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Bob made about 5 kits, only his prototype ever flew, and that just barely.
Joe Grice bought three, threw out the landing gear, I sent him drawings from a dash 4 (Parts manual) I had, and he had Matrix make three sets that were more or less scale and much better than Bob's, which were pretty crude.
Several years ago Joe reworked one of the 105's quite a lot and got as far as putting some Flite Metal on it, but evidently never finished it as I have tried to contact him several times about it with no reply.
At Ky Jets 2014 I was in the tent next to Bob and he tried to sell the prototype to Ali. After hours of going over the plane trying to get the gear and controls working correctly, Ali gave up and told Bob to forget it.
I was supposed to get one, paid for it but never did, but that's another story.
The landing gear is the real issue, it's so long and has to support a lot of weight.
I've talked to several 105 pilots and the thing they remember most was the landing gear "walking" on takeoff and landing, they never experienced it on any other plane they flew.
The 105 is one of my favorite airplanes and am looking forward to the project, but obviously way out of my price range.
Never really knew how many kits B1Bob made. When I talked to him in the early stages, he told me he intended to make ten and that he had commitments for eight. However, they were too pricey for me and he was having problems with gear retraction. I thought Ali actually flew one of the models at Kentucky Jets a few years ago. I seem to recall a sand camouflage paint scheme which amused me as I don't believe AF ever used that paint scheme on any Thud, nor did they ever go out to foreign sales. I had "gear walk" on landing a couple of times after landing in the F-100, but not a frequent problem. Something to do with slop/wear in the wing where the strut rotated in it's mount. It was easily enough repaired. However, the HUN struts were nowhere near as long as the Thud! As I recall, it was the only fighter I could walk under the wing standing straight up!
Gentlmen hi

We have one of Bobs Kits, kindly given to us by Joe. Fighteraces have put it together for us, and we have found it a very useful model in 1/6th scale, for showing internal space, and some of the challenges that face us. Bob's model is a good effort, and looks the part. However our scanned data has revealed many of the 105's more obscure secrets. It is our intention to fly Bobs 105 model a few times and analyse its performance (perhaps with the gear down only, if we can't get it to work). If you are all interested we will post our findings and thoughts, but is important to realise that this model differs enormously from the TLJC 105 in ways that will become very apparent as we proceed.

Thanks for your comments. Clearly you are both very knowledgable on the the various challenges faced. One key to the THUD is the reliable operation of the gear, and the trouble is the leverage of the Main gear into the fast moving airflow of the aircraft. Perhaps Alex might post a short film of the CAD modelling of the retraction for you. As the gear comes up it presents the wheels and large gear doors to the airflow for Max drag (Due to the 45 degree wing sweep) On the real aircraft the gear cycled in around 2 to 2.5 seconds and was brought up very quickly after rotation. During the lengthy testing of the 105 there were undercarriage problems on the real aircraft, and the solution that we have seen on Bob's Aircraft is sadly not quite there. There is no way you can make the 105 as a flying model unless this problem is elegantly solved 100%, and we have some ideas up our sleeve. A huge gear in a thin 45% wing is a challenge see the picture attached (Bobs aircraft under construction at Fighteraces with the original gear solution) which shows the problem quite well.



The main landing gear configuration is very interesting in that the strut has to rotate as it is retracting. Otherwise, the wheel would not fit flat in the well. This is because the strut is angled forward. The thin wing dictates that the wheel be flat! A friend flew the Thud and prefabricated, during his custom scratch building of an RC ducted fan model, a wooden, operating duplication of the mechanism, He is no longer with us, but sent me his mock up for inspection many years ago. As i'm sure you are aware, issues such as the length of strut, strut angle forward, high wing sweep angle, thin wing, etc. all contribute to the complexity of building a reliable functioning retract system. The trapeze configuration of the B-58 is another very interesting design! I couldn't think of the word "trunnion" (strut hinging area) in my previous post, but talking with an old crew chief friend, he indicated that there were isolated incidents of gear walk on the F-84F, as well as the F-100; mostly from many years of operational wear on the trunnion. The very long fuselage on the Thud and mid fuselage wing mounting, likely dictated the long struts for tail clearance during takeoff and landing due to AOA. Along with this, main gear struts angled forward, I can see where there might be extreme stress and wear on the trunnions, leading to frequent problems with wing walk! It appears to me that the main doors, which are attached to the strut, and fairing doors would be optimally aligned with the relative wind during retract/extension. I guess I don't visualize abnormal drag during gear the cycle! Just my thoughts. A great project...wish I could be a part of the development!
Hello guys! I found this forum a couple of months ago as I was researching the purchase of one of B-1 Bobs F-105 kits. I am really excited to find someone with knowledge of these kits. I acquired the kit in July. I have just started trying to get some work done. From my research I have found at least 8 models produced. Bob flew the first. There was a Thunderbird scheme produced for Ali in one of Bob's videos and it is in a garage near Minneapolis. There is another one in Massachusetts being test flown this summer. I have a photo showing 5 others in Joe's shop. I have one of those and the person I got mine from has another one. He plans to start construction this winter. I just learned that Ben and Alex have one from Joe, so that leaves at least two out there somewhere. There could be more. One person told me that Joe kept two but I do not know. I have seen Joes blog and captured all of his photos.

The kit I have will be a simi scale project. The glass work in rough but workable. There are some larger problems I am now working to correct. I have a set of the new gear by Matrix Machine. The gear seems to have excess toe in when extended. I hope I can correct it. The left wing is thinner than the right wing in the gear mount area and the gear will not fit deep enough. Will take some work to fix. I have corrected the wing anhedral angle which was not the same on both wings. Currently working on making corrected formers for turbine pipe mounts. There is a long way to go.

Ben, Alex, I would love to see what you guys do to get yours flying. Is there a way to get photos of how you assembled yours and your CG calculations. Thanks, Gary
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Hi Gary,

We haven't done a huge amount with our original B1 kit although we do intend to fly it to evaluate its flight performance. The model is in storage at the moment as we concentrate on the development of our own unique kit modelled from scan data of the full size aircraft. Once we get the model back from storage I will happily take some photos for you although I'm not sure when I will be collecting it.

Do keep looking in and following our development and if you need any help we will try our best to help.

Many thanks

Gary Hi

Sorry to be late getting back to you as I have been on holiday. There are some interesting issues with B1 Bobs kit, and I must add that I respect Bob's work on what is a difficult subject. I would mention the following... Specifically in the shape of the area around the elevator relating to clearance for operation. The shape is incorrect, and this makes close fitting elevators a problem. Also I don't feel inclined to trust the gear provided. It is heavy and the twin pistons required to operate the retraction can cause jamming if they don't fire at exactly the same time. It is a big ask for that system to RELIABLY operate IMHO. As Alex says we have assembled the kit with flight in mind and it is sitting in the office of our design team who have been using it as a visual aid as they play with the design of our own Hyperscale Thunderchief. I am loath to put any pictures up here as I don't want to confuse people or have them assume that the design philosophy is the same. If you would like to see how we (I should say Fighteraces) approached the construction of this model please feel free to email me at benliebert@me.com and I will send you a few shots.

Sorry to sound cagey Gary. We are working very hard to produce something special :)

Kind regards

Alex, Ben, thanks for your reply and info. Yes there are many issues with Bob's kits, the main gear is the biggest. Bob Rullie who has the one being tested now had to convert the main gear to electric to get it to work. He also informed me about the problems with the fit between the fuse and stabs on the tail. I have not got that far yet.

Ben, I will contact you by email. I would really appreciate any photos you can provide.