The Bridi "Vagabond"

One thing that has been missing from my gaggle of models is a true "pattern" airplane - Something that flies like it is on rails and goes exactly where you point it. Of course I will look to the past first for just about anything and after a bit of searching on the web I found that BlueJay Airplane Kits is selling all the old Bridi classics like the Kaos, Dirty Birdy and such (Find them here: Bridi kits at BlueJay). I decided on the Vagabond because I always thought that even as awesome and iconic the Kaos is, it needed a little more style. After doing a little research I also fount that the Kaos won't hold a "knife-edge" maneuver very well (flying rolled over 90deg using only the rudder and fuselage for lift) because of its small fuselage profile. Because of that, many folks back in the day were adding a rounded top to the fuselage or "turtle-deck" to give a bit more lifting area and that helped the performance. It is my guess that Joe Bridi got wind of that and designed a model to incorporate that turtle deck and that is the Vagabond. It has that classic '70s style low-wing, wire tricycle landing gear. I purchased the kit and started to work on it. Construction is straight forward and it went together pretty fast. My only modifications were to add a real ply dihedral brace and closing up the nose for the electric motor. For the color scheme I wanted to try a technique of stitching the covering's different colored pieces together before applying. This way there weren't several overlapping pieces ending up with several layers of covering. I also wanted a look from that period so, thinking of my 70's Sunfish sailboat which has a "sunburst" sail, I went with a sunburst scheme in white, yellow, lt orange, orange, and red. I also found a great 70's style font and cut out the script letters "Vagabond" for the right wing. The material is Ultracote - one of the best and easiest coverings to work with. I wouldn't have even tried this with some over coverings.

 

It is powered by an AXI 2826-12 outrunner and I'm still working to increase the output a bit. I would like to be maxed out just over 600W, but I think I'm falling a little short of that and the current battery is a bit too heavy. Even with that, it flies really well - straight and true. It was a fun project and a great airplane for just boring holes in the sky!

 

Specs are as follows:

Below are some photos: