Sam Snyder’s Spectacular Javelin

Oct 03, 2012 11 Comments by

One neat nugget of interest I found at the 30th Annual Southwest Jet Rally was Sam Snyder. Sam  is certainly no newcomer to scale modeling. He’s not big on kit building, preferring to draw his own plans, engineer all the structure, layout all the systems and cut out all the parts himself. That’s about as close to a “kit” as Sam might get. So, you might think that his fleet of RC models might be limited, given that he prefers unusual subjects to create and add to his inventory. With projects ranging from the unconventional Handley Page Heyford to the TR-1 variant of the U-2 and including the Yak-40 airliner and Avro Vulcan, there’s no question the skills are there to get the job done. The latest of Sam’s creations to fly is this beautifully done Gloster Javelin Mk.5, a late 1950’s era British all-weather interceptor.

The 1/7-scale model is constructed of conventional modeling materials like balsa and plywood plus carbon fiber where additional strength is required. The entire airframe is covered with fiberglass cloth and resin. The finish of the 89-inch-span, 95-inch-long model is PPG automotive paint mixed to match specific color chips.

It’s got a whopping 19 square feet of wing area to support its weight of 39 pounds for a relatively light wing loading of only 33 oz./sq. ft., less fuel. Power comes from a pair of JetCat P60 turbines easily accessed through a large hatch in the top of the fuselage.

I watched the entire first flight of the model at its debut at the Southwest Jet Rally and it was immediately obvious after rotation that it was going to fly well. Very, very smooth; Sam said it took just a few clicks of pitch trim to have it all trimmed up. It really looked great on final approach—right on speed, slightly nose high, just over the numbers and a gentle no-bounce touchdown followed by a majestic taxi back.

Sam can usually be seen with an unlit cigar in this mouth but now it was gone, replaced by an ear-to-ear grin! Great guy, outstanding effort, and a unique subject; can’t help but wonder what Sam has on the workbench now!

Rich Uravitch

About the author

His modeling career encompasses a broad range of aviation subjects, from small electric models and electric ducted fans to the giant scale and warbirds. He has been the Top Gun craftsmanship judge for several years. He has designed, built and flown several sport-scale RC aircraft, several of which can be purchased at the AirAgeStore.com website.

11 Responses to “Sam Snyder’s Spectacular Javelin”

  1. Paul says:

    It is a great plane just wish that I could do something that good.

    • scott says:

      Paul, just a thought. Not too many of us can to that extent. Been building (a little bit ) and flying since I was 11. The ARF world in my opinion has unfortunate and fortunate consequences in all of our flying worlds. If you have never built then build something. Follow the instructions and read alot on line about different techniques. We all only get better if we practice. BUT I agree with no darn way I could think my way through that whole build unless you rid me of several jobs, a small business, house chores, three kids, a wife with a slight medical issue, president of our club etc etc.

  2. James Saito says:

    This is an extremely detailed model airplane. It looks like the real thing. Great job Sam.

  3. Bob says:

    I hate it when there is nothing in the pictures to allow us to appreciate the size of a model. Just knowing the dimensions from the text is not enough. “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Large or small it is always helpful to see something to compare it with.

  4. Gordon Hetherington says:

    Stunni ng model. If you don’t have Sam’s skill and patience, you can get a plan for a 90 inch Javelin plus canopy and engine cover from http://www.trapletshop.com/gb/p/11570/gloster-javelin .

  5. Brian Martin says:

    Ages back I imported a Mick Reeves Javelin. Started building it and got horribly distracted. These pics of Sam’s outstanding model have started a fire burning again. Well done Sam!

  6. Jim P says:

    Thanks for modeling the planes of the era with wonderful designs for planes and pilots but no computers.

  7. Roland B. says:

    My biggest problem, aside from the expense, would be locating the proper materials for the build. I designed and flew a LOT of control line models as a kid and a number of R/C planes about 45 years ago. The world of R/C is a different animal now, but, I am learning all over again as I get back into it.

    The two ARF’s I have purchased seem to have poor quality balsa in some critical areas and both have needed significant “beefing up.”

    My hat is off to Sam and his gorgeous build!

  8. Manne Hurlbatt says:

    Sam, your detail is incredible. Abeautiful piece of work. Well done.

  9. John Pace says:

    Fantastic model, brings a lot of memories watching the full scale versions on flight training.

  10. Randy Rodgers says:

    Sam Snyder does the best scale take off and landings I have ever seen. His scale projects always fly well.Randy Rodgers

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