Patch News – November 2018

As I was away at the end of October this edition will cover the things I missed as well as the November highlights. The same applies to the video, it’s a little longer than usual but I think you’ll enjoy it, lots of exciting stuff featured.

November could be called the mucky month as early in the month Farmer George decided the field needed muck spreading. The spreading appeared to be much heavier than we’ve experienced before (it usually happens every third year) and was pretty horrendous the first couple of times we flew.2018-11-09 14.27.18 (2)But there was a lot of rain over the following couple of weeks which helped to quickly wash the muck in and the situation soon improved. Fortunately George avoided spreading on the patch and that remains in great condition.2018-11-09 14.26.58Captain Slow is ridiculously fastidious, one day I caught him trimming the edges with his nail scissors. As I write there’s still plenty of muck around the field but it’s nothing like as bad as it was and it’s getting better each week.

The weather was…er…Novemberish! There were some sunny days but also plenty of wet ones, and we struggled with lots of misty days, windy days and most unusually, some days that were both misty and windy.2018-11-16 13.49.19Never mind, the hardier members still managed to fly quite regularly and several new models were test flown.

Starting with what I missed towards the end of October, Catapult King brought along his repaired Grumman X-29.2018-10-21 11.07.53The model had flown successfully a few times earlier in the year but lacked the thrust that it should have had considering the power the motor was consuming. The model was damaged when Catapult managed a very rare bad launch so he took the opportunity to improve the ducting and add some very neat ‘cheater’ air intakes. The changes certainly improved things and the X-29 went away from the hand launch more positively than it ever had previously.Screenshot (46)See what you think of how it flies in this months’ video, I think it’s superb for such a challenging model.

In Patch News last month I featured Dougal Entendre’s new Velox but I wasn’t able to include it in the video.2018-10-21 10.13.08That’s been corrected this month and you can see how well the Velox flies, it even makes Dougal’s flying look good!

While I was away Dougal snapped a few photos for me to use. First up is the repair that Captain Slow has made to his Multiplex FunGlider using some carbon strips. The FunGlider appears to have a weak spot towards the rear of the battery access hatch and Captain Slow’s broke when he cartwheeled it on landing one day.2018-11-04 11.02.37 2018-11-04 11.02.44He’s added four carbon strips, one each side of the fuselage and two above the wing area and they have strengthened the weak section a treat. Next time it will break at the back of the wing (don’t ask how I know!).

But Captain Slow’s no fool, he’s has figured out a way to stop damaging fuselages, build flying wings! I snapped a sneaky photo of a new Zagi he’s building at the moment. It’s actually a JP SI 480 EPP Flying Wing from Sussex Model Centre but as far as I can tell it’s just a Zagi manufactured by Perkins.2018-11-09 15.41.03It’s 48” span and should end up weighing around 860g but the important thing to note is that on the SMC website it states “Quick to build – Buy today, fly tomorrow”. I took the photo on 9th November and he’d already been building it for about a week so by my calculations we should see it at the field around mid-December….2021.

The other photo Dougal sent me is of Nick Weatherley with his Max Thrust Lightning. I know both Nick and Matt Takhar owned Lightnings but both damaged them a few weeks ago and I think I’m right in saying that Nick has made one decent model out of the broken remains of the two.2018-11-04 11.18.53

A few weeks ago Gorgeous Gary sent me some photos of his latest project. The model is a 68” span Seagull Models Edge 540 for 2 strokes or 4 strokes and the finished weight should be around 8 1/2lbs. As a long-term club member Gary is one who is still allowed to fly I/C models but of course they have to pass the BMFA noise test. I’m not sure what engine he’s fitted to the Edge but it’s definitely a 2 stroke and it looks like a to me. Personally I have my doubts that it will pass the test without a serious add-on silencer.IMG_0039Gary is the only member who still flies I/C reasonably regularly although we don’t seem to have seen him for a while, maybe he flew while I was away? Unfortunately I/C models definitely go against the ethos of the club these days and it’s a great shame he has turned his back on electric models after a couple of bad experiences with them. Compare the Edge to Dougal’s slightly larger Velox and you can see there is no reason at all to fly I/C these days and risk losing the flying field because of noise complaints.

