is where the Vampire does well. Many
of the characteristics of the full-scale
aircraft carry over to the model.
I like to read flight reviews of the full-scale aircraft prior to flying the model
so I know what to expect and how to
simulate full-scale flight.
My Vampire is powered by a Jet
Central Rabbit producing 22 pounds
of thrust. It has an empty weight of
33 pounds and weighs approximately
39 pounds when loaded with fuel.
The model’s power-to-weight ratio is
comparable to the full-scale aircraft’s
power-to-weight ratio. This requires you
to fly the model on the wing similar to
how the full-scale aircraft is flown.
Takeoff commences with half flaps,
pulling plenty of elevator. By transferring
the weight to the main gear, the model
tends to hold a straighter line down the
runway. Too much weight on the nose
gear results in erratic steering.
The second reason is that there is
nothing prettier than hitting that right
point when you raise the nose gear off
the ground. Relax
the elevator slightly
to hold the nose
gear 1 to 2 inches
off the ground,
rolling along for a
couple of feet, until
the aircraft lifts off.
Once clear of
the ground, it is
easy to maintain
a gentle climbout.
doesn’t have the big power of modern
fighters, so a gentle climb is correct.
Quickly pull the landing gear up to aide
in acceleration and climb. When the
airspeed is up and the climb established,
begin milking off the flaps.
Using the servo slow feature of my
JR12X, I can set the timing to take
nearly three seconds to retract the flaps.
This allows the flaps to be retracted
without that big bobble, because the
aircraft has to increase the angle of attack
to maintain lift as the flaps retract. It’s all
part of duplicating the look of the full-scale Vampire flight.
In the air and cleaned up, the Vampire
accelerates well, hitting roughly 130
mph at top speed and full throttle. At
1/5 scale, that would equate 650 mph for
the full-scale aircraft. That’s too fast, but
you don’t cruise around at full throttle
with Scale models. Most of my flying is
done at 50% throttle, which is plenty
of speed to fly comfortably, yet look
good. I carry more throttle and speed for
The Vampire has enough drag devices, with four flaps and air brakes,
that it is necessary to carry plenty of power on final approach to
landing, allowing the throttle to accurately control the approach angle.