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  1. #276

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    RE: TOM BRETT'S DESIGNS-UPDATE

    OK...some details on the "Perigee" (or "mystery" plan) I was speaking of on the previous page that was included with the TBX scrolls.

    I measured the wingspan to be 30-3/8" per panel or approximately 60-3/4 inches. Arbitrary length measured from the tip of the spinner to the front of the rudder, (near the base of the rudder) is 43 inches.

    Next I dug out my OLD throughly beaten up, Ambroid stained, torn & taped DMECO Perigee plans and took the same measurements. One wing panel measured 30-1/8" or a wingspan of 60-1/4", and corresponding length of 42 inches. Notice that the title block on the plan says the Perigee wingspan is "61", can someone explain this?

    The wing is slightly shorter, and the fuse is an inch longer. Based on the similarity of the plans...this is DEFINITELY PERIGEE, or a version of it.

    I do not have the American Modeler plan in front of me to be able to report what the wingspan was in the article; maybe someone can report that. Was there a small change in the wingspan of the kit plan to accomodate wood sizes or something for the kit?

    Anybody who can shed some light on these small differences, please chime in. To repeat, the plan posted here is UNNAMED and UNDATED, which is too bad. It would be interesting to compare this plan to the other building plan Helen just found and reported last week.

    Can you believe all these beautiful plans being posted in ONE thread??

    Duane
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  2. #277

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    RE: TOM BRETT'S DESIGNS-UPDATE

    Reminds me of the Taurus plans issue. You have to face several sources of "errors" or differences. A good reference is always the rib spacing being a nice round number. And nearly always the tip block roundings are not drwan exactly to a specified wingspan. On the other hand, nobody would specify such odd wingspan like 60-3/4 in a title block.

    Besides, to me it seems the DMECO plan has shorter wing span and fuseleage length. Consider that it (as well as the original plan) might have shrunk after being exposed to humidity, glue and whatever. Shrinkage may be different in horizontal and vertical direction. Especially kit plans need not be exact as long as the parts are cut precisely.

  3. #278
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    RE: TOM BRETT'S DESIGNS-UPDATE

    Looking at this "mystery Plan", I see a big difference from the Perigee right off:

    The rudder is sheet construction, not built up, and seems to have more area, especially in the vicinity of the stab LE.
    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we\'\'re here we might as well dance.

  4. #279

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    RE: TOM BRETT'S DESIGNS-UPDATE

    ORIGINAL: WEDJ

    Looking at this ''mystery Plan'', I see a big difference from the Perigee right off:

    The rudder is sheet construction, not built up, and seems to have more area, especially in the vicinity of the stab LE.
    Here is a response I received today from Helen. The underlined section talks about two other plans/sketches that were recently found:

    The fuselage plan you sent back is out of the kit plans. I laid it over the DMECO plans and there is a sight variance, but it is Perigee. The other Perigee plans turn out to be the detail drawings for the kit showing drawings of the cowl, stab construction,etc Alot of detail and a memo from Harold DeBolt. Some pages are signed and dated 9-12-62, probably the date he finished the plans for Harold. The kit plan I found is 4' long, too big for the cabinet. It was in the room with the planes on a rack at the foot of TBX, behind the baby furniture. I was moving all the "stuff" in that room and discovered the kit plans, plans for BeastI and BeastII and rolls of mylar and drafting paper. No TBX or Perigee. I feel they may have been left at GM and not returned with Tom's other personal things. With all the other "stuff" saved I'm sure those particular "goodies" would not have been disposed of by my heart or hands.

    I am going to take the Delta plans, what there are, to be printed tomorrow. I'll send you the print. I don't think there is an airfoil or very much detail; you be the judge. I don't know the time frame of it's conception or thought, nor of the P38 (ish) thought. That was just a 5x7 piece of paper with a rough sketch of a twin boom image, and was around the scrolls for the Perigee kit.


    ....There are photos of BeastI, BeastII, Owl, Aileron only without a name and a photo of Apogee ready for the first flight, and the day after.

    It was a good thing Tom planned ahead. When he was ready to build A&P he cut out all the parts for 3, yes 3 wings and fuselages, so he could have a back-up and still have two planes for Europe. Didn't know he'd need a new fuselage the same day Apogee flew for the first time. What a bummer.


