SMALL MODEL DESIGN
The design of most of my smaller models follows conventional free-flight practice and they are suitable for indoor or outdoor flying in calm weather. My philosophy is that indoor RC models may be built at least as lightly as free-flight ones, since they will only fly under controlled conditions and will be landed carefully and gently, whereas every free flight is, by definition, a crash landing waiting to happen. So if 1.5mm square longerons and 0.75mm sheet ribs seem fragile to you, don’t worry. The SS3 and its sister model the High-Speed are much tougher than foam models and stand up to the gentle stresses of hangers and gymnasiums very well, but it is important to note that much of the strength comes from working rigging, without which they would weigh more, fly faster and break more easily! The structure of a 24” span biplane need not weigh more than 1.5 oz, and Falcon radio gear to make it fly weighs less than 1oz, so get cutting wood - or Depron if you prefer!
This weight business is important. A model with a wing area of 2 sq ft has to weigh about 3 oz to get within the magic 2 oz/sq ft that indoor flying really needs. You may think that the structures are too lightweight, but I assure you that they fly well and, provided you don’t crash, are strong enough for all the loads it is likely to meet. Just look at the free-flight scale models in “Mike’s Models” and bear in mind that they are designed to survive every time they land. Your landings in the Sports Centre are going to be smooth 3-pointers aren’t they, so you can build accordingly?