Free Flight Models
by Paul Blakeborough

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Pfalz D.XII - Free Flight

Kit: DPCM (1:20)

The model is a DPC kit, obtained from the USA. However I am in the process of converting the kit to CO2 power. I have chosen a Gasparin 120 FAI motor as I love these little masterpieces of engineering. My R/C version of the aircraft is a more awkward size but the small size of the free flight model allows me to be able to work in a confined space at the drop of a hat! The structure is coming on nicely now, covering has started. I shall be using tissue on the wings and fuselage, with a printed 5 colour lozenge for the wings. The tail areas are covered with lightspan, which I find is less affected by the Sun and thus does not warp as much.


I am at the stage now where I need to cover the fuselage. I've spent quite a bit of time on making sure the lower wings are spot on in position and fairing them to the Fus' with balsa. The kit called for a paper fillet but I didn't have much success so I opted to fill with soft balsa, tack glued in place, then after sanding to shape I released them, hollowed out the rear and glued back in place. I'm quite happy that they'll look just right even if they are not as light as the paper equivalent. So, next stage to tissue the Fus'. The cowling has come out just nice, I've cheated a little with the radiator slats in an effort to get more air flowing past the CO2 motor and tank therein!

Sept 29, 2005

I'm still on with this one.... doesn't life get in the way when you want to complete a model! Anyway, the Pfalz would probably fly now as all the major appendiges are present! But the weather has turned inclement in the UK so need to come across a window of opportunity and and decent field for the maiden flights, but for the moment I'm playing around with scale detail here and there. I've got to be careful with the weight obviously, but she sits at around 38 grams at the moment so I can risk a couple of grams yet. I've used fishing line for functional rigging which should help her to stay together in an odd knock. The dummy engine and guns are yet to be completed but these are carved from balsa mostly. The next few weeks she should be finished and then I can get out the big Pfalz again! Oh... and I've decided to try a Gasparin 63 for initial trials instead of the 120.

Nov 14, 2005

Finally finished the small D.XII. Finished up just short of 40g weight so not too bad. I could have played around with more detail here and there but thought that I may be pushing it weightwise, so I'll try her out as she is. I am very pleased with the results of the dummy engine.... I played around with moulding using a Siligum mould and polyester resin as I could afford the weight up front. The dummy engine and radiater slide off as a unit, and are held on with small magnets. Now I need some good weather and soft grass to try her out... watch this space!

26th July 2007

Kit: DPCM (1:20)

Update: 26th July 2007 Thought it was about time I put a flying update on the page! I've been tied up with work, life, moving home etc etc. However the previous evening saw me on our local Free Flight haven RAF Church Fenton... the weather was beautiful. The model flew like a dream! I now have a little Gasparin 63 BB in her and the power setting is just about right. She will happily fly around in circuits above my head and drift with the breeze until the power drops where a gradual decent results. A Wonderful sight for my eyes. Main modifications from the DPCM kit were adding the Co2 motor instead of rubber and adding 6mm of dihedral to each wingtip. I now have a D-3 kit, watch this space!

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