Flair Fokker Dv11

I started building the Fokker Dv11 in the Christmas holidays and finished at the end of March. (What I’ve carefully failed to mention is the fact that the Christmas I referred to was not the last one but the one before!!!).

This kit to me represents the very essence of the classic WW1 Fighter Biplane. I have a good number of flights under my belt with two other Flair scouts, the Puppeteer and the ubiquitous Magnatilla. Indeed I was taught to fly with a well ‘worn’ but faithful red magnatilla. (I am indebted to Paul Thornley for this). Thus with many hours with my Magnatilla mk11/ Eindecker scale-ish model I was thoroughly looking forward to flying the latest Flair Scout. I was not to be disappointed.

The Fokker Dv11 is quite a large model with a big boxy front end easily accepting my new Laser 80 four stroke. It has an upper wingspan of 61" and a lower wingspan of 58" and an undercarriage wing which provides even more lift and low speed stability. The weight ready to fly was 8lbs 4oz. Having finished it for Easter arranged to meet Paul up at the flying field on Wednesday 31st March. Paul suggested that I had better run up the laser in the model to make sure there were no prolbems - to my astonishment the engine fired up first time and required no setting changes since the running in period almost a year previous. At the flying field I spent some time rigging the model (over 18 bolts and screws to sort out). Paul simply opened the boot of his car and the passenger door and after a well-rehearsed routine out came his fully rigged Puppeteer ready to fly. We took some photos and waited for the wind to abate. The sun came out but the wind just seemed to strengthen. After another first time start to the engine I did the range check. I said to Paul that I was a bit concerned about the wind and that I’d just taxi about the field. Behind the camcorder he said okay. Seconds later as the model weathercocked into wind I opened the throttle by about two to three clicks. She rolled along effortlessly and the moment I eased off the elevator she was up and climbing well. To my astonishment only a small amount of up trim was needed and the model, on only half throttle was making good way into the wind. The wind was strong. First of all my hat blew away, then the pennant on my transmitter started to spin furiously making a heck of a din. However the engine sounded the part, the Fokker looked and flew the part and on such occasions isn’t life a joy. After 10 minutes I made a couple of tentative landing approaches. The laser performed impeccably and on the second, ‘much lower’, approach I committed myself to a landing. Not the best I’ve performed but five minutes later when I checked the wind speed with an anemometer I was shocked to discover that I’d been flying in wind speeds of 35 kph / 22mph !?!!

On the following Friday with lesser winds, the support and attendance of good friends, the Fokker proved to be a delight to fly. The red and white colours, the black raven emblems on the fuselage, the red/white trim to the wheels looked splendid as she wheeled about the sky in the bright sunshine. Thank you to the two Dave’s, Probert and Harrison and Ralph Brown, for the video footage and the good banter and humour. A big thank you to Paul Thornley for pressing me into activity to finishing the model. However I did notice that he did not arrive with the puppeteer until I had de-rigged. BEWARE THE FOKKER SCOURGE HAS BEGUN ONCE MORE.

Alan Thomson.

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