FFML E-Postal Mooney Memorial Build - Fly Off

Featuring the Andreason BA-4B Biplane

Model by Kenneth G. Matocha


I am sending you a photo of my Andreason model as an attachment. It is covered in gray and white tissue with red letters. I know it is not true colors, but you indicated this would be fine. My best times so far have been 35, 34 and 36 seconds. If I get an opportunity I will try to improve on these, but I am happy as this was my first attempt at a peanut. My plane is far from perfect, but it flies and this is more than I really expected. This has been a great experience for me and I could write a book on what I have learned.

Here are a few things I noted while building this model:

  1. Weight is critical. My finished model weighed 14 grams with a plastic prop and 12.5 grams with a carved prop (both without the rubber). The times given were obtained using the plastic prop. I had to use 1/8" rubber to get decent lift due to the weight.

  2. Carving a prop using the instructions provided for us by Dannysoar is relatively easy. Once finished, it will perform much better if the front of the prop is facing forward (notice in the picture mine is reversed - DUH!). It took me a while to figure-out why it worked so poorly and hence the times with the plastic prop. I have since turned it around and maybe I can trim the plane to fly with the wooden prop.

  3. Weight is critical. While building, I "pretested" (broke) many of the sticks used in the model. These I reinforced by adding a stick beside the broken ones. After breaking many of these, I decided it might be too weak to withstand the stress of the motor and thus added some diagonal sticks on the sides of the fuselage (these can be seen on the photo). Extra strength is good, but added weight is not (maybe I can enter the "flying brick postal").

  4. It may seem like it would be easy, but it is very difficult to cut letters out of tissue and glue them to the fuselage (the photo is of the GOOD side of my model!).

  5. Trimming was tricky for me. Extra weight was placed in the nose and I added tabs to the wings and tail for some of the initial flights. I them removed these one at a time and made adjustments by bending on the tail and wings until the model flew pretty well without them (next time I will grow the 10 steps of trimming and it might be much easier).

  6. Even though my three flight total time aloft was shorter single flights of some of the others reporting times, the sight of the plane circling in the gym made the effort more than worth while.

Thank you for giving me with the incentive to build a peanut. I have enjoyed the postal and appreciate you hosting this activity.

Respectfully yours,
Kenneth G. Matocha