My post on Greg Hayfield’s 87% Pitts Python generated nearly 100 comments last week, from admiration to disbelief that someone would build and fly such a huge RC plane. Dave’s father Greg added to the discussion and shared that in the UK, large-scale RC aircraft (over 20kg, or 44 pounds) are subject to stringent inspections during the build as well as exhaustive flight tests with inspectors at the field. I’d like to share his comments here along with some videos of other giant planes that Greg sent to me.
“Reply from Dave, Greg’s Dad and a professional electronics engineer, modelling for 50+ years and a long standing member of our UK Large Model Association. A model of this size and any model over 20 Kg has to go through the most strenuous checks required by our CAA before it can be flown anywhere. The construction is inspected thoughout its build to the same specs as any full size aircraft. As far as flight testing is concerned our CAA requirements for a model of this size are that it should be flown for not less than 2 hours which has to include 12 takeoffs and incorporating the style of flying that this type will be perfoming at displays.
We are modellers, althought many of our LMA members are airline pilots or general aviation flyers and we enjoy building large scale models. These large aircraft are only flown from airfields, not club sites, and mainly to entertain the general public who flock to our model airshows which we organise throughout the summer months. What is the point of putting on an airshow with models more at home on your club patch? People come to see something different and that is what we strive to do. I’m probably tempting fate here but our safety record over the last 20 years has been exemplary with very large models and recently, with the introduction of turbines, very fast models. (Take a look at our website.) All aircraft have to have failsafe systems incorporated and very strict proceedures are adhered to at all airshows. The resulting financial income from our events has provided funds for many of our aircraft museums and since we are all enthusiasts we are indepted to the museums for keeping the fine craft from our past available. I see some correspondents are not to positive about our large models, all model flying has its risks, so has motor racing, hang gliding, anything where faults can occurr but we can’t all be wrapped in cotten wool all our lives, you may walk in front of a bus tomorrow, who knows? Safe flying is no accident!” I’d like to thank both Dave and Greg for sharing more information about these impressive aircraft with us, and you can look forward to more information on Greg and his “monster” Pitts Python in a future Model Airplane News.
This PT-17 Stearman is powered by an 800cc 7-cylinder radial engine and weighs in at 265 pounds. It was videotaped at the 2011 Euroflugtag in Rheidt, Germany.
This huge Bücker Bü 133 Jungmeister was videotaped in Poland in 2010.