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KeilKraft Slicker Mite (32" span) with Frog 80 engine.
This was taken, on the tennis court at Osmond House, with my first camera, a Brownie 127, fitted with a close-up lens. I'm still impressed by the good results from that simple equipment. Although the background is rather obtrusive, at least it's a bit fuzzy and the model is well-positioned in the plane of focus (determined by careful measurement). On the original, I can read FROG on the "Powered by FROG" fuselage decal, and pick out where the Keil Kraft name is embossed on the streamline wheels. Most of the 64mm x 41mm negative is shown and you can see a bit of vignetting in the top right-hand corner where the lens is running out of steam. Even so, for 25s9d (one pound 29 pence in today's currency) the Brownie 127 was good value. This film was commercially processed as I hadn't yet started doing my own processing.
The model was finished in Royal Blue with the main panels of the wing and tailplane left clear doped. I don't recall many good flights with the Frog 80 engine - the propeller in the picture looks like a 8"x4" KK Truflex which would not have let it rev well. The airframe was later fitted with a DC Spitfire which gave one particularly memorable out-of-sight (OOS) flight - the aircraft was eventually found in the Chapel graveyard.
KeilKraft Ranger (24" span) with Frog 149 Vibramatic engine.
This was taken with my Kodak Sterling II 620 folding camera. Only a tiny fragment of the original nominally 6x9cm negative appears here, and I'm ashamed at how poor this looks compared with the Slicker Mite picture. I did have a close-up lens for the Sterling II, but obviously couldn't be bothered to use it this time. The exposure and my developing of the film could have been better too ....
The model was a control-line team racer and had a black fuselage and I think either red or orange wings. It was a big step up in performance from the profile control-liners I'd flown before. On the 20-foot lines I used (to keep the circle within the confines of the tennis court), it rotated almost faster than I could keep up with it. The Frog Vibramatic engine was later replaced by an AM 10 which was almost as fast but had better range, giving 50-60 lap flights compared with under 40 for the Frog.
XC-1B own-design with ED MkII engine.
Also taken with the Kodak Sterling II camera, but showing slightly better technique!
This agricultural-looking beast was knocked together very quickly, based roughly on the proportions of the KK Champ profile c/l trainer (the undercarriage looks like part of a deceased Champ, but with Tundra tyres for extra ground clearance). It was sized to suit the 2cc ED MkII series 2 engine which I had just acquired from family friend George Crawford. The flight performance was unimpressive - not surprising given the modest power of the 1947-vintage engine and the complete lack of airfoil on the sheet-balsa flying surfaces. So much for instant gratification! I see that despite keeping the engine as close to the wing leading-edge as possible, it still needed a bit of lead sheet crimped onto the fuselage near the tail to trim the centre of gravity (CoG) to a better working location. The control lead-outs are on the undersurface of the wing, with paper-clip line connectors dangling below. The conspicuous screw-eye on the wing upper-surface is for a third line (not installed at the time of this photo), connected to the engine cut-out lever via the second screw-eye atop the fuselage. Note the compression adjustment on this engine by a penny-slot on top of the cylinder, rather than the more common screw with tommy-bar.
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