Product Reviews


The purpose of this page is to provide information with respect to reviews that have been conducted on items sold by Free Flight Supplies and direct the reader to the information. These reviews may either be conducted by the modeling press or on the www.

A.A. (AL) LIDBERG PLANS AND KITS (USA)

"NJAPF" P30 was reviewed in the "International Flying Model Designer & Constructor" Summer 1998 and in the "Aeromodeller" January 2000.

"Baby Corsair" mini vintage model reviewed in "Model Flyer" February 2000.

"Cavu" was mentioned in Shop talk in "Aviation Modeler International" December 2001

"The Answer" the plan has been reviewed and a model built by David Deadman. Details see "The Aeromodeller" within "Aviation Modeler International" January 2005

For details of availability see A.A.Lidberg Products

FLY IN (INDOOR SPORT RUBBER MODEL KITS FROM AUSTRALIA)

Hanger Rat- Original design by H. Barr. High wing "V" dihedral model complete with rubber tissue and hardware, a good reliable indoor fun flyer. Reviewed in June 2001 "Model Flyer".

ELECTRIC ITEMS (KP AERO MODELS PRODUCTS)

Full range of KP Aero Models electric free flight goodies available. See August 2000 "Model Flyer".

ATALAR KITS (Turkey)

I stock the the "Fantastic" P 30 from the ATALAR range of kits. A simple yet excellent performer see the review of both the building and flying in "Aviation Modeler International" February 2012.

BOOKS by Jim Norfolk

THUNDER AND LIGHTNING.

MODELING THE RARE CURTIS FIGHTERS

LAYING OUT THE DRAWING

These books were reviewed in the "Model Flyer" September 2000 issue.

Or check out the PDF file here for further review data.

For details of availability see Jim Norfolk books

Jim's books are all now out of print. I have a small stock on hand of all publications which cannot be replaced.

PEL - AERO KITS HAND LAUNCHED GLIDER RANGE - AUSTRALIA

HIGH FLYER - Span 16" (40 cm), Length 16.3" (41.5 cm)

WAMIRA (YOUNG EAGLE) - Span 18" (45 cm), Length 19.2" (48.7 cm)

WAMIRA PROPAK

KATAMAX - Span 18" (45 cm), Length 19" (48.2 cm).

EPSILON 525 - Span 22" (56 cm), Length 19.3" (49 cm)

Andy Crisp has done a review of the EPSILON chuckie in "Model Flyer" in the May 2002 edition. This model is a state of the art design that features multi panel wing dihedral. Andy has lots of favourable comments to make about the model. The timers used in the kit review were supplied by FFS for details of availability see Timers

ZEPHYR - Span 18.0" (45 cm), Length 15.75" (40 cm).

Chris Strachan has done a review of the ZEPHYR Jet-x model in "Aviation Modeler International" in the August 2002 edition. Chris has produced a Rapier version of the model! Details of the Rapier modifications will be included in the later kits.

Transcript of the review

"what lovely kits from Peter Lloyd - such quality and attention to detail"- Martin Powell

POTSHOT - Span 15" (39 cm)

Phil Ball has done a review of the POTSHOT catapult glider in "Model Flyer" in the June 2003 edition. As Phil says this model is The ideal way to start into this class. Phil makes lots of favourable comments about the model. The timers used in the kit review were supplied by FFS for details of availability see Timers

Note also another fine catapult model from PEL-AERO is the KATAMAX see the details above.

For details of availability of all kits see PEL-AERO Kits

Note that the range of kits has recently been updated and comments in the product reviews have been taken account of.

STING AERO PRODUCTS (LEN SURTEES)

Butterfly 20 designed

Andy Crisp has done a review of the BUTTERFLY 20 chuckie in "Model Flyer" in the October 2005 edition. The timers used in the kit review were supplied by FFS for details of availability see Timers

RAPIERS & JET-X

Reviewed in the "Model Flyer" in the March 2001 issue. Extensive coverage of the their use and operation.

For details of availability see Rapier & Jet-x

POLYESTER TISSUE

The tissue was reviewed in the "Model Flyer" in the July 2001 issue. Dave Ridgeway describes how to use material.

