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Author Topic: Advice on Flying Clown power and (I hope) some laughs!  (Read 3125 times)
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Black Arrow
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« on: March 04, 2008, 02:14:09 PM »

 Please bear with me while I tell the CL part of my life's story here and feel free to have a good laugh along the way! I started out in CL somewhere back near the dawn of time. I was out in a parking lot crashing and breaking my Cox plastic plane when a guy came by and took pity on my poor, uninformed soul. He told me of a 35 size plane called a Ringmaster and offered the help of his club. I got the RM built and tried to take him up on is offer of help but, alas, working night shift 6-7 days a week while all the club members were working days just wasn't conducive to getting together. I didn't have much $ to support my new family in those days and the constant crashing was taxing my meager budget to it's limit. I soon gave up without ever accomplishing my goal. Now, 40 years later, it still calls to me to finish what I never accomplished.

In my own special way of analyzing the problem I came to the conclusion that a 1/2 A plane with a built up wing and a Norvel .061 would fly OK, be inexpensive and bounce better. I managed a Baby Ringmaster and covered it's wing with film. Results? Well, it does bounce better, a lot better, and wasn't all that costly BUT ny wind is problematic and as soon as I try to stunt I fall into panic when I can no longer feel it's gentle little tug on the end of the lines. It's also a bit fast for me on those 26 ft. .008 dia steel lines. Longer lines, of course, further lessen what little line tension it has. I've also flown it with a PAW .049 diesel. Truth be told, I kind of favor the diesel.

I have now come the think that maybe a medium size plane would be more workable. LOL! I am building a Flying Clown. I've got it all but done. I had settled on an OS 15 LA for power but after reading some things I accidentally happened upon I'm wondering if I shouldn't put an 09 on it instead. The plane is a Brodak kit covered with Cover Lite. It's 13-3/4 oz. AUW with the OS .15 and a wood 8x4 prop. It is necessary to take into account that I have never been very good at CL flying. The most I have ever accomplished is inside loops and wingovers along with a lot of crashed planes! I'm looking for a set up that will have some line tension, not be any faster around the circle than necessary and still be able to do the basic old time stunts. Gentlemen, I would love to entertain your thoughts on the matter. And BTW, thank you for taking the time to read this rambling post.
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Dan G.
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2008, 06:27:34 PM »

Funny ... some similarities with my story. Before I became a free-flighter, I dabbled in control line. As a young teen, I watched a bunch of guys flying CL and realized quickly that those little Cox things (actually, they were O.K. Cubs then -- I don't think Cox had made the scene, yet) on short lines required the reaction time of a mongoose -- hardly for a beginner. With some influence from those guys, I built a Ringmaster, and with a Fox .35, did the only control flying I've ever done. It was fun.

And that exercise taught me, along with a bunch of other experiences, that when it comes to things flying, bigger is always easier (in general). It is such a mistake to start beginners on small aircraft. Maybe the small planes don't break as easily, but the added thrill of "large" plus the thrill of some success will provide the motivation for those repairs, and more learning will be done.

Dan G.
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2008, 01:24:12 PM »

The OS.15 is a fine little engine I think it would be perfect for the Flying-Clown which was designed for engines between .09 to .20 Just keep the venter of gravity slightly forward a bit and use moderate control throws for the first flights. You can make it jump and stunt later on. It looks like a great Big/Small airplane that is right in the middle. It would suit your needs well. I recommend staying with the .15 unless there are engine issues with that engine, but there should not be. Use a good properly sized stunt tank like a Perfect 2 oz tank and you are set.

Let me know what you think.

Cheers

Sundance12

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« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2008, 10:51:17 PM »

Black Arrow, I can relate with your experience in learning to fly Cl. As a youngster, I crashed a bunch of them before learning to fly a model successfully. I've posted a short list of my experiences and a couple of pictures in the trainer section of this CL forum.

Below are a couple pictures of a Flying Clown that I built. The first picture is of it newly built in the 1960s as I recall. It was powered with an ED 15 diesel and went very well. It survives to this day as seen in the second picture. I kinda dropped out of model building between the 60s to the late 90s to make a living. The damage to the model is mostly deterioration and 'hangar rash'. I'm thinking of restoring it for nostalgic reasons, but not as a flyer as it has some structural issues.

