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Countdown: Polish Boost-Glider
October 1968 American Aircraft Modeler

October 1968 American Aircraft Modeler

October 1968 American Aircraft Modeler - Airplanes and Rockets Table of Contents

These pages from vintage modeling magazines like Flying Aces, Air Trails, American Modeler, American Aircraft Modeler, Young Men, Flying Models, Model Airplane News, R/C Modeler, captured the era. All copyrights acknowledged.

1968 was the beginning of the 3-man crew Apollo era with the first manned space flight of the series, Apollo 7, launching in October of that year. Model rocketry was all the rage. Per this article from a 1968 issue of American Aircraft Modeler magazine, the average age of an American model rocketeer was about 13.6 years. I was 10 years old at the time and had by that time been building and flying model rockets for a year or two. Being a fan of both airplanes and rockets - hence this website's name - I liked the rocket boost gliders. The Estes Falcon, Nighthawk, and Space Plane models were available at the time. The Falcon was the simplest with a pylon-mounted engine that ejected with the ejection charge. The Nighthawk was more akin to the Polish boost-Glider in this article, where the power pod separates from the airplane and comes down via streamer while the airplane glides back to earth. The problem with that scheme is that the really takes two observers to track both parts. A couple abbreviations used in the article that might not be familiar to readers are B/G (boost−glider), AR (aspect radio), and then there's the word "prang," which means to crash.


Jaronczyk shows three versions of his model for different weather conditions - Airplanes and Rockets

Jaronczyk shows three versions of his model for different weather conditions. Unlike most American boost-glider designs, his models do not elect power-pod at burn-out.

By Harry Stine

EASTERN Europe has been a hot-bed of model rocket activity for years. Although the adoption of American techniques created a jump in interest, model rocketry in Poland' has been a going thing probably as long as anywhere else in the world. The Poles have been holding their meet at Krakow for more than five years, and Pawel Elsztein of Warsaw has the distinction of authoring the first handbook of model rocketry published anywhere.

As the American model rocket team learned in Dubnica, Czechoslovakia two years ago, the Eastern European modelers are tough competitors in spite of the fact that we Americans have more and better balsa, glues, and paint.

The Poles took up B/G with gusto along with the Czechs. The Poles seem ready, willing, and able to try almost any configuration. In contrast to some of the wild and woolly B/G design attempts seen in the USA, the Poles apparently have a stronger background in model aerodynamics. This is probably because of the fact that Polish rocket modelers tend to be much older than American modrockers. The average age of an American model rocketeer is about 13.6 years, and most USA rocket types have not had much experience in making and flying model aeroplanes and, in fact, tend to look down their noses at flying machines when they should be eagerly trying to find out how the airplane types do it. In Poland, because of the state-operation of all modeling clubs, it young man doesn't get his hands on a model rocket engine until he has proven himself to be a good aeromodeler. I don't know whether this is good or bad, but I rather prefer our USA free-wheeling approach to modeling as an individualistic hobby.

But the Polish B/G designs are good. Furthermore, they show some interesting variations and departures from the usual American B/G design with its basic hand−launched glider configuration.

Consider the subject of our plan this month, the FI 22 design by J. Jaronczyk of Poland. This model was flown in competition at Dubnica, May, 1966, and was the top-scoring Polish B/G with a flight time of 99 seconds, placing fifth in the category. It aced-out the best USA B/G time of 90 seconds turned in by Gleda Estes.

The FI 22 design is interesting because of its very low aspect ratio (ratio of span to average wing chord) of 2.94. Most B/G designs don't look like competition types. at all unless they've got an AR of 5 or better, but the FI 22 with its stubby little wings and a wing area exactly the same as an Astron Falcon is probably a very good design for flying in windy, gusty weather. The Polish FI 22 did outperform everything but Sky Slash types and Pavel Bares lowAR elliptical winger at Dubnica under some of the worst flying weather ever encountered!

Similar Polish rocket design uses even more wing sweep - Airplanes and Rockets

Another similar Polish rocket design uses even more wing sweep and a lower span−chord ratio. They average nearly 90 seconds!

One is a swing−wing rocket and the other is a fork−tailed bat−bird - Airplanes and Rockets

These two models by Furkai are quite out of the ordinary. One is a swing−wing rocket and the other is a fork−tailed bat−bird.

Jaronczyk had four variations of the FI 22 at Dubnica with varying amounts of sweep in the wing panels, as is evidenced from the photo. The FI 22 shown in the plans is the one he flew at Dubnica; it appeared in plan form in the Czech magazine, Modelar, in June, 1967.

The original FI 22 used simple engine ejection to shift the CG, but this is no longer permitted under our new rule book, or FAI rules, either! So I have therefore modified the FI 22 design for a streamer recovered powerpod. This makes it a longer, skinnier model on the launcher, but cleans it up no end for gliding.

The drawing's dimensions are in millimeters. The millimeter is so much handier to use because there are 25.4 of them in an inch. Anyway, model rocketry is now in the metric system, and the original Modelar plans were in the metric system, and Jaronczyk built the original model using metric system ... so why not metric? The only concession to the English system is

in all of the balsa dimensions.

