Fly Electric!

RAE Hurricane

Bare bones before covering
Me and my new pride and joy!
Nice flying shot by Tony Shortell
A very close finals by Gordon Walker
Scurrying back to the pits shot by Gordon Walker
Detailed shot of the lithoplate cowl components

Built by the staff of the Royal Aircraft Establishment in Farnborough in 1923, the Hurricane is a very unusual plane. Only one was built. Initially too heavy and under-powered, it eventually won races a few years later with a more powerful motor and a number of mods.

The model is a delight to fly; even better than my large Fly Baby. It is essentially a very large 'park flyer'. It can roll with almost no airspeed and landing approaches need be no larger than that of a Speed 400 model! At over 9' it is majestic in the sky. Thanks to Tony and Gordon for some of the photos. Flown initially with an Astro 60 and 32 Nicads, Hurri is now 2 to 4lb lighter with 50% more power and longer duration using the brushless motor and lipos in the table below.

Wing span: 110"
Wing area: 2000 sq"
Scale: 40%
Wing loading: 14 oz/sq'
Weight: 12.5 lb
Motor: Croc3 homemade brushless motor
Prop: APC3 18x10 @ 6,300 RPM
Batteries: 12 x 5000 lipo's
Motor current (full power): 33A
Motor power: 1300w
Flight times: 15 minutes +
Receiver: Futaba R138DF 8ch dual conversion
Servos: 2 x Futaba 3001 (Elevators)
1 x FMA S360 (Rudder)
2 x Futaba 9001 (Ailerons)
Speed control: Jeti JES45
Rx battery: 2100mah 4 cell NiMH
Aircraft design: Own design from scale 3-views
Airfoil: Modified Clark Y
Wing construction: Two piece; top and bottom hardwood spars (each 6x6mm); 3mm depron or balsa ribs; 1/16" cap strips; no leading edge sheeting; two 4x20mm overlapping aluminium joiners; built-up ailerons
Fusalage construction: Traditional open structure with 6x6mm hardwood top longerons and diagonals; mostly 3mm litply elsewhere
Undercarriage: 6mm hollow carbon tubes, 4mm piano wire axle; about 1/2" sprung movement; 27mm 'kneeling pad' foam wheels with 3/32" ply hubs; steerable tail wheel
Covering: Silk; 4 coats dope thinned to 33%, sprayed silver paint; no undercoat (BEFA article on process here)
Extra features: Lithoplate cowl, front and deck sheeting
What would I do differently?: Intended using two 6mm carbon wing joiner but abondoned before flight as too flexible; model would have been lighter if aluminium joiners had been built in earlier.
Triangular fuz was surprisingly difficult to design due to the angle.
Did not realise during design that landing loads would be transferred to the top of the fuz via struts instead of bottom of fuz like most other models.
Silk covering is a lot of work!

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