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Concept Fleet Biplane

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Old 12-11-2005, 09:17 PM
  #1
Navy18
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Default Concept Fleet Biplane

Has anyone built the Concepts Fleet bipe? What are your impressions? Also, there is a Scale COmbat Models Spadd VIII out there but I can get no information on it.... does anyone have any experience with the plane or company?

Thanks.
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Old 12-18-2005, 09:35 AM
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Default RE: Concept Fleet Biplane

Though I've never built or flown a Concept Fleet, I've always wanted to and I've seen many of them over the years. The airplane has been around for probably 30 years. Concept kits are "old school" but very high quality. Very nice band-sawed ribs and formers. The airplane flys very well and is probably pretty easy to fly due to it's enormous wing area. It is lightly built though so it might not handle extreme aerobatics or poor pilot technique (rough landings). The most dfficult part of the project is replicating the radial engine, but Williams Bros. is back in business to sell you the engine cylinder kits so that should not be a problem.

Like I said, they've been around for years...so it must be a good airplane.

I need to buy my kit before they are OOP!

Yak
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Old 12-19-2005, 10:06 PM
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Default RE: Concept Fleet Biplane

I've got one about 75% complete. I started it Nov 27 and have the wings, tail and fuselage built. Needs a few details, final sanding, covering, radio and motor install. No super glue used, mostly Titebond and epoxy due to spruce and plywood used in many area's. I've got a Zenoah G38 to hang on it and plan on covering it with Solartex. I should have it flying by Feb '06.

Construction of the wing is a little different then I have done before, but if you take your time and make sure everything is square it goes together quickly. Parts fit has been very good. Instructions are excellent and the plans have tons of details.


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Old 12-20-2005, 07:36 AM
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Default RE: Concept Fleet Biplane

Thanks for the report; if you can, take a picture of her in the bones and post. I am looking for a museum type bipe for a static presentation.

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Old 12-20-2005, 05:26 PM
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Default RE: Concept Fleet Biplane

Here's a picture in the bones at Concept Models website: [link=http://www.mailbag.com/users/conceptmodels/mod1.jpg]Concept Models[/link]
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Old 02-25-2006, 07:14 PM
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Default RE: Concept Fleet Biplane

Flew the fleet for the first time today. After flying the snot out of it today I gotta say it's my favorite bipe!

Covered it with Solartex and painted with Krylon. G38 for power turning a 19x8 wood prop. Weight without fuel is 22lb. That G38 looks pretty small on the nose of this plane and the weight was higher then I expected. Didn't help that I had a bunch of 1/4 scale size servo's laying around that needed a plane. They probably add 1/2 lb of weight more then normal hi-torque servo's. I need not have worried! It flew GREAT!

Broke ground at about 1/2 to 3/4 throttle and climbed out smartly. I had expected this plane to be slow with a narrow speed range, but was pleasantly surprised with the speed between 3/4 and full throttle. Loops are beautiful. Rolls are pretty slow, adding rudder helps. I found myself using rudder quite a bit in turns as well.

Stalls are a non-event. It slows to a crawl, drops the nose straight ahead and recovers. Landing requires some throttle to be carried on final much like any other bipe, but not as much as I expected. Get in ground effect and it will float down to a nice 3 point landing when everything is right. Managed to get a little porpoise on one landing when I tried to stretch it and bounced a little too much on the 6" balloon tires. If I had given it a little goose of throttle it would have settled down.

Landed and checked it out after a few circuits to make sure nothing worked loose. Flew it until my batteries said it was time to park it. I need to add some down thrust to the motor for full throttle trim, but nothing else needs attention. The top wing incidence is +1 deg, the bottom wing is at zero and the horizontal stab is +1/2 a degree.

Ground handling is pleasant. Does not need much up elevator during taxi. Take off run only needs a little up elevator to keep the nose level. I've got a little toe-in on the main wheels and there is no tendency to ground loop at all.

Construction of the basic airframe took 1 month working 2 or more hours each day. Virtually no super glue was used in construction because of the large number of ply and spruce joints. I used mostly Elmer's pro wood glue and 30 minute epoxy. Covering, hinging, radio, painting and motor install took another month and a half working a couple of days a week. The plans and instructions are very good, but some previous building experience is needed. It took 5 1/2 two meter rolls of Solartex to cover it and 6 cans of Krylon.

