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Home Models My adventures with ME-109

My adventures with ME-109

Built: May 2002 
Type: Semi-scale
Wingspan: 36 inch
Weight: 2 lb
Power: Glow 0.15 ci

The adventure started when my son gave me a Guillows kit on Christmas 2001.  The small box contained full size plans and stacks of small balsa parts.  That model was tiny - to small for RC conversion.  And because I don't like free-flight models (I don't see a fun of watching models crashing without any chance of control) I decided to make it as stand-off model.  Few days later I have finished that very nice looking model. 

I would love to make it fly, but not for that size.  The only chance I had was just to scale it up.  I decided to scale up these plans to 1/12 of original plane size (36 inches wingspan).  Small changes to Gillows plans were added like retractable landing gear and changing airfoil to semi-symmetrical.

Glow engine Magnum XL-15 (0.15ci) was selected for the powerplant.  5-channel Hitec receiver was powering 5 servos: one HS-55 for throttle, three HS-81 for elevator, ruder and ailerons and one HS-85MG for mechanical retracts.  White covering was painted in Battle of Britain scheme. 

The plane was not easy to fly as it was quite sensitive to control inputs and would not forgive any pilot's error. It could easy get into tip stall or snap and on landing or take-off would get into a ground loop.  It behaved just like a real ME-109.  Camouflage painting made it almost invisible with the sky or trees in the background.  Just like a real ME-109.  While flying the only reference points pilot had was yellow engine cowling and yellow ruder. 

One day after hard landing the landing gear collapsed and the plane nosed over damaging wing and the engine mount.  Instead of just fixing it I decided to rebuild the entire plane.  I have added reinforcement to the landing gear and engine mount, the entire fuselage was sheeted with balsa, and I have replaced the entire covering.  For improved visibility i decided to paint a Desert Camouflage.  That made the plane much stronger and easier to fly. 

After few years of flying I noticed that wings were kind of floppy after landing.  After brief examination i found broken main spar at the center of the wing join.  The whole wing was substantially weaken and required complete rebuild.  It is still not fixed as other projects took priority.  Hopefully one day this ME-109 will fly again.

In the meantime my adventure with ME-109 continued with different model.  In 2002 I received another ME-109 as a Christmas gift.  It was a Styrofoam electric free-fly model.  At that time LiPo batteries and electric brushless RC motors were not available yet.  So I replaced heavy electric brushed motor with glow engine Cox 20.  Tiny fuel tank allow for no more than 5 minutes flight, and because Cox 20 did not have a throttle control, the flight ended when the engine used all the fuel.  GWS Pico receiver was connected to two servos HS-55 for aileron and elevator control.  That little plane was very easy to fly and pleasure to watch.  The history of that model ended one day, when for unknown reason radio signal got lost and ME-109 went straight down hitting the paved runway.  The model was totally destroyed and not worth to rebuild.