Of course if you like the sound of a ‘real’ engine you can add a sound system to your electric model and have the correct engine noise of the original aircraft. That’s exactly what Woody has done with his Art-Tech Texan.texanWoody originally bought the Texan at the Blackbushe Show back in 2013 and added the sound system after the first few successful flights of the model. The system is specifically designed for the Texan so it will only reproduce the sound of a Pratt & Witney Wasp but some of the more advanced system will produce a variety of different engine sounds. Click HERE to see and hear the sound system in action. Woody has recently revamped the Texan as it was becoming a little tatty around the edges and he’s repainted it in the black scheme of one that’s based at Goodwood.

21483076071_47f69a8b62_b2018-11-13 10.45.37I was a little concerned about it being all black following my difficulties with orientation of Bob the Builder’s all black Dragon so Woody added some yellow highlights and a chequered cowl to help out. The Texan/Harvard is renowned for its’ tip-stalling tendencies and the Art-Tech model is no exception, it will bite if slowed up too much although Woody has managed to tame his model to a large extent with a few adjustments. Following the refurb he asked me to test fly the model and all was well although there were signs that it needs a little lateral balancing.2018-11-13 10.45.55 2018-11-13 10.45.46Everyone present watched the flight with interest until I came in to land, the most critical part of the flight. As the model was on the final approach I was watching the speed intently for any sign of the tip-stall when suddenly the sound of a full-size Spitfire grabbed the attention of everyone else. I couldn’t look away and completed the landing just as the Spit roared directly over the patch at fairly low level. Typical! Obviously my landing, that not a single person other than me saw, was absolutely perfect, so smooth and scale like in its perfection, the best ever…ahem!

Bob the Builder has been at it again. No, not crashing, he’s been building, and this time he’s produced Bob’s Bitsa.2018-11-13 10.58.33Bob tells me the fuselage comes from a crashed Splot but I think it was Bob version of the Splot as I can see several differences. He’s added a battery hatch to the top of nose, good idea, it’s much the easiest way of swapping out batteries. The motor is a HobbyKing PropDrive 2836 1400Kv outrunner and that’s linked to a 40A speed controller from RobotBirds. It’s very musical and plays lovely tunes when powered up, mostly to annoy everybody else in the pits I think. Bob uses both 3 and 4 cell lipos but says it’s better on 4 cells. In this month’s video I was flying it on 3 cells and it seemed plenty to me but I’ve since flown it on 4 cells and it had a bit more vertical performance. 3 cells produce about 300W and 4 cells around 500W so as the weight of the model is around 3lbs either should be plenty.2018-11-13 10.55.30Bob has fitted a tricycle undercarriage instead of the standard Splot taildragger arrangement. The fin and tailplane look like standard Splot items although Bob has enlarged both the rudder and elevator. The wing comes from a broken 5 year old Kyosho Calmato and he’s removed the centre section and re-joined the panels with no dihedral, this gives a wing area about 15% larger than a standard Splot. I hate to be complimentary but he’s made a great job of the covering and the Bitsa looks very smart. The choice of different parts is obviously a good combination as it flies really well, I thought it felt like flying a small pattern ship, it’s very smooth and it grooves well. Bob is still fine tuning things but at the moment the flight time is about 8 minutes so it’s a good model all round.

Jeremy Studdard sent me lots of information about his latest models. We don’t often see Jeremy at our field as he is also a member of the Chichester club (CADMAC) so he mostly flies at Thorney Island where they enjoy the use of the runway, although there are strict rules as to when and where they can and cannot fly.

