Newsletter 2: Fairey Swordfish 1/6 Scale and latest hobby industry news

The design of the new Fairey Swordfish is going well. I decided to go with 1/6 scale as 1/5 scale would have resulted in a biplane with a wing span of 109.2". The Swordfish was a BIG airplane! The wingspan at 1/6 scale will be 91"-still big but manageable.

All the design is now complete and detailing is almost finished. "Detailing" is the drawing of every part, on the appropriate material. This is especially helpful for the builders who prefer to cut their own parts. Just cut the plans and paper glue them to the balsa or ply sheets.

I will also be preparing the laser cut programs for the laser cutter.

Brief Details of the design of this Fairey Swordfish

The 1/10 scale model  is the basis for the design. Interlocking construction is used throughout, that makes alignment a snap and should result in a true airframe.

It was decided not to use Lite ply, so birch ply is used for all ply parts. The only advantage that Lite ply has is that it is inexpensive and it is not that light!

Servos are placed in the tail. I know that this can mean extra weight,in the nose, to achieve balance, but the control pushrods are short and stiff and should give nice control, with a minimum of control surface slop.

Talking of nose weight, the 10S batteries for the electric control version, are mounted in the cowl, that is split and held in place with rare earth magnets. This system worked out well on the Gladiator.

Alternative power options for this Fairey Swordfish are shown, including gas and glow engines. The cowl is very short, so accommodating most engines is a real challenge! 

An OS GT 33 can be squeezed in and for glow engines, the OS Gemini twin can be used.

If any of you are interested in this Fairey Swordfish, please contact us and give me some encouragement to finish the job! 

Hobby Industry News

The big news is that Horizon Hobbies now own Hobbico. Horizon are now surely the biggest hobby distributor in the world!

The good news is that a lot, if not all of the Hobbico companies are still available.Great Planes, Top Flite, Coverite are just a few of the names you will be familiar with.

Maybe the biggest news is that the Tower Hobbies web site is still going as well as the Horizon site. It is strange to see Spektrum goods offered for sale by Tower Hobbies!

Take a look at the Tower Hobbies site and you can see all the items that are still available.


Futaba USA are now up and running again.Futaba parts and service may have been a problem in the past few months but normal service should now be restored.

Tower Hobbies are once again offering the Futaba line.

The Futaba web site is still being worked on but can be used.

This must be good news for all the Futaba users out there!


We have all heard about the trade problems the USA is generating with China and now we are starting to see the results.

Almost all the modelling goods we use today, originated in China, so the cost of our hobby is going to increase.

Take a look here to see what Horizon has to say The date of many price increases is Oct 1 2018.

Minimum increase is likely to be 10% but some prices could see a 25% increase.

OK that's it for Newsletter #2. Some good news and some troubling news about the increasing cost of our hobby. Hope you enjoyed it and let me know of any ideas you may have for future issues.