    Note: The last reference was to Apogee's crash on its maiden flight.

    What is the Owl...we'll find out soon.

  5. #280

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    RE: TOM BRETT'S DESIGNS-UPDATE

    Duane, just as a reference, the English (RCM&E) three view of Perigee lists the span as '60.9 in.' so again there seems to be no agreement. Reckon if you run a tape tip to tip under the wing you get one, stretched across the top another. Just depends how the person doing the thing does it. The plan is definitely Apogee/Perigee per the kit, so Tom must have thought the mods worthwhile, and Hal would have liked simpler bits to kit. There is someone local who has two unopened Perigee kits down this way, again memory loss means I can't put my hands on them to confirm, I will endeavor to make enquiry...
    Evan.

  6. #281
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    RE: TOM BRETT'S DESIGNS-UPDATE

    I noted that there is no horizontal stabilizer drawing. Or did I miss it???

    There is a discussion of the deBolt kits here. http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_23...tm.htm#2396838 post #6 in particular. Does Wm. (coosbaylumber) have a set of mylars for the deBolt kit? Maybe he can add something.
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  7. #282

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    RE: TOM BRETT'S DESIGNS-UPDATE

    Hello everyone:

    I received some very interesting photos from Helen's grandaughter, Jennifer Zurbrick. Thanks so much for the personal photos and impressions that make this thread so unique. The pictures document Tom's early planes. Today we'll talk about the "BEAST" series

    As I said earlier, with aeronautical engineering training, Tom even designed his trainers... the "Beast Series", (he still has these...I wish I could say I still have my trainers). Over time these planes became more intricate and recognizable as "Brett airplanes". By the time we get to "Beast II", the characteristic "blue on blue" paint schemes start to appear, at first highlighted with yellow and red trim. The Beast II is the first design to show the characteristic elliptical wing cut-outs with capstrips and yellow silk found in all his later designs.

    The first two pictures show "The Beast 1". I don't know the wingspan, but it looks BIG. Thes rest show Beast II being built, and at the field.

    More to come...

    Duane
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  8. #283

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    RE: TOM BRETT'S DESIGNS-UPDATE

    Those are some great pics Duane! I wonder why it was named "Beast"? Size? Also, the rudder is extremely small. I wonder how effective it was?

    FB

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    RE: TOM BRETT'S DESIGNS-UPDATE


    ORIGINAL: Free Bird

    Those are some great pics Duane! I wonder why it was named ''Beast''? Size? Also, the rudder is extremely small. I wonder how effective it was?

    FB
    It's hard to get a scale, but it looks like "the Beast", (first one in particular) was a really large model with at least a six foot wingspan. Maybe Helen could measure it. The Beast II looks a little smaller, but not a whole lot.

    Duane

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    RE: TOM BRETT'S DESIGNS-UPDATE


    ORIGINAL: Free Bird

    Those are some great pics Duane! I wonder why it was named "Beast"? Size? Also, the rudder is extremely small. I wonder how effective it was?

    FB
    FB,

    I'm sure the rudder was quite effective. As I recall, my Sterling Mambo had a small rudder, and it flew just fine. Barrel rolls, even!
    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we\'\'re here we might as well dance.

  11. #286

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    RE: TOM BRETT'S DESIGNS-UPDATE

    Here is something very special provided by Helen Brett about the "inside story" of Perigee and Apogee history. I was going to include these later, but decided I couldn't wait, (that long).

    First, here is a section of text taken from Tom's own account of the first flight of Apogee, (Apogee was the first of the two to fly). If you've never had the opportunity to read Tom's articles, you have missed something as he is a very interesting and entertaining writer. The account appeared in the Perigee article written by Tom for American Modeler Jan/Feb 1963, (the same time as Ed Kazmirski's article on the Taurus appeared in Model Airplane News). You can request your own copy from Jackie Shalberg, (archivist) at the AMA Museum for a small charge:

    By Christmas one wing was nearly completed for Apogee. As building advanced I saw I that would have time to assemble only one airplane completely if I intended to have a display at the Toledo Mid-Winter Conference. I finished Apogee the night before the conference and took the only break in what eventually turned out to be a continuous string of "crash" building programs.

