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

Honker!

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Old 10-08-2002, 08:06 PM
  #1
DAVE HUGHES
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Default Honker!

Are the old "Honker" kits still being manufactured by anyone?
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Old 10-09-2002, 01:16 AM
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Default Honker

Dave,
I don't think anyone is currently building/selling the Honker designs (by Dave Thornburg). I am a Honker fan, and I currently have a Honker bipe. I think your best bet is to go to the RCM Magazine plan service. They have plans for the 1/2A pylon racer, and for the .10 to .25 bipe. They should not be very difficult to scratch build.
Puff
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Old 10-09-2002, 10:36 AM
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DAVE HUGHES
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Default Honker

I have plans for the Honker, both from the original kit I built back in the 80's, and an AutoCAD-redrawn version I did myself. It shouldn't be hard, as you said, to scratch-build, but kits are just a lot less time-consuming. Finding that SIG tapered balsa that the wing's partly made from might not be so easy, though.

I loved my lil' ol' Honker, but it suffered a nasty crash a long time ago.

Dave
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Old 10-10-2002, 12:23 AM
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Default Honker 1/2A pylon racer

If you do build another 1/2A Honker, you may want to make a couple of changes. I did, and it worked great. I did the changes on the advice of a local guru, Ron Sheldon of Sheldon Hobbies in San Jose, CA. Build the wing as a completly flat plank--no dihederal. Install aelirons (SP?). Install elevator control, but forget rudder control. The turns around the pylon are accomplished by a roll to vertical (knife edge) and a pull "up" on the elevator. then roll back to horizontal. Don't pull too much "up" on the elevator in the turn, or you will snap the solid wood wing in two. Been there, done that! Some strapping tape on the underside of the wing might help. Also, one guru suggested to me that the undercamber on the wing may be detrimental to speed, and it would better be left as a flat bottom wing. I never did try that.
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Old 11-01-2002, 09:11 AM
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Default Honker!

If anyone is interested, the Honker bipe wings utilized two pieces of balsa planks glued together making up the 7" chords of both wings. The front piece was 1/4 X 4 X 36 (B156) and the back piece was a 1/4 X 3 X 36 (B430)"Tapered" piece. The kit model had the wing pieces already together but the scratch builder has to butt glue (white glue) the two planks together resting on a 1/4 sq. strip to get the undercamber called for. Once the parts dryed, sand across the top to round it off. At my last check Sig still stocked these items. It was a great flying airplane, but due to the wing design you had to literally fly it to a stop if your engine was still idling! It just don't want to come down! We reinforced the center sections with nylon and epoxy and had no trouble with breakage. I am going to build a new one this winter but will add ailerons...should make it ever finer.
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Old 11-01-2002, 09:16 AM
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oops, left out something! I was saying about the Honker not wanting to come down, and should have said "you literally have to FLY it down to a stop..." Makes more sense now huh?
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Old 11-01-2002, 08:10 PM
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Default Honker!

I had a Honker with a 1/2a and a World Engines Blue Max kit built radio long ago, even with the 1 pound 3 channel radio it flew pretty well.

I just built a sheet wing plane with no undercamber built in it flies fine with a S-400.
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Old 11-02-2002, 07:20 AM
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Hi Soarrich, my Honker had under-cambered wings, and a Fox .25 up front. It flew great and I had a lot of fun with it. I'm glad to hear about the Speed 400 power set up, as I was thinking along those lines but wasn't sure the 400 would be enough. I have a 600, but it is rather big for the space up front. Sounds like we had our Honkers about the same time. A buddy also flew his with a WE kit built radio while I had a Heathkit radio that I built in mine. Ah, the good old days. Thanks for the info, now excuse me, I gotta go order some balsa and an S-400!
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Old 04-01-2009, 10:18 AM
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Hi - I just got lucky and found a NIB Honker Bipe and I cant wait to get started ... I have one that I still fly today from 25 years ago thats set up rudder and elevator ... I'm thinking about this one being ail / ele ? what do you think ? Is it Ok to leave the wing flat ? ... any suggestions is very much apprecaited ! Fred
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:28 PM
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Honkers

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Old 04-03-2009, 08:22 AM
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Honker

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Old 04-03-2009, 11:14 AM
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Default RE: Honker!

Quote:
ORIGINAL: soarrich
I had a Honker with a 1/2a and a World Engines Blue Max kit built radio long ago, even with the 1 pound 3 channel radio it flew pretty well.
I just built a sheet wing plane with no undercamber built in it flies fine with a S-400.
I built one of those Blue Max systems...still have it. Those receivers and servos were so HUGE by today's standards.

Of course folks looked it over and said "more powerful engine" and the racers were born. [8D]

George
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:12 PM
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Default RE: Honker!

The RCM plans for the Honker bipe show a big difference in incidence between upper and lower wings. I assume that was a mistake, right? Jim
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:34 PM
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Default RE: Honker!

I have a kit of the bipe, with the 1/2 size plan is a reprint of what looks like the construction article. It says that the top wing is more positive than the bottom but doesn't say how much. I can see the bottom wing appears to be at positive relative to the thrust line(2 degrees down thrust) and the top wing is more positive but how much I can't measure. Doesn't look like a lot though
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Old 04-04-2009, 12:32 AM
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Default RE: Honker!