Al
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« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2008, 03:53:36 PM »

 Grin The Flying Clown has been kitted by Brodak as CLP25---this is a fast plane to assemble but you are dealing with lousy balsa, terrible cutting leaving crushed ends to most parts---I also found the balsa to be very brittle due to drying out. But with the debacle of LoneStar balsa going up in smoke last summer, they are back ordered from Brodak. I suggest get plans and make some stencils of the layout and build your own. I have three almost ready to go for the season. The power I am using is one Norvel, one Fox .15BB and the other a (Novarossi), sh-h-h-h-h quiet  Lips sealed. My club has a couple with the OS .18TX airplane conversions and Nova. .l5 Turbos---those will show 173+ laps in 7'30" and I imagine in the ~140 mph class ---not for beginners. Personally I think that the clown racers should evolve into something a little more racy in appearance like the Brits and Aussies T/R---but if that's what they fly, I'm there Roll Eyes
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2008, 03:42:47 PM »

I also have a flying clown with a O S MAX 15 on it , it to is a Brodak F/C. the first one I had was a P D Q clown and we put a McCOY .19 on it with 52' lines great flyer.

Bob
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« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2008, 04:21:23 PM »

This is a test photo to see how large a photo I can use.

Bob
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« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2008, 04:25:36 PM »

Now know how big I can send.

Bob
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Black Arrow
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« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2008, 11:46:39 PM »

Nice looking planes, you guys! I finished mine with orange coverlite, white fuse, medium blue ply doublers at the nose and a black canopy. I don't have a digital camera so a photo will not likely be posted. I haven't tried to fly it. Been to busy with RC gliders and electrics not to mention a large landscaping project at home.
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« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2008, 06:58:26 AM »

Black Arrow,

I know what you are talking about, it has been so hot here in VIRGINIA it is all I can do to cut the grass and trim.

Bob
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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2008, 01:05:20 PM »

HI Black Arrow,

I am working on a 120% flying clown,I will be using a Veco BB .19 on it. I am sending a photo of my regular size clown and the new one.

Bob
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« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2009, 08:04:55 PM »

I to like the clown. Mine was built from plans and is old school--silkspan & dope. For power the good old fox .15. If you are going to fun fly a clown as a trainer the old fox is a great running little motor.

Good luck with your clown
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« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2009, 11:40:07 AM »

I to like the clown. Mine was built from plans and is old school--silkspan & dope. For power the good old fox .15. If you are going to fun fly a clown as a trainer the old fox is a great running little motor.

There were several Fox 15s. I liked the 15Xes best, but George Aldrich liked the steel-fin 15 (glow plug straight up) because it would run in a classic 4-2-4 stunt run. Among more modern engines, a .10 is more than enough power for the Clown, or a Junior Streak (my favorite Class A sport plane). The only Fox 15 easily found at retail is Schneurle ported, and has enough power for the Super Clown.

My kid wants to build a 550 squares version of a Super Clown for an FP 40; I told him I thought a Veco Renegade that size would be more pure fun...
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« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2009, 10:17:33 PM »

I had a PDQ Clown decades ago. Ran it with a Fox .15 at first but that engine got moved to a Jr. Nobler after the Clown piled in and I needed a new airplane. The crumpled balsa heap was to much to resist not repairing but the only other "spare" engine I had was a Cub .074. Believe it or not... after lightening the dickens out of that thing it actually flew semi-decently with that .074. I was truly surprised. It still had the tank for the .15 on it so flights went on and on and on and on...

Saw comment that the wood in the Brodak Clown kit is bad? I guess that person never dealt with a PDQ kit. I swear that some of the stuff in that box was from an old Christmas tree. I'm thinking PDQ had trouble distinguishing between balsa and balsam. It's the only kit I've ever gotten a splinter from while sanding.

