Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Air-100h sub-root formers

In setting up the wing panel receiver tubes, I set the cores on the working surface with the top surface down shimmed up .125" on each half at the root. This to allow a slight amont of dihedral eliminating the possibility of anhedral in the wing while in flight. Once everything is lined up equally, the tubes were then tacked in with 5 min epoxy.

Sub-root former placement is now traced onto the cores to allow .250" engagement of the tube end.

Foam is removed, the former temporarily put in place and traced to the airfoil shape top and bottom for final sanding. Excess air space will be filled with foam and final sanded to shape with the former. Former's get lightly epoxied in place.

This view shows the receiver tube dihedral offset.

Friday, December 21, 2012

OXID Planeur au VTPR

Video courtesy Pierrick Ubassy

Recent video of the OXID performing aerobatics in Totale and VTPR. This is a 2.7m glider looking really good in black & white video tone.

Build details and more videos of OXID here.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A100h wing joiner parts

Sub-root formers are roughed out. They will be traced to the core airfoil than shaped to fit. They consist of .125" spruce ply and .250" balsa laminent. End of receiver tube has .350" deep interference fit. Next step - tack the receiver tubes into the foam cores with proper dihedral. I'm figuring a 1/2 degree.

Friday, December 7, 2012

AIR-100h wing rod slot


Boy where does the time go. Sorry for the delay on this build. The wing joiner rod slot is done. Next is to make up a pair of sub-root formers, slot the foam and glue in the assembly.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Uploaded by on Jul 24, 2011

The KOSTEZ is a very large 4m VTPR/Totale glider that is scratch built in France, and designed by Thierry Dubois. This big aerobat is very graceful and agile for its size, and very impressive! The airfoil is the SB96V/VS aerobatic foil that has proven very effective in all glider sizes.

Information on Thierry Dubois Kostez construction can be seen here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Instant Scoring FREESTYLE

Some modifications to the new VTPR ISC contest. Through some suggestions, they have been inserted in order to have more opportunity for a wider range of flyers, and more fun in the process.

One of the new features which I think will 'add' to the program is a Freestyle round of competition. This is detailed in Part 3. Basically a 3 minute solo round where the pilot may fly figures of choice in one flight. The whole  flight including the transitions shall be judged and scored, and will represent 25% of a pilots total score for the day. The freestyle round should be fun and freely expressive as its title suggests. And it gives the pilot the opportunity to show his or her stuff technically, and creatively.

Other modifications include some new 'figure selections and combinations' that are more user friendly. Stick with us as we continue to refine and simplify it for all.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Air-100h wing former pockets

The wing formers are constructed of balsa and spruce plywood lamanate. The compound curves on the fuselage pose a problem to cutting the pockets in parrallel and square. A router plate was made up and mounted to enable the router to follow and cut the foam uniformly.

The finished cut turned out very well. Next is to glue in the formers while maintaing square and parrallel positions between them.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Instant Scoring Contest on RCGroups

A quick note informing visitors, the new VTPR-ISC contest format is posted on RCGroups.com. Get involved with the conversation by clicking here.

Air-100h fuselage incidence

Was able to finalize the fuse incidence today. Nose moment from wing LE is 13". I promise the next step of routing out the wing former pockets will be next up.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

VTPR Contest

We have 2 more parts to share about the new Instant Scoring VTPR competition format. Parts already posted is the Introduction, laying out the inspirtion and original idea. Second, some basic Guidelines of the format. Then the interesting part of Figure selections including Criteria and Points. Next after this was material regarding the Video Contest format and its simple guidelines as well. Finally we covered the actual Juging and Scoring, Probably the more important items that sew the whole format together into a fair and balanced and fun day of competing.

Keep checking back to see the V-Cup Challenge round, and a neat little model database that offers ideas on VTPR specific glider styles you might be interested in. Only two more short parts you will enjoy reading and participating in. Click on the dashboard to read all about it.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Air-100h root formers


Had several ideas on how to connect the wings but I decided to make up a pair of ply formers consisting of  two 1/4" thick balsa and one 1/8" thick spruce plywood material. The 1/8" material will be placed inboard opposite of eachother to carry the model load. The extra thickness allows the outboard balsa surface to be sanded down to match the fuselage contour.
Both formers are stuck together with double stick tape and drilled together for the wing rod tube and anti rotation pins. Setting up these datums now will allow a cleaner line up when it comes time to match the wings up to the root.

