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Author Topic: Zoomer by Al Casano  (Read 756 times)
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« on: November 17, 2021, 02:41:20 AM »

Zoomer by Al Casano

Al  "Unique design and adjustments enable this snappy contest glider to make astounding flights."

  Just about says it all, Al Casano's Zoomer was published in Air Trails November, 1940.

   Which qualifies it to be flown in Society of Antique Modelers (SAM) competition. One of the earliest hand launched gliders to have poly dihedral, and it has quite a bit. Hence the tall fin, which looks unusual compared to modern designs.  SAM rules states that you have to follow the same outlines of the original glider not using any modern synthetic materials to strengthen the model, but you can vary the thicknesses of the materials, in this case Balsa wood.

   The plan, published in Air Trails had a differences between the written measurements  and the drawing that states that it is (full size). There is a 1 inch difference in the length of the tail moment. You wouldn't notice this unless you had a copy of the full size plan. The tail moment in the drawing is 1 inch shorter than the 6 1/2 inch measurement.

  While flying the Zoomer in our club starting in 2000, there was some discussion about which variation was legal. that turned into an argument  I tried to avoid. There were four of us flying The Zoomer in competition and one of the club members contacted Al Casano's son, who was still alive, asking if there was any of Al's pre-published drawings  of the Zoomer, where we could verify which variation was the original model. He actually received a response but there weren't any of his hobby materials left after his death regarding the Zoomer. I would like to think that the drawing was altered so that it would fit on the page in Air Trails.  Conclusion is you can build it with the longer or shorter tail moment, your choice.

  I would  like to thank Dave, aka, Ratz for taking my copy of the Zoomer plan, which was a copy of a multiple generations and was looking kind of ratty. He cleaned up the 4 parts of the drawing,  and stitched it together.  It looks quite amazing compared to what I sent him. The Zoomer plan is in the plan gallery (plans from magazines and books,  Air Trails magazine).

https://www.hippocketaeronautics.com/hpa_plans/details.php?image_id=12155

  You might ask, why build a hand launched glider that was published 60 years ago, other than a trip down memory lane. I find it interesting that most all the gliders that have been designed,  there doesn't seem to be one that flies noticeably better than any of the others. Once you have built a few, you get a handle on the wood densities and trimming methods that work for the particular design. It's a challenge to take a design and see how well I can make it fly. They all seem to thermal well enough if you get them into one.
  An easy glider to throw, even for the kids.
                                       Bob
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Zoomer by Al Casano
Zoomer by Al Casano
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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2021, 06:36:40 AM »

Starting off, selecting the wing balsa wood. For a hand launched glider with a high aspect ratio wing, the wing should be a little stiffer to keep from flexing on the launch.  6 1/2 (lb/ft³) should be stiff  and have sufficient mass for enough inertia  on the launch to reach a reasonable height. I'm going to have a little thicker High Point than on the zoomer plan, because that's how I initially made this glider and it worked well.

   I'm pre tapering the wing blank from the High Point to the trailing edge on the bandsaw. This is the first time I've tapered a wing blank for a 3 inch cord. So I laid out some lines on the balsa wood blank with sharpie marker and adjusted the angle on the bandsaw until I could see that the cut was at the 1 inch Mark for a 33% High Point  airfoil.

  The pre-tapered blank looks good, but I failed to remove the sticker from the balsa wood and the wing blank does look thinner were the sticker was. It won't matter because the wing tip will be tapered. Anyway.
                               Bob
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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2021, 02:48:00 PM »



  " SAM rules states that you have to follow the same outlines of the original glider not using any modern synthetic materials to strengthen the model, but you can vary the thicknesses of the materials, in this case Balsa wood."

 Guys, I can not find anything in the SAM rule book that says you can not use any modern synthetic materials to strengthen the model. Please enlighten me.
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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2021, 08:17:57 PM »


 Guys, I can not find anything in the SAM rule book that says you can not use any modern synthetic materials to strengthen the model. Please enlighten me.
You are right. There is nothing in the Sam rule book says that you cannot use any modern synthetic materials to strengthen the model.  I only made his statement because I was led to believe that it was a rule.      Doing a build of the Zoomer was a trip down memory lane for me, & just because I wanted to fly it again. The Denver chapter of SAM. #1 was disbanded years ago, and I don't plan on traveling anywhere to fly it in a contest.

