BuiltWithNOF

MIKE ROACH’S SOPWITH AVIATION COMPANY

Dakota, Chorus Gull, Stearman, Sealand, Rapide, Welkin, Lancaster.

TREVOR HEWSON

Tevor has a large number of models, all in perfect nick: Here comes the DC3 in to land, another kit/electric conversion with a very unusual scale colour scheme, of the aircraft that was owned by the RAE at Farnborough

The Chorus Gull is another RCME design - a semi scale Mew Gull - and stands out well from the crowd.  Those long UC legs make a tidy landing next to impossible...

An own-design scratch build next, the Stearman.

This appeared as a plan in Flying Scale Models, and can now be bought as a laser-cut short kit from the publishers

The Short Sealand was built in 2007 from an Ivan Pettigrew plan (and incidentally set a trend for design and construction which has yet to be bettered for medium sized, simple, light and very attractive model aircraft).  It started out with wheels fixed and down, but they were soon discarded and the model immediately looked far more at home in the air as well as on the water, as can be seen in the two similar photos below.

Christchurch Harbour is the perfect setting for model seaplane flying, late on a Summer evening with the sun just setting.  You can see some video of this flying session on Trevor’s home page.

The DH Rapide is another Ivan’s Plan and turned out to be a very complex build, not helped by a fully detailed interior, working landing light, passengers and full-body pilot all competing for space with the usual electronic and structural gubbins. But what a sight it is on the ground and in the air!

“Doors to manual and cross-checked please”

Aaahh, De Havilland!

This rarely-modelled (and either elegant or ugly, depending on where you are standing) aircraft is a Westland Welkin, to a Mike Roach design, but with Ivan’s retracts.  Trevor wanted a fighter design after all those passenger types, and this certainly whistles round the sky

BOB SMITH’S LANCASTER

We had a real treat at the end of May 2009, when Trevor gave Bob Smith’s Lancaster its maiden flight.  Conditions were pretty good, with a very light breeze from the NW straight down the long runway and giving a good approach over the river.

The Lanc is a B Mk1 of 108” span, for 4 electric motors designed by Joh Ranson and Trevor Stennard, for 4 x speed 600 race motors (more details needed), complete with very highly engineered retracts and opening bomb doors. All the wiring is in the bomb bay, which makes for a very neat installation and a clean fuselage top. The AUW of 14 lbs caused some concern, but the wing loading is much the same as Trevor’s Dakota.

Initial taxiing trials showed she was very light on her feet, and T had the tail up after only a few yards run.  As soon as the batteries were recharged it was off to the end of the runway and a very smooth take-off in only about 25 yards. The model crabbed quite a lot, but was controlled on rudders and did 3 large circuits before a very clean landing and taxi back to the pits, to a prolonged round of applause, both for the build and pilot.

You can see a couple of very short video clips on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =qISjUCb3ODc&feature=chann el_page

for the taxi test ,and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =9xJj0lm4sXM&feature=channel _page

for the take-off.

Bomb bay and retract gear in close-up

Clive on restraint duty during the range check.

...and big!  Bob carries his creation out to the flight line

I’m not convinced about the undersurface colour (I think it should be dull black) but she is a handsome aircraft...

Trevor and Bob after the taxi test

Bob, Trevor and Clive just before take-off

Four-engine aircraft are rare beasts at Howard’s: this one was a treat to watch and it was a privilege to be there.

Landing! The wires are a long way off, but the reference bush for the runway is on T’s left shoulder. He got the model down first time, on the short grass and rolled out to taxi back.

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