Next up is tracing and routing out the fuselage former pockets.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Instant Scoring VTPR Contest Interface

Welcome to the new ISC VTPR Contest format all in one place. The outline contains all 7 parts of this new aerobatic contest format and serves as a 'one-stop' dashboard of all the details.

I encourage you to look it over, make comments or suggestions that you think will add to the system. Share it with your fellow slope brothers and the slope community at large. As the poster suggests -

Try it and Fly it !

Part 1 - Instant Scoring INTRODUCTION

Part 2 - Instant Scoring BASIC GUIDELINES


Part 4 - Instant Scoring ONLINE VIDEO CONTEST

Part 5 - Instant Scoring JUDGING, SCORING

Part 6 - Instant Scoring V-CUP CHALLENGE ROUND

Part 7 - The MODELS

Thanks, Eric Johnson

Thanks go to Ian Cole of SlopeSoaringAustralia for his editing expertise

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

VTPR 'Instant Scoring Contest' format

I am pleased to announce a new approach to VTPR Aerobatic contests on the slope and online video format. Its (fair), its (objectively simple) and it will promote enjoyment, excellent VTPR flying and camaraderie. Its (unique and fresh) in that your running score is almost instantaneous and made accountable to all who participate, including spectators on the slope and viewers online.

This newly formatted contest is called 'The Slope VTPR Instant Scoring Contest'. A similar criteria will apply to that of Aresti disciplines which have been successful for decades. I say similar as VTPR aerobatics has its own unique artistic culture that allows for certain Aresti imperfections in a pass yet is able to retain a certain artistic flavor. This is very exciting!

I invite pilots out there who really enjoy flying low to the ground and viewers who are becoming interested in this small yet great form of slope flying, to come onboard. If you will periodically check in we will be posting the format series in the 'Pages' section for your convenience. Part 1 of 7 is posted.

Thanks for your attention as this unfolds. New slope VTPR contests at your local slope and new video contests online will benefit with this format if you like to compete in a more relaxed and fair system such as this.

Video preview samples of the online format. Stay tuned for ALL the details.

"You are invited to judge and score these sample videos to what you think they deserve in a contest". I have and it is easy and informative. Give it a try...EJ

Monday, September 17, 2012

Le Fish with Air Brakes

Is your Le Fish too fast? This might be a solution in your quest of aerobatic slow and low flight we enjoy in VTPR. Chris van Schoor in Ireland has installed some depron speed brakes on his Le Fish ailerons to try and slow her down to enable more controlled acro maneuvering while maintaining good energy. As you can see his experiment appears to do a nice job netting more fun from his transformed glider. Give it a try, you might like it.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Air-100h progress

Things are moving slower than I expected but we finally have the wing joiner materials to get back onto the fuselage and wing construction. After a 4 week delay it turned out the CF receiver tube was undersize on the ID by 0.010". The best remedy was to turn the 10mm solid rod on a lathe and carefully sand the OD to size. Everything worked out perfectly!

Stay tuned... Eric

Monday, September 3, 2012

Le Sonic in VTPR & Totale

A new video of Mike Ball and his rare Sonic 2.5m glider which he love's to fly. He demonstrates some very nice low French VTPR and some clean and fun aerobatics in Totale here. Did you notice the inverted tip and tail drags? Very awesome and true to the VTPR rule of "low" as it should be performed. And with an expensive cruchy bird to boot. This is what it means to take a "real risk" performing VTPR aerobatics putting it all on the line. Stay tuned for more Sonic VTPR coming from Southern California, USA.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Super-Jig Sport & VTPR flying

This is a converted Gigolo to a Super-Jig version with a 1.8m wingspan. It has a large rudder, larger full span ailerons, extra elevator throws and a mid wing mount. Nose moment is increased 50mm. I developed this version for the specific purpose to lower the wing loading and lowering its speed range for more maneuverability and response while lower to the ground. The plane flies much smoother and cleaner than the stock faster Gig. VTPR can now be had with this woodie. The conversion thread can be seen here.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Crunchy VTPR Rocks!

