Robin Fowler’s elegant 83″ span Golden Era passenger biplane for two electric motors and 5-function R/C. This grande design by Robin Fowler reproduces the flavour of the 1930s. The 2 large plan sheets are highly detailed and include central flap detail and cutting templates, and plenty of detail. The model flies scale-like with two 400W brushless motors for power and 5-function R/C. Not recommended for beginners.
- Designer: Robin Fowler
- Wingspan: 86″ / 2.11 m
- Power Source: Two TowerPro 2915-5D 930 rpm
- Power Source: IC Propeller
- Radio Functions: 5
- Scale: 1:6
- Length: 63″ / 1.6 m
- Weight: 8 lb 4 oz / 3.7 kg
Model Concept and Design by Robin Fowler:- In the summer of 1935 the first example of the Dragonfly took to the air. At first glance, it was very similar to its predecessor, the Dragon Rapide, but it was a smaller machine with a monocoque plywood fuselage initially powered by two 130 hp engines. These were uprated to 145 hp in the DH90b. It was for its time an expensive but very efficient machine and the production run only lasted from 1936 to 1938 during which time 67 examples were built. Of these 15 were impressed into the RAF at the beginning of WWII and a further 8 into Commonwealth air forces. One of the main differences between this type and its predecessor was the moving of the fuel tanks from the nacelles immediately behind the engines to the thickened wing centre section. This resulted in only one being lost to fire, and the most common accident was a nasty ground loop, which would cause breakage of the outside undercarriage leg and consequent damage to the high aspect ratio slightly swept wing. Today only four examples survive with one of the only two airworthy, G-AEDU in this country (UK) owned by the Norman de Havilland aircraft trust, and the other ZK-AYR (ex G-AEDT) still carrying commercial passengers for air experience flights in NewZealand.
The Dragonfly to my mind is the most elegant culmination of the long line of biplanes built by de Havilland through the late twenties and thirties. The war saw the end of the biplane, although many pre-war built examples still fly, the Moth series being by far the most numerous. The Tiger Moth is probably the most modelled of these and ARTFs are available alongside kits from several companies. The Dragon Rapide can also be bought as a kit and when a friend told me he had just bought one such model I just happened to be thinking of a smaller model to build. Having seen some pictures of a Dragonfly and a Dragon Rapide flying together it seemed to me that a Dragonfly to the same scale as my friend’s Rapide was the obvious choice. We could fly the two together, and wouldn’t that make a pretty sight! Swiftly scaling up 3-view drawings it took me a very short time to notice that a scale biplane takes up a huge number of wing ribs and in the case of the Dragonfly’s tapered wing every one of them is different. I was going to be climbing the walls if I tried cutting out all those! The sandwich method is all very well but I can’t say it’s my favourite. I doubt very much if anybody would fancy tackling a sandwich of 136 ribs! Even in four separate packs! Well, would you?
I decided I would do something I had never done before; send away a drawing to get the ribs cut for me. So in hope that in a week or two the major hurdle of obtaining ready-cut wing ribs would be overcome I began as usual by building the midsection of the bottom wing.
What’s in a Laser or CNC Cut Wood Pack? – A CNC or laser cut wood pack contains most, if not all, of the intricately shaped parts shown on the plan, which would be difficult or time-consuming to cut out by hand. It does not contain any sheet or strip wood, which you will need to buy separately. Alternatively, you can purchase an Additional Wood Pack, if available. Our Laser or CNC Cut Wood Packs only contain balsa, ply and lite ply and do not include other materials that may be required to complete the model, such as hardwoods, metals and GRP sheets.