Era Model Service
High Quality Plan Sets for Radio Control Aircraft
The Tlush Mite
the May 1938 Air Trails
Designed by Francis Tlush
Original span 50 inches
This one turned out to be a detective story. I developed plans and built it faithfully to the Air Trails article and drawings, but the first test flight revealed
very poor roll response to rudder input. In several photos of my initial flight it can be seen that the rudder is deflected full right in level flight, with no roll
response. Fortunately some directional control was available through use of the throttle and the airplane was landed without damage.
I talked to a few people who had flown the 50 inch model and they confirmed that their models were not very good in roll response from rudder input
either. This seemed odd to me because as a free flight it would have been a spiral diver for sure, I thought. There were several photos of the airplane
in the Air Trails article and in comparing the pictures to my model, it became clear to me that the plans in the article, indicating 5 degrees dihedral, were
not reflective of the dihedral angle the original model was built with. I sawed the wing in two and spliced it back together with a 7 degree dihedral angle, and
increased the rudder area by attaching part of the vertical fin to the rudder and flew it again. It was better, but still not great as to roll authority. I felt like I
was "herding" the model around. It still did not look like it had as much dihedral as the photos showed. I again sawed the wing in half and increased the
dihedral to 9 degrees and now it has very nice roll control. In this iteration I also rebuilt the rudder and fin to the my first configuration. I am pleased
with how the Mite handles now and think the dihedral angle is very close to what the photos show. In flight it has a very low minimum rate of sink, but
due to the 15% thick airfoil it does not penetrate wind as well as the Boxcar or San Jose. I think it might work very well as an LER Electric airplane, and
in calm conditions is a great thermaller. All of the changes I made to the dihedral and the fin and rudder are incorporated in the plans and laser cut
parts. As a result of an altercation with a grass border I determined that the landing gear support was not sufficient and modifed the lower front fuselage
with a keel type construction, also incorporated in the plans and parts. The Mite is very simple to construct and is easy to build to its minimum weight
using a 3 cell 2200 mah Lipo battery. It uses the Suppo BL-2814/8 Motor, "480" size, 1000Kv.
Plan area 613.8 sq in
Projected area 611.8 sq in
Horizontal Tail Area 158.7 sq in
MIn Wt at 8 ounces/sq. ft 34.1 ozs.
Aspect Ratio 8.45 T/C 15%
plans are detailed with building notes and show every part.
are $20 plus postage. Laser cut partial kits
are available for $60 plus postage. Strip wood and sheet balsa will need to be added. Postage is only charged
once for orders for both plans and parts.
allow me to quote the actual cost of postage please contact
me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your address and I will calculate the postage.
Part of the plans for the Tlush Mite 72
Mite 72 Building Photos and Notes
Mite Page 1 Mite Page 2 Mite Page 3 Mite Page 4 Mite Page 5 Mite Page 6 Mite Page 7 Mite Page 8 Mite Page 9 Mite Page 10
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