Round The Pole

Last update: JUL 14, 2017

After several years of thinking about doing some RTP flying myself and recently taking up electronics as a second hobby, I came up with the idea of taking RTP into the 21st century by designing a scoring system for RTP fun competitions.  It was great fun to make and cost me very little using mostly junk lying around the workshop.  This is the prototype shown below. When I get around to it I will design a more sophisticated system with a lot more features.

You will see some videos below of our test flights outdoors. Here in Tasmania it is very rare to get absolutely still air and this causes the planes to climb and dive each lap with the danger of eventually diving into the ground and damaging the planes.  The only indoor venues we have have found  want too much to hire - $14.00 to $18.00 per hour. We tried it a couple of times but it becomes very expensive and takes the fun away from enjoying an otherwise very cheap form of aeromodelling. We are still looking for a suitable site.
If you find this interesting and want more information, please either leave a comment below or contact me via email and I will post all the details of how you can make your own. 

The Complete Pole.

The Business End.

Closeup of the Timing / Lap Counters.

Two Speed Controllers.

Screen at power on.

Screen at power on

Race Option. Times two aircraft and counts their laps at the same time.
LEDs on right illuminate when each plane has finished it's laps.

The Carrier Deck Option. Counts 10 laps at the highest possible flight speed.
Alerts the pilot by buzzer and LED that the laps are complete then times and counts
another 10 laps which the pilot must fly at the slowest possible speed.

Part of the Carrier Deck scores showing the High Speed Laps time and
the Low Speed Laps time. Final points score is displayed also.

My version of a Kookaburra Models Thunderbolt.
C/L conversion.

The power plant from an old GWS electric R/C model.
Heaps of grunt!!

My Messerschmitt

Owen Cameron's solidly built "combat" model.

Owen Cameron's modified version of a Mills Mite C/L model.

First test flight with a Voltswagon.

Owen's Pole. It doesn't have to be fancy and it works great.

The Electramite. The lines are Cat 5 (or Cat 6) comms cable, stripped
down to two conductors.

A Slot car controller can be used on it's own without a
separate speed controller.

Video of the Electramite's test flight.

Just found this on Hobby King's site.....

Click here to watch the video.

Electric RTP Flying

Credit for this booklet goes to "aeromuddle" & Hip Pocket Aeronautics.

1952 Electric Round The Pole Exhibition, Launceston,

1952 RTP exhibit, Royal Hobart Show.
1952 Electric Round The Pole Exhibit,
Royal Hobart Show, Tasmania
Round The Pole DC3, 1950

Round The pole Bristol Freighter, 1950.
Download the Bristol Freighter plans. Click Here.

Photos from Ken De Bomford.

Round The Pole Plans

Thanks goes to Chris Murphy for submitting the following listing:- 

I have added some links to the items for those people who do not have access to the older AEROMODELLER magazines.  More links will be added when they become available.