The fuselage should be made from hard, straight 1/8" x 3/8" balsa. Note that it has its thinnest dimension in the pitch axis. A piece 383 millimeters long will do fine - that's 15-5/64" long, so you see why millimeters are much easier to work with.

The wing panels are cut from 1/16" sheet balsa, sanded to an airfoil section. They are then glued to the side of the fuselage with 14 mm. of dihedral under each tip. This didn't seem to me to be enough dihedral, but that's what Jaronczyk used at Dubnica! Incidence should be carefully held at zero unless you want your hair parted at launch.

The stab is cut from 1/16" sheet balsa to a symmetrical airfoil, then glued to the bottom of the fuselage. Again, maintain a zero-degree incidence. In common with most B/G designs, the FI 22 is a zero-zero decalage design. The long rudder is also cut from 1/16" sheet and glued to the bottom of the fuselage.

The powerpod pylon height may seem to be too low, but again I matched the pylon height used by Jaronczyk, allowing for the greater diameter of the Krywald 22 mm.-diameter Polish engines he built his FI 22 for. The pod mounting arrangement is a refinement of one I used on the original Uni-Jet Unicorn back in early 1965. A block of balsa 1/4" x 3/8" is cut 76 mm. long and a 45-degree angle cut on the back end of it is shown. It is then glued to the top of the front fuselage ahead of the wings.

The powerpod is made in the usual way with nose cone (pick your favorite shape), body tube, engine holder wire to keep the engine from blowing out at ejection, streamer recovery assembly (be sure to use about 36 square-inches of streamer), and launch lug. A piece of1/4 x 3/8" balsa cut to 45-degree angles as shown is glued to the tube. Two side pieces cut from 1/16" sheet balsa are glued to the side of this and to the tube.

The balsa side pieces slip down over the fuselage nose and hold the pod straight, while the two pieces - one on the fuselage and the other on the pod - cut to 45-degrees match up and lock the pod in place. The pod can come off the glider in an upward and backward direction.

How does the pod part company with the glider? Hopefully, nice and clean when the ejection charge goes off after the engine has lofted the FI 22 to a respectable altitude. When the ejection charge fires, it kicks the wadding, streamer assembly, and nose cone forward; the resulting reaction force shoves the pod to the rear, unlocking the 45-degree angle pieces and allowing aerodynamic drag to separate the pod from the glider.

Part of the problem of getting a powerpod like this to come off cleanly without having the streamer tangle with the glider, resulting in a "Red Baron" spin, is to pack wadding in tightly ... but not too tightly. If you pack it in too tightly, the ejection charge will just gasp lightly and nothing will happen ... except that your FI 22 will prang when it meets the ground.

The FI 22 should be trimmed-out like any other powerpod B/G. Trim for glide first without the pod, using hand launches. I don't guarantee it with the FI 22, but some of the other B/G designs will turn in better time with a hand-launch than they will with a boosted launch! Once the glide trim is established, mount a loaded powerpod and check to see that the boost CG is located at least at the leading edge of the wing. With the FI 22 design, you should have no trouble in this regard.

M. I. T. papers available: For you buffs who really dig it, including integral calculus, there are now available two of the erudite papers that were presented by members of the M. 1. T. Model Rocket Society during their convention in late March.

George Caporaso's paper, "Solutions of the Differential Equations of Ballistic Flight Paths for Model Rockets," runs

pages and is loaded with mathematics. It takes up where Malewicki leaves off and shows the results of some of the computer runs conducted by Caporaso at M. I. T.

The second paper is a gem that will probably become a classic in model rocketry and may also become a standard for full-scale professional rocketry as well. It's Gordon Mandell's "The Linearized Rotational Dynamics of Streamlined Projectiles," 50 pages worth of tightly reasoned analysis of the dynamic stability of finstabilized rockets. It's the only work that I know of which takes the nasty math of dynamic stability and puts it into a form usable by advanced model rocketeers. Note that I said "advanced," and I meant just that. This is not a paper for beginners because of the math involved and the concepts treated.

These papers can be obtained by sending a check for $1.25 to M. 1. T. Model Rocket Society, M. 1. T. Branch, P. O. Box 110, Cambridge, Mass. 02139.

Thisa and Thata: New C6-x engines from Estes will literally put a B/G Bertha out of sight! Both Estes and Centuri have scale model kits of the NASA Apollo Little Joe II now available.

Willy Ley, NAR Trustee and one of the founders of NAR, has a newly revised edition of his famous book on the history of rockets and space flight. This time it's called "Rockets, Missiles and Man in Space." From Viking Press, 557 pages, $10.95 ... and worth it! This is the definitive book on the history of what we're doing, and the NAR is mentioned therein.



Ploish Boost-Glider Plans (October 1968 AAM) - Airplanes and Rockets

Polish Boost-Glider Plans (click for larger version)



Posted October 24, 2020

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