Bill Bradley and Manzano Laser Works
bring us a WW II Japanese Val kit
Ihave had the privilege in past columns to present the work of Bill Bradley. Although our last names
are the same, we are not directly
related. Bill does some nice small-field-compatible scale model designs.
His latest effort is the World War
II Japanese Aichi D3A Val torpedo
bomber. Sporting a 36-inch wingspan
and a flying weight of 28 ounces, it is
perfect for small fields.
Bill’s Val is covered with Polyspan
and the color is satin latex paint. Bill
noted that not all Vals were silver or
dark green. During the summer of
1941, some Type 99 Vals were painted
light gray, which is the color scheme
that Bill chose for his model. The
graphics were made using ink-jet-printed clear decal paper.
For power, Bill is using a Turnigy
C3530-1700 motor turning a
Master Airscrew 8 x 3 three-blade propeller. He noted
that this is more power than
necessary, but what the heck. If
decent power is good, then a lot
must be great!
The fuselage is planked with
1/16-inch balsa. The landing gear
legs are plug-in modules. This
allows them to be knocked off
on hard landings to help prevent
damage to the model.
Another nice feature of the
aircraft is the way the plastic
cowl is mounted. Rather than
using rare earth magnets to hold
the cowl in place, Bill set up the cowl
to be a twist-on, twist-off mount. This
arrangement uses three #8 pan-head
Bill reported that the model flies
nicely. He has teamed up with
Manzano Laser Works to make kits
for his Val. It is available to anyone
interested in building one. The kits
Left: The Val kit
includes Park Flyer
plastic parts such as
Keith “Sparky” Sparks of Park Flyer
Plastics. See the “Sources” listing for
Manzano Laser Works.
Transitioning to Ailerons
How often have you ever wanted
a relatively simple model that is
not quite micro size, but is still on
the small side of the small-field
model spectrum? You know—a nice,
that can be
flown in a tight
If you have an interest in such a
model, I have one for you to consider.
This one comes from Bob Aberle and
is called the Transition 75. As the
name suggests, it has a 75-square-inch
wing area and is intended to introduce
people who are accustomed to flying
rudder and elevator control models to
airplanes that include ailerons.
Bob designed this model using
Bill Bradley’s latest small-field Scale model
design is the WW II Japanese Val.
97 Model Aviation APRIL 2014