A Buzzard Bombshell. - 1940 AMA National Record Holder by Joe Konefes

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Neons
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A Buzzard Bombshell. - 1940 AMA National Record Holder by Joe Konefes

Post by Neons » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:58 pm

I bought a Buzzard Bombshell at auction in the spring of 2016. I felt I needed an old timer fun plane for my collection. I am not a professed historian on this plane. I believe it was possibly designed in 1939-40 before WWII. Before I post my pictures I will start this post first with some related history that is readily available if you Google the plane.


Joe Konefes’ Buzzard Bombshell

The museum portion of August’s Model Aviation “In the Air” column looks at Joe Konefes’ Buzzard Bombshell in the museum collection. There wasn’t enough room in the column to share all of the information related to the model, so it is shared here in a “deleted scenes” type format.
KonefesBuzzardBombshell-300x200.jpg
The original 1940 Buzzard Bombshell on exhibit at the National Model Aviation Museum. Source: National Model Aviation Museum, 1984.20.03, donated by Joe Konefes.
Another angle:
Buzzard Orig.jpg
Joe Konefes built his Buzzard Bombshell in 1940 and flew it in mass demonstration flights at the 1940 Nats and regional meets. He set a Class C Open flight record with it at the 1940 Nats. His first flight was 49 minutes, 40 seconds. The official time for all three flights was over 58 minutes.

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Joe almost didn’t have a Buzzard Bombshell model to fly at Nats. The second time he participated in a contest with the model, it was lost during flight somewhere in the wilds of Wisconsin. Luckily, over a month later, “a farmer’s cow shied at something in a tree and the lost plane was soon back with the rest of the Buzzard Flock.” In the October 1940 Air Trails construction article, Joe wryly comments during the first launch at Nats he gave a “short prayer of thanks to that Wisconsin cow.”
Joe’s Certificate of Record awarded by the NAA for the 49 minute 40 second flight.

Joe’s Certificate of Record awarded by the NAA for the 49 minute 40 second flight. Source: National Model Aviation Museum, related to 1984.20.03, scan of the copied original.
BuzzardCertificate.jpg
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The Buzzard Bombshell design had been the winner of a Buzzards Club of Chicago contest for the best design to use for a club project and mass flights. Gordon Christoph was a member of the Buzzards, and also the owner of the Aircraft Co. kit company. Because the design had been a club thing, Aircraft Co. was the company that received the design and kitted the model. At the time, though, Joe was working for Comet. Rumors indicate that Comet wasn’t very happy when Joe shared the Buzzard Bombshell design with Aircraft and not them.
The ad for Aircraft’s Buzzard Bombshell kit that appeared in Air Trails, November 1940.
AirTrailsNov40Buzzardad.jpg
The ad for Aircraft’s Buzzard Bombshell kit that appeared in Air Trails, November 1940. Magazine can be found in the National Model Aviation Museum Library Collection.
download/file.php?mode=view&id=1641
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The July 1941 issue of A Boys’ Life described Joe’s flight, “Joe’s ship made a perfect take-off, grabbed a honey of a rising air current, or thermal, and stayed aloft for a forty nine minute official flight. By a trick wind shift, the plane drifted more than a mile away from the contest field, then circled around and came back for a perfect landing in front of the judges.”
Joe’s flight beat Carl Goldberg and his Zipper and Sailplane designs.

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Joe fixed the covering and made some repairs to the model before it was donated in 1984. He donated it in memory of the Buzzards Club of Chicago, Illinois and its members: Grace and Gordon Christoph, Bill Englehardt, Harry Guenther, Shirley and Bill Klumb, Martha, Rita, Ed and Joe Konefes, Bill Lackey, Louis Lewald, Harb Maas, Ed Manthey, Les Paetz, Dick Scheffner, Mary Lou and Al Thorwaldsen and Joe Trefny.A close-up of the Buzzard logo on the fuselage of the Buzzard Bombshell.
Buzzardlogo.jpg
Many thanks to Ed Konefes and Dan Kane, Sr. for sharing their memories of Joe and the Buzzard Bombshell with the AMA Museum.[
Last edited by Neons on Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Bob Pacheco

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Re: A Buzzard Bombshell. - 1940 - My Acquisition Buzzard Copy

Post by Neons » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:33 pm

My auction purchase was a very reasonable cost. But that is what auctions are for. Find them pennies on the dollar. I looked the plane over and I saw some kind of a nitro motor on the plane. It did not ring a bell in my mind at that sight. I was going to tear the plane apart and electrify it anyway. I just wanted to modify an old classic plane. So up it went for sale and very few people were interested in the model so I won the plane.

After I transported it home and looked it over I discovered the motor was a cut up nitro motor and the plane was already made into an electric flyer. It was a real botched up amateur job. That was a shocker and it fooled me as bad as it was. I was just going to make plane have more and better mods to my standards.
Buzzard 7.jpg
The initial picture above, you will notice the motor first. See how high it sits over the prop center line? Look. No carburetor. I will fix that.

