Suls Record Trainer

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Winner Trainer

Bully Trainer

After an absence of 45 years, control line aeromodelling returned into my life. No longer 049 Cox engines and 12-foot dacron lines but 1.5cc diesels and 45-foot braided wires. To bystanders it may all look a bit childish but that changes once they are hands-on in the circle.

After this Record Trainer, built from a hand-me-down plan, many C/L models are going to follow for sure. This particular model was available as a kit in the 60's and early 70's, supplied by a Netherlands company named Suls.

These pictures were taken on a wonderful, sunny day on the Almere club's field.

what the kit used to look like ...

Although my first Record Trainer is still serviceable I am inclined to become jealous when I see other people's concours-standard work. Wanting to experiment with a lighter model, this example was built. It is about 30% lighter than it's yellow-and-red predecessor and sports plywood nose cheeks that are original Suls kit components. Some extra decorations are pending.

Not intended for the “Record Cup” competitions (10 cc tank capacity rule), the model has a 35 cc Brodak tank that was modified to “uniflow” type .

In the meanwhile, trainer number one still soldiers on. It is such a pleasant model to fly that one is inclined to try more than one is capable of and as a result the fuselage is often severed. Below, yet another repair has been completed: after adhesive come nylon patches and epoxy for additional strength.

Repeated repairs have marred the finish somewhat and the model reminds one of the type of vehicle found on used car lots back in the 60's.

The lightweight Record Trainer was not a succes. It's low wing loading made it unstable in even the best of conditions but especially the thin wing was an issue as it twisted and flapped, creating much resistance. In order to tackle the problem the wing is doubled with a crossgrained lamination that stiffens both chord and span.

The laminated wing turned out to be the next issue because it warped horribly. Ultimately it was removed entirely and replaced by a new wing from stiff 6 mm balsa. In the picture below the new wing is covered both sides with white tissue (for additional strength) after receiving 3 coats of sanding sealer. After the tissue + decorations 6 coats of clear dope are applied. When applying the tissue and dope the wing is flipped over before each application and always pinned to the builiding board in order to prevent warping.

The model is back in one piece. Besides the wing, the fuel tank was (once again) revised, the leadouts were renewed and the spoked lightweight wheels replaced.

For the hell of it wheels were made from a plywood/balsa sandwich and bushed with brass tubing. The ultralight spoked wheels seemed to act as an airbrake and did not really appeal to the eye.

Because the elevator horn is placed on top of the elevator in order not to snag in the gras when on the ground, the leadouts are switched so as to bring the “up” control to the rear position: this is the common situation and leads to less mistakes when connecting the lines tot the model.

It appears that the closer the fuel tank is to the engine, the less issues there are with engine cutouts during manouvres. I look forward to trying out the refreshed model.

One season's flying later the sun has taken it's toll on the color tissue and rough field has flipped the model on it's back once too often, resulting in a broken fin. What started off as a poor flyer ultimately racked up the most time in the air in 2018.

The plywood cheeks are now stained by engine oil that has seeped past the many coats of dope but this gives the model a mature look. The fuselage was severed more than once.

No, this is not a new model but a refurbished one.

All colored tissue painted over with Humbrol enamel paint and so the model is now sunproof.

The overall gloss is provided by a coat of PU floor varnish. It is great stuff but only available in large cans that do not last long once opened – such a pity!