B-314 Lazy Clipper

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This composited image shows the model flying in front of the Bay Bridge in San Francisco. This bridge connects the city to Treasure Island, the departure terminal for the Pan Am Clippers as they started across the Pacific in the 1930's. Another view shows the model's profile over Treasure Island.
At KRC '94 my father and I were a little taken by Andy Clancy's Lazy Bee. The only problem we had, was that it was not a flying boat. As long time fans of the Boeing 314, we couldn't help let that influence us a bit as well. We spent the better part of an evening that weekend at a local pub enlarging a napkin pencil sketch to a full sized profile drawing on a sheet of cardboard. A few months later, he showed me a 3D mock-up, and I knew the flying model was a must.
Power is a pair of Astro 035's, 3:1 MA gear boxes and 16x1700 scrc's turning a pair of Graupner 3 bladed props. Control is provided by an FX-35D, and 2 JR-341's in the tail for rudder and elevator. All up weight is 5.5 pounds on a 60" x 16" wing. Construction is mixed, with a blue foam and glass composite fuse and conventional balsa flying surfaces.
I had taxi tested the model the Thursday evening before KRC '96 in Connecticut on a small pond. The water handling was truly without fault. No porposing, nor tendencies to dip a wing and a spray pattern befitting a very comical aircraft. Once off the water however, (Okay, I had to "Howard Hughes" it at least once!!) it was less than controllable. At rotation, it pitched up 45 degrees at least, then plunged back to the water as I pushed the nose down and chopped power to avoid flying into the trees on the fast approaching shore. All was fine and I did some more taxiing before heading south to the big event.
First thing Friday morning, at the old Buc-Lee grass field, the performance was similar. I had mounted a set of carbon landing gear with wheels so it was ready to go from a hard runway. Take off run was true, though pitching up violently as it lifted into the air. This time I had the room to go around and got it back on the ground safely after about a minute duration and a max altitude of 75 - 100 feet. Twitchy on pitch and rudder, I dual-rated the rudder back a bit and went again. This time the recovery was not fast enough and the plane "landed" 45 degrees nose down from about 8 feet up. The damage was not fatal. The right motor tore free of the wing, the prop sliced the fuse a bit, and the main spar cracked. It was a real drag to ding it, but I figured the grass was better than the paved runway. Fortunately there was enough response from the folks that saw it to help ease the sting.
After much assesment, I have a pretty well defined plan of action and hope to get it back on the bench soon for a few modifications.
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