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Author Topic: Skylark  (Read 1555 times)

Offline Randy.Birt

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Skylark
« on: June 07, 2021, 09:56:38 AM »
Greetings all, I am acquiring an RSM Skylark kit. I plan to power it with an LA 46. As this plane can be built different sizes, would the 46 size be the most advisable with the 46 engine (sounds like a no brainer), or would one of the others sizes be better even if it means I need to acquire a different engine? thanks  Randy

Offline Avaiojet

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Re: Skylark
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2021, 10:27:08 AM »
Greetings all, I am acquiring an RSM Skylark kit. I plan to power it with an LA 46. As this plane can be built different sizes, would the 46 size be the most advisable with the 46 engine (sounds like a no brainer), or would one of the others sizes be better even if it means I need to acquire a different engine? thanks  Randy

"Out of the box" this kit can be built a few different sizes?

How is this? The aspect ratio has to be considered as the size changes.

So, do you get a few different sizes of ribs?

Or, how is this accomplished?

CB
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Offline Dan McEntee

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Re: Skylark
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2021, 10:53:44 AM »
Greetings all, I am acquiring an RSM Skylark kit. I plan to power it with an LA 46. As this plane can be built different sizes, would the 46 size be the most advisable with the 46 engine (sounds like a no brainer), or would one of the others sizes be better even if it means I need to acquire a different engine? thanks  Randy

   If you are referring to the ed Southwick Skylark, the original was quite large as compared to the Nobler and other designs of the time. Ed powered his with the McCoy .40. I'm not familiar with the .60 size and I think he was working with that around the time of his passing. The LA.46 should be a good match for that size model and if it were me I would go that route. According to the add on the website, it is classic legal in the .35 and .46 sizes. That would give you a model that you could fly in two classes.
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Offline Dave_Trible

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Re: Skylark
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2021, 11:15:39 AM »
The actual Skylark Ed Southwick flew was a little larger at 56" wing span than the kit 52".  As usual for the time manufacturers went for a more standard size box and shorter wood pieces.  I built one mostly from a kit a few years ago by replacing the strip and sheet wood in the kit with longer (and lighter) wood for the leading and trailing edges and sheeting.  The ribs were simply re-spaced to get to the correct span.  Nothing else changed.  It flew marvelously with a McCoy series 21 .40.  I've seen these with up to a Tigre.51 but be careful about being nose heavy.  Mufflers will likely get you nose heavy.  There was a much larger .60 size version used by a few West coast fliers in later years (Bill Byles) but can't offer details,  Flew nicely though.

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Offline L0U CRANE

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Re: Skylark
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2021, 12:56:53 PM »
As I recall, Ed and  Dick McCoy were pretty close friends, and Dick set up Ed's engines. And that was long before the heavy, Dykes ring Series 21's. (..which were also better than their reputation seems to suggest...)

So they were of the Red Head type, but not what you'd get from your local hobby shop. That could relate to the original Skylark being larger than then usual for a .35...

By the way, the Sterling kit "box art" was magnificent! (Pretty sure it was a Sterling kit. That implies that the wood was not what you'd hope, and the quality of die-cutting could be disappointing..) Ed flew for several years at early Tucson VSCs, and flew very well.

A great guy... we do miss him.
\BEST\LOU

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Re: Skylark
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2021, 04:41:47 PM »
"Out of the box" this kit can be built a few different sizes?

How is this? The aspect ratio has to be considered as the size changes.

So, do you get a few different sizes of ribs?

Or, how is this accomplished?

CB

I always wondered that myself. I wouldn't go much over 550 wing area for an LA 46.


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Offline Tony Drago

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Re: Skylark
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2021, 08:21:54 PM »
Ed. Southwick was NOT a happy camper, when the Sterling version of his Skylark kit came out.
If remember correctly. He would not sign the kit box and or the plans..

Offline Peter in Fairfax, VA

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Re: Skylark
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2021, 09:37:42 PM »
Regarding how many square inches for an LA 46, the Brodak Pathfinder at 620 flies well.

https://brodak.com/profile-pathfinder-kit.html

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Re: Skylark
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2021, 09:47:27 PM »
Regarding how many square inches for an LA 46, the Brodak Pathfinder at 620 flies well.

https://brodak.com/profile-pathfinder-kit.html

Depends on how you want to run it.

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Offline Bob Reeves

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Re: Skylark
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2021, 12:57:01 AM »
I built the 46 size RSM kit and initially powered it with a ST 46. After the first trim flights it became very obvious it needed more engine. That Skylark wing is thick which is good but you must have the power to pull it. I ended up retro fitting it with a ST .51, won Classic Advanced at Brodak's with it twice. It is the airplane pictured in the Okie adds. When I could no longer fly I sold it to Russ.

