Patch News – September 2019

As is often the case September brought a bit of an Indian summer and the beginning of the month glorious.Sadly the last ten days or so of the month turned very bleak indeed. The Foolish Five that turned up on the 22nd were caught out before even entering the field and sheltered in the barn for an hour or so before going home.Unfortunately you can’t actually see the torrential rain behind us in the photo but believe me it was there.

I will start with some sad news, Captain Slow’s favourite bullock 473 has moved on to pastures new. Well actually to a butchers, along with the rest of the herd. 473 had become such friends with Captain Slow that he would run to the gate when he heard the Captain’s car coming down the track. He was so reluctant to go that tried to hitch a lift…In an effort to console the tough, war hardened Captain the committee chipped in and bought him a keepsake.

The first model to feature this month is Dwayne Pipe’s TSR2 which has actually been around for a little while.It’s flown well lots of times but has also had its fair share of ‘abrupt arrivals’. Dwayne has been steadily improving the model and gradually increasing the thrust, but last time out it suffered a sudden total loss of power which Dwayne later discovered was due to the speed controller failing. This month it re-emerged after the latest rebuild.So the TSR2 now has an uprated speed controller to cope with more current and this time the flight went well until Dwayne was caught out by the strong wind when he tried to turn back towards the patch from downwind.  Unfortunately the TSR2’s nose went up too much which can be fatal for an EDF, they need to keep lots of air going through the fan. The model stalled and Dwayne was unable to stop it dropping into the valley. But it will return, Dwayne is excellent at repairing damage and I look forward to seeing it flying again soon. I was videoing at the time of the rather distant crash so you can see it in this month’s video.

But Dwayne Pipe wasn’t the only member to take a trip down the valley in September was he Dougal?!To be fair Dougal Entendre’s long walk wasn’t caused by a crash as such, he’d been doing one of his amazing sycamore spins with his Tomahawk but it refused to come out of it. The Tomahawk is a flying wing that Dougal has discovered will spin incredibly rapidly around its centre point if he gets the entry to the manoeuvre correct. But once in the spin the exit can be a problem and if Dougal can’t get it to come out it simply continues spinning all the way down to the deck. Fortunately it spins so quickly that the rate of descent is quite slow and it very rarely sustains any damage. Previously when it’s happened the Tomahawk has come down in the field but on one particularly windy September day it drifted well out over the valley and the photo opportunity was simply too good to miss!

In last month’s Patch News I showed you three new models that all belonged to Chuck Berry and in September he continued the trend and turned up with yet another one, this time it was a Great Planes ElectriFly Yak-55M.Apparently the M version of the Yak-55 was designed in 1989 with shorter and more tapered wings to give it a faster roll rate than the original 55 had. The Great Planes ARTF model is 1285mm span and is constructed from lite-ply and covered in Monokote. Chuck has fitted it with a Prodrive V2 3548 900kv motor, a YEP 80A esc and a 12×6 prop. The four servos Chuck used are Radient RDNA0079s, that’s not a make I’m familiar with at all. The manufacturer recommends using a 4s 2200 mAh lipo but Chuck is using 4s 2700mAh packs to extend the flight time slightly. I did the maiden flight for Chuck and found it to be an excellent flier. Chuck has now flown it quite a bit and says it has a slight pitch coupling with the rudder, nothing that a little mixing can’t sort out I imagine.

Sticking with similar 3D machines Mike Smith has treated himself to an FMS Sbach 342 and very nice it is too.The 1300mm span model comes as Plug and Play so Mike just had to fit a receiver and a 4 cell battery. The motor is a 3948 760kv brushless outrunner which is coupled to a 60A speed controller that has a 3A BEC and the propeller is a 3 bladed 13×5. I’m quite surprised by the prop size, the recommended set up for Chuck’s Yak 55 is a 4250 800kv outrunner fitted with a 2 bladed 12×6 prop. The models are almost the same size and the weights are similar with the Sbach being slightly heavier. There’s a big difference between a 3 bladed 13×5 and a 2 bladed 12×6 but both planes fly very well and appear to have plenty of power so what do I know!The four pre-fitted servos are all 17g and unlike the Yak the Sbach is moulded from EPO foam. Mike is using 3000mAh 4 cell lipos that do the job perfectly. You can compare the Yak and Sbach flights in this month’s video.

Away from the patch we had the PAM Skittles Evening on 14th September at the Barley Mow in Walderton. I had a great night and I think everyone enjoyed both the buffet and the bowling. It’s just a bit of fun but we do always present prizes to the best lady and the best man bowlers and this year, for the first time in the history of the club, a husband and wife won both. Congratulations to Bob and Bonnie Hill, for one month only we have Bob the Bowler!We also had a raffle and one of the many prize winners was Cameron Agate who wisely selected a tub of roses for his mum Angie. I have so say that he didn’t exactly look overjoyed with it!

