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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ercoupe – Aircraft of the Month

This months aircraft is the ERCO Ercoupe.

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

On my commute to work I listen to a lot of audio books on Audible, the current book I’m on is Sam Walton made in America (the auto biography of the man who started Walmart)

I was surprised to  how much of a role general aviation played in his success in building one of the largest and most profitable companies on the planet. He got his pilots license and the first aircraft he bought for business travel  was a Ercoupe N2278H

He not  only used general aviation as a faster and more efficient commuting method to check in on his stores he also used it as aerial scouting for new sites for stores decades before internet sites like google earth / maps and real estate sites.

Another connection to the Ercoupe is Fred Weick, who deigned this aircraft for ERCO in 1936. Fred later went on to Piper Aircraft in Vero Beach where he went on to be the lead designer in the Cherokee series. I worked at the same plant from 2005 – 2008 on many of his designs.

Ercoupe’s are still a viable & low cost option today for general aviation. Airworthy examples can be found below $20K

https://www.trade-a-plane.com/search?make=ERCOUPE&s-type=aircraft

https://www.barnstormers.com/listing.php?catid=20352

For the RC community Outerzone has a bunch of options:

https://outerzone.co.uk/search/results.asp?keyword=ercoupe

Many of these are from the 40’s-60′ and original designed for free flight but with today’s modern electric motors and micro servos they could easily become RC aircraft.

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Quickie – Aircraft of the month

This months aircraft is the Quickie, Q2 & Q200.

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

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

One of my EAA chapter 203 friends & former co-worker Kevin Sheely built one and has been flying it for years. The craftsmanship is immaculate and many of the design features are very unique. You can read more about his aircraft on the chapter 203 web site, formatting of this page you have to scroll about half way down before it starts.

http://eaa203.com/quickie_q200.htm

I’ve also seen a single seat version built and flown buy a very thin man under the age of 20.

Surprisingly the EAA web site does not have a page dedicated to the Quickie?

The original Quickie was designed by Burt Rutan in the 70’s. Gene Sheehan & Tom Jewett created a 2 seat-er based on Rutan’s work. The original company is gone however quick heads has taken up the support for the aircraft.

The aircraft is very compact (like Pitts Special compact) while being very fast and fuel efficient.

http://www.quickheads.com/

You can still buy plans for both the single seat & 2 seat versions on the site at low cost. The kit version had a pre-molded fuselage, with plans its built from templates.  Quickheads also offers CNC cut foam cores and hardware packages.

Now for some videos:

There are some RC options as well for the Quickie.

1982 RCM plan for the single seat-er from outerzone with a 55″ W.S.

QAC Quickie (oz8746) by Ray Jennings from RCMplans 1982 - model pic

https://outerzone.co.uk/plan_details.asp?ID=8746

https://www.airagestore.com/plans/rc-planes/1-4-scale-quickie.html

 

 

Fly Baby – Aircraft of the Month

The Fly Baby is a very popular Home Built aircraft with a good amount of RC options as well.

It first flew in 1962 and was designed by Boeing historian Peter M Bowers.

The Fly Baby can also be converted into a Biplane called the Bi-Baby.

http://www.bowersflybaby.com/ is a great unofficial Fly Baby web site

https://eaa.org/eaa/aircraft-building/kits-and-plans/d—g/fly-baby

Is a great resource, If you are an EAA member there are Sport Aviation articles ranging from 1962 – 2005 plus a pdf download of the 74 paged Building the wood airplane part of EAA’s “HOW-TO” series from way back.

 

Now for some RC options, Outerzone has a bunch, here are some that look quite workable today with electric power.

56″ Span from Modellismo in 2012

https://outerzone.co.uk/plan_details.asp?ID=4062

 

72″ span from RCM in 1980

https://outerzone.co.uk/plan_details.asp?ID=5837

And for some kits & Arf’s

Sig 68″ Span = https://sigmfg.com/products/seagull-models-bowers-flybaby

Balsa USA Giant 112″ span = https://shop.balsausa.com/product_p/447.htm

Balsa USA Giant 88″ span biplane version = https://shop.balsausa.com/product_p/452.htm

 

 

 

Pitts Model 12 – Aircraft of the month

The Pitts Model 12 is the #1 aircraft I think of when it comes to Sun-N-Fun. Because the event canceled for now due to COVID-19 I won’t get to see it. Likely the reason it comes to mind is they always have one displayed on a corner in one of the highest traffic areas of the aircraft company display area.

