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TOPIC: Bill Dean's Lost 'X-11' Jetex Design

Bill Dean's Lost 'X-11' Jetex Design 1 year 1 month ago #1947

  • rogersimmonds
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Earlier this year I was the recipient of a number of ‘Jetex related' documents, plans and photos from Bill Dean's estate. These were of course interesting, but, also a mite disappointing . All the plans (Skyray, Midge, etc) are well known and in the public domain and I already have copies of all the articles he wrote for ‘RAF Flying Review’ and related publications

There was, however one genuine surprise from the time he had emigrated to the US (and was, alas, all but lost to the UK modelling scene). Hidden in the archive was a very small negative of a photo simply labelled ‘X-11’.

It needed all my computer graphic skills to make it even half presentable. :unsure:

Above: this is the best, I’m afraid, I could do with what could well be a unique photo, which shows two similar, but different, models that Bill Dean designed for 'Jetco' (which later became the better-known 'Jasco).

The one in the foreground was probably destined for Jetex propulsion (note the twin fins on the wings); the other, which bears both the ‘Jetco’ and ‘X-11’ logos was possibly a chuck glider (but who knows? :dry: .).

There was nothing else at all in the archive about these – no drawings, no proper photo, nothing, nada. An Internet search failed to shed any light on the mystery of these hitherto unknown models, which, it can be inferred, never made it to the marketplace. :(

However, this unique photo caught the attention of the estimable Rob Smith who, in no time at all, produced creditable templates of both models which, after the addition of logos and USAF markings, looked quite authentic:

Above: our recreation of a 'long lost' Bill Dean design. After some discussion, Rob and I agreed on 35 deg. sweepback. As Rob remarked, "It looks an awful lot". :unsure:
One can see why, perhaps, these designs never made it to the market place: Those long noses are very vulnerable and would have broken on the first hard arrival, and the thin wings (1.5mm balsa, one presumes) will be very flexible and the pointy wing tips would make them very prone to tip stalling. This would make for a very unreliable flight pattern.:S

Rob couldn't resist making some alluring coloured templates of both designs.

Note the templates have been sized for TSP L-1 power. If anyone would like a set of templates for either (or both) models, please let me know.
Rob's first 'mock up' to check that everything fits together, shows they are an tnteresting 'period (mid 1950s) piece' and not unattractive.

Above: Rob's prototype X-11A as it might have appeared in a JASCO advert. Rob says it glides OK in a straight line and needed no lead in the nose. The CG is at the rear of the fuselage.

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Last Edit: by rogersimmonds.
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