  If you are really interested in finding out if synthetic materials are legal on SAM hand launch gliders, there is a email address down the bottom of the rulebook where you can find someone who can answer your question about synthetic materials.
     
   The goal of the Society of Antique Modelers was to be faithful to the design and the construction materials. They suggest before you start building a design that you have a copy of the original plan and article  to document that you were faithful to the model. The rules give some allowances in the use of modern materials for a dethermalizer system & body materials.

   Rules are rather vague in stating that models shall be in character of the original model.   When I was flying in a SAM. #1 contests, it was generally understood that carbon fiber is not allowed in hand launched gliders. And I suppose it's up to the discretion of the contest director, but only in the material of the body.

Maybe someone will comment who is more familiar with current interpretation of SAM rules.

  Section I – General Definitions and Competition Regulations
Applicable to Free Flight and Radio Control
  D. The construction of Old Timer models shall be in the character of the
original model.
  8. Hand Launched Gliders designed prior to 1951 are allowed. They
may be modified only in the following ways: adding finger grips,
adding dethermalizers if outlines remain unchanged, and changing the
body material and/or thickness if both the height and length remain
unchanged.

http://www.antiquemodeler.org/sam_new/rulebooks/Rulebook-Booklet-January%202020%20FINAL.pdf

   

   
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2021, 03:54:51 AM »

Accomplished a little more on the Zoomer. I used a airfoil sanding block for the leading edge and then glued on a 1/32 by 1/16 inch piece of Basswood around the leading edge with cyanoacrylate glue.

  Flatten the wing tips with a straight taper to the poly dihedral joint. To get the wing tips symmetrical. I set the wing on a piece of glass 1 1/4 inches from the edge. Using the glass as a guide with the sanding bar.

   Then shape the wing tips into an airfoil, kind of sort of. Final, unfinished weight 10.4 g

  One coat of sanding sealer and one coat of top lacquer brought the final wing weight to 11 g 6/10 of a gram of finish.

  I decided to reinforce the leading edges of the stabilizer and fin with 1/64" x 1/16" Basswood, and then taper them to the tips as shown on the plan.
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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2021, 08:18:37 PM »

It occurred to me that Paul Lagans Papanui Tavern glider. Is very similar to the zoomer wing.
I reread his article to see if he mentioned what weight fuselage wood he used. He doesn't. Although his glider is a 17 inch wingspan at 21 g
https://outerzone.co.uk/plan_details.asp?ID=12318
  After sketching out the outline of the fuselage on some straight grained 10.5 (lb/ft³) balsa wood, I decided to set the fuselage incidence up 0-0, being that the wing is 3/16 inch thick.
   
 The best way to do this would be to size the fuselage between glass with a sanding block. The radius in front and behind the wing were sanded in with sandpaper wrapped on dowels.
   The final taper behind the wing to the leading edge of the stabilizer was set up on the edge of a glass tabletop overhanging the bench, then sanded with a sanding block. I know this looks anal but it makes building more Zoomer fuselages exactly the same, easier. The measurements of the outline the fuselage is slightly over the specified measurements by 0.03 inch.
  I also taper the fuselage from behind the wing to the tail in thickness to 1/8 of an inch.
  I cut a slot into the nose at an angle to reinforce the front of the fuselage for 1/16 inch thick plywood to retain its shape when landing on asphalt. The glass is 3/32 of an inch thick, so cutting fuselage nose from each side gives a 1/16 inch thick slot.

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« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2021, 09:52:38 PM »

   The balsa rays in the airfoil looks like a salmon fillet.

 I made a new dihedral glue up jig for the Zoomer. The jig makes for real accurate gluing.

  Tumbling Pidgeon dethermalizer made with 1/64 inch thick birch plywood, aluminum reinforcement wraps around the center of the trailing edge of the wing to protect it from the dethermalizer line.

