BuiltWithNOF

MIKE ROACH’S MODEL AIRCRAFT

DEPRON MODELS

Depron is a proprietary insulation foam that comes in various thicknesses from 6mm and smaller: it is very light and resilient, easy to cut and glue and takes paint well. It is not particularly strong but can be skinned with tissue or light glass cloth if required.

I’ve made a number of depron models at around the 4 - 5’ size and because it is quick and easy to work a month in the shed can end with a light realistic aircraft that flies well. Much of the look of them is enhanced by vinyl decals from Tim Calvert at modelmarkings.com.

For power I use 20g 1500 kv “”pole and Stator” motors from Robotbirds (also known as “Blue Wonders), with 10 or 12 A SC and 2 or 3 cells for 7 x 6 or 6 x 4 props.

Avro Lincoln at 60” span. Of all the depron models I’ve made, this looked the best. Superb markings by Tim Calvert did a lot to make this so, but the white and black scheme and the proportions of the aircraft were perfect.

Unfortunately just as I mastered its flight characteristics, it had a big system failure and spun in to some trees.

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Douglas Skyray. This is a great example of the “just a bit of fun” you can have with a simple design in sheet depron. There’s a pusher prop at the back, the SC and servos live in the fuz/wing fairings and the battery is squeezed under the cockpit.

Short S26 Empire.This lovely aircraft never performed properly because I mistakenly used old GWS brushed motors which had inadequate power. Four of the little 20g brushless would have been fine. A bit more noseweight would have helped.

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One of the many models that went to Canada, this Grumman Albatross took to pieces to go into a carry-on box. I flies very well and was the winner of an RC Groups build-off a few years ago

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The Kawanishi “Mavis” was another Canada model. It was a real squeeze getting all the motors and wiring into the wing and I had sealed it all up and was testing it when one of the SC’s gave up. Surgery made it better but one motor still takes a while to pick up. It has survived brambles twice and caused pain to rescuers but still flies well.

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“Little Gull”. A rare non-scale model, all from 6mm depron. It flew well but was compromised slightly by the high thrustline. An over-enthusiastic outside loop, at the Comox flying stip on Vancouver Island saw it “reduced to produce”

A MiG 8 “Duck”. Built and flown very largely to prove to a fellow BIMBO member that stable flight was pefectly possible. While this was true, the need for a steerable nosewheel in an already crowded and very weak area at the foreplane doomed it to failure. The real thing was an excellent flier and very popular with the test pilots.

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Short Singapore, 50” span. The first incarnation destroyed itself against a fence, the second crashed into the lake at Longham. It was a very complex build and getting the motors and SCs into the nacelles and then the mass of wires down to the fuselage was a real problem. But a fabulous project and oh, did she look good in the air!

The Ross Sealander. This is a48” span model of a project, which was to make an B-N Islander into a seaplane by the addition of an aluminium under-hull, tip floats and retracts. Another of the models built to fit in a box for a Canada trip. It made a very nice model and I had a lot of fun with the decals (by Tim Calvert again)

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Copy of Pup 2

Sopwith Pup, 30” span. A very good flier and a super conversion to a floatplane which flew well and handled the water perfectly.

Fieseler Storch. This was my very first foam model, cut in 3mm sheets from a big block of blue foam. History does not recall any successful flights.

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Spitfire Mk IX floatplane. 32” span of contrary nonsense. I did get a few flights out of herand she flew well without the floats, but overall, a disappointment.

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DHC Canada Twin Otter. I had very igh hopes of this model but it just did not deliver, due entirely to the lack of washout on the wing. The vicious tip stall finally saw an end to it, in Canada, of all places. Oh, the shame. I blame the passenger.

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The very successful Vickers Supermarine Walrus. Another early design, a joint effort by Trevor Hewson and me, it flew well indoors and out. 30” span.

Supermarine Spitfire, 32” span. This lovely model was based on a RCME free plan by Tony Nijhaus for  balsa. It was powered with a GWS IPS motor and flew extraordinarily well.

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Hawker Hurricane, also 32” span. Not such an easy plane to make as the Spitfire, and never looked quite as good in the air, due to a rather floppy wing, cut from a foam blank. Some CF rod would have improved matters.

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