Comments 186

  • Here’s a question from our Continental Carrier Fliers – when calculating the BCD maximum wing area (450 sq in) should the width of the fuselage be included? Some say yes, others say no if it does not provide any lift. What do you think, guys?

  • words fail me!!! this is not in the spirit of carrier and what it stands for. carrier is sailing way off course, it ought to be renamed ” Monty Pythons Flying Circus ” we should remove the wording “Any Model” from the rules.

    • Hi Brian

      It’s down to the rules needing a rethink! If the only penalty for not flying a model visibly based on a real carrier plane is losing a measly 10 points for prototypicality, why worry? Nigel Frith has led the way up to but not including losing those points with a very similar-looking single engined ultra-lightweight model, while Jan Odeyn was happy to lose 10 points with his 5-engined ‘Not Fleet shadower’!

      Bart’s 300+point scores speak for themselves, but as you say, it’s carrier flying but not as we know it Andy!

      • if there are 12 competitors in a competition, there are only 4 to 5 flying electric. the rest flies glow. Half of the participants are happy like children when they have a 100 point landing and
        getting over 200 points is still a goal.
        it is possible to fly over 300 points with a super scale model. Klaus Seilc has built a great model with the 2-mot Seahornet. The set of rules should keep creativity open as much as possible. There are not many “Bart’s” models.
        I’m glad there aren’t that many rules.
        no one has complained to me yet.

      • I tend to agree and I know Andy does that the aim of CL Carrier should be to replicate a carrier flight and it not just be a slow flying contest (which is now largely is). Even the landings on e-power are often “stop and drop” and hardly “arrested landings” like IC.

        With regard to Bart’s plane I’m fairly sure he brought it to the Nats before Covid (2019?) and Andy would not include it as not being in the “spirit of the event”. So anyone trying similar may be dissapointed.

        As a committed member of the “oily hand gang” l’m happy flying glow and like Robert says am really only interested in flying my own planes and beating my personal best but for those who want to win and for the future of carrier, I think the rules do need looking at.

        For example even in Class 1 the IC engine is limited to 0.40 but there are no limits on E-power which is clealy not equitable.

        • I have been thinking on this for some time, how about a minimum fast run time, perhaps 32 seconds, easily achievable but stops extreme slow flight trim set up. (Maybe) and make the model a recognisable carrier model (or proof of this if not a popular design.) This then would make the event less slow flights and make the landing a little more exciting! You can’t best the feeling when the model is dragged to a halt from flying speed, they tend to bounce back into the ait and drop backwards slightly, very much like the full scale we are emulating, cut and drop is a spot landing comp not arrested landing comp, mind you it is all fun no matter what Rules are in place, that and its accessibility must stay in place, merry Xmas all, off to the ahead to modify the gannet now ready for 2023.

          • I tend to agree with Paul and Gary’s comments although I’m not so sure about having a minimum fast run time. But I do think it should emulate real aircraft carriers and real carrier deck landings with planes that resemble real carrier aircraft, that’s what attracted me to it in the first place. For me nothing beats the adrenalin of getting that landing with a successful hook up πŸ™‚


    • I believe that Andy is keen to encourage more scale-like models, especially ducted fan jets. Some of these (Zoe’s Sea Vixen, Mike Welch’s Sea Vampire and even my F4 Phantom for instance) have already put in respectable performances now they have the option to use the full length of the deck to reach take-off speed..

      Carrier is apparently now the second most popular C/L participation class (after combat) so it would be a shame to lose that by forgetting what the competition is all about, especially visually!

      • Through gifts you can control the participants
        Bonus points for Scale (including coloring) +30
        Bonus points for glow motor +20

  • Good afternoon all,

    Please can anyone help?
    I am on the lookout for some white star transfers/decals for my next project (another Jan Odeyn Wildcat).
    On the present model I cut the stars out of white Fablon or similar but are not even and I would like something better.
    The size of the stars would be 3 inches or so across the ‘arms’ of the star as it were.
    Can anyone advise how I could get hold of some transfers like this?

    Thanks in advance, Adrian.

  • Happy Christmas all, See you next year.

  • Hi All

    Hopeful for the weather for Buckminster this weekend.

    If you get a chance the barton forum have a great link to a you tube vid of Nigel Firths uk record breaking electric speed flight, this might work
    great job Nigel.

    see you all soon


  • Any chance of a report for the Barton Bash?

    Seems such a long time ago now and no results yet.

    • Hi Paul!

      No-one is more frustrated by the lack of reports than me! Andy did promise to send me at least the placings and flight details even if a full report wasn’t possible, but so far I have been sent only one, the April Leicester data – I assume he is busy with other things. As I was at the OW Mayfly meeting myself, I was able to write a report and publish the photos I took of the score sheets, but I can’t publish data I haven’t been sent; this is in stark contrast to the flow of info from Europe, from where I have had material for all four of their meetings in very good time.

      So, PLEASE can anyone attending a carrier meeting in the UK this year photograph the results sheets at the end of the meeting and email them to me at, until Andy finds time to resume the data feed himself!

      • Hi Mike,

        I was only there Saturday and I took some pictures and emailed them to Andy. If you want I can send them to you.

        Hopefully Andy can send something soon. I know how I did (not that I’m that bothered) but I’d just like to see how everyone else did. It was a good day Saturday but not sure about Sunday. I did take a picture of the score sheet before I left but there would have been many flights after that.

        I believe there was an incident with a stray model in the TR circle that closed the club for several weeks but it’s back open again now.

        See you all at the Nats very soon.


      • Pix are always welcome, Paul, if you’d like to email them to me for the site.

        Yes, the meeting at Barton ended prematurely when a B team racer broke away from the lines and went over the fence into the police helicopter area, thankfully with no damage or injuriy caused. Nonetheless, a pic of the results as far as you saw them on the Saturday would be very welcome.



  • I had one of these when they first came out.
    Stinking hot internal in-runner, running a 3S 2200mAH lipo through a 60A (or 80A?) Speedy and a 6×4 prop (might have been 8×4).
    Man that thing scary fast and a real hoot to fly

    • Regarding rule chances in BCD; Please do not chance the rules. Or you will end up with 13 classes of carrier like in the USA.
      Now you have limitless freedom to build what you want.

      Kind regards;


  • I have just set up a Google+ community for Electric Control Line To try and have a place people can post comments, images and videos, as well as ask for or give information on anything Electric CL related, or just chin wag πŸ™‚

    Be grateful is anyone could try this link and post a comment so I see if it’s working. It may be easier to email me if there are problems on to save cluttering up this forum.


  • Hello Carrier Pilots,
    I enjoyed the competition in Barkston Heath.
    the weather was a challenge. That’s how I love that.
    As always very well organized. And I was allowed to judge Andy.
    on the second landing, the line is locked in the upper part of the hook.
    I wanted to give him 100 points. Arrested is arrested. but he only gave himself 40 points.
    I wait eagerly for all the flight ratings!

    • Hi Robert!

      That is typically Andy – very hard on himself, very generous to the rest of us! Shame about the weather but then, it’s the UK’s unique selling point…

      Best regards

      Mike May (Flyco)

  • I notice a lot of comments about the distance to travel to Buckminster for any potential carrier event. A common problem for a lot of people, there are events I can’t get to for the same reason (fortunately Buckminster is not one of them). However, I understand there are plans for possible camping and or dorms at Buckmintser in the future, so all is not lost.

    • Hi Zoe

      camping at buckminster is already available, although showers are still in the planning stage.

      a nice area is set aside and the toilets ect are very good, there is also a small kitchen available to use if required.

      I believe cost is Β£6 per night. we made use of this for the CLAPA champs earlier in the year. an excellent site.

  • Hi all

    Carrier entry for the Nats has been sent, as well as control line aerobatics so I will need to juggle a bit, i am now off to modify my Irvine 36 powered guardian to make it more competitive (I hope) I am already thinking of sticking some random foam bits on it as foam definitely seems to fly slower than Balsa !
    If we also run some smelly diesel engines in the pits the excess oil in the air should make all the foam electric models heavy with oil and they will almost definitely sulk and only manage 200 points! instant level playing field πŸ™‚

    looking forward to see you at the NATS

    Gary Church

  • Good news on Buckminster. Looks like the grass has been mowed since I was last there πŸ™‚

    • I’ve had word from Andy Housden that HMS Bucky is a real possibility – a redundant deck has been located and donated by its owners, and he tells me that Chris Howell is trying to sort out a trailer for it. It took me a while to convince Andy that a permanently-located deck at Bucky was a good idea, but what swung it was the option to borrow it from there for use at the Nats, Tyneside and Yorkshire meetings, minimising towing.

      If Chris is reading this, maybe he can give us all an update? If a refurb is needed when the deck is at Bucky, I’d be up for that, also happy to help fund a decent road-going trailer.

      • Hi, I have aquired a trailer and am awaiting the dimentions of the deck from Andy to see if it is sutible.
        I will keep you informed of the progress.

  • Hi Mike. Excellent work at Buckminster, it all sounds very promising. I would be up for a day of deck building if we need to make a new deck.
    Thanks, Chris.

    • Hello Chris- thanks for your positive comment – yes, it could be a real step forward! Funny that no-one else has responded, still, I’ll be at Marlboro and maybe there will be some feedback from the guys there. Ideally a ready-made deck might become available for a refurb – I expect Andy knows where they are hidden!

      If not, I’d certainly be up for some rough carpentry if we have to build from scratch. I’ll bring a tape measure and size up Mike’s deck as a starting point.


      Mike May

      • I’m sure the others like me are reading Mike and keeping up with the reports and results too. (Zoe: I also read your electric musings with interest too).

        Buckminster looks a great place for all and great credit to Manny and the BMFA for creating such a unique place that will hopefully secure the future of model flying for generations to come. Sadly though, it’s a long stretch for me from Crewe and like most CL Carrier events, a bit too far for more than the occasional day out.

        I always try to make the “Bash” and the “Nats” plus “PANDAS” if I can (usually a bit close to the Nats though) but that’s about all I can do.

        A carrier deck at Buckminster would be a great addition to provide for future comps there possibly if Barkston ever closes it’s doors, plus a reminder to the BMFA that Carrier is alive and well.

        I hope to make the trip to Buckminster one day though.

  • Nice report on the OW meeting Mike. Great pictures, results and write up. Always good to see what is going on and Carrier is alive and well.

    I have to admire the impressive building and flying skills of Nigel and Chris even if I don’t like the shift to electric power. I still feel it would be great to have a sub-class of ICE to retain CL Carriers’ roots with recognition at the end for the top ICE places. It would involve nothing more than awarding 1st ICE at the end of the comp and would give hardened “glow heads” pride of place in their peers and hopefully encourage the continued use of ICE for carrier.

    Well done all, hopefully meet up at the Nats.

    • Hi Paul!

      Thank you for the kind words – I really enjoy competing (well, someone has to come last!) but I also really enjoy producing these reports, as they do help to spread the word about Carrier, and it keeps me up to speed with all the technical changes. Carrier is seen by some as a bit of a quaint ‘Cinderella’ corner of C/L, but actually it’s a lot of fun to fly at any level, and as you say, it’s a real challenge to keep up with the guys at the top of the tree. When I started 10 years ago 200 points was pretty good, but nowadays I would need over 300 points to win BCD!

      Your idea of a Glow-head trophy at each meeting is rather good – I’ll talk to Andy! Having just started electric flying myself, it does feel rather like I’m two-timing my steady I/C partner after a 50 year relationship… but how nice to have a clean model and no starting woes!

      • Hi Mike,

        I think Carrier is the best of all the C/L disciplines as it’s fun, easy to get into (but as technical as you want), very friendly and very competitive.Thanks to Andy’s huge commitment and the support of others like yourself, it’s in good health and long may it remain so. Good reports show others what a great discipline it is and will ensure it’s continued support. Well worth sending this to the BMFA for their Facebook page as they love this sort of thing and they too are doing a great job to promote model flying. It’s just a shame for me that Buckminster and many of the carrier events are just too far for me to travel for the day.

        I enjoy competing and know I’m way off the pace, but the challenge to improve my times and the thrill of getting that deck landing is what I love. That and the direct feel of control that you just don’t get with R/C. What you say is very true in that flyers can enjoy it at so many levels.

