"1/2 A" & "1/8 A" airplanes These are the small ones...more popular now than ever.

1959 Berkeley Impulse Single Channel Pylon Racer Build

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Old 02-25-2014, 02:02 PM
  #1
GallopingGhostler
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Cool 1959 Berkeley Impulse Single Channel Pylon Racer Build

I posted this under kit construction, but it got nowhere. Since this is a smaller plane with smaller power, it perhaps belongs to this forum. I'm building from a 1959 Berkeley kit, the Impulse, a 46" wingspan sport model.

Elements of my build are located here:

1959 Berkeley Impulse Build

It was originally intended for the Fox Rocket .09 engine for power. Feedback I've received, it was a very easy to start engine, but it's power was .049 like.

The Fox .09 Rocket is described here:
http://www.sceptreflight.net/Model%2...20%282%29.html



The above photo I downloaded somewhere on the internet some time ago. If it's your photo, please let me know and I'll credit you with it. Engine came with its one integral tank and used a simplified feed of small tubing from venturi to hole in the tank.

To make a long story short, due to some engine bulkhead alignment issues I didn't check, didn't allow me to mount the more powerful Enya .09-III TV engine in the nose. Thus, I'm going with the Thunder Tiger GP-07 Schneurle.

Some photos to date of the fuselage, left wing and elevator:



Here's what the final results will look like:



I'm making a few changes to it from the 1959 design. It will be full house with ailerons configured as flaperons, so I can grease in the landings. Wing positive incidence will be moved to zero for better wind penetration and dihedral reduced for more effective ailerons. The smaller elevator and strip ailerons will make this a smooth fun flier. This afterall was considered a beginner's kit that could be adapted to a fun fly single channel pylon racer for club races, like some of the one of a kind down these days.

As far as why I am tearing up a vintage kit instead of using the patterns and selling the kit on E-Bay? The kit is in rough shape with water damaged box, a few pieces missing. I got it for a song a couple years ago. Amount I'd get for the kit would be less than what a laser cutter would charge.

I thought it would be fun to see people's reactions of flying something designed 55 years ago.
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Old 02-25-2014, 03:22 PM
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I dunno about no pylon racer, but it sure looks like a nice shoulder wing sport model to me! I love my meagre collection of old Berkeley kits. And Jetco hand launch gliders.

There was a time pylon racing meant sedately buzzing around a course with single channel models or enormous deltas with Veco .19's blistering around at 70mph.

Nice project. I have a Berkely Payloader (PAAloader.. what is it now, I'm too lazy to go down and look?) framed up but with a little damage. It would easily resurrect into a sweet little .020 2 channel.
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Old 02-25-2014, 04:17 PM
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Thanks, MJD. Yes, it should be a nice sport model for boring holes in the sky. Regarding the Berkeley PAAloader, that is a nice FF model that ought to adapt itself well to small RC. It and it's 48" span sibling the Pay Dirt:

http://www.outerzone.co.uk/plan_details.asp?ID=5305

and other sibling the 51" span Payee

http://www.outerzone.co.uk/plan_details.asp?ID=1841



Would in my opinion make fine sport models, too. Take a lazy summer day, catch a thermal and watch it loung around the sky.
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Old 02-25-2014, 05:06 PM
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I wonder if anyone still working at FOX MFG knows every single engine they ever produced including every single variant of the original design as well...?
I'll bet it's a totally staggering list.
I've seen so many different .35s [for example] and I figure I've only seen the tip of the iceberg.
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:05 PM
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There probably are, CP. I've got only two Foxes, the .15-X and last of the .25RC baffle pistons with MK-X carb. Most of my CL fleet of engines are either Enya or Testor McCoy's. Since I'm reliving my second childhood, I've started building the larger CL planes, one a repair as a gift from a friend, plowboybill, a Sterling S-1 Ringmaster I'm putting a McCoy .35 Red Head on.



Think I may reserve the Fox .15-X for a Midwest P-40 Warhawk 33" wingspan slow combat profile for, since it is light weight and wouldn't be nose heavy for its longer nose.



