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Author Topic: R. Cooney's California Champ Wakefield  (Read 366 times)
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DerekMc
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« on: June 17, 2019, 07:06:57 PM »

A few years ago Ralph C. gave me his California Champ Vintage Wakefield.  He had grown frustrated with it and hoped that I would get it sorted. Cracked me up. Ralph is an amazing builder and flyer so what chance would I have to sort the beast out?  It sat in the model box all this time. I'm is the middle of a major house reorganization due to a water damage rebuild that is happening right now.  I ran into the plane and as a diversion decided to take a close look at it.  

A bit of web research led me to an article in the October 1976 Model Builder with a plan for the plane. I don't know if this is the one that Ralph used. An interesting feature is the large amount of anhedral in the stab.

https://i.imgur.com/3qbGKdQ.jpg

The CA Champ was designed by Tom Englemen and built an flown by Bob Baker. It was published in the September 1940 Air Trails magazine.

https://i.imgur.com/DE3uVAA.jpg

Ralphs version:

https://i.imgur.com/zo27UUU.jpg

Ralph did an incredible job. It's covered with silk. Power is 34 strands of 1/8 rubber about 1" longer than the motor peg to front length.
R. Cooney's California Champ Wakefield
R. Cooney's California Champ Wakefield
R. Cooney's California Champ Wakefield
« Last Edit: June 17, 2019, 07:35:09 PM by DerekMc » Logged

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Derek
DerekMc
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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2019, 07:21:48 PM »

A few more detail pictures:

The wheel in flight position-

https://i.imgur.com/haKyeCv.jpg

Wheel extended in ROG launch position-

https://i.imgur.com/LVG7CCs.jpg

An interesting feature on this plane is the spring loaded nose block. It's held flush to the fuselage by the tension of the wound motor-

https://i.imgur.com/vMoHw7E.jpg

As the motor unwinds a spring pushes the corner of the nose block out to add more right thrust-

https://i.imgur.com/Yh1u22A.jpg

I wonder if the original had this?  I don't see anything about it on the MB plan.

R. Cooney's California Champ Wakefield
R. Cooney's California Champ Wakefield
R. Cooney's California Champ Wakefield
R. Cooney's California Champ Wakefield
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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2019, 07:27:14 PM »

I did notice a nice warp in the wing which has to be corrected before any flight attempts.  As mentioned it's covered with silk.  Does the old heat and humidity trick work with silk covered surfaces?
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2019, 01:33:50 AM »

Lovely.  I like it.
A twist in front of a heater should fix it, but it may creep back. Just keep trying.
Over 20 years ago now at a Nationals we had a competition for L/2 over a 100 Wakefields from way back, and one of those won it from a lot of models built for that comp. (Are you watching Piet?)
I have that plan in Model Builder but chose to build/use my KK Gypsy and Lim Joon in the event.
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2019, 05:14:23 AM »

What a neat build! Covered in silk - that's a challenge! It should provide a lot of good flying Derek.

John
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2019, 11:18:14 AM »

What was Ralph struggling with Derek?? Have your run the numbers for CG location (a common cause of problems). Is the model set up for right left or right right??


B
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DerekMc
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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2019, 11:39:16 AM »

What was Ralph struggling with Derek?? Have your run the numbers for CG location (a common cause of problems). Is the model set up for right left or right right??


B

Good questions Bernard. I didn't see any of the flights. He gave it to me at the end of the weekend so there wasn't any time for discussion. It's lived in storage ever since. I'll shoot Ralph an email and see what he remembers.  I remember Bruce H. saying something about lack of power. As noted it has a large motor so power shouldn't be an issue. CG is a good place to start.

Email sent. Hopefully it's the correct address!
« Last Edit: June 18, 2019, 11:59:06 AM by DerekMc » Logged

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Derek
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« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2019, 12:19:18 PM »

34 Strands of 1/8" per your first post sounds like it would be over powered.
I have a '37 (or something) Fillon wake, retracting undercarriage and all, that uses 14 strands of 1/4" (i.e. about 28 strands of 1/8") and I think with modern rubber I could reduce the cross section of the motor a bit.

Interesting model, Derek, I look forward to seeing it.

John
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« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2019, 01:00:55 PM »

Agree with John. That is a LOT of power. I would go for something more moderate like 24 strands of 1/8th (hell I use about 26-28 strands in a modern F1B) so 24 should be plenty for an OT job. Fully wound it should go up fast and have a decently long motor run.

B

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DerekMc
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« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2019, 01:07:26 PM »

Yes, it is a huge amount of power. I was surprised when I pulled the motor out of it.  I will weigh the plane when I get home. I'm sure the full silk covering adds quite a bit of weight compared to tissue.
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Derek
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« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2019, 12:11:50 PM »

Hi Derek,

Beautifully built Mr. Cooney. My dad had one too! Now with my brother. Besides that I don't know much about it except dad's does NOT have the auto-noseblock nor is that on the plan he built from. Nosewheel + spat is identical. The high strand-count was back in the day of 100g. or more on the motor, although the motor is probably not that long. I'd agree on about 80 grams, but it would probably have to be 28 strands to keep it from being overly long. BUT you would get about a 1.25 min. prop run. Unlike later Wakes I think the prop is only about 16" so would spin up pretty fast. Watch for a pretty severe left torque roll at high turns. You already know how to trim, give it a toss with the CG at 60%. Old Timer folders usually run about 60 - 70% for CG with as-designed incidence.

Go for it,

Bill
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DerekMc
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« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2019, 03:17:42 PM »

Thanks Bill.  It's on the list of planes to get ready for August.
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