There has been at least one plane flying over the Uk in recent days – it was the world’s heaviest remote-controlled aircraft
Model maker Tony Nijhuis has been taking advantage of the empty skies over Britain to fly his very large remote-controlled plane.
With the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud grounding most flights, the 46-year-old was able to fly his replica Boeing B-50 bomber in peace.
Made from balsa wood and plywood, it has a 6m (20ft) wingspan, weighs more than 45kg (7st) and cost about £8,000 to build over two years. In fact it is so big it is classified as a light aircraft.
‘The bigger the planes are, the easier they are to fly’, said consultant engineer Mr Nijhuis, ‘This has elevator control, rudder control, a pneumatically operated undercarriage and the bomb bay doors open and could drop real bombs if you wanted. However, unlike smaller models, if this crashed it would disintegrate. It needs a 50m runway to take off and gets to a speed of about 40mph. Because of its size it is classed as a light aircraft. It had to be tested by the Civil Aviation Authority and requires a certificate to fly it at public shows.’
- The plane is a 7:1 scale model
- It was put together in Mr Nijhuis’s garage and comes in eight pieces that have to be bolted together
- It jets through the air using 96 batteries that power four 4kw electric motors – but not for very long – only 8 minutes before the batteries run out.