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Mike Birch Models

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Old 01-06-2010, 07:32 AM
  #1
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Default Mike Birch Models

You may have seen mention of Mike in the "Old Magazine Ads" thread. I think it deserves a seperate thread to discuss Mike and his two well known designs Moonglow and Capricorn. I am hoping Alan (Furyguy) will contribute something as he knew Mike personally and was given two of his models after Mike unfortunately died some years ago.

To kick things off, here are some shots of Mike and his Moonglows from the late 1960's.

Ray
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:55 AM
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Default RE: Mike Birch Models

To give you some idea of Mike's dominance of the UK pattern scene for almost ten years, here is his contest record.

British Nationals -

1967 6th Moonglow prototype
1968 1st Moonglow
1969 1st Moonglow
1970 2nd Moonglow
1971 1st Capricorn
1972 3rd Capricorn International
1973 1st Capricorn International
1974 1st Capricorn International
1975 7th Capricorn International
1976 Did not enter
1977 Entered but did not place

World F3A Championships -

1969 13th Moonglow
1971 13th Capricorn
1973 11th Capricorn International

Ray
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:25 AM
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Default RE: Mike Birch Models

In 1970 Mike moved from the Moonglow to the Capricorn. Apart from the fashionable deep "fish" type fuselage the models were dimensionally similar. The Moonglow wing planform was reversed to give more leading edge than trailing edge sweep.

Ray
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:29 AM
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Default RE: Mike Birch Models

That's an very impressive record, especially to string so many wins in a row at that level. Thanks for sharing that Ray!

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Old 01-07-2010, 12:11 PM
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Default RE: Mike Birch Models

It certainly is FB. Mike is probably not that well known to many American readers but was, along with Ken Binks, the most consistently successful British F3A flyer. He was a great influence and inspiration to me as this was the beginning of the period when I was starting to fly F3A "seriously".

Anyway, to complete the story. In late 1971/early 1972 Mike enlarged the Capricorn by 10% in line with the trend for larger models and called it the International. This was his last F3A design.

Ray
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Old 01-08-2010, 05:07 PM
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Default RE: Mike Birch Models

Hello,
As far as I'm aware it was kitted by Mick Reeves for a while. Maybe Mick Reeves has some info on it.
An old pattern flier/fellow club member had some of these Capricorns which he used to compete with yonks ago. I had hoped to get some parts or plans off him for a guy in NZ. Unfortunately he skipped them all along with the plans years ago.
If you can get hold of plans, then one of the guys from NZ who uses this forum (PIMMS NZ I think) was trying to hold of plans.
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:24 PM
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Default RE: Mike Birch Models

Rodders,

Yes Mick Reeves did a kit for the Capricorn but some years earlier Mike himself sold them. This ad appeared very briefly in the summer of 1973 and is where I got my kit, accompanied by a very nice letter from Mike answering some dumb questions I had asked. The kit was the usual glass fuselage/foam wing job so there were no plans as such. Wish now I had bought a couple [sm=cry_smile.gif]

Ray
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:06 AM
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Default RE: Mike Birch Models

It was around 1974 when Mike appeared on an English TV program called (I think) “Model Magic”. He taxied the beautiful multi coloured Capricorn International across the studio floor in front of the camera and I was hooked. I joined my local model club the following week and have never looked back. A couple of years later I bought a Superstar mk3 kit (very similar) and painted it in the same colour scheme. Fitted with a Webra 60, and Skyleader TSX7 radio, it flew like it was on rails.


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Old 01-13-2010, 09:34 AM
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Default RE: Mike Birch Models

Piro - I also (vaguely) remember that. Think it was 1975, called "Model World" and presented by Bob Symes. I do remember the show's theme tune was "Planes & Boats & Trains"

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Old 01-13-2010, 01:43 PM
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Default RE: Mike Birch Models

that's right, and a very inspiring program it was too with its catchy theme and its Father Christmas lookalike presenter.

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Old 01-13-2010, 05:17 PM
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Default RE: Mike Birch Models

Superstar 3? I have plans for SS1 and SS2, I have a SS2 serviceable, and have seen piccies of SS3, but I have seen no plans for 3, and certainly no mention of a kit, I am intrigued! We are talking about the Matt model? Damn, Capricorn, and now SS3, there is no end in sight yet!
Evan.
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:42 AM
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Default RE: Mike Birch Models

My understanding is that Matt used at the 1969, 1971 & 1973 World Champs a Superstar 1,2 & 3 respectively. Looking at the photographs I can see little difference between any of them. The 2 of course had a deeper nose to accommodate a retract and a thicker tailplane than the 1. The 3 looks identical to the 2 but I guess there must be some subtle differences.

