The Protégé

The Carl Goldberg Protégé
Monday 30th May 2016

Motor: OS MAX FP 60
Wingspan: 71 ½ inches

I am going do do my best to fill in the blanks in this story as I go.

protege-1I have been given an air plane. It found me thus:

I have a friend called Craig. He works somewhere called Military Mentors based in Bridgemary School. I have known Craig for a while now in my capacity as bass player and his capacity as drummer for The 708 Blues Band.

Tony West is the owner and creator of Military Mentors which is a group of ex-Forces personnel who run a college course to help local youngsters achieve their aim of getting into the Armed Forces.

Tony and Craig were faced with a large radio controlled air plane that was bequeathed to the organisation as a parting gift from a departing émigré, Ian Swift, who is a close friend of Tony’s and was leaving Lee-on-Solent for a new home in Canada.

It had become obvious that it was not practical to hope that someone may be able to use it given the lack of flying/maintaining/training experience within the organisation. It needed a home before it started to fall into disrepair. It is an aircraft, it does need maintenance.

protege-2Craig thought of me. Would I like to restore and fly this thing? Yes please. I doubt my ability to fly this machine safely right now but by the time it is ready to fly then I shall also be ready to fly it.

In return for this delightful gift, would I let any of their youngsters who are interested come and look? Of course. I can also let one of their youngsters fly one of my smaller planes and will be happy to do so.

I am going to document the progress of this plane and from time to time my own progress (or lack!) will, hopefully, be evident.

The Protégé seems as it if came oh so close to being flown but never actually got taken to the runway. If it has been run then it was cleaned very well afterwards. It has been very well built, very neat and tidy.

It has been stored carefully by the look of things but some things do degrade in time if not replaced or maintained.

The only damage to the plane is around the horizontal stabiliser (small, easily repairable tears in the film) and the vertical stabiliser and rudder.

Due to an accident that occurred whilst moving the plane, the vertical stabiliser needs some work. I will detail this later when I have images to help elaborate. I do not believe that it will be a big deal but it will be my first balsa wood fix. I shall be taking advice before committing anything destructive.

The plane was made long before modern transmitters and receivers existed and some components will need replacing although I suspect very little, probably just the receiver in the plane for use with my transmitter. I may be missing something here to to lack of knowledge and experience.

It would be nice to put some flight stabilisation in it and I’m assured that this is possible.

I intend to join a local flying club. I am waiting until I can afford it (I’ve spent all my money on bits for model air planes already!), some time in the next couple of weeks. I have the paperwork all ready to go, just waiting for pay day.

I want as much help and advice as I can get in respect of this plane and all other aspects of flying and maintaining model air craft.

I know nothing about internal combustion engines. My research starts here. I wonder if it could be converted to electric? I don’t want to, I shall research the IC engine stuff and seek advice fist.

Would it be best for me to remove the motor, take it apart, clean everything and then put it back together again (if I can)? This is what I normally do to things I don’t understand. It has had unfortunate consequences in the past which is why I’m wondering.

The other option being to stuff it full of fuel and twiddle the propeller until it chops my finger off and burns the house down?

Maybe something less extreme? It’s going to be loud isn’t it?!

Best take advice.

Here’s an image of the damaged tail plane:


So, it may be a little while before I do anything other than clean it and examine all of its linkages and construction. It all depends on how long it takes to get reliable advice.

I know what I think I should do next but I’m not certain. I would strip most of the covering around the bottom and rear of the vertical stabiliser and then cut in some bits of balsa. After this I would shape the balsa by sanding it then I would cover it all again. But I’m going to check first. Probably best.

The Protégé’s Progress …