LQQK at this awesome shot of Le Sonic in total VTPR mode taken recently from a new video I filmed at Glider Point slope for the 2012 Slope Aerobatics contest. With the help of "video capture" techniques the Sonic and its pilot Mike Ball are displayed really doing it to it crunchy VTPR style!

As you are probably already aware we here at VTPR Aerobatics promote the really risky side of Slope VTPR perfectly willing to put our prized Sonic's and other crunchy ships in the danger zone for maximum thrill. We enjoy some of the foamy version models and they have served well training us towards this goal of crunchy VTPR. But the foamies just dont cut all of the mustard when it comes to beautiful, clean and risky VTPR. The payback is virtually no comparison. And thanks go to a handful of French pilots that have inspired myself and Mike to persue this dangerous yet fun style of RC aerobatics. There's no turning back...

See the video... Eric

Monday, July 30, 2012


The STICTION 1.7m "PSP" is the second in the line of this size of wooden VTPR model. I'm very happy with its performance and durability. Weighing in at 25 ounces she has a 7.3 ounce wing loading on a SB96V/VS airfoil. We are finding the more we fly them they are great fun with no worries of breakage. This is good news for a woody now days and the stigma of crunchy fragility is pretty much gone! Larger than normal flight surfaces and its low mass construction are nice attributes allowing the pilot to fly worry free performing close to the ground aerobatics or fun fly with all kinds of control to the extreme. Like the prototype ZEPPELIN these aren't fast flyers but are highly maneuverable and inexpensive to construct. Give a woody PSP a try, you'll like it...

Good Lift...

Monday, July 23, 2012

LEROYER Flys Again!

Giullaume (William) Leroyer is one of the worlds top Voltige Totale and VTPR pilots. There are other videos of his masterful flying on this blog. I have had the priveledge of knowing him and his dad Michel through email while building my personal SONIC 2.5 glider. And I have grown to have great admiration for their flying and modeling skills but also their kind hearts and willingness to freely help me and others in modeling.
This is a brand new video Michel took of his son while on vacation in June flying some classic French VTPR on the coast of northern France after a 2 year layoff from flying anything RC. Here are his comments:

"After 2 years expatriated in CANADA for work, I've never touch a RC gliders, For my first return in town I was really excited to fly again with my old Sonic 2.50m, just to know if I lose my level in VTPR, Finally, with my father, we were near to the Menez-Hom in Bretagne and the weather was perfect for the spot called "Le chateau d'eau." All the feelings were there... RC gliders is like bicycle, you can't forget it... Sorry for the bad quality of the movie, I'm going to do my best in two years..."

As you can see this is some fantastic stuff in the higher air speed realms which Guillaume loves so much and he didnt miss a beat! We often talk about "slow and low" VTPR which we also see beautifully done by other great French pilots on the Menez-Hom slope. Guillaumes style is a little bit different utilizing the full speed range of his trusty blue-flame SONIC. He has admitted to me that he loves the faster elements of VTPR as it is more dangerous and allows more precise flight paths low to the ground with a composite model. Another way he puts it - "I like speed, I like to fly on the edge and touch the grass and to do that faster as possible because it will improve the challenges and reflexes..." To him and this author this style of VTPR is the ultimate in thrill, danger and satisfaction.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hybrid AIR-100h progress




The new 3m hybrid project is underway again. Received the new wing and feather cores. They are EPS styrofoam. Wing root will be 10.5", tip 4.5" chord respectively. Single servo wing panels with 1/16" balsa skins. The decision is also made for the tail feather servos to be installed forward of the virticle fin within the tail boom. This will be especially challenging to balancing this glider with minimal nose weight. Final wing and joiner rod placement will be determined by the balance point when fully mocked up on the bench. Fun times are ahead!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

3.5m Foam AIR-100

A great video of Ludo's large 3.5m Air-100 in EPP being flown in Brest France. Here are some of his notes to me recently about the fabrication. This model looks like a lot of fun with its gentle and majestic flight characteristics making it perfect for low & slow VTPR. The roll rate is very good and is able to fly in a very small box. Very durable making a nice recipe for ultimate fun in a BIG way.

