Jack Murphy placed first in F1Q Electric in the America’s Cup, flying his
Super Pearl that was converted to a high-thrustline aircraft. See the
column for more information.
The jig for making thick top and bottom rudder ribs utilizes 1/8-inch
plywood patterns glued to the base. Pins locate roughed-out parts over
the patterns and the sanding block with a rub strip follows the pattern
for final shaping.
America’s Cup: A
by Louis Joyner
Developed to encourage competition in FAI Free Flight (FF) events, the America’s Cup uses scores from ultiple contests throughout the US and Canada to
determine placings in eight events.
The winners in 2015 included Jama Dainer in F1A Towline
Glider, Greg Simon in F1B Wakefield Rubber, and Faust Parker
with wins in both F1C and F1J Power. Tiffaney O’Dell won
F1G Coupe Rubber, Mike McKeever topped F1H Towline
Glider, Jack Murphy won F1Q Electric, and Peter Brocks was
first in F1E Slope Glider.
Top Juniors included Alex Stalick (F1A), Sevak Malkhasyan
(F1B), Kyle Gerspacher (F1G), and Joel Yuri (F1E). A busy
Cade Fedor was the high-scoring Junior in F1P, F1J, and F1E.
Complete America’s Cup rules, and a list of America’s Cup
contests, can be found on the National Free Flight Society
(NFFS) website. F1S, the FAI version of the popular E- 36
Electric AMA event, has been added as a provisional America’s
Cup event for 2016.
Jack Murphy’s F1Q
The F1Q model is a scaled-down version of Don DeLoach’s
Super Pearl 542 A/B Gas model. In addition to reducing the
wing area to 450 square inches, Jack moved the motor up
the pylon, creating a high-thrust layout. For F1Q, Jack uses a
Scorpion 2212 1,850 Kv motor with a Thunder Power 325
mAh two-cell LiPo battery.
Jack switches to a Scorpion 2215 1,810 Kv motor with
three cells and flies the model in both A and B Electric.
Accurately Producing Thick Parts
Cutting ribs and other parts from thin sheet balsa is quick
and easy using a sharp modeling knife and a plywood template.
But for thick parts—1/8 inch or thicker—other techniques are
required for accurate cutting and square edges.
A jigsaw or band saw can be used to rough-cut the parts,
followed by a belt or disc sander for final shaping. Another
method uses a table-mounted router fitted with a piloted
straight bit. A plywood pattern is attached to a roughed-out
balsa block, then the router is used to trim the blank to the
But what about the small parts? I needed to make several
F1B all-moving rudders with a semisymmetrical airfoil. The
rudders would have thick bottom and top ribs cut from 1/4-
inch sheet balsa. Because the top ribs are slightly less than
121 Model Aviation MAY 2016