To the left is my daughter,
Sally, holding her Comet J5
Cruiser. It was built sometime in the early 1990s, while we lived in Smithsburg, Maryland.
This particular photo was taken quite a few years later when we were living in Loveland,
Below are photos of the model taken in early 2009. It has survived rather well for
being at least 15 years old and for having made about five household moves. The tissue
covering is a bit brittle from spending some time in the attic.
No special building building techniques were used - just careful cutting, sanding
, and gluing. Yellow Japanese (Jap) tissue was used for covering, with nitrate dope to
attach the wet tissue to the frame, and then a 50/50 dope/thinner mixture for a few overall
coats. Yes, that is a slight upward bow you see in the wings; it was not intentional,
but would have been more trouble than it was worth to un-curve.
One unique thing I did do was to hinge the rudder and elevator halves to make flight
trimming easier. I used thin electrical solder as the hinges. Even though it is 60% lead,
the amount is so small that the weight is negligible. It is easy to bend while being
sturdy enough to hold the setting. Since the elevator halves are independent, rolling
tendencies can easily be corrected.
The Comet J-5 Cruiser flew fairly well, but was nothing stellar. I used four strands
of 1/8 FAI tan rubber form Peck Polymers (yup, I still have a fair amount of it). The
propeller also came from Peck Polymers.
Click on the Comet J-5 Cub Cruiser kit box to see a really nice photos on the
Small Flying Arts website of
a J-5 being built and covered (the pictures have been removed).