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Post  rsv1cox Fri Apr 26, 2024 3:56 pm

Arrived today, a day late but not a dollar short.

Box a slight jumble with a few things out of place.  Plans and documents too large too scan so it's off to Staples.  Box stage is caved so a hot iron and bolsters underneath will be needed.  Small parts bag is breached so small screws and nails were all over.  Some balsa shows light black mold.   I do not see a prop nut or washer, maybe in the parts bag.  

Balsa is interesting.  Quality stuff, but each half of the wing is in three sections.  I have enough SIG airfoil to duplicate but it will need another 1/16" layered on the bottom to duplicate the original.  Airfoil wing with a flat bottom.  The rest is routine.  Clone of course.  Rest will be carefully returned to the box after tracings.  

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017493
Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017492
Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017491
Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017496
Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017494

The good stuff. 27' of tubing makes for throttle control.

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017495

Eric's link is valuable.  Interesting.  Jim Walkers connection with Bob Smurthwaite.  Seem's Bob was the idea guy and builder while Jim was the money man.  Jim built him his own factory in rural Oregon as Bob disliked Portland.

Edit: Eric's link

https://www.americanjuniorclassics.com/index.html
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Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun Empty AIR TBROTTLE?!?!

Post  Boats13 Sat Apr 27, 2024 12:43 am

OK,  I think I might have figured this out... probably not, so please correct me!!

Default is wide open throttle?  Pumping air with the bladder/bulb thing expands the bellows on the engine and closes some sort of flapper valve in the exhaust to "exhaust throttle" it down.  I thought WOT, as default, would make more sense because air leaks are inevitable and that would ruin your day pumping it up to keep it from idling or dying... Was that tube a huge drag on it? Did you wrap it around a control line ? How fine of a control did it give you?  Is ther a little valve on the pump to throttle up? Similar to a manual BP cuff (sphygmomanometer)?

It's probably some other method... but, my tiny, old, uneducated brain can't figure another way without wires(s).
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Post  rsv1cox Sat Apr 27, 2024 7:37 am

Boats, you taught me a new word - sphygmomanometer. I have been thinking how I'm going to duplicate that throttle set up (and your guess is as good as mine on how it works) especially on the pump but looking your word up......

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun _c0_4e10

maybe something like this will work.

Not exactly scanner sized paper but here goes:

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun Scan_231
Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun Scan_230
Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun Scan_232

And Eric, yup, many of my pictures are sprinkled all over the internet, Kim's too, I see them all the time. Probably some of roddies also.
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Post  rdw777 Sat Apr 27, 2024 8:10 am

“This is going to be fun” …. Yep, I agree Very Happy….. Very unique little airplane… And very rare to have an original in that condition and completeness!!….. When you get ready to trace it off, If it were possible to trace it onto 1/4” grid paper, anyone could replicate it from a photo of the drawing…. (If convenient)….Did you notice the Firebaby’s in the box art? (I think?)…. The two kids on the left….
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Post  rsv1cox Sat Apr 27, 2024 10:39 am

rdw777 wrote:“This is going to be fun” …. Yep, I agree Very Happy….. Very unique little airplane… And very rare to have an original in that condition and completeness!!….. When you get ready to trace it off, If it were possible to trace it onto 1/4” grid paper, anyone could replicate it from a photo of the drawing…. (If convenient)….Did you notice the Firebaby’s in the box art? (I think?)…. The two kids on the left….

Good idea Robert, I will pick some up at Staples when I drop off the plans for duplication.  

Oh well, why not!  I picked this up on ebay yesterday, as always I made an offer that was accepted.  

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun Jw_bon10

What started my Jim Walker obscession.  An ebay buy from years ago.  I wanted that engine..then thought.........why not?

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun Fire_b21
Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017497
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Post  roddie Sat Apr 27, 2024 12:09 pm

Robert! That kit reaches a whole new level of cool!


Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017410
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Post  rsv1cox Sat Apr 27, 2024 12:27 pm

I have been looking over that "long range" tank roddie with built-in filter and anti-stall sump.  Thought about you and Ken making/repairing yours.  

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017498
Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017499
Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017500

Lot's of soldering going on in there.  Complicated.

Started tracing test lines.

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017501
Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017502

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017503
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Post  944_Jim Sun Apr 28, 2024 8:58 pm

RSV Bob,

It is interesting that you mentioned the Bob Smurthwaite connection. I borrowed Dan McEntee's J Roberts Cobra to trace and copy for posterity. I note that the fuselage construction shares many similarities like the tongue and groove joint between the hardwood nose and balsa fuselage. Also the tail appears to share many similarities.

