Monday, February 21, 2011

F1D - How One Gets Built

F1D - How One Gets Built! By Jim Longstreth, edited by Andrew Tagliafico:

Do you love incredibly beautiful planes, have Faberge-egg level building skills, and are clinically insane?  F1D might be for you!  Check out the amazing shots of building 1 gram planes.

"For those not familiar with this type of indoor endurance model let me give a brief description here. The term 'F1d' refers to the FAI rule category. I don't have the rule book in front of me, but basically the models weigh in at minimum of 1 gram and a maximum of 2 grams. The wingspans are 65cm, or 25-1/2', long and a chord of 8' to 10'. The propellors are 20' to 24' inches in diameter. The flying surfaces and the propellor are covered with 'microfilm', which will be described later. The motor stick is a hollow tube of rolled balsa, and the model is braced with a superfine tungsten wire or kevlar fiber. Some competitors have developed spring mechanisms operated by the torque of the rubber band motors to effect variable pitch propellors!

World Championships are held every 2 years. Flights approaching 50 minutes are required to be competitive. The Kibbie Dome at the University of Idaho, in Moscow, Idaho, is one of the favored US flying sites and is pictured below. The balloons dotting the photo are used to steer the models at altitude in the event they are drifting into hazard. There are several models aloft in this picture, but due to their transparent covering and almost non-existent structure they are nearly invisible.?


  1. Is there an F1D flying site in the SF bay region?

  2. I don't know of any, but since that's not an area I know much about I don't have the best information. The Concord Model Engineers have a monthly indoor fun fly where sometimes there's some penny planes. If you find anyplace let me know!