        I do fly electric R/C where I can’t fly ICE due to noise, but a good proportion of what I love about aeromodelling comes from messing with ICE engines, the challenge of bringing them into life and that glorious smell of burnt glow fuel or diesel. That and balsa bashing :-). Electric just doesn’t do it for me in spite of the convenience or cleanliness so I’ll always be carrying the banner for ICE and keep trying improve my times.

    • Bit late to this thread but I have to agree that some sort of differentiation between electric and IC is needed; even if it’s as simple as declaring two sets of results at the end of comp one for IC and one for electric.

      As I have suggested before for basic carrier, a more graded score for scale appearance would redress some of the more extreme electric models as well as shifting things a bit more into the realms of the original intent of navy carrier. For example it could be as simple as eyeballing a photograph/illustration of the actual aircraft and model using scoring of proportions (+0-20), colour scheme (+0-20), and would only take some tweaking of the existing rules. the max points and gradation I used could be adjusted. It’s just a suggestion.

      Having flown both and only recently exclusively electric, the one thing that I can’t ignore is how different they actually are, each having it’s own unique challenges, advantages, and disadvantages.

      Neither are easy! It took me long time to get any idea of what worked well for IC. but with the controls being mainly mechanical everything is fairly simple to understand and setup. Electric power is a totally different beast as I am finding out amidst a lot of frustration and inward swearing at times. It’s never wise to knock the other side unless you have been there, it’s not long ago I said I have no interest in going electric, all I can say now is I have swapped one set of problems for a lot of different ones but at least I don’t come home smelling like a chip pan fire these days LOL

  • Don’t know if anyone actually reads this stuff I blabber on about, but the following may be useful to someone?

    Here is a bit of useful practical information. I found that a combination of a 1500KV A2217/6T cheap OEM (original equipment manufacturer) motor and a Skywalker 40A ESC, is a very versatile combination for smaller carrier models on 12m (40ft) lines and an 8×6 Gemfan E prop. It can be run on anything from a 2cell to a 4cell battery depending on requirements.

    A 1300mAh Zippy Compact three cell 11.1V battery is capable of keeping my ageing somewhat oil soaked 800mm wingspan Wildcat with an all up weight of 670g in the air for two full competition flights, not that I want to push things that far, but it gives a nice margin for error and won’t run the battery flat with a potential of long term damage if, like I do more often than not, when I end up doing far more laps than I would like trying to get lined up for a landing.

    I’ve even flown it with a hefty (weight wise) 2200mAh battery around and got bored with and extremely long practice session? It was a purchase mistake! I should have bought a Zippy Compact 2200mAh which is a lot lighter.

    One awkward thing is that no one in the UK seems to stock the 1500KV motor, it seems to be an odd size that few details are available for, which took me a bit of tracking down. But! it turned out to be just what I needed.It was only by accident that ended up with my first one. The only place they are readily available is Ali Express. With a delivery time of two weeks on average it’s no big deal as they are worth waiting for. At the time of writing I have just received another two motors and two ESC’s for Β£34.84 (free postage). The Skywalker ESC’s came with no battery plug which means you would have to solder on your own or find someone that can.

    These are to be used in place of the original choice of Turnigy motors I had chosen for the Brodak Tigercat, so I can now keep the all up weight sensible; The actual, not on paper, power the Turnigys sucked up was getting silly, bordering on a hellfire and smoke situation and almost totally impractical when it came to weight of batteries and prop sizes. It would have been F******! fast though before it fell out of the sky,burst into flames, or both. I may even actually try it at some point. Cue maniacal laughter!!!

    I’ve also come to appreciate Gemfan electric props, not only because they are modestly priced, they also seem to work rather well. Usually sold in pairs, ‘dalewoodmodels’ on Ebay seems to keep a useable selection in stock. They do need balancing, as do all props no matter who makes them. I use a cheap magnetic balance, sandpaper on the back of the offending blade, and bit of patience. After all, the prop is about the only thing that ‘can’ vibrate on an electric setup.

    • That image link can be a bit confusing you don’t need a Dropbox account to view it. Try this one instead if necessary, bit more user friendly

      • Just a quick update on the motor changes to my Tigercat. With a nominally charged (not fully) Floureon 3S 25c pack (not the lightest thing on the planet), with the 1500kv (OEM) motors and two Gemfan 8×6 props, the total current draw for both motors at full throttle is 60A. This is enough power to pull it vertically against my grip with nothing getting silly hot. I judge that to be more than sufficient..! This is bit more manageable than two Turnigy 3536/6 motors pulling 120A on 9×6 Gemfan props with things too hot to touch after a few seconds.

        Another thing I have just learned is that if a motor is stalled, ie in a ground contact nose over situation, and a high pitch squeal is heard before you can close the throttle, check the end float on the motor shaft; if it’s increased from normal, chances are the retaining grub screws in the front of motor have probably slipped. After thinking that this was a weak point in the design I now think it is actually a design feature to stop things getting ripped apart or burning out. Unfortunately it needed a vice and tap with a hammer to set things back to the right clearances, even though it seemed to run quite happily on subsequent flights with the excessive end float before I got home to fix it?

  • Do we know or have any idea what the Buckminster deck would cost? I would be happy to contribute something towards it.

    Whilst I’m here I may as well show the final livery of the Aichi M6A Serian floatplane, and report that it flies OK. Takeoffs and landings in damp grass seem actually easier than with wheels. Still need to try it in stiff breeze?

    I may also get the Brodak Tigercat electric conversion ready for the Nationals as s Class 1 entry, it’s finally going together faster then the snails pace I’ve experienced so far. I’ve lost count of the number of design decisions the didn’t work for unforeseen problems or having to constantly remake things I thought where a good idea at the time. πŸ™‚

  • A permanent carrier at Buckmister is not only desirable it’s a must. This is a chance to finally get all the CL disciplines in one place on a permanent basis, to show case them if nothing else. As they were kind enough to let me charge my electric car when I was last there, it’s practical for me to to get there and back relatively easily, so I can definitely help out in any way I can. Although I don’t posses the energy and commitment that Andy Housden has, so organising anything would be a bit beyond my capabilities.

    Disappointing to hear of the cancellation of the floatplane contest but I know Andy Green has far more serious issues to contend with and I wish him well.

  • Hi Mike, A great idea to have a deck based at Buckminster. The possibility of comps there, maybe along side other c/l events, combined with all the facilities that they can offer must worth a bit of time and effort in creating a new deck.

    • Chris – thank you for the thumbs up on this! I will be raising it when I go to Buckminster in June (if not before) – seems like a great way to promote carrier especially as all the other C/L disciplines (even tther cars!) are getting in on the act…

      Best wishes

      Mike May (Flyco)

  • A few pictures of my finished Schneider floatplane competition model, designed and built from scratch by my myself. Follow the link.

    Quite pleased with the all up weight, which includes the battery. Cramming all the electrical bits into such a small space was a challenge in it’s own right and still needs final tidy up once my terminal crimper arrives

    The early floatation test probably drained the local reservoir πŸ™‚ but our club pond dug especially for filling the Schneider comp water trough is now full, which should help the whole process of filling it. The pond is deep so if you visit take care around it!

    One thing I have learned is that the original aircraft float size and location scaled down to the model size would almost certainly have been correct. I erred on the safe side having seen how models performed in the 2017 comps, but I may have overcompensated as the floats were very high out of the water during the floatation test.

    The other point is that I tend to use a lot of tip weight, and that was making the outer float sit a lot lower in the water which may affect take-offs and landings. I’ve since reduced it but the only way to tell is to fly it.

    First comp 2018 is at Leicester MAC, Gumley, Sunday 22 April, I’ll see everyone there.

    Next project I’ve started on is converting a Brodak F7F Tigercat twin to electric which I had already built for IC engines (internal combustion in case anyone’s unfamiliar with the term) engines. I’ve had the stunningly impractical idea of trying to make it into a semi-scale profile Class One carrier model now that I have access to enough servo channels to make the desirable bits move.

    I may have miscalculated a bit on the power requirements, a pencil and paper exercise revealed that if fully optimised I would be shoving just shy of 1 kW through the motor pair; so I don’t think it will be slow!

    So far unmaking the Tigercat has been a bit of a nightmare, more resembling repairing a crashed model than doing anything satisfying. I have been developing a healthy disrespect for Brodack’s carrier kits for some time. Not sure who is responsible, but I suspect they are bastardized versions of how the original models were built. This gives me mixed feelings, on the one hand they could probably be very good models if redeveloped, on the other, there is probably no market for that and the supply will eventually run out, which is a sad thought. Unfortunately this has all done nothing to ease my mind.


  • How’s this for the CL float plane comps? It’s begging to be done but I can’t attempt it myself as I have too much on my plate as it is. Would be great for someone looking for a good project/conversion without having to build a model. If the links are not active in the this forum just copy paste to a web browser.

    Zoe’s gone electric, ‘ Spit!’

    P.S. Finally getting to to the bottom of my electric throttle response problems which should make flying a bit more of a pleasant experience, and not so much of a brown underwear Aaaagh! one in gusty conditions πŸ™‚

    • Hi Zoe – good to hear from you!

      That Spit really does look the business, and Dynam’s Catalina is very tempting too (might need a bigger pond tho’!) I’m wavering now re electric power, (see home page) – can’t see me entirely abandoning i/c but for sheer ease of getting airborne, electric is very very tempting. But will it make me a better pilot? Erm, unlikely!

      • Piloting is all about practice, the more flying you do the better you get at it. Or it may be truer to say, the less mistakes you make πŸ™‚

        As for electric being easier, it’s debatable. All the fuss with ic engine starting, fuel tanks, fuel and smell and having to fuel proof everything, are gone, but other problems arise. The brute force per weight unit of an ic engine is much higher than electric, so weight wing loading becomes quite important for electric, which in turn means the extra weight of an ic model can be an advantage in a breeze. The main advantage for me, is that I can run motors in doors, to fault find or test things out. Another strange thing that gets overlooked is for a given power you will probably end up having to use a larger diameter prop than an ic engine would need, which at the least can cause ground clearance problems with an existing model. There is also relationship between prop diameter-pitch and number battery cells (total battery Voltage) to further queer the pitch, and that has cost me quiet bit in batteries to experiment with so far!

        I’m also just awkward πŸ™‚ That gives me more problems than most. I want to have the throttle control on the handle, which means making my own handle in that respect and modifying transmitters. I don’t like the disconnect between using my right hand to fly and the left to control the throttle. I find it much more intuitive to do both with one hand; especially in panic situation. Doing this has certain disadvantages, but so does doing it the easy way of using two hands; so yer pays your money and makes yer choice.

        I learned a great deal over last year. even though the total amount of flying I did was low. The aim was to identify any problems, possible showstoppers and blind alleys, of which there quite a few. The biggest being the remarkable lack of information on the electronics, which I found quite surprising as I though the RC fraternity would have it all off pat; instead it seems to be lots more of the blind leading the blind and misinformation. So I had to disentangle the Gordian knot with everything from batteries to motors and esc’s, receivers and transmitters, all with a bit of lateral thinking most of the time. After a year I have a better understanding of what was causing me grief, what I was doing wrong, what I want, and how to get there. I expect yet another year of ironing out the next set of problems, but I least I have models to fly an a long to do list and projects on the go converting all my old ic CL models. I’m tight like that LOL

        I’m no expert, but once it have things working reliably I will try to write a piece about it all, as there doesn’t seem to be much about the why and how (for muppets like myself) of it anywhere when it comes to electric carrier, except the usual, I use motor A, B, or C, and everyone copying what everyone else does variety.

  • Hello Mike,I’ve had an interesting e-mail from the United States Naval Museum Pensacola regarding the Ryan Dark Shark, Quote:- ” The XF2R-1 Dark Shark never conducted any Carrier or simulated land trials as all the arresting gear and catapulting gear were removed when it was converted from Fireball FR-1 ( BU Number 39661 ) into the prototype. It flew from the Ryan Factory in San Diago onto Edwards Air force Base where it continued to fly out its testing programme The Navy showed little interest and abandoned it in favour of all jet fighters. Unquote. So the Dark Shark doesn’t meet Class 1 Rule 8.1 and 8.2.

