From Carbon to Balsa: Let's go back 40 years


Hard to imagine but it's 40 years since brother David and I made our Aeolus Aerobatic gliders. Back in the day David made this glider with a distinctly 'fishy' appearance and I then created a plan from it.

It may have been the model that set the trend for narrow fuselages, as wide as a servo, and large side area fuselages. The Aeolus also had a symmetrical section which was pretty much unknown in the early days of slope soaring. The key to the model's success was its lightweight construction from balsa. This model had no flaps and no spar and was as simple as possible. I can't remember the a.u.w. but it must have been around 1kg. for this 60" model. This was pretty much before the days of computer radios, digital servos, telemetry and 2.4GHz. We sold quite a few Aeolus plans (100+) in the 80s and even had a fuselage mould made by Bill Longley if I remember correctly. Things moved on, however, and we were soon flying new models usually based around fibreglass fuselages bought in Germany. I think David used a Diamant fuselage at one time and we both made models from a fuzz called a Smoothie which we called a Concept. James Hammond came on the scene and by the mid-80s we were building pylon racers using Jim Hammond's Sigma fuselages. We currently fly the all carbon Raptor seen elsewhere on these pages.

Now, it seems, retro is the thing with David building an Aeolus and with me going back to balsa as well.

Click this image below for a video from the 80s!



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