I suspect once this plane was designed and marketed, Mr.Smurthewaite took liberties adjusting this kit to his design. His is a bit bigger and uses the J Roberts 3-line bellcrank system instead of a pneumatics-operated throttle. His uses a Hershey bar wing (wing/TE/LE). His is a bit bigger at 33" WS.

I'd love to have copies of the scans just to do a better,.more in-depth comparison, or I could email my scan-work for RSV Bob's input.

For RDW, I think this isn't too far off the T-28 plan from Outerzone for the Enya .09 throttled engine. Again, a comparison to RSV Bob's scans may be educational for your 3-wire model.

I just love these old kits. I can't help myself, so when an opportunity to grab a R Roberts Bearcat presented itself I jumped in with both feet, my heart and my wallet. Ouch!

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Never enough time to build them all...always enough time to smash them all!
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Post  MauricioB Sun Apr 28, 2024 11:53 pm

Roberto, congratulations on that kit!...the entire development for the time that was implemented for engine control is very impressive, at the same time, it surely required great practice for the operator! It would be very nice to be able to see everything in operation the system!
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Post  rsv1cox Mon Apr 29, 2024 7:16 pm

MauricioB wrote:Roberto, congratulations on that kit!...the entire development for the time that was implemented for engine control is very impressive, at the same time, it surely required great practice for the operator! It would be very nice to be able to see everything in operation the system!

Thanks Mauricio, I am going to try to duplicate that throttle control system but sourcing that very flexible tubing (27') is going to be a chore.  

This whole system is amazing.  Such attention to detail for an entry lever C/L model.  Even the box is complex.  The stage is angled toward the front for better presentation and the multiple slots and tabs.  A place for everything.  The only problem is the slot for the front of the engine is torn.  Gluing it with Titebond.  

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017519
Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017520
Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017524


Even the rubber bands are still elastic.  Saving them.

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017518

A hot iron eliminates most wrinkles and weight overnight while still hot helps.  Well placed foam blocks under the stage will prevent it from sagging.  

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017521
Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017523
Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017522

Jim Walker told Bob Smurthwaite to build 125,000 FireBee's.  I can't imagine the time it took to build and box them.  All those little parts to be placed in slots tabs and rubber bands.  Groan........

By the way, most balsa pieces are milled, only square edges are on the wing brace and the motor mount.
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Post  rdw777 Tue Apr 30, 2024 5:30 am

FireBee assessment is looking good Bob…. Glad you picked that Bonanza up too…. Smart looking little plane Thumbs Up…..The fuel tank on FireBee is cool with its sump and unique shape….. What was the metal fitting on the other side of the tank for?… Part of mounting for the tank?….

I found a possible source for tubing for the air line? Check it out and see what you think…

https://www.ebay.com/itm/305354141159?chn=ps&var=604278059926&_trkparms=ispr%3D1&amdata=enc%3A1LIBCI5aKTyaQCUDkQ0_Q0w17&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-117182-37290-0&mkcid=2&mkscid=101&itemid=604278059926_305354141159&targetid=2298712745450&device=m&mktype=pla&googleloc=9028621&poi=&campaignid=21222258394&mkgroupid=161758600535&rlsatarget=aud-1314496317587:pla-2298712745450&abcId=9408285&merchantid=559989048&gad_source=1&gbraid=0AAAAAD_QDh94upBJgTlcY98IziQOAd7bg&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI6KaAm8HphQMVhznUAR2CiAZHEAQYBCABEgLwcvD_BwE

How is the condition of the squeeze bulb and actuator?…. Hopefully they are still pliable and can work….I noticed one of the “stunts” listed was “airliner take off…. Taxi from the center of the circle then turn and go”….I guess one of the things possible unique to pneumatic control….. I think an air line would be more draggy than a third control line but in this application wouldn’t matter much…The rounded edges are a nice touch…. Took more effort to produce… But thoughtful…
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Post  rsv1cox Tue Apr 30, 2024 9:03 am

Thanks for the tubing link Robert, I think 20' is max available but I will make it do.  Got to get out my calipers but a 1/32" drill bit fits inside perfectly.  

Checking the system..........I have been afraid to Smile...........What's it all about........failure not an option.......

But, fail it did.  The bulb is pliable as is the tubing, but the bellows is shot and the connection to the actuator intake restrictor is broken.  I found that out when I blew into the tubing.  The bulbs neck needs constriction as the tubing is loose.  Instructions address this.

I have neglected this engine consentrating on the airplane instead.  

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017528
Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017529
Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017530

Just my personal opinion.  Kid sees brightly colored box....buy it Dad!!!! Dad checks it out.  Finds it really interesting.  Throttle, taxi, takeoff.  SOLD.