Been thinking about reserving the Fox .25RC for a plane like may be a 1956 DeBolt Equalizer cabin 56" span by Hal DeBolt or 46" Das Middle Stik 75% rendition of Das Ugly Stik, both by Phil Kraft.
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:38 PM
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The FOX .15 bypass was one of their best all around efforts. It's an engine you could have bought back when Kennedy was president for less than $10, get 40 years worth of use out of, then sell it for $10 at a garage sale.
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:17 PM
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Couldn't agree with you more there, CP. I bought it off E-Bay for a song, not realizing it was one of Fox's best offerings. Needle valve was screwed up by someone trying to sharpen it so it leaks like a sieve, no throttle control. However there's enough of an end at the spray bar I could put a remote needle like Fox's universal NVA. That would also get the needle out of harms way, snapped off in a nose over. It's got like new compression. Head screws are chewed up, looks like someone used the wrong screw driver tip, but I could easily file it off from the side, exposed between the cooling fins. But if it ain't broke, there's no need to fix. That would be down the road.

Unmuffled on the P-40 it ought to be a hoot to fly.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:57 PM
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They're prolly plain old 4-40 or 6-32 machine screws aren't they?
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:02 PM
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Smaller than 6-32, MJD, probably 4-40's.
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GallopingGhostler View Post
It and it's 48" span sibling the Pay Dirt:

and other sibling the 51" span Payee

Would in my opinion make fine sport models, too. Take a lazy summer day, catch a thermal and watch it loung around the sky.
Oh for sure, they would be sweet fliers. They are so elegant looking too, and you have to think that unfettered with AMA payloads, instead replaced with 1 oz of radio gear, they would be fine climb and glide machines and would ride the light lift well. Sounds like all kinds of fun to me.

On a similar note, I just scored a Sniffer kit and I already have its contemporary engine, an Anderson Baby Spitfire .045. In tip top shape too, I recently limbered it up and ran a few primes through it. Oooh what a mighty monster.. only slightly harder to hold inthe hand running than an .020. No wonder early 1/2a designs had to be scaled up about 50% to behave the same on Babe Bees. Add some silly light modern 2 channel gear and I'd say that might be a fun little combo for the spring. Doesn't take long to build one of these. Should brrrrrrrrrrrrp its way up gently.

I look forward to your flight reports!
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Old 02-26-2014, 05:43 AM
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Yes, those early engines were fine power but a tad less than Leroy Cox's wonders. Some decry the weakness of an OK Cub, but they miss the point that at the time they were engineering marvels in miniature. The TT GP-07 is rated at .19 HP whereas the Original Fox .09 Rocket was rated at .11 HP, so performance should be fine for a sport model. I'll post a flight report when completed.
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:20 AM
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Got the stabilizer assembled, tip blocks sanded to contour. Plans state, 26 - Sand tapered elevator stock smooth. There is no taper to this 3/16"x5/8" (5mmx16mm) piece until I taper it.

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Old 02-27-2014, 07:34 AM
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Too many people buy these old engines and compare them to modern equivalents. Break them in as they should be, run them as they were intended, and enjoy them for what they are.

Many of us experienced Berkeley kits that were known for ill-fitting parts. I have had good and bad. Someone once referred to Berkeley kits as a box with good plans and a random assortment of balsa. Your pics seem to show good fits...many replacement parts?

Re the PAA loaders. Pan American Airlines once sponsored a Nationals 1/2A FF event. I THINK there was a required weight (load) and folks would try to design planes that would stay up longest. Perhaps someone remembers all the particulars.

George
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:22 AM
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George, in this case except for a few pieces, I'm using the original wood. What I gather for the ancient die cutting back then, is one needed to after removing from the sheet, trim up the piece to match the plan, particularly on the larger pieces. On the stabilizer and wing ribs, I needed to widen a notch on each for one of the spars. Stabilizer rib root needed sanding down to match the leading edge. The rudder wood wasn't that great so I'm going cut that from scratch.

I just made do with mostly existing kit wood, so I made it work. That is why I say that Building a Berkeley made a man out of you, LOL.

Can't agree with you more there, George on engines. Mated to the right airframe, they still work fine. The Fox Rocket .09 wasn't a real powerhouse of an engine, but it was very easy to start, just like the Gilbert .11 Thunderhead. It's power was typical of the early glow engines. In the right plane, it will produce successful flights. I just don't happen to have one, and in my build the Gilbert won't fit.