    The Saturday following the conference was selected for the first flight by Apogee. This proved to be catastrophic! It was a clear, bright, windy day, March 3rd. The crisp air was not too cold and we considered the 30-degrees a relief after earlier near 0 degree days. Snow completely covered the club flying field, toping a crust of ice hard enough to almost support a man, but at this time of year it seemed no better conditions could be expected for flying. Customary pre-flight of batteries, equipment, and a final range check of the new Bramco Apollo receiver and transmitter was made, then the wing snugged into place. The old reliable K&B .45 was fired up, wide open throttle vibration checks made, a few taxi passes made, and the zero hour arrived.

    With some difficulty due to the steady wind and the glazed condition of the field, Nimbus Apogee taxied to the leeward end of the field and swung into the wind. The surfaces glistened in the sun as they moved in perfect response to the final checking impulses. High speed motor-full bore-here she comes. Once moving into the wind Apogee seemed perfectly poised, anxious to leap into the air the moment she could break free. Speed up, I hit the elevator switch one poke, she broke off easily, but immediately began to settle. Another up and she rose on a steady angle. Her left wing panel began to droop as she climbed overhead towards Helen's shiny new Pontiac, making a gradual left climbing turn. Now a poke of right aileron...nothing...another...nothing,...another long pulse... still nothing...too late!

    In less than 10 seconds Apogee had sped from a normal take-off into a sweeping arc to explode on the ice, shooting parts in all directions. A quick field check showed the receiver operated perfectly. The servo panel flung 100' across the ice, was bent up some and had a couple broken output arms. After straightening later they proved to operate perfectly also. Assessment of the airframe damage showed the wing to be in repairable condition, but the forward portion of the center section through the spar into the servo compartment was gone....


    The following pictures, (not in the article) show Apogee just before take-off and later during the funeral ceremony.

    Note on this first flight the "Apogee" nameplate had not yet been painted.
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  12. #287

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    RE: TOM BRETT'S DESIGNS-UPDATE

    Very interesting account of the short life of the Apogee. It's a shame when that happens to any new model. Very interesting pics Duane.

    FB

  13. #288

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    RE: TOM BRETT'S DESIGNS-UPDATE

    Now to discuss a couple other airplanes of Tom's that Helen provided information on.

    Imagine my surprise when I saw the airplane below displayed at the annual VR/CS Muncie, Indiana fly-in with Tom's name and address prominently displayed behind the wing. The new owner is Don Patterson, who lives a short distance from Helen in Michigan. About five years ago, a friend (Don Franklin), mentioned to him that Helen might be willing to part with Tom's radio equipment, so they went over to take a look, and spent the afternoon looking at and removing the various radios from Tom's planes.

    The "Owl", (which is the name of this design), had a single channel radio installed. This apparently wasn't Tom's primary Owl since Helen still owns the one Tom flew the most. To the best of my knowledge, this is the only one of Tom's planes, (other than the original Perigee which was donated along the Orbit reed transmitter to the AMA museum), that Helen doesn't still have in "the hangar".

    The other design is an aileron-only configuration that for some reason wasn't named. Note that the aileron-only model shows the beginnings of Tom's characteristic paint schemes. I don't know the colors, but I bed it was blue-on-blue.

    Duane
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  14. #289

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    RE: TOM BRETT'S DESIGNS-UPDATE

    Tom's OWLs:

    The first is Tom's "main" Owl that Helen still owns, and the one she tells stories about. It has the same, but a somewhat more intracate paint scheme compared to the one we saw above, now belonging to Don Patterson. It doesn't show anything characteristic of Tom "style" other than the name on the plane.
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  15. #290
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    RE: TOM BRETT'S DESIGNS-UPDATE

    That's a cool little bird
    It looks like it might have an RR-1 Cox .049 for power? (if so, that's a rather rare engine )

    That little low winger is pretty neat too...that's the aileron only ship?
    < Wrongway Feldman's Kreider-Reisner KR-21...(on Gilligan's Island)

  16. #291

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    RE: TOM BRETT'S DESIGNS-UPDATE


    ORIGINAL: Free Bird

    Very interesting account of the short life of the Apogee. It's a shame when that happens to any new model. Very interesting pics Duane.

