Sunday, July 17, 2011

The "Sky Buzzard" Takes To The Air

Two Christmas' ago, Siobhan and the boys gave me a 24" scale balsa wood model of a Laird Super Solution to build. It was supposed to be a relaxing venture with the idea of the finished model becoming a hanging display once completed (6 months tops).

Well, here I am... 19 months later and it's done. Framed and glued, tissued and doped, painted and decaled. And raring for a test flight... or at least I thought so.

During test flight No. 1, the wind picked up, she winged over, but I managed to catch her. Obviously too much lift. With some elevators (from a butchered cereal box) installed and pitched down, test flight No. 2 went okay. Going with the old saying, 'third time lucky'... she tumbled to the ground and crunch! The spar cracked, tissue ripped and a flying career devastated.

Okay, a bit dramatic but I'm sure I had visions of it flying gracefully amongst the white puffy clouds and blue skies.

All said and done, it did take a while but it was relaxing, plugging away at it 1-2 hours nightly here and there. So now my 24" Sky Buzzard is hanging (in one piece) above the computer in all her glory.

As a point of interest, the Laird "Super Solution" was designed and built for the Cleveland Speed Foundation in the 1930's as the sport of air racing entered its Golden Age. Piloted by Jimmy Doolittle, it had a top speed of 265 mph and raced in several events such as the 2450 mile Coast to Coast and the Bendix Trophy Race.

Here's a picture of a replica Super Solution flying at the 2002 Oshkosh. What a beauty.

1 comment:

jo said...

Steve, I sometimes wonder if you and philip are one and the same person hee hee!! He spends every evening building and tending to his helicopter babies and now Cameron is hooked too. It was his birthday this weekend and he got a balsa wood glider... my kitchen is now full of pinned pieces of glider stuff...stuff stuff everywhere!! xx