Friday, September 28, 2007

The story of an Acrobits -- Sinjun Weston

This story unfolded 27 years ago at the original NERF fly site in Midrand

It all started when my dad decided to build what looked like a very nice and stable biplane. The plan was originally seen in a UK based modeling magazine. I think it might have been Radio Modeler

In any case, the plan was purchased and we showed much excitement when it arrived by post. Hours were spent pouring over the technical drawing, which consisted of 2 sheets, one for the fuselage and one for the wings. Dad had built a few models in his time but I don't think he realized the complexity of this project. The plan was structurally fairly straight forward (if you build from a plan on a regular basis) but lacked any form of building booklet.
The modeler was left in the dark in such areas as choice of wood for the various components as well as useful tips for the construction of the model
I for one was new to the modeling scene, so was of little help

In any case, Dad proceeded to build "Acrobits".
The name by the way was from the designer who had if I remember correctly, had built several Biplanes, Crashed several Biplanes and found he had several Biplane components left over. So was born "Acrobits "

Well after some months of part time building, the basic fuselage was completed as well as two wings.
Covering was done in of all things, silk and then a layer or two of paint was sprayed over this (I'm not sure what dad was smoking, Solarfilm would have been just as good).
Acrobits was rolled off the bench with a Webra 60 upfront and I still remember thinking this model feels heavy. Well I did not want to upset my dad and the model did look good in yellow and red - didn't it!!

Dave Jenkins from Redleys (remember the Calton Center corner hookie) very kindly offered to test fly Acrobits (the poor Man) for us and so one winter's day found us at NERF with nerves slightly shot with the anticipated waiting.
After engine checks and radio checks were completed, Acrobits was sent down the runway at full throttle.
The picture of Acrobits lifting off, going into a steady climb, completing a full loop and a bone charring nose first smash into the concrete runway wont be forgotten in a long time
The CG, is that important ?? asked my dad. But its not shown on the plan !!


Well after some weeks of pondering over the wreckage and almost a kg of lead on the nose, Acrobits was ready again to "grace" the skies
This time all went well and although we were flying a kg of parasitic lead up front, the biplane flew fairly well but was a bit sluggish at the controls
(something about wing loading was mentioned... )

Some months after the maiden flight, again a sight I'll never forget.
While Acrobits was at an altitude of +- 200m, the top wing decided to part from the fuselage. The (bi)- plane rolled over onto its back and after exceeding VNE twice, completed a almost perfect pull out above terra firma

If only the donga had not got in the way .....

No comments:

Blog Archive

Total Pageviews


Web site terms and conditions

Copyright of material on all the pages of this site is vested in the SAMAA or the original authors. You may use the material in terms of the Creative Commons license for non-commercial purposes on the condition that you acknowledge its origin.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License

The views expressed on this web site, or on any directly or indirectly linked site, are not necessarily those of the SAMAA Committee, or the web editor. The information provided on this site is provided for recreational purposes only. The SAMAA and the authors of presented content assume no liability whatsoever on the use of information contained in this site. The information on this site is provided on an "as-is" basis, without warrantee of any kind. Links provided on this site will let you leave the SAMAA web site. The linked sites are not under the control of the SAMAA, and the SAMAA is not responsible for the contents of any linked site, or any link contained within a linked site, or updates to such sites.