Offline Dan McEntee

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Re: Skylark
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2021, 08:09:44 AM »
Ed. Southwick was NOT a happy camper, when the Sterling version of his Skylark kit came out.
If remember correctly. He would not sign the kit box and or the plans..

   I was very happy to meet Ed Southwick at one of the first VSC events that I attended in Tucson in the early 1990's. Very nice gentleman and a pleasure to talk with, but then I asked him about the Sterling version of his Skylark, and then I was sorry I asked him about it!! It was a very touchy subject to him, so I didn't push it any further. I got one each of the Skylark and Lark kits (the elliptical wing version) from Ken Smith when he brought those to market. Very sad that we lost Ken and Ed and his his wife so soon afterwards.
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Offline Sean McEntee

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Re: Skylark
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2021, 01:15:53 PM »
Greetings all, I am acquiring an RSM Skylark kit. I plan to power it with an LA 46. As this plane can be built different sizes, would the 46 size be the most advisable with the 46 engine (sounds like a no brainer), or would one of the others sizes be better even if it means I need to acquire a different engine? thanks  Randy

LA 46 will provide plenty of power.

"Out of the box" this kit can be built a few different sizes?

How is this? The aspect ratio has to be considered as the size changes.

So, do you get a few different sizes of ribs?

Or, how is this accomplished?

CB

Rib spacing and stab size are the variables for the 3 versions:  The Sterling-kitted 35 version, the true-to-original 46 version and a 60-size version that Ed Built a few years before he passed.  Same fuselage between the three

Offline Tommyp

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Re: Skylark
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2021, 05:02:04 AM »
   I was very happy to meet Ed Southwick at one of the first VSC events that I attended in Tucson in the early 1990's. Very nice gentleman and a pleasure to talk with, but then I asked him about the Sterling version of his Skylark, and then I was sorry I asked him about it!! It was a very touchy subject to him, so I didn't push it any further. I got one each of the Skylark and Lark kits (the elliptical wing version) from Ken Smith when he brought those to market. Very sad that we lost Ken and Ed and his his wife so soon afterwards.
  Type at you later,
   Dan McEntee

Dan!
Are you at liberty to elaborate on just what Ed wasn’t happy about regarding the Sterling kitted version of his “Skylark” ? I find these behind the scenes stories on particular models and modelers fascinating! As a teen I lusted for Sterling’s “Skylark” .. but .. my parents said pull up those grades next marking period and we’ll buy you the kit. Well, uh … never happened. Years and years later I found one NIB at a garage sale and promptly bought it. Got into RC before I built it, and then sold it to fund the next project. In hindsight .. which is most always 20/20! .. I should have kept it. Then again, it WAS a Sterling models kit, and we’ve all built enough of those back in the day to know they could be a bit of a struggle what with the excellent “die smashing” and very heavy wood. 🤣 Curious though as to what Ed was not happy about. 😎✌🏻😎

Tommyp

Offline Dan McEntee

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Re: Skylark
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2021, 06:05:24 AM »
   I was very happy to meet Ed Southwick at one of the first VSC events that I attended in Tucson in the early 1990's. Very nice gentleman and a pleasure to talk with, but then I asked him about the Sterling version of his Skylark, and then I was sorry I asked him about it!! It was a very touchy subject to him, so I didn't push it any further. I got one each of the Skylark and Lark kits (the elliptical wing version) from Ken Smith when he brought those to market. Very sad that we lost Ken and Ed and his his wife so soon afterwards.
  Type at you later,
   Dan McEntee

Dan!
Are you at liberty to elaborate on just what Ed wasn’t happy about regarding the Sterling kitted version of his “Skylark” ? I find these behind the scenes stories on particular models and modelers fascinating! As a teen I lusted for Sterling’s “Skylark” .. but .. my parents said pull up those grades next marking period and we’ll buy you the kit. Well, uh … never happened. Years and years later I found one NIB at a garage sale and promptly bought it. Got into RC before I built it, and then sold it to fund the next project. In hindsight .. which is most always 20/20! .. I should have kept it. Then again, it WAS a Sterling models kit, and we’ve all built enough of those back in the day to know they could be a bit of a struggle what with the excellent “die smashing” and very heavy wood. 🤣 Curious though as to what Ed was not happy about. 😎✌🏻😎

Tommyp


    Hi Tommyp;

