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Author Topic: Lost & Found  (Read 698 times)
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THB
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« on: June 03, 2019, 08:11:26 AM »

In the late 70s I was collecting copies of Model Builder and was building Peanut Scale models from the centrefolds in my spare time. Mostly models designed by Walt Mooney like the Avro 534 Baby, Miles Sparrowhawk etc. They flew TERRIBLY. So out of frustration I eventually wrote to Walt Mooney and asked him what I was doing wrong...

I was very surprised one day to get a reply from Mr Mooney with some advice that I took on board straight away. His letter was written on the back of a plan for his Found Centennial 100 with which he had just won that year's Flightmasters competition. I built the model myself and immediately went from 10 second flights up to 60 sec plus duration. And that was just on the parkland reserve next to my parent's house. I spent many happy hours there after school learning to trim and fly the Found and other similar aircraft.

I've moved house many times since then and thought that I'd lost that letter, until a week ago when I 'Found' it again. So I thought it was time I made another one.

  
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Tim
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THB
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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2019, 08:26:03 AM »

"Your times aren't too bad - news, even as reported in model magazines generally is the exception to the rule, rather than the commonplace occurrence," he says in the letter.

"One contestant (usually Mather) does 60-90secs"

"One contestant (usually Col ____) does 6 minutes with a 1 gram ghost ship which gets 8 scale points out of 85."

"10 contestants get 25-40 seconds"

"5 contestants get 10-20 seconds"

"and 5 contestants do less. It takes almost a second for a model to dive 4 feet."

"My best time indoor with this model is 58 seconds. Outdoors it has flown ten consecutive flights of over 60 seconds. It weighs 12 grams with rubber. Rubber motor is a loop of 3/32 - 18 inches long (36 inches of strip)."
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Tim
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THB
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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2019, 08:31:09 AM »

OK - so there is the benchmark, rubber stats and model weight to aim for.

And here is a colour scheme 'found' online.
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Tim
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dputt7
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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2019, 09:31:27 AM »

Nice Find err Found!
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Snaky Stringer
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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2019, 10:27:07 AM »

Good story. You could tell from Walt Mooney's articles that he was a good guy, but it's nice to see it confirmed. How he found time to design and fly all those models is a mystery. He had a full-time job as well, I believe.
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Indoorflyer
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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2019, 01:10:50 PM »

That's a different model Found.  WM did a version of the FBA-2A, could be built with gear or floats.
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FLYACE1946
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« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2019, 01:36:59 PM »

Thanks for the Found Idea. Now I have to search thru my collection. Sure would like a minute plus peanut.
In the late 70s I was collecting copies of Model Builder and was building Peanut Scale models from the centrefolds in my spare time. Mostly models designed by Walt Mooney like the Avro 534 Baby, Miles Sparrowhawk etc. They flew TERRIBLY. So out of frustration I eventually wrote to Walt Mooney and asked him what I was doing wrong...

I was very surprised one day to get a reply from Mr Mooney with some advice that I took on board straight away. His letter was written on the back of a plan for his Found Centennial 100 with which he had just won that year's Flightmasters competition. I built the model myself and immediately went from 10 second flights up to 60 sec plus duration. And that was just on the parkland reserve next to my parent's house. I spent many happy hours there after school learning to trim and fly the Found and other similar aircraft.

I've moved house many times since then and thought that I'd lost that letter, until a week ago when I 'Found' it again. So I thought it was time I made another one.

  
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Tiger Tim
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« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2019, 11:16:47 AM »

He had a full-time job as well, I believe.
IIRC as an engineer with Convair.  He was also involved with a couple of full-scale homebuilt designs and maybe the Rohr 2-175.
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lincoln
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« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2019, 09:03:39 PM »

One of the aircraft was called Honey Bee. Wikipedia says it was even certified. As I recall, there is a Mooney peanut plan for it.

I think, with today's FAI rubber, light wood, and a good prop, 90 seconds may be possible.
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DHnut
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« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2019, 10:40:05 PM »

I wrote to Walt requesting information on the Honey Bee and recieved a very fullsome reply together with colour details and information on the aircraft. Aside from his role at Convair I think he also taught at UCLA but may be mistaken. What I enjoyed about his Model Builder articles was the honesty of his comment on the trimming of the peanuts.
Ricky
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gossie
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« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2019, 01:12:13 AM »

Walt Mooney's Honey Bee is a 1950s Aeromodeller plan.
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THB
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« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2019, 05:31:40 AM »

Always wanted to build the Honey Bee - great orange/brown 70s colour striping. Maybe next build.

