It’s time for the top posts of the year! Here, in descending order, are the top stories from 2015, ranked by their number of views. Missed one? Just click on the photo or title to go to the original post. And as we send the last newsletter of 2015, we want to thank the folks who’ve sent us emails or spoken to us in person at an event or show. Your enthusiastic feedback drives the Model Airplane News team to find and post interesting, informative and (we hope!) fun stories to send out to you every Friday. Here’s to 2016!
10. Really BIG Bücker Jungmeister
Who wants to take a ride? Helmut Müller’s 85% scratch-built Bücker looks like it could carry a small person, and it flies well enough that some of us might be willing to take it for a spin! The 17.5-foot-span aircraft weighs in at 286 pounds and is powered by a Hirth 521cc 2-stroke (intended for an ultralight) turning a Fiala 60 x 20 wood propeller. The model uses industrial-quality Tonegawa Seiko servos, a redundant radio system and a dual-ignition starter. Helmut glued and sewed the Seconite covering (like that used on some man-carrying planes) that replicates the plane that Romanian captain Alex Papana flew at the Olympic Games in 1936 (the first and last time that flying was an Olympic sport). Thank you to YouTube’s RCScaleAirplanes for sharing this great footage from the ICARE Airmeet in Rohrback Les Bitche in France.
9. Soviet Stunner” Scale Russian Polikarpov I-16 WW II Fighter
Check out this beautifully detailed model that’s as stunning as it is unusual! Built and flown by Jo Nüsseler, the 74-inch-span model of a Polikarpov I.16 is powered by a Saito 3-cylinder 450 and weighs 25 pounds. The fighter is painted in the scheme of the Soviet’s 4th Squadron, 72nd fighter regiment that helped to repel the German invasion of Murmansk in August 1941. It’s also interesting to note that when it was developed in the ’30s, the Polikarpov I.16 was the first operational monoplane with retractable landing gear, paving the way for the sleek warbirds that came after it! Our thanks to RCScaleAirplanes for taking this great video and sharing it on YouTube.
8. Travel in Style! 1920s Handley Page Airliner
The next time you’re traveling by air, imagine what it must have been like to take a trip in the 1920s in a 15-passenger plane like this! This 15-foot-span Handley Page W.10 model is powered by two 60cc Laser twin-cylinder engines and weighs in at 86 pounds. Builder Neil Tidy spent 2000 hours on the model of the 1926 Imperial Airways aircraft. The video by Dean & Pete Coxon also shows a clip of a 16-foot-span, four-turbine Vickers Armstrong VC-10 built by Terry Mason. Enjoy!
7. Now THAT’S a scale pilot figure!
If you thought strapping a GI Joe into your plane looked awesome, you need to check this out. In addition to the eye-popping full RC articulation, his “face” is a Fat Shark first-person-view camera, with the emphasis on PERSON. Can’t wait to see the finished project!
6. Big — REALLY BIG! — British Planes
Our friends across the pond love their (really) giant-scale models, and this video compilation from a recent show is a treat to watch. Videotaped by the father and son team of Pete and Dean Coxon at the Large Model Association fly-in at Cosford, this shows some fantastic models flying in quite a crosswind.
5. Star Wars Storm Trooper Rides Again!
When can we get one?? We love this “Speeder Bike” created by Adam Woodworth and will be waiting with bated breath for someone to make this available to us mere mortals. Adam notes, “I got into First Person Video multirotor racing a few months ago. The fast, low level flying instantly reminded me of the Endor chase scene from Return of the Jedi. This project was an obvious choice to combine my interest and experience in RC flight with my love of Star Wars stuff. I like always having some strange project on the work bench and this one was next in line, an attempt to build a version of the Imperial Speeder Bikes from the movie that I could ‘get into’ and fly around myself.” The Storm Trooper’s head can be swapped out for a mini camera for true First-Person View!
4. Monster DC-10: Robert Pannell’s Best Electric Jet Performance Winner
Beyond the offerings of Bob Violett Models, there wasn’t much at Florida Jets to satisfy the interests of electric “fans”; I don’t know whether it’s a cultural thing or just the fact that electric jet fliers feel intimidated by the bigger, more powerful and cooler sounding “big guys.” There was, however, one absolutely eye-watering machine on hand that was “right” in all regards AND was electric-powered: the amazing DC-10 cargo carrier designed, built and flown by Robert Pannell. Bob started with a 3-view drawing, lots of motivation (which he reports was challenged from time to time), and a desire to duplicate one of the fleet operated by his employer, UPS.
Get the full story here. (link to http://www.modelairplanenews.com/blog/2015/03/23/monster-dc-10-robert-pannells-best-electric-performance-winner/)
3. The Oceanmaker
You deserve a nice coffee break , and this fantastic, 10-minute animated video is a no-cal treat you’ll love. “After the seas have disappeared, a courageous female pilot fights against vicious sky pirates for control of the last remaining source of water: the clouds.” Don’t miss it!
2. REALLY Big Blackbird!
You don’t often see models of the SR-71 Blackbird, one of the most advanced spy planes used by the CIA. And you definitely don’t see 18-foot-long model jets! In Israel last week, the world’s largest scale-model of a SR-71 Blackbird took flight. Built over 5 years by Gilad Olinki and flown by Ofir Babish, the 1/6-scale jet weighs 176 pounds and is powered by two turbines. A Weatronic radio provides the guidance. Nicely done!
1. A Jumbo RC Jet’s First Flight
An RC plane’s first flight is usually a nerve-racking experience, but what if you’re flying a 16-foot-span, four-turbine-powered scale airliner? Earlier this month in Oppingen, Germany, Adi Pitz’s 747-400 scale model took off with pilot Rainer Kamitz at the controls. The largest plane Adi has ever built, it has over 2,000 hours of work into it, so we can only imagine how nervous he was! The 747 is powered by four Hammer Engines turbines, each with a thrust of 14kg, and it’s controlled by Weatronic radio gear. The 131-pound giant has sequenced landing gear and is 17.8-feet long. Thanks to YouTube’s Kingschneidi for sharing this great video of the 747’s first flight!