Quote:
ORIGINAL: ebeneezer3

I have a kit of the bipe, with the 1/2 size plan is a reprint of what looks like the construction article. It says that the top wing is more positive than the bottom but doesn't say how much. I can see the bottom wing appears to be at positive relative to the thrust line(2 degrees down thrust) and the top wing is more positive but how much I can't measure. Doesn't look like a lot though
For bipes this has been done for many years for stall reasons. Many models, though not all also keep this biplane rule of thumb.

The intent is that in a slowed condition such as landing, the Top wing will stall first leaving the bottom wing still in control (in a conventional stagger).

Robert
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Old 04-04-2009, 08:17 AM
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Default RE: Honker!

Yes, I understand, but the difference on the RCM plan is extreme.

Gordon Whitehead, a well-published designer of scale biplanes, points out that people have two contradictory views of biplane incidence. The other view is that downwash from the upper wing puts the lower wing in a different airflow that effectively gives it less incidence anyway, so they give the lower wing MORE incidence than the top (this is a popular set up for the Aeromaster). Whitehead says he just uses the same incidence for both wings.

I was just wondering if the kit was different from the RCM plans.

Jim
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Old 04-04-2009, 11:07 PM
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Default RE: Honker!

Trying for a .gif image of part of plan
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Old 04-05-2009, 10:47 AM
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Default RE: Honker!

Yes, that's it, thanks. That looks the same as the RCM plans. I think it shows way too much difference in wing angles. But I wonder if the kit actually builds up that way? Jim
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: buzzard bait

I think it shows way too much difference in wing angles. But I wonder if the kit actually builds up that way? Jim
I measure it at a hair over 10*, that's a lot! You would be flying main on the top wing, so it would have to be balanced almost ignoring the bottom wing.
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Old 06-07-2009, 06:40 PM
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Default RE: Honker!

I have a Honker and in reading the instructions it says it should be built light, 15-22 oz.  Well mine is 16 oz with nothing in it.  I am trying to electrify it, I put a tower pro brushless motor bm2410-12 in it with a three cell li-po pack and esc.  I used a 7-5 prop but it would not fly at all. just went down after the hand launch.  It weighed about 24 oz loaded.  I also tried a 6-4 prop and same thing. bent the motor so I have to replace it anyway. So anyone have a suggestion as to what I should put up front?  I am looking for easy going sport flying no racing.

Thanks
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Old 07-07-2009, 12:50 PM
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Default RE: Honker!

Howdy gojino!

I've built at least 4 Honkers and 2 Honker Rockets over the years.....all nitro powered so sorry I can't offer any help/advise using electric power.

I can offer that the key to success with any Honker is to build as light as possible! Use all micro gear and cover with the lightest covering possible as it's sole purpose is to simply fuel proof the sturdy airframe.

A Honker will 'fly' on the wing using a standard reed valve .049 but the best performance comes from TD .051 and Norvel .61's. I also built one of the Rockets powered with a Cox TD .09 and without question it was the most responsive with nearly unlimited vertical performance. I also currently have a L'il Gypsy (using the same Honker wing) with a Norvel Big Mig .049 weighing in at 20 ounces that flies very scale like.

BTW.....the Honker wing can still be made up today using the same Sig tapered balsa stock used on the originals.



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Old 07-07-2009, 01:05 PM
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Default RE: Honker!

Thanks for the info, I think I will do some modification to the plane, probably recover it with oracover instead of monokote, put some lightening holes in the body and re sand the whole thing. I want it to be light and at 24oz it's too heavy. Probably I will go one motor size up also. I built a Honker as my first airplane back in the early seventies and it flew great on a .049 Black Widow. It had a Hobby Lobby three channel radio in it. This was much heavier that what I have now with a futaba radio with micro servos, so I just think I was under powered for the weight.

I hope to report good results soon.

Gojino
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Old 07-07-2009, 03:37 PM
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Default RE: Honker!

The radio in my Honker weighed 16oz. They must have called for a Canon radio in those days. I had a HL radio too, the one with the big RX and five wires going to the servo.
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Old 07-07-2009, 06:47 PM
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Default RE: Honker!

I just dug out my October 1998 issue of Flying Models. In it is a column by Randy Randolph about the Honker Bipe. Dave Thornburg, (the designer of the Honker) says that the lower wing is 3/23 inch negative and the top is 5/16 inch positive. The 3/32 negative was intended to be the wings zero lift angle. the top wing is then 3/8 inch positive. This seems like a lot but the balance point is way forward. The intent was to make this a low and slow flying airplane. Dave goes on to say that the best Honker he had was powered by an old Enya 09. All it did was lazy 8's and never got more than 15 feet above the ground. He says the biggest engine he ever put on a HB was a 19 although someone phoned him and asked how he thought it would go with a 40! Says he never called back.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:52 AM
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Default RE: Honker!

the 1/2a honker was my very first rc plane and soled by myself back in 1974!!!!!!! i would love to find either a set of plans for dave's 1/2a l'il gypsy for a friend who used to fly with me back then. the honker was my and the gypsy was his wow what fun it was back then. he no longer is flying but i never lost my love for flying!!!!!!!!!!
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