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Author Topic: Henry Cole's "Stratosphere"  (Read 765 times)
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Starduster
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« on: June 08, 2013, 06:38:05 PM »

I built this airplane many years ago (at least 17) for rubber, and flew it a few times. It flew pretty well, not great, but OK.

I built the original from the Model Builder's plans.

Looking at this model, I decided to covert the airplane to electric R/C. The tissue covering after all these years was in pretty bad shape (esp. the fuselage) so, I decided to strip the entire model. I don't have any place to do dope and tissue, so I will be doing the re-cover with Ultracote Parklite.

So far, I've got the fuselage and tail group stripped. I've modified the horizontal stab to have a single elevator on the right side and created a cut-out in the trailing edge so that I can have a rudder that runs the full height from the sub-fin to the top fin.

I will be powering the airplane with a E-Flight park 250 Outrunner with a 2 cell .300 mAh LiPo battery. The radio is a old-school 72mg with a Berg Stamp receiver.

Here is an link to a copy of the original article from the June 1941 issue of Model Airplane News:

http://www.theplanpage.com/Months/2807/Cole%20Stratoshere_files/Cole%20Stratoshere.pdf

Here is a link to a modeler who did the Stratosphere a few years ago:

http://soggi.ca/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=11

As I complete the airplane, I'll post my progress.

A few pictures:
Attached files Thumbnail(s):
Henry Cole's "Stratosphere"
Henry Cole's "Stratosphere"
Henry Cole's "Stratosphere"
Henry Cole's "Stratosphere"
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Starduster
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2013, 08:47:28 AM »

Update 1:

I've completed the installation of the electronics, built and covered a new wing (I was never happy with the original wing).

I only have to cover the fuselage, and it will be ready to fly.

A few pictures (Please excuse the messy work area!):

1) A close up of the tail and how I did the rudder/elevator

2) A close up of the servo (HiTech HS-55) installation. Mounted vertically just behind the "Cockpit".

3) A view showing the installation of the Berg Stamp reciever, the ESC and at the front, the battery box.

4,5) An overall view of the wing on the airplane.
Attached files Thumbnail(s):
Re: Henry Cole's "Stratosphere"
Re: Henry Cole's "Stratosphere"
Re: Henry Cole's "Stratosphere"
Re: Henry Cole's "Stratosphere"
Re: Henry Cole's "Stratosphere"
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Konrad
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2013, 09:26:02 AM »

I have to ask.
What was wrong with the original wing? Was it a design issue or a construction issue with this particular aircraft?
Also how are you going to service the radio/servos?

All the best,
Konrad
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Starduster
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2013, 10:25:35 AM »

I have to ask.
What was wrong with the original wing? Was it a design issue or a construction issue with this particular aircraft?

When I built the original wing, I sheeted both the top and the bottom of the leading edge. This is not consistant to the original design. I also did a pretty bad job of it, and the forward part of the airfoil is very "ugly". It's a pretty simple wing to make, and rather than stripping the tissue and trying to "fix" the airfoil, I felt that it would be just easier to fabricate a new one. I am much happier with the new wing.


Also how are you going to service the radio/servos?

Well... I'm hoping that I won't have to... But, if I do need to get in there, I'll cut the Ultracote, make the changes and re-cover. My number one worry, though is if I have enough airflow for cooling of the ESC and batteries. The firewall has four holes drilled, and I'm going to leave a couple of stringer bays open just in front of the cabin windows. I may have to create a couple of airscoops in the nose, but we'll see after a couple of test flights.
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« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2013, 12:27:11 PM »

NICE job on a beauty!  You prolly won't have too much of a heating issue with that set-up unless the motor is over-propped, or the "C" rating of the batteries is overdriven (proper ESC also).  Openings to the rear (~3x the intake area) aft of the batteries will allow any accumulated heat to escape

Personally, I would have recovered with transparent film.  That framework deserves to be seen.
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« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2013, 02:00:39 PM »

.. Personally, I would have recovered with transparent film.  That framework deserves to be seen.
My sentiments exactly.

All the best,
Konrad
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2013, 03:51:02 PM »

Thanks, gentlemen, this is a very pretty design. I've wondered why you don't often see them at SAM events. I'm looking forward to test flying it. (Hopefully this weekend).