  The alignment jig for the gluing the wing to the fuselage are so easy to make its well worth while to get this joint accurately aligned. The more accurate you can assemble your glider the less trimming you need to do on the field.

  Getting everything straight & square to glue on the stabilizer.

 The tumbling Pidgeon pop-up wing joint was only partially cut through using the Master Airscrew balsa stripper before gluing on the 1/64 inch birch plywood cheeks . After the wing was mounted and the glue dry , just a few wiggles and it separated easily.

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« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2021, 10:17:05 PM »

All assembled 20.3 g. The center of gravity is supposed to be 65%, so I', m not too far off

  Quite a bit of dihedral, 3 1/2 inches under each wing tip.

  Tumbling Pidgeon DT, it still looks odd to me.

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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2021, 10:43:32 PM »

We had some calm weather this evening to spray on the Design Master Floral Spray.
.85 of a gram of color brings the weight to 21.15 g and balanced at 65% an additional .95 g
for a final weight of 22.1 g

  51.67 in.² in the wing makes the wing loading   .42 g/in.²

 Tumbling Pidgeon dethermalizer on a hand launched glider creates a problem with the finger rest mounted on the wing. That much pressure on  1/64 inch birch plywood cheeks might break the wing off the fuselage. I'm thinking of creating a slot in the fuselage for a 1/16 inch birch plywood finger launching rest, similar to what Glen Simpers did with his "Spirit of America hand launched glider"
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« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2021, 06:56:19 AM »

The finger rest made with 1/16 inch plywood turned out better than I expected. The lower position on the fuselage is more comfortable. Three small Dremel diamond discs equals 1/16 of an inch exactly.

  Sketched out the finger rest on the plywood, cut it out and glued in to the slot on the fuselage with cyanoacrylate.

   The wire rings that hold the rubber band for the pop up wing were made from .020 music wire and are slightly 
open sideways so you can release the rubber band but keeps the rubber band from coming out on its own.

   Aluminum pie pan for the shield of the burning fuses is easier to form than pop can material and it's flat. Angling out the 7/32 aluminum snuffer tube makes it easier to insert the fuse.

  A cheap torch cigarette lighter makes it a lot easier to light the fuse even in windy weather, and they light every time.

  The Zoomer with the DT weighs 23 g for a wing loading of .44 g/in.².    The dethermalizer system added  approximately 1.5 g. Most of the additional weight was at the nose and  for balance anyway.
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« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2021, 10:01:19 AM »

Bob:
Nicely done ... as always.

Think you'll fly her soon?

Best-
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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2021, 03:05:57 AM »

Thanks Dave,

  It looks like my next window of opportunity will be this coming weekend, weatherwise.

   It's been a while since I've thrown a hand launched glider,  I'll have to practice the running throw steps to get back into stride, so I don't fall flat on my face.
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« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2021, 01:31:03 PM »

The javelin launch footwork in the previous sketch didn't look quite right. Watching a YouTube video makes it  more fluid and easier to understand than looking at four sketches.

   Follow through with the finger snap on the gliders finger rest.

How to throw the javelin with Thomas Röhler.
In step 4, Thomas explains, keeping the elbow up to prevent injuries.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ro_65dDQHI&ab_channel=WandaDiamondLeague
Thomas Rohler 93.90m Video Analysis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXggGWGVdv8&ab_channel=ThrowsCoach
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« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2021, 04:13:57 AM »

 Al Casano states, "this glider was the result of many experiments"

After doing preliminary trimming with the  Zoomer, I've discovered that my glider is extremely nose heavy with a fuse DT mounted on aluminum pie plate material.   
   The 4 1/2 inch length of nose was probably that long, so no additional nose weight would be required. I reduced the amount of snuffer tube and change the pie plate material to heavy aluminum foil to protect the nose from the smoldering fuse.

  The 0-0 bench setting  isn't enough incidence. I've increased the bench setting to about 1/32 of an inch in 4 inches . I will have to wait for the next decent weather day to do more trimming.
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« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2021, 01:00:14 PM »


Interesting to note.

