Cambrian Mustang

Derek Robertson

I bought and built the Cambrian Mustang kit over 6 years ago, with the intention of installing the recommended .25 cu in IC motor. The model features a 42" semi-symmetrical foam veneer wing, with a fully built up balsa/ply fuselage, sanded to shape.

As the years passed, it became blatantly obvious that I wasn't destined to go down the IC road ... a brief foray with a pod mounted 1.5 cc diesel motor on a thermal soarer put me clean off ... what a mess! If I was to get the Mustang airborne at all, I would need to convert the already completed airframe for slope soaring. I was keen to carry out only the minimum amount of work, with as little "surgery" to the fuselage as possible ... anything to avoid a re- covering job!

As it turns out, there wasn't much to it. The motor mount and fuel tank were removed with little damage, the nose area only requiring a bit of tarting up. Flight batteries were now installed in the space vacated by the motor mount and the elevator servo, along with the Rx, pushed as far forward as possible. The aileron servo was left in its original location (mounted in the centre of the wing). The spinner is attached to the nose using good old "Velcro tape" and contains around 3ozs of lead in order to get the model to balance at the correct position.

So, little more than a day's work to convert, but will it fly? It felt "heavy", and those ailerons, although full span, were tiny ... OK if you have a motor up front, but ... yeah, you're right, I was a bit apprehensive!

Months passed, during which I'd avoided the Mustang in favour of one of my well tried, "predictable" fliers. However, a morning session on the NW face on Brimmond (back in Sept.), with Graham, Mike and Jim, finally saw me run out of excuses. The +15 knot wind would at least give the heavily loaded Mustang a fighting chance.

Why did I worry? Flew OK right from the word go, requiring only a few clicks of down trim. It penetrated well in the gusty conditions, was extremely stable but could 360 deg. roll in the blink of an eye! ... how can those small ailerons be so efficient? Inverted performance is also very good, with only a teeny amount of down elevator required to maintain level flight. All four of us enjoyed the "lively" conditions that morning, and, I'm delighted to say, without any breakages!

Impressed by the photo? Although all of the above is true, the photo itself is a "cheat"! Over the last 12 months, I've passed on scoresof pictures to John Barnes, potential material for the club newsletter, most of which are excellent. Some though, particularly my contributions, could be improved. So I started messing around with Photoshop image editing software on my PC.

What you see above is two separate images that have been combined. The Mustang was photo-graphed held above my head, with the camera less than 6 feet away. The background around the plane was electronically painted out, before placing the Mustang onto a straightforward view taken from the top of Brimmond. A little bit of motion blur was applied to the view to give the impression that the camera was panning with the plane. Providing the lighting quality and more importantly, lighting direction, is approximately the same in both the photos to be used, the effect should be believable.

Fun to do, but oh, so time consuming ... one of these days, I'll get a life!