Thursday, July 10, 2014

Chet Lanzo's Racer flies again!

After determining that his early RC-1 was too small and fast for the existing radio equipment, Chet Lanzo designed the wryly named Racer in 1936.   It was to be the only Radio Control entry at the 1936 Nationals but while test flying it in the weeks before the contest, one of the plug in wing tips departed the ship and it was damaged beyond repair.  The following year, he showed up with his R/C Championship Stick.   A lot of radio and very little control.

In 1989, the plans were redrawn and Lanzo began constructing a second Racer.  Silk covering was planned but abandoned due to cost.  The model was covered in Econokote.  Unfortunately, Chet died before completing this model.

Bucky Walter covered the wing, and installed the radio along with a Saito G60 two-stroke ignition engine.

The model was flown once at the SAM Champs in Lawrenceville, Il and then again at the Lanzo Commemorative in Shelby, OH.
After that, Stu Warner became its custodian and I picked it up from him in 2006.   It hadn't been flown and, given its size, I wasn't able to do much with it other than put a Brown Jr. in it (original's power plant) and enter it in to the static display at the 2010 Toledo Show.

This year's SAM Champs honors Chet Lanzo so at the Bob Hartwig Memorial Contest, I mentioned to Tom Boice that I had the last model built by Chet along with an older Forster .99 donated by Dick Thompson.  Readers will recall that Tom has plenty of space for this kind of project.

And so, nearly 25 years later, it flew again.  It is our intention to bring this model to the Champs and enter it in Pure Texaco.  It would be great if all who come to the Champs could sign it and pose for a group photo.

More on the Forster .99

Many commented that the dihedral on this Racer is much less than they have seen on other Racers; the letter above gives an explanation.   Though scaled down correctly from plans, it would appear that my Racer has too much dihedral.

from Model Builder Magazine 12/1991 "Plug Sparks" column 


Anonymous said...

At the 2010 SAM Champs I met Bob Hartweg who had sent me many of his kits while I was in Europe. He had produced a Racer kit for Fox-a-Coy ie 800 square inches. His dihedral is 12 inches for the wing tips.
Roy A Brown

Tom Ryan said...

Thanks Roy:

I think CDs are going to have to permit a certain amount of latitude with respect to the dihedral of this model.
Both full size Racers flew great and one would assume that the lower dihedral angle in Chet's model would be better suited to R/C assist. But, our own L.A. Johnston tried it and found it "didn't track well."

My 1/2A Racer left a lot to be desired. It got higher than anyone else in the climb but was so unstable in the glide I was usually down in <10mins. My dihedral angle was > than Chet's as I built it from the plans at the time (1998.)