    FB
    Apogee or course was rebuilt, but according to Tom did not fly as true as Perigee...so it became the back-up ship.

    Duane

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    RE: TOM BRETT'S DESIGNS-UPDATE

    It's time to post what I have of the plan for TBX, and tie up a couple loose ends before moving on to something new that few, if any besides Tom and Helen knew about...but first TBX.

    The TBX was scanned by an outfit in Charlotte,NC, so I don't have the plans to post here. If you want a copy of those plans, I can request them through Jeff Petroski who took them in for scanning.

    Duane
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  18. #293

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    RE: TOM BRETT'S DESIGNS-UPDATE

    Hi everyone:

    Mrs Helen Brett matter-of-factly mentioned in an e-mail a couple weeks back that Tom was working on a DELTA design....that's right, a DELTA. [X(][X(] She didn't believe that the plan was as complete as the other plans we've talked about thus far, but I asked as pleadingly as I could if she would take the time and trouble to send me what she had. Now I must mention at this point that as time is going by, Helen is getting increasingly saavy to the process of sending plans across a 600 mile span. This time she had them copied locally, and sent me a copy via FedEx mailing tube. No sense risking the originals. BTW....when I returned the Perigee/TBX plans to her, there was a split in the mailing tube and one end had come open and was covered over with tape.[X(] Can you believe it!! In spite of the trauma of seeing her husband's original drawings in a broken mailing tube, she still risked sending me Cirrus and Nimbus III plans, (this time via Fed Ex). Way to go Helen.

    The plan was indeed not as complete, and had a "sketchy-er" look to it than the other plans, but I believe there is enough there to build the delta. There are no templates for the wing ribs/spars, but they could be fabricated with a little work.

    Wingspan on the delta is 48", and there is a small nose section north of the wing that gives an appearance similar to the Enforcer from Balsa USA. The most interesting design feature of this un-named delta is the trailing edge which isn't straight across like other deltas you've seen. Instead it flares out then back in which gives it a bit of a heart-shaped look.

    The plan is drawn in sections that must be joined, so it may be a little difficut to show it, but I'll try. Helen still has the originals, so I can't post the plans as a PDF, but if her copier is like mine she could get a PDF e-mail sent.

    More later...happy Thanksgiving from Asheville ,NC

    Duane

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    RE: TOM BRETT'S DESIGNS-UPDATE

    Hi everyone;

    I hope everyone, (in he States) had a nice Thanksgiving, (48th anniversary of the first flight of Ed Kazmirski's Taurus according to the Meyer plan...but that's another thread).

    I received a follow-up e-mail with details that fill in some of the holes relating to earlier posts. Here is her post:

    [i]Finding the airfoil to the Delta while at Kinkos was the surprise I mentioned. I didn't know if the plans gave enough information for building. Noting the lack of structure for equipment installation, it appears to me he,[Tom] was daydreaming, since he always designed around the "goodies". At that time I think he had a 3 and 5 channel ground based Bramco. It must have been 1959 when he built the aileron only and drew the Delta. He flew Beast II in 1959 and all of 1960, then designed Nimbus and heaven knows he was too busy from 1960 to 1965, what with Nimbus plans for American Modeler, designing A[pogee] and P[erigee], getting ready for the Internationals, kit plans for Perigee, TBX, Cirrus and Nimbus III. He only started dating and signing plans with Nimbus.[/i]

    By the way, the address on the Owl dates back to 1957.



    Helen

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    RE: TOM BRETT'S DESIGNS-UPDATE

    Duane,

    I'm really enjoying the addition of Helen's emails to this thread. I find it very interesting to learn some of what Tom was designing/flying back in his hayday. I can see that he was interested in many different R/C designs. This is something that I didn't know, probably like a lot of us that are interested in Tom's designs.

    FB

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    RE: TOM BRETT'S DESIGNS-UPDATE

    The plan was indeed not as complete, and had a "sketchy-er" look to it than the other plans, but I believe there is enough there to build the delta. There are no templates for the wing ribs/spars, but they could be fabricated with a little work.

    Wingspan on the delta is 48", and there is a small nose section north of the wing that gives an appearance similar to the Enforcer from Balsa USA. The most interesting design feature of this un-named delta is the trailing edge which isn't straight across like other deltas you've seen. Instead it flares out then back in which gives it a bit of a heart-shaped look.

