The 21st Charles Hampson Grant Memorial International Mass Launch Of Cloud Tramps, 2015.

Saturday, August 1, 2015.

The 21st Charles Hampson Grant Memorial International Mass Launch of Cloud Tramps was flown this morning at 9 AM. This is an annual event in the free flight model aviation community to remember and thank Charlie Grant for his many important contributions to model aviation. The Cloud Tramp of August 1954 is a descendant of Charlie’s Stability Test Model of 1930, which demonstrated the required design features to produce a stable flying rubber powered airplane. The Cloud Tramp is a 22″ span, rubber band powered model with sheet balsa wings and a hand carved balsa prop. It is capable of five minute flights in still air.

I made two flights this morning with my 1/2 size Cloud Tramp. I got shaky videos of both flights, they did not go as planned.

The first flight was planned to make a nice left circle with the plane in view for the entire flight. The plane shot straight away, flying right over a group of dogs, who started after it. I set off at a run, so the camera is very unsteady. It finished turning right. Flight time was just shy of half a minute. The person who asks “Is that a rubber band powered airplane?” got a full description of the plane and the event after I retrieved the plane and assured that it would be safe from the dogs. The lady in the group said the dogs were saying “BIRD! LOW FLYING BIRD!” and “Let’s get it! What kind of bird is that? I’ve never seen one like that before.”

For the second flight of the morning, I twisted the wing to get a consistent circle. It still got away from me and I started running, so the camera is very unsteady. It did circle back, so I was able to stop and get a short few seconds of clear flying, before the wind drifted it into the nearby trees. Flight was just shy of a quarter minute. The wind drift got too much for further flights. I’ve lost too many planes that way. I had to go across the street to find a tree branch in someone’s yard waste pile to get my plane down from the tree.

Plane is 11″ span, made of 1/32″ sheet balsa, weighs 2.9 grams. Hand carved 4″ balsa prop. Motor is a 12 3/4″ loop of 0.037″ x 0.042″ Tan rubber. I put 2,060 turns into the rubber, about 85% of maximum, to keep the plane from flying away. On full winds of 2,400 turns, it would have climbed over the tree tops and drifted into some anonymous back yard.

To learn more about Charlie Grant, the Cloud Tramp and the Memorial International Mass Launch of Cloud Tramps, visit the Cloud Tramp Home Page at

If you flew in the event and would like to be listed in the official tally, report to Mike Parker at

Also visit my Cloud Tramp pages at EndlessLift here…

I used the 1/2 size plane because I broke the prop on the full size plane. I have run into all kinds of trouble replacing it; finding balsa of the required density, finding that the hand jig for drilling the hole was not precise enough, finding that the table saw was slightly out of square in both directions, finding that the thickness of a pencil line could put the blade angles off by one degree. I want to measure prop performance, so precise angles are important. It gets discouraging after ruining so many blocks of balsa wood. I think I have all the problems worked out. Now I must get busy with saws, knife and sandpaper.

Thank you Charlie!

2 thoughts on “The 21st Charles Hampson Grant Memorial International Mass Launch Of Cloud Tramps, 2015.

  1. Wendy and I flew ours at Blakeney, Norfolk, England. It was a touch breezy so we stuck with 150 turns and they both did 20 seconds. If that’s OK, could you add us to the results list? Ta!
    Ray Millard.

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