Patch News – December 2019

Happy New Year everybody! Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and saw the New Year in sensibly(ish). I know some of you had office Christmas parties in December, I trust none of you got yourselves slightly inebriated…48032086_2192571957440010_8849379612002615296_oDecember saw the expected mixture of weather and we lost some days because of strong winds and heavy rain but many of us managed to fly on some of the better days. In particular, over the Christmas/New Year break the weather was very kind to us, light winds, dry, and not too cold. We’ve had the shortest day and already it stays light a little later each evening, it will soon be spring. One Sunday morning early in December it was very windy, much too windy for sensible flying, but four of the committee turned up ‘just in case’. The fence battery needed changing so we sorted that, and then 1066 decided it was a good mowing day, too windy for flying but nice and dry.

2018-12-09 12.09.20So the fab four spent a happy morning mowing and moaning, moaning about the lack of Dougal Entendre who was apparently nursing a hangover following his office party. Very little sympathy was shown!2018-12-23 10.32.48Someone even cleared a bit of a path at one side of the gate through the really muddy area to make access a little easier for us, I’ll let you work out who to thank for Woody’s Way!

Did you get any modelling presents from Santa? Some of you must have found some exciting parcels under the tree…they can’t all have been socks and underpants. Me? Well I did have a visit from a couple of Christmas Elves.2018-12-21 11.58.45Because I behaved myself Mrs Santa gave me permission to treat myself to an Avios Bush Mule from the HobbyKing pre-Christmas sale. Although I had a sneaky peek before Christmas I wasn’t allowed to start putting it together.2018-12-13 18.42.49I couldn’t have done anything to it even if I wanted to because with the usual Christmas paraphernalia everywhere and visitors stopping overnight all my planes and equipment had to be crammed back into my modelling room.2018-12-16 13.04.20No chance of even opening the box in there let alone putting it together, but now Christmas is over it will be built.

I also received a voucher for two flights with iFly Indoor Skydiving at Basingstoke. For those that don’t know, indoor skydiving is done in a sort of vertical glass wind tunnel that blows air upwards at up to 180mph and the ‘skydiver’ can (hopefully) float around freely. I’ll let you know how it goes, I’m sure I’ll look just as good as this when I do it!pic2Santa also brought me a tricky seaplane kit which I spent a few happy hours putting together on Christmas Day.2018-12-25 16.03.14

The foamboard fun-jet following continues to grow with myself, Woody, and now Bob the Builder flying the Mig-29s.2018-12-11 10.26.552018-12-11 11.56.27Newbie Nick has built a Lockheed Martin F-35 that comes in fictitious Royal Canadian Air Force Tiger Meet colours.2018-12-28 10.24.52 2018-12-28 12.03.50Unfortunately the first motor in Nick’s F-35 burnt out but he ordered a replacement and a few days later it was flying again. Nick let me have a flight with it and I can confirm that it has very similar flying characteristics to the Mig and the Sukhoi. Also like the others it was noisy at first but Nick opened up the propeller slot and now it’s much quieter.2018-12-28 10.24.29Woody absolutely loves his Mig and is doing all sorts of manoeuvres with it at low levels, things he’d never do with his other models. In fact, he loves it so much he’s ordered himself an F-35. Captain Slow has now received his Mig from Mrs Claus so we’ll be seeing it soon(ish), and Gorgeous Gary was so impressed seeing them fly on Boxing Day that he has just ordered a Mig for himself! Even Cream Egg wants to get in on the act, he emailed while in Madeira for Christmas asking for details, motor suggestions etc. Because they can land so slowly they are ideal for the Spot Landing competition and Woody was very pleased with this attempt but it wasn’t close enough to win.2018-12-11 11.31.35I was delighted with this attempt at the spot and was convinced I’d won, but 1066 promptly beat me…the swine!2018-12-14 14.29.41Despite them only weighing a few grams they will fly in ridiculously strong winds and one Sunday in early December both Woody and I flew the Migs in near gale conditions. Just the two of us plus Dougal Entendre bothered turning out that morning and it was definitely vital to weigh down the models to prevent them blowing away.2018-12-02 11.29.44Dougal was flying a much more sensible heavy model but Woody managed the lightweight Mig well. Not sure he looks too happy in the first photo but in the next one you can see his Mig looking good while Dougal was struggling way down wind. What I need is a camera that shows how windy it was that morning!2018-12-02 11.33.36 2018-12-02 11.34.49The only problem with this range of models has been the noise created by the prop running in a slot cut through the centre of the fuselage. We have been experimenting with different propellers, bigger, smaller, 3 bladed etc. with some success but the biggest noise reduction has come from opening up the size of the slot through the fuselage.2018-12-14 16.06.27 2018-12-14 16.06.18I’m not sure why but the Migs seem noisier than the Sukhoi and with three now flying, and a fourth on the way, it was important to make them quieter. Cutting the slots wider is simple, reduces the noise dramatically, and seems to make no difference to the flying at all. I’ve now also cut the slot wider in the Sukhoi with similarly quieter results.

I stumbled across a short video (just 38secs) of someone flying a very similar looking foamboard model somewhere in the Far East by the look of it. It’s both amazing and amazingly wrong for so many reasons, have a look and see what you think. It’s incredibly noisy, incredibly powerful, has lights around the edges, and there are two other similar models on the ground presumably marking out the designated flying area, utter madness!

