|November 1954 Air Trails|
Table of Contents
Some things never grow old. These pages from vintage modeling magazines like American Aircraft Modeler, American Modeler, Air Trails, Flying Aces, Flying Models, Model Airplane News, & Young Men captured the era. I will be glad to scan articles for you. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.
Control line speed models do not appear very often in modeling magazines, and as far as I know you cannot buy a manufactured kit for one, so when I run across an article it gets posted. C/L speed is an event where, assuming you can proficiently fly an airplane in level flight, your success is most dependent on your skill as an airframe builder and an engine mechanic. I have never witnessed a control line speed model flying in real life, but there are a few on YouTube that show the rigorous couple minutes a speed flyer spends in the center of the flying circle. One of the coolest parts is then the pilot whips the plane to get the engine to break from 4-cycle into 2-cycle operation and it just starts screaming. That really gets the adrenalin flowing!
This video of Paul Eisner setting an F2A world speed record is a must-see video.
"Squeaker" Speed Plane
"Mr. MPH" himself, America's most consistent control line speed model winner and record holder, unveils his prize job this C/L Class A won everything!
By Tommy Baker
Quiet, unassuming, capable Tommy Baker from Kings Mountain, NC, went into Air Force as dental technician, served overseas, now runs AF recreation program at West Palm Beach, FL. Married, he and his wife Beth have one youngster. At most recent National Model Plane Championships Tom, as "open" contestant, took 1st in Control Line Class A Speed (130.19), 2nd in B (136.86), 3rd in 1/2A (78.03).
Triple Winner! Squeaker was first at the Nationals! First at the Internationals!
Squeaker can take off from a dolly or be hand-launched.
Air Force man Baker prefers the 2-pin, 1-wheeled dolly shown, but says any good dolly serves if you can count on a perfect take-off every time.
The Squeaker is my latest effort to produce a stable, consistent contest winner. In a single contest season it racked up an impressive list of wins, taking first at the Air Force World Wide Championships with 130.37 mph, first at the Nationals with 130.43 mph, first at the Internationals, 133.28 mph. The flight at the Internationals established a new A.M.A. record. Squeaker also took second place at the 1952 Nationals, turning a speed of a little over 130 mph. This was its maiden flight. In every contest where it has been flown it has consistently turned in times of 130 mph or better. The most important thing in a fast speed ship is stability, in my opinion. This seems to be the theme of the Squeaker.
The ship is designed around a K&B Torpedo .19 which I believe is the hottest Class A engine to hit the market. Alterations of the Torp .19 are as follows: Turn the cylinder head and fins down to 1 1/8" diameter. This allows you to use a smaller, more streamlined cowling. Remove the needle valve and venturi restrictor and tap the needle valve body in the venturi with a 10-32 tap. Install a Dooling needle valve and body. The Dooling needle valve has a fine taper and the body is of the lock-nut type which allows a fine positive setting which is very important. Install a McCoy right-angle seat. This allows an easy fuel line hook-up in close quarters.
Next, go through the Torp and remove all burrs and sharp edges that the fuel passes over on its way through the engine. Then comes the most important thing. Make certain the engine is entirely free of any binding, and is as free as possible. Binding and excessive drag create friction, and friction robs rpm, which all means lost speed. Above all do not alter the timing of your Torp in any way. The factory timing seems to be about perfect. In other words, don't make the intake port in the shaft any larger, and don't touch the top side of the intake and exhaust ports in the cylinder.
Another "must" is to keep your engine and fuel as free from dirt and lint as possible. If the engine gets dirty, tear it down and clean it up. Several turns of a prop on a dirty engine can ruin it, so keep 'em clean and make 'em last longer.
Assuming you have your Torp .19 and have turned the fins down, file off the exhaust stack just enough to allow easy cowling. Mount the engine in the half-pan. You can purchase a commercial pan and saw the back off or make a wooden half-pan as described in the plans. I used a metal half-pan on the original Squeaker. I like the metal pan best because it permits a rigid, more permanent engine mount, and also will dissipate heat much faster. The wooden half-pan is quite suitable, though, and is about as durable as any wooden pan. The maple crutch is tough and gives a tough surface on which to mount the engine.