List of RTP articles and plans in Aeromodeller Magazine.
December, 1939       p46-47       Pole Flying by W.A.Edwards.
January, 1941           p49–50      Why Not a Spot of Pole Flying? By C.A Rippon.
January, 1944           p95             R.T.P. Control by I. D. Jenkins.
February, 1953         p 114-115  200 MPH At Knee Level? By W. Tinker (Jetex RTP).
January, 1964           p26-31,35   Electric RTP scale Fokker Eindekker, built up construction with geared                                                         motor, 22” span.
March, 1964            p135-139    IC Cox TD .010 powered RTP combat pair, Ju87 Stuka and Spitfire, all                                                      sheet, full sized plan, with pole details.
April,1965              p180-181    Electric RTP’ An introductory article with ideas on motors and equipment.
May 1967               p244-245   ‘Whip power’ Unpowered RTP flown from an operator held pole; with                                                          suggestions for trim, loading and tether arrangements.
November,1967     p584-585    Mitsubishi Type 10 and Wright Martin M-8 Cox TD .010 powered scaled                                                    RTP designs from APS. Plan # RTP 942
March, 1969           p134-135    ‘Electric RTP models’-an overview article.
April, 1971             p180            Conversion of Guillows 25-3/4” FW 190 rubber scale model to electric                                                        RTP.
April, 1974             p189-193    ‘Electric RTP’-an article with comprehensive coverage.
September, 1975    p855-857     Electric RTP aerobatic flying.
March, 1976          p136-138     APS plan for 6 all sheet profile scale RTP designs with accompanying                                                            article (also recommended wiring for twin engine models). Plan #                                                                   RTP1276.
June 1977              p346-348     Kit review of Harry Butler (Models) RTP range.
December, 1977    p702-703    ‘RTP-4’ APS plan set for 4 beginners RTP designs. Plan # RTP1329.
January, 1979        p22-24         RTP 4 part series by Derek Farman: Pt 1-General article on RTP.
February, 1979      p90-92          Pt2Profile scale RTP Gee Bee Super sportster (p91) and RTP trim                                                               troubleshooting chart.
March, 1979          p168-169     Pt3: converting kits, building from plans.
April, 1979            p232-233     Pt4: scratch building, in-line engines, retractable undercarriages, bomb                                                          dropping, in-flight elevator. control
March, 1980          p149-151     RTP goodyear racer plan and article.
July, 1981              p350-353     APS plan and article for RTP ducted fan BAe146 scale model. Plan #                                                           RTP1419.
March, 1984          p118-121      Detailed article on RTP with power supply circuit, pole construction detail,                                                    and full size profile scale Fokker Eindekker plan.
August, 1984         p380-382      Electric C/L including RTP-C/L with remote piloting.
October, 1984       p503-505     ‘Midge’ RTP aerobatic model, fullsize centerfold pullout plan.
December, 1984    p622-623     Ballards RTP ‘Helldiver’ kit review.
November, 1985   p624-625     APS plan and article for RTP 1911 Avro triplane. Plan # AM1501.
January, 1986        p28-38         RTP foursome, fullsize centerfold pullout plans.
April, 1986            p235           ‘Fast Phred’ .010-.020 IC RTP racer, reduced size plan with brief                                                                 accompanying article including suggested speed competition rules.
August, 1991         p454-457     Fairey ‘Fulmar’ RTP, full size plan.
December, 1992    p25-26,35   ‘Barnstormer’ aerobatic RTP biplane.
December, 1993    p38-40         Peter Lambert article on advanced RTP setup used in Tasmania.
May 1994              p10-11         RTP Mosquito, free pullout centerfold plans.
June 1994              p14-15         RTP flight training in Tasmania, using control system mimicking full size light                                                  aircraft control and feedback instrumentation.
September, 1994   p14-16        APS plan for 29” RTP scale Cessna 172. Plan # AM1764.
December, 1994   p26, 35       ‘Gyrolec’ RTP autogyro plan and article.
March, 1995         p44-47        DF RTP Comprehensive article by Peter Lambert on ducted fans for                                                           electric RTP.
June 1995              p18-20      `18” span fully built up RTP scale Sopwith Pup by D.Beavor.
October, 1996       p34-37      APS plan and article for RTP Hawker harrier ducted fan with vectorable                                                       thrust adjustment. Plan # AM1823.
July, 2000              p16-17       RTP Boulton Paul Defiant and Dornier Do17 profile scale pair, fullsize                                                         centerfold pullout plans.
September, 2000   p21-23       RTP autogyro for RE360 size motor.

  1. Aeromodeller’ was originally published as a volume over 12 months, and the page numbering ran consecutively from Jan through to Dec; this was subsequently dropped in the late 80s to a more conventional numbering with each separate issue starting at ‘1’-this is why some references above have page numbers in the high hundreds occur (it’s not a misprint!)
  2. APS’ means the Aeromodeller ‘in-house’ plans service, plans were given a code indicating the type of category-eg FSR ‘Flying Scale Rubber’, C/L ‘control line’, ‘PET’ (not intuitively recognizable as FF Sports power!) and RTP not surprisingly as RTP. This system became unwieldy in the 1980s as the publishing empire grew, and ‘aeromodeller’ plans were then simply designated as ‘AM’…..
-the numbering being simply in publishing order-so in the references above you can find RTP models identified by plan number as ‘RTP abcd’ or simply as ‘AM abcd’ –depending on the era when they were first published.
  1. Harry Butler(Models)’ was the first large scale specialist supplier of RTP equipment in the UK from the early 1970s onwards, until the business was bought out/taken over/absorbed into Ballards RTP. The equipment, plans and kits are largely unchanged-though the range of kits is considerably reduced from former days.

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