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Super Strikemaster

Old 02-17-2004, 11:16 PM
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hattend
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Default Super Strikemaster

The Super Strikemaster

Way back in the 1970’s, Midwest Products began kitting Jim Newman’s “Strikemaster”, a .40 size sport plane that according to their advertising “combined good looks with easy flight characteristics”.

I picked up one of these kits in 1973 as my 3rd airplane and it is still one of my favorites after all these years. Midwest stopped production in the 1980’s, so the only way to get one of these planes today is to scratch build it using RCM plans or by finding an old Midwest kit tucked away in the back of a hobby shop or, more recently, on R/C auction sites on the internet.

Peter Kelly from Whitehorse Yukon, Canada, contacted me about possibly scanning the construction details from my Midwest kit plans as he was building an RCM Strikemaster from scratch and he wanted to make sure he remembered the construction sequence. I sent him the construction sequence and we started talking about what a great flying aircraft the Strikemaster was. I told him I had acquired two of the Midwest kits over the years so he asked me about purchasing one of them. We agreed to a price and Pete soon had 2 stock Strikemasters under construction.

We started talking about some modifications that we thought would be fun to incorporate into our Strikemasters. These modification involved a lengthening of the wing span, incorporating flaps or flaperons and airbrakes. When we started talking about stuffing a .60 in the front (I had done this in the 80’s and it really kicked it up a notch) a light went off in both of our heads. Why not blow up the plans to 125% and just build a larger version of the aircraft. After emailing back and forth and numerous online chats we came to the conclusion that building the Super Strikemaster would be no more work than scratching out the original RCM .40 size plane.

So, We wanted to start this thread to document the construction of our Super Strikemaster prototypes #1 (Don Hatten) and #2 (Peter Kelly)



Hope you enjoy....if you need more info on the plane, contact Pete or I on this thread.
Old 02-17-2004, 11:23 PM
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hattend
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Default The wood pile for 3 prototypes arrive

Wow, that's a lot of wood! 2/3 of the pile stays here, 1/3 goes on to Pete
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Old 02-17-2004, 11:46 PM
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Default RE: The wood pile for 3 prototypes arrive

I remember my Strikemaster very well. I had an OS .40FSR in it and it was pretty over weight. The wood was very hard and shaping was difficult. Most of the good balsa at that time was going to Liquified Natural Gas tankers. That plane did fly, though. It was tough and once hit a 55 gallon drum headon and all that broke was the plastic spinner. You had to watch the elevator throw as it would snap out of a loop. I sold it to a friend of mine and he repainted it in camouflage and installed a .60. It later went to a third owner and I lost track of it. That's one plane I wish was re-issued either as a full kit or an ARF.
Old 02-17-2004, 11:53 PM
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Default RE: The wood pile for 3 prototypes arrive

Pete has a bigger work area so most of the pictures will be from his end of the project (right, Pete? )

The hardest part was deciding how to build a 4.5 foot fuselage in 3.5 feet of work space (pssst...the solution is to clean up a bit).

There is also a shot of splicing the forward piece of wood onto the main fuselage plank. The 3" wide splice onto the 4" wide fuselage plank is a perfect fit for the canopy shelf.
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Old 02-18-2004, 12:02 AM
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Default RE: The wood pile for 3 prototypes arrive

Hi I am Pete Kelly the other half of the SUPER Strikemaster project team working on proto#2 and I am pleased to add to the thread that Don has started with pictures and comment's as we both continue with construction. Let me start with the pile of wood and what not that will in the end hopefully turn into a flyable aircraft.
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Old 02-18-2004, 12:02 AM
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Default RE: The wood pile for 3 prototypes arrive

The Strikemaster was a very forgiving flying aircraft. Easy to drag into slow, nose high, jet style landings with no tendancies toward falling off on a wing. Loops were easy, both inside and outside, and snaps were very controllable and easy to stop on a dime. The thick wing and soft airfoil entry made for very gentle stalling characteristics. Mine had either Enya .45 or OS .40 FSRs in them, very nice indeed.

But you're right, the fuselage could be used as a baseball bat and the larger version is just as stout. As we post pictures and expand the building sequence, hope you'll stick around and maybe the sight of the plane as it's being built will give you some incentive to build one.. Or at least bring back pleasant memories of your 40 size plane.

