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Moley's built a Connecticut Yankee........but why?

      I'm alone on the patch. No-one, apart from a passing driver on the distant main road, for a mile or more. No witnesses to what may happen next. Right, now, first flight. Deep breath. Check waggling of surfaces. Rev motor briefly. Now, go! Model scuttles across the mowed, damp, early morning grass in a convoluted “s” shape. Shut down. Collect. Wipe dew off wing.

      Hmm...is it you or me? Adjustments to model? Haven't a clue. Let's adjust me instead. Man up. OK, kid, this is it, one of us has got to give in. Back to launch point: lots of short grass ahead. No risk, no reward. Power on, plenty of it. Fight it straight. Still reluctant to quit the surly bonds but then...wheels off, power reduced, hold straight, we're away. Familiar feelings return, of a model climbing gently and fairly smoothly straight ahead. Bit of port. Bit of starboard. I had reduced the dihedral from the free flight plan in an attempt to avoid dutch roll. Seems OK. Test trim, half throttle, into wind, hands off. Click, click on elevator. Yes, as expected, rather under elevated. But then, with full power, it climbs like a b. out of h. Wow! No two-celll job of mine has ever done that. Perhaps that explains......

     Back to the beginning.
     Why this model? Well, it's because of the failure of a previous job. The Brooklyn Dodger. I even bought a supporters' baseball cap from America, but that didn't do the trick. As a f/f job, it would only fly downwards. Converted to r/c, no better. As drawn on the plan, there was very little positive incidence on the wing, hardly any negative on tail. Very close to a zero, zero rig. Must be the way they do things over there. (Perhaps somebody could explain.) I lost interest in the model, and recycled the giblets.

     The Yankee is, in fact, very similar. Shape of fuselage, polyhedral wing, long moment arm, short nose. But this time I cheated, by adding a couple of degrees of positive to the wing at the building stage. Structurally, the two models are quite similar, although there is more wood in this one: better engineered, especially as it will be built as a Radio Control job with hopefully a long lifespan. I have probably drawn the rudder a little too small, as it does not seem to have a lot of authority, and I must reconsider my tendency to build only a half elevator: although the idea worked well on the Black Magic. Other items of interest on this design are the underslung tailplane (banded on, in the original), and the merging of rib capping into the curved trailing edge of the wing which I have finally done to my satisfaction, using candle wax to prevent covering touching balsa where I don't want it to. Interesting fuselage cross section, too. Despite the short nose, there is no lead in this model: but the wheels are the heaviest I possess. I got into a dreadful mess trying to fit the battery and sc into the small space at the front, but since none of that shows, I'll say no more about it. (Top tip: design the layout before building the rest of the model!)

      The name, we are told, is from the book “A Connecticut Yankee in the Court of King Arthur”, a thoroughly unpleasant satire that I wouldn't even recommend to a Granth*m member. The film, I am told, is more light hearted.

     For first flights I left the underneath of the nose unfinished in case I needed to alter the thrustline, but, (having built in a couple of degrees of right) that seems OK. Covering is Polyester and heavy orange Esaki, both from Mike Woodhouse. Motor is Waypoint E 3020-12 (Robotbirds) using a 12” x 6” prop: in othr words the same gear that I use in all my 2-Cell jobs.

      Nice landing. A second flight with no need to alter anything. OK lads, you can watch now.

….John Ashmole
September 2015