Fly Baby Photos Page 12



 

Jim Katz completed his Fly Baby in 2019.  He's a long-time RC aircraft builder, and the quality of his workmanship shows through.  Jim picked the N-Number (N502F) is a tribute to the original Fly Baby (N500F), and duplicated the paint scheme of Pete's original.  He posted a lot of pictures of N502F under construction to the Fly Baby Facebook page, and many of them ended up in the Companion Guides assembled to help builders. 



Jim Parks of Potsdam NY recently completed N786YB.  It's got an A65 engine.

Bill Beauvais has one of two recently-completed Corvair-powered Fly Babies.  His also has a slightly modified rudder shape...the kind of change that Pete encouraged.



It took Bill Rotenberry twenty years to build this Corvair-powered beauty. Note that is has an "X" in its registration number... "NX501F."  It's the old-time method for denoting the aircraft is experimental.  This is permitted for aircraft designs of, um, "a certain age."  The DESIGN, not the aircraft itself...

Here's what Bill says about his airplane:
"A few weeks ago I finished my Fly Baby build.  Cut my first piece on September 8, 2001 - 20 years ago.  Never thought it would take this long, but like many, life sometimes got in the way.  I moved four times and the project sat.  Sometimes I hit a point where I couldn't stand the thought of working on it and it would sit for a few months until the fire was rekindled. 

"I built the airplane following the plans closely. Prices for wood have definitely gone up and I think I would now have searched for lower priced options like Douglas Fir. Turnbuckles are the budget buster now.  Still, it's a reasonably priced project.

"I did use all of the suggested improvements such as the station 5 wing reinforcement plates, a belly inspection panel between the belly stringers from station 2 to past station 5 (I don't know how the airplane could be maintained without it), and the reinforced rudder control horn. I also used -32 turnbuckles instead of the -16 in the plans (1x19 wire cable is rated at 2100 lbs., the nicopress sleeve rated at 2300 lbs., but the -16 turnbuckle is only rated at 1600 lbs.  The -32 turnbuckle doubles that to 3200 lbs.). With the Corvair engine my airplane was going to be a bit heavier, so I opted for the beefier turnbuckles.  They also seemed to be easier to find.

"I used a Corvair engine in my airplane.  It is a standard 2700 cc that generates 100 hp.  I've got seven hours of ground run time and I've got it dialed in nicely.  Calling it a Corvair is a bit of a misnomer.  Only the cylinders and the case are original and not significantly reworked.  Crankshaft is reground and nitrided for strength. New camshaft. Heads reworked, stainless steel valves with rotators. New pistons and rods. New oil pan, oil system, top cover, starter, exhaust, intake manifold, harmonic balancer, distributor.  William Wynne at FlyCorvair.com and .net was a tremendous source of parts, guidance and inspiration.  I have a brand new engine that I built, and it runs flawlessly. Of course, that added more time to my build.

"No engine driven electrical system (no alternator).  Instead, I have mounted a Basic Aircraft Works BPE-14 wind turbo alternator.  It puts out 10 amps at 12 volts which is more than enough for my little electrical requirements."


From FAA records, it looks like Guy Sammons finished his airplane about 15 years ago.  Still looking good!  Guy's aircraft has one common and one relatively uncommon modification.  The airplane has a pressure cowling, rather than letting the cylinders hang in the breeze.  More difficult to do, but does give the nose a smoother look.

The less-common modification can be spotted at the bottom front of the vertical stabilizer... a little fairing.  Gives the tail a smoother look.  Appears that Guy added some cuffs around the roots of the horizontal stabilizer, too.

C-GRSG was Ian Cameron's former Fly Baby.  He bought C-GRSG in July 1986 and had it until December 8, when he moved up to a Citabria. The third subsequent owner had a self-induced power failure on takeoff and flipped in a potato field. He walked away but the Baby was not so lucky.