After you have the engine mounted in the half-pan, take a piece of hard, straight-grained balsa and mark off a center line and hole the engine will fit through. Glue a piece of 1/32" plywood to the surface that will lie along the pan and center of the fuselage. When dry, carve out the hole in top half of fuselage to be a snug fit around the engine. Now take the piece of wood to be used for the lower rear part of fuselage and cut to fit snug against the rear of the half-pan. Glue on 1/32" plywood former that goes next to the rear of the half-pan and tack-glue rear of fuselage to top half. Draw outline of cowl platform on top half of fuselage. With half-pan in place as a guide, carve entire fuselage to approximate shape and rough sand. Final sanding will come later. Split off back portion of fuselage that was tack-glued on and hollow entire inside of fuselage out to about 3/16" wall thickness.
The cowl comes next. Carve out the top outline of cowl top, and shape up inside of this block. Cut cowl sides from 1/32" plywood. Cut so that outside grain of plywood runs vertical. This makes it easier to bend around engine. Put engine and half-pan together in top half of fuselage. Carve balsa blocks to shape and glue in place. Now glue top and sides of cowl in place, leaving about 1/32" space between sides and engine. When dry shape top of cowl and air passages as indicated on plans. Make wing spar, carve hole for spar in top half of fuselage and install. Drill holes for hold-down bolts. Make elevator, elevator horn and bar and assemble. Carve out recess in fuselage for elevator and install elevator and controls. Make rudder and install. Glue on lower rear portion of fuselage. Glue on fillets at base of rudder to cover control horn. Make shim-stock engine lug covers and glue in place.
Sand entire model with fine sandpaper. Give it two thin coats of clear dope to seal pores in wood. Sand lightly between coats to keep surfaces smooth. Cover all outside wooden surfaces with silk. Silk works best if used wet. Moisten silk with water, then lay over surface to be covered and smooth out. Brush dope on silk and rub out smooth. After all surfaces have been covered and have dried, sand very lightly to remove fuzz. Now give model four coats of thin, clear dope, sanding lightly between each coat. Make a mixture of about 50-50 talcum powder and clear dope and thin until mixture has almost consistency of water. Give all wood surfaces about five coats of this sealer, sanding lightly between each coat.
This sealer is the only fuel proofer I use on all my speed ships. This type finish is easy to maintain, too. If fuel, after a time, appears to start eating into the clear dope underneath the sealer, all you have to do to restore the finish is to sand lightly and give several more coats of the sealer. A fuel-proof color finish can be used if you desire it.
Wings and lead-out wires go on next. Scribe outline of wing panels on a sheet of .012" half-hard aluminum and cut out. To bend leading edge of wing panels, either clamp aluminum between two steel rulers and bend or go to a sheet metal brake and bend panels to about a 45 deg. inside angle. Form panels from here to the desired airfoil by hand. Clamp trailing edge between two rulers and mark rivet holes. Drill holes for 1/16" diameter soft countersunk rivets. Cut rivets off so they stick through trailing edge about 1/32". Now find some smooth, hard surface and pound rivets over until flush with trailing edge.
Next, out of hard balsa, make the wing lug blocks so that they fit flush against fuselage and are a snug fit inside wing panels. Glue wing lugs onto fuselage so that they will hold the wing incidence parallel to the center line of fuselage. Wing, stabilizer, and rudder are all set at zero degree incidence with the engine and line of thrust ... All building details available on full-size plans.
Full-size plans for Squeaker are part of Group Plan # 1154, Hobby Helpers, 770 Hunts Pt. Ave., New York City 59 (50¢).
Squeaker Control Line Class A Speed Plans
The AMA Plans Service offers a full-size version of many of the plans show here at a very reasonable cost. They will scale the plans any size for you. It is always best to buy printed plans because my scanner versions often have distortions that can cause parts to fit poorly. Purchasing plans also help to support the operation of the Academy of Model Aeronautics - the #1 advocate for model aviation throughout the world. If the AMA no longer has this plan on file, I will be glad to send you my higher resolution version.
Posted October 25, 2014