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Is this the smallest model in the club Print
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Monday, 23 April 2007 11:47

The Guided Mite

Is this the smallest model in the club?

The Guided Mite was designed by Bob Coon and first appeared inside Flying-Models April 1958, in America.  In 1959 an article & plan were published in the Aeromodeller Annual and more recently in Vic Smeed’s ‘Favourites of the Fifties’ – 1988.

Eighteen years ago in 1989, dad and I decided to build the Mite.

 

It only took a few evenings and a couple of weekends and as per the original, a Cox Pee-Wee was installed up-front.

The original 18” wing span model, was rudder only and featured a rubber-driven escapement. Now it sported a mini-servo and a tiny 27 MHz receiver.

 

Off we toddled to Baildon Moor.

After starting the engine, the radio was checked and a hand-launch followed.

If I remember correctly, the flight only lasted a few seconds before rolling into the ground.

Going home disappointed, we concluded that the rudder was much too large & had far too much movement for such a tiny aircraft. A couple of days later we were back at Baildon.

The second flight went pretty much the same as the first, but this time the wing cracked, so the Mite was repaired, stored away, and forgotten about until a few months ago.

 

At the Harrogate Christmas Model Show, I discovered a tiny 7W brushed motor and found myself pondering the idea of resurrecting the old Mite. So, with the advent of modern micro servos and li-poly batteries, the work was on.

Firstly an elevator was added, primarily to avoid the ground and 2 micro servos were installed. The speed controller chosen was an Xtra by Ripmax with the jumper set for 7.4V. A  500mAh li-po provided the power and a  HFS-05MS receiver completed the flight-pack.

With the battery placed under the first inch from the leading edge, the C of G seemed fine.

The first test flight proved a ‘Mite’ too heavy, so the undercarriage was removed and the odd adjustment of trim had it buzzing-about like a mosquito.

At present, flight times of 10 minutes are possible but I think a 300mAh li-po should reduce the weight enough to fit the undercarriage back on and not sacrifice flight duration too much.     

 

So, 50 years after its design and nearly 20 years after dad and I built it, the Guided Mite finally flies!

Just as Bob Coon said - ‘she’s a swell little model, just great for tossing into the trunk of the family car on a weekend picnic.’

                                                                 

 

If anyone fancies knocking one together, I’ll dig-out the plan and take some photocopies.

 

James Gamble

 

Copyright © 2006-2007 Ashley Josephs.

 

 

 

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