Patch News – December 2019

Happy New Year to you all, I hope you all had a great Christmas and aren’t reading this with a New Year’s Eve hangover! Did anybody receive any modelling goodies for Christmas? If you did please let me know so I can share it with others. Personally I was given a very nice Help for Heroes Vulcan t-shirt and a ‘Gift in a Tin’ fighter plane. Sadly, as it’s of a Meccano type construction I don’t hold out too much hope for its’ flying characteristics. I know that Angie treated Dougal Entendre to a 4K ‘action cam’ for Christmas and he’ll soon be mounting it on a model alongside an FPV camera so we should be able to see some high quality in air footage.

This Patch News will be a little shorter than usual, partly because I was away for much of the month and partly because December saw some awful weather. Bob the Builder snapped this photo of Woody feeling the cold one day!The bullocks came and went a couple of times during December but the fence has done its’ job so the patch has remained in great condition. Unfortunately the field is very muddy down by the gate and the track and parking areas have also become very mucky with all the wet weather. But November had ended beautifully and Friday 29th November saw an event that occurred too late to be included in the November Patch News.The weather that day was glorious and in the morning I received a WhatsApp message from Iven asking if we would be flying in the afternoon. He said he’d flown in the morning and had managed a perfect spot landing and had left proof on the patch for us. When we arrived in the afternoon we found a pink box in the centre of the patch covered with a piece of wood weighed down by a brick, very odd. When we looked inside this is what we found.It turned out to be Ian’s 60th (yes I know he only looks 40, that’s because we’re old) and he had left us some cakes, brilliant idea, thanks Ian. As the weather was great there was a good turnout and the cakes went down a treat.

Last month I featured several models under construction one of which was Bob the Builder’s version of a Ghost Rider 50. Dougal has been flying an electrified Ghost Rider 50 for several years and Bob decided to build his own version. It’s now flown and, as you will see in the video, Dougal did the test flight but soon handed the transmitter to Bob. Bob calls it EGhost and says this: Based on a Ghost Rider 50 like Mark’s. I wanted something one step up from a Splot. Stable in windy conditions, big and colourful enough to see at distance, tricycle undercarriage for easier touch and go’s, good for inverted flight, plenty of power to get out of trouble, easy and cheap to build & repair, easy battery changes and will fly on a range of 3 or 4 cell batteries 2200-4000mAh. Very pleased with it so far.Bob was good enough to let me have a flight and I must say it’s a very good all round sports model, it will do all the aerobatics you want but has good flying characteristics with no nasty handling problems, a winner for sure.

Chas sent me a couple of photos of a Limbo Dancer that he’s built and in November he was just starting the covering so I expect it will be flying very soon. Chas has fitted a Pelikan 900Kv motor which spins an 11×8 propeller. The speed controller is 70A and he intends to use a 4 cell lipo battery initially. Depending on how it performs he might change to a 3 cell pack and a 13×7 prop. The radio gear is JR and he’s fitted Hitec servos. I look forward to seeing it fly, in its’ day the Limbo Dancer was one of the top fun-fly machines.

One new model that has been built and eventually flew right at the end of December is this little cracker from Catapult King. He really liked the look of 1066’s Pichler HiSpeed so Catapult took a few photos and some of the Pichler’s vital statistics and came up with a model that he’s named Yellow Tail. This is what he says about it: When talking to Steve he mentioned it would be better if it were a little bigger so the wing span is 1.2m, the fuse is based on my Sunbird. It’s the first time I have attempted a ‘skinny wing’ so I can only hope it holds up. I was going for a 4s battery but will probably use a 3s to start with. The motor is a Turnigy 2836 950kv motor and 40A ESC. The prop will start as a 9×5 but may go up to a 10×6 depending on how things go, after all this is supposed to be fast. Just need to glue the hinges in and add the control horns and I’m ready to go.Well Catapult has now finished the model and it certainly looks fast so how did it fly? 1066 has been rather disappointed with the relative lack of speed with his Pichler on 3 cells and is threatening to switch to 4 cells. I’m not saying that Catapult was rather apprehensive about the first flight but he did bring along a change of trousers!Catapult chose to use 3 cells for the first flight and asked Dougal to do the honours. It was a fairly breezy morning but the Yellow Tail went away well and after a little trimming it flew fine although, like the Pichler, it wasn’t as fast as expected. After a few minutes of getting used to it Dougal landed the model with no problems.After a few adjustments the model went away from launch perfectly for the next flight and Dougal soon passed the transmitter over to Catapult. It was fine for the first couple of minutes but then Catapult did a gliding downwind pass and got bitten when the Yellow Tail suddenly tip-stalled and spun in.The very thin wing and sharp leading edge means the Yellow Tail needs speed to stop it tip-stalling. Fortunately the damage wasn’t too bad and the model will be repaired. I took some video of the flights, I’ll include it next month.

Page Boy has bought himself a second E-Flite Harvard after damaging the undercarriage of the first one with a heavy landing. The damage wasn’t bad but he says he cheered himself up by buying a new one, what it is to have money! On a forum one day he spotted a German guy who had produced a 3D printed radial engine for the Harvard so he asked how much they cost. Back came the reply ‘Give me your address and I’ll send you one, no charge’. Page Boy thought he was joking but shortly afterwards it turned up. What an excellent chap!

You might remember that in last month’s Patch News I showed Dougal Entendre’s badly damaged Skyfun which was the result of getting lost after flying into cloud where the spotter couldn’t see it. Having examined the wreckage and declared it a write-off Dougal has since had second thoughts and come up with this, a Snub Nosed Skyfun. It flies much the same as before but unsurprisingly has lost a little directional stability with the flat front.At the moment Dougal is only flying it in normal RC mode but the plan is to fit his new 4K video camera on the front and then re-fit the FPV gear but with a drone controller for extra functions such as RTH (return to home).The snub nose means Dougal can do “Aargh, I’ve been speared” impressions!

One of the tractors that brings the manure to the large pile by the barn got a flat one day and was stranded while waiting for some help. Dougal had his car 12v tyre pump with him but decided it may not be quite up to the job!Shaun the farm worker later explained that the tyre must have been low on pressure and it rolled off the rim. There was quite a tale of involving various other farm vehicles etc. and it took about 4 hours for them to get it sorted.

As I explained earlier I’m a little short of material this month but fortunately Kryten has come up trumps with lots of his excellent photos. First up is this “Who can’t land a Wot-4 properly?” moment!Oh yes, that’ll be Chas then!The rest are all self explanatory:

This month some of the video and photos come from Captain Slow, Bob the Builder, and Dougal Entendre, thanks guys. 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

Cessna: “Southampton tower, Cessna Alpha Lima, student pilot, I am out of fuel.”
Tower: “Roger Cessna Alpha Lima, reduce airspeed to best glide!! Do you have the airfield in sight?!?!!”
Cessna: “Uh … tower, I am on the south ramp; I just want to know where the fuel truck is….”

Colin Cowplain

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