What's the forecast looking like?   Smiley

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« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2021, 11:10:05 PM »

I'm finding that this particular glider is requiring more decalage, and after rechecking the Zoomer drawing on the drafting board. I see that at Al has shown that there is decalage built into the wing mount area. It's hard to tell exactly how much since the ink lines are 1/32 inch wide on the drawing.

   I'm having trouble getting the Zoomer over the top in a good transition, has a tendency to do a figure 1.    I increase the decalage again after coming back from the Lowry park.

  Last week while waiting for good weather, I decided to cut up some more of the good balsa wood 6.37 (lb/ft³). for Zoomer catapult launched glider wings, 3/16 inch thick 3 inch cord, tapered to 5/32 inch thick High Point. 33%

   For those of you who are cutting tapered wing blanks, the angle setting might be of interest to you. I haven't been paying much attention to the tension gauge on the bandsaw, but I happened to notice  the setting shows that the tension is fairly low, set at what is required for a 3/8 wide blade and the blade that I'm using is a 1/2 inch wide blade.The bottom of the spring is the red tension indicator.
                                              Bob
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« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2021, 12:37:39 AM »

Zoomer catapult launched glider. I will post this here just to do some comparisons between the hand launched and catapult launched version.

  The hand launch wing version .187" thick High Point weight 10.4 g before .6 g of finish totaling 11 g. The catapult wing version .160" thick High Point weighed 8.4 g before .7 g of finish totaling 9.1 g.

  After marking the dihedral joint's, cutting the wing in half & taping the two wings together. I noticed that something was wrong with my layout lines and the center dihedral cut wasn't exactly half of the wing. I'm blaming it on an old drafting triangle that I should've thrown away. The solution was to lay  the wing's out on my dihedral jig that I know is a 90° angle to the trailing edge and make the wings the same size. This left me thinking that my poly dihedral joint's weren't marked right. The thought occurred to me that I could cut through the Basswood leading edge at the poly dihedral joint, unfold the wings on a cut mat, place pins in the  saw notch, place a ruler up next to the straight pins and make my poly dihedral cuts. This method is probably the most accurate way to make 90° cuts to the trailing edge. I've never seen anybody describe or show this method of making poly dihedral cuts accurately. So I'm claiming credit for it . I'll be laying out my poly dihedral cuts from now on using this method. I don't see why it wouldn't work for elliptical wings also with the center dihedral cuts against a straightedge. It would also make it easier to lay toe out washout angles more accurately, being equal on each wing. Even Al makes a comment on the plan  "poor alignment will ruin any good performance characteristics".
                               Bob
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« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2021, 02:32:26 AM »

It's been a while, I sorta lost track of where I was posting the build of this Zoomer with the 5/32 inch thick wing. Now that the comstupider is back up to speed, I can resize some of these photos.

  While at the artists supply store, picking up some new 30-60° drafting triangles, I had to check out the balsa rack. Not as much balsa stock as they usually have but one 1/4" by 3 " sheet that weighed  33 g 4.6 (lb/ft³)  Some good balsa out there, keep looking.

It snowed the first time this season last week, 4 Zoomer's, but too cold to color them outside. I've been spraying the sanding sealer on the gliders underneath the window exhaust fan, but I'm not going to risk using colored paint in the model room.

   The last Zoomer was modified using Keith Varnau's 1/3 - 2/3 theory of glider model design.

"The one-third, two third theory of model design is based on the size of the wing you choose to build. The stab span is 1/3 of the wingspan. The stab cord is 2/3 of the wing chord. The nose is 1/2 inch to 1 inch longer than the wing chord. The moment arm distance is one half of the wingspan. The rudder height is 1/4 of the stab span.     The longer the moment arm, the less the stab and rudder can be."

   Keith Narnau doesn't say how to figure the dihedral, so I'm going to make my own guess of it being, the tail moment arm, plus the rudder height, divided by 4, would be the height under each wing tip. If you're going to use a longer moment arm and reduce the stab and rudder, use the original measurements for the dihedral.

