Miscellaneous Stuff

Fly Me

Looking for a plane to help you learn to fly control-line, or to get back into the hobby after a layoff? A kit for the simple Fly Me wing by Hobbins Hobbies is a good choice. Hobbins photo.

By Gene Pape
January 2021

News flash! New Nelson Combat engines are coming

Andy Minor is taking orders for a batch of new Nelson 36 Combat engines.  Availability will be limited to pre-orders so if you want one or more you should contact Andy immediately.

A great approach to training new control line pilots

Tim Hobbins is a well known control line flier and kit maker in England.  What is written below is copied with permission directly from his Facebook page.  While one would want to use glow engines in place of the diesels he recommends as diesel engines and fuel are hard to come by in the USA, all the rest is pretty much spot on.

One of the Ukraine-built F2D models with a sport glow engine for power described in my last column seems like a perfect model for use as he describes.  It is really something for those of us who have been flying for a long time to consider as well.  I know my practice sessions are affected by the desire to not destroy my competition models.

The Yuvenko F2D plane with sport glow engine power. Gene Pape photo.

Newcomers or returnees to Control Line

(From Hobbins Facebook page)

I see regular posts on some of the many Control Line-focused Facebook groups asking for information about how to start flying control line, or how to get back into it after a long layoff. These requests have become more popular during the periods of lockdown enforced by the pandemic.

I took it on myself to do this post after seeing some of the stupid answers given to newcomers requests for advice. This is my take on the subject. I don’t class myself as an expert but I do know how to fly CL and I have helped a few folk get started.
I am based in the UK, I make and sell a range of laser cut kits. All my kit plans are free for the asking so you don’t need to spend any money with me if you don’t want to.

A young pilot shows off a ready-to-fly Fly Me. Hobbins photo.

If you are starting from scratch, bear in mind the following:

  1. You will probably crash your model while learning.
  2. It's easier with an experienced helper but if you’re on your own its perfectly possible.
  3. Control line models rely on decent line tension. A Mills .75 won’t cut it
  4. A modern 1.5cc diesel on 40 foot lines or a modern .2.5 cc motor on 50 foot lines will give you good line tension. (EDITOR'S NOTE: The counterparts in cubic inches would be an .09 or a .15.)
  5. Modern PAW diesels are inexpensive, easy to handle and come with instructions. Progress Aero Works
  6. Old engines on eBay are usually (of poor quality).
  7. A full-fuselage model will not stand up to even a mild crash over grass and will be difficult to repair.
  8. A profile fuselage model will not stand up to a moderate crash over grass, irrespective of how many folk tell you to buy a Ringmaster/Flite Streak/Skyray/Peacemaker/any of the above. Once you break it, you will have to take it home and fix it. Your flying session ends.
  9. A tough flying wing will withstand multiple crashes over grass. You can crash it again and again and it will be fine. This is how to learn.
  10. Do not try to convert a Radio Control model kit to control line. Unless you’re already an expert — if so, crack on.
  11. I do a kit called Fly-Me. It’s simple, tough, easy to fly and it’s a very complete kit. It might take you as long as three hours to build it if you have really bad OCD. 40 quid posted.
  12. You can have the plan free and build it yourself.
  13. The UK Control line community will always help you as will I, they’re spread out pretty evenly across the UK. (EDITOR'S NOTE: The same is true in the U.S. Check the database on the Academy of Model Aeronautics website for a club near you.)
  14. Feel free to ignore any of the above and build a scale Fokker triplane with a Spark ignition engine if you really must.

Gene resumes:

I should note that most any vintage English combat model would do the trick for this.  In addition to the Fly Me plans I’ve included plans for the Warlord which will give you a bit more of an idea what this model should look like.  The Fly Me airfoil is 1” thick and flat nearly to the trailing edge.  The engine mount is just two ½”x3/8” hardwood bearers glued to a piece of 1/8” plywood with a cutout in the plywood shaped to glue over the wing.

A Fly Me ready for action. Hobbins photo.

A Fly Me kit framed up. Hobbins photo.

Click on the plan for a full-size pdf version.

Another vintage Combat plane that would make a good trainer. Click on the plans for a full-size pdf.


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This page was upated Jan. 21, 2021