Lubomir Koutny and the Czech approach

Perhaps you know of Lubomir Koutny, the distinguished Czech free flight modeler. He has been a top competitor for decades and many of his scale model plans have been published. In 2003 his book, "Rubber Powered Models," was published in the Czech language.

Koutny's book is said to be an excellent resource, particularly as it explains the Czech approach to design and construction.

There is a chance that the book will be published in English. This depends on gathering a certain number of pre-orders. If you are interested you will find more information at Minimakety.cz including the author's email address.

But wait, there's more. Bernard Guest is organizing a Koutny cookup at the Hip Pocket Aeronautics Builders' Forum. Participating in this cookup promises to be a good way to learn about Czech style models. Many plans are available including peanuts and 1/20 scale from Michael J. Woodhouse and other sources.

Koutny's P-51H

If you are like me (which is to say relatively new to free flight modeling) you may be asking: What is so special about the Czech approach? Bernard explains some of the basics in this excerpt from the HPA Forum:
1. The wings are quite special...look at the airfoil. It changes from near-scale, semisymetrical at the root (which makes the intersection of the wing a fuselage more scale like) to strongly undercambered at the tip.

2. The wing structure is unusual too in that it uses closely spaced sliced ribs near the center section with the spacing increasing towards the tip (lighter).

3. The fuselage is interesting too of course....all those stringers! Why? Apparently, the main reason is that this yields a much more realistic representation of the metal skinned bird.

4. The propellers are light and made using a hot bending technique that involves taking an airfoiled blade blank and twisting it free hand against a hot iron.

Another Koutny design, the Ki-61 Hien

I am intrigued by this cookup and expect to start building one of the Koutny designs later this summer. Either of the models pictured above, the P-51H or the Ki-61, would be fun to build. I believe the cookup expires in one year, so I have a realistic chance of finishing on time. Anyone else want to join in?

Photos from Openscale reports at Minimakety.cz


flyin_brian said...

Nice commentary, Dave.
I've often seen Lubomir and his creations in old issues of Model Builder...always something new & innovative.

I've built some of the Czech kits from Modela and Hacker, and found them to be of the highest quality.
Extremely well designed and drawn.

I'm in the process of repairing my Hacker Tiger Moth with CO2 power, so it should be back in the air soon.

planecrazy said...

One small note: I'm pretty sure that the undercambered tip airfoils used on a number of the Czech designs are specifically illegal for use in a model that you want to fly in FAC competitions. Check the FAC rules.