Full Size Printed Plan & Building Notes
No material plans only
Full Size Printed Plan on sheet 48" x 36"
Four-page article with building notes and photo
Control Line Stunter
Engine .35 to .40
THIS MOREL was designed and built to prove a point—that a high-dollar, high-technology engine is not necessary to fly competition Precision Aerobatics. I feel the Phoenix has succeeded in proving this point, as it certainly is as able as anything on the contest circuit, and it is more reliable than most.
Background: The Bob Palmer Thunderbird heritage is pretty obvious in the general shape of the wing and tail surfaces. I have always liked the looks of the T-bird wing in maneuvers, and the semi-elliptical design is highly efficient from an induced drag point of view. Not only is it pretty, it works better. This wing is very large (by current standards) for a .35 airplane at 56 in. span and an area of 610 sq. in. Were it not for the efficient shape, it would probably be too large.
The outlines and airfoil of the latter day Veco T-bird are used exactly. However, the structure has been lightened considerably, and a change to equal length wing panels has been made. The equal panels look much better and, contrary to the belief of the 1950s when the T-bird was designed, actually make the model easier to trim to fly properly. Also, Palmer's differential flaps were deleted as I feel they never really worked correctly.
Other components of the model were designed to obtain modern flying characteristics while retaining the "flavor" of the original upright-engined T-bird. Tail moment length is 14.25 inches (hinge line to hinge line), which is the same as my Stilares series and Bob Gieseke's Nobler. Control ratios are one-to-one vs. the much-too-sensitive
2/3:1 setups used by Bob Palmer in his planes. (Even Bill Werwage and Les McDonald have moved away from the 2/3 : 1 setups.) The engine is inverted for proper thrust line and vertical C.G. relationship in this version, but the turtledeck fuselage of the original T-bird is maintained.
Actually, credit for the general look of this plane goes to Jerry Ross of Florida who used to fly an inverted-engine, old-style T-bird with wheel pants similar to mine. Jerry's plane had the smaller wing of the first T-bird, but it flew magnificently. Unfortunately, Jerry lost the plane when it shed a prop blade; it literally shook itself apart. He never built another one, subsequently droping out of Stunt flying. A great loss.
An additional trimming feature I have added is the adjustable rudder, which is held in place by a screw-in-slot arrangement on the bottom of the fuselage. I don't remember where I first saw this method of adjustment, but it's light, clean, and easy to do on any model with the rudder aft of the elevator. The adjustment allows optimum trimming for maximum line tension with minimum drag.
Thank you for looking