A Recovered Mercury Mentor

Wednesday, 11 February 2015  |  Hadi

We had a great set of pictures of the Mercury Mentor sent in by regular contributor Pete Sanders.

Mercury Mentor front view

This is an original Mercury Mentor owned by Steve Warren that Pete has skilfully recovered after the model spent many years in storage.

Mercury Mentor rear view

Pete wrote the following for his club newsletter:

Steve Warren has very kindly done a good deal of tasks to help me over the last few years, so I volunteered to bring his 45 year old Mercury Mentor,
rubber powered vintage competition model back to flying condition, to be flown guided electric free flight. I had to wait some time while his house was being almost rebuilt over the last year. However, after the Christmas holidays he presented me with a dirty, filthy, lightweight tissue covered airframe.
The first job was to strip off the fragile tissue covering, which took less than an hour, then give the airframe a clean with washing up water and a paintbrush, removing all the dust. When dry, checking for any warps that may have developed due to wetting the airframe, I carefully, lightly sanded away any excess rough tissue paper. I then checked and repaired any dry joints and reinforced around the frame supporting the fin. I then constructed some upright balsa to the fin assembly and cut a rudder from the fin to control the model.
The whole airframe was then given a coat of Balsalock and I then started to recover the model with orange Airspan, starting with the wing. This was a bit tricky, as the Mentor has a very deeply undercambered wing section, which needed very careful attention to get it right. In fact, the wing took more time than the fuselage and tail plane put together. I then constructed a couple of sub-fins for the tail plane, glued them into position and the model was ready for Steve to fit out. I am really looking forward to seeing this Mercury classic, floating around our flying site in it's 1970's orange and black decoration, along side Steve's/Paul's Keil Kraft Chief (mine).
I now have Steve's 55 year old Keil Kraft Slicker-Mite to bring back to life and the progress, so far, is that it's been stripped of tissue, all the minor airframe repairs are completed and this ancient model is ready for it's re-cover, when I can decide if it will be electric or i/c powered.

Here is a picture of the completed Keil Kraft Slicker Mite mentioned in Pete's piece:

Mercury Mentor and Keil Kraft Slicker Mite


Thanks again for all your efforts Pete!


All images courtesy of Steve Warren