    • Hi Brian- thanks for the comment! It was a bit scary, so I looked at the rules…

      8.1 and 8.2 are “either-or” conditions. A carrier aircraft is any man-carrying aircraft which was successfully flown and which meets at least one (1) of the requirements. 8.1 (actual deck landing) doesn’t apply, but 8.2 would seem to:

      “The aircraft is designated as a carrier aircraft by an acceptable source (in cases where actual carrier-type takeoff and arrested landing are not documented)”

      The Dark Shark was surely based on, and would have been a direct upgrade to, the Fireball and was therefore always designated as a carrier aircraft, nothing else – it had hook and catapult gear mounting facilities which, of course, were never used because of the advent of pure jets. What is an “acceptable source”? Well I’d say that the mini-article in Popular Science March 1947 isn’t a bad start – it describes the DS as “a successor to the FR-1 Fireball”

      Navy Tests Its Hotter Fireball” , March 1947, Popular Science article mid-page 24

      I have also got the Profile Publication – I’ll look that out tomorrow as well.

      So I’d be very happy to bring it to the deck and fly it in either Class 1 or indeed, in BCD as the Nelson isn’t piped…

  • Can someone clarify the Class 1 rules for me as I am thinking of a project for this coming season. I love flying my Hellcat but it’s very heavy and so struggles to get off the deck with only a .40 (it was designed for a .60) and it’s not a slow flyer even with the flaps down. I’ve seen one a two subjects I think would be very competitive but need to be sure before deciding on which one.

    The main query is power, as it seem to suggest in rule 3.7 that only internal combustion engines up to .40 are allowed (or 2 x.21’s) and electric power is prohibited. I’m guessing this has been over-ridden by a newer rule or qualification, so what are the limits for electric power? What is the equivalent and can you have multiple engines (say 4) up to a set wattage or is there no limit?

    Secondly does the form of propulsion have to match the original, so that if it’s a jet does it have to be a jet/ducted fan or can it be a prop (puller or pusher)?

    Not sure what I am going to build at the moment but I have few ideas and depending on the rules I may make one of 2 or 3 subjects.

    Hope either Andy, Mike or some other Yoda can clarify this one.

    Thanks, Paul

    • Hi Paul

      Thanks for the query, which raises some interesting points for all carrier fliers! What follows is my interpretation of the UK rules as they have been adapted from the AMA ruleset. It also this takes note of the implicit approval for changes that have emerged and are now in common usage over the many years since the original rules were laid down.

      Let’s look at your questions one by one:

      Query 1. “My main query is power, as it seem to suggest in rule 3.7 that only internal combustion engines up to .40 are allowed (or 2 x.21’s) and electric power is prohibited. I’m guessing this has been over-ridden by a newer rule or qualification”

      Answer 1: You’re absolutely right in saying that (despite note 3c against rule 3.7) electrical power is now implicitly allowed in Class 1; this is borne out simply by the fact that 4/7 models flown in this class at the 2016 Nats at Old Warden were electrically powered and all were allowed to compete – Jan Odeyn’s MO-1, Peter Tribe’s Wyvern, Bob Philipps’s Zomo Susei and Chris Hague’s MO-1 – in fact you and I were in the minority still using I/C!

      Query 2: “So what are the limits for electric power? What is the equivalent and can you have multiple engines (say 4) up to a set wattage or is there no limit?”

      Answer 2: Back in May 2015, I added a discussion page re electrical power rules ( to this site, seeking feedback on regulating the power allowed: however, only one person replied, and that was US master flier Eric Conley setting out his experiences in flying US Navy Carrier with electric power – in the States, the only restriction is a maximum voltage of 42v. But, in the UK, just as for BCD, you can use “wattever” power setup you like, including multiple electric motors with no restriction.

      Query 3: “Does the form of propulsion have to match the original, so that if it’s a jet does it have to be a jet/ducted fan or can it be a prop (puller or pusher)?”

      Answer 3: The brief answer is that you can use any means of propulsion that you can make work, within the I/C power limits, regardless of the original power source used on the full-sized prototype. It’s worth noting too that a special dispensation was allowed from April 2013 for anyone brave enough to use Glow Ducted Fan power ( which raised the engine size limit for class 1 to .46ci, but to my knowledge noone yet has brought a GDF model to the deck – I am still trying to get my BCD F4 to work!)

      Finally, there’s no authorisation for anyone to use 2.4ghz r/C to control aspects of a UK carrier model’s flight regime, BUT! there’s no prohibition either, and as you know many builders are migrating to it away from 3-line and down-the-wire control systems.

      I think your post is very timely, because we do need to accommodate these new developments within the UK rulebook, I’ll have a chat with Andy Housden about this, and there might be a poll to see if there’s any desire for rules to limit power output – somehow, I doubt it – but in any case, nothing would change before 2018.

      • Hi Paul
        With class 1 being much more scale orientated, you may not get the scale points if a different propulsion system from the original subject is used. This is just my take on the situation and as such can only be used as a quote as if from the idiots guide to class 1.
        See you all soon, Chris.

      • Many thanks for the reply Mike and it’s clear that things seemed to have moved on somewhat and are still doing so.

        With the ease of starting, reliability, light weight and instant response of electric power especially coupled to 2.4GHz control, it’s probably a no brainer that to be competitive this is the way to go in both BCD and C1. Especially if there are no power limitations as they are for I/C and also coupled with foamie type “featherweight” construction.

        As a confirmed balsa basher and petrol head from the oily hand gang though, I do feel sad about this and wonder if it would be possible to consider an internal “Vintage” or “Classic” class (within either C1 or BCD) based on traditional construction, I/C power and 3 line control systems to retain the roots of the carrier class.

        Getting back to C1 though, in the knowledge of the above I have a couple of subjects in mind and will now have to decide how ambitious I want to be. Do I really think I can pull off an EDF Sea Harrier complete with rotating vectored thrust or maybe a F39 Lightning II based around a racing quadcopter frame complete with stabilising gyro ;-).

        I’m jesting slightly here but I do think it shows where people could take Class 1 or even BCD if they wanted to and it could be a long way from were it is now. So maybe it is a good time to re-consider the rules in advance and decide what the future should or should not hold.

        ATB to all Carrier folk and hope to see you at Barton.


        • Hello Paul!

          I think that one of the rules that won’t get bent very much is the requirement in section 8 of the current rules that the prototype must have been designed to make arrested landings (although already that has been slightly sidestepped with the new WW1 class where you can opt for unarrested landings!) – the point being that Harriers and other aircraft capable of thrust vectoring don’t fit the bill – nor do helicopters. F35? Don’t know for sure, they probably would use hooks in the A & B versions but not for the vectored C…

          The demise of I/C and balsa is much exaggerated – have a look at my new build on the Barton Website – A Ryan Dark Shark with Nelson power! ( 3-line is still alive and well in BCD, as are showboat-weight models in Class 1 (Bob Phillipp’s Zomo Susei for instance)

          The more I think about this, the more I believe that we need to firm up the rules so everyone knows what is expected of them, even if we end up throwing most of the rules away and starting again!

          Max, Jan, if you’re reading this, how do you feel about the rules needing smartening up

          Best wishes…Mike

          • Hi All

            writing down the rules as they are now with agreed alterations so they reflect what is currently flown is a great idea.

            Rewriting them completely definitely not!

            They have and do work very well, carrier has always been and continues to be very accessible for all levels of ambition and ability with all competing equally and having fun. The minor tweaks that have been applied over the years have worked very well in keeping it that way.

            I cant see any major changes required.

            Happy flying


          • Hi Mike,

            As I really just build/fly for fun and am never going to be competing for the top spots my only concern is I build something that is legal, but this seems to be pretty loose especially for Class 1. I did fancy trying to develop an electric V22 Osprey Tilt Rotor built largely from foam and using RC control for the throttle/tilt and maybe a gyro stabilised servo controlled elevator or rotor for pitch, but will probably settle on something less ambitious ;-).

            How the class develops at the sharp end will probably be determined as it has been over the last few years by those fighting it out at the top by mutual agreement, but I still think it would be nice to see an internal “Classic” or “Vintage” carrier class (as other CL disciplines have) to retain what I feel is true carrier flown on 3 lines and I/C power. It would involve no further flying or scoring just a split at the end of the day.

          • All;

            Andy had his reasons for setting up the rules for BCD and Class1 as they are drawn and till now it works fine.
            But times are changing and technological progress is not standing still

            I had an email exchange with Robert Schulze (Graf Zeppelin II) and Jan Odeyn. (Belgium) about the discussion in Crewroom
            And our opinion comes down to the following;

            -No split between IC and Electric,
            -Interpretation of the (model) rules as it was in 2016.
            -Both the top 5 and beginner pilots can have fun on their level.
            -Technical development is not inhibited or stifled.
            -Two classes in BCD would ruin the competition.
            -Models like the F2D-Zero or the U-2 may deviate from the semi-scale principle, but are also refreshing.
            In other words leave everything as it is now.

            Class 1;
            The following is Jan’s opinion, he is the man with experience.
            -No split between IC and Electric,
            -Interpretation of the (model) rules as it was till now.
            -Engine capacity is limited to .40, I have seen it used at the Nationals and I was hiding behind a
            Car, that limitation seems to me more than reasonable.
            -For Electric propulsion you can convert the power of a .40 to Watts, as is done in some RC pylon
            -I also agree with the 5% rule scale otherwise, this is necessary to avoid the development towards unrecognizable models.
            -Perhaps a scale profile fuselage would simplify entry into this class.
            Technical development is not inhibited or stifled.
            Two classes in Class 1 would ruin the competition.
            In other words leave everything as it is now, perhaps allow scale profile fuselage

            I built my first class 1 in 2010, to increase the number of participants and now I am already 7 times English champion.
            So it can also be done with low-tech and with simple equipment.
            It is not an easy class because if things go wrong, the result is sensational.
            Maybe that is why there are so few participants.
            It’s not as consequence-free as BCD.
            A new regulation is back to scratch and maybe there are then even less participants.
            I am therefore not behind the ideas for change. (maybe I was too much in England)

            Kind regards


          • Great reply Max and great English too :-).

          • Hello chaps! thank you for your responses to my suggestions – but don’t worry, nothing radical was intended…

            CLASS 1: I think I was being a bit too mischievous when I suggested tearing up the rule book – no way will that happen! I think the only class 1 rules that do need changing are:
            1. to explicitly allow electric power (it’s not officially allowed today!) – no restriction on electric power unless it becomes apparent that electric models are becoming dangerous due to extreme battery/motor combinations
            2. to permanently include the minor change in respect of the maximum I/C swept volume increase from .40 ci to .46 ci for glow ducted fan-powered models.

            BCD: I wasn’t proposing any changes specific to BCD…

            BOTH: Specifically allow the use of 2.4Ghz radio control to control any function allowed in the class EXCEPT for the elevator

            I do hope that makes everyone happy! I’m waiting for a reply from Andy to see what he thinks…

            Best wishes from Flyco!

  • New take apart model

    Hi All

    I am in the process of building a new, fully take apart “Grumman Guardian BCD” model, my last 15 or so models have featured plug in wings, this one is also removable tail and fold up undercarriage to store and transport in a small box to attach to the back of my motorbike!
    I transported my last guardian in the same way to the Croydon comp, but the box was rather large (and temporary)

    The rest will still be my “vintage” set up of irvine 39 and 3 line bellcrank to original Roberts handle that my dad used in the 70`s and I have used for the last 20 years. I did try electric power and radio throttle and didnt enjoy it!

    If anyone is interested i could put some photos up, just let me know how to do that.

    See you all soon

    Gary Church

    • Gary;


      Please put some photos up.
      As I keep struggling with take apart models without too much weight issues.

      Kind regards;


    • Hi Gary, Some build pictures are always a welcome diversion on a winters evening, and might just get me thinking about going out to the workshop.
      Thanks, and merry Xmas, Chris.

      • Webmaster now has some pics from me, He has promised to post them when he next updates the site.

        Hopefully test flight Xmas eve, weather permitting!

