Dick Baxter's Big Pussycat
Dick Baxter's Big Pussycat is well known as a great flyer, though for a variety of reasons unknown, I had never built one until recently. It all started as I worked up a group build plan for my son and a few friends, and decided it was time that I give it a try.
My main goals were to find out how much effort it might take to trim out before the others joined in, and to try out a couple of new techniques. I am pleased to say, that all went much better than expected. In a recent email, Mr. Baxter expressed that "the Big Pussycat turned out to pretty close to just right", and I can only echo that thought. It is a wonderful flyer, and required nothing but a wound motor for the first successful flight.
The offset fins guide it in predictable circles suitable for a small gym. The Big Pussycat will readily do well over a minute in the local school gym. With a bit more rubber and some calm air, it has also managed nearly two minutes flying outdoors on the very small field of the same school. It will readily thermal away with light lift, so I am being cautious with it for now.
I encourage you to download a plan. It measures 11 x 17 inches, so it may be easiest to have it printed at your local office center. This is not a model that needs fancy supplies. I used some average balsa wood, typical of what you might find at a local hobby shop or craft store. The covering is rather heavy gift wrap tissue, secured with a glue stick. Even with a bit of extra weight, it still flies wonderfully. I can only imagine how one built of light wood and covered with light tissue, or even plastic film, would float.
If you have built a simple kit or two like the Peck Polymers ROG or Sky Bunny, you should be good to go. The only new technique to learn will be building a framed fuselage. All the cross pieces are exactly the same length so there is no taper when viewing from above. This is a great help when joining the sides, and covering.
If you have no previous building experience, consider ordering a few supplies and one or both of the above kits from Peck Polymers. They will also be able to supply the propellers and other bits you will need to get going.
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