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Thread: VK Cherokee


  1. #1

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    VK Cherokee

    While not a pattern plane by most standards ,I do remember that the box stated something like class A capable.Since I built the kit in 71 I dug out the old plans and have a hankering to start cutting parts for a build.one thing I remember was the large amount of dihederal,6" total on a 65" span.plus alot of right thrust cut into the engine mounting plate.one thing I found that IO do not remember is there appears to be down thrust set into the engine mount rails.I will post measurements when I locate my protractor.I know I have to make one mod for the nose gear as the original was mounted in a cast aluminum mount inder the engine.I will also be adding retracts as I could not afford them and the extra servo back in 71.My question ia what changes should be made for a better trimmed pattern setup.I will be using a period engine but have too many to choose from.they are veco .45,veco .50,K&B .61,webra .61 blackhead,hp 61 bluefin,os 60 goldhead,os 60 blackhead or just the os h60.

  2. #2

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    RE: VK Cherokee

    here are the angles I measured.downthrust is 0 degrees,reight thrust is 3 degrees,wing incidence positive 1 1/2 degrees,stab is 0 degrees.wing airfoil is 18 % symetrical.and the stab is a symetrical atrfoil also.

  3. #3

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    RE: VK Cherokee

    I bought an already built VK Cherokee waaay back in 1970 when I first got into RC. I was flying a .15 powered highwing trainer and the Cherokee was my 2nd airplane. I put an OS .60 Goldhead on it which was more than enough power. I flew that Cherokee for about a year and sold it complete with engine. With all that dihedral, it was very responsive to rudder. In fact just for fun, I could fly it around without using the ailerons. It was very easy to land. As for aerobatics, it didn't want to stay inverted. If memory serves, the Cherokee had a semi-symetrical airfoil. My advice would be, if you want a plane of that size for aerobatics, build a Kaos, or plane of that type with a symetrical airfoil, and not much dihedral.
    Regards
    JC

    PS: Just saw your second message, so I guess I was wrong about the Cherokee airfoil. The best pattern aerobatic planes I ever flew (Eyeball, Banshee, T2-A, Vertigo II) all had zero wing incidence and zero engine offset or downthrust. For aerobatics, you want the thrustline to run through the center of the wing....zero wing and stab incidence....the CG located at the maximum thickness of the wing....and the center of drag located on that same centerline, if you can get it there. With this setup, you get a neutral handling airplane that will remain in whatever flight attitude you put it in, until you move the stick and fly it to a different attitude.
    Regards
    JC

  4. #4
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    RE: VK Cherokee

    I still have the VK Cherokee Babe hanging from the ceiling. I really liked that plane but had to do a few mods to beef it up a bit. I posted elsewhere that it was a HotLines VK Cherokee Babe but it is the VK.

    I remember starting with a Fox .40 that had crashed. There must have been a hairline crack in the head as the 40 would quickly loose power but keep running. An OS .40 was WAY too hot for it and could not keep it from climbing. The existing OS .25 is about right for this bird.

    Granted it is not the one you mention but its little brother. I miss HotLines and VK kits although they were not the best they were reasonable and not bad. They also offered the type of birds that I like (general aviation trike geared) which do not seem to be as readily available other than the Skylane types.

    The VK will be a nice bird.

    Good luck.

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    RE: VK Cherokee

    The VK Cherokee was one of my dad's favorites, he must've built six of them. I remember he pulled out almost all the dihedral and right thrust. Left something like 1/2" of dihedral and 1 deg right thrust. I've got one too and was thinking same thing: retracts and a Webra Blackhead .60 or maybe even electric for flying at Balloon Fiesta Park. Doesn't that kit show beam mounts and a break away plate? If so, I'd bag that too. I always had trouble with break away plates vibrating loose.

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    RE: VK Cherokee

    Jeff question: "Doesn't that kit show beam mounts and a break away plate?"
    --------------------------------------------------
    Yes it did. My Cherokee had a phenolic break away plate.
    The wing had about 5 inches of dihedral.
    It's a great low wing trainer and sport model.
    Looks great in the air.
    Regards
    JC
    Regards
    JC

  7. #7

    RE: VK Cherokee

    The VK Cherokee was / is a great flying plane, and was actually my introduction to the old "Novice Class" AMA pattern back in 1976. Dad built it complete w/ silkspan & dope, we powered it with a K&B .61 and I practiced my butt off 'till I was ready for the first local contest. Flew that for the season while we built our first "official" pattern ship, a Dirty Birdy, followed up by a UFO. I whacked Dad's Cherokee one day when I "borrowed" it for a fun fly, did the famous "Oh, my batteries will be OK for just ONE more quick flight" and watched it spread itself out over the length of the runway. Fortunately Dad forgave me..... a few years later.