     I think the main problem Ed had with Sterling was that they shrunk the airplane so that it would fit into one of their typical cheap paste board boxes. That was kind of typical at the time of kit manufacturers, who did not want to add another box size to their inventory. I don't think there was any significant C/L stunt model that was published and then kitted that didn't go through some sort of change from it's original design so it would fit into a standard box. I think Ed was very proud of his design and justifiably so, and felt sort of betrayed by Sterling and that the model wouldn't live up to his standard and possibly harm his reputation. At the time I asked him about it, he got visibly upset and could hardly talk, but luckily some one else stepped in with a question to distract him. Some one else, who I forget who it was, may have been Chris McMillin, filled me in on the details of the situation. I don't remember if I got a chance to apologize to Ed or not but did chat with him some more that weekend and took several pictures of him and his model that trip. In case you didn't know, Ed made the US stunt team flying the Skylark. Several years later he developed some sort of vision problems and had to quit the hobby. Years later, advances in medicine were able to restore his sight and he got back into the swing of things. He really was a nice guy and a gentleman to speak with. The tragedy of it all came a few years later when he and his wife were killed in a car crash while returning home from the last VSC that he attended. It was a definite shock and great loss  to the stunt community. 
  Type at you later,
   Dan McEntee
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Offline Tommyp

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Re: Skylark
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2021, 10:26:26 AM »

    Hi Tommyp;

     I think the main problem Ed had with Sterling was that they shrunk the airplane so that it would fit into one of their typical cheap paste board boxes. That was kind of typical at the time of kit manufacturers, who did not want to add another box size to their inventory. I don't think there was any significant C/L stunt model that was published and then kitted that didn't go through some sort of change from it's original design so it would fit into a standard box. I think Ed was very proud of his design and justifiably so, and felt sort of betrayed by Sterling and that the model wouldn't live up to his standard and possibly harm his reputation. At the time I asked him about it, he got visibly upset and could hardly talk, but luckily some one else stepped in with a question to distract him. Some one else, who I forget who it was, may have been Chris McMillin, filled me in on the details of the situation. I don't remember if I got a chance to apologize to Ed or not but did chat with him some more that weekend and took several pictures of him and his model that trip. In case you didn't know, Ed made the US stunt team flying the Skylark. Several years later he developed some sort of vision problems and had to quit the hobby. Years later, advances in medicine were able to restore his sight and he got back into the swing of things. He really was a nice guy and a gentleman to speak with. The tragedy of it all came a few years later when he and his wife were killed in a car crash while returning home from the last VSC that he attended. It was a definite shock and great loss  to the stunt community. 
  Type at you later,
   Dan McEntee


THANKS for the excellent explanation Dan! I actually did know about Ed making the stunt team with this model .. but .. I did NOT know about the accident on the way home from the VSC. That is just tragic. No words for that really. Just wow.  :'(  Of note is that I have seen more than a few of the Sterling kitted "Skylark's" come up for sale over the years .. and all NIB .. but, I could not convince myself to pull the trigger as it were. Guess I'm glad I didn't based on what you have said ... as it wasn't really Ed's original design. Oh!, I wanted to add this: I wrote that my parents were willing to buy me this model back in my teens if I got my grades up, and I said well, uh ... never happened. Wanted to clarify that me not getting that kit was NOT their doing ... it was mine. I never did get those grades up to where they would have liked. Typical dumb ass kid I was!... then.  ::)  THANKS for the excellent reply Dan! BEST!!!  8)

Tommyp

Offline Dan McEntee

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Re: Skylark
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2021, 12:46:03 PM »

    Hi Tommyp;

     I think the main problem Ed had with Sterling was that they shrunk the airplane so that it would fit into one of their typical cheap paste board boxes. That was kind of typical at the time of kit manufacturers, who did not want to add another box size to their inventory. I don't think there was any significant C/L stunt model that was published and then kitted that didn't go through some sort of change from it's original design so it would fit into a standard box. I think Ed was very proud of his design and justifiably so, and felt sort of betrayed by Sterling and that the model wouldn't live up to his standard and possibly harm his reputation. At the time I asked him about it, he got visibly upset and could hardly talk, but luckily some one else stepped in with a question to distract him. Some one else, who I forget who it was, may have been Chris McMillin, filled me in on the details of the situation. I don't remember if I got a chance to apologize to Ed or not but did chat with him some more that weekend and took several pictures of him and his model that trip. In case you didn't know, Ed made the US stunt team flying the Skylark. Several years later he developed some sort of vision problems and had to quit the hobby. Years later, advances in medicine were able to restore his sight and he got back into the swing of things. He really was a nice guy and a gentleman to speak with. The tragedy of it all came a few years later when he and his wife were killed in a car crash while returning home from the last VSC that he attended. It was a definite shock and great loss  to the stunt community. 
  Type at you later,
   Dan McEntee


