Model Airplanes FAC Squadron # 50 The Ventura Model Aviators

Ventura Model Aviators Triplane Insignia with Fish And Chips Squadron Patch
We are a offical Flying Aces Squadron

Memebers list

  1. Mark Helmick
  2. Gregg Goris
  3. Steve Neill
  4. Paul Moore

I love model airplanes. Rc, Free Flight are my favorites. Gliders, props and jets. This page will show you many of my projects past and present.

Here’s a Gallery of pictures to start this page off.

Mark Helmicks Micro Pattern plane build


Image one is the wing panels showing the solid ailerons. The ribs were generated in Compufoil 3D and laser cut

Image two shows the bottom of the fuselage, with the landing gear inserted. Note the internal 1/16” ply inner structure

Image three shows the fuselage with the 3D printed canopy

Image four shows the previous V4  all wood version

I’ve been working on the 5th version of this idea, which is a 21.5” span pattern type plane using the guts of a UMX Timber, with roughly the outlines of the old Joe Bridi design UFO.

Image one is the wing panels showing the solid ailerons and laser cut ribs

Image two shows the bottom of the fuselage, with the landing gear inserted, and the inner plywood structure

Image three shows the fuselage with the 3D printed canopy

The fourth (see pic V4) is very aerobatic, and looks fast and groovy in the air, but won’t fly slow and has a vicious stall, which I believe can be attributed to a very thin symmetrical wing. On one flight I stalled it high, and it rolled over and started flat spinning on its back. Generous washout tamed that problem. I also crashed it badly once, flying straight in from some height, but it only crushed the inner plywood structure in front of the wing, and I easily cut new parts and repaired it. For this new version, I re-designed it with a thicker semi-symetrical wing. (Almost) All parts are laser cut. Wing has a pair of 1/16 square spruce spars, and four additional 1/16 balsa stringers. Airfoil is RAF38 with 2 degree washout. Mixed flying flight times on V4 are 10 minutes or so on a 2S 450 mAh battery. The new plane will also have a 3D printed engine cowl. The pushrods are made from bamboo, by splitting lengthwise bamboo skewers. You have to make quite a few splits to get some straight ones. The motor mount is a spruce dowel sanded down to fit inside tube on the back of the motor. The dowel is cross-drilled and a pin inserted to keep the motor from falling off. A bit of Sigment glue keeps it from rattling around. (Sigment is reversable, with acetone, so you can take off the motor for version 6 down the road). The dowel extends through the firewall and the next fuselage former, giving plenty of support.

Note that the gyro is still active on the UMX Timber control board. This dictates that you mount the board in the same orientation as it was in the Timber, and all the servos have to move in the same directions. If you don’t, you’ll be hating life on the first flight. If you try this with the electronics from a plane with gyros, make a careful note on the orientation of the control board, and which side of the control surfaces the control horn is mounted. Don’t be tempted to reverse the servo direction. Also, the two aileron servos may be different, so get the correct one on the correct side. The first version of this plane that I made of this had the board deliberately inverted. The control horns were also inverted, so the yaw and pitch damping still worked. But if you turned on Safe Mode, the plane would flip over and fly happily upside down. By the way, on V4 (which was setup correctly), the Gyro mode and Safe mode work.

The first three versions were made of Dollar Tree foam board, and had similar bad habits. I attribute this to the thin flat wing. The fourth one is all wood, which has the additional problem of a “warpy” wing due to the thin section and all balsa spars, so the thick wing and spruce spars should help with that. I also changed from full length strip ailerons to smaller but deeper ones, which should be more stable. (The strip ailerons wanted to twist when I covered them).

The previous was covered with white Ultracote, which added quite a bit of weight, but it was still much lighter than the UMX Timber that it derived from, and it is very sturdy. For this one I think I’ll go with a transparent Ultracote. It is about 25%  lighter than the white, and I have it.  I considered tissue (which I like to do) but the Ultracote is very durable and adds quite a bit of strength. Plus the transparent shows off the structure inside.

If this works out, and there’s interest, I can make the files available to make your own.