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Alive 14
A Big Model!
      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
operated flaps.

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.
Alive 14