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Bride of Gonzo

March 01, 2016

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Bride of Gonzo

Bride of Gonzo

Completed March 2004


Airfield Models ( Specifications and Equipment

Wing Span: 51"
Chord: 10"
Wing Area: 510 square inches
Aspect Ratio: 5.1:1
Weight: 31 ounces
Wing Loading: 8.75 oz./sq. ft.
Length: 33-3/8" from back of propeller to elevator hinge line
Engine: O.S. .15 CV-A / PJS 1000
Transmitter: Futaba 8UHP
Receiver: Hitec Micro 555 5-Channel / 3-Cell Li-Poly
Battery: 4.8v, 300 mA NiCad
Servos (3): Elevator, Rudder and Throttle Hitec HS-85

Bride of Gonzo Flight Video

Bride of Gonzo Flight Videobride_of_gonzo_01.wmv
(26 MB)

This video shows Bride of Gonzo on her first or second time out after converting her to electric power.

The wild take-off at the beginning of this video is not how you want your plane to begin its flight.

The plane turned cross-wind to a fairly stiff wind.  Mike was at the controls and his choices were to back off the power and let the plane cartwheel across the field or stay with it.

It's is not a pretty take-off, but I think he made the right choice.  Had he pulled back the power, there's no telling how much damage there would have been.

If you watch the entire video, you can see that the PJS motor gives her power to spare.  She can do consecutive loops from level flight and sustain a vertical climb-out even several minutes into the flight.

This entire video was one charge of the Li-Poly battery (3-cell, 3000 mAh).  The flight lasted over 20 minutes and there was still good power when the flight was completed.

Other than the hassles of getting an electric system into a model in the first place, I am entirely sold on the virtues of electric power now.


About Bride of Gonzo

Gonzo has led a very tragic life.  It has crashed and survived more times than any other airplane I have ever owned.  Additionally, it has had more than its share of hangar rash to include damage that required parts to be replaced.

In 2002 I spun Gonzo into the ground trying to see how close it could get and pull out.  After repairing the firewall, I did it again and totaled the fuselage.  A new fuselage and tail was built in 2003 and on the first flight I managed to get the plane inverted and couldn't get it upright again.  The subsequent crash destroyed the wing and broke off the tail feathers.

Gonzo's remains sat in a corner until March 2004 when I made the decision to repair the damaged planes that I had sitting around or get rid of them.  As of February 2004 I only had two planes flying - Rustik and My Stik 30.

My Stik 30 had its problems as well and I wanted Rustik to be a fair weather plane, so drastic action was necessary to get my hangar filled.

First, I rebuilt My Stik 30.  Next I built the JGRC Aggressor.  Finally, a new wing was built for Gonzo.  The new fuselage and tail was significantly different from the original and the new wing has a longer span.  Essentially it is a different plane.

I have never liked appending numbers to names, so Gonzo II was ruled out.  Thus Bride of Gonzo was born.



The only differences between Bride of Gonzo and Gonzo are the wing span, moments and tail surfaces, but construction is identical.

The fuselage is slab-sided construction for speedy assembly, but not as light as a built up stick structure, such as Great Gonzo is.

The wing is built using lightened ribs, shear webs and turbulators for the upper third of the airfoil.  It is built in two halves and joined with .75 ounce fiberglass cloth and held to the fuselage with rubber bands.

The tail is conventional stick construction.

The covering on the fuselage is something I have wanted to do for a while, but didn't have a plane that I wanted to experiment on.  Bride of Gonzo isn't the type of plane that I will cry buckets over if I lose it and therefore I didn't mind trying out a finish that I might end up hating.

The finish is comprised of randomly selected scraps of covering that were saved for repairs on various aircraft.  I don't care for how it turned out but I can see that it has potential for someone with a sense of color coordination.

The wing and tail are covered with Oracover Lite transparent red and orange.  The orange is a color I've never used before.  I like the warmth of the color.  Too bad the wing and fuselage don't match.  I think I'll be using the orange again soon on something that I do want to be pretty.

Oracover Lite is an excellent covering.  It conforms very well to all kinds of curves, is extremely light, easy to apply and stays tight.  Additionally, I've had fewer problems with it bubbling up in the Florida sun than any other iron on that I've used.  It is available through Hobby Express.



Bride of Gonzo in flight.Bride of Gonzo flies more like I wanted Gonzo to fly.  It has a lighter wing loading and will hover in a steady breeze.  In fact, Mike Phillips had her hovering at about 40 feet and I walked underneath the plane and got some good flight shots.

So far I only have a handful of flights on the plane and have not managed to find any good thermals, but I suspect she will thermal easily.

Bride of Gonzo Bride of Gonzo Bride of Gonzo Bride of Gonzo
  Bride of Gonzo Bride of Gonzo  


Gonzo - A 3-Channel Radio Control Model Aircraft
Great Gonzo - A 3 to 5 Channel V-Tail RC Aircraft

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Copyright 2004 Paul K. Johnson