Keith Shaw’s Modifications to our 1905 Wright Flyer Kit

A customer wanted to know Keith Shaws Modifications of our 1905 Wright Flyer. Keith is an experienced modeler. A member of the AMA Hall of Fame. His advice on any model is well worth reviewing. Here are Keith’s views as written myself and on of our builders:

Hi Dave,

………….I really didn’t do much of anything to make the Wright fly “better”. Most mods were for convenience and scale appearance.

1) Made the front “head” removable so that I can transport it in my minivan along with other airshow planes.
2) Made the fantasy long range tanks to house the four A123 cells. Voltage/current/power is virtually identical to the 3s Lipo you spec. I just prefer the safety of A123 cells.
3) Used a tan magic marker to draw fake ribs and spars on the bare foam before painting with the Almond High-heat Rustoleum.
4) Made a dummy engine, sprockets and chains. Found a toy fireman that was just about the right scale for Orville. Sewed a suit and made a high collar, tie and cuffs for the figure.
5) My flier seems to need more positive elevator trim than yours at the given CG. I move my CG back to about 7/8″ back of the leading edge to reduce the front surface loading. This could be due to a slightly different camber profile than yours. Hard to guess when using the heat gun, ribs and rubber band method.
6) I used #117 rubber bands from OfficeMax rather than linking two #33 together.
7) I guess there were a couple of improvements now that I think on it. I found the vertical rudder hinge wire far too flexible and was the cause of the slow rudder oscillation. I used 3/32 instead of the spec’ed .055.
8) The roll axis was a little vague, and I suspected that the wing warping pushrods were buckling under load. I sleeved the .055 wire with 1/8th O.D. aluminum tubing. Now the wing warping is *almost* as positive as ailerons. Of course there is still adverse yaw from their use, so I mix in about 10% aileron-rudder coupling.

Hope this helps him,


Note’s from Dave; I do remember Keith mentioning that he runs the CG a bit further back than I suggest in the plans. He may have forgotten to mention that in the above letter. I do advise however that you start with the CG where suggested and only after a couple of flights, start to adjust it rearward. Any such adjustment should be made in careful small increments. 1/4″ is a long way to move a CG. Try to move it 1/8″ per flight until you find the uncomfortable location then readjust slightly forward. This is the method I used to arrive at the instructed location. For me it feels tail heavy any further back. By tail heavy, I mean, the model begins to hunt about the pitch axis. Keith feels that location is a bit further back and perhaps he is correct. Someday I may start moving it back again on my own model. Just bear in mind, you’re not experimenting to start where I suggest in the instructions. I want you to have a successful test flight.


Tiger Moth Oppportunity

This is what a modeler looks like who is getting to sit in a Tiger Moth for the very first time.

franz frank from sweden sits in tiger moth
Franz Frank from Sweden sits in Tiger Moth

Franz Frank, a customer from Sweden shares his euphoria with us. What a smile!


American Junior RC

Check out this fun scratch built project.

Jack Books RC American Junior Project
Jack Books RC American Junior Project

Hand Made R-985 Dummy Radial

Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior Dummy Radial built by Donald Kurtz

Photo provided by Donald Kurtz, local scale builder. He’s building a Beech 18 and needed two dummy radials. No engine kit was available in the correct scale. The metal parts are K&S aluminum and copper tubing. The brass you see on the plug wires is brass rod. Cylinders are hardwood dowel, heads and rocker boxes are balsa. Engine block is the top of a plastic drink bottle with a thin plywood washer to form the brush-less motor shaft exit. The entire engine comes apart just in case he needs to service a cylinder. The rocker box’s will not be visible when the cowling is installed and are simply there to hold the push-rod tubes. Great job Don!
Actual Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior


Windows 8.1 Charms Bar KILLED! DISABLED! DEFEATED!

AFter extensive searching, I had to figure this out for myself. I believe this is the first and only solution to eliminate edge swiping annoyingly opening up the right hand Charms Bar and taking control of your pointer. 1/25/2014. It wasn’t actually all that difficult. Follow instructions below.

Windows 8.1 Charms annoyance defeated! Control panel (or begin typing “control panel”), select “Mouse”, Then select” Device Settings” tab. Then select “Settings” button. Un-check “Enable Edge Swipes”. This effectively disables the charms bar annoyance because it is not now triggered by the swiping on the right 1/4 of the touch pad. I also unchecked “Tapping”. Just re-positioning my finger to move the pointer was causing occasional selections of items on screen. Way too sensitive on the tapping feature and no way to adjust the sensitivity that I have yet discovered. So there you go, I’m now happy with Windows 8.1. The desire to do this as asked about in many forums and on YouTube but there are no published answers that I could find. I noticed in a YouTube video somebody had a menu up with these check box’s and was able (with some help) to find it today. Enjoy!


Setting the Hook

archie phillips teaching radio control model airplane
My good friend Archie Phillips in Alabama introducing the next generation.

Hi Dave,
I know you are interested in getting young folks interested in Model
Aviation. Last Saturday my club helped at the NASA Space and Rocket Center
Aviation Challenge event. Here is a photo of me planting the seed with a
little one (he was thrilled). Later I introduced his dad to flying and we
“set the Hook”.


V22 Osprey Arrives at USAFM Today

Enjoyed watching a CV-22 Osprey arrive in front of our shop. The United States Air Force Museum is across the street from “US”. Osprey pilot dusts the snow off our roof. 😉 He put on a short airshow, bank angles easily up to 70 degree’s and a nice dirty pass with the rear ramp open. What a view we have here.

CV-22 Osprey over Radical RC
Thursday, December 12, 2013. A CV-22 Osprey over Radical RC’s Shop

CV-22 Osprey arrives at National Museum of the U.S. Air Force DUST OFF PHOTO Here

cv-22 osprey arrive usafm
Last minute of the last flight for this VC-22 Osprey
CV-22 Osprey
CV-22 Osprey High Bank Angle