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The Mignet Flying Flea was one of the very first No-Cals I built, and after several years of flying, it had the misfortune to wind up at the bottom of a pile of books that had fallen over. I had wanted to make a replacement for it for years, and in a building spree that included several other No-Cals, I finally managed to do so.

I incorporated several modifications on the new version.

o The first modification was to make the rear wing a non-lifting rear wing. I did this on my Peanut Scale Flying Flea, and it improved the flying characteristics immensely. My original Flying Flea No-Cal with its lifting rear wing had a very narrow flight speed envelope. Too fast, and it would duplicate the original aircraft's unsettling terminal vertical dive. In order to avoid that awkward flight profile, I never wound more than half turns into the motor. This severely limited flight times. On the other hand, using too few turns in the motor and the model just did a controlled decent, finally ending up scooting around on the floor until all the turns ran down.

o The second modification was to shorten the motor tube. This was done to reduce the amount of weight required on the nose. On the original model, the motor tube carried all the way to the tail post, and most of it was behind the CG. The Flying Flea has a VERY short nose, and changing the rear wing to a non-lifting stabilizer moved the CG even further forward. Note the rather large lump of clay!

These first two modifications resulted in a model with much better flight times, but adjusting the glide of the model was a royal pain, as I had retained the peculiar method of adjusting the glide by changing the incidence of the front wing, as on the original 'Flea'.

If I were to build a third model of the 'Flea', I would fix the front wing in place and make the rear wing adjustable like any other model. I am fairly certain this would make flight-trimming more intuitive, easier, and more consistant. I'm also pretty sure the flight times would improve further as a result. I may yet incorporate this change if I have the time.

o The third change was to leave the registration markings off the wing. Current photos of the Shuttleworth Collection Flying Flea show that it no longer has the aircraft registration letters on the wing. This makes it a much easier build.

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