Rapier-powered model gallery 1

Here are a selection of photos of Rapier powered models built, or being built, for the 2001 flying season. There has been a real explosion of interest in free flight jets since last year (2000), mostly due, I suspect, to the availability of the reliable Rapier power units from the Czech Republic, and the fact that articles and plans for such models have been featured in most of the free flight modelling press.

The combined air forces of Pete Smart, Richard Crossley and Graham Knight - how many types can you spot?

This 18" D.H.Comet is built straight from the old Skyleada plan by Richard Crossley, but as you can see it looks pretty authentic. Apparently the engine nacelles were very tricky to cover, but I would say definitely worth the effort! When this photo was taken the model still needed some fin markings applying. The plan for this model is available from Pete's Vintage Model Aircraft Plans should you fancy having a go at one yourself

This Focke Wulf FW 226 Flitzer was designed by Richard Crossley, and built by Graham Knight. It is designed to be powered by a Rapier L2, and will be the next Aerographics jet kit. The real aircraft was a Luftwaffe project that never actually flew - it certainly has good proportions for a flying model, and I have yet to see one fly badly. The finish is obviously hypothetical, but accurately reflects late war German jet colour schemes.

The pictures above and below show Richard Crossley's Miles M.52 for Rapier L2 power. The unpainted one was built by Chris Strachan - it is now painted yellow - and the lower photo shows Richard's own version. The original was a British design that may well have been the first aircraft to break the sound barrier, if it had not been cancelled while construction was underway.

Richard's model has now flown, for the first flight it climbed strongly, and flew in a huge half circle, ending up quite a way down wind. The second flight was similar, but the model completed its circuit and landed near his feet. Estimated flight time was around 30 seconds and the model is very stable. Two impressive flying shots from Richard are reproduced below:

The plan of this M.52 model was included in a recent issue of Model Flyer magazine.

The pictures above and below show Chris Strachan's Rapier L1 powered Bachem Natter, built from Richard Crossley's plan that appeared in the February 2001 issue of Aeromodeller magazine.

The Arado 381, above, was a tiny rocket/glider design proposal which was intended to be air launched. The pilot lay prone, with the top mounted Cannon firing over his head! This model is designed for L1 power and apparently flies well at around 8" span. Model was designed and built by Chris Strachan.

This odd looking device is a Messerschmitt P1106 - a late war German "paper project" that never got off the ground. Another of Richard Crossley's creations, this one is proving extremely tricky to trim. It finished in a spurious night fighter scheme, with obligatory red number on the fuselage. Chris Strachan has also built one, and his does fly, though it fishtails constantly throughout the flight - we think the cause is the very blunt leading edge to the "fin" at the back

Pete Smart is a very brave man, as he has built a Rapier powered twin. This is the framework of his Airbus A300, which has a span of around 20", and is powered by two Rapier L1's in the engine nacelles. The model is seen below painted in Lufthansa colours.

Another model from Richard Crossley, this time an Me262 (V186). The span is 15 inch, for Rapier L2, and it flies well. The single L2 is trough mounted, as the original aircraft had a rocket motor in the fuselage. The plan was included in the September/October 2001 issue of Flying Scale Models magazine. This model may well be a candidate for twin Rapier L1 power, if anyone was brave enough to try it!

Four of us brought some of our Rapier powered fleets to the 2001 Nationals to compare notes, and see what we had been up to over the winter - here is the resulting collection.

The models are (not in any particular order):

Focke Wulf Flitzer, Messerschmitt P.1106, Bell X-1 (orange), Bell X-1A, Bell X-1E, Me 262, D.H.Comet, Miles M.52, Bacham Natter - Richard Crossley

Airbus A300, Folland Gnat - Peter Smart

Focke Wulf Flitzer, Messerschmitt P.1106, Bacham Natter, D.H.108, Arado 381 - Chris Strachan

Saab J29, Bell X-1 (white), Yak 40, Boeing 727, Douglas Skyray - myself

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