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.
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.
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!