I deviated from the plans in only a few areas. I made the top wing 1 piece. I scratch built a cowl similar to that used on the Portuguese military version and changed the rudder plan-form to look like the model 7. Just not a fan of exposed radial cylinders and did not like the square rudder shape.

The most tedious part of construction was of course the wings. Each of the 4 wing panels has 2 spars and the center sections for top and bottom wing each have 2 of their own. The box spars must be built from 4 pieces (2ea 1/4x1/8 spruce and 2 ea 1/16 ply sheet). There are 12 spars to be built and if they are not built straight your wing will not be either. Then there are the ribs! Each rib comes in 3 pieces and there are a LOT of them. Once you have a set of straight spars, wing construction actually moves along pretty quickly, even without super glue. I decided early on that I would make the top wing 1 large piece instead of 3 as specified in the plans for added strength and simplicity.

Aside from the spars the most critical areas of construction are the cabane struts and the alignment of the fuselage sides. If the fuse sides are uneven your lower wing will not be correctly aligned. Lots of tweaking was needed to get the cabanes assembled and soldered in the alignment specified on the plans. I still had to do some tweaking when I checked top and bottom wing alignment. Whatever you do, don't enclose the cabanes in wood fairings until you are satisfied with the wing alignment!

Since the only sheeting is the 1/32 ply on the cockpit area sanding was not as much a work as is normally the case.

Covering is a joy with Solartex. The only down side is you have to clear coat it at a minimum to seal out the dirt. If you were going to paint anyway then there is nothing bad to say about it. No priming was needed.

With 2 giant servos in the tail and the batteries, receiver and throttle servo located under the rear cockpit, the CG came out exactly in the middle of the range specified on the plans.

If you love bipes and building the 1/4 scale Concept Models Fleet is a great choice!
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Old 10-02-2006, 10:42 PM
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Default RE: Concept Fleet Biplane

Hi Bud,

I have been fascinated by your description of the Concept Fleet. About 2 years ago a very good friend passed away and I inherited a 1/4 scale Concept Fleet kit. This kit had been used as a pattern to build 4 other planes that he flew over the years. Winter is coming on and I keep thinking about building this kit. Do you have any photos of your finished plane that you can post?

I happen to have a spare G-62 but, don't worry, it has a throttle. Would it be OK in your opinion? Any comments will be appreciated.

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Old 10-03-2006, 05:56 PM
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Default RE: Concept Fleet Biplane

The G38 looked lost on the nose before the cowling was installed, so a bigger motor will fit. The G38 provides plenty of power. CG might be an issue. I have BIG servos in the tail with all the other radio gear pretty far back in the cockpit area. I think you will end up needing to either locate your batteries in the tail or add weight to the tail to balance.

Here are a few pictures that were taken at our field (Jedburg Flyers http://www.jedburgflyersrc.com/ ).
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Old 10-03-2006, 10:19 PM
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Default RE: Concept Fleet Biplane

Good looking plane Bud. Are flying wires only necessary for looks?
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Old 10-04-2006, 04:40 AM
  #10
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Default RE: Concept Fleet Biplane

Thanks. Flying wires for the wing are optional. Can't remember if the ones on the tail are optional or not.
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Old 02-17-2008, 09:38 PM
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Default RE: Concept Fleet Biplane

Any one out there who have built the !/6 version?

I am starting to work on one and would like some suggestions on glow power and covering.

Candidates in my engine drawer are a Saito 45, Enya 46; Enya 53 and a Saito 56. Its is obviously a scale project, but I would like some spare power to make loops from level flight and not having to dive from the blue (like I have do in in my Saito 90 powered Midwest Super Stearman...)

For covering 21 Century seems pretty, by heavy, particularly concerned on resulting tail weight needding tons of nose weight to get it balanced. Koverall, dope and paint .. is it really lighter?

Thanks

Biplano
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Old 02-18-2008, 11:19 AM
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Default RE: Concept Fleet Biplane

I agree that 21st Century is pretty heavy, and on 1/6 scale bipe I would not use it for fear of coming out tail heavy.