LIGHTWEIGHT POLYESTER TISSUE

In Column 278 [April Speaks] you mention (Andrew Longhurst) that I was about to experiment with Mike Woodhouse's 15 gm/mtr Polyester tissue on the warp-prone "Sky Rocket" flatplate tailplane. Well, it worked perfectly! I've tried to show in the pic Image just how flat it is by way of a length of 1/16 in. sheet. Previously, using water-shrunk Jap tissue, it went propeller-shape.

Weights? After stripping off the old tissue the stab frame weighed 2.7 gm. With the Polyester applied, using thinned white woodworking glue, it weighed 3.6 gm; doped (one water-thin coat), 3.9 gm. Total weight of the heat-shrunk Polyester: A tiny, tiny tad over one gramme. Not bad for a totally waterproof component.

I coloured it yellow with water-thinned Daler-Rowney's Artist Acrylic Ink, thanks to info supplied by Laurie Barr. You just mop it on and hang it out to dry. This particular yellow comes with a bonus: it's near day-glo.

Incidentally, if you want to damp-proof Jap tissue, try applying one thinned coat of the currently available "banana oil". It's not totally waterproof (neither is it the old banana oil we used to know and love) but an airframe so treated will not slacken off in damp conditions. Extra weight on my "Scram," Jack North Diamond Lightweight, and Judge 1936: 1 gramme. Again, not bad. (Thanks to Ted Horne and his coupes for this know-how.)

LIGHTWEIGHT POLYESTER TISSUE

The material was reviewed in the NFFS Digest May 2006. The review was very favourable and gave details of the application of the material.

For details of availability see Lightweight Covering Materials

MIKALENTA TISSUE

Allan Brown as carried out a personal review of the material. Transcript of the review

FULL SIZE PLANS

Paul Seely's F1H was "Aviation Modeler International" February 2001.

For details of availability see Plans

George Fuller's Dixilander is featured in "The Model Flyer" November 2000. A 3-view of the plan as well as detailed construction tips.

MSP PLANS

"Aviation Modeler International" October 2001 carries a write up on the Calypso plan as well as further background on how Martyn approaches his subjects. Image

"Aviation Modeler International" June 2002 carries a write up on the Empress plan as well as further background on Mick King and the Contest Kits enterprise. Image

"Aviation Modeler International" June 2003 carries a write up on the Hermes plan as well as further background on Halfax kits.

The now sadly deceased "International Flying Model Designer & Constructor" Winter 1996/7 carries a write up of the Paper bag plan as well as detailed construction tips.

The "International Flying Model Designer & Constructor" Autumn 2000 carries a write up of Odenman's Nordic plan as well as detailed construction tips.

See "International Flying Model Designer & Constructor" Winter/Spring 2002 a write up of the Raff V plan as well as detailed construction tips. Image Image Image Image

The SAM35 Year Book number 13 contains a great deal of back up material from Martin on several of the plans and their designers. More details in SAM35 Year Book number 14.

For details of availability of the plans see MSP Plans

BOB JONES PLANS

Frog Jupiter "Model Flyer" June 2004 carries a write up of the construction of the model from the Bob Jones plan. Image Image Image Image

The "International Flying Model Designer & Constructor" Autumn 1997 carries a write up of the "Stickler" plan as well as detailed construction tips.

For details of availability see Plans

SCALPELS

Peter Money carried out a review of several cutting tools,here is what he had to say about scalpels.

"I'd never thought of the use of scalpels in model airplane work, although I have been using a Swann Morton craft knife for years and have always liked it. I came to the conclusion after some exchange of correspondence that in this respect I was very much a minority and that most veteran balsa hackers have been using them since birth. I thought that I'd get some. For the benefit of others who have not been exposed to these cutting tools in a non medical sense I'm giving my experiences below in obtaining scalpels. I know that the information will be redundant to many, but offer it rather apologetically for the benefit of those who haven't used these very useful tools and who might be interested in trying them. The handle is a little thicker than other knifes and is made from a non magnetic nickel alloy. Very nice to use and very reasonably priced. Mike also stocks a heavier handle and blades which I have not tried. The blades are all 0.014" thick. I looked at the edges of all these blades under a 30x pocket microscope and was unable to find any difference in the quality of edge finish, all the blades seemed to extremely sharp."