The first one is definitely my favourite, it’s a 59” span Freewing Venom which is pushed along by a 90mm 12 bladed fan powered by a 6 cell 6200mAh lipo. Look at these excellent flying shots.Venom DH4 27-10-19 Venom DH5 27-10-19The model is equipped with flaps and electric retracts with sequenced front gear door and sprung oleos. The weight including battery is 6lbs 9oz (just under 3kg) and there is around 6lbs of thrust.CIMG8254 Venom DH7 27-10-19Jeremy says the fan produces a great jet like sound and isn’t too noisy. He also says this: For my powered aircraft on Thorney I go OTT with receivers, the main Rx has two receivers and I add two satellite Rx’s.  Blimey, that 3 more than any of my planes have, I wonder if that’s because he’s had problems or if he’s just playing extra safe? I won’t mention what make of radio he uses…

I’ll let Jeremy tell you about his next one: My other new aircraft this year, I was given it last Christmas but did not assemble & fly it till the summer, is the Sebart Katana 50E. Span 57″, 6lb 7oz including 5S 5000. Sebart have gone to extremes with the lightening holes. The whole thing is very fragile, including around the U/C. I’m even frightened to just pick it up, I have to do so carefully. While it can fly slowly it would not survive my landing skills on the patch, I’m too used to a 50m wide runway. I would want to fit Tundra wheels before trying the small grass patch.P1070812Jeremy also sent some video of his Olympus which you can view by clicking HERE. Thanks Jeremy, great stuff, I’m very jealous of the Venom…I reckon I could fly one from our patch ok…

Matt Takhar turned up in mid-November with a very special new model, an Aerotech Velox Revolution II.2018-11-18 11.33.092018-11-18 11.32.42We all thought Dougal’s Velox was big at 70” span and weighing almost 9lbs but sorry Dougal, Matt’s got a bigger one than you! Matt’s Velox is 81” span and the weight is around 15lbs, a seriously impressive model. It was assembled for Matt by ProBuild and they fitted it out with all the powertrain, radio, batteries etc. The motor is an Xpwr 40cc (obviously an electric motor equivalent to 40cc) and is 200Kv which means when run on a 12 cell lipo it’s able to swing a 22×10 Xoar Electric beech wood propeller. The speed controller is a Castle Phoenix Edge HV120 and the batteries are two 6 cell Gens ACE 3700mAh 22.2v 60C packs wired in series to give 12 cells (44.4volts).2018-11-18 11.52.052018-11-18 11.37.49According to the specs the set-up will pull around 90A and uses 4.1kW of power. Matt is using Futaba radio gear and the model is fitted with a Futaba R7008SB (S-Bus) (HV) receiver driving five Savox 1270 HV (30kg) servos. That lot requires a decent receiver battery pack so ProBuild have fitted a Gens ACE 5000mAh 7.4v lipo.2018-11-18 11.33.28 2018-11-18 11.53.59Matt had two flights the first time out with the Velox, the first one being understandably cautious but no problems showed up so, after a thorough check that everything was as it should be, he had a second flight that was more adventurous, although mostly at a sensibly safe height. As you’ll see in the video the model performs beautifully and has loads of power so, as Matt gets used to it, I’m sure we’ll be treated to some top class aerobatics.

Back to much more mundane stuff now!

Following the success with my foamboard HK Sukhoi SU-27 I splashed out £16.40 on a Mig-29 from the same range.2018-11-23 14.07.05 2018-11-19 14.09.58The Mig is similar but a bit smaller and easier to assemble than the Sukhoi and only has tailerons, no ailerons.2018-11-23 14.07.28 One of the reasons I liked the Mig was the colour scheme, it’s much brighter and more colourful than the Sukhoi and also, unlike the Sukhoi, the colour is printed on the underside as well as the top, it looks good in the air.2018-11-23 14.07.39I’m using the same motor/prop/lipo combination as in the Sukhoi and it flies well, lots of fun. Being smaller the wing loading must be a little higher so it’s not quite so good at the high alpha stuff as the Sukhoi and without ailerons it’s not quite so responsive at low speed but overall it’s a great plane for very little money. Woody, Captain Slow, and Bob the Builder have also bought Migs but as I write so far only Woody has finished and flown his.2018-11-23 14.27.01 2018-11-23 14.13.59He’s using the same motor as me but has fitted a 7” prop instead of 6” and it sounds much better so I’ll change mine to a 7” as well. I did the initial trimming of Woody’s and found it was bit unstable in pitch so Woody added some weight to the nose which made it much better. I then added some weight to mine as well and now they fly pretty much identically. Woody is getting on really well with his although the fact that they can be blown backwards when landing in any sort of wind is proving a little testing and this was where his third landing finished!2018-11-25 11.45.27But as it was at almost zero speed there was no damage at all so he’s happy. Both mine and Woody’s Migs can be seen in this month’s video. No doubts Bob’s will fly soon and Captain Slow’s sometime in the next year or two!

