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What was your favorite cox airplane ?

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Re: What was your favorite cox airplane ?

Post  Ken Cook on Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:54 pm

I have to admit, the Bratco Skybaby and Hexadrone were cool models. They flew exceptionally well. The Skybaby though had some quirks in the tail and would break making the day not so fun. Neat planes though nonetheless. Ken
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Re: What was your favorite cox airplane ?

Post  roddie on Fri Dec 23, 2016 3:54 pm

Remember (if you're my age..) when you were young.. and built plastic models? They were display-pieces. The trouble with Cox ARF models is.......... they're plastic models with a motor. The motor yearns to run.. and reminds us; every time we look at it. It was built to fly.. and not to sit in a display-case. The real thrill was in the action. You can choose to imagine/remember it from your youth.. but it's not quite the same as choosing to take it to a field and fly it. Some vintage-collectors would gasp at the thought.. but I ask; why? What was the initial attraction? Zooming through the air.. wasn't it?

I know it's a personal thing.. but when you're gone.. will it be appreciated as much? The clock's ticking.
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RE: What is your favorite Cox airplane ?

Post  66 Malibu on Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:12 pm

Roddie, Marleysky, Cribbs....
Thanks for your kind words. My wife and I felt it unthinkable that those kids and the family would go thru this time of the year without some good things happening for them...

Bratco was a division of Brandebury Tool Co. near Baltimore, MD that made moulded plastic C/L trainers and advanced (read fast) CL RTF planes based on the Norvel Revlite Big Mig .061X engine and tank mount.
The Sky Baby was the entry level that kind of reminded me of the Cox TD-1 standard planform aircraft.
The HexDrone was a flying wing with a peculiar stealth shape but with honeycomb panels.
The power plants were the same but the HexDrone had a 5.5 X 3 white Tornado prop versus the 6X3 white Tornado prop on the Sky Baby , I guess to keep it at a  higher speed.
Go to YouTube to Bratco Hexdrone or just HexDrone to see some club racers flying the HexDrone. They are so freaking fast that I'm sure I couldn't fly one more than a few laps !!!
The Sky Baby was flown for years in the kids area of the Oshgosh Annual Fly-In,sponsored by Sig. According to the kid flying director that I met at Perry one year, Sig donated 24 Sky Baby's each year and at the end of the week all were trashed. He said the engines were flawless and never even lost a plug after thousands of flights, but some kids thought it was more fun to crash than fly...Cool planes ....Steve....
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Re: What was your favorite cox airplane ?

Post  Mark Boesen on Fri Dec 23, 2016 11:36 pm

My first exposure with the bratco flybaby was as a volunteered at kid venture, the planes were fairly tuff and easy to repair with CA, built out of polystyrene(?) much like the TD-3...and yes i had a couple idiots try to deliberately try to wreck them, you almost knew who was gonna be a problem, luckily there were very few knuckleheads.
Coolest memory was a old guy that told me he used to fly a 'combat job' as a student at Georgia Tech football home games (yellow jackets) in the fifties, i could tell he really enjoyed the 'stick time' again!




Last edited by Mark Boesen on Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: What was your favorite cox airplane ?

Post  batjac on Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:28 am

My first plane was a PT-19 when I was about six.  My single mother took my 10 year old brother and I out to a park and tried to get us flying, but she just didn’t know anything about those things, bless her.  Couldn’t get the engine to run.  My brother lost interest, and I was too little to go out by myself to fly, but I learned how to reliably start and run the engine.  Later at around 12 or 13 I got a P-40 which I immediately did the take-off wing-over and destroyed. Then another PT-19 that I sorta learned to fly.

Next was a Sopwith Camel that was too squirrely for me to fly.  I kept crashing it on take-off.  So I sat back and looked at it for a while to figure out what was wrong with it.  Eureka!!!  I could fly a PT-19.  A PT-19 only has one wing.  The second wing must be the problem!  I took off the upper wing, and lo-and-behold, it flew!  I just flew it as a monoplane and had no problems after that.

But the Cox plane that’s really my favorite is the RC E-Z BEE.  Right after I got out of the Navy, I bought one and really taught myself to fly RC.  I put a couple hundred flights on it, and it’d been fixed so many times that I bought another one.  I loved those things.  Slow and stable so that a person could teach himself to fly if necessary.  Light and stable so that if there were any thermals it could stay in the air after the engine stopped.  I had many, many half-hour or more flights on a three or four minute engine run.  I recall one time I was talking to another pilot at a makeshift field not far from my house.  I fired up the E-Z Bee as we were talking, and I tossed the plane in the air.  I was looking at him as I was talking and he frantically yelled, “Watch the plane!”  I just said, “Naw. The plane’s fine.”  I deliberately waited 15 or 20 seconds before I turned and looked at the plane.  I knew it would be climbing out and flying straight.  It wasn’t a glamorous or fancy plane.  But it was reliable and fun.  That’s why I have a couple of E-Z Bees now, and a couple of the other Cox variations on it.  I never did get the electric version, though.  

There’ve been several more since, but I’d say the E-Z Bee is the one.


Hmmm...  with the new light weight cameras, maybe I should get that single channel picture taking plane Cox put out and turn it into a video platform.  Or better yet, a Cox FPV plane!