        Merry Xmas


        • Gary;

          Thanks for the pics, I will shamelessy copy this construction.
          The wing mounting I understand.
          The elevator mounting I do not quite understand, or I do not understand the pics.
          I have on a shelf, since years and brand new , a red Brodak – J. Roberts handle, I do nothing with it, do you know somebody that can use it?

          Kind regards;


          • Hi all

            Now flown I have a slight alteration to do to the elevator connection but other than that I am happy, stable on the fast run and shows promise for the rest of the flight envelope.

            Max the tailplane has rods mounted in one side and these slide through a tube on the other, through the fuselage. these rods finish in an electrical block connector which is clamped with the screw shown on the pictures. google 15A connector terminal strip and you will hopefully see what i mean, they come with plastic insulation but the plastic can be cut around the screw, the screw removed and the brass collet drops out, great for wheel collets and joining push rods with adjustable length.

            The elevator connection is the bit I need to modify, I had a great idea but it ultimately did not work to my satisfaction so it will be modified to have a wire joiner through the fuselage that drops into slots on the elevators. its not to much of an effort as it was designed to be altered when originally built.

            Happy Flying


          • Gary;


            All clear now.

            Thank you


  • Great Nats report Mike and a fantastic event even with the rather blustery conditions. Having been part of a small team responsible for organising a number of Nationals for RC Yacht Racing, I know the huge amount of work required before, during and after the event so really appreciate the continuing efforts of Andy and all the helpers. Roll on Barton 2017.

  • Just like to congratulate Chris Howell on his Nationals win, a worthy winner having fought back after some low life stole all his models and equipment. well done Chris.

    • Plus one to that, Brian! Chris has quietly caught up with the big names, and with a model of his own invention quite unlike any other has surpassed them; and what a nice guy he is too! Well done Chris.

    • Yep well done Chris and Jan. Both great fliers and top gents.

      When I saw Chris’ foamie weather cocking into the wind at the top of the circle on Saturday and heading off South down the OW airfield, I thought he was not going to even make it back let alone conquer all. Presumably the wind was a bit less battering on Sunday or he got the measure of it and the competition.

      Also cheers to Jan for reminding me there is a fine line between courage and madness, after which, I breathed a sigh of relief that my Class 1 Hellcat was still in one piece and decided to save it for Barkston next year.

      Finally, a big thanks to Andy et Al for all their hard work in giving us a great day out. Winter break for me now and hopefully more favourable winds at Barton Bash next year. Plenty of time now for testing and building.

  • Hi Nigel, the Guardian obviously is the one to build but why build the much sort after kit when John Marsh designed a tried and tested one especially for carrier 40 powered as well. if you do choose the kit to build don’t destroy it forever trace around all the parts copy the plan and decals and sell the kit on. I have been a keen collector of controline Stirling kits for a long time now and the Guardian has always eluded me I nearly have them all ( there were 13 in the series ) they appear on e-bay from time to time. I would dearly like to purchase the kit from you ( if you wish to sell it of course ) failing that a copy of the plan and traced parts would keep me going till another appears on e-bay. I’ve built the Stirling Nieuport 28 ( I traced the kit parts ) with a view to flying it in carrier as they flew with the American navy and launched from platforms on the gun turrets of battleships, but I cant find any evidence that they flew from and landed on carriers hooked or unhooked. As for the Corsair11 I was thinking of building one also but from the American Modeller plan that I have but its a lot of hard work, so as I’m a slow builder its on the to do list. My class 1 Sea Balliol is progressing slowly. All the best keep up the good work. Brian Hunt.

    • Hi Brian! It’s Mike May the webmaster and seeker of kit building advice! I took over website duty from Nigel Cheffers-Heard about 4 years ago, but the redirection from his web address is obviously still working.

      Thank you very much for your post – heartfelt advice indeed!

      I imported many of the kits in the man-cave from the States, including the Guardian – I’ve also got a Sterling Skyshark and a fabulous Consolidated kit of the Ryan Dark Shark for potential carrier use. The cost of bringing them over wasn’t too bad, the fact that there was no customs duty on wooden kits helped.

      I’ve got two of the Corsair 2 kits – one came from New Zealand and cost me a lot of pain reclaiming duty from HMRC after the vendor over-declared its value – the other one from the UK. You’re right of course, my head tells me that the Guardian is the logical one to go for, very simple, sure to work, but ugly as sin. However, my heart is trying to persaude me to go for the Corsair as it’s such a gorgeous model, unusual, and a real challenge. Let’s see if anyone else has a view! If I do decide to sell the Guardian, I’ll let you know.

      • Hi Mike, That corsair 2 is the one to go for just for the looks alone, The Guardian will fly much better, So just build them both!
        Cheers, Chris.

      • I have the perfect answer to your problem. Ship the Guardian to me, and build the Corsair. I have found this answer to be the best way of dealing with any problem.

        • Well, the guardian preservation Society has spoken, so I’ve put the kit back under the bench for safe keeping! I’ll have another look at the other unmade kits before going nap on the Corsair 2! Thank you for humouring me, I’ll let you know when I start cutting balsa…

  • Hi all, I am thinking about building the Jan Odeyn Wildcat but for electric power, with 2.4 MHz radio control for the throttle. I would welcome advice on a) which transmitter and receiver to use and b) recommendations for a suitable motor/esc/battery combo equivalent to a 0.15 to 0.20 glow engine. Many thanks, Adrian.

  • Great report for Old Warden Andy.

    Many thanks for running the event and all helpers.

    Adrian and I had a great day out.

    Hopefully the Skyraider/JEN37 will make it into the slow run next year.

    Time for some winter testing now :-).

    • Hi Paul!

      Have you seen a report for any of the OW events? I haven’t, so will probably write up the September one myself as I was actually there (my only event this year, to my regret). If you have seen a report, could you please let me know where?

      • Great write up and super photos! I have been hoping somebody would report with pictures and personal comments. I do have a bit of a problem with articles written in “British”, but what the H%$#, personal thoughts are what I mostly look for on this site.

  • Great report on the Bash.

    Lets hope for some decent weather for the Nats next month.

  • Having watched carrier several times at Old Warden and the nationals, I have decided to build something to have a go with. I have drawn up a semi scale Zero which I am in the process of building. I have not flown control line for a good while, so will build a stunt trainer to get me back circulating but I cannot remember what line lengths I used back in those far off days!
    I am working on the assumption of for 049 motors 25 feet.

    1.5cc 35 feet and 2.5cc 55 feet.
    I have an old plan of a Mercury Viper and a Frog Viper engine, so I thought that might be the route to go.
    Any tips would be appreciated, great site by the way.

    Best wishes Chris.

    • Hi Chris – welcome back to C/L! Sorry for the delay in replying (see the front page!)

      You’re pretty much spot on for your line lengths, although most 2.5cc models usually adopt the FAI length of 52′ 6″. Some of the engines around nowadays are pretty potent, and a 1.5cc model can really zip around. Most guys in Basic Carrier Deck fly on 60′ lines, while a few go for 55′ (gives a slight advantage as you’re nearer the deck!). Class 1 is much more prescriptive, but for details have a look at the rules pages.

      The Viper is an excellent stunt trainer, maybe with a PAW 1.5 or similar if your Frog motor proves the wrong choice.

      Next step would logically be to build one of the “Housden Hellcat” variants (plan on this site for download) – it can be made as a Hurricane and Zero as well or almost any other WW2 fighter. These are excellent learner planes and virtually indestructible (although I did manage to wreck one built with a foam wing by hitting the carrier superstructure…)

      Keep in touch, and do make yourself known at meetings, especially to Andy Housden, who is the mainspring of the Carrier scene in the UK – he’s a mine of information and encouragement!

      • Do your best to make it to the Nats at Barkston Heath over the August B/H if you can.

        Not only a great day out with so many other disciplines to see and trade stands to visit, but the best opportunity to see the wide range of carrier planes, gather info and find out what a generally fabulous and friendly bunch C/L Carrier people are!!

  • Many thanks to Andy for setting up and running at the Barton Bash this weekend.

    Weather was mixed to begin with, but Saturday afternoon turned out quite nice and plenty of flying was done.

    Quite a good turn out and the usual great social gathering.

  • Hi, everyone.

    I’m just finishing off a new SIG Skyraider in time for the Barton Bash and have come to set the lines up and find my J Roberts handle is missing.

    Last time I had it was at the Nats 2015 and I’m guessing I rolled the lines up but forgot to go and pick it up after.

    If anyone picked it up can they let me know and send it to Barton. Someone must have seen it as it would have been obvious in the line park and I flew on Saturday.

    I’ve emailed Andy but had no reply back yet. It’s a brand new yellow one with a rope safety strap.

    In hopeful anticipation.

    Paul Stubbs BCD Hellcat

    • Paul – hello!

      Sorry to hear that you lost your JR handle. If you have no response from anyone else, I have several spare modern Brodak JR handles in good nick – you’re welcome to one of them for free (I’ve gone over to squeezy handles for 3-line legacy models and 2.4ghz throttle for new builds)

      Drop me an email: if you’re interested

      Best wishes

      Mike May (Flyco)

      • Thanks Mike I would like to take you up on that. As of yesterday I’ve got one on loan from Adrian Thompson who lives close to me and actually got me in to Carrier flying.

        This will ensure I can get the model set up and flight tested ready for Barton.

        Hopefully either before or at Barton I can get something sorted out for the Nats.

  • Hi folks, can anybody put me in touch with peter or Ronnie tribe. This months aero modeller featured a picture of their aircraft. i.m specially interested in the s3a Viking. Hope you can help me. Regards Alan.

    • Hi Alan

      Peter Tribe’s landline number is on this site on the “2015 Event Diary” page – see the Damyns Hall meeting


      Mike (Webmaster)

  • Hello all – the crewroom has been pretty deserted this year – maybe it’s time to lay it to rest! I’d ask for your thoughts, but maybe no-one reads this anyway.

    The site will start to get its winter fun-type updates in a couple of weeks – your webmaster has been looking after stuff that got put aside during the flying season (like getting some practice in on his saxophones for a few Christmas gigs!), but I do have a lot of interesting material to upload, so keep watching.

    In the meantime, enjoy yourselves, especially with all that Christmas shoppong to look forwards to!

    Sincerely, Mike (Webmaster)

    • Hi Mike, I read all the posts but I am not much one for writing, but it would be a shame to loose it.

      • Hi Chris, thank you for the comment; 100% positive reaction so far so yes, we will keep it!

        For everyone, keep looking for more Nats pix, I’m getting there slowly…

        Best wishes,


  • Have you heard of the rule known as ‘PPPPPP’? I’m right up to speed with it after a couple of nearly disastrous meetings where anything that could go wrong with my squadron, did! To be successful in something like carrier flying you need to be able to take your plane’s performance and setup as read; starting, throttling, line lengths and connectors, you know the score. Then, you can focus on flying the mission. I messed up sets of lines at the end of the Old Warden meeting then left it to the day before Leicester to try to fix them. On my own. In a public car park (I haven’t got a large garden!) Results were inevitable… Then, I wondered why none of my engines would run. If I’d thought it through, it had to be duff fuel, but I didn’t realise until I’d changed engines and carbs and still they wouldn’t run. Panic drive to the nearest model shop (50 mile round trip) for new fuel. I could go on. But won’t. Maybe it’ll get better when I retire and have more time, but right now I feel like an idiot having driven 200 miles to a meeting, with three models, of which only one recorded just one full flight. Still, that flight was a bit Special because I found there was no up elevator and only full throttle available, but rage and embarrassment forced me on to the bitter end, with a pitiful 5.4 speed difference points and a full speed landing the actually netted full points with an arrival the took all four wires, I think. But it shouldn’t be like that! My resolution is to get focused and find somewhere to practice. That way, I might just fall in line with PPPPPP. Guessed it yet?

    “Proper Preparation Prevents P…-Poor Performance”!

  • I recently acquired two vintage Super Tiger engines with carrier back plates. Both are mid-1960’s ringed; one is a 60 Speed RR and the other is a 65 Speed RR. I build vintage speed planes, so I am looking for speed-style back plates, venturis and NVA’s to convert them back to Speed engines.