Video time at last:Please watch the video full screen, it’s so much better with small models flying around. If the video won’t play for you click HERE

Get your kids into aeromodelling when they’re young, they’ll never have any money for drugs!

STOP PRESS 30TH NOV: PETERSFIELD AERO MODELLERS CAME THIRD OUT OF NINE TEAMS AT THE SOUTHERN AREA BMFA BALSA BRAIN! Team members were Mark Agate (Dougal), Alan Wood (Woody), Andy Palmer (Colin), and Doreen Palmer (SWMBO).

Colin Cowplain

12 Responses to “Patch News – November 2018”

  • pageboy Says:
    December 1st, 2018 at 2:02 am

    excellent patch news colin.enjoyed that! always a pleasure to read. thankyou

  • Colin-Cowplain Says:
    December 1st, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    Thanks Page Boy, looking forward to seeing your new edf…!

  • Woody Says:
    December 1st, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    Masterpiece as usual Colin and more impressive
    was the fact that I escaped your razor sharp
    wit for my pole flying.cheers Woody ✈

  • Colin-Cowplain Says:
    December 1st, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    Plenty of time for insults yet Woody!

  • Dougal Entendre Says:
    December 2nd, 2018 at 9:05 am

    That was a bumper edition of Patch News, Colin! Very enjoyable.
    Woody’s plane tangled in the electric fence reminded me of a shock flyer.

  • Colin-Cowplain Says:
    December 2nd, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    Oh dear, I hope we’re not going to get lots of revolting jokes now!

  • Jeremy Says:
    December 2nd, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Thanks for the news Colin,I always have a look to see what I’ve been missing. On Thorney I go OTT with receivers, just playing it safe! My 9 year old DSM2 Dx7 has been Ok. Only 2 problems that I can’t blame the manufacturer for, both on the Pulse, (1) An intermittant BEC, landed quickly and safely. Replaced ESC. (2)Intermittant remote Rx supply, repeated on the ground, think it was the remote’s extension lead, replaced lead and remote to be sure. Looking forward to seeing your Venom next year ! (I have some assembly tips & photos I was given, which I found helpful)

  • Steve hastings Says:
    December 3rd, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Great work Colin, very informative and outspoken as usual, regarding the outspoken,I do have to agree with your concerns on IC engines and noise, but maybe this is not the best forum,or time to raise the issue, especially with the current rash of mid propped Jets at the patch, which, generally seem to be very noisey, and could be considered a step in the wrong direction.

  • Colin-Cowplain Says:
    December 4th, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    It’s a blog not a forum! I was simply expressing my personal disappointment that Gary hasn’t gone electric like the rest of us, he hasn’t broken any rules or done anything wrong. I agree about the mid propped models and I’ve ordered some 3 bladed props and am taking other steps to reduce the noise of the Mig. They certainly aren’t as noisy as I/C models and I think they’ll just be a passing fad anyway, we all know how important it is to keep the noise down.

  • Steve hastings Says:
    December 4th, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    Blog or forum it is a publically available document. I am in full agreement on the noise issue, and having used electric longer than just about all of us, we know you have led the quiet flight movement from the front. I just felt it was unfair to single Gary out on here.As you say in your reply to my comment he has not broken any rules. I also agree the Migs may not be as loud on a DB measurment as IC, but we all know noise is subjective,the fact you are trying to reduce the sound yours makes is proof of that,let’s hope the others follow your lead.

  • Smiffy Says:
    December 20th, 2018 at 11:25 pm

    Hello chaps, great blog Colin (yes I do still read them when I can).

    I was there when Woody bought that Texan/Harvard…. halcyon days indeed… he’s looking s little more distinguished these days 🙂

    Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and maybe see you next year for a guest fly.


  • Colin-Cowplain Says:
    December 21st, 2018 at 9:38 am

    Merry Christmas Smiffy. Yes, pop down and see us sometime, bring the turbine, the patch is excellent now 🙂