Over the Christmas break I set up a WhatsApp group called PAM Flying Group. Matt suggested using WhatsApp a couple of months ago but as some members aren’t on it I can’t replace the ‘flying tomorrow’ emails, but maybe that will happen eventually. In the meantime if you want to join the group as an easy way to chat and exchange documents, photos and videos just download the free app (Android or IOS) and I’ll add you to the group. This is what Wikipedia says about it: WhatsApp Messenger is a freeware and cross-platform messaging and Voice over IP service owned by Facebook. The application allows the sending of text messages and voice calls, as well as video calls, images and other media, documents, and user location. At the moment it’s free of adverts but I understand that will change in 2019. It’s totally free to use, even for worldwide video calls so I imagine over 1 billion users are a pretty good group to target with adverts. Just let me know if you’d like to join the group.

At one of the December club meetings Percy Vears brought along his Lancaster and talked through the second part of his build blog. Ron is building the Lanc from the Tony Nijhuis plan and he purchased the plan, CNC cut parts, vacuum formed canopy, turrets and cowls etc. to make the project a little easier but there’s still a lot of work to do.2018-11-29 19.48.09 2018-11-29 19.48.18 2018-11-29 19.48.31The building side is now pretty much complete but there’s a long way to go before it’s ready to fly. Ron will be glass clothing the whole model, no mean feat in itself, and will then paint and assemble the various parts. It’s looking good so far, I can’t wait to see it completed and up in the air where I’m sure it will look amazing.

Last month I featured Matt Takhar’s new Velox which at 81” span is one of the biggest models in the club. After the first four flights Matt stripped the model down to check everything over and make sure there were no signs of any emerging problems. He sent me a few photos to use, the first of which gives a good idea of the size of the motor.IMG_0363 IMG_0362 IMG_0364The Velox is now back together and has had several more flights, Matt is getting more confident with it every flight. You can see snippets of flights three and four in this month’s video.

Ok, I’ll stop writing about the Velox now, Matt had an unfortunate ‘development’ on 28th December…IMG-20181228-WA0000I believe a new fuselage is on order from ProBuild. Fortunately all the gear, motor, speed controller, batteries and so on are undamaged, as are the wings and tail. I won’t go into what happened but it’s rumoured that Matt will be giving a talk at a future club meeting entitled ‘The do’s and don’ts of spin recovery’. Too soon? Sorry Matt!

One of the websites that I often check out is Flite Test and this month, as I’m still of a juvenile disposition, I was immediately attracted to the heading Check Your Crap. It was part of an article on Pre-Flight Checks and I thought it might be useful reading for PAM members. There’s a downloadable .pdf of a basic single sheet checklist that you can print off and keep in your flight bag, and also a short video of things to check before the first flight of a new model. To see it just CLICK HERE. The whole site is entertaining and packed with useful info, take a look for yourself.

Both Matt and Newbie Nick have treated themselves to Pilot Extra 330SCs. These ARTFs are 1714mm span, 1600mm long, and they are designed for either 20cc IC engines or equivalent power electric motors.

IMG-20181226-WA0003 IMG-20181227-WA0002 IMG-20181227-WA0004The electric versions need 400KV motors, 6 cell lipos and 18”x10” propellers. Matt says the supplier was out of stock of the recommended motor so they sold him an ‘upgrade’ one. It’s perfect other than the fact that it won’t fit!IMG-20181227-WA0003I should have some more photos and power train details when the models have been flown, probably in January.

Time now for this month’s Video: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

Why men prefer aeroplanes to women:

  1. Planes come with instructions.
  2. Planes don’t have mother-in-laws.
  3. Planes don’t take forever to get ready.
  4. Planes don’t mind how many planes you’ve flown before.
  5. Planes are cheaper to maintain.
  6. Planes don’t mind when you Touch and Go.
  7. A plane will kill you quickly, a woman takes her time.

Colin Cowplain

6 Responses to “Patch News – December 2019”

  • Dougal Entendre Says:
    December 31st, 2018 at 8:36 pm

    Fantastic Patch News Colin, & a great end to the year. Sad about Matt’s Velox, but we look forward to seeing it back in action when it’s repaired.
    Interesting to see the guy in the video resting his foamboard jets on the tail. Wonder if they could do a vertical take-off from that position? That would eliminate the risk of fingers getting caught in the propeller on launch (though I’m sure no-one would be daft enough to have an accident like that).

  • Colin Cowplain Says:
    January 1st, 2019 at 9:36 am

    Surely nobody is that stupid Dougal?…ahem! In one of the HK videos they do vertical take-off, just with a finger on the nose to stop them falling over.

  • robert hill Says:
    January 3rd, 2019 at 8:54 am

    Surely nobody is stupid enough to think that putting a finger on your nose will stop you falling over.

  • Colin-Cowplain Says:
    January 3rd, 2019 at 9:12 am

    Lol! Of course not Bob, always best to poke it up there and hold on tight!

  • Capt Slow Says:
    January 3rd, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    Bob, if you’d have joined us on Wednesday, you would have seen just what Gary’s finger on a Mig’s nose could achieve!!

  • Steve hastings Says:
    January 3rd, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Nice one Colin, great patch news as always, your efforts are building a great archive for the future, we can all look back, wondering who those you guys are!!