THANKS for the excellent explanation Dan! I actually did know about Ed making the stunt team with this model .. but .. I did NOT know about the accident on the way home from the VSC. That is just tragic. No words for that really. Just wow.  :'(  Of note is that I have seen more than a few of the Sterling kitted "Skylark's" come up for sale over the years .. and all NIB .. but, I could not convince myself to pull the trigger as it were. Guess I'm glad I didn't based on what you have said ... as it wasn't really Ed's original design. Oh!, I wanted to add this: I wrote that my parents were willing to buy me this model back in my teens if I got my grades up, and I said well, uh ... never happened. Wanted to clarify that me not getting that kit was NOT their doing ... it was mine. I never did get those grades up to where they would have liked. Typical dumb ass kid I was!... then.  ::)  THANKS for the excellent reply Dan! BEST!!!  8)

Tommyp


    Well, the Sterling version is still a good airplane. The basic numbers for the design still hold up and work well. Like any stunt model, a good powerplant and good practice go a long way.  I think it was a kit built model that Paul Walker took to VSC one year, powered by a Red Head McCoy .40 with a classic prop and Hot Rock handle and cranked out 600 plus point scores!!?? If some one else remembers for sure please jump in!  If you get a chance at another Sterling kit for old times sake, it will still be good for patterns to scratch build one with good wood.
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Offline Bob Reeves

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Re: Skylark
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2021, 12:17:26 AM »
Eric may have fixed it but if you have an early RSM kit make sure you can fit a standard fuel tank between the formers in the nose before building the nose. I had to make a special tank for mine because I discovered too late a 2" tank wouldn't fit.

Offline dale gleason

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Re: Skylark
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2021, 05:41:55 AM »
Dan, I retrieved Paul's Skylark after one of his official flights at the VSC you asked about. The plane was noticeably light weight, finished like the one on the kit box, and I was impressed at how well the engine ran. I had heard he had a Redhead McCoy in it and told him it didn't sound like any I had ever seen or heard. His reply was for me to look inside the cowling and there it was, a beautiful Redhead McCoy 40.

dg

Offline Steve Helmick

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Re: Skylark
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2021, 01:30:57 PM »
In a conversation I had with Paul about his Skylark, he said it had a Tom Lay McCoy .40 and that the top block was actually from a Sterling kit, but everything else was replaced. Probably the only light wood in the kit? Paul will probably be along shortly to correct my recollections.  LL~ Steve
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Offline billbyles

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Re: Skylark
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2021, 07:13:36 PM »
Ed. Southwick was NOT a happy camper, when the Sterling version of his Skylark kit came out.
If remember correctly. He would not sign the kit box and or the plans..

When Ed Manulkin of Sterling wanted to kit Ed's Skylark he and Ed Southwick went to dinner one night and finalized the agreement.  Ed Manulkin agreed to kit the airplane exactly as Ed Southwick had designed it at 56" wingspan.  When the kit came out at 52" span Ed Southwick was very disappointed.  Even so the 52" span Skylark flies well with a McCoy .35 or .40 Red Head engine  (The best example of how well it flies was when Ted Fancher and I judged at VSC a few years ago and judged Paul Walker's absolutely original Skylark with a McCoy .40 Red Head engine. Paul even built it from a Sterling kit largely and it was as original as can be imagined. Paul flew an astonishing pattern with very accurate square corners and beautifully tracking rounds.)  Later on Ed Manulkin wanted to kit Ed Southwick's Lark which is the semi-elliptical predecessor to the Skylark and Ed Southwick refused to allow that to happen because of the misrepresentation about the Skylark.
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Online James Holford

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Re: Skylark
« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2021, 04:43:12 PM »
I have this kit. It just comes with the appropriate parts to build the .35, .46, .60 size.  Pretty neat really.  Im never goin to build it though.

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Offline Tommyp

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Re: Skylark
« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2021, 09:48:06 AM »
When Ed Manulkin of Sterling wanted to kit Ed's Skylark he and Ed Southwick went to dinner one night and finalized the agreement.  Ed Manulkin agreed to kit the airplane exactly as Ed Southwick had designed it at 56" wingspan.  When the kit came out at 52" span Ed Southwick was very disappointed.  Even so the 52" span Skylark flies well with a McCoy .35 or .40 Red Head engine  (The best example of how well it flies was when Ted Fancher and I judged at VSC a few years ago and judged Paul Walker's absolutely original Skylark with a McCoy .40 Red Head engine. Paul even built it from a Sterling kit largely and it was as original as can be imagined. Paul flew an astonishing pattern with very accurate square corners and beautifully tracking rounds.)  Later on Ed Manulkin wanted to kit Ed Southwick's Lark which is the semi-elliptical predecessor to the Skylark and Ed Southwick refused to allow that to happen because of the misrepresentation about the Skylark.


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