    The plan is drawn in sections that must be joined, so it may be a little difficut to show it, but I'll try. Helen still has the originals, so I can't post the plans as a PDF, but if her copier is like mine she could get a PDF e-mail sent.


    In the next few days I'll be taking some detail pictures of Tom's delta so you can all get a look at it, and make comments. I had no idea that Tom worked on a delta design...it's especially interesting to me because when I was a 13 year old, I spent a lot of time trying to adapt a delta design called the "Sidewinder" that appeared in the June 1964 M.A.N., (I happened to acquire the magazine at a swap meet a while back...see attached). I worked hard on that drawing trying to add a small fuselage, but eventually the engineering problems won out. I was such a fan of Tom that I decided to call my creation the "Aphelion", (since Apogee was already taken, and Aphelion sounded better to me than Perihelion).
    I still have the drawing which was drawn on professional velum on my Dad's drafting table, (he was an architect). Anyway, the drawings didn't look all that different.

    Looking back on it, wouldn't it have been "cool" to talk about our "delta projects" together?

    Duane
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  22. #297

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    RE: TOM BRETT'S DESIGNS-UPDATE

    Delta's are pretty cool. I remember that they were pretty popular in our club around that time period, several of the guys were playing with them. As a wee lad at the tender age of 9, what really stands out (as I remember), was how fast they were.

    It'll be very interesting to see what Tom B. was cooking up!

    FB

  23. #298

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    RE: TOM BRETT'S DESIGNS-UPDATE

    HELLO BRETT FANS

    I received this picture a while back, and I can't believe I missed posting it. It is from Tom and Helen's personal collection, and shows the TBX-1 tastefully displayed by "supermodel" Helen Brett. The plane in the background appears to be Nimbus II
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  24. #299

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    RE: TOM BRETT'S DESIGNS-UPDATE

    I've been waiting for a long time to find the right place to place the personal account from another Brett family member...this time from Sheryl...one of Tom's and Helen's two daughters. If you remember the opening page of Tom's Perigee article, Sheryl is the 13 year-old on the left holding Apogee, (the plane featured in many of the photos at the beginning of this thead along with TBX).

    Here is Sheryl's take on what it was like to be a "Brett daughter".

    That is good news to hear that the two[the Taurus and Perigee] are β€œhanging around” [in the AMA museum],together these days. I was able to see Dad’s plane in Virginia when it was in storage for the Smithsonian Aeronautic section. I have a photo of the family taken with the copy of an article.

    I had no idea that TBX was the Delta wing design I remember as being the coolest of his designs. Dad was always in the basement ...so he was very accessible. I don’t think he ever really heard the dumb questions that my sister Kathy and I would ask. Most of his responses were β€œthat’s nice”. Like I said before, he has always been my hero. Kathy and I were where ever Mom and Dad were on the weekends. We saw an awful lot of planes fly, crash and literally burn. We hung around with all the other kids that were always there too. I remember the rubber bands, the scraped and bloody knuckles from the props, the smell of the fuel, the engine noise, then the deafening silence when everybody went home in the evenings.

    It was kind of cool having many of these guys coming over to our house for meetings. Mom and her other lady friends from the club, ........., would get together upstairs and make some rather cool jewelry...,.....

    Dad eventually took up his passion for the β€œreal thing” when Katy and I entered high school. The basement was converted for the building of his Pitts Special, and he revised plans for sky writing capabilities. We used to help him carry those components up the stairs and out through the garage. There would come a time when he was planning on punching out the garage wall by the staircase to be able to hoist the fuselage and wings out upon completion.

    He had perhaps the smoothest take offs and landings of anyone I ever say fly a model plane. That is why he represented our country in 1962. I was so excited to hear about him winning the championship. I was 13 years old at that time.

    Sheryl


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  25. #300

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    RE: TOM BRETT'S DESIGNS-UPDATE

    Very nice pic Duane, thanks for posting it. I have to ask though, is the base color white??? If so, was there 2 models of the TBX1, or was it originally white and repainted the typical light blue? Perhaps Helen can shed some light on this picture.

    FB


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