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Suggestions for electrified old school pattern plane

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Suggestions for electrified old school pattern plane

Old 04-20-2006, 12:20 PM
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Default Suggestions for electrified old school pattern plane

Hi there,

I'm looking for plans for any old school pattern planes. I think it would be cool to electrify it, you know the whole old school meets new school thing. Since I'm still sort of a youngster and fairly new to pattern, I don't know much about the older type pattern planes. This month's Model Aviation showed some of em and I loved em. They appeared to be smaller in size, so I think it would be practicle to electrify it. I like to build from scratch and would prefer to have a set of construction plans, then I could use contest grade balsa to make it light. I suppose a kit would work, but there is some sort of satisfaction from scratch building. So, any suggestions as to what plane(s) would work and where to get a set of plans or kit would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Old 04-20-2006, 01:43 PM
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Default RE: Suggestions for electrified old school pattern plane

Well by old school...Im guessing you mean planes like the Kwik Fly, Flea Fly, Daddy Rabbit, etc. None of which fly worth a flip. Overweight rocketships with not enough wing area or rudder for today's aerobatics.

Here are plans for many of the old vintage planes


One suggestion. if you go with the KwikFly - change the flat stab out for a airfoiled or diamond shaped stab. It will fly MUCH better.
My dad loves these things.

Honestly, bear in mind that NONE of them will fly as well as a more modern pattern design. If your doing it specifically because you want a vintage plane...go for it, but dont expect it to fly like your buddies brio.
Old 04-23-2006, 10:17 PM
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Default RE: Suggestions for electrified old school pattern plane

I beg to differ with "none of which fly worth a flip". Certainly vintage pattern planes do not fly like modern pattern planes, however, there are some fine old fliers. There is a bit more pilot work required, and it depends on the pilot's skill as to whether they can do today's maneuvers.

The electric experiment has been conducted once, so far, within the Senior Pattern Association. Jamie Strong of Prattville, AL, converted a Daddy Rabbit last year. Because it was an existing airframe, weight was a problem. We're trying find a setup which is comparable to the current power setups used in SPA so as not to obsolete current planes. Electric is being considered so that we have the technology available in the future if needed.

I currently fly a 7 lb 3 oz Curare taildragger powered by an OS91 pumper. It's not a rocket and flies much better than I do. I find about an 8 oz difference between my current power and an electric system. I would not hesitate to fly my current plane with the additional weight as two previous Curares have been a bit over 8 lbs and flew well. I also believe I can loose most of that 8 ozs and will attempt to do so late summer or over next winter.

Be very careful in condemning older designs outright. Certainly 30 years of advance make current planes fly better, but the old designs are still good, too.
Old 04-30-2006, 08:56 PM
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Default RE: Suggestions for electrified old school pattern plane

I just havent been impressed by any of the older designs. Im sure they were top of the line flyers back in their day, but compared to today's more advanced designs...there's just no contest. The older pattern planes fly much like the sport planes of today.

Like I said. If your looking for a good flying plane...the vintage ones are not it.

If you are purely interested in the vintage, and nostalgic value of the old designs...they are like a fine wine. Better with age.
Old 04-30-2006, 10:28 PM
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Default RE: Suggestions for electrified old school pattern plane

I have been flying a Curare and a Quick Fly III with a new OS .60 and pipe. The QFIII airplane was built from a Graupner kit many years ago and has performed well as a fun afternoon flying airplane. The Curare was from a fiberglass fuselage foam cores short kit. Luckily neither has never crashed so they still are with me.

A few days ago The QFIII became the latest victim in my conversion plans. I put a AXI 4130/16 in it and use 6 3200 Kokam Lipoly cells. The total conversion was lighter than the glow version with a full tank.

As far as flying goes it certainly isn't a fire breathing modern 3D pattern airplane, but, it is a really fun smooth flying airplane to fly. It is delightful not to have to clean up after the flight and I no longer have to worry about driping fuel and oil residue in/on the car/carpeting/cloths, etc. My wife also enjoys helping me now. The lack of noise is great.

The vertical before running out of steam is close to the glow powered version. The rest of the maneuvers are about the same as near as I can tell. There is less roll out on landing with the motor stopped.

There isn't much compression though.ll - Joke!

I am almost finished with a Curare conversion that is almost as old as the QF III. I also converted it to a tail dragger fixed gear and again the total conversion is lighter (especially with the removal of retracts, servo, etc.). I expect it to perform nicely also.

If you can afford the lipolys it is a fun way to go. Best of luck,


Old 05-02-2006, 04:23 PM
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Default RE: Suggestions for electrified old school pattern plane

I have found the construction techniques very different from gas to electric. It has to do with the trade off on mass vs strength. My recommendation (I have built scratch as well) is to first build a couple electrics from good sources like stevens-aero or mountain models. You can then imitate some of the techniques and shape it into a plane you like.

BTW, I flew in the 60's and still have a super kaos and qwick fly II hanging on the wall. I also agree with the above comment that many of todays sport flyers fly like them. One plane in particular I tried was the AcroPhat from nesail. It comes ARF, but with the large non-tapered wing and low wing loading it flew a lot like the old pattern planes. It even supports a steerable tricycle gear.

What you are not going to get is knife edge flight, none of the old planes where good at it. I don't think it was even a recognized move in the 60's. (at least I don't remember it)

Old 05-05-2006, 12:35 AM
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Default RE: Suggestions for electrified old school pattern plane

My curare that hangs on the wall fly's nothing, and I mean nothing like my current 2m stuff. Glow or electric. There is no comparison. Plus it should weigh like 5 pounds with todays composites. Truely no comparison.
That being said. I enjoy watching older ships fly. I quit flying mine because its speed isn't constant, it's too small, and well, it doesn't quite fit into masters manuevers very well. LOL
Old 06-09-2006, 11:54 AM
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Default RE: Suggestions for electrified old school pattern plane

Seems everyone kept their Curares, I feel bad for selling mine. Mine had a Picco 60 and tuned pipe. The plane screams with this setup, the way it was supposed to. Anyway, about electrifying something like this, it would be nice to think about it but I just don't think it would be practical. I'm talking about "old school" like the Curare, Saturn, etc. These planes were meant to enter the box at tremendous speeds, do HUGE maneuvers, and scream out. Not only that, they were rather heavy for their size. My Curare weighed about 10 lbs with a .60 engine which is still good but basically the plane rode on its inertia. IMO, if you want to really do this, make a plane that LOOKS like an old school pattern plane but use lighter construction methods. Don't do the old school 1/4" balsa slabs for the fuse, rather, take a look at some of the newer planes and how they're constructed. Hope this helps.

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