Leif Ohlsson

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Monday, January 8th 2007, 7:37pm

Free Fiddler's Green "Duster" Glider - until 15 January!

Please note that Fiddler's Green has brought out the "Duster" sailplane - and it's free, in two versions, until 15 January. So hurry, hurry - this is an offer that is incredibly generous: The two models are in scale 1:14 (yes!!) and 1:21. In addition you get a black and white version in 1:14, plus instructions and information abut the history of this attractive aircraft.

The models are big and easy to build, with lots of room for improvements (they both cry out for transparent canopies and more detailed interiors, for example).

This should be less of a problem than you might think, since the Duster was designed explicitly for the homebuilders, and thus had a canopy made from flat perspex curved only one way. Perfect for all of us who are a little bit timid of heating plastic over ovens and make it conform to complicated moulds.

The homebuilding principle is also the reason why even a large 1:14 scale glider with 97 cm wingspan fits into A4 papers. In the original, no section was designed to be larger than it would be possible to build in a garage (the limit was 18 feet, 5.4 meters). And materials were strictly wood and plywood (with metal fittings of course), which is very amenable to card modelling techniques.

Here's the low-down: Read all about the Duster model at Fiddler's Green here.

Download the whole package (Zipped 13 MB file, directly from this post until 15 January when the link presumably goes dead).

Or download individual files from the Duster registry at Fiddler's Green (but only until 15 January. Note: this link seems to have been discontinued even before that date).

Read more about the history of the glider at the Duster sailplane homepage.

I enclose a couple of photos found on the Duster site, in addition to those available at Fiddler's Green.

Here's an idea - the Duster was designed with the purpose of creating a single type glider class. How about using the black and white version for a recolouring and add-on type informal little contest here at Kartonbau.de? Who creates the most stunning personal livery - and who comes up with the best add-on parts for canopies, cockpit interior, detailed wheels, movable ailerons and rudders, etc.?

The homebuilt original in wood and ply simply lends itself so beautifully to card modelling efforts, wouldn't you say?

And who builds a card model of the Duster which actually flies (Fiddler's Green already has one flying generic glider paper model, so why not this one?)

Just a thought.

Leif

PS. A tip for those bent on scaling models: The 1:14 version is more likely in a scale of 1:13.4, as far as I've been able to calculate from the wing span. In order to get it to 1:16 you will have to scale or print it at 83.7 percent.
Leif Ohlsson has attached the following images:
  • Gregow_Yellow_278_builders.jpg
  • Gregow_278_P-51_takeoff.jpg
  • gliding2.jpg
  • duster_right_side.jpg
Dankbar für die Gelegenheit auf Englisch schreiben zu dürfen, kann aber Antworten problemlos auf Deutsch lesen.

Jan Hascher

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Monday, January 8th 2007, 8:53pm

Hi Leif,
this is one great info. I love the Designs by Jim Maupin who designed the Carbon Dragon, an ultralight, footlaunched, sailplane. Amazing stuff. Unfortunately his widow has stopped selling the plans for this plane.
But try Googling, it is worth seeing.

Cheers
Jan
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Monday, January 8th 2007, 8:54pm

Jeder, der einen Post mit "Ich habe zwar keine Ahnung, aber..." beginnt, möge bitte den Absenden-Button ignorieren.

Leif Ohlsson

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Monday, January 8th 2007, 8:59pm

Go right ahead, Martin. The info came to me in the official Fiddler's Green newsletter, so it's all above board, free to download for everyone - until 15 January. After that I guess you'll have to cough up a few dollars for the nice model.

By the way, anyone seriously thinking about tackling the big Duster will of course go for joining strips instead of the simple tabs in the kit, probably add a couple of ribs and formers, etc. All in all, a little bit of extra work. Plus the paint job, of course. But to have the skin shape in order helps a lot.

The wood and ply construction method of the original leads to some interesting aspects. The nose part of the Duster is hexagonal, while the tail part is triangular, that is half the number of edges.

There were a few alterations to the Duster as it was built by dozens of people over the years. The plain perspex canopy was sometimes substituted by a professionally blown add-on. If you build it according to the original specifications, and judging from the photographs, there will be a small part at the very top of the canopy which is non-transparent, probably made of a sheet of plywood (or balsa?) - see photos from the Fiddler's Green site:



There was also a complete fiberglass interior available as an add-on. But I would prefer the original wood and ply structure throughout.

Leif
Dankbar für die Gelegenheit auf Englisch schreiben zu dürfen, kann aber Antworten problemlos auf Deutsch lesen.

Jan Hascher

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Monday, January 8th 2007, 9:02pm

Hm, sorry, original design was by Hank Thor, not by Jim Maupin.
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Monday, January 8th 2007, 9:03pm

Hi Martin,
da hatte sich das Board wohl dran verschluckt :D

Gruß
Jan
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Leif Ohlsson

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Monday, January 8th 2007, 11:24pm

Jan, that was fascinating! Imagine, only 80 kilos for the whole airframe.



But it is winch-launched, isn't it?

Leif
Leif Ohlsson has attached the following images:
  • carbon_dragon_ch.jpg
  • arndt_dragon.jpg
Dankbar für die Gelegenheit auf Englisch schreiben zu dürfen, kann aber Antworten problemlos auf Deutsch lesen.

Leif Ohlsson

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Tuesday, January 9th 2007, 1:53am

At this late hour it appears as if the link for the registry for individual files at Fiddler's Green requires a password. It was not so earlier today. However, the link for the full download (zipped file) still works. So take advantage...

Leif
Dankbar für die Gelegenheit auf Englisch schreiben zu dürfen, kann aber Antworten problemlos auf Deutsch lesen.

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Tuesday, January 9th 2007, 8:11am

Leif,
no (ok you can actually winch-launch it), but the fascinating thing is: this airplane has a curtain-like cockpit floor and to handles to hold on. You can actually footlaunch it. At least the original design was made that way. Never seen any Photos of anyone doing it.
Other interesting footlaunched plane which looks even more fascinating is the Swift:
http://aero.stanford.edu/Reports/SWIFTArticle1991.html
And you can actually buy it...

Cheers
Jan
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Tuesday, January 9th 2007, 8:21am

I knew I had it somewhere:
http://www.aeriane.com/
The Swift Light actually weighs in at 46kg.

Gruß
Jan
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Leif Ohlsson

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Tuesday, January 9th 2007, 10:41am

Very inspiring reading about the Swift! As for the foot-launching of the Carbon Dragon I guess that might be a matter of the legal framework. I seem to remember that Bert Rutan's Varieze initially had to be designed as pro-forma foot-launched, too (with rigid doors in the floor, acting as flaps!), in order to conform to ultra-light restrictions at the time.

Leif
Dankbar für die Gelegenheit auf Englisch schreiben zu dürfen, kann aber Antworten problemlos auf Deutsch lesen.

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