This Aircraft of the Month is brought you by Audible, now is the perfect time to check out all the different books available.

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Schweizer SGS 2-33 – Aircraft of the Month

The Schweizer 2-33 is a very popular training glider, I got to do some glider training on one at the main Glider training base in Boulder Municipal Airport in Colorado in the 90’s. Glider training still goes on at this airport, check out  https://www.milehighgliding.com/ to learn more.

The aircraft was easy to fly and had simple & conventional construction.  Like the contemporary 172’s & PA-28’s peak production was in the 60’s – 70’s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schweizer_SGS_2-33

http://www.fiddlersgreen.net/models/aircraft/Schweizer2-33.html

The market’s voting dollars however chose sleek composite sail planes in the early 80’s ending production on the 2-33.

The 2-33 is still a good gliding trainer. Like Acrobatic training ability to grow performance skills, glider training gets conventional pilots more skills in the case of an engine out.

The 2-33 also has the same NACA 63-618 Airfoil as the SP-500 offering Aerodynamic & Structural efficiency

Not too many RC options, none on outerzone yet. If your gun-ho for a RC model Aviation Concepts has a 1/3 scale version with a mammoth 17′ wing span

https://www.aviationconceptsrc.com/1-3-scale-2-33

& a 1/8 scale version

https://www.aerosente.com/a078-schweizer-sgs-233a-18-scale.html