Caractéristiques :

envergure : 350 cm (environ)
longueur : 180 cm
profils : SB 98 VR/VS
masse : 3500g

Each wing half is 183 cm long (2 times the length of the loaves of EPP at GTI) and two 8mm carbon tube spars of D4 in to reinforce the intrados and the extrados. The trailing edge is cut so that its thickness is 3mm => just stick to it a flat carbon 3x1mm to stiffen the BDF and the fin. The whole is coated with liquid adhesive neoprene tape and taped to armed (roll width 400 mm: as you say he should not be missed when installing the tape ...)

The fuselage is also full EPP / carbon => 20kg/m3 density well enough given the present volume. The general form is made ​​with hot wire and then rounding are made with a cutter and coarse sanding block. Finally, a key wing carbon rod of 12 mm can be mounted quickly and easily all (not even the wings restraint, nipples centering at the trailing edge returning to strength ...


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Classic Menez-Hom VTPR

.Video courtesy Poedras Pierre-Louis

Some great fun yet dangerous VTPR flying in classic Menez-Hom flying site fashion. Some of the composite planes flying here are the Sonic, Excalibur, Limande, Twister and more. All 2.5 meter size. Take special note how all the pilots line up and take turns doing their thing trying to match or out do their mates. More importantly there are no foam planes present. A sign of true and ultimate no holds barred VTPR! You get a real sense of friendship and a challenging experience versus just flying back and forth or alone in the sky speeding around aimlessly. VTPR truly is thee most comprehensive and fun flying style on the slope.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

VTPR Fun-Fly, 2012

Video of some of the flying and photos of last weeks VTPR Recontre. We had a small turnout but loads of fun. The "limbo" was especially a great time with the lightweight PSP's. Had a real laugh and the planes got a real workout. No damage, just pure fun! Until next time, enjoy. EJ

Thursday, June 14, 2012

SoCal VTPR Recontre - June 16, 2012

The 2nd Annual SoCal VTPR meeting is on this weekend at Glider Point, Yorba Linda CA. A slope with every type of topography for maximum VTPR flying. Weather is looking good with SW winds and cool air predicted for an afternoon of lots of FUN. This year we are having a "limbo session" beneath a 20ft span ribbon that is adjustable from 10ft and lower. There will be much "overland VTPR" flying within inches of the ground. Full frontal "on the edge" flying again within inches with fiberglass, wooden, foam and PSP purpose designed VTPR models up to 2.5 meter span. This year promises to be loads of fun for those who attend and spectate.  VTPR by its nature always has a surprise or two no matter the field of flyers. A great photo op for sure. Stay tuned for the coverage here next week... EJ

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Crash & Fly woodies

Had a great day with Vol-Lent and discovered just how durable this plane is. By pilot error we learned the low mass inertia component of this design really supported its survival after a very hard crash. Also a unique lightweight and robust wing construction and CF tail boom performed flawlesly upon impact. Within 5 minutes I was able to fly it again with no issues.

Through this unique design wood aerobatic models can now be constructed in such a way that nearly equals the durability of a foamie! This is quite a leap from the old way of construction that for years has left wood designs in the dust but now you can re-enter the woodie VTPR world again with full confidence and great aerobatic and ground contact performance.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Team Black Sheep USA - Monument Valley

Had to post this incredible FPV (first person view) video of some amazing flying and editing! A fantastic experience of a few minutes of very beautiful landscape and close encounters of the sandstone buttes up to 1000ft above the valley floor of famous Monument Valley in Utah. Team Black Sheep has really outdone themselves with this one. Video editing done by aufmschlau.ch productions.

For those not familiar, first-person view (FPV) flight is a type of remote-control (RC) flying that has grown in popularity in recent years. It involves mounting a small video camera and analog television transmitter on an RC aircraft and flying by means of a live video down-link, commonly displayed on video goggles or a portable LCD screen. When flying FPV, the pilot sees from the aircraft's perspective, and does not even have to look at the model. As a result, FPV aircraft can be flown well beyond visual range, limited only by the range of the remote control and video transmitter. (source wikipedia)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Air-100h fuse contoured

The fuselage is contoured to the original plans now. Canopy area needs cut out to make up the plastic screen. Next is to detail out the horizontal stab mount. 11 ounces as you see here.