No car? No problem. The author’s new Combat backpack (originally
designed for kiteboards) allows him to bike to the field with all of
the necessary gear for a day of flying.
propeller at 33,000-plus rpm in
the air. This is a quite favorable
power-to-weight ratio that I
think should allow it to keep up
with the Foras.
As shown in the photo, we
mounted the battery directly in
the foam leading edge (secured
with Velcro straps) and the ESC
was mounted where the muffler
trench used to be (after a few
minutes of careful work with
the Dremel tool).
With a 4S 850 mAh LiPo
battery, we achieved a takeoff
weight of 510 grams—finally
within the acceptable range for
an F2D model! Because this
model was exactly the type that
I normally fly, and the center
of gravity (CG) was positioned
in the same location, I had no
doubt that this model would turn and
burn with the best of them.
Then I tested it. The airplane felt
terrible. It made wide turns, and was
extremely inconsistent between inside
and outside loops. I tried adding tail
weight to bring the CG back and help it
turn tighter, but eventually the airplane
became totally unstable.
What a huge and mysterious
disappointment! How could this be?
In basically every respect, the model
is identical to my standard F2D setup.
I finally realized one key difference:
the electric motor is an outrunner. This
means that the entire body of the motor
rotates, along with the magnets.
As compared with the rotating mass
in a standard internal-combustion
engine (mostly the crankshaft), the
electric motor carried a huge angular
momentum that must have created large
gyroscopic forces that killed the model’s
performance. It’s an effect that I had
never expected to be so significant, but
it appeared to be rather devastating. At
least that’s my hypothesis.
To test it, I purchased an inrunner
motor with similar specifications to the
outrunner that I had used before. If I’m
right, the electric Combat model should
indeed be able to run with the pack
powered by this new motor.
Greg Wojtecki’s Bosta
In other news, during the World Air
Games in Dubai, I met Dan Kane, an
RC Pylon Racing pilot from Chicago
who has been building and flying electric
Combat models with Greg Wojtecki for
Greg first wrote to me nearly a year
ago about setting up an electric Combat
model of his own. He decided to go
retro and build an electric-powered
Bosta. As you can see from the photo,
from what I hear, it flies like
CL Combat History
Neil Simpson has initiated
a wonderful project of
compiling a written history
of CL Combat. He’s initially
targeting the early days,
roughly from 1950 to 1970.
The aim is to document the
roots of our sport—how it
got started, who participated,
who the leaders were, what
they were flying, and where
Neil compiled a list of CL
Combat Nats winners from
1950 to 1970. He intends
to chronicle the stories of all
of these past champions. He
emphasizes, however, that the project is
about everyone who flew in those days—
Nats winners and local fliers alike. This
is the origin of our community, and it’s
a great initiative to get it organized and
preserved for future generations.
Chapters will come out in periodic
installments, and will be posted publicly
on the Miniature Aircraft Combat
Association (MACA) Facebook page, in
MACA News, and on the New England
Control Line Combat page. Neil will
also distribute the chapters through
an email list. He recently posted the
first installment about the 1950-1952
Plymouth Internats, and it’s brilliant.
To make this project go, Neil needs
as much source material as possible,
so I urge any of you who flew Combat
back in the early days, or if you knew
any of the early pioneers, to contact
Neil, tell him your story, and share
whatever photos that you might have.
Neil’s contact information is listed in
FAI World Air Games Dubai 2015
New England Control Line Combat
MACA Facebook Group
120 Model Aviation MAY 2016
CONTROL LINE COMBAT