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Floats

Report by: D. R. Taylor

Back in the summer a friend of mine came upon a couple of lakes that could be used for the opportunity of trying to fly using floats. Well this was too good a chance to miss….

Flair CubWe decided to modify a couple of aircraft that we already had up and running. Although both were Flair Cubs one was powered by an RCV 60 while the other model had been altered slightly by adding flaps and an OS 91FS engine. Therefore we had two models at different weights. We asked Flair for advice before purchasing the floats from their range.

The postman duly arrived with the parcels. On opening the box we found not kits but foam cores which had been covered in veneer, two sheets of diagrams and some very brief instructions!

Nigel started to build his floats and more or less followed the instructions and took advice from a fellow club member and the final result looked great on his model. From then on he kept nagging me to hurry up and get my floats finished.

Well after a bit more encouragement that I could build these floats I decided to have a go. The instructions gave you some good advice on set up and where to place the struts which support the aeroplane on the floats and centre of gravity position along the incidence from wing to float.

I can never build anything straight from the instructions and always like to make a few modifications just to be a little different. I wanted my floats to look a bit more scale like. I spent time searching through lots of mags (you know us modellers we all just happen to have one or two mags in the loft!) and looking at several pictures in books of Super Cubs on floats I got lots of ideas. One thing I noticed was that most used EDO Floats and that they mostly have a flat top with a removable circular top which allows inspection access to the buoyancy chambers. The first thing I did was to cut off using a band saw about 15 mm from the top to give me a flat surface to sheet with 1/8" balsa.

After completing this it was back to the guide notes so I could cover the bottom of the floats as illustrated. Sheeting the bottom required careful sanding and alignment so the sheet fitted well onto the centre spine (see photos). The front of the floats was also modified by cutting off the front and fitting a balsa block which could now be shaped as required.

This gave the floats a more scale like appearance.

The strutsI then took a trip to Nigel's where he took time to make the struts on which the Cub sits on the floats. Again I wanted this to look as scale like as possible.

Lastly the floats were covered in natural Solartex. Rudders were fitted to each float (purchased from Flair but made by Williams Brothers) and joined up using fishing trace and pulleys to the air rudder.

RCV powered Flair CubOS91FS powered Flair Cub

We have yet to try and fly ......

Report by: D. R. Taylor