After the succesful maiden flight of the Juliet2, and with the Tundra busy with our aerial photography experiments, it has come the moment to look forward. Unfortunately this also means we need to make space for the next projects, and say goodbye to A1-C. But we are not going to ruin the surprise about what will be next here. Besides, this post is just to celebrate the end of the Juliet’s flying days.
The original Juliet has been without a doubt the longest project we had completed so far. With its 20 years between design and construction (and re-design and re-constructions), it has been around pretty much since we started the hobby. But as we learn new things everyday, we see now how we should improve A1-C at many levels. Too many levels. Although a part of me would love to give this little plane a new life with a full cycle of upgrades, I also believe it’s not wise to keep fiddling with an almost 20 years old wooden structure. Besides 16 months of fearless flight activity, even in conditions which grounded pretty much anything else at the field, this little airframe survived all kinds of abuse during year of careless storage. I think it’s just enough, so thanks and goobye, A1-C.
A nice retirement plan
Being a still airworthy airframe, there are of course options when it comes to say goodbye to the A1-C. I just don’t feel like selling a plane that meant so much to us, or even scrapping it. That is why it is now back at my parent’s house, where the adventure started two decades ago. There it can keep company to other models, like the Kosmo3s, the first kit I built together with my dad when I was a kid.
To prepare the plane for long term storage, I removed the radio equipment, along with the motor, ESC and external BEC circuit. Only the servos are left on the plane, because they are so old there will be no practical use for them in any of our projects. At the end, we also removed the main landing gear to make it easier to hang it on the wall, and fabricated a long shaft to fix the propeller in place without the motor.
Will the Juliet fly again?
To make it short, it’s very, very unlikely. As I said there is a lot to do to update and improve the model itself, and even after that, it will still not give the same performance of a new, never-repaired, freshly-designed plane. In the end, even if nobody knows what the future will bring, the A1-D (and its descendants) will be the one keeping the Juliet name alive for the coming years. Nonetheless, as we salvaged a few components, parts of it will probably fly again in a way or another.
It’s time to close this chapter. This is the plane that brought us back in the air, after over a decade away from the field. It also managed to survive through our slow learning process. Now it has the honorable retirement it deserves, and from there it will be able to inspire the family’s new generations for years to come.
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