Always on the lookout for a bargain Chas Butler picked up this Multiplex Stuntmaster for around half the new price.He spotted it on the stand of a dealer from Bournemouth while at the LMA show in Much Markle in September. The model was ready to go, just needing a receiver and battery adding. According to the specs it uses 3 cell 450mAh lipos, I wonder if Chas has got any of those or if he’s managed to squeeze in a larger one. It looks completely unmarked to me but apparently the dealer dinged a wingtip on his sales table so he knocked another £5 off the price. Actually, if you zoom in on the photos you can just make out a very small ding on the right hand wingtip. The Stuntmaster is designed to be flown either indoors or outdoors in very light wind conditions and the weather hasn’t been calm enough to fly it outdoors since Chas bought it. But no doubt he’ll fly it soon and discover just how good (or bad!) he is at 3D flying. The Stuntmaster is made from Elapor (the Multiplex version of EPO foam) with carbon fibre reinforcements, has a wingspan of 870mm and weighs just 350g (12.3ozs). The ready fitted hardware consists of a Permax 2206 1050kv outrunner, a 20A esc and three 8g servos. The 9×5 propeller is held in place by a rubber O-ring so any unscheduled arrivals shouldn’t damage the motor shaft, not that Chas will have any unscheduled arrivals obviously… Both ailerons are operated by one servo mounted centrally in the fuselage above the wing, an arrangement that is pretty unusual on outdoor models these days but maybe it’s common on indoor ones. Looking at some of the online videos of the Stuntmaster it’s a very capable model that can do just about any 3D manoeuvre you can think of, I look forward to Chas demonstrating them for us!

Gorgeous Gary has been working hard on his latest project recently, a Goldberg Anniversary Edition Piper Cub. It’s a proper builders’ model and comes with a 33 page manual containing lots of photos and instructions. The manual mentions die cut parts but looking at Gary’s photos they seem to be laser cut so I assume the kit has been updated. It can be built as either the standard or clipped wing version and Gary has opted for the clipped wing one at around 1715mm span. Gary being Gary, he’s fitting an OS Max 65 I/C motor to it (I can hardly bear to type such a thing!) so it should certainly have plenty of power. He currently trying to source a Pitts style muffler for the engine so he doesn’t have an ugly silencer hanging outside the cowl. There’s an answer to that Gary…! The finished weight should be around 7.5lbs. It looks to be coming along nicely so it shouldn’t be too long before we see it flying.

Certainly the most challenging model to appear this month was Catapult King’s Fairchild Republic A-10.It’s a totally scratch built twin ducted fan mode with retracts, not an overnight project, in fact about a year. This is what Catapult says: Basically I had two 10 blade 50mm EDFs that were destined for the F14 I started ages ago, I also had some retracts that I couldn’t use on the F14 and thought I would like to do a model using both so up came the idea of an A10. I found a 3D view picture and blew it up on a printer until I had a size that would fit the motors and printed it out. From the blown up version the model was basically made up as I went. The main wing didn’t take too long except it took a while to work out how to install the retracts as this was my first time using them. The tail/elevator sections came next followed by the fuselage, all the time thinking about where the electrics etc. would go. The nose wheel and doors and how to sequence them proved to be a pain. It’s mainly made from balsa with ply to strengthen and Depron to lose weight where I could. However, eventually I came up with a reasonable looking plane but I thought it was overweight which, as it turns out, it appears to be. The power train is two 10 blade EDFs which according to spec provide 650g of static thrust each, the model unfortunately has come in at 1.55kg flying weight. It uses a single 2650mAh 4s battery (all I’ve got) and good old HK 9g servos all round plus the heavy retracts. I’d hoped that once in the air the motors would be more efficient and at least it would fly, wrong! I think Catapult is being too hard on himself and personally I don’t think the problem is simply lack of thrust on an overweight model. I wonder if the wing/tail incidence is correct and also maybe the thrust line. You can see the attempts at flight in the video, it doesn’t look like a lack of thrust to me. But Catapult will persevere and I reckon he’ll get it sorted, after all he’s already had success with some pretty outlandish models.

Back to Dougal Entendre now. We’ve all had the warnings drummed into us about not using a mobile phone while driving but apparently Dougal didn’t realise it applied to model flying as well! He wasn’t actually intending to use his mobile as a phone, he wanted to use the timer on it to see how many loops he could do in one minute for the comp.In the end it was irrelevant as he longer had a competitive model to try it with anyway. RIP the Laius. Just to rub salt into his wounds I then proceeded to take the lead in the comp with 29 loops but no doubt he’ll have another attempt with a different model. He cheered himself up by ordering a new FPV camera, a pretty red one.Of course it’s not just the colour that’s different, this one has a 1.8mm focal length lens and his existing one has a 2.5mm lens which means he’ll have a wider field of view (FOV). It’s always good to experiment.

Kryten took some amazing flying photos for us again this month, here’s a selection for you to enjoy:

Video time now and this month it includes footage by Captain Slow and Dougal Entendre, thanks chaps. Please watch the video full screen, it’s so much better with small models flying around:If the video won’t play for you please click HERE

And finally, with thoughts of Captain Slow and bullock 473:
Why wouldn’t the farmers invest in flying cows? Because the steaks would have been too high…

Colin Cowplain

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