Koverall and dope can certainly come out lighter, but that depends on how much dope you use, especially colored. If you don't mind some of the weave showing through, it can be comparable in weight to plastic films. When I'm really concerned about weight I use Polyspan instead. It is very strong, but 40 to 50% lighter than Koverall. It is not a fabric--more like a synthetic version of silk span.

Those are some nice engine choices. Any one you pick has a counterpart that is a drop in replacement, so you can't go wrong.

Jim
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Old 08-27-2008, 05:59 AM
  #13
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Default RE: Concept Fleet Biplane

Here's my 1/4 scale Concept Fleet. I built one 20 yeas ago for the magazine and decided to do another. Basically the same plane and kit price went up $60.00 in 20 years.

Using a G-38, SolarTex painted with Krylon Fusion, weight is 19 lbs 3 oz minus fuel.

The windsheilds and pilot are all that is needed to complete.

Will test fly once the rain stops.
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Old 09-17-2008, 02:20 PM
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Default RE: Concept Fleet Biplane

Dick

That is a sharp looking bipe. I have the 1/6 scale I plan on starting some time soon.
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Old 09-17-2008, 02:26 PM
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Default RE: Concept Fleet Biplane

Here it is during the first test flights.
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Old 09-17-2008, 03:25 PM
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Default RE: Concept Fleet Biplane

That's a very nice job, Dick.

Did you build the upper wing stock, and are the flying/landing wires decorative or functional? How about the gear; does the rigid gear work OK when landing?

Jim
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:48 PM
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Default RE: Concept Fleet Biplane

Dick, how long does it take you to set it up at the field?? Nice shirt!!
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Old 09-18-2008, 05:47 AM
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Default RE: Concept Fleet Biplane

The wings are both 2 piece, joined at the center.

Wires are functional but not necessary.

The only "suspension" in the main gear is the amount of air in the balloon wheels!

It takes about 10 minutes to set up or take down at the field.
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Old 10-14-2008, 06:49 AM
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Default RE: Concept Fleet Biplane

Just bought a Concept Fleet biplane, true 1/3 scale, flies beautifully...quadra 52 and a 20X8 classic prop, flies so scale it takes your breath away...lands like the full scale ship, shock absorbing gear and all...too bad they discontinued this kit, what a find!
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Old 10-14-2008, 06:53 AM
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Default RE: Concept Fleet Biplane

Yep, it's a nice plane, but Concept only made a 1/6 scale and a 1/4 scale Fleet. They never made a 1/3 scale plane. Ron Weiss Plans has one available.
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Old 10-14-2008, 09:22 AM
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OK, then, must be Ron's...just saw him at our biplane meet here in connecticut and he had his beauty; when I flew mine for the first time I was amazed at how well behaved it was, and how realistically it flew; looking at it head on final approach coming in over the corn field took my breath away.....I think I would love the full scale fleet too, but no where to park it !!
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:52 PM
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Default RE: Concept Fleet Biplane

As a result of my search with Google and finding images of your Fleet model on this website, I had to join this forum and share my experiences with my 1/6 scale Concepts Fleet biplane and some pictures. My work shop and truck allow me to leave the model assembled and ready to fly when the opportunity happens. The business end has a geared 40 Astro with Astro controller, a BRC, and a 20 cell NMDH pack. A servo module drops a parachute when extra entertainment is requested. I like your choice of wheels on your Fleet. Are they Trexler tires?

Dave Scheumann
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:45 AM
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Default RE: Concept Fleet Biplane

The wheels on my 1/4 scale Fleet are Sullivan balloon 6". That's the only "suspension" the main gear has!
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Old 11-09-2008, 09:39 PM
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Default RE: Concept Fleet Biplane

Hi there, I am now finishing my 1/6 Fleet in the same red and yellow version posted previously and I was wondering if any one of you guys saved the logos in your PC and would be willing to share them. The key ones are the "Fleet" and the "Flying Circus". A trace of a web site to find them would also work..

Thanks in advance,

Oscar
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Old 11-09-2008, 10:13 PM
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In response to your question about the Fleet logo and lettering, I will confirm what I have saved and get back to you Monday with an answer.
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