I still have plans for the Gilbert, might be in a CL plane instead. What ever I put it in will have a blast.

Back then I was too young to be a PAA participant, but imagine it would have been a sight to behold, to watch these. I still like the designs, particularly the two Berkeley's I pointed out. They would be great sport park fliers today.
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Old 02-27-2014, 04:26 PM
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This is a neat project George. I will follow along with you. Looking forward to seeing her ready.

Ken
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Old 02-27-2014, 05:13 PM
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Thanks, Ken. That CL Ringmaster biplane you're building is also a neat one, too.
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Old 02-27-2014, 05:20 PM
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Thanks George

Ken
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:06 PM
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I figured out what was wrong with the .045 and it fired right up last night, so now I can't wait for the Sniffer kit to show. Looks like there will be some genuine 1/2A nostalgia action this spring.

Must get to cleaning up and firing up the Gilbert I scored a couple of year ago. Always wanted one because they just looked so cool.

The Payloader is crying from the dusty shelves.. "finish me, please..". I just missed a Tee Dee .020 that went for $67 this afternoon on the auction site. I was on a conference call when the auction closed.. stupid job.
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:10 PM
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Glad you got the .045 problem sorted out, MJD and now its a go. Regarding a missed opportunity, those TD's are always coming up for bid, and who knows, may be next time you'll find one at even a better price or shape.

I remember Ken Willard's Virus that used a Tee Dee .010 or .020 for power. Bought the plans sometime back when RCM was still an active magazine.

https://www.rcmplans.com/index.php?m...oducts_id=1165



I don't know if RCM has rectified their plans customer service and delivery issues. If I ever build it, thought that a Cox Sure Start .049 with exhaust throttle sleeve would work as a good replacement for the .020. However, of course it wouldn't have the 1964 period charm there.
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:16 AM
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George,

For an .049 size you might want to check the Shearwater also by Ken Willard from RCM 1/67...I don't have the plans but that was my first issue of RCM. I discovered it after leaving the Navy in Oct 66.

George
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:36 AM
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I have a bunch of RCM plans I got years ago. Only built a few of them. I am still seeing current post and threads about not getting the product after the money is taken.
I'd stay very very far away until some one else buys them out and proofs themselves.
Darn shame. It was an excellent mag and excellent plans. I miss both.

Ken
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Old 02-28-2014, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcb View Post
George,

For an .049 size you might want to check the Shearwater also by Ken Willard from RCM 1/67...I don't have the plans but that was my first issue of RCM. I discovered it after leaving the Navy in Oct 66.

George
I have the magazine issue with the Shearwater somewhere, I know I looked at it recently. It looks like a great 1/2A waterbird.

But at 34" wingspan 238 squares.. yeah the throttled SS might be perfect! Won;t be overpowered, just "powered". Sounds fun.
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:27 AM
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Been moving right along with my build. Progress thus far ....


Interestingly enough, the Impulse has the same proportions as this other legacy kit I have, to be a future build, the Airco R/C Aero Star:


I'll probably build the Aero Star as rudder and motor control, in spirit with the original.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingagin View Post
I have a bunch of RCM plans I got years ago. Only built a few of them. I am still seeing current post and threads about not getting the product after the money is taken. I'd stay very very far away until some one else buys them out and proofs themselves. Darn shame. It was an excellent mag and excellent plans. I miss both. Ken
That is weird, but I've heard similar. There were a few posts that those as of several months ago had received their orders. But until I hear better, won't place an order with them. It is a shame as they had some of the best designs in their plans stock, and a lot of historical plans, too.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJD View Post
I have the magazine issue with the Shearwater somewhere, I know I looked at it recently. It looks like a great 1/2A waterbird. But at 34" wingspan 238 squares.. yeah the throttled SS might be perfect! Won;t be overpowered, just "powered". Sounds fun.
The Debolt Livewire Kitten cabin is also 34" wingpan. It would work out fine with a throttled SS, too. George and MJD, I vaguely remember the Shearwater. Ken Willard designed nice flying boats. Wouldn't be of much use here. About the only ponds are the cattle run-off ponds at the dairy farms.
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