Nate Sturman's Zero Observation Biplane, F1M

The Zero Observation biplane, F1M (Pete) spans about 18" and weighs about 40 grams. It has great stability, longitudinal and lateral, and can handle a lot of torque so I fly it to the left. It has flown away (launched into a thermal, wow,) but was returned by a pretty young lady. That's a Tern aero prop. We have flown it ROW/LOW from a rowboat on Lake Haruna. Moving the float forward about 1cm for these ops made ballast unnecessary and it is really "perfect". A great scale subject. My design from the Maru and FAOW books. Now there is a Fujimi plastic kit to help.

Notes on the F1M prototype: This biplane on a single float, originally conceived of as an armed artillery spotter for battleships, was utilized as an effective weapon and found all throughout the Pacific. It was hardly a laughing matter to encounter and was able to take care of itself against modern fighter aircraft, actually successfully engaging them on occasion. Pilots and gunners learnt how to utilize the planes tight turn to evade, rake and shoot down P-38s and other high performance aircraft. The plane had fine speed, range and maneuverability for its type. Fuselage was all metal. Guns were fixed forward and twin swivel machine guns, some were 50 caliber I have read. Later variants (most) had 3 bladed prop.

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