   Using Keith's formula. The stabilizer span was reduced from 8 inches to 6 inches.
   The dihedral was reduced from 3 1/2"to 2 3/4"   using 20° for the center dihedral and Polly dihedral joint's. Using Keith's formula.
          It should be 2 5/8 inches.
  The fin height was reduced from 2 7/8 "to 2 inches. Keith's formula would be 1 1/2 inches high. I thought this would be too short for the amount of dihedral.
  The tail moment was increased from 7 1/2" to 9 inches.

It should be interesting to see how this modified Zoomer flies compared to the original design.
                     Bob
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« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2021, 01:30:26 PM »

Bob:
The longer tail moment looks much more appropriate. I'm betting the flying qualities will be improved.

Also, thanks for sharing the 1/3 - 2/3 drawing. That's kind of neat(!).

Best-
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« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2021, 06:10:29 AM »

I've been anxious to fly the catapult Zoomer's & Friday morning, there was hardly any wind, but still cold. At 10 AM. It finally warmed up to 40° and still sunny. Test gliding Zoomer #2  it needed some  inside wing tip weight for the turn. It launches as expected with a 70° angle and banked about 45° for a good transition & removing all of the nose weight and adding a little bit of tail weight has a floating glide. The center of gravity is 2 1/4 inches back at 75%. It's real stable with that 8 inch stabilizer span. The flying weight is 16.2 g without paint.

   Flying the Zoomer #4 next. The 9 inch long tail moment arm and smaller stabilizer let this zoomer launch almost vertical. Remove some nose weight to get it to transition and glide better and some wingtip weight for a better turn circle. I used wing tip skew for washout on this glider and I can't tell if it makes any difference. It weighs 18.3 g now without paint.

   Onto Zoomer #3. This one flew as they say off the bench but not quite enough stabilizer tilt for the turn & it was getting a little more windy and ended up in a tree. I was finally able to retrieve it with the slingshot and kite string, but the fin was already broken and coming off and the stabilizer was  beyond repair so now Zoomer #3 has a 6 1/2 inch stabilizer span, and the fin is 2 3/16 inches high. It now weighs 17.6 g without paint.

   The longest flight was 70 seconds with the lightest glider, Zoomer #2.  Most of the flights averaged about 45 seconds. I hope to have some more warm weather to fly this winter, before we typically have decent weather in May.

   The last two thumbnails are of the layout lines and cutting the washout skew on the last Zoomer #4, while the wing halves are taped together. Cutting through the Basswood leading edge with a Zona saw and then making the cuts, assures the skew angles are  accurate and identical. Much better than trying to measure the layout lines, while the wings are apart.

  As Al Casano says "Poor alignment will ruin any good performance characteristics."
                                            Bob
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« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2021, 12:05:46 PM »

   Decent flying weather still holding up Sunday, a little breezy in the morning, but from noon until 3 PM flying conditions were next to perfect. We had a high temperature of 62° and thermals were coming off of a parking lot from the North to the South across the park.

    I flew the three catapult launched gliders. The first two with the larger, stabilizers were getting average times of 45 seconds. I started flying the longer tail moment glider, #4, when the weather was warming up and had two extended flights of 76 seconds, & 83 seconds. Then on the last flight of a 3 minutes 23 second flight in a  thermal that flew all the way across the Park to the south but hit a concrete walkway over the creek at the top metal rail, breaking the glider's wing off on impact.

   The cyanoacrylate glue held up pulling the wood fibers off the wing, I'm assuming because the wing was lighter density balsa wood. It was a easy repair using the glue up jig.

    The 1/32nd plywood nose insert keeps the launch hook from pulling out and also reinforces the nose from unintended impacts. It works great.

     I hope you all are having as much fun as I am. My local Park is 3 miles away, and takes me 7 minutes to get there. Catapult launched gliders are perfect for small flying sites. Start building those gliders!

     I had one man who was flying a drone who was interested in the catapult launched gliders. I explained to Jeff how they were trimmed to fly, and showed him how to launch it. Jeff was amazed that it flew by itself. I gave Jeff our club business card and a 12 inch wingspan  Stinger glider so Jeff could fly it with his son. I know they'll have fun and I hope they get involved in the club.
                                                        Bob
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