Curtis Pitts design /built the aircraft between 1993 – 1995 and completed it on his 80th birthday. Curtis is well known for a series of acrobatic biplanes that set the standard for IAC contest. The model 12 is the largest  of the Pitts series and uses the legendary M14P Radial Engine.

The model 12 can be built from a Kit or Plans. 92nd West Aviation Inc is the contact.

Aircraft Spruce also sells components and supports the model 12

I got a good amount of experience on Pitts biplanes when I was the Composites & Aerodynamics engineer for  Team Jamaica Mistaka, Race 68 owned & piloted by Jason Newburg (inverted.us now viperairshows.com) in 2006. This highly modified Pitts took home gold @ Reno the same year for that category. I’ve always been impressed with the simplicity & structural efficiency of this design.

There are quite a few YouTube videos on the model 12, here are a few I found interesting.

 

For the R/C crowd I could find no real scratch built plan options. However Outerzone does have options for other Pitts bipe models.

Amazon does carry a 1070 mm (42.1″) wing span pre-built electric RC model 12 made by DYNAM.

The design team at Dynam has captured this wonderful biplane and stretched the fuselage to improve on pitch damping. It optimizes flight performance without losing the classic lines of this incredible aircraft. The span is a compact yet respectable 1067mm and with the clever use of; EPO foam, carbon and phenolic composites, the resulting aircraft is incredibly lightweight and rigid.

A 4S Li-Po is the battery of choice and paired to this is the perfect balance of oversized brushless motor and ESC giving a potent punch of pace and performance that we haven’t seen in a model of this size.

Featuring a fabulous showroom finish using quality paint and decals this bold scale scheme and contrasting colors will stand out in flight and take center stage on the deck. The aircraft devours snaps, gyroscopic tumbles, flat spins, prop hang climb outs and gives ample grace and poise in slow, point and ratchet rolls that will have all levels of pilots grinning from ear to ear.

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Anderson Kingfisher – Aircraft of the Month

 

For those interested in a cabin class 2 seat home built amphibian the Anderson Kingfisher “EA-1” is worth checking out. The over all configuration is similar to Grumman sea planes from the 40’s (G-44, G-21, HU-16).

I’ve seen them at Oshkosh & Sun-N-Fun before and they look like a real solid design. This one looks like its the one from Sun-N-Fun behind the 4 expo buildings and next to the large pond. (credit to Adrian Share from Air-Britain).

The first flight was in April 1969 and a few hundred kits have been sold.

To help expedite the build, the kingfisher uses Piper cub wings.

Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anderson_Kingfisher

EAA: https://www.eaa.org/eaa/aircraft-building/kits-and-plans/h—l/kingfisher

The aircraft has a popular Face Book following: https://www.facebook.com/andersonkingfisher/

Kits / Plans:

Warner Aviation, Inc.
Thunderhill Aerodrome
Rt. 4, Box 401
Covington, LA 70433

Wing kits (J-3 Cub type) are available:
Carlson Aircraft
60642 S.R. 14
PO Box 88
East Palestine, OH 44413

For those wanting to learn more about American sea planes this book may be worth checking out:

It’s available in Paperback & Kindle.

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One of my favorite self designed RC aircraft had some kingfisher influence is this plane called the barracuda (built in 2003). It has over a 7′ WS and is powered by a Tower Hobbies .61 2 cycle engine. Uses 6 TS-53 Futaba style servos and is fully covered in Monokote with a conventional truss frame / 1/32″ ply fuselage  & foam / balsa wings / tail. It’s a great flyer but an even better display model.