    The big changes to make would be to cut the dihedral in half (at least), and make sure to reinforce the vertical fin where it attaches through the fuse top, especially if you go heavy with the sanding block back there to make it round. Some differential throw in the ailerons will make it roll a bit smoother & reduce the tendency to "corkscrew" in a roll, but you'll still need rudder & elevator correction during them. The breakaway plates on the motor worked well & were pretty common back then, just use lockwashers on them & sink the blind nuts in good on the maple rails. I don't recall any downthrust being in it, but it may have been there. The right thrust can be changed easily using the breakaway plates. We've powered them with anything from the K&B .61 thru Webra Speed's, OS, & Rossi's, any of them will fly it fine.

    Retracts would be a good addition & should be pretty easy to add. The last one Dad built a few years ago, he added a cockpit floor, pilot, side window, curtains, etc. Yes, it was STILL silkspan & dope finish.

    For what it's worth there are probably better basic pattern planes that would be easier & quicker to build (Kaos, etc.) but the Cherokee is *really* a pretty bird. Enjoy it!

    Bob

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    RE: VK Cherokee

    have the super kaos and an old skyglass cutlass I built back in 76.just wanted to do the cherokee again with the retracts I could not afford the first time around.this time I am going to fully sheet the wingand then fibeglass the entire airframe.you are right there is no down thrust it was just an illusion when I loaded them in corel draw.

  9. #9

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    RE: VK Cherokee

    Aerowoof : I'm getting into this discussion late but I thought i'd let you Know that I won class R/C pattern at the 1970 nationals held at Glenview Naval air station with a VK Cherokee. My Cherokee was modified to the extent that the original nosegear was discarded, a new firewall (1/4 " aircraft ply) was added, some ply doublers were added to the tank area. I put in a new motor mount added a Carl Goldberg nose gear block and metal strut, enlarged the fin and rudder (the rudder went all the way to the bottom of the fuselage, giving much better stall turns). The ailerons were hinged at the center of the trailing edge at the root of the wing and in the top half of the trailing edge at the tip (effectively washing the wing tips). The latter caused the landings to touch down right in the middle of the circle. I took most of the dihedral out of the wing leaving 1 inch under each panel. I set the Cherokee up to favor the looping manuevers as there was only two rolling manuevers in the pattern at the time and I fought it in the rolls. I believe, because the thing flew so well otherwise, the judges always gave a fairly good score for the rolls ( It was almost like they were saying "he could have done better"). I originally powered it with a Super Tigre 56 with a Webra carb but eventully put on a Webra 60 Blackhead I won at Leon Shulmans' contest at Lakehurst earlier that year. The radio was a Kraft series 70 with KPS 12 servos. It placed third at Art Schroders' contest in October of 1970 against ALL the class b,c,d flyers.Only Jersey Jim Martin and Tony Bonetti beat it.It was some model. kc2jk310s Hank

  10. #10

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    RE: VK Cherokee

    Aerowoof ; It was Class A pattern at the Nats. kc2jk310s Hank

  11. #11

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    RE: VK Cherokee

    I have a VK Cherokee that has flown over 250 flights, all were pleasant, fun-filled, great crowd pleasers. I recently pulled the landing gear out and installed Rom-Air Retracts. Initial tests show that the aircraft flies about the same, but it is nearly a full pound heavier....so glide is faster and steeper. Still a great aircraft.
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  12. #12

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    RE: VK Cherokee

    Cherokee lovers:

    I have built two Cherokee kits, one way back when I was a teen ager, the other in the 80s. I still have the plane, but it is "in the shop", (for a long time...I'm in to SPA now). Unfortunately I took off one day without ailerons...long story.

    I just wanted the chance to include a picture of my Cherokee in this thread. The Cherokee is a very pretty plane, and nicely proportioned.

    Duane
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