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The Big Ship

£12.50

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First Appeared in:  RCM&E Magazine January 2009 Model type: Vintage R/C Designed by: Dick Schumacher / Peter Miller Wingspan: 58” Wing area: 609 sq. in. All-up weight: 4 lbs 7oz Wing loading: 17 oz / sq. ft. Fuselage length: 46” Power: .15 – .25cu. in. two-stroke .20 – .30cu. in. four-stroke Functions (servos): Rudder (1); elevator (1); throttle (1)
The Big Ship After a long spell designing and building sports, aerobatic and scale models, I was feeling the need for something more relaxing to fl y, something that I could enjoy cruising around, making low passes and performing the odd touch-and-go. Looking at the SC .30 four-stroke around which I planned to build this new model, I realised that what I really wanted was something just like a larger version of Dick TIME HONOURED The Little Ship is one of the many designs from the drawing board of legendary aeromodeller, Dick Schumacher. With a wingspan of just 44”, it was designed for a .074 engine and Otarion radio, which operated a ‘ruddervator’ – a rotating, angled vane behind the tail that could be stopped in any of four positions to give either right rudder, down elevator, left rudder, or up elevator. Back in the 1980s, I revisited Dick’s design – which was published in the January 1951 issue of Model Airplane News – and drew up a set of plans for a Little Ship of my own. The .074 engine was replaced with a worn out McCoy .098 and the model was fitted with two standard servos. Test flights proved that she flew perfectly, so I swapped the McCoy for an O.S. 10FSR, which gave the model an impressive turn of speed, and also allowed me to fly rudder / elevator rolls. That Little Ship really started something: everyone at my club built one. They were powered by an assortment of engines in the 1.5cc range, and covered in film or Solartex; the fact that you could fit three standard servos abreast made radio installation easy, too. Those little models flew and flew, indeed they could be flown in the wind, they found thermals, and they could be slalomed around trees and hedges. One member flew his Little Ship every weekend for six years until its fuel soakage finally forced it into retirement. We even have an electric-powered version flying on a regular basis. IDEAL CAMERA PLATFORM? The Little Ship has an unusual wing section. The maximum thickness occurs well back from the leading edge, whilst the bottom is fl at right up to the leading edge. The profi le works well, though – so well, in fact, that I used a scaled-up version of the Little Ship wing for my latest camera plane. Using this wing section and taking into account the Big Ship’s handling characteristics, I’d say this model would make an ideal platform for the FlyCamOne.

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