An interesting story behind this particular model:

I was living in Schenectady, NY at the time, and right after I built it, during one of the first test flights, I hooked into a little bit of a thermal. I saw the airplane come down among some houses, and I looked for quite a while, but could not find it.

Fall turned into winter, and I just assumed that I'd never see the airplane again. Low and behold, the next Spring, I get a call from a lady. Sometime during a storm, the airplane had dislodged from a tree and ended up in her back yard.

By the time I got the airplane, the covering was in tatters, and it was filled with dozens of earwigs. I sanded and recovered the airplane, but due to a job change and a move to another state, I never flew it again. So, this is actually the third iteration of this particular airplane. It will be nice to see it in the air once again.

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« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2013, 08:21:36 PM »

"I'm ready for my test flight, Mr. DeMille!"

This airplane just screams Art Deco.

All up flying weight: 7.4oz.

A few pictures. First flight is planned for Saturday morning.

Attached files Thumbnail(s):
Re: Henry Cole's "Stratosphere"
Re: Henry Cole's "Stratosphere"
Re: Henry Cole's "Stratosphere"
Re: Henry Cole's "Stratosphere"
Re: Henry Cole's "Stratosphere"
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« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2013, 09:41:46 AM »

It was such a nice morning, that I couldn't resist a little test flying before work...

Took the Stratosphere out to the local softball field. Set it on the infield, near home plate, pointed it towards second base, checked the controls, and added power. The airplane was off the ground in about 10 feet. It climbed out well, but the first thing I noticed is that it needed almost full down elevator to keep it from stalling under power. The C/G is set at about 1/3 aft of the leading edge, (the plans call for about 2/3 aft for rubber power). I reduced power to idle, and the glide is pretty good, but still needed some down elevator to keep from stalling. The rudder is surprisingly effective.

I was able to get the airplane on the ground with no damage.

I made the wing saddle from blue foam, so tonight I will sand out a couple of degrees of positive angle of attack. I may also add a little more down-thrust. I have about 2 degrees now, a washer under the top motor mount might be just about right. (The rubber powered model has a ton of downthrust: 7 degrees!)
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« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2013, 09:53:02 AM »

Looking great!
All that polyhedral really does makes the rudder responsive. I know you know how to trim a ship. But make changes to the ship that effect both the power and glide parts of the flight envelope. Make changes to the powerplant (thrust and props) to effect only the power part of the flight envelope.  This isn't 100% accurate but it is a safe guideline.

With all that baseball talk I first thought you were describing some high school conquest. Shocked

All the best,
Konrad
« Last Edit: June 21, 2013, 10:19:29 AM by Konrad » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2013, 11:36:04 AM »

Second test flight session:

Early this morning, winds calm and a beautiful morning.

After taking out most of the "extra" angle of attack (in addition to the amount shown on the plan) the airplane fies very, very well. I set in next to home plate, and slowly brought  power up to about 80%. The airplane tracked straight and true, the tail lifted and the airplane and lifted off smoothly about half way between the pitchers mound and second base. There was no tendency to stall or turn in either direction. A little right rudder, a very nice climb, a little left rudder and a climb to about 40 - 50 feet. Very smooth flight under power. I reduced power to idle, and the airplane transitioned into a very nice glide. It turns well in either direction. At about 10 feet altitude, I brought the power back up to 75 - 80%. I trimmed for a climbing left turn, and was able to pretty much take my hands (fingers) off the sticks, pick up my coffee cup, sit back and watch the airplane climb until it was pretty small.

Brought the power back to idle, and was able to catch a little lift. It got so high, that I had to trim in some down elevator, and steer out of the lift. I didn't time the flight, but I estimate the flight to have been at least 13-15 minutes.

It lands very well.

Overall, I am extremely pleased with the airplane.

And, it looks great in the air!   
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« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2019, 11:01:12 AM »

That's a wonderful little plane -- got here 5 years after the fact via your latest link in the Ta-152 thread. Great story, too, of its rebirth. And I also really like the way you flew it .. a very logical way to do it as an occasionally guided FF soarer. All around good feeling to this project! Oh, it looks good, too!
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