The Can't Leave Well Enough Alone Mark
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Re: What was your favorite cox airplane ?

Post  batjac on Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:36 am

Mark Boesen wrote:My first exposure with the bratco flybaby was as a volunteered at kid venture, the planes were fairly tuff and easy to repair with CA, built out of polystyrene(?) much like the TD-3...and yes i had a couple idiots try to deliberately try to wreck them, you could almost knew who was gonna be a problem, luckily there were very few knuckleheads.


Looks Like they should have been capable of at least decent Beginner aerobatics.  Seems pretty fast, and the glide at the end shows that the plane was balanced very well:





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Re: What was your favorite cox airplane ?

Post  getback on Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:36 am

WOW i never heard of these models but there are a few that i haven't lol I just looked at those vids. before i got to Marks post Rudolph It's interesting to see the engines you see and collect what planes they were on !?! Mark B. what is that plane you posted in on the first page with the man in it i think it was red ? Didn't see anything on the bratco flybaby flying but the Hexdrone was was tearing up some sky just 10 yrs. ago and they didn't seem to mind flying them . Lighting The Tree
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Re: What was your favorite cox airplane ?

Post  Ken Cook on Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:52 am

Bratco popularity came to be due to Norvel essentially going defunct and Sig no longer able to offer parts or engines. Sig took on the task of being the importer for Norvel which was very short lived due to unavailability. Bratco early on purchased many Big Mig Start Up .061's. When the parts supply dried up and Norvel blew out all their box damaged and no box engines for less than $30 a piece, the public was in search of parts supply. Bratco offered these planes for around $40 at one time. Even if you didn't use the planes, the engine alone was worth it and many disregarded the Norvel tanks and sold them on Ebay for even more of a return. Once that secret was out, they essentially sold out in a months time. For a while, there was no parts supply and many were in search of assistance. Sheldon Hobbies was the only source of parts at that time. They were well tuned to the public and the prices reflected that. It was great news when NV offered up some of the needed parts for these engines.
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Re: What was your favorite cox airplane ?

Post  Mark Boesen on Sat Dec 24, 2016 10:09 am

[quote="getback"]WOW i never heard of these models but there are a few that i haven't lol I just looked at those vids. before i got to Marks post Rudolph It's interesting to see the engines you see and collect what planes they were on !?! Mark B. what is that plane you posted in on the first page with the man in it i think it was red ? Didn't see anything on the  bratco flybaby flying but the Hexdrone was was tearing up some sky just 10 yrs. ago alnd they didn't seem to mind flying them . Lighting The Tree [/quote

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Re: What was your favorite cox airplane ?

Post  birdman on Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:37 pm

This yellow oldie was my first machine and still is. Dusted off, cleaned thouroughly and serviced the engine it made its first noisy rebirth in almost 40 years last week!
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Re: What was your favorite cox airplane ?

Post  Oldenginerod on Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:57 pm

birdman wrote:This yellow oldie was my first machine and still is. Dusted off, cleaned thouroughly and serviced the engine it made its first noisy rebirth in almost 40 years last week!

Clingwrap? Novel idea! Keeps it fresh. Laughing
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Re: What was your favorite cox airplane ?

Post  birdman on Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:05 pm

It sure does!
And keeps the bugs out! Smile
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Re: What was your favorite cox airplane ?

Post  RknRusty on Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:55 pm

akjgardner wrote:What was your favorite cox airplane ?

My favorite that I had and flew were a tie between my second Black Stuka(first was slagged) and my P40. My favorite that I never owned is the Hyper Viper. If I had one, I would refit it with a Tee Dee or Medallion.

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Re: What was your favorite cox airplane ?

Post  Mark Boesen on Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:11 pm

Best non-Cox plastic:





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Re: What was your favorite cox airplane ?

Post  akjgardner on Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:53 pm

Mark Boesen wrote:Best non-Cox plastic:





Back in the late 60's I had a paper route. I used to stop by this store to get a snack. One day , there was a testors sprite airplane siting there. I always wanted one of those. The other day , My wife and I where at an antique shop and low and behold there was the airplane I always wanted for 30 bucks. It is now sitting in my basement. Better late then never I always say
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Re: What was your favorite cox airplane ?

Post  roddie on Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:26 pm

My first Cox model was a Sopwith Camel, sometime around 1970. I was 10 years old. My favorite? Well.. I've only owned three Cox models. The other two were obtained in the early 1990's. A PT19 and a Cosmic Wind. Cox was still Cox in those years. I quickly learned that the product-engine's back-plate could be radially-mounted to a firewall. I had a dozen or so Babe Beeeeee's and a couple of Golden Beeeeeee's... just waiting for balsawood models of my own creation. I placed a few orders with Cox.. for  Horseshoe back-ends/needles/rebuild kits. This converted several engines to use external stunt-tanks in the 10-12cc range.

We can't call it a cox model.. but it was built specially for a Cox engine to power it. A profile biplane.. loosely based on the outlines of a Sterling Fokker DR-1 kit. The top and middle wings are direct tracings to 1/8" sheet balsa wings. The tail profile is also duplicated.



It was originally built for a Babe Bee.. but got the product-engine/external-tank configuration that I discovered around the same time.




Circa 1992




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