Bob Gialdini's Eclipse
A 60's thoroughbred revisited
BOB GIALDINI’S ECLIPSE was the first Precision Aerobatics (Stunt) model to win the AMA Nats with a muffler installed.
The history of Bob and the family tree of the Sting Ray and Rayette was highlighted in the February, March, May, and June 2007 issues of Flying Models magazine.
Those CL Stunt columns were composed to encourage builders to look at FM and other plans services as excellent sources of great Classic-legal Stunters. Look through your older but early 2007 Flying Models for more basic background information about Bob and his models.
During a telephone conversation with Bob, he said that the Eclipse was originally to have been an enlarged version of the Olympic in 1957 with identical shapes to the Mark VI version. The Eclipse was to receive a “Lee” tuned Veco .45 engine for power and Spin Flow muffler.
Bob was interested in the new sound that the Spin Flow muffler put out and how it would present with the upscaled Olympic. The Eclipse paint scheme was to be similar to his earlier dynamic schemes, and Bob would dress in his usual “professional” Stunt attire to fly it.
Construction began on the new Olympic/Eclipse in 1961. Bob was constantly banging the wingtips in his shop when he would flip over the model with its original 72-inch span. He decided to cut off some wing and reshape the tips, and he the final version was finalized at a 63-inch wingspan.
Then Bob turned his attention to constructing a new Sting Ray, and he put the Eclipse up out of the way in the ceiling storage area in his basement. The Sting Ray won Bob the 1963 Nats and the Walker Cup.
The Eclipse stayed safely in the rafters until Jerry Worth, of the Chicago, Illinois, area (of Elektra XP-35 and Mirage fame), saw it languishing in Bob’s shop and encouraged him to finish it.
When time came to cut wood again, Bob lopped off the top block aft of the double-pilot canopy and removed the twin rudders. Thus the shapes of the new Eclipse became more Stingray-like in appearance than resembling the Olympic.
The newly finished Eclipse won the 1965 Los Alamitos, California, Nats. Bob took the model to the F2B Team Trials later that year but was bumped from first to fourth when he ...
read more on page 38 in the August 2011 issue of Model Aviation.