This is one of two planes I purchased from Joe Simpson, also known as
"the Clock Man." The plane is made of galvanized sheet
metal and steel. The fusalage is 1/8 steel, and it is a very heavy
craft. It came with a McCoy .35. As you can see, I dubbed the plane
"Beer Can" for lack of another name. The wings are riveted
along the trailing edge, and joined in the center by a airfoil-shaped
block of wood. The fusealge is two halves; the top half is secured to
the lower half with two screws. The one thing missing from this photo
is the little canopy that attaches to the fuselage about mid-chord.
The plane was originally designed to fly clockwise, but I changed
that so it would fly counterclockwise. The fuel tank, which you can
see behind the engine, is a white plastic aspirin bottle. The
original paint scheme is as shown, orange fuselage, orange/white
wings and black elevator. Thinking it would be an improvement, I have
covered part of the orange in stick-on Monokote of about the same
color. It doesn't look very good.
The Beer Can's only flight was on April 29, 1973 at Samuels Field,
the airport serving Bardstown. My logbook states briefly it was one
of three planes we took out there to fly -- Denny Greenwell's Blue
Max, the Beer Can and my Carl Goldberg Lil' Jumpin' Bean. Bennie
Brooks is listed as groundcrew. We flew for about 2 hours, and I
crashed both of my planes that evening. The logbook page has a photo
of the shatter Jumpin' Bean laying on the tarmac at Samuels Field
with my notation it was "tore up, but not real bad."
If memory serves me, the Beer Can's handling characteristics
resembled a brick on the lines. It pulled very hard, and was
difficult to control, due mostly (I believe) to the negative dihedral
(the wings are so heavy they droop). It flew a minute or two before I
lost control and it crashed. The only damage was to the wooden block
the wings were secured to in the fuselage. I replaced that block and
tried to build in postive dehradal (or get the wings as close to
level as possible). In the end, they still droop. I've never seen
another plane quite like the Beer Can.