Dad spends hours assembling, reading instructions.  Tubing, squeese blub What????  Kid yelling......lets just fly it Dad!  Dad forgets about the throttle, removes tubing/bellows and wires the throttle open -  Flys it.  Fiqure 9 and in the trash can.  Four hours expended, 7 seconds flight time.............
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Post  rdw777 Tue Apr 30, 2024 3:42 pm

That’s too bad about the actuator but not surprising due to its age….. Would be finicky but;….. I had a magazine once that had an article describing how to make retracts operators using syringes for actuators …. Maybe a small one could be cut up and repurposed to operate the throttle….. Just a thought….
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Post  rsv1cox Tue Apr 30, 2024 5:27 pm

rdw777 wrote:That’s too bad about the actuator but not surprising due to its age….. Would be finicky but;….. I had a magazine once that had an article describing how to make retracts operators using syringes for actuators …. Maybe a small one could be cut up and repurposed to operate the throttle….. Just a thought….

That's a great thought Robert.  A syringe would give better and more positive control. Set it, closed, half open, open or anything inbetween.  Friction holds it.

Tomorrow I will remove the control and see what hold the bellows on to the restrictors arm.  It has to be air tight.  

But today, I put that box back together.  Pity the person that put 125,000 of them together!!  I wonder just how many were actually built.  125K sounds optimistic.  Slots and tabs and precise insertsions to get positioning right.  Robert, that tank has three attachment points.  

I downloaded the sellers ebay picture as a guide.  I think the least corrupted.

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun Po_fir10

 Rest is my best guess.  If anyone has a better idea for positioning, chime in.  

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Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017533
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Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017537

I used the same rubber bands and put them back where they came from.  Easy as they were formed that way.  I think the red bands position is correct.  Sticky from the scotch tape is there. I'm keeping the original tape as removing it would also remove the color from the stage. I think the squeese bulb goes under the motor mount, but I hesitate to put it there.
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Post  getback Wed May 01, 2024 6:44 am

I had figured this would bee a needed part and had looked it up the other day but didn't post till now ,, The bellows can bee got . Size ? https://www.cqm-inc.com/rubber-bellows.html   Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun Scree123


Last edited by getback on Wed May 01, 2024 7:24 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add on)
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Post  rsv1cox Wed May 01, 2024 7:21 am

getback wrote:I had figured this would bee a needed part and had looked it up the other day but didn't post till now ,, The bellows can bee got . Size ? https://www.cqm-inc.com/rubber-bellows.html  

You da Man Eric. Your digging into things has helped me out on many an occasion. I will take some measurements and send them pictures. Hopefully they have something on-hand that will work. The system has me wondering though. Looks like it is holed at the top where it should be closed off. Maybe glue or a plug is missing.

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017539
Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017538
Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017540
Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017541

I'm still slightly in awe of this kit. Amazing the work/thought that went into it. The motor mount and fuselage are milled tongue and groove for a secure fit. Throw some epoxy in there and it's not coming apart. Probably Ambroid back then.

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017542
Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017543
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Post  getback Wed May 01, 2024 8:00 am

I hope they can help, and yes i like exploring things often learn something along the way Very Happy Ya'll make me want to get the Firecracker running .. My time has been in the Garden lately and has kicked my but las few days , It has a lot of dust on it maybe clean it up and put anther Hd. gasket in it to ck. that compression , it was over compressed for sure . This Site Rocks! There must have been a plug at the end of that hose ? Huh...
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Post  rdw777 Wed May 01, 2024 12:36 pm

Really nice find Eric, Had no idea these existed….

Will be curious to know what you find out on the bellows Bob…. Hopefully can find a close replacement
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Post  rsv1cox Wed May 01, 2024 3:33 pm

Eric says : "My time has been in the Garden lately and has kicked my butt last few days"

I know the feeling. My butt has been dragging the last few days also, preparing the soil and planting grass seed on the slope down by the pond. Season wise we are probably a couple weeks behind you down there in NC. I have had company though.

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017548

I finished this thing. But the JW engine was as locked up as any that I have seen. I soaked it in Berrymans, hot soapy/clean water rinse. Blew dry, heat gun and it would not loosen. Repeat and repeat. Finally I got it to rock forward and backward but always to a full stop. More heat, ouch! Finally I got 360 degree movement. Reluctantly as it was pushing whatever was in the bore up to the top. All the while being fed Marvel Mystery Oil. Plastic or wooden prop would not take the heat hense the Cox wrench. More MMO as it drained the stuff out of the cylinder. I ain't risking damage to the head by removing it!!!!

Nice and clean now with that nice compression pop. Dated glow plug had no gasket. I'm not sure if it had been ran or if it was just 50 year old dried out oil but there is no sign of combustion.

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017551
Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017550
Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017549

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Post  roddie Wed May 01, 2024 6:51 pm

Hi Robert, I read that Eric may have found a source for the bellows-unit on the engine. I hope so. I recently sourced a 5m length package of .031" ID silicone line through Amazon.