    I would be willing to make some sort of swap for one (or two) of the carrier back plates in exchange for a speed back plate(s). Also, if anyone knows of someone who has vintage ST 60/65 RR engines parts, could you please let me know?

    Many Thanks!
    Kirk Johnson
    Naples, FL

  • Tony

    It’s Mike again. I uploaded the plan back in April 2012 – it was originally published in the US Model Aviation magazine (November 1984) which I do not have, unfortunately, and I can’t find any trace of having had a second page. Looking at the plan I’m not sure what there would be left to put on page 2, as it seems like most everything you’d need is on page 1.

    Maybe some of our other readers will have the original magazine – if so, please help us to solve this one!

    Best regards


    • If anyone want the whole article, I can download it from the AMA website and email it to Mike – it downloads as .jpg’s, but they are easily readable. I would just post a URL, but only AMA members can get into the Model Aviation archives.

      • To show that by working together we can fix most things, here’s the rest of the email trail which resulted in Tony Livaudais getting the complete set of info to build a .15 Dauntless, thanks to Mike Anderson, with your Webmaster acting as postbox!

        Webmaster wrote

        Tony – hello

        Sorry for the delay in getting the Dauntless data sorted, but thanks to Mike
        Anderson we now have the missing Page 2 of the plan. He’s also sent me a
        3.5mb PDF of the complete magazine construction article – would you like
        that too? Just let me know!

        Reason for the delay was being away for a long weekend holiday – I took part
        in a big fly-in at Old Warden aerodrome here – F/F, C/L of all types, plus a
        great museum of fully working vintage aircraft (full-size) – pix will follow
        on the site of the carrier event shortly – I think you’ll laugh at the size
        of deck we were aiming at!

        Best wishes

        Webmaster (Mike May)

        Tony wrote:


        Great to hear from you. Sure I’ll take all the info you have. This isn’t the simplest of Gerry’s designs but it sure looks cool.

        The Old Warden meet must have been a blast.

        I’m working on an article about our new flight deck for our District IX rep
        who wants to put it in the Model Aviation mag this fall.
        I’ll copy you on it.

        Take care,


        Tony wrote

        Mike, Just realized this is a jpg. file. Any chance of getting this in a PDF format?

        Webmaster wrote

        Tony – hi; No problem – attached herewith, I’ll mail the full article separately in a minute.



        Tony wrote

        Mike, what a treasure. Thank you so much. I will definitely build one.

        Webmaster wrote

        No problem Tony – glad to be able to help – and I’m looking forward to the
        build and seeing her flying!

        Best regards


  • RE: Dauntless missing plan page

    Hi Tony!

    Sorry that the page is missing – I have probably just missed it when uploading a batch of plans to the site. Please bear with me, I’ll check it out and get back to you soonest.

    Best wishes

    Mike May


  • On the Plans page, Gerry Deneau’s plan for the Dauntless SBD-3 (.15 profile carrier) is shown as (2) pages, but only the first page is offered. Doaes anyone have the second plan sheet??

    • The 2nd page is a ‘detail’ sheet of isometric drawings – I don’t have the ‘full size’ pdf, but I downloaded the page from the AMA website and extracted the drawing to a .jpg – which I don’t see any way to upload here, but I will email it to Mike and he can figure out how to include it in the package.

  • Hi guys! It scarcely seems like it was Christmas-time, with three months in hand to repair and build for the 2014 season – then suddenly, there’s only three weeks left! Maybe it’s a function of getting old that makes the time fly by…

    I’m really pleased to have received contributions from Europe and the USA recently, with plans a-plenty: latest is a really nice new take on the Short Seamew, a sweet little ugly duckling of an UK anti-submarine aircraft from the fifties with great slow-flight characteristics. Gary Hull’s version was penned for the US profile class, but will convert easily for UK/EU BCD – it’ll be added very soon to our new “Best of the US” page.

    On that page you’ll also find five Eric Conley plans, including two record-breakers, as well as sets of all the US carrier flying rules that I can find. If I’ve missed any, or if those on the page are out of date, please let me know by emailing me at !

    I’d like to finish this post by thanking all the people (and there are many of them!) who have supported this site with freely-given comments, ideas and contributions – it’s great to know that there are so many nice guys (and gals) in the control-line and carrier-flyer community out there!

    My best wishes to everyone for the new season

    Mike May
    (aka Webmaster)

  • Well, just like my model building techniques, the site has seen a fair bit of “oh no! let’s tear it up and start again!” ovr the past few weeks.

    Eventually, I decided that the original skin (“Elbee GeeBee”) was the best by far – once I’d got rid of the unwanted widget place-holders at the bottom of the screen. So here we are, rather like a damaged shot-up Hellcat, making it back onto the deck after three or four overshoots!

    There’s some good stuff coming up courtesy of John Brodak and Gary Hull about two US carrier record breakers – that’s a concept we don’t (yet) have this side of the pond. It’s about making the biggest points haul in a single flight, which has seen one pilot achieve nearly 100mph on the fast seven, and take well over six minutes on the slow – wow!

    Also, the Class 1 results from the Nats are nearly ready in the proposed new layout – of course they need a very different set of rules behind the spreadsheet cells to work out the scores compared to the BCD competition, which has had me sweating over Excel.

    Looking forward to the 2014 seasonnow – if you have ANY info on meetings please email it to me at

    Best wishes – Webmaster (Mike)

  • Hi folks! After trying the site out again today after my “ghoster” last night, I found that I didn’t really like the new skin (WP “Twenty-eleven”) and the old one (“Elbee GeeBee”) splashed too many widgets around the screen, so we are now using WP “Twenty Thirteen” – different, but very clean. I works OK on my Android phone without much scrolling needed, but it may need a slightly wider screen format to prevent stuff (particularly in-line tables) being squashed and elongated north-south.

    The results tables are (for 2013 onwards) in PDF format. They are displayed by default by firing up Acrobat so you get a download first before you can open them – Windows Explorer and Firefox handle this seamlessly but it’s a bit of a pain on an Android mobile, so if youare strapped for download credits why not choose to have the PDFs displayed inside your browser – a bit slower but maybe cheaper. I will find out about how iPads manage this later today, when Jane finally unwraps her Christmas present – an iPad Air…

    I have a few results conversions to finish including the UK 2013 NATS Class 1 event. I’m going to leave anything prior to the 2012 UK NATS in whatever format theycurrently are until I have some more time!

  • Well, it’s 1:30 in the morning and the new layout and navigation scheme for the site is pretty much there. So, it’s off to Bedfordshire for me (no, I’m not going to Old Warden!) Comments welcome. There will be some more tidying up over next week, and I’d appreciate feedback on the final final version of what could be a standard layout for event flying and placing reports – the UK Nats 2013 is the best example.

    Tight lines!

  • Tables and WordPress don’t mix easily – that is for sure!

    The UK Nats flying report is now in a readable, colourful format, but only by shelling out to a PDF.

    I think this is the way to go for all results, as it is too easy to spend hours polishing something that isn’t worth polishing that much!

    I have the Yorkshire, Croydon, Leicester, Old Warden 2 & 3, Tyneside events ready to re-process using the PDF route – should be done by THIS weekend!

    I have learned a lot, and would like to thank you all for your patience. I must say though that the new format (as shown in the UK NATS Flying Report) does look rather nice – any thoughts?

  • Hello all – You’ll see that the Yorkshire results and timings have been added today, using the proposed new spreadsheet layout. I’m trying to get some flexibility into the page setups so that the event datasheets will display right across the available screen width, but not the other pages (it’s hard work reading loooong lines of text!) – however, WordPress has other ideas… there’s also an interesting glitch when moving the Excel sheets through Frontpage for conversion to HTML, then into WordPress – oh dear, any formulae are carried through, not the values. So, it’s necessary to copy the sheet in Excel and “paste special” to get the values only, not the formulae. Oh yes, and Frontpage is weak on preserving table formatting, and WordPress is even worse…

    Ho hum, bear with me, we’ll get there!


  • More broken promises – chaps! I’ve got the results for the missing meetings but man-flu and some other domestic difficulties have meant that I still need to pre-process them before up-loading them to the site. This is now likely to be finished just before Christmas – my sincere apologies to everyone!

  • Hello readers!

    Apologies for the static state of the site over the past few weeks. My home PC suffered a hard deck landing (sorry, hard disk crash!) and it’s taken a little while to get things sorted. Luckily no data has been lost!

    I have some more stuff to upload, including advance news of a possible WW1 carrier commemorative competition at Old Warden next year. This would be restricted to WW1 aircraft that actually made (or were designed for) deck landings. I asked Andy whether he would restring the deck specially as per prototype, that is longitudinally rather than laterally, but got a resounding negative…

    I am still waiting for reports and results to fill in the gaps for the 2013 season – without them, there’s no real point in presenting the trophies I’d hoped to award. If you can help, please send your stuff to me at asap!

    The building season has now kicked off, and my D/F Phantom is in the planning stage, to be joined later with an XF5-U – anyone else doing mad things for 2014?

    May your landings all be hundred-pointers!


  • Hi Mike,
    I’m so happy with the restart of the updates.
    More, more,more.

  • Note to everyone!

    As the splash notice on the home page says, the Carrier-Deck webmaster’s home phoneline failed completely on 15th August, making it impossible to connect to the internet and maintain this site. We’ve now got a USB wireless dongle to connect to the internet via GSM (mobile phone waveband), but it is very slow in comparison to the land-line – at least we can make urgent updates like this.

    The phone line will be mended by 7th September (says BT), but in the meantime please be patient – there’s a lot of great material to upload and it’s worth waiting for!

    Best regards


  • (Joe – I’ve moved your comment to its own thread so you’re not mixed up with the UK debate about the Marlborough meeting!)

    Much of this season here in the Northwest part of the U.S. has been a real disappointment for me. The wife and I did make the first contest of the year in Portland, Oregon, but since then it has been a total zero attendance for me. I have yet to fly my F-7F Tigercat with the newly allowable 2.4 radio system for throttle control. So, being rather home bound I have turned m y attention to the Internet and have decided to give a try at using a different deck. Just for the fun of it I am building, for my own use, a “raised” deck, much like those that all of you use in GB and Europe. Right now I have at least 7 profile Carrier ships that really need to be flown enough to test some new ideas I have also stumbled on. perhaps more on this later.
    Joe Jusr

    • Joe

      I know how you feel with life getting in the way of the good stuff (C/L meetings of course!) It’s been almost impossible for me too to get to UK carrier meetings mainly because I live as far south as possible in the UK and therefore as far from the action as I could be! It’s a real shame that your Tigercat hasn’t kissed the deck yet, but I really admire your approach to getting some air under its wings and wires in its hook – build your own deck! Building a UK-style raised deck is also interesting and a very good idea because us limeys reckon that practising on a UK-style deck will turn you into a real ace in the USA! Funnily enough, I was chewing the fat with the guys at our UK Leicester meeting last week and we were all moaning about how hard we have it here – tiny decks and the chance of whacking the ramp on approach – what fun!- while you guys have real Lexington-size landing areas. On the day we had what felt like the smallest deck possible (four wires and 10 feet takeoff area) with the deck slick with rain and spilled fuel. Very few guys managed to hook – those that did deserved their prizes!

      Go for it Joe – and email me pictures of the build of the deck!

  • Hi folks – this is one rather disappointed flyer writing about the UK Marlborough meeting last weekend (July 14th). I drove 100 miles to the site with the car stuffed with models, really looking forward to my first meeting of 2013. I reached the town and followed the excellent signs to the meeting – but noone was there! No sound of engines, no people, no niff of methanol, no nothing! After an hour driving round the town and college and asking/listening, I gave up and drove the 100 miles back home again!

    It seems that the college changed the available field on the day to one a long way over on the other side of the campus, which was not the organisers’ fault. However, a map, sketch, note with mobile phone number or postcode taped to the carpark sign would have helped later arrivals like me get to the action – how about it next time, guys?!

