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Welcome to the RTFM-Aero web site.  Nice to have you along.  This site is devoted to the RTFM-Aero aircraft – but you will also find discussions ranging from engines to new aircraft designs, from flying stories to just plain old hangar talk.  Enjoy.

F1-X on the drawing board

The exciting Razorback F1-X single seat

OUR PLANES – a quick overview:
There are currently 2 designs on the drawing board:

  1. The F1-X, and the F2-X (F1=”fits one”, F2=”fits two”).  These are recreational aircraft designed by Duncan Meyer, Brisbane, Australia.  This venture started out as a personal project born out of a desire to fly exciting, sexy aircraft on a working man’s budget, and has evolved into a series of kit aircraft, the first of which will be available at the end of 2015.  We see no reason why an aircraft should cost more than the average family car, so no effort is being spared to keep costs realistic.

What makes the RTFM family of aircraft so exciting?

  • They will be FAST…  You’ll be cruising at 135kts – on only 50hp
  • All composite construction, carbon fibre spar and extremely low parts count.
  • Distinctively sexy looks.  And let’s face it, good looks count
  • Outstanding “fighter” like performance.  Fully aerobatic. Extremely cheap to run.
  • And all the non-RTFM parts are available from Aircraft Spruce – meaning very quick and cheap to build.

Quick overview:

  • Configuration: F1-X:  Single seat.  F2-X : side-by-side seating.  Both tricycle.  Tractor (engine up front).  Tandem wing.
  • Wings:  Tandem X-wing.
  • Powerplants: F1-X:  The Valley Engineering Big Twin (50hp), weighing 115lbs (53kg), but any engine in that weight vicinity will be OK.  F2-X: The preliminary specs call for an 85hp – 120hp engine.  The critical thing isn’t the HP, but the weight.  We need an engine weighing close to 165lbs (75kg), in order for the CG to end up where it is supposed to.  Front runners at the moment are the BMW R1200 (available from Germany), or one of the VW aero-converted options (Great Plains, Aerovee, Revmaster…)

These are very small planes.  Small means light, inexpensive, easy to hangar, fast.  But not cramped.  Fully 47 inches wide at the shoulders…  And quick to build.  The kits will ship with all composite parts (fuselage, tail, spinner, seat, panel, spar, wings) fully complete.  This will be a bolt together, fit out the internals, bolt on the engine, and undercarriage – and wheel it out to start your taxi testing type of plane.  None of this “I’ve been building for X years” nonsense.  Start it at the beginning of your holiday break.  Fly it before you have to return to work.

When will it be available?  Hold yer horses, mate…  but we’re aiming for Christmas 2016

Factory prototype status:  DISASTER strikes!
The plug for the mold was complete and the ready for the molds to be taken.  Getting this far had been more art than science, and took hundreds of hours of painstaking detail work.  And then the worst storm in 30 years hit Brisbane out of a blue sky.  The plug was outside for final buffing when the storm struck with little or no warning.  Within seconds, tennis ball sixed hail was pounding down.  My car roof (also outside) looked  like someone had taken a hammer to it.  But the plugs were simply destroyed before I could drag them back into the workshop.  Over 18 months of painstaking work gone in seconds.

I had no choice but to abandon the mold, and start again.

This time, however (having learned many lessons along the way) the process will be short and sweet.  I’m hoping to be in a position to take molds from the new plug in two or three months.