I'd be really interested to hear about builder's early experience building Mooney plans. I built a LOT of them with mixed results - but remember them all with fond memories.

I promise I will start cutting wood and making a Found at some point, but thought I'd add a bit more from my 'Found' letter:

"Most of my models weigh between 18 and 22 grams and average about 40 seconds. I try to design Peanuts that can be built by clever/sharp? 10-year-olds. Thus I usually make them relatively heavy," says Walt.

"They are all fun for me - as my neighbors (who are used to seeing a 52 year old man climbing his eucalyptus tree at 10pm to retrieve a test flight) can testify."

"The Found Centennial took first at the last Flightmasters contest in Los Angeles. (Of course Mather wasn't flying that day.) Sincerely Walt."

I bet Walt is not the only one who does test flights at 10pm...
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Tim
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Prosper
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« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2019, 05:41:15 AM »

A lovely thread Tim. I'm following.

Stephen.
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Pete Fardell
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« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2019, 06:58:38 AM »

The May '89 Aeromodeller has this larger rubber plan for a Found Centennial too. It's by Rob Presnell and is on Outerzone as well. I've been tempted as it looks like a surefire brilliant flyer, but I'd worry about turning up with it to a scale contest and having to convince people it wasn't really just a non-scale cabin job!

Walt Mooney, along with Bill Hannan, must surely be the most inspirational figures to all of us who got lured into scale aeromodelling via the peanut route. I've always fancied doing the Mooney Avro Baby too, and the Sparrowhawk (both of which were published in Aeromodeller here as well as in the US Model Builder).
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THB
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« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2019, 07:03:46 AM »

Thanks Pete - the Mooney Avro Baby is a great design. I was 17 when I built mine and it weighed a ton... I will build another one!
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Tim
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lincoln
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« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2019, 09:24:08 AM »

I would guess that in France, a lot of people were drawn into peanut scale by the prolific work of Emmanuelle Fillon. Lots of planes that aren't well known on this side of the pond.

Then there's Lubomir Koutny, who I think is Czech. (My [email protected]$-#&! phone wants to change that to My Homie!)

So MANY plans!
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Indoorflyer
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« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2019, 10:27:51 AM »

Never cared for the cranked outer wing panels on WM's Found models; others copied that feature as well.  Volare Products has a really nice short kit for a Found peanut that is "correct."
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Knightflyer
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« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2019, 12:25:29 AM »

"One contestant (usually Col ____) does 6 minutes with a 1 gram ghost ship which gets 8 scale points out of 85."


That's gonna have me chuckling the rest of the night.
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lincoln
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« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2019, 02:14:21 AM »

Walt Mooney's Honey Bee is a 1950s Aeromodeller plan.

There is also a peanut plan from 1983. And the full scale, of course.
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DavidJP
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« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2019, 03:22:02 AM »

Nice topic - I like Mooney plans - they fly well!
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OZPAF
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« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2019, 06:02:25 AM »

It will be interesting to see how your lost Found turns out Tim. I like the comment that it almost a second for a model to dive 4 feet. There is hope for me yet. If I build lighter than perhaps it'll make 2 secs!

John
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THB
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« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2019, 06:07:41 AM »

I promise I will get back to this.

As explanation for delay - I've just changed my signature tag line:

"Life is what happens while you're busy making other planes."   (John Lennon-style)
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Tim
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FLYACE1946
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« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2019, 05:06:23 PM »

THB that line also is stated in the movie" Mr Hollands Opus". How true it is,
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Knightflyer
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« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2019, 05:20:51 PM »

This was nice as it puts some things into perspective. I had a peanut that was getting flights of about 30 seconds (I think) back in the 80's. Unfortunately, there were other Jr's pushing 40 seconds, with better scale points. But for a kid that was building from plans with little guidance, I guess I was doing pretty good!

I remember that it was high wing with tricycle gear, and Heavy. But it flew okay.
KF
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FLYACE1946
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« Reply #24 on: July 22, 2019, 06:47:01 PM »

If you want a suggestion let me suggest the Contester that Duke Horn designed. Nice flyer . The plan is on the Flying Aces Club site.  Looks good for a nice follow on model.
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