I was most impressed with the performance of Tony Butterworth's Jetex Viper. Tony had replicated this old Jetex ARTF kit for the Jetex 50C motor and was propelling it into the stratosphere with a Rapier L-2.
Tony says it behaved very well in blustery conditions and could be 'just the ticket' for flying at meetings, where, of late, conditions have been less than conducive to sensible flying!
Tony has made a couple more from templates I prepared from scans of an actual kit:
And very nice they are too. Below is a copy of my Viper template:
and I have a high def copy of the plan with instructions (thank you Tony):
I can offer a replica Viper kit of fully coloured balsa parts made from my templates:
The kit will be a quality Jetex.org' product with all parts and a facsimile of the original plan and instructions.
I haven't yet fully costed this project, but please tell me if you would like an example for 'beta testing'.
I hope to be flying mine at this month's Old Warden (23/24 Sept) and trying it out with different Rapiers.
In view of the quite disappointing forecast foe Old Warden () , I decided to finish the Viper - it is, if nothing else, the perfect 'windy weather' model.
And here it is 'ready to go':
Note the foil protection for the fuselage an bottom fin and the 2.3g lead on the nose. Neater than the dreaded 'Blu-tac', but if I make another one I'll incorporate a little over 2g of lead in the building process.
I'll take my other new and as yet unflown models, like the Flying Wing, Hawker Hunter and Hawker P.1081 (all to be found on a separate forum thread) but probably they will be kept 'under wraps'. The forecast is, as it has been at the other OW meetings this year, 12 mph wind (or thereabouts). This may change (please please pretty please) but I suspect I shall fly the Lansen, Wren and Draken - again!
Well, the Viper did fly, but only after John Emmet told me to, "get rid of the lead". So I removed all the lead in the nose, which is moved the CG back quite a way (around 2cm) from that indicated on the plan. John's Jetex 50-powered Viper flies splendidly, as does Tony Butterworth's new one. I checked both - the CG on mine now matches their's. Strange the plan is so wrong. With the CG back it not only climbs and circles under power, it also glides! Perfect!
Here again is John and me with the Vipers:
Note John's Jetex 50 as opposed to my Rapier L-2X and my Viper now has no lead on the nose. John's model was steadier (the Jetex motor is heavier, perhaps adding stability to the flight pattern), mine was more frisky!
So, having 'beta tested' the Viper - if it fly in these conditions it can fly anywhere - I can offer the template to other rocketerrs with a clear conscience. .
I had a nice email from the estimable Tony Butterworth, who writes;
" Just to give a bit more info on the two new vipers [see previous email] I built after my original version - which is now in the hands of the good Doctor Z ... I built these expressly to fly at the UK Power Nationals in the evenings when all things free flight take over the airfield. [the weather was sunny, warm and - joy of joy - CALM] They both performed as the first version i built and drew lots of attention. I could have sold 10 kits easily on the Saturday evening alone such was the interest . However, as often happens when you are really enjoying yourself, one of these Vipers decided to really impress and gained considerable height
The crowd all watched in awe as it glided across the airfield and out of sight ! Remembering this was the first flying session with these newly built models at that point, I decided to pack up.
We searched for around an hour but to no avail, so another Viper escapes! So the score today is: built 3 , given 1 away and lost 1"
So they do fly really well with the latest Rapiers ... where are those folk who wanted a kit?