Welcome to Tord's world!

Here I am with a Zagi THL in my hand for size comparison and my latest project, the fantastic, fan-powered, fabulous, the one-and-only Mongojet! 

My name is Tord S Eriksson, I live in Gothenburg (Göteborg), Sweden, and my main interests are birdwatching, aeronautics and aircraft design, including RC-controlled model aircraft (which is the only kind I can afford at the moment).

I love to design and modify my model aircraft, test what goes and what does not, what flies well and what doesn't. This progress was very slow, as was my progress as a model flyer, till I stumbled onto the world of foamies, and flying wings. No aircraft has fewer parts than a flying wing, and is it a foamie wing it builds fast and can very quickly be repaired, even outdoors, as you only need some tape and some glue.

After a near fatal accident in Scotland 1990 I decided I should treasure each day as it comes, and do the things I wanted to do, if I could. Due to Fortune I had a computer that could get me into contact with fellow computer enthusiasts and until I could walk again this kept me alive - first by mailing friends the conventional way all over the world, then by BBS-ing and then came the glorious world of the internet and emails, where I found even more friends and interesting websites.

So me, a seasoned busdriver, went back to school; studied at the university, managing a BA in journalism; but the local papers didn't want a 45 year old rookie, so eventually, after eight years of studies, physical training and operations, I was back driving buses, albeit under quite different circumstances than before - we were now a deregulated branch, where competiton and slim organisations are the buzz words - to me they equal no reserves if something breaks down, or someone get sick, or attacked, inhumane treatment of passengers and personnel, and absolutely unrealistic planning of timetables and ... , but we'll leave it at that for now. This site is about what's fun in life! Break-neck competition at work isn't!

Well, during the years of recuperations I learned eventually (after many false starts during the previous decades) how to fly a model aircraft (yes, I did enlist to a local club and got some very useful help, to get me going) - far more complex to do than fly a full-size glider, I learned the hard way. Pretty soon I turned to motorizing my gliders as the local area isn't ideal for gliders, too close to the cold Kattegatt and Skagerack Straits and really no slopes that can be used with anything but foamies. Pretty soon primitive conversions to electric - plus one or two four-stroke conversions - appeared among my flying toys, but it wasn't till I stumbled over flying wings and foamies that I really began to enjoy myself. But I do fly built-up models, too, as can be seen further on!

And now it was easier to modify the aircraft to my own ideas, foam being an excellent building material and the foam models being close to indestructable!

Below are some photos of foamies and electric models I saw last May in the UK, while on my first longer vacation in nine years, plus some photos of my latest project, the world's first (not quite, but almost) successful electric fan-powered foamie flying wing.


This is David Theunissen's famous Fly Baby, in 1/3 scale! This aircraft was one of the highlights at last year's Electric Fly-in at Winchester, UK (May, 1999). This plane was a revelation to me - big is beautiful! Powered by a geared Astro 90, and has a 9 ft span.

Closeup of the above' cockpit.

This little Blenheim twin from Balsacraft flew very well - uses two 600s.

Another star performer was this scratchbuilt Stirling, flown, built and designed by Frank Buckland. Uses four 600s. In the background Andy Palmer's Saab J21.

Balsacraft's Pete Nicholson showed up with a huge FW-190 powered by an Aveox LMR16 and 16 cells. This had, midly put, STOL capacity! In flight it looked like the real thing. Very crisp in the air and still seemingly docile during take off and landing.

Pete's FW190 getting ready to take off - note that it hasn't yet been painted! Overpowered with the Aveox LMR16, according to Pete, even if flown with just 14 cells. The batteries reside in two pockets each side of the motor - lift the hatch over the engine's cowl-mounted guns and you have ready access to the two packs (2 x 7-8 RC2000) - this makes the weight very concentrated and the aircraft very nimble! Sadly no longer among us - R.I.P., glorious plane!

Ivinghoe Beacon, north of London (approximately halfway to Oxford) is a huge ridge sticking out of the flat surroundings. Had my first really long flights with my Zagi THL there - all alone (May 1999)!

The Beacon used to be a military site, and explosives might still lurk in the bushes!

My powered Zagi THL as it once looked: Speed 400, 7.2V, and 4:1 gearbox, 11 x 8" Graupner folder, powered by a 8 x 500AR pack. Not as speedy as the Zagi 400, but a lot of fun flying at half-span height through soccer goals, or slowly climbing to over 600 ft altitude! Has since seen lots of other power installations, including brushless fans. Not easy to loop perfectly!

Larry Clark, of San Diego, with my powered Zagi on a very cold day 1999.

I think this is what is called a Roughneck, a popular British Combat foamie. Some have even grown a glow engine in the nose!

This tattered Zagi was seen at the Beacon as well, and it still flew well, amazingly enough!

This began as a Flair Attila, built by my friend, the master craftsman Kenneth Ankarklint, but my vigorous flying destroyed the wing - had it had basswood spars it probably would still be flying in it's original guise. Covering on the original wing and fuselage was Litespan, a nice but slightly sensitive covering. First it flew with a 600 and 8-10 cells, but intereference problems (with ensuing crashes) made me change to an old and worn OS FS-26S. Here it is seen with a inflight-adjustable wing (borrowed from a demised ElectriCub).

Amazing how an aircraft's character varies with its rigging. With a huge decalage it flew as a tired Wakefield, while with the decalage at a minimum it was a pure speed demon! Ended its days in the top of a huge tree, after power failure during a STOL start! Flew roughly the same way if flown with elevator fixed and incidence changed (as per a Flying Flea), or if flown conventionally, with the elevator only! Rest in peace, ol' boy!

Here are some pictures of my Mongojet during construction:

The bottom has two 3 mm Cf rods across - a better choice would have maybe been two thin CF tubes of greater diameter - but I use what I had.

First trial installation of the 600 fan (Graupner Order Nr. 1374), with a 400 fan beside it, for comparison.

The top has two 2 mm CF rods running parallel with the leading edge, glued in place with 3M77. This was later proved to be too weak a glue, so hot glue was added the last few inches towards the centre. The 2" wide 'fuselage' is a piece of EPP, seen here with the cutouts for the power battery, the rx and rx battery showing up as whiter than the taped surroundings. The short reinforcements across are scrap pieces of CF tubes, to prevent the 'fuselage' from crumbling during flight loads. Instead the 2 mm rods inner ends worked loose from the styrofoam, resulting in the most butterfly-like flutter I've seen. My THLs flutters like Manta Rays, by the way! Easily repaired, just some hot glue and new covering over the centre!

I have as yet never flown a more docile aircraft, big and yet nible, no problem with torque, as with my powered THL which never looped the loop perfectly: And as fast as any fan-powered plane I've seen, at least when having gotten some altitude. I launch it with 25 ft of Mark Navarre's black surgical tubing, and 25 ft of kevlar line - I use kevlar as it is much easier to keep that tidy than a normal terylene line!

I can be contacted via email: tord@mindless.com, phone: +46 31 52 98 58, or +46 736 77 88 96, or via snailmail at: Tord S. Eriksson, Övralidsg. 25:5, S-422 47 Hisings Backa, Sweden

Welcome back another time to Tord's world!

All pictures and text copyright Tord S. Eriksson, August 2000 -
may not be commericially spread in any form without
permission from said person.