Don



ORIGINAL: MrMulligan

I remember my Strikemaster very well. I had an OS .40FSR in it and it was pretty over weight. The wood was very hard and shaping was difficult. Most of the good balsa at that time was going to Liquified Natural Gas tankers. That plane did fly, though. It was tough and once hit a 55 gallon drum headon and all that broke was the plastic spinner. You had to watch the elevator throw as it would snap out of a loop. I sold it to a friend of mine and he repainted it in camouflage and installed a .60. It later went to a third owner and I lost track of it. That's one plane I wish was re-issued either as a full kit or an ARF.
Old 02-18-2004, 12:20 AM
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Default The formers are dry fitted

The fuselage is constructed with some 1" tri stock on the sides of a 1/8" balsa fuselage sheet which helps makes the fuselage very twist resistant plus it helps you sand some really nice radius curves on the sides. There are also some 1/8" balsa and 1/16" plywood laminates which helps give the forward fuselage and wing saddle area some heft to help carry the load. Note that the rear of the laminations are radiused to prevent a stress riser where the laminates end near F3.

The other picture shows the 1/4" ply firewall and 1/4" F2 wing mount former, the 3/16" ply F3 former and the 1/8" balsa F4, thru F6 formers dry positioned just to check alignment.

Yes, I still need to clean up some.
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Old 02-18-2004, 12:32 AM
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Default RE: The wood pile for 3 prototypes arrive

I must apologize it seems that I have got ahead of myself with my first post and will ADD to Don's story of how we met and decided on the SSM project. I will insert my side of the story as we progress.

Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2003 10:48 AM
Subject: the SSM

About three months??? A go I met Don on the information highway called RCUniverse. Being an Old time Builder and flyer of the Midwest Strikemaster (SM) which went out production in the late 80's I ask the question on the form if any one knew where I could find the plans and wing cores for the SM.

Don was kind enough to supply information on the question and also supplied information that he to had built and flown MANY SM's.

Don's comment that he had a larger set of stock wings for the SM and that he would like to some day build a bigger version <<<<<Spark>>>> so far a three month on line chat on how to go about this. I must explain that Don lives in Galena Alaska and I live in Whitehorse Yukon Canada which is about 600 miles as the crow flies so the most convenient way to communicate is on the chat line (so far)

The comment was made that we should find out if it would be ok (legal) to increase a set of stock plans from RCM ( plan # 553) by 25% so with a quick Email the response came back from RCM that it would be fine to do. The next action was to find a company that was able to increase and print out the plans. That was done and four set's where made and two where sent to Alaska which took an agenizing week even by airmail.

Now with the plans in hand Don and I poured over them generating a Parts and Wood list that would be needed to build the Super SM. It is also a opportune time to add in and modify the plans with ideas that we have had bouncing around in our heads .... to this point we have decided to add to one of the two prototypes 1) flaperon's 2) flaps 3) Speed brakes as located on the stock plan 4) that it will be able to handle a .60 to .90 size engine and the list goes on.

Next Don contacted (Dynamic Balsa) on the possibility of increasing the stock wing cores by 25% as well as pricing information. We now have been informed that not only can Dynamic Balsa supply stock wings they can now also supply the SUPER SM wing cores that have been increased by 25% over stock.

I will add to this story in the next post
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Old 02-18-2004, 12:43 AM
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Default RE: The whole story

Good going, Pete. I had gotten ahead of the story trying to get the pictures posted.

To any readers out there, you'll note that some construction pictures will be sort of duplicated. Pete and I are 600 miles apart and we're each building the plane in a race to see who will get their prototype in the air first. There is beer riding on the outcome and Pete has a big lead (he's almost done!) Something you will notice is Pete's plane has some modifications done to see what happens. My second prototype (#3) will look a lot like Pete's (V-tail, speed brakes).


Don
Old 02-18-2004, 12:45 AM
  #10  
CafeenMan
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Default RE: Super Strikemaster

I always thought the Strike Master was one of the nicest looking shoulder wing planes ever designed. Looked cool with the ordinance under the wings too.
Old 02-18-2004, 12:51 AM
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Default RE: The wood pile for 3 prototypes arrive

And on with the story:

With a great flurry of visa cards and phone call’s a wood and wing core order was placed and fingers where crossed as we where not a hundred percent sure that the wood list we had developed was spot on. This time the orders took anywhere from 3 to 4 weeks arrive.

