This is the model that got me started again, I had been reading RCM&E for a few months pondering building and flying model aircraft again. The problem is: I never seem to have enough time to head up to a Club strip every weekend, or even often enough to make it seem worthwhile joining a club.
Flying a fully built up model from rough fields or on the moors on a ad-hoc basis sounded like a recipe for hours repairing covering etc. Added to which I hadn’t actually flown anything for over 20 years. Then I hit upon an idea, why not buy a nice durable (read crashable) foamie for those days when I get a chance to fly and then build something smaller to satisfy my urge to actually make a model aircraft.
This was an idea which sounded like it might have legs, so I hunted around for a couple of candidates. For the flying I picked a Multiplex EasyStar, after reading RC Groups for a a few evenings it seemed a good choice. That left me with what to build. I fancied something small, free flight and rubber powered, or possibly a glider; it didn’t take long before I stumbled on the House of Frog. Hmm, building from plans, after such a long break this made me feel a little nervous; but then I stumbled across the lovely people of A&DB Model Aircraft.
A birthday was coming up so I browsed the available laser cut kits and put a couple on my birthday list. One was this, the Frog Redwing and the other was the Frog Tomtit. I must be a lucky man because they both turned up on the day
It took me a while to get around to starting either of them; figuring that 2 wings were easier than 4, I started the Redwing first. After I’d bought some sundeala board and glued it to a nice inflexible chunk of MDF I had a suitable building board just like I remember as a kid!
As you can see from the photos the construction went well, with no gaffs. I was quite reticent about covering the model so it was left in its uncovered state for some months, actually I think it remained uncovered until the Tomtit was finished as well. I really had run out of excuses at that point! My fears turned out to be unfounded with the covering going on well, I even impressed myself! I had memories of warping wings, over tightening, tearing tissue, pretty much anything that could go wrong used to go wrong, but this time around it all worked out.
It has had a few low wind flights in a little field in Devon, seeming very happy in the air. I’ve not flown it much since which is a little sad I guess; it hangs from the ceiling in my office, waiting for a chance to fly. I bought it mainly to enjoy the building, but every day when I walk in here I do feel a little guilty that it has had so little time in the air!
Updates June 2014
I have bought some new rubber and lubricant for this and installed a new motor, after taking it up to the field I had some good flights with it, gradually building up to 200 winds which resulted in about a 30-40 second flight and a reasonable glide. My son is becoming more interested in trying it out so hopefully we can get out together with it soon, and maybe get the TomTit airborne too.
The picture below is after I added some home made decals, and below that is a slideshow from my Flickr gallery.
(Click any picture on this page for a larger version)