The new Liberty is the latest F5j design from Aleksandr Chekh at CCM and follows on from the highly popular Optimus series of gliders. The Optimus will still be available but the Liberty will be replacing the Optimus as CCM’s number 1 electric duration model.
It is a model I have been involved with during its later development but it actually started life quite a number of years ago. For anyone interested here is the story..
A top European and Team Turkey F3j pilot Eser Kismir, along with help from Philip Kolb, designed a wing something along the lines of the Team Turkey F3j Prestige (nothing like the later Samba F5j Prestige 2PK) for Eser to use himself and put into production to sell. Eser was already making his own fuselages and tailplanes and so with the new Philip Kolb wing would be sold as a complete model to be called the “Liberty F3j”. Now not many will know of the Team Turkey Prestige except international F3j pilots but it was a highly advanced design with even more advanced construction and quite ahead of its time. The whole project was funded by the late Mustapha Koc, an extremely prominent business man and multi billionaire from the Koc family in Turkey. Mustapha Koc was also a huge RC soaring fan and with his wealth and enthusiasm for the sport set up Team Soarist and literally employed the likes of Philip Kolb from Germany, Larry Jolly from the USA etc to run the team and develop the Prestige model. With no expense spared and limitless funds the Prestige was developed purely for Team Turkey to use in F3j. The design and technology used was kept quite quiet at the time, but it now transpires the Prestige was already using thin airfoils and spread tow carbon way before anything else. I remember at the 2012 F3j World Champs in South Africa team Turkey had produced a less than 1400g series of models that could still take a reasonable 2 man tow yet still moved around the sky extremely well. This is similar to what we have now in F5j (but they can’t take a tow!) so hence the team Turkey Prestige was well ahead of its time as other super lights as we called them back then were approx 1700g and were restricted to only very light winds and didn’t travel nearly as well as the Prestige did. Esers new Liberty wing had these same design features thanks to Philip Kolb, albeit not the same set of airfoils, but similar enough. Other emerging concepts back then (now used more widely by some of the more advanced F5j designs today) were also designed into the wing so the Liberty was also ahead of its time and initial testing by Eser, Philip, Jo Grini etc showed very favourable characteristics with the ability to cover sky well at reduced weights and a very good glide angle.
Now roll the clock forward quite a number of years and Team Soarist has disbanded after the sad death of Mustapha Koc. Larry Jolly went back to the USA, Philip Kolb went back to Germany and now works with Thomas Rossner at Solid Tec (also make the servorahmen frames) and Eser has given up RC soaring and now flies FPV Quadcopters and has an aerial film production company.
Enter CCM. Eser sold Alex Chekh at CCM the moulds and design rights to the Liberty. But Alex only wanted it for the wing. Being an F3j model, like the Team Turkey Prestige before it, was only 3.6m span as that was felt gave the best balance between soarability, manouverability for landing, and launch height. So for F5j use a number of new airfoils have been designed to compliment the existing ones for the tip panels, and new tip panel moulds made to extend the span from 3.6m up to 3.9m. The wing remains 3 piece but new CCM Liberty fuselage is 2 piece with a very novel and beautifully engineered solution. Although it has similarities to the Optimus Sport fuselage the fuselage is totally different and there are a whole new series of much thinner rudder and elevator airfoils to reduce drag. The tail layout is quite unique compared to all other F5j designs but has one again been chosen for the Liberty for low drag and more importantly pitch stability. I remember when Alex was testing new tail layouts for the Optimus Sport they tried all sorts of things Pike style, Explorer style etc (no V-tail) but found the sport layout gave the better handling and lowest drag. It also gave the best pitch stability.
So there we have it the “new” Liberty F5j from CCM. It remains a hollow made model as Alex is not a fan of solid core. In saying that the new tail surfaces are solid core. Anyone who has ever owned a CCM model (Toy, Vantage, Optimus) will know they are absolutely top notch in quality and rival the very best money can buy and sometimes even supersede it. There is no doubt this will be a fantastic model and it has already had several podium finishes and wins at national level so given its pedigree and heritage looks to become another top model to choose from at Flightech with the added advantage of being hollow for those pilots not keen on solid core. And like we are trying to do with as many models as possible it will come as standard with factory IDS installation.