Seaplanes Aircraft that typically take off and land on water...radio control seaplane discussions are in here.

Lanier Sea Bird

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Old 03-15-2013, 11:09 AM
  #1
beppeVRCS
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Default Lanier Sea Bird

Guys,
I sent to Hobbico (they bought Lanier some time ago) the attached message, and they answered they have no tech info on old Lanier products, and suggested me to post my question in a Forum.
Can anybody help? Any suggestions?
Thanks a lot!
Beppe

Dear Sirs,

I am the historian of the VR/CS, and I’m fond of airplanes from the 60’ and the 70’. Even if I like to build my own planes, starting from the drawings, from time to time I also use ARFs, mostly to practice and to test vintage engines. I recent years I built a P-51, a Comet II, a Jester C and I just finished a Caprice C. I had a ball with all of them!

I’m now starting the assembly of a Sea Bird, for my summer flying from the lake.

I have been looking at the drawing and the instructions, and I’m a little puzzled: the instruction call for a butt joint of the semi-wings against the engine pylon, with just a peg going thru the pylon and being glued against the wing plywood spars. Then the center wing will be “wrapped” by Upper and Lower Wing Fairings, in this way connecting the skin of the two semi-wings. This is a technique that I saw used more than once, on foam core wings covered in wood, and center wrapped in fiberglass cloth and resin. Are really the fairings going to perform the same type of job? An additional concern I may have is that, in these old kits, the little “Air-O-Cement” bottle is regularly empty: what am I supposed to use where the design calls for “Air-O-Cement”? Is Epoxy going to provide a strong enough joint? Are you aware of any failure in that area?

Thanks a lot for your kind support in this matter and you all have a nice weekend.

Giuseppe Fascione

AMA 619 414

VR/CS #134

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Old 03-15-2013, 11:51 AM
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Default RE: Lanier Sea Bird

The one's I've seen , one of them had light glass wrapped on the wing center to make it stronger. The Air-o-cement was MEK and sort of melted the plastic together www.nrsweb.com/shop/product.asp
The Sea Birds I've seen were lumps ! The wings come out very heavy and they needed a lot of weight in the nose to balance properly. As such they sat rather low in the water and even using the "spray guards" they displaced a lot of water trying to get on step and took a long time if/when it finally got airborne. Once in the air they flew OK but really....not very well. When trying to turn they would wobble around a bit.
One flyer made a new wing built up and longer than the original and lightened up the tail a lot. It was overall much lighter and was able to remove a lot of the nose weight. It flew better being lighter with the longer wing. It eventually went in hard later that year and destroyed it.
I would say to try and lighten the tail section and put on a little more powerful engine than recommended.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7egE0E2YQnI[/youtube]
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:49 PM
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Default RE: Lanier Sea Bird

Beppe,
I built a Sea Bird per the plans and never had any problem with the wing joint, even after some hefty bumps. The comments about the airplane being heavy are correct, it flew ok but was no pattern ship. Another thing is that it needed differential aileron throw to overcome some pretty severe adverse yaw if you did not use rudder in turns. After adding aileron differential I still needed to feed in some rudder to make a smooth turn.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:22 PM
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Default RE: Lanier Sea Bird

For years it has been popular for the phrase "Sea Tu.".er, "bird" to appear in discussions such as this. 

Also the explanation that it was the first ARF.  It could go screaming down the surface of the lake at 40 mph and look like it was almost ready to fly, but it would not. 

It is not "GOD's gift to aviation".  More like "Jethro's prank on aviation". 
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:12 PM
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Default RE: Lanier Sea Bird

The "hull lifters" used on the bottom of the Lanier Mariner were invented for the Sea Bird. Those and a large ugly wrap around splash rail to keep the water coming over the bow out of the prop made it a pretty reliable taker...offer. Of course it still flew like a pig. The treatment (cure would be an overstatement) for that was a 2" extension on the top of the fin and rudder.

I flew mine quite a bit, but I never heard anyone say "Hey, that looks neat, I think I'll get me one of those."

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Old 05-12-2013, 11:42 AM
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Default RE: Lanier Sea Bird

It was originally sold/kitted by Dubro in the early 70's
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