Aaaah wood in hand and the dust started to fly on Don’s proto Stock #1. My wood and cores had not arrived yet and that is another story so I continued looking at the plans and developing other possible mod’s

Next we needed a landing gear of some sort that would handle the weight and have a wide track but after looking at the stock main gear available on the market, Don took the lead to order Custom made gear from a company called TnT Landing Gear with the dimensions we felt would be right. For the nose gear we went with Fults 5” dual leg for the strength and support it would give.

Still with time on my hands before the wood arrived I was trying to think of a name for the ship Hmmmm “Why not Super Strikemaster??? I ask Don” that is what we where calling it anyway. Don agreed and we came up with a design for the a name and again Don had a company in mind called http://www.customcutgrafix.com/ that would be able to make what we needed, a phone call was made and Decals where on there way to the frozen North ( it is winter here now Brrrrr).

My wood and wing cores finial arrived and I started my Proto #2 and with some of the building hints that Don had discovered while building #1 I was now armed to make the balsa dust fly.

Over a Chat when comparing notes on the building project the subject came up about the original designer Mr. Jim Newman and it would be great to corresponded with him about the project if he was still available <<<<Spark>>> Don was off investigating Jim’s where about’s with his many friends in the RC world and low and behold came up with Mr. Newman email address.

Don then wrote a very diplomatic email to Mr. Newman giving him the broad scope of what we where about to do to his original design and to just let him know how we both felt about this great flying aircraft. Well we where both surprised when Mr. Newman responded to Don with a very informative and supportive email and he wished to be kept in the loop with pictures and a building report as we progress.

We found that the modifications that Jim had consider where the same one’s that we had in mind and had a couple that we had not though of that being the Vee Tail and Strakes which we may incorporating into the proto 1 to 4.

Our correspondence with Mr. Newman continues for his valuable input to date.

As of this Date December 28, 2003 the project has about 60 pictures ( between Don and I ) of varies stages of building. The Construction, Wood and Material List is being refined as we progress. Don’s Proto #1 is about 60 percent complete (Stock build 25% with a New OS.90FX). I have been lagging behind on Proto #2 at about 40 percent complete ( 25% over stock, Speed Brake Doors, Vee tail, Strakes and one degree of Dihedral )being a little slower considering the Mode’s that are being put into place.

That was the story as of December 2003 now I will get on with the pictures and more on the building
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Old 02-18-2004, 01:10 AM
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hattend
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Default RE: Super Strikemaster

I never did buy that ordinance kit Midwest had for the plane. Hey Pete, I have lots of rocket tubes...what do you think? Rockets and bombs? hmmmmm.
Thanks CafeenMan...you got me thinking again...hehheeh

Don

ORIGINAL: CafeenMan

I always thought the Strike Master was one of the nicest looking shoulder wing planes ever designed. Looked cool with the ordinance under the wings too.
Old 02-18-2004, 01:11 AM
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Default RE: The wood pile for 3 prototypes arrive

ok here we go with fuse sides and the Speed Brake Doors. The doors are in place as per the stock plan. You will also see that I have (as I call it) Trenched in the formers from F4 to F6 into the 1"Tri stock for a better fit over all.

To quote Mr. Jim Newman "you will also see that I do not follow the herd and ask the builder to "crack and bend" the sides at the trailing edge, in order to pull them inwards to create a taper. I don't know why modelers do that but, they have done it since time immemorial - and yet there is absolutely NO need to do that as you can see. Spread the word to your buddies who fancy themselves as designers."

So in order to get around the "Crack and Bend" I used the trench method it worked will in the end as you will see <g>
Pete

Proto #2
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Old 02-18-2004, 01:36 AM
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Default RE: The wood pile for 3 prototypes arrive

Ok now with the wing skins, Formers and fuse side cut out time to move on. The next pic shows all the kit cut out with the foam wing core's covered. you may also see a hint of what the tail may look like.

