Start of the new group project: the Czech VT-16 Orlik

Even though I’ve still got enough going on in the workshop, it’s time to start planning ahead for the coming winter. So far we’ve done a new project with our building team every two years, and the team’s fingers are starting to itch to get into something new. Richie was going through some books with oldtimer gliders and found the Czech VT-16 Orlik. The original Orlik had it’s first flight in 1959 an was all wood, but filled with foam. It’s got a very characteristic shape and there are not many RC models of it around, and certainly none in a “modernised” version with a thinner airfoil. It didn’t take much for the rest of the team to enamour itself with the plane and decide that we want to build this one.

Fortunately there are many relatively good plans available for this plane on the web. I’ve had the best ones enlarged to our usual 1:3.5 scale. The fuselage is huge, 2.13 meters long. We’ll build the 16m version, which gives a wingspan of 4.6 meters. The length of the fuselage and size of the elevator are great for the model version, and we’ll probably stick to scale (we usually need to enlarge the elevator). We had some discussion on doing the wings in wood/ribs, but decided to build it in our usual method – foam cores, covered with abachi/carbon/glass and carbon spars. We will do the rudder in Balsa/ply, covered with tissue, to save weight and give it at least this little “scale” detail. As usual we will also omit the airbrakes and do four or six control surfaces. Wing profile will probably be MH-32. This will give us a nice all-rounder. We build our planes to fly – a lot.

Richie will now start work on the fuselage plug (which is a huge amount of very messy work – but he likes it and is a true master at this), and Georg will start desiging wing and control surfaces. In Autumn we will probably do the fuselage moulds and start building the wings, in the hope that we can maiden the first Orlik in spring 2022.

To be continued…

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