Lock Down Distractions: P.O. Snoopy vs an Ugly Stik 049

200425-Ugly-Stick-049 (9)

Pilot Officer Snoopy showing the world how to look groomed even when in Coronavirus lock-down.

Fighter ace pilot officer Snoopy needs a new plane to call his own! For such a figure stooped in doggy history nothing short of a WW1-esk war bird will do.  Now my little snoopy figurine is a little on the short side so it would have to be something small. I’ve always harboured a soft spot for the diminutive Cox engines so putting two and two together and a 1/2a sized model seemed the way to go.

The Ugly Stik design is almost as old as radio-controlled model planes themselves and range in size from .020 thought to some true monsters. My kit was advertised on eBay and came jig assembled leaving a blank canvas (in the instructions!) for the modeller to decide on the engine and radio installation.

200425-Ugly-Stick-049 (1)

Components completed, sanded and ready for covering.

200425-Ugly-Stick-049 (3)

The scale wheels were the only accessories included in the kit but are a nice touch.

200425-Ugly-Stick-049 (2)

Dry assembly.

I made a few modifications by opting to fit a throttled Cox Cruiser .049 and added a rudder. I used wing mounted servos with paper tubes to carry the leads. Hitec HS65MG throughout on the flight controls. There is no room in the nose (being designed no doubt for cox engines with integral tanks) as the vertical undercariage block and wing dowel are in exactly the wrong places. Instead I squeezed a 2oz tank under the CG where it won’t impact flight performance as it empties. To offset the long fuel lines, I used an old free-flight trick of routing the tank breather in line with the prop-wash to gain some semblance of tank pressurisation.  Cox engines are upright creatures at heart but this should allow for longer vertical climbouts, slow rolls etc.

200425-Ugly-Stick-049 (6)

Small can be beautiful. Transparent red Solarfilm really makes the model stand out and imparts a lustrous shine on the solid wood fuselage. The black Maltese crosses were cut from Solartrim.

200425-Ugly-Stick-049 (7)

Final weight came to 450g. I’ve not exactly made any efforts to save weight so not to bad considering the metal geared servos, 2oz tank, 900mah battery pack and standard receiver. I fly from grass so prefer ruggedness over a slower stall.

200425-Ugly-Stick-049 (8)

All neatly packed in.  I ran snakes to the rear control surfaces. Note that the servos are soft mounted using a piece of silicone fuel tubing.  Micro servos do not routinely come with grommits but never be tempted to hard mount micro servos in an IC model. In the background you can see how I installed the aileron servos.

200425-Ugly-Stick-049 (5)

Standing proud next to his captured war prize; that grin says it all!  That cox Cruiser is a little gem of an engine.  I’ve equipped mine with a standard glow plug head and a silencer (well more goo director than effective noise canceller but it helps to keep things clean).  Note the breather pipe directed into the slip stream. 

The Ugly Stik is loosely based on the infamous Fokker Eindecker. It was a little early on the scene for the real Manfred von Richthofen to be associated with, but he did learn to fly on one after minimal tuition (he was an observer, not a pilot at the time). So, choosing to build an ‘Ugly Stick 049’ as Snoopy’s worthy new (captured!) stead is only bending history a little bit. Let’s hope snoopy has more luck on his first flight!