The Sparrowhawk is a high wing, cabin sports model designed for fun flying. This is not a scale model based on a real (or what modellers call “prototype”) aircraft, but is designed purely as a flying model. Sports models come in many guises and are often flown in competitions that are purely about flying duration, with many different sets of rules and regulations governing their size and shape. Often these models bear no resemblance to a real aircraft at all, with thin tubular fuselages, no undercarriage and very long thin wings.
A cabin sports model means one which has a “cockpit” where a notional pilot could sit, with fewer compromises to the size and shape for duration. Therefore it sits between a scale model and a pure duration model, both in the way it looks and the way it performs.
These types of models are much easier to build and fly than their scale model counterparts and therefore form an ideal starting point for a new modeller.
This kit is designed for you to build a traditionally constructed, rubber powered, free flight cabin sports model of an original design by The Vintage Model Company. Construction of the model from this kit uses the traditional method of “stick and tissue” that consists of a built up balsa wood skeleton (framework), covered with a tissue skin. The balsa frameworks are built over a plan printed at the exact scale of the model which is in essence a real engineering drawing. Power is provided by a rubber strip motor that is wound up before flight.
Free flight means just that, once the model is launched it is on its own. It must follow a predetermined flight path established when the model is initially adjusted for flight or “trimmed”. This type of traditional building technique and flying requires a degree of patience and skill, but is extremely rewarding. Although not a “serious” sports model, if built correctly, properly stretch wound and in the right hands, the Sparrowhawk is capable of surprisingly long flights (1 minute plus) both indoors and outdoors on a calm day.
In the spirit of the old kits additional items required to build the model are things that can be found in the kitchen drawer or are easily available on the high street.
- Three balsa sheets with precise laser cut parts and strip wood.
- PVA glue for building the wooden frames.
- One 180mm diameter plastic propeller.
- One pre-bent motor hook and shaft.
- Three low friction plastic nose bushings – one for the propeller and two for the undercarriage wheels.
- Piano wire for the main undercarriage legs.
- Dowel for the wing fixings, tail plane fixings and for the motor peg.
- Rubber bands to hold the wings and tail plane in position.
- Rubber motor strip.
- Piece of clear acetate for the windows and “trim tabs”.
- Tissue to cover the model.
- Parts reference sheet (W) and full size summary plan sheet (X).