Well, it finally quit raining long enough for me to test fly the Flyin' King.  She flies well, more like a full scale than a model.  Does loops, rolls, spins, snaprolls, hammrheads, tail slides and other stuff.  The big O.S. 1.20 AX is actually fairly easy on fuel, since I fly around at half stick on throttle most of the time.  I'm getting 30 minutes on a 20 oz. tank!  One cool feature is I can see the rear of the fuel tank through the forward side windows in the cabin, so it's easy to check how much fuel is left.
With apologies to Bruce Tharpe for messing with his already outstanding design, I made a few minor mods:

1.  Moved the elevator hinge line forward 1 inch and the stab back 1 inch and re-contoured the fuselage top to match.
2.  Moved the rudder hinge line forward 3/4 inch.
3.  Built in a drop box.
4.  Built in a glider towline attachment and release.
5.  Added a camcorder mount for a pocket camcorder.
6.  Used an O.S. 1.20 AX 2 stroke with 16x8 prop.
7.  Used a longer landing gear to clear the large prop.
8.  Used separate servos on the flaps.
9.  Built a set of 41" floats and made them a quick swap out with the landing gear.

Even with all the mods she weighs only 10.7 lbs (and that's with 5 ozs. of lead in the tail) and is a real floater on landing.  You must get the idle really low on the 1.20 or she'll float forever.
By moving the tail hinge lines forward I got enough control authority to do spins and snap rolls. The drop box can carry up to 3.5 lbs of candy, parachutes, or whatever.  I intend to tow up my 1/4 scale sailplane, hence the larger engine.
Next weekend I'm taking her to a float fly in.  Yee Haa!

I was initially going to use Du-Bro 6" Big Wheels on the BTE heavy-duty LG to get extra prop clearance, but those darn wheels weigh a ton and I didn't want to have to add a lot of tail weight.  So, I decided to start looking at the landing gears available.  Several of the companies that make LGs are quite proud of theirs and charge a lot.  Then it hit me that there are a ton of ARFs out now that have aluminum LGs, so I looked through Tower Hobbies' list of LGs - they have a lot.  I discovered that the LG used on the Great Planes Giant Big Stik ARF is perfect match to the FK fuselage and has the extra length I needed.  Mine is part # GPMA 2818 and I had the LHS order it for me.  Mine came with a sand blasted finish which I sanded out with an electric sander and then polished.  I just now looked it up on the Tower web site and it appears it's been replaced by a white painted LG, but the specs look the same.  Here is the Tower link.  I also used Great Planes bolt-on axles 2" x 3/16".  My wheels are Dave Brown Lite Flight 4".

Here's the FK on 41" long Great Planes floats.  The floats are built up from wood and covered with Ultracote.  I used a heavy duty FK LG on the front and a regular FK LG on the rear.  Made some spreader bars from 1/8 x 1/2 aluminum.  Used the mounting holes in the float kit, but made up my own mounting brackets from 1/8" angle aluminum to get the correct incidence on the floats.  I put another LG mount in the FK for the rear float gear, and added hard points and blind nuts to the fuselage for 4-40 screws that attach the water rudder cable housing and the sub-fin that I designed.  It only takes a few minutes to go from wheels to floats.

Tried out the Flyin' King on floats this morning.  It was really hot, about 94 degrees.  Big thanks go to Ron West, long time modeling buddy, who stood around in the hot sun and took photos and video!
She does fine on floats, no surprises at all, requiring just a few clicks of up trim compared to the standard LG setup.  The Great Planes 41" floats are quite heavy, however, and the extra 3.7 lbs of weight detracts some from the FK's normally light and responsive handling.  The O.S. 1.20 AX seems like a good match, power-wise, with the floats attached.  A .90 might work, but I think a .60 would be inadequate.  Even with the extra weight of the floats, she still loops and rolls fine.  I didn't try spins or snaps today, as the pond where I was flying was small, and there were a lot of folks fishing - I didn't want any surprises or low level recoveries.
The tailwheel steering is via monofilament lines going from the rudder servo to the tail wheel tiller springs, and proved to have too much stretch in the monfilament to overcome the force on the water rudder.  So, only limited steering was available at low taxi speeds - a bit dicey today because it was fairly windy.  I will replace the monofilament with plastic coated steel fishing leader.  That will also help with the vague tailwheel steering when the LG is on, which again is due to the monofilament stretch.
I think a lighter weight set of floats would be better, and they could even be a little smaller, as the GP 41" floats draw very little water.  Nonetheless, the FK is still fun on water, even using the GP 41" floats.

More from Al Clark

Flyin' King Drop Box Installation

Flyin’ King Towline Attach and Release

Aerotowing with the Flyin' King

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