I just wanted to do a quick follow up post on the new “KF Condor RC Plane” that I posted video of on our YouTube Channel. A few months ago I bought the book Dick Kline wrote, “The Ultimate Paper Airplane” . It’s the book where Mr. Kline tells his story of how his paper airplanes lead him and his friend Floyd Fogleman to the invention of the “KF Airfoil”. It’s a really good book that tells about the theory of why the airfoil works and also tells about it’s wide range of flying benefits. The book tells of the many shows and articles that Dick Kline was interviewed on and for. From David Letterman to 60 minutes, Omni Magazine and so on. His airfoil was even tested by NASA. Dick Kline also has a patent for this awesome invention.
There are many people who have tried the KF Airfoil with good positive results, including my brother Frank and myself. We have both noticed a real difference when comparing similar planes with and without the KF Airfoil. The biggest good benefit I noticed was the slow speed stability of the KF airfoil equipped wing. Also the KF wing was much more responsive, I believe because the KF airfoil keeps the air over the control surfaces better. This is all just my theory, but something we at rcFoamFighters want to explore more. And thankfully we have a new, good friend to help us, Mr. Dick Kline himself.
So, having said that, my next project I have decided to build with a KF airfoil will be a plane inspired by one of Dick Kline’s Paper Airplanes, The Condor. This plane will basically feature a KFm2 airfoil to resemble the wing of the paper airplane. I really like the look of this paper Airplane because it is unique with the smaller wings on top and rear of the fuselage. So I have drawn up a basic template for the plane in AutoCAD and I am now beginning to build the plane, so please watch our YouTube channel to see how it all goes.
Below I just wanted to share some pictures and a short write up Dick Kline himself sent me about his amazing plane, the Condor.
(below picture) Dick Kline with his Condor paper Airplane and a Wright Bros Replica Model
(Short email about the Condor from Dick Kline)
Here’s the brief story on The Condor.
When I developed my first stepped airfoil, it had the step on the bottom. I was pleased with the way it flew, but like so many of us, I wanted to experiment some more once I nailed down the step on the bottom. When I placed it on the top I found out that it produced higher lift than the one on the bottom. It would climb higher and travel a longer distance. Later tests at Notre Dame confirmed that the step on the top was able to generate higher lift over drag. I then played around with placing the elevators on the upper surface just in front of the rudder. After many different experiments and many different flights I had perfected The Condor, which would be the plane I would use to challenge the Wright Brothers distance record. In spite of very strong winds coming in off Cape Hatteras, I was successfully able to outdistance the distance record for the first manned flight of 122 feet. I did this in 1985 down in Kill Devil Hills, NC right on the spot where the Wright Brothers first flew. My distance was 401 feet, four inches. On the fourth flight that day of the Wright Brothers historic flight they traveled quite a bit further, so I was lucky that their first flight was just 122 feet.
Here is the data from the wind tunnel at Notre Dame. It would have been a lot higher if we had a rounded leading edge and a little camber. But we were interested in seeing exactly what the step produced by itself. Later, everyone would follow this configuration out the window and get poor results. This was our big mistake. But we also knew at that time that the step worked in different configurations and we couldn’t patent them all. All we wanted was to patent a step in the hopes that it would produce stall resistance to other airfoils. All the experts trashed this idea as too high in drag, yet the KFm4, with a step on the top and a step on the bottom, increases the speed of the wing. If the drag was so high, how could this be?
All in all, it has been a wonderful adventure and I feel very grateful and lucky for it. I have come in contact with many truly wonderful people in the RC community. From my perspective, the world could take some lessons from the RC people on how to work together, how to openly share information and knowledge freely and produce an environment of creativity and experimentation. This way everyone benefits and the learning curve climbs way up for everyone.
The gentleman who conducted these tests at Notre Dame was Professor John D. Nicolaides, the first head of NASA.”
Another picture of a version of the Condor
Here is a picture of the RC Plane I plan to make. Note that the RC plane will more resemble the Condor Paper Airplane version as pictured in Dick Kline’s book “The Ultimate Paper Airplane”. The Verison in the book appears to have a little different tail and the small wings on top of the rear of the fuselage appear to be larger. Anyway, here’s my attempted to make a plane in the style of the Condor.