A bit bigger than your average rubber-powered model aircraft!
Some people might have dabbled with model aircraft when they were younger,
maybe the airfix scale model kits, which was a possible gateway to solvent
abuse? Or even various forms of flying models, from simple gliders and
rubber-powered free-flight aircraft to something bigger. Perhaps one or two
of you may even have reached the holy grail of radio-controlled flight?
Well for some people, a simple balsa wood stick fuselage job isn't enough,
and in the course of my internet wanderings, I found this story, which
appeals to my baser geek instincts in a big way!
So you might think this first image is just another photoshoot of a C-17
Globemaster heavy lift transporter plane coming low over a runway at an
airshow or something. You probably can't tell from the photo which has been
degraded to a cheap and cheerful Degas grab, but it is in Royal Air Force
(RAF) colours. However, take a look at the following picture, which tell a
wholly different story!
The apparently full-sized Globemaster turns out to be a 1/9th scale radio-
controlled replica of the real thing! It was built in the United Kingdom by
Colin Straus.Incredibly, it actually does fly, and according to the
website, it has made about 20 flights.
It was shown as the centerpiece of a fifteen programme television series
produced in the U.K. for the Home and Leisure satellite TV channel called
'Supermodels'. It was built by Colin and with the aid of three friends, it
took about one year to build.
It is a real jet aircraft, powered by four minature Jetcat P-120 gas
turbines with a total thrust of 108 lbs. The model weighs over 250 lbs
fuelled, and carries up to 12.5 litres of fuel, which is composed of a 95%
kerosene and 5% turbine oil fuel mixture. Other items of technical interest
stuffed into the airframe include five Futaba PCM receivers, sixteen battery
packs with 93 cells, also twenty Futaba servos are used, there is an on-
board air compressor, and it comes with electro/pneumatic retracts.
The wingspan is 20 feet 8 inches(!) and the top of the fin is 74 inches (6
feet 2 inches) above the ground. The takeoff weight is an impressive 264
lbs. The rear cargo doors actually open and they drop a scale model radio-
controlled jeep on a pallet, as well as a couple of freefall r/c
parachutists. The model also has smoke systems for both of the inboard
turbines, and uses a 2.4 GHz data link to provide real-time data to a laptop
computer on the ground whilst in flight.
The data includes airspeed, turbine RPM, EGT, and fuel consumption. It is
covered in fiberglass and epoxy resin. The Globemaster was built mainly from
balsa and ply, with many glass and carbon fibre moulds to reduce weight.
This C-17 Globemaster III is one of the largest jet models in the world
today! It comes complete with retractable landing gear and pneumatically
For even more information, and details on how this scale model giant of the
skies was built, check out this website.
CiH, for Alive Mag,Nov '06.