Well, I hope I haven't bored you will this recital. I have no connection with Swann Morton or any of the vendors, so if you detect any bias it's really because that's the way I found it!

For details of availability of scalpels see Tools

PUBLICATIONS

Rubber Model Propellers By Mike Woodhouse

The propeller assembly is the biggest inhibitor to the building of rubber powered models ñ be they sport, scale or competition duration.

This book is long overdue, totally practical and very well structured so read it from start to finish.. It fills its stated purpose of "allaying propeller production fear" while wisely avoiding both aerodynamic theory and the complexities of high tech indoor or outdoor propellers, hubs and mechanisms.

Propeller layout, production from sheet, block or laminates and methods for hubs, freewheels, folding and motor attachment are all well covered.

Beginner or expert, I recommend this book to you.

Chris Strachan 17/04/08

The above review appeared in the May 2008 BMFA News, December 2008 Radio Control Model Flyer, January 2009 Aviation Modellar International.

A couple of evenings ago I got out the above book, 66 pages, and re-read most of it. No matter what level of expertise you possess in the art of carving propellers you will gain more knowledge by owning and reading this book. It is the best publication in regards to making model airplane propellers/airscrews that you will ever read. It covers basic layout to the appendices, 29 chapters including single bladed folders, propellers from laminated sheet etc. All the instructions are clear and informative, the illustrations superb and buy a copy before it is not available. This is just a jewel of a book. I was lucky to get to know Clarence Mather who came up to Lewistown, Montana several times staying with me for several days of fly fishing. After fishing I attended the Clarence Mather propeller carving school. Clarence really emphasized thin, stiff propeller blades as does Mike and they really make a difference in performance. I always carve to a line somewhat back of where I finally want it, say an 1/8" of an inch. Clarence taught me to get the last bit of excess balsa off with rough sandpaper and this is good advice. Mike gives the advice to use garnet paper rather than sandpaper as garnet paper cuts the wood away much more easily without the risk of compressing the fibres. Sandpaper clogs and tends to compress the fibres. Mike is absolutely correct in this bit of advice on page 8 of the book. I have more and more went to laminated blocks and carving very thin, stiff blades. I like finishing the prop with 1/4 ounce fibreglass cloth as this really stiffens the prop blades. This book is for all levels of expertise in propeller carving. Keep in mind that the worst prop you carve will be better than any prop you ever buy. It is very satisfying to have someone look a prop you carved and finished and go "Ooooh." Maslow's  list of "satisfiers' is spot on and peer group approval is way at the top of the list. 

Karl Gies December 2011 on FFML and SAM Talk

For details of availability see Publications

TIMERS

A "special" timer has been produced in Poland for SLOP. This timer was produced to Dave Clarkson's specification. Dave review of the finished product rates the timer as good. Dave makes the following six points with respect to the timer:-

  • Fully wound first rotation 35 sec. - GOOD
  • Fully wound stall time ( the maximum run time under D/T load) 7 minutes - GOOD
  • Fully wound with the DT in the final groove, no DT under tension ( allows simple lock down for the big fly off) - GOOD
  • 3 minute DT 5 grooves down - GOOD
  • DT off top delay 4 sec - GOOD
  • Max motor run possible 30 sec - GOOD

 

For details of availability see Timers

This timer has recently (21/01/06) been improved.

PLANS

Harry Wilkinson

BORDER REIVER The late Harry's open rubber model drawn up by Terry Rose to support an article in the BMFA News. £5.00 plus post. A later issue featured detailed construction procedures for the propeller this is included as no.15 within Publications. See "Border Reiver"

OTHER REVIEWS

As well as complete product reviews there other mentions in the modeling press.

In "Aviation Modeler International" in the October 2003 edition. Jim Woodside in "When is tissue not tissue" reviews Free Flight Supplies Carbon Fibre products.

For details of availability see Hi-Tech Materials

In "Aeromodeller" in August 2015. Round elastics on the "off the shelf" page.

WEB SITES

Aeromodelling web sites are reviewed in "Aviation Modeler International" September 2001. Free Flight Supplies gets a favourable mention.

YOUR INPUT

If you know of other reviews or have conducted your own critique let me know and I will include.