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun Amazon21

That gives you 16.4 feet. A syringe was mentioned by rdwRobert.. to replace the "bulb".. I like that idea.... and I envisioned a modified syringe with a "thumb-ring" that would integrate into a handle. Raising your thumb would close the throttle.. and squeezing down would advance it.
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Post  rdw777 Thu May 02, 2024 8:25 am

Roddie wrote:and I envisioned a modified syringe with a "thumb-ring" that would integrate into a handle. Raising your thumb would close the throttle.. and squeezing down would advance it.

Interesting idea roddie…. Sort of a master/slave arrangement….If the original rubber parts could not be replaced I bet the syringe system could be worked out…. Unusual but maybe a practical way for “ remote control “ Thumbs Up
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Post  rdw777 Thu May 02, 2024 8:30 am

Engine looks great Bob!…. From what I’ve read finding these with the throttle parts is not that common….. When you get a chance you should light ‘er off …. That’s what keeps our model airplane business interesting…. Mechanical, Structural, Finish, … Is just a start Very Happy
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Post  MauricioB Fri May 03, 2024 1:39 am

rsv1cox wrote:
MauricioB wrote:Roberto, congratulations on that kit!...the entire development for the time that was implemented for engine control is very impressive, at the same time, it surely required great practice for the operator! It would be very nice to be able to see everything in operation the system!

Thanks Mauricio, I am going to try to duplicate that throttle control system but sourcing that very flexible tubing (27') is going to be a chore.  

This whole system is amazing.  Such attention to detail for an entry lever C/L model.  Even the box is complex.  The stage is angled toward the front for better presentation and the multiple slots and tabs.  A place for everything.  The only problem is the slot for the front of the engine is torn.  Gluing it with Titebond.  

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017519
Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017520
Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017524


Even the rubber bands are still elastic.  Saving them.

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017518

A hot iron eliminates most wrinkles and weight overnight while still hot helps.  Well placed foam blocks under the stage will prevent it from sagging.  

Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017521
Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017523
Jim Walkers FireBee - This is going to be fun P1017522

Jim Walker told Bob Smurthwaite to build 125,000 FireBee's.  I can't imagine the time it took to build and box them.  All those little parts to be placed in slots tabs and rubber bands.  Groan........

By the way, most balsa pieces are milled, only square edges are on the wing brace and the motor mount.


Roberto, you have a beautiful kit there...and a pneumatic/mechanical system for engine control...so much creativity in those years and how each idea was applied, very good.

Look, if one day you start that engine on a bench, I'd like to see you operate the engine control remotely with air pressure.

Question: How complicated was the system in flight? Do you have experience doing it yourself?

125,000 airplane models? WOW!...must have put some stress on the staff packing each piece into place!...but I guess those were different times too.

A ver si el traductor traduce correctamente lo que voy a escribir ahora:
Me pregunto muchas veces cuando estoy en mi propio taller montando un motor y de repente una pequeña pieza como un resorte se escapa de mis manos... empiezo a buscarlo por todos lados a veces sin lograr encontrarlo... entonces, ¿cómo debe ser en la propia línea de ensamblaje del motor??!!... ¡Supongo que algunas piezas pequeñas en el piso deben haber sido comunes!... Supongo??!!... solo que era fácil de reemplazar y continuar ensamblando las piezas allí mismo. ..Supongo también  ya que habia stock de piezas de sobra!! jajaja

Let's see if the translator correctly translates what I'm going to write now:
I ask myself many times when I am in my own workshop assembling an engine and suddenly a small part like a spring escapes from my hands... I start looking for it everywhere sometimes without being able to find it... then, what must it be like? on the engine assembly line itself??!!... I guess some small parts on the floor must have been common!... I guess??!!... just that it was easy to replace and continue assembling the pieces right there. ..I also suppose since there was plenty of spare parts in stock!! ha ha ha
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Post  rsv1cox Fri May 03, 2024 6:47 am

Thanks Mauricio, I love this kit for two reasons, one it puts me to work and two it makes me think. My best "New in the Box Kit" and it almost didn't happen. I talked myself out of it a few times before I finally decided to get it. I'm trying to respect the creatitivty that went into it's presentation and whomever kept it in such original condition.

About running it. Probably not that one, but I have another with the throttle restricting "hat".

Mauricio wrote:

I ask myself many times when I am in my own workshop assembling an engine and suddenly a small part like a spring escapes from my hands... I start looking for it everywhere sometimes without being able to find it.

Me too. My sleeve drags parts off my workbench onto the floor and I'm down there on hands and knees with a flash light trying to find them. I train the beam horizontally along the floor focusing my vision on that particular area. Works.

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