Retired engineer Jack Clemens has been getting attention lately with his giant radio-controlled model of the airship U.S.S. Macon.
The 1/40 scale model is 20-feet long and has a diameter of 3.3 feet; it is driven by miniature “Firefly” electric motors attached to the eight outrigger props and powered by a lithium-polymer battery in the nose, and is lifted by helium contained in multiple mylar gas bags.
This is the third model of the Macon built by Clemens, and each took more than two years to create. The first was destroyed by the Clemens’ cat Roscoe in 2006, before its first flight. The second model flew successfully but was lost in 2008 when a gust of wind carried it beyond radio range; the remains of the craft were recovered two days later in an orchard five miles away. The third model, seen above, was completed in April of this year.
Recreating the USS Macon from FlyRC.com