When I built the Tomboy I did not have the traditional Mills for it but instead opted for a PAW-80 (.8cc) diesel I had spare which seemed to be the ideal engine as I built the 44" version which is basically the std one with two extra bays in each wing half and a wider tailplane.

 

First flights soon proved this engine to have way too much power and the R/C carb was spring loaded to half throttle but it just did not look right.

I replaced it with a TD .049 that had a diesel head fitted and this looked better and flew well clocking up many flights, but was near impossible to hand start and eventually the use of a mini starter took it's toll, snapping the conrod and poking a hole through the crankcase.


I was kinda glad and replaced the .049 with a DC Dart.  This engine was perfect and a good many more flights were logged before the Dart succumbed to their one inherrent weakness - a weak crankshaft.

The nose area by this time was starting to absorb a bit of fuel and oil so after as much of a cleanup as possible an electric motor was fitted and two old mobile phone Lithium cells used to power it.

 


This combo turned out to be a perfect match and a good many more flights were chalked up - until one misty morning my enthusiasm overcame good sense and I forgot to click the timer on when launching.

The climb was nice and slow and I knew there was about 4 - 5 minutes running time in the batteries so when the Tomboy disappeared in the mist after a minute I knew there was trouble. There was a slight breeze as well so she was drifting along nicely when lost from sight.

Fortunately I had my name and address on the model and some 6 weeks later I got a call from a local farmer who had found the remains while riding through his fields on a trail bike.  He saw something white in the field and thought it might be a lamb so rode up to investigate.

What he saw was a swarm of bees around something white sticking up (the tail end minus tailplane)

Being the resourceful (and careful)  guy he was, he rode some distance off, squared up and gunned the bike towards the bees making a grab at full speed for the white bit sticking up as he roared past and he kept going with the remains of the Tomboy in the wind behind him shaking the bees off.

It was only when he got to the gate that he recognised it as a model plane and since it still had a few bees buzzing around inside it he rode on home and liberally coated everything with WD40 to get rid of the bees.

When I got it back it was well and truly soaked in oil and lumps of beeswax where the little blighters had started nesting.


 

 

 Eventually I got round to building a new tailplane and fin and, removing all the covering and soaking the oil (WD40 - he must have used a very BIG can on it!) out of the wood.  Fortunately there was no structural damage from it's ordeal and after recovering yon Tomboy again looks as good as new and is ready for it's second maiden flight.

Initial covering was film/tissue/dope but this time I opted for a different approach and used film only, giving it a light dusting of spray paint from a can.  Seems to be pretty good as long as I dont get any fuel on it!

Still a few more years left in the old girl yet - as I long as I remember to set the timer !



 Tomboy Build pages can be viewed HERE

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