Darlington man waiting for take-off clearance for massive radio controlled model 747

Andrew Herzfeld with the Boeing 747 model aircraft he has built. The maiden flight will take place at a full size airfield in Wagin or Wyalkatchem in early November. Picture: Bruce Hunt
Andrew Herzfeld with the Boeing 747 model aircraft he has built. The maiden flight will take place at a full size airfield in Wagin or Wyalkatchem in early November. Picture: Bruce Hunt

THERE won’t be much leg room for passengers when Australia’s, and one of the world’s, largest radio-controlled model jumbo jet takes to the skies for its maiden flight next month.

It has taken two years for Darlington model enthusiast Andrew Herzfeld to build the sophisticated 747-400 jumbo jet model from scratch using a scaled down plan of the full size aircraft.

“The jet is 5.6m in length, weighs in at 65kg and is powered by four miniature jet engines which produce 56kg of thrust,” he said.

“The aircraft is made from polystyrene foam, balsa wood, plywood, fibreglass, carbon fibre, lots of coffee and elbow grease.

“It is driven by a highly sophisticated 28 channel computerised remote control system and has 44 on-board electronic components to drive the flight controls and features fully retractable undercarriage, brakes, navigation lighting system and on-board computers to monitor and control the four jet engine systems.

“It carries 20 litres of aviation fuel on-board which will allow for a flight time of around 15 minutes.”

Andrew Herzfeld with the Boeing 747 model. Picture: Bruce Hunt

Mr Herzfeld said the jet was undergoing extensive ground testing and would require a mandatory pre-flight inspection before its maiden flight, which will be at a full-sized airfield in either Wagin or Wyalkatchem.

“The model has undergone an extensive certification process and has been thoroughly inspected by a certified Giant Model inspector at every stage of the build,” he said.

“Although every calculation has been made there are a still a few unknowns which may determine the success of the first flight.

“Things can happen very quickly and there is only a short amount of time to get the feel of aircraft before having to attempt a landing.”

The model will be on display at the WA Model Aircraft Sports Centre Expo on November 4 and 5.

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