 

The Kingfisher is a popular RC Aircraft as well, owing the same simple configuration as the full size original, here are some RC options:

108″ Wing span RCM plan from 1990 by Dennis Tapsfield

https://outerzone.co.uk/plan_details.asp?ID=6038

&

72″ Span from Champion Models, 1983

https://outerzone.co.uk/plan_details.asp?ID=11867

Christen Eagle – Aircraft of the month

One of my favorite Acrobatic Biplanes is the Christen Eagle, I first got to see the eagle in action with the eagles acrobatic flight team consisting of Tom Poberezny, Charlie Hillard & Gene Soucy in the early 90’s at Oshkosh.

The Eagle was designed to compete with the Legendary Pitts Special in the late 70’s

Wikipedia:

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

For those interested in a Kit or Plans:

Aviat, Inc.
Box 1240
672 S. Washington
Afton, WY 83111

Telephone: 307-886-3151
Fax: 307-886-9674

Website: http://www.aviataircraft.com

EAA Resources:

https://www.eaa.org/eaa/aircraft-building/kits-and-plans/00—c/christen-eagle

 

RC aircraft on Outerzone:

50″ Span, 1980 Publication date, .40 – .60 glow power

https://outerzone.co.uk/plan_details.asp?ID=4560

 

62″ Span,

https://outerzone.co.uk/plan_details.asp?ID=6164

Corby Starlet CJ-1 – Aircraft of the Month

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

Like the PL-12 Airtruk, the Starlet was designed and built in Australia

The Corby Starlet was one of the big inspirations for the SP-500, The bare basics simplicity of this aircraft was quite attractive. Unfortunately you have to be quite short and light to fit in one.

While there are quite a few flying in Australia, there are not too many in the USA.

3 view of the Starlet

If your interested in a set of plans for this plane the contact info from ACS is:

CSN
1335 Robinhood Lane S.
Lakeland, FL 33813
Email: CorbyStarlet@gmail.com
Phone: (863) 644-8426

additional resources from Aircraft Spruce “ACS”

https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/kitspages/corby.php

For the RC pilots there are some options:

Kit from “RC-Builder”

Corby Starlet

Outerzone UK plan:

This is the only one available on Outerzone as a micro scale but it could easily be scaled up.

https://outerzone.co.uk/plan_details.asp?ID=2157

 

 

Wilga PZL-104 – Aircraft of the month

This aircraft of the month is the Wilga

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PZL-104_Wilga

Like the J-1B Don Quixote, the Wilga was made in Poland with some very creative engineering.

While not as common of a Bush Plane as a “Cub” its a very capable machine, packed with unique design features.

Designed in the early 60’s it was originally powered by Ivchenko AI-14 Radial Engine Produced in the Ukrain

The Wilga 2000 was a late 90’s / early 2000’s IO-540 Lycoming powered version.

The first time I saw one in person was at Oshkosh 06′

No modern story of the Wilga would be complete with out coverage of the Draco Wilga a P&W PT6A Turbo prop powered monster bush plane created by Mike Patey.

If your into Homebuilt aircraft construction and flying I would highly recommend you check out Mike’s YouTube Channel.

For the RC / scratch builder group Outerzone has 2 options for plans

55″ electric powered version from 2005

There is also a 36″ free flight version from 1973 that could easily be converted to Electric / RC

 

 

 

Dyke Delta – Aircraft of the month

The Dyke Delta was designed and built by John Dyke and first flew in 1966.

They do show up often at Airventure and SNF to help breakup the conformity of RV’s.

An excellent write up on the history of the aircraft can be found on the EAA web site, written by Alan White

https://www.eaa.org/eaa/eaa-chapters/chaptergram-articles/2016-07-the-rest-of-the-story-dyke-delta-n1aw

 

The structure is mostly 4130  welded steel tube

EAA Chapter 27 in Meriden Connecticut has a good collection of construction photos (including the photo above)

https://www.eaa27.org/index.php?p=planes&a=maher

For the RC community, legendary RC aircraft deisgner Laddie Mikulasko created a set of plans that can be found on Outerzone.

https://outerzone.co.uk/plan_details.asp?ID=6415