Below are multiple views of the plane as purchased 1 year ago. There were some more problems to remedy on this plane.
Attachments
Buzzard 10.jpg
Buzzard 5.jpg
Buzzard 4.jpg
Buzzard 1.jpg
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Re: A Buzzard Bombshell. - Plans Old and New

Post by Neons » Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:56 pm

Here are the specifics of the plane. Plans are easily found by Googling. These are demos.
Buzzard Bombshell Model (1).pdf
Updated Plan with a 4stroke motor
(1.03 MiB) Downloaded 39 times
This plan above is a updated RC plan showing a modern 4 stroke motor.
Attachments
buzzard-bombshell-a.jpg
Buzzard jpg.jpg
buzzard bombshell b.jpg
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Re: A Buzzard Bombshell. - 1940 AMA National Record Holder by Joe Konefes

Post by Neons » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:47 am

Looking inside the Buzzard ther was no battery tray. I would need some room for a battery in the 2650 size in 3 or 4s depending on the power needed.
4-3-2016 Battery Revision (0).jpg
This is a bottom view with 2 covers removed . 1 small cover was forward and the battery was just pushed in and floating free. The longer rear cover was over the servos and has the landing gear mounted to it.

The only way to get the battery in was on an angle. A plywood rectangular box is made.
4-3-2016 Battery Revision (2).jpg
4-3-2016 Battery Revision (1).jpg
After the box is made there were holes cut out or drilled to allow air circulation around the batteries. The box top has to be cut on an angle to allow the cover to close it all in.
4-3-2016 Battery Revision (3).jpg
4-3-2016 Battery Revision (4).jpg
4-3-2016 Battery Revision (5).jpg
The Buzzard was test flown and it flew pretty well but still needed morework on the power system. The Esc seemed to small as it was getting warm. The motor is next.
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Re: A Buzzard Bombshell. - A New Monster Power25 Brushless Motor

Post by Neons » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:58 am

The motor that came with the plane was not enough power and it was just about enough power to climb fast. The new motor was a beast in flight. On 4s it would climb nonstop vertical very fast on a 4s battery. On a 3s battery it was just right for good flights. I put in a 50 amp Esc that was rated for 3-4s batteries also.

Exceed-RC MonsterPower Series 25 (870kv) Monster Power OutRunner Brushless Motor!
http://www.exceedrc.com/63m52.html
Exceed-RC's Monster Power Series motors give a .25 size model the clean quiet convenience of electric power with an emphasis on power and durability. Pitted against any other their equivalent glow engine counterparts, this lightweight, high torque, high output motor will more than satisfy the most power hungry pilot.

Model #: Monster Power 25 (63M52)
C3548 KV: 870Kv
Input Watts: 550W
Resistance: .03 ohms
Idle Current: 2.40A
Continuous Current: 32A
Max Burst Current: 44A
Cells Ni-Cd/Ni-MH: 10-14
Cells Li-Po: 3-4
Weight: 6.0 oz (170g)
Overall Diameter: 1.4 in (35mm)
Shaft Diameter: .16 in (4mm)
Overall Length: 1.90 in (48mm)

Recommendations Only:
40A - 45A ESC
3S - 4S Li-Po
10 - 14 Cell Ni-MH/Ni-Cd
11x8 to 14x7 Prop
Bob Pacheco

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Re: A Buzzard Bombshell. - A Convincing Dummy Motor

Post by Neons » Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:28 am

Now for the dummy engine to make it look the part. Being the motor crankcase was high it just did not look correct closely. I removed the wood mount and lowered it as far as I could without rubbing on the brushless motor. I hack sawed the crankase even with the motor stock mounts. Then I Dremeled out the rear remnants of the back of the motor. Next I sat the motor on the wood mount and turned the brushless motor to make sure there was clearances. Next the wood mount was glued in place and the motor mounted.
4-7-2016 Buz Dummmy Carb (2).jpg
4-7-2016 Buz Dummmy Carb (1).jpg
The carburetor had to be built out of a turned hardwood on my small lathe. In addition I added a use needle valve assembly from my used parts bin and also added an old worn fuel line and filter added to the motor. Further work was to paint the wood and the cylinder head to match the worn motor. I still have no idea what the make of the motor is. The exhaust has screw holes for a muffler which makes it look new also. Years ago there were no mufflers.
4-7-2016 Buz Dummmy Carb (5).jpg
4-7-2016 Buz Dummmy Carb (6).jpg
Now I have the worn out look. The flights were very good now with the exception of the free wheeling prop. I may change the ESC and set it so it brakes the prop next on a compression stroke look.

Finally I fund some matching covering in transparent red and yellow. I was able to remove all the silver Monokote from the bottom of the wing. It now matches the top wing and allows the sun to glow through the wing.
Attachments
4-2017-New Transparent bottom .jpg
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