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84" Gee Bee Y

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  • 84" Gee Bee Y

    I was lucky enough to acquire this model last month and have been working on it since- manufactured in maybe 2008 by Green Models and sold by Hobby Lobby the airplane was assembled but never flown. It had a gas engine installed at some point but was sold to me without which suited me fine as I prefer electrons for fuel anyway. There isn't a whole lot of information out there regarding this model but it flies well from all accounts and I have a CG so what more could one want?
    The first order of business was to cut in a hatch for battery access- a later version had a hatch from the get go with a considerably larger opening than I created. An E-Flite Power 160 motor was installed using an X-mount from smallpartscnc.com and runs on 10S (5000mah) through a 120 Amp HV ESC. I lugged the fuselage outside the other day for a quick wattmeter test- 80 Amps, 2900 watts with an APC 20x10 prop so lots of power, if a bit over propped. I may go to a 20x8 or just reduce throttle travel a bit as the motor is rated at 70 A max.
    I reinforced the gear with bracing to the rear as the full-size aircraft had and also added same to the tail planes (which are purely cosmetic). The dummy radial is a 1/4 scale vac-formed kit from parkflyrplastics.com, strengthened with balsa to hopefully prevent the prop blast from blowing it apart. The pilot figure came with the model and I thought he looked pretty good for the period so promptly cut his head off and installed a servo in his chest- his head now swivels with the rudder. A scarf hides the joint and belts and some paint completed the little guy.
    I made and used a "Vanessa rig" to do an initial balance check and as I've not used this method before was an interesting experience and certainly the way to go with a model this size. I was pleased to find that with the flight batteries against the firewall (as I'd hoped) and the radio system 2200 LiFe battery amidships balance is achieved without additional weight. Sweet! I also used the rig, with a fish scale, to weigh the model and it's a bit over 15 lbs., which seems about right.
    Anyway, I'm really looking forward to flying this thing come spring- I've always loved "Golden Age" airplanes in general and Bee Gees in particular. Happy New Year to all!
    Tom
    Attached Files

  • #2
    The Gee Bee Y is the best flying of the Gee Bee designs. Lots of wing.

    Looks great!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Twowingtj View Post
      The Gee Bee Y is the best flying of the Gee Bee designs. Lots of wing. Looks great!
      Pogo, agreed looking very good. Twowingtj, I am showing my age here, but do you remember the Coverite Kit of the GeeBee Model "D"? Not the same cool factor as the racing GeeBees, but close. I built one and installed an OS .61 FSR ABC. What an idiot I was as the model would have flown great with an OS .46 or EQ. It had a very thin airfoil section, but it flew well, but not great. Happy New Year, guys. Best, Steve
      Captain: Got any ideas?
      F/O: Actually not.
      — Captain Chesley B 'Sully' Sullenberger III and F/O Jeff Skiles—

      You'll never be good at something unless you're willing to suck at it first.
      ~Anonymous~

      AMA#116446

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you guys. The model is in amazing condition considering it's age (the covering etc.) I feel fortunate to have it- hopefully the glue joints don't disintegrate when it takes to the air!
        Steve, I just looked up the "D" version you had and it sure looks like the Y except for the cowl as it had an inline, rather than radial, engine.
        Tom
        Attached Files

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        • #5
          Finished one of the last little projects this morning. For a belly pan this model used a piece of plastic sheet that was screwed on after fitting the wing- I didn't get this with the model and wouldn't have used it anyway (to avoid extra assembly at the field). I made one from 1/32" ply, permanently attached to the wing.
          Tom
          Attached Files

          Comment


          • #6
            Elbee I do remember the Coverite GeeBee D. Came close to getting one several times. Always had to default to the round cowl though.

            Pogo That's a good mod on the belly pan. More durable than stock. Your power choice should fly it really well.

            Happy New Year guys!

            Comment


            • #7
              Looks great! I've been looking for one these last few years. AS SOON (if they ever do) they come back in stock at Maxford, I'll be getting one of the 97" versions.

              I wish I had the guts to order one from General Hobby a few years ago...just couldn't do it. :-/

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks DJ- I've enjoyed your videos and hope you do one of the big Maxford when it becomes available, hopefully sooner than later. Not sure I understand your last sentence re: the General Hobby version?
                I finished up the last to-do item on mine a few weeks ago and she's now finished and waiting for this winter to end- the stock struts, while well made, are aluminum and certainly not robust enough for a model this size (what were they thinking ?). Apparently Hobby Lobby realized this error and offered "upgraded" struts but that was many years ago....I made up a new pair from steel flat bar and square stock ( TIG welded) which I hope are up to the task- gear issues make me crazy.
                Tom
                Attached Files

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                • #9
                  Although this springs weather hasn't seemed the greatest I've been able to get out to fly the last 5 consecutive weekends to get my brain/thumbs interface ready for maiden day with the big Senior Sportster after a long winter. Flying a different airplane each weekend, I started with my FW Venom, then the FW F-22, then the FW A-10, and finally my VQ TigerMoth, (to get some prop time). Figuring I was as ready as I'd ever be, off we went to the field with a promising weather forecast.
                  There was more of a crosswind than I'd hoped but after a range check (which I almost forgot) it was time. The Gee Bee was easily controllable as power was applied and the tail lifted and then the mains and we were off. My concerns about the balance point, thrust angles, control throws etc. were quickly dispelled as the model was flying beautifully with only some down trim needed. From my calculations (?) and a ground run I had set the timer for 5 min. and after 3 started practicing approaches and the model did indeed float along down the runway as I had read it would. Turning low to final a fair ways out worked well and the landing was just fine. Man I was happy!
                  The 2nd flight (after my heart-rate recovered) was much the same, with lots of power on tap and very benign flight characteristics. This is the largest model I've flown and it is true that "bigger fly's better" (and is also easier to see). I'm still smiling a week and a half on and will be flying the "Y" often, hopefully getting some video next time out.
                  Tom
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Pogo View Post
                    A I'm still smiling a week and a half on and will be flying the "Y" often, hopefully getting some video next time out. Tom
                    Tom, Beautiful Gee Bee, Sir. Just love those early racers. Nicely done. Best, LB
                    Captain: Got any ideas?
                    F/O: Actually not.
                    — Captain Chesley B 'Sully' Sullenberger III and F/O Jeff Skiles—

                    You'll never be good at something unless you're willing to suck at it first.
                    ~Anonymous~

                    AMA#116446

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thank you Elbee!
                      Tom

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