    • Hi, just seen this comment. The event run by the Marborough MFC was my first Carrier-Deck event. I arrived on time, followed the signs and found the others waiting for the gate to be unlocked. Eventually we were re-directed to another entrance (with some signs set up) and all was well. This involved a lot of extra work on the part of the organisers. I thought it prudent to have a mobile number with me to contact the club if necessary on the day. I would like to thank both the organisers and fellow competitors for their friendly help throughout the day. My plane even landed on the deck! Just the once!

      • Chris, BTW, welcome to the eccentricity that is carrier-deck flying, and congratulations on getting a hook-up on your first mission – it’s not as easy as it looks!

        Regarding the navigation problem I had at Marlborough, it’s true that I was a late arrival to the event – unfortunately with a horse to muck out before leaving it’s not always possible for me to be there on the dot – so I missed the initial re-location exercise. As I said in my first post, the change of venue wasn’t the organisers’ fault and I’m sure the move was carried out smoothly, but all the old signs were left in place in town and on the gates, pointing to the original venue (I have photos to prove!) but there were no notices to be seen in the empty car park when I arrived, to redirect latecomers like me. I don’t know what mobile number you took with you to contact the club, none was shown on the website – I tried the land-line for the organiser but there was no reply (no surprise!) and also other numbers but in the end it was not possible to find the action. I hope that the organisers do not take offence at my suggestion that taping a note with a mobile number/map in permanent marker on the last sign at the original venue would be helpful if a change of location is needed next year!

    • (Joe’s post has been moved to its own thread)

  • I’ve just heard from Tony Livaudais who has now nearly finished his “Housden”-type Hellcat, built from the plans he downloaded from this site and then enhanced by separating out the artwork that haad been compressed onto an A3 page. We’ll be posting some pictures and making the full-page plans available shortly, which Tony has generously sent back to me. Well done and thank you, Tony!

  • In Spain at the mo, but just had a quick look at the site. Very excited to see the new IC Ducted Fan rules! Will be getting the CV Cutlass out and hopefully better sorted to fly at OW in July. That’s almost a promise, Andy!

  • Hellcat Plan – part 2

    Tony – hi again! The original was designed by Andy Housden (“Mr Carrier Deck UK”) and given away in the Aeromodeller mag about 15 years ago, although it is still a super model and virtually unbreakable (I know, I’ve got one and I’ve tried!). The plan is also given away in the Carrier pack that Andy produces, but drawn on 4 sides of A3 – the wing can also be used with a Sea Hurricane and a Zero Fuselage, which form another 2 A3 pages.

    I’ve sent you by personal email the Hellcat as 8 sides of A4 that I’ve re-scanned from Andy’s pack – sorry, it’ll gum up your download a bit but worth it I think. The words and lines are now very legible, and some work with scissors and tape should give you a good working plan. There’s also a composite of the plan put together by an anonymous plan-head, but it isn’t much better legibility-wise than my original (good for building over maybe). The alternative is to assemble the bits electronically and get the result printed by an instant printshop with an A0 plotter.

    I hope this helps get you airborne – please let us know!

    Good luck and best wishes


  • Hellcat Plan

    Tony, you’re right, it’s a bit of a struggle to use as it is. It was scaled up from an A4 version of the original and became pixillated and bleached out. I have a couple more plans to have re-scanned so I’ll add it to the batch and see what can be done – I’m sure it can be improved – I’ll aim to do this early next week.

    Many thanks for looking at the site, glad to know the plans are useful!



  • To Webmaster,

    Is there any chance of getting a more legible plan of the Grumman Hellcat plan you provide on the website (original by Andy Housden)? Dimensions of various parts are impossible to make out. I’m sure I could muddle thru, but it would be nice.



  • It’s all happening! Night carrier flying in Germany, lots of 2013 meetings added to the calendar and a new set of provisional IC ducted fan rules- keep the material coming please – makes it all worthwhile!

  • And another thing!

    The events are rolling in now – thanks to Andy Housden’s sterling work, allied to input from some jolly helpful chaps on the Europe scene – keep sending me those dates please!

    Talking of Sterling, I’m hoping to lay hands on a Sterling Skyshark carrier-deck model plan next week – another exhibit for the Plans tab on the site!

  • Following a crazy idea of mine, it’s been agreed to add some Provisional Rule changes to both Class 1 and BCD this year to encourage the use of I/C ducted fan jet outline models – just for a change! They will be added to this site shortly – and I’ve just got hold of an Axiflo RK740 unit which should be interesting in a profile Phantom!

  • Well, I’ve got some dates on the site – but only four! Three at Old Warden through the summer, plus of course the UK Nats in August. Last year the meetings kicked off in mid-April – please tell me if you or your club have dates set for Carrier flying!

    In the meantime, let’s hope we’re getting the worst of the weather out of the way early on – it’s snowing here again!

  • Gary – I’m looking forward to 2014 already – great idea having a reto NATS, ‘specially if it includes carrier. I’m sure that Andy Houseden and friends will bag us a good spot! Does anyone have any dates for 2013 yet???

  • Hi everyone! There was a short news item in the December issue of the BMFA magazine that launched the idea of running a full retro-Nationals at RAF Barkston Heath in 2014. It sounded to me like control-lne heaven, but on looking at the proposed C/L programme , there wasn’t any mention of Carrier Deck. So, I emailed the organiser Ian Lever…


    Sent: 26 December 2012 18:32
    Subject: Retro Nats Sept 2014

    Ian, good evening!

    I saw the article in the BMFA magazine regarding the above. I manage the website on behalf of the control line flyers who take part in this segment of the sport.

    As there was no mention of carrier deck in the article, could you perhaps confirm that Carrier-Deck flyers would be able to take part? (I then added some more details of likely space requirements, etc)

    IAN’S REPLY…………

    Subject: RE: Retro Nats Sept 2014
    Date: 28 December 2012 14:15

    Hello Mike
    We are looking forward to a fantastic event which is attracting a great deal of interest. My brother Brian is currently drawing up the events list so I am copying this to him and also to Dick Roberts who is leading on putting the control
    line programme together. I hope we can fit carrier deck into the schedule.


    Although we have yet to finalise all the control line events for the Retro Nats you can certainly count on Carrier Deck being included as part of the weekend. We would very much like to make the event an International one so hopefully you can attract some of those Carrier enthusiasts from Europe and beyond to consider competing. One of the most important considerations will be where to site you at Barkston bearing in mind the free flight competitions taking place. We shall be in touch at a later date with our initial proposals.

    With Best Regards and Happy New Year,

    Brian Lever.

    So there’s every chance of a really memorable event taking place next year at which all C/L disciplines will be welcome, along with F/F and no doubt other retro interests – watch out for more news in the modelling press, and of course here too!

    In the meantime, may I (belatedly) wish everyone a prosperous, productive and especially a healthy New Year!

    • I spoke to Roger Gedge at the weekend, hi is involved with the organisation from a racing viewpoint, he has asked for contact details for carrier (and also aerobatics) for the retro nats next year, it sounds as though they will be keen for us all to get involved.

      kind regards


  • Season’s greetings to everyone! I do hope you’ll get the presents you really wanted (maybe that mint unrun Fox .36X with carb for our US friends, or perhaps a set of ready-made lines that really do measure up properly for our UK viewers – actually, a pair of Wellington boots would be ideal seeing how much rain we’ve had over here! Why not share your secret desires for C/L-friendly presents with the Crewroom?

    I’ve taken time out from pre-Christmas shopping and card-writing to update the site – check out the new pages listed on the “Flyco” intro screen – hope they’re of interest. If you have some of your own TechnoTips, why not share a few with the rest of us? We’ll love you for ever! Please send any contributions to as usual.

    That’s all for tonight – for me, it’s on with the dreaded MiG conversion from tomorrow after six weeks away due to my return to work after a serious operation – work sure gets in the way of building and flying!

    Tight lines and crisp throttle responses to you all, and enjoy the holiday break!

  • Mike & Mark – thanks for the inputs on the US scene. Fascinating to learn that the max wingspan rule relates to fitting the plane onto a a notional carrier ‘tween-decks lift!

    The opportunity to use 2.4 ghz R/C gear for secondary controls is unlikely to tempt committed R/C 3D or heli flyers to abandon their sports, but it does change the game completely for a guy thinking of using an ARTF warbird in Class 1 – ok, he’s still got to fit a (2-line) bellcrank but everything else can be as the designer intended (tho’ finding out what’s the best way for him to of control all the R/C gizmos AND fly the plane via the handle will provide some interesting try-it-and-see test sessions!)

    As a for-instance of how R/C could save UK Class 1 from dwindling competitor numbers, I know of two flyers (with completely different skill-levels and different nationalities!) who have independently bought the same ARTF warbird kit for a Class 1 conversion. Trying to retrofit a three-line system would be (having looked inside the fuselage and at the wing) a massive challenge. Both are going to try an R/C fit (and electric power) first of all. The much more experienced flyer will then, having sussed how suitable the model is for carrier carnage, convert back to non-R/C but retain down-the-wires throttle control as now.

    I wish them both luck – a finished model weighing in at just 1 lb 6 oz (625 gm) won’t stand too many abrupt arrivals, but oh my, it’s just SO gorgeous to look at!

  • To clear up some mis-conceptions – Profile Carrier was NEVER a maximum 300 sq. in. wing area – has been a minimum of 300 squares since day one. In fact at one time, Slow Rat, Slow Combat and Profile Carrier were all flown using the same aircraft descriptions – that being 300 squares, 24 inch minimum length and plain bearing .36 STOCK engines. Also, since at least the early 60’s there was never a maximum wing area in any class – only the maximum of 44 in in span (So that they would fit on the ‘scale’ elevator described in the original rules – really!).

    As for the RC units – well I wasn’t terribly enthused about it but it was sold as ‘possibly’ getting some new blood interested, since there would not be the requirement learning to install and use the 3-line handles and bellcranks. And I figured it really doesn’t add or subtract anything – just changes it a bit. I have married a cheap-o pistol grip to an old Fox handle and converted an old Profile MO-1 to two line with a servo. Flying is pretty much the same as it was with three lines – the throttle response and ‘feel’ are not really hard to get used to at all. Am also building a new Profile that will be used as a test-sled for engines, carbs, tanks, etc that will have the radio buried in the wing. I hope to get it out yet this year. In the end, it is MUCH cheaper than buying a 3-line handle and bellcrank; Much easier to install and fine tune than a 3-line system; and if one keeps the transmitter separate from the handle and learns to fly with the throttle in ones left hand (or operated from a belt-hung transmitter stick), there is no learning curve to flying the plane. I’ve got a couple of ‘newbies’ and a retread who are more than a little interested again.

  • Hi Marc,
    Orange Crunch was an interesting experiment.
    An engine is not enough to fly. I consider the airplane as the main factor in flying.
    Often powerful engines are heavy and so need more wingarea .
    I can confirm that reverse rotation of the engine is helping in carrier. Bob Phillipps explained the theory behind it and I always used it on my electric powered carrierplanes . I noticed when flying slow and getting in problems with line tension I had to aply power slowly. Otherwise the aeroplane would bang outside and return back inside by the flex of the lines. Bob is using this theory himself with glow engines. He is responsible for a large demand in pusherprops for the UK.
    Bob also talked me into Class 1 saying ; ” When you make a landing on the deck in class 1 you are on the podium” .
    I think it ‘s good idea to limit classes on technology. Many competions went dead because an expensive engine was needed or to things became to complicated.

  • Hello,

    I like the unlimited engine and the 450 sq. in. rule.

    The rules here got kind of screwed up in the 1970’s, when they went to the current modern rules. They changed the word Maximum and Minimum, in the Profile and Class I & II. It use to be that a profile had a Maximum area of 300 square inches, now that is minimum, and in the full bodied classes, it was a minimum of 300 now that is the maximum, with a maximum span of 45 inches.

    So guys come out with Nova Rossi 10cc engines on tuned pipes, on a Grumman Guardian, with 40 inch spans and barely 250 square inches of area. They fly around at 115 miles per hour, with slow speeds in the 35 mph range, and 100 scale points they have a hard time getting a decent score. But they come out anyway. I think they should fly speed, but maybe I am being too critical. Your Webra sounds like a very potent engine. They are hard to get here in the states, but are renowned for being well made and very powerful.