Good flying airplane once it's together though. Brings back some nice memories reading about the others here.
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« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2010, 08:48:43 PM »

Grin The Flying Clown has been kitted by Brodak as CLP25---this is a fast plane to assemble but you are dealing with lousy balsa, terrible cutting leaving crushed ends to most parts---I also found the balsa to be very brittle due to drying out. But with the debacle of Lone Star balsa going up in smoke last summer, they are back ordered from Brodak. I suggest get plans and make some stencils of the layout and build your own.

I have three almost ready to go for the season. The power I am using is one Norvel, one Fox .15BB and the other a (Novarossi), sh-h-h-h-h quiet Lips sealed. My club has a couple with the OS .18TX airplane conversions and Nova. .l5 Turbos---those will show 173+ laps in 7'30" and I imagine in the ~140 mph class ---not for beginners. Personally I think that the clown racers should evolve into something a little more racy in appearance like the Brits and Aussies T/R---but if that's what they fly, I'm there Roll Eyes

I may find, as I scroll downward here, that I will need an edit. Meanwhile, In the earliest 1950s, I was trying to fly at twin extremes. I'd acquired several spark ignition powered models, complete, for about five dollars for the lot, with lines, spare props, handles, some tools, the entire ball of wax. What I didn't have was anyone who knew about sparkies to assist, and I never knew at the time to reset the spark advance after the engines were running, so about a half lap is as much as I'd ever get.

The only glow engine I had at first was a Cub .099, and I built several Enterprise (remember those kits?) and Scientific kits for that OK Cub engine, but it was so weak on power that even the very largest piece of cardboard laid out on the grass to use for a runway, was just too small to get airborne from. Eventually, an ex-GI stopped at the vacant lot I was failing to get in the air at, and pulled out a Guillow's Trainer III, with a well-worn Torp 29 on it. It had huge, fat, Trexler air wheels on relatively long gear legs.

It was perfect to get started on, and I got one of my own, but had to buy a used engine. I had a paper route, but it was small, predating getting a larger bicycle route later. The 29 used too much fuel, and the props for it were more costly than the 099 props had been. I used Joe's parts patterns from a Super Clown to build one of those, and it was fun to fly (Joe Brown was the young adult who had time to share his hobby with some noobish little pre-adolescents).

I got involved in something else, probably sport-oriented, and the model hobby languished about a year or so, then I saw a K&B Torp 15 at the shop where Joe had gone to work (Jefferson Hobbies), and it was only about $10, which by then I could afford to buy, new. The Sterlin Ringmaster Jr was only $1.95, as I recall, and with wheels, glue, paint, it probably didn't total $20 to be ready to fly. It was a perfect size. It was big enough to handle a breeze, and it was small enough that the kinetic energy in crashes remained small, so it survived for several years.

It triggered a strongly resurgent hobby interest, and I began carrying groceries from the registers to the shoppers' cars at the supermarket, which because of the tips, was vastly more lucrative than delivering newspapers. Neither PDQ nor Sterling would replace the dies they used for stamping the parts shapes into balsa, and neither one bought decent grades of wood, but PDQ was very clearly the worst of all. I learned that the habit of the slightly older guys (through Joe Brown, I'd been introduced to a local club) was to buy a single kit to use for patterns, and then replace almost all of the wood with decent stuff.

If there was such a thing as a full size plan for a kit at the time, I never saw it. The Flying Clown was more heavily built than the Ringmaster Junior, and probably slightly larger in wing area. The K&B 15 was actually overkill for my own Ringmaster Jr, but was perfect for a Flying Clown. However, the greatly enhanced finances I was enjoying led me away from 15s (I also had a Cameron 15 by then, which was about as weak as the Cub .099 had been, but far more easy to get running).

PDQ's Circus King was $2.95, and the fullsize Ringmaster was $3.95 -- I went through several larger models and learned very fast that they were far more fragile when crashed than the smaller ones, and built both of those from patterns, not kits. I never liked the looks of the Ringmaster design, however. They were definitely easier to learn stunts with, because you hardly had to be concerned with wind at all, it seemed at the time.

That should be plenty for now, in this thread. I am surprised to hear that Brodak's kits were suffering the same trouble that PDQ's kits always did.
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