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Aim for the sky and try not to miss!
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Avro Lancaster
By: David Bauer

Avro Lancaster Flying Model Rocket

Right-O! Listen up ole Chaps. It is time to give you what the Yanks call “the straight dope.” It has come down from the very top that we are headed back for more dam busting. Yes, we are going back in to give Jerry another hard kick in the teeth, but this time we are going to do it with rocket power! That’s right; the Barnes Wallis boys have modified our Lancs with rocket assist, fast enough to avoid those new Boche jet and rocket interceptors. In short, we are going to beat the Bloody Hun at his own game!

Our Lancs are the best and we are going to prove it again by flying on the edge with rocket power. I know they are strong enough to take the stress and by Jove so are we. I don’t have to tell you of the danger but we have to bust that Bear Creek Dam above the CRASH launch site, it is target number one. Just below it we know that Jerry has been building and test flying the DO 217, TA 152, HS 123, AR 234 and there is even intelligence that the Japs have flown a Shinden under some sort of technology sharing with the Krauts.

Here are some pictures of our new Lancs under construction. Notice we are going to spin the bomb with rocket exhaust. 
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Here is the real thing: 

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All painted and ready for a test flight:

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Here are the pictures and video of the first flight:

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When all was ready, this is the video of the flight:

Thanks to Redneck_Pyro and NCR for the video and photos. Thanks for building that clip whip, the true secret to success for widely spaced motor ignition on a club system. The guys at NCR were really great, the field and weather were awesome! The flight was everything I could have hoped for. The motors all lit for a stable flight and all the chutes deployed, bringing her down on the soft prairie mostly in one piece. The burn on the cockpit and tail areas was about what I expected and the Lanc has now been shaped by fire. One of the chutes caught the tail and broke it off on decent where the burn had weakened the squishy Hobby Lobby balsa. The other tail broke at the burn area on landing. The word amongst the ole chaps is that Daddy simply went an inch too far in lowering the tail on this Lanc to make it look marvelous. The test flight is over and with a few modifications it will be a much better rocket on the second flight in front of the Top Men at NSL.

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More pictures. Redneck Pyro was a great help setting up. In the cold all those tightly packed Merlin engine nose cones just kept on wanting to pop out.

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Here are the post flight pictures of Hauptmann Kitty inspecting his latest victory, another downed Lancaster. He says downing an English bomber satisfies his hunting instinct for about an hour, so the all birds, rabbits and snakes still left in the neighborhood better be on close watch this morning.

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Photos of the Lancaster in flight are particularly cool.

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War is hell. Here is the carnage from NSL. The Lancaster Mark Two had a great take off and flight, went into the wind after the power leveled off. The wind was a bit high but still OK I thought when she launched, this is the NSL by golly! One of the out board motors lit a bit late and professional take off photos are coming that will show that. All eight did light and she instantly straightened up just after leaving the rail and flew up like a rocket should. She then went a bit airplane on me, just can't figure out why a rocket like this should want to fly like an airplane in the wind. . . maybe I need to actually read up on some good rocket science in a book rather than just looking at the pictures.

Everything seemed OK until the ejection charges started to go off. Bang, one chute rips off, BANG-BANG chutes number two and three rip off, BANG, chute number four deploys and holds on. OMG! One chute is not enough for this weighty bird. She went well over the flight line but I knew she came in hard, at least no one was hurt or any property damaged. The chutes ripping off looked a bit like flak bursts in flight. When I walked up to the crash site I was actually quite pleased with the results. The thin walled tube had broken cleanly in front of the wing and one rudder had popped off. Walking back in a straight line there were three nose cones and chutes lined up. Did my high end Estes plastic chutes fail? No. Had my cheap Hobby Lobby elastic shock cords failed? No. Just a long piece of Kevlar all frayed at the end were it had attached under the nose cone. The heat from the Might D ejection charges had done them in on the fast deploying speed of the second flight. My faith in bullet proof Kevlar was shattered. Time to wipe off all the soot and repair, thinking of a new, more durable recovery system. Some epoxy and Popsicle sticks will strengthen up the nose reattachment. The burn on the tail and rear cockpit has been solved with the MK II's flight, and it still looked good!

The Lanc and DO 217 are repairable. However, the AR 234 ist Kaput. The higher winds of NSL did in these finicky war birds on deployment, but did I learn anything on those subsequent launches? Heck no. You can't teach an old dog new tricks.

I saw some awesome in flight photos people took, maybe they will post. The rocket smoke trails look just like con trails in flight and the photos have an almost eerie realness to them.

DO 217 and Lancaster repaired and ready to fly again. The AR 234 is in the body bag, but for all you scratch build Klingons, it died well.

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Here are some snapshots of professional snapshots of eight motor Lanc flying at NSL. Hopefully you can see that all the motors did light and the clip whip falling away. The Photos are by Nadine Kinney 2013. You can see by the smoke trail it was not calm and just a slight breeze made it go airplane real quick after motor burn out, but at least it flew like a rocket should while it had power. The canted C's provided some stabilizing flame fin action out of the top and belly of this little beastie.

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I still have not had the guts to attach the spinning bomb.

Parts List: One Baby Bertha kit, One Patriot kit, For nose cones like on the Comanche 3, !8mm motor tube, 24mm motor tube, Ping Pong ball, some Flis Kit 18mm canted motor mounts would be nice but on this one I just hacked and slashed standard Estes centering rings. Lots of 3/16 balsa, label paper, Plastic Epoxy Clay, nose weight clay and BB’s. Carbon fiber rod for the rear turret guns, cardstock wraps. 4 plastic chutes, nose cones and tubes for the Estes EPM kits for the spinners, launch lugs for the flame dampers. Rail buttons, paint, decals.

 


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