    We are now allowing mufflers in all the carrier classes. If you use one, then you have to use contest provided fuel, which is 10% Nitro, 20% lube. Saves a bit of time, trouble, and money not having to test different fuels to get it tuned, and you save a quart at the contest. One thing I will say though, the silencer does help with the idle performance of the engine, and you can use muffler pressure which makes the air bleed carburetors work much better. The 15 class is pretty popular here. Simple rules, no line sliders, and engines that are plentiful and not to intimidating to the beginner.

    Speaking of 15s, I use to fly an Irvine Open Goodyear Diesel (reworked by George Aldrich, making it about a 500 quid engine) with an Irvine 20 carb in 15 carrier. the plane was an Aichi D3A1 Val, and it had a very efficient wing, and would do about 80mph for high speed (you don’t score any points past 70!), but didn’t slow down to well. I still have the engine but the plane is long gone. I got a real laugh out of all the people here that would disparage Diesels when I put it next to the deck. They would say: “Well let’s see if this ever gets running.” “Or, Ha, a Diesel, he’ll never get that tuned to run slow.” Then It would one flip start, and once on compression and needled, it would just howl at 21,000 rpm, as they all looked shocked! I may be the only person in the US that has flown a Diesel in Carrier, I just love not having to screw with glow plugs.

    I sure like the sound of what you are doing with the Brodak bell crank. I have taken them apart and used 6-32 machine screws to get them together right, and make them pass the pull test. But that is now a moot point with the RC rule.

    I am building a very different Sport 40 plane (weird elliptical wing and elevator, and some other unusual features that are secret) now, so I will let you know how that turns out, and what I do with the Crunch when the time comes.

    Like I said, keep up the good work on your site, it is top notch.

  • Mark

    We have a slightly strange situation rule-wise over here, with the British Model Flying Association publishing a set of rules for our two classes (BCD and Class one) that are completely ignored! The rules we fly to were derived from the AMA set of about 15 years ago, and have gently evolved over time. I nearly built a BMFA-compatible BCD as my first model (no limits on wing area) but would have been barred from contests as the area of my chosen plane would have been greater than 450 sq inches – quick re-scaling required!

    One good development in Class One has been to allow up to .40 engines (I wonder what’s the problem with that in the States?) AND the use of tuned pipes. Our BCD can use any engine size . My MO-1 (oh no – oh yes!) has a Webra Speed 61…

    The use of R/C in C/L is being mildly resisted here in terms of “through the air” signal transmission, but a lot of guys have some kind of pulsed electric control down the lines for the throttle rather than the Brodak 3-line system. Talking of which, I’m currently modifying the Brodak bellcrank on the MiG to give full and free clearance between the lead-outs and the elevator pushrod by turning up a standoff on the lathe. I can’t believe how silly that part of the design is (minimal clearance, lots of play on the bearing, so very liable to interfere with each other), while the compensating lever system is a brilliant concept.

    Please keep us informed about your experiments with Orange Crunch and its descendants – I think .15 carrier could very well catch on in the UK!

  • Webmaster – hi again!

    You know the funny thing, my friends thought you were way out of line, making those comments about my plane. They even tried to get me worked up, but I though it was hilarious! We have the same sort of stuffy traditionalists here, when I tried to change the engine size classes a few years ago, I got loads of hate mail.

    So we have unofficial events like 15 Carrier, and Sport 40 carrier (60′ lines, profile model, Tower 40, FP 40, or FP 35), and three official classes, Profile with extinct 36 engines, Class 1 with 40s and Class 2 with 65s. All I wanted to do was allow 40 in profile, but oh no, it was way to radical. Now they are all buying Magnum Pro-36s to replace their worn out Nelsons, and loosing 12 seconds from the high end. and they are trying to gain it back with vacuum bagged carbon fiber planes! But I am rambling.

    The latest thing here in the states and I flat out refuse to do–radio controlled control line aircraft. Talk about an oxymoron. So people are buying RC car control units, attaching some hooks to the front of the handle and using servos for the flaps, hook, throttle, and rudder, with two .021″ lines. These guys could not figure out how to make three lines the same length, or how to fix the awful Brodak/Roberts bell crank. So now we have RC-CL planes.

    I found your Mig very interesting, and would love to see a video of it, on YouTube. The Estes rockets would be a real blast! No pun intended. Oh, if I had my way, the US would adopt your tiny deck, and rules–the UK events look like they are more fun.

    Lastly virtually no one is getting to 300 points with our 15 planes. There may be one guy who has put in a 300+ flight, but it was only once and is pretty rare, requiring perfect conditions. Where I fly the wind is almost always blowing, and a good day is 3-5mph, and a bad day 15-20mph. So really when you try to fly slow, you only get half the circle to go slow, and have to speed up for the upwind side.

    Oh, I like your site, it is very well done indeed.

  • Mark – hello from the UK!

    I really loved your Orange Crunch because it is SO different – we do have some very traditionally minded guys here who would probably like to count the rivets so I decided to “wind them up” a bit by suggesting that we could start building planes like yours over here!

    It really could compete in our “Basic Carrier Deck” class, only losing out 20 points for non-navy colour scheme and “non-carrier-plane-like” outline. With some of our best pilots racking up over 300 points on their flights, that wouldn’t make much difference to their scores.

    I hope you didn’t mind my feature, (and I did mean it when I said the finish and colour were fantastic!) Talking of test-beds, if you look again on the site (new technology airframes) you’ll see my MiG15 R/C to C/L conversion that I’ve nearly finished. It’s going to try out RATO (using Estes rockets) and/or bungee catapult launches (no other way to get a glow-powered ducted fan off a tiny UK-sized deck) as a prelude to trying out a fun “extreme carrier” class where almost anything goes! (now, where did I put that matched pair of Zanin Pulse Jets???)

    Thanks for looking at the site and keep building those “X-planes”!

    The Webmaster

  • Hello!

    A friend of mine pointed out that I had become internationally famous, via your Carrier site, so I was forced to take a look…

    Lo and behold my little 15 carrier pane was featured on you site, with some rather “tongue and cheek” comments.

    It bears mention that for the event in question that the rules for N.W. 15 Carrier don’t specify a profile model, and they don’t specify wing area, or even a Navy paint scheme, so I neglected those features. The plane was designed to test out my theories on reverse rotation engines, elliptical wings as they apply to wing stall and slow speed performance, tail moment and elevator area. The craft itself is a colossal failure in carrier! It lacks the wing area and horse power to get off the deck! However as a test bed, you can sport fly it, and have it off the ground in 35 feet or so, go about half a level lap, chop the throttle, give full up, and it will stall under complete control, and hang on the prop, doing about 1 minute laps! The engine is an Enya 15 Type IV with the front end turned to allow for reverse rotation, and the exhaust gate run by linkage from the bell crank, as the carb linkage had to be discarded. With the 1.75 oz tank, it only has enough fuel to do the 8 high speed laps, and about 5 slow laps, so a bigger tank is warranted. I used a very large elevator and tail moment so that I could keep control at low speed, and I do have exactly that–it can be hung like a helicopter, and keeps line tension, while not moving at all! The landing gear was just some “stunt” gear that I had around, so I impressed it into service, it needs to be rotated in to match the lead out location or it crabs badly. As for the wing, it is very similar to a hand launch glider I use to make, 1/4 inch thick, flat bottomed, a tiny 1/32 inch, leading edge radius, and Maxim thickness at 40% of chord. Under full power the wing will fly the plane just fine. No excessive climbing, or other undesirable traits. I bolted it on to allow for me to change it rapidly should I become unhappy with it or some kind of damage occurs (heaven forbid). I put an adjustable lead out guide in, to allow me to dial in the low speed, and a movable rudder to overcome the lead outs at high speed.

    As I said, it was a complete failure in competition, but a total success as a test bed! Now I need to incorporate what I learned into a more conventional design and go kick some 15 carrier butt!

    Glad you found my little plane amusing, I found your comments to be a total Riot!

    Mark Hansen

    P.S. Most people call my little creation, the Mosquito (in homage to it’s De Havilland namesake I am sure), but it’s proper name is: The Orange Crunch! Because of the sound it makes when it hits the pavement.

  • Well folks, I’ve cracked…no sorry, nearly but not quite! What I HAVE cracked is how to get a photo gallery plus captions running in WordPress for the BMFA pix from Andy Houseden (and for any other set of photos).

    1. Click on the “Album” option under Events/BMFA NATS and you’ll get a page of thumbnails.
    2. Click on any one to start the slide show and it will appear full-sized
    3. Move the cursor to the right or left of the image and a navigation arrow will appear to step you forwards or back through the album

    The navigation isn’t circular, so when you get to slide 35 you can only go backwards – you can’t go forwards to slide 1 again (and vice-versa).

    Sorry it’s taken a while but hard-learned lessons stick in the mind longest!

  • Wonderful photos by Andy Housden of the Nationals.
    Thanks Andy

  • And another thing!

    Very few people have used the “Mail Us” page, preferring to use the Crewroom, so “Mail Us” has been removed to declutter the site.

    Comments and protests welcome!



  • Well folks, the NATS Photo Gallery is now working better – not perfection, but OK.

    1) The thumbnails are all there
    2) Click on a thumbnail to see a full size version of the picture
    3) To look at another picture, I’m afraid you’ll have to use the browser “BACK” button, then click on the next picture you want to see.
    4) Still no captions

    I’m still working on this to get stepping through the full-size pictures like we had before (without thumbnails though!) and to add captions.




    The UK NATS album is (sort of) available. I’m fighting WordPress every inch of the way on this, but! To view the pix (awaiting captions) do the following:

    Go to “Events – BMFA NATS – Album”
    Click on any of the empty thumbnails you see on the page
    You will then be able to view the 30+ pictures taken by Andy.
    It’s midnight at the oasis here and I need to put my camel to bed – I’ll get this to work properly tomorrow (I hope…)

    Thanks for your patience!

  • Good news for those awaiting the UK BMFA NATS results – they’re now available under EVENTS – just click on the UK NATS tab. If you’re using a smartphone, it’s easier to use the mini-menus that lead to the same place.

    Thanks to Andy Houseden for tabulating the flights and results – interesting stuff! I will be uploading his NATS picture album shortly.

    There’s also a new video from America under the “Technology-Electric” tab showing the result of down(?up)grading two Parkzone RTF foam scale models to C/L elevator, while retaining 2.4ghz R/C for throttle. Basic but a pointer to the way things are going.

    Keep watching the site: upcoming there’s a startling “.15 Class Carrier” design from the US, and a full-size building plan for the Vought XF5U Flying Pancake (I knew one would turn up!),

    There will also be your chance to suggest changes to the rules for consideration and debate.

    Best wishes

    The Webmaster

  • Hi Zoe,
    I fly both the traditional 3 line system for glow and the electronic version to control my electric planes.
    I don’t feel any difference between them to control speed. Using a traditional 3 line system with thinner lines ( 3mm or .012 ) will give almost the same drag then 2 ( 0.4mm or. 015 ) lines.
    When you are in a winning mood other pilots will think your system is the better one. You need a good plane to achive good results and this can be a glowpowered model with traditional 3line control.
    As you are a very good pilot I I feel lucky you have a limited airplane on the moment . We should fly our competions with one plane for everyone .
    I feel using 2.4GHz wouldn’t give an advantage and I would only use this to make live easy.

  • Thoughts on the use of 2.4GHz in Control Line

    I was promoted to write this after seeing the item about 2.4GHz radio and the AMA rules. As our UK rules are only based on the US ones it’s horses for course as to whether that will become fact here? In fact as CL carrier is not an official BMFA event anyway, I have always been unclear as to who actually makes up the rules in the UK; can some one please enlighten me?

    However back to the original point. I can state categorically that I don’t like using electronics in CL models for many reasons. That said I am not a Luddite and can see the advantages and disadvantages for certain uses. For example in a theoretical Class One Carrier model which is supposed to be scale; suppose you wanted to go silly and have the whole cats cradle of multi engines, retracting undercarriage, flaps and, differential ailerons, and a sliding pilots canopy, as well as the normal throttle and hook release. Although this would not be impossible using mechanical means and escapements, it would be highly impractical and very prone to failure. using a radio link would substantially reduce this risk and be a lot simpler.

