Those Flyin’ Ryans – The Ryan ST

The Ryan ST went on to become the first low wing primary trainer for the United States military and many foreign nations as well.

Featuring Press Release photos from the Len Wieczorek collection


T. Claude Ryan  gained substantial name recognition when Charles Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic in 1927 in his Ryan Mailplane-based “Spirit of St. Louis”.  In 1934, he formed the Ryan Aeronautical Company and introduced  a sleek low winged, metal-fuselaged, sport and training aircraft that would revolutionize the industry.   The Ryan S-T went on to become the first low wing primary trainer for the United States military and many foreign nations as well.  One of the most beautiful designs of aviation’s golden age, the Ryan ST remains a coveted classic aircraft today.

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Whatever Happened to the Stearman Aircraft Company?

Stearman Aircraft played a key role in America’s transition out of aviation’s golden age and into a modern aviation powerhouse

1929 Stearman Aircraft Co. sales brochure cover

Featuring Press Release photos from the Len Wieczorek collection


The name Stearman was in the forefront of the go-go aviation years following Charles Lindbergh’s milestone transatlantic flight in 1927.  The Stearman Aircraft Company played a key role in America’s transition out of aviation’s golden age and into the modern industrial powerhouse that helped turn the tide in WW2 and set the stage for the jet age.

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My Favorite Tools #4 – Bending a Figure 8 Hook

Short video on how to make the Figure 8 propeller hook for rubber model airplanes

Miles M.18 front end showing braided rubber motor loaded onto the Figure 8 prop hook

This 4th short video in our My Favorite Tools series includes:

  • The right pliers for the job (roundnose, needlenose, etc)
  • Why make a Figure 8 prop hook?
  • Bending the Figure 8 prop hook
  • Loading the rubber motor onto the prop hook
  • Overview of other front end components (e.g., winding hook, free wheeler)

Watch the video 

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The Final Flight of the MAC-1

Designer Howell “Pete” Miller shares his story of the final flight of the MAC-1

Military Aircraft Corporation test pilot Earl Ortman and the MAC-1.  Note the large elevator trim tabs.

The story attached is as transcribed from a tape recorded conversation between Mr. Howell (Pete) Miller, Ron Harrison and Tom Nallen on January 28, 1978.  The events described are those concerned with and related to the last flight of the MAC-1 aircraft.

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Build A Simplified Folded Depron Foam Float

Read how to build the float including the unique pivoting mount

32in span Puss Moth on Folded Depron Floats

View/Purchase Folded Depron Float Plan


Recently, I met a few guys who fly free flight models off the water in Southern Vermont.  They spoke of 2 minute flights with rubber powered models on floats.  One of them, Jim Woolnough, had developed a spring loaded pivoting float that enabled his rubber models to ROW consistently at less than max winds. 

I had to know more and give this a try.

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De Havilland’s record-setting D.H. 80A Puss Moth

While the Gee Bee’s were setting speed records around the pylons, the Puss Moth was setting transcontinental long-distance records

Jim Mollison’s “The Heart’s Content” completed the first East-West transatlantic crossing in August 1932

Featuring Press Release photos from the Len Wieczorek collection


The Great Depression started in the U.S. with the market crash in October, 1929 and the economic impact was felt around the world.  Despite this, aviation technology advanced by leaps and bounds.  The D.H. 80A Puss Moth was part of that revolution in the sky.

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Final Build Update – 24in Miles M.18

Final assembly and details. Landing gear, noseplug & prop assemblies.  We’re ready to fly!

  Kings Cup Miles M.18 model ready to fly

View/Purchase Miles M.18 24in Wingspan Plan


Hi all, it’s a new year.  Hope your 2021 is going well so far. 

Things slowed down a bit over the holidays, but our modelers have finished their Miles M.18 models and they’re ready to fly.  In this update, we’ll touch on details, final assembly, noseplug assembly and specifications.  This will be our last build update.

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Build Update #3 – 24in Miles M.18

Tissue covering & markings, Cowling and Landing Gear installation – we’re closing in on finishing this model!

Tissue covered M.18 fuselage with markings applied

Well, it’s been about a month since we’ve started building our 24inch wingspan Miles M.18 rubber powered flying scale models.  Already, we’ve got a couple of ships nearly ready for that first test glide.

Our modelers continue to improvise a bit as they go, and as always it’s interesting to watch this play out. 

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Build Update #2 – 24in Miles M.18

Wing construction, Fuselage construction Part 2 and the first Trial Assembly

Completed M.18 wing with dihedral added to outer panels

Another two weeks have passed (4 weeks total) and the builders are making good progress.  All three are experienced modelers and are making minor modifications from the plan as they proceed.  Such is the attraction of scratch building – the builder has the freedom to inject their own preferences into the build.

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Build Update #1 – 24in Miles M.18

Join in on the build and/or share positive thoughts via the Comment Forum.

24in Miles M.18 under construction. Get plan here

It’s been two weeks since we announced this online build and we’ve got 3 folks building the 24in wingspan Miles M.18 Mk2 free flight rubber scale model.  Two modelers are on the East Coast and one in the Pacific Northwest.  All have completed the tail framework, one has constructed the wing and two have made solid progress on fuselage construction.  We’ll share some to-date pics along with some of the techniques employed so far.

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Join the Start-to-Finish build of the Miles M.18

We’ll document this Build in a series of photo essay posts.

Click image to get Plan and Build Special price

Join the Miles M.18 Build!


Join the start-to-finish Build of the Tom Nallen-designed Miles M.18 Mk2 rubber powered free flight scale model. 

This relatively simple FAC Scale model will make a nice addition to your fleet.  The model can also be flown in the FAC Low Wing Military Trainer event if finished in the appropriate color scheme.

We’ll document this Build in a series of photo essay style posts to the Aeromodelling blog on thegeebee.com.   Why not build one along with the group and share your questions, tips and techniques, in the comment stream on the posts?  We can all learn from each other.

Get M.18 Plan  

We’ll document this Build in a series of photo essay posts.

Share your questions, tips and techniques, in the comment stream


 

 

Free Flight Rise Off Water, Land On Water Flying

A Vermont modeler’s experience flying free flight rubber models off the water

Mitch and his Flying Aces Sportster on floats

I have always been interested in the many aspects of model airplane aviation. Last year I was talking to some modeling friends who were recalling days of flying rubber powered, Mylar covered planes off of water. My friends called it ROW/LOW (rise off water/ land on water), or ROLO for short.  I realized this was something I would like to try.

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The Great Lakes Trainer: Gee Bee Competitor Extraordinaire

Four of the top ten finishers in the 1930 Cirrus All American Derby were Great Lakes Trainers

C.W. Meyers and the Great Lakes Special Racer he flew in the 1930 Cirrus All American Derby
Great Lakes Trainer – Gee Bee Competitor Extraordinaire

In a recent post Mystery of the Gee Bee X, we told the story of the last flight of the Gee Bee X in September, 1931 in Brattleboro, VT.  A year before, the Model X and its pilot Lowell Bayles won 2nd place among 18 entries in the 1930 All-America Derby, a coast-to-coast, city-to-city reliability tour of 6,553 miles for Cirrus engine powered aircraft.

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Doug’s Gee Bee R-1 Free Flight Model

A photo essay with commentary on the Gee Bee R-1 build, plus a test flight video.  This Gee Bee flies!

Flight testing at Waywayanda NY July 2020, courtesy Tom Hallman

The R-1 has been on my Free-Flight (FF) build list for years.  It is such an icon for aviation buffs- with its winning history and dramatic color scheme. As this ship moved up my build list, I began to reacquaint myself with the airplane and its history.

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