For reference the 1 plan was published in the February 1970 RCM&E and the 2 plan in the February 1972 issue. Never seen a 3 plan and don't remember a UK produced Superstar kit although a glass fuselage and foam wings were available.

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Old 01-14-2010, 01:34 PM
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Default RE: Mike Birch Models


Quote:
ORIGINAL: pimmnz

Superstar 3? I have plans for SS1 and SS2, I have a SS2 serviceable, and have seen piccies of SS3, but I have seen no plans for 3, and certainly no mention of a kit, I am intrigued! We are talking about the Matt model? Damn, Capricorn, and now SS3, there is no end in sight yet!
Evan.
hi there

it was a glass and foam kit bought in England in about 1976.
i have a pic somewhere of a long haired youth posing with it in mum's bedroom.
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:59 PM
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Default RE: Mike Birch Models

Hello Pimmnz,
I did try to get hold of some parts and plans for you, I even put a wanted add in BMFA classifiedes
Hopefully someone on here can get you parts you wanted.
I think I remember one of those colour pictures being used as the cover of a magazine (an iconic immage).

Do you think that Mike Burch made the original Capricorn from wood before going into kit production, using fiberglass and foam and that some plans might exist?
Regards,
Rodders
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Old 01-14-2010, 04:20 PM
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Default RE: Mike Birch Models

Thanks mate, and yes, I believe Mike would have done a wooden one first, as described in one of the RCM&E's to convert Moonglow to Capricorn. But were there plans? Might have been, but long lost now I would think.
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Old 01-16-2010, 07:24 PM
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Default RE: Mike Birch Models

Quote:
I believe Mike would have done a wooden one first, as described in one of the RCM&E's
Haven't been able to find that RCM&E reference. I doubt there was a wooden version. It would be a beast to build as there wasn't a straight line or flat surface anywhere []

As has been mentioned, some years after Mike had quit competition aerobatics, the two sizes of Capricorn were briefly offered in kit form by Mick Reeves Models and distributed by Ripmax Models. This is one of the first ads which appeared in the April 1981 RCM&E.

Ray
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Old 02-08-2010, 09:18 PM
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Default RE: Mike Birch Models

The Capricorn was sculpted out of Jelutong by Mike himself and then he used it as a plug to make the moulds for the Fuzz , never originally a built up flying Fuzz unlike the moonglow , nice to see a thread here about Mike , I will contribute more once l get some reality stuff sorted out and post some pics of Mike and l building the last plane we did together  , Alan
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Old 02-08-2010, 09:20 PM
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P.S. .......... I will be doing some Capricorn plans for you all as soon as the Ex and my house are sorted ;o)
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Old 02-09-2010, 01:29 AM
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You beauty! Good luck with the other stuff too.
Evan.
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:14 AM
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Default RE: Mike Birch Models

I have a Ripmax Mike Birch 'International' kit still in the box if anyone in the UK is interested.
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Old 02-09-2010, 05:47 AM
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Hi Stevie D.

Very interested. PM sent.

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Old 02-09-2010, 07:43 AM
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Default RE: Mike Birch Models

Oh indeed yes , it was Model World with Bob Symes , I remember Mike telling me how much he hated doing that program mainly because Symes was a Train buff and rattled on without really taking much notice of Mikes comments , I think Mikes words were " Silly old duffer " funnily l've been looking for that edition of Model World for some time , l believe it was on BBC2 .
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:14 AM
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Default RE: Mike Birch Models

I think l will find out the copyright on the Capricorn and if it's ok l may even kit them again in Mikes memory if there are enough people interested , just a thought  , let me know , thanks , Alan
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Old 02-09-2010, 02:59 PM
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To all those who have indicated an interest in the Mike Birch International kit, many thanks. I have contacted Furyguy (who also lives in Doncaster) and he has a long association with Mike Birch. Alan intends to kit these ( subject to permission being given) and this will open up the design to all those who are interested.

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Old 02-09-2010, 03:48 PM
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Many thanks Steve , I am most certainly going to make the International available to all who are interested , time to get epoxy every where again , this ones for you , Mike
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