    There is also the aerodynamic advantage of one less line, and drag, as the signal down the lines guys have been taking advantage of for some time. This also removes the a potential failure point as one line has to be insulated and mechanical electrical joints are a big risk factor.

    In light of this a few years ago, I experimented with a 2.4GHz model car outfit. My reasoning was that the controller/TX is a handle shaped, all I had to do was add two attachment points for the control lines and remove the the throttle centre spring from the trigger. Instant (well almost) CL handle/controller. The down side was that although the RX is the size of my thumb and servos can be equally minute, the batteries are not. In an electric powered model this is is no problem, but in a small possibly profile IC powered one it can be. I also don’t have ANY desire to use electric power even though I can see the advantages, to me they are soulless and I will probably give up on aeromodelling if they become the only source of motive power.

    The whole gubbins was stuffed into a plastic box and mounted on the side of my Hellcat to try out the idea just controlling the throttle. The results were quite revealing; but not as I had expected. The first was the complete feeling of disconnectedness from the throttle after using a three line system; there is just no feedback? This is one reason I don’t fly RC. I can fly an RC model quite competently, albeit in Mode 1, but I hate that disconnected feeling and that is why I fly CL. The second thing was the size and weight of the handle, it’s certainly not heavy, but it felt like using a Roberts Handle with a kilo of lead attached and all the fine sensitivity and control I have with my normal CL handle and keyring I use had gone out the window. I think it was only my long experience of flying CL models that got it all down in one piece. Undaunted I tried over several weeks to iron out the various problems, but it was the feeling of being disconnected that got to me in the end and I went back to the three lines again.

    Conclusions? It works and works reliably. It has great potential for the right applications. It should be far more reliable than the one insulated line method and has less drag if you choose to use it for a throttle. It’s inherently safe, the TX only has to have low power and range (read that as cheap) as any failure or interference (interference is extremely unlikely) will only result in the ancillary devices misbehaving not the control surfaces. The only downside for me is that it lacks pilot throttle feedback and needs batteries in the model, but for working all the other bits and pieces like flaps and hook release for instance, I would be happy to use it.

    So there you have it. In the light of my experiment, I would say it’s good thing to have, even if it puts me at a competitive disadvantage with three lines.

    Zoe Quilter

  • Well Mike, one of the best remedies would be to avoid 1 metre fence posts! Whatever were you doing??!!

  • WRIST THONGS – Personal Safety Issue?

    This was something I’d never considered a problem until it happened to me a couple of weeks ago. Thongs are a great idea and prevent flyaways if the handle is dropped or the pilot is taken ill. However, in my case the plane’s leadouts hit a 1 metre fence post at 60mph, the plane instantly sling-shotted round the post before crashing. It ripped the handle out of my hand, applying what felt like 5g and an instant tourniquet to my wrist! Oooh, I thought, this is going to hurt! (It did…). Result, severe bruising and sub-skin bleeding to the wrist. In fact, I feel lucky to still have a hand on the end of my arm!

    I’m therefore looking at incorporating something with “give” in the thong between me and the handle as a shock absorber. This could be a short lengthe of bungee, or a “snubber” as used in boat mooring lines – the hard cable is wrapped around a rubber stick, allowing some flex before the rope is stretched taut.

    Has anyone tried this or indeed has anyone experienced the same injuries as me when the handle has gone projectile? Maybe it’s all part of the learning curve!

  • Two additional full-sized plans have been added to the collection on this site thanks to Jan Odeyn, who has contributed his Tigercat for electric power and Wildcat for learners and improvers (0.9 – 25 glow, 1.5 – 3.5 Diesel). Many thanks Jan!

    If you have plans that you’d like to share, please let me know. If you have them in PDF format that’s ideal, but if not I can digitise hardcopy plans and return them to you. For model builders I can produce full-sized plans from the PDF files on this site and mail them to you for the cost of the postage.

  • When I started using brushless electric motors for stunt I used a radio to command the speedcontroller. In the CL world it was considered as a curse in those days.
    I think it’s a good idea to use RC for this purpose . It will make life much easier , especially for class1. I’m pro.
    It should be nice to take a decission in the near future and use them in 2013 .

  • PS the above post, the pictures can be found under the “Technology” tab!

  • I’ve now posted the pictures of Joe Just’s 2.4ghz “on air” R/C throttle mechanism fitted to one of his Wildcat Kits to suit the new AMA rules for 2013. Is this the way to go for the UK flyers? Many thanks to Joe for his support.

    I’ve also added Jan Odeyn’s pictures and account of a significant upgrade to his electrically-powered BCD Tigercat, as well as the full-size plans for his winning BCD Guardian. Thanks Jan!

    Many thanks to these guys, more intersting stuff very welcome! One that I have been asked for info about is the electrically-powered Gloster Meteor that I photographed at the UK Croydon event – if you are the owner (or you know him) could he please get in touch with some details? As always, we can be reached by emailing “”

  • Good point, Joe – folks using the site need to be able to upload pictures! I’ll see about adding this feature asap. In the meantime, if anyone wants to send me pix, I’ll get them up on the site for you As I’ve got copies of your pix Joe, I’ll put them on the site under the “Technology” tab over the weekend.

    Many thanks Joe!

    Also, I have some very interesting material to load to the site from ace carrier flyer Jan Odeyn (plan of his ultra-successful Grumman Guardian and pix of his electric TigerCat) – I’ll sort that over the weekend too.

    Keep those news/technology items coming please!

  • I just finished putting together my first 2.4 set up. I am using a Hobby King transmitter. Hey, if a dufus like me can figure out how to set this up ANYONE can! Total cost for the tx,battery box,new linmes (over 2 sets) and batteries is well under $70 if one shops aound a bit. I used a bunch of left over parts from the last “Wildcat” kit run. Will this new system dod away with the traditional 3-line stuff? Hard to say, but it sure has been fun so far!
    How can one post pictures here?
    Joe Just

  • Seems to me that it could be a good idea – lighter models, less mechanical stuff to go wrong (but maybe more electronics to fail – should be able to set them up to “fail safe” though) and the Webmaster has a point – maybe some R/C RTF planes would begin to appear!

    Maybe best thing of all would be the end of the traditional three-line hardware: the handle which I personally find unbalanced and unsubtle to use, and the matching bellcrank assembly, which is a b***er to set up and offers very little clearance for robust connectors and a choice of ?9 configurations at $20+ a hit.

  • I’m told that the rule change allowing 2.4 Ghz for throttle/auxiliary controls has passed for Scale and Carrier. I know that several individuals have been experimenting with these and several more are building up control systems which mount most of the radio on the handle (using pistol grip car radios). A couple of others are or will use a regular stick-type transmitter either hanging from the belt, or a neck strap.

    The main advantage will be the ability to use two lines and they will not need to be insulated. There should be a mild jump in high speeds, then. I doubt it will be too dramatic.

    I have ordered one of the Hobbyking pistol grip radios to incorporate into my next Electric powered carrier plane — we have a set of provisional rules that allow electrics to compete head-to-head with glows, if the Contest Director approves (They are improving, but still not competitive with a ‘high zoot’ glow engine, in events where there is no speed limit).

    I am still a little ‘on the fence’ with respect to this whole idea – I’ve always considered the use of RC in Control Line models to be for sport flying only and for contests, the line maybe shouldn’t have been crossed. The main selling point is that it MIGHT get a few newcomers to try out the event. We shall have to see if that is the case.

    I’d be interested in any thoughts from you fellows ‘across the pond’ or if there has been any movement towards incorporating electric power or RC over there.

    Mike A.

  • AMA rule change for 2013: a good US source tells me that the AMA are going to allow C/L carrier and scale models to utilse 2.4ghz radio control signals transmitted through the atmosphere rather than down the lines for ALL functions except elevator control!

    Any thoughts guys? Would this make life easier, more exciting, allow a resurgence in Class 1 models with a move to digital rather than analogue controls, make R/C model adaptations easier?

    Over to you!

  • I’m a new member here – I have a Yahoo group – cl_carrier, to which I’ve just approved your Webmaster here. Incidentally, what is your name, webmaster? I just prefer to address people by their name rather than a title.

    Also, out of curiosity, how many registered members here? They are all invited to join the above mentioned group also.

    I live in central Iowa, USA — we have an annual spring contest in May. If anyone is interested, I would gladly send some pictures and a write up for your entertainment or to generate discussion.


    • Welcome Mike! Thanks for the approval, I’m going to enjoy looking back through the issues and discussions.


      The Webmaster

  • Mike – commiserations on the illness, get well quickly! As for ducted fan and RATO, I’ll believe it when I see it!

    On a general note, I’ve had a request from our Dutch Carrier pals to post pictures, results and reports on the NATS and other carrier events. Only problem is, no-one has sent me anything!

    PLEASE let me have anything relating to the 2012 season so we have something to cheer ourselves up with over the winter!!! Email it to, any format – or by post to

    The Webmaster (Carrier Deck), The Octagon, 4 Pummery Square, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 3GW (UK)



    The Webmaster

  • Hi all!

    Really sorry not to have made it to the Nats or indeed any meetings so far – mainly due to being banged up in hospital for a month then recovery. I hope for better next year – already building a ducted-fan concept demonstrator, with optional RATO!

    Mike (grounded)

  • Hello Mike, Nice to hear from you; you’re only a rookie before the first time, or is that virgin?- I forget! -‘ bin so long! Come along to the Nats., and we’ll sort you out. Pop in to the Carrier Information tent and we’ll have a chat. I’m the one lashed to the tent pole- Andy won’t let me out all weekend, in case I absconed to the beer tent.Bring all the models you’ve got, if the carrier people can’t sort you out- nobody can, they are THE BEST!

  • Just read that last post-sound like a real technopho, teckno, tekno, —technophart—I’m not,honest. Is there anybody out there— or am I talking to myself–as usual? Sodit, more wine!— OMG I’ve got a subtraction to do now!

  • P.S. Just been through the ‘links’ page and watched Mike flying the Vampire.Well done Mr.Welsh, but what happened to the days when one could fly bricks-on-strings without having to have a Ph.D?— Bloody hell, the arithmetic’s getting harder! Anything over ten ‘n I’ll have to take my shoes ‘n socks off!

    • Yes we are all familiar with β€œRay says” . Its part of what makes a rainy Nationals entertaining. Luckily 2012 was the best weather for sum time and we all got sum flying in even Ray.

  • Sorry, meant to also say: shame about ‘Aeromodeller’ going down. Still, wan’t have to stand in WHSmith’s for five minutes any more and read it. Blast this arithmetic!

  • It’s me again! Having got further than ‘mail us’, I think the siteis (bugger the wine) brilliant. Can’t remember if that last post of mime was a load of b*****ks or not? I blame the vino! This bl**dy altzie, altezi, alt, sodit! anno dominiis is getting worse. Never mind! More vino—

    • Hi Ray!

      No you’re not alone, but there’s maybe a lot of shy or maybe busy folks out there! I’m just starting with C-D and haven’t got to a meeting yet (work, hospital, weather, and models that seem hyper sensitive to the fuel-feed setup so aren’t worth bringing). I’ve a scratch-built MO-1 (Webra .61 with Perry carb), one of Joe Just’s Wildcats (MVVS .40 with Perry) and an Andy Housden-type Hellcat bought from eBay – that’s the only one that really works with a bog-standard ASP .40 setup!

      Has anyone out there got words of wisdom on setting up Perry carbs? Maybe the best thing is to bin them!
      I agree about Aeromodeller – I ‘ve had email conversations with the Editor Steve Dorling and he is GUTTED!

      Hope to get to the Leicester meeting


  • Just (no pun intended) wanted to let everyone know that the next and FINAL run of “Wildcat” profile kits is nearing completion. We should be able to ship around July 1st. May I be crude enough to mention prices? Same as last year, $60 pulus $22 to Great Britian or elswhere offshore. US customers get free shipping, as part of the local shipping is covered in the $60

    Please e-mail me for any questions.

    Joe Just

  • Hi all! Please post your comments and suggestions here. If there’s enough interest, we’ll start a full bulletin board for you. Enjoy!

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