Mick Reeves Gangster 63 Light

Mick Reeves Gangster 63 Lite

This was my first model following passing my test (BMFA A Certificate) and I got this as my low wing trainer, it was also my first build since the mid 80's and we are in 2014.

I don't remember too much about this original edition of my Gangster 63 Lite, as it didn't last that long.

The build was uneventful and went together as per plan and my first experience of laser cut parts, covered in Solarfilm and trimmed with Solartrim, looking at these picture it looked ok. I flew it originally on a Irvine 40 in this disguise. It flew like on rails to me the novice pilot.

I had nipped down the field for a quick fly one evening and it had had less than 10 flights in total and I flew it inverted up the strip, as you do, and at the end of the strip pulled up in and bang into the strip it went at full whack. Perhaps I should have put down in which wouldn't have resulted in the final picture you see here.

I can only assume I contemplated the situation for a long time because I have a number of detailed photographs of broken balsa and wing ribs but I fixed the fuselage back together and even made a new foam wing. The interesting thing with this was I used blue foam and veneered it with 180gsm card and covered it with same yellow Solarfilm, for some reason I made wing tips for it to give a nice rounded 30's shape.

This encarnation flew with a Irvine 53 up front and was very lively and flew like this until I got the Mustang and put the Irvine 53 in that and a Super Tigre 46 from the Mustang into the Gangster.

The second event happend on a day when it was quite windy I was pointing into the wind not making headway just floating about 30' up minding my own business so to speak and some thing fluttered from the rear of the plane, it was half a tailplane, without much lateral stabilisation it came to terra firma with a bit of a thump but not much else damaged. I could reconstruct the tailplane using the half I already had so duly cut out the broken tailplane to insert a nice new one. This was when the engine swap came about and when the job was done the Gangster was again pressed into action.

I am guessing months, if not a year or two later, as this became a steed of choice and got lots of use, flying the back leg of a landing approach one day some thing fluttered from the plane and it proceeded to fly tight loops, it eventually hit the ground about 200m over the river in the next field, I lost sight of it when it went below the flood defences so I stopped fighting it and went hands off the tranny, I had no idea how it landed. On retrieval it was obvious the event didn't end well as the fuz was completely smashed, the wing however was perfect and is still in my loft waiting for some thing to fix it to.

I really enjoyed flying this even though I wrecked it three times.


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