Pete

Proto#2
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Old 02-18-2004, 10:28 AM
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Default RE: The wood pile for 3 prototypes arrive

The next four picture will show 1) lay out of the Stab and twin Fin's note the size difference in elevator to stock and single rudder on the right to twin rudder size. 2) Flaperon's with end caps to the stock size aileron's 3) Strakes general size that will be tested on a later test flight 4) 25% larger wing over the stock stikemaster wing.
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Old 02-18-2004, 12:58 PM
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Default RE: The wood pile for 3 prototypes arrive

Next set of pictures: 1) It was decided by the team to increase the Area of the Fin's By adding End caps 2) Putting holes in the fuse sides at the C/G location will help with the final balance 3) Aaaah Now the Basic outline of the SSM 4) We found that inlaying the main gear ply 1/4" plate will give it more strength and make it easier to radius the edges
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Old 02-18-2004, 01:18 PM
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Default RE: Super Strikemaster

Looking good! That plane is one of my favorties. Still flying one too, mine has a O.S. 61FSR with pipe in it! ZOOM!

Later!
Old 02-18-2004, 01:35 PM
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Default RE: The wood pile for 3 prototypes arrive

Next set: 1) Used 3/16" x 2" pegs to fasten to the top of the fuse. 2)Placement of Fin's with 18 degree of bevel on bottom of fin. 3) Inlay of main Gear 4) More shape to the SSM
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Old 02-18-2004, 04:36 PM
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hattend
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Default Super Strikemaster

Well, as you can see from Pete's pictures, the plane goes together quite easily. Even if you don't have any room to build, like me.

Pic #1 is a picture of my first stock kit Strikemaster (1973-74), just to jog your memory of what the completed .40 size plane looked like. Enya .45 and GeeBee plastic floats.

Pic #2 shows the flap and aileron servo hatch positions. The stock plane uses torque rods but on a plane this size, we think you really should have a servo on each aileron (and/or flap if you have them). Besides, servos are cheap.

Pic #3 shows the super complicated drill bit I made to drill the servo lead holes in the foam wing. You could always trench the leads holes on the surface of the foam but I like to be different. I'll say this though, it takes a lot longer to do it my way. The drill bit is 1/2", using zagi tape to attach it to a 1/2" dowel about 24" in overall length. It is a hand drill and it helps if you have a third hand to ensure that you are going into the wing at 90/90 angles. The Estes BT5 rocket tubes are a perfect fit.

Pic #4 shows the servo pockets and the rocket tube installed.

Don
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Old 02-18-2004, 05:54 PM
  #20  
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Default RE: The wood pile for 3 prototypes arrive

Next set Top fairings for the wing:

Pete

Proto #2
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Old 02-18-2004, 05:57 PM
  #21  
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Default RE: The wood pile for 3 prototypes arrive

Time to compare Stock Strikemaster and the Super
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Old 02-18-2004, 06:24 PM
  #22  
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Default RE: The wood pile for 3 prototypes arrive

Next set getting there 1) Time to cut the servo holes into the wing. Unlike Don I did not put the holes in before I had jointed them OOOPS hehehe Had to trench over to the center and use string to pull the wire in. 2) How about a short kit ? >>>>Anyone? 3) Just had to cover the wing to see how the Decal would look.

Pete

Proto #2
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Old 02-18-2004, 06:37 PM
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Default RE: The wood pile for 3 prototypes arrive

Ok time to install some Hardware: 1) Servo's main 2) Motor mount for a .90 and Flut's nose gear 5" 3) Speed Brake door hardware and stuck in to the hole to see if it works <<< THEY DO >>>> they are set to open to 35 Degree's for the first test flight and can be open to a max of 45dg.
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Old 02-18-2004, 06:58 PM
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Default RE: The wood pile for 3 prototypes arrive

Ok I am going to hold the last two set's of four pic's so Don can get back in here. Come on Don your turn
Old 02-18-2004, 07:07 PM
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Default RE: The wood pile for 3 prototypes arrive

Unfortunately all my construction photos are on my laptop at home. I'll be adding some pictures from home at about 6PM Pacific Time.

My construction follows pretty closely to Pete's except he is up to covering...I still have some finish up work and I hope to start covering this weekend.

There is beer riding on whomever gets to the test flight first and I'm not going to buy [sm=lol.gif]

Don


ORIGINAL: Blade47

Ok I am going to hold the last two set's of four pic's so Don can get back in here. Come on Don your turn

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