Patch News – January 2019

Patch News – January 2019

The club has had a busy start to the year with lots of flying at the patch and several new models being flown.Obviously January brings some challenging weather but overall it hasn’t been too bad, mostly fairly mild although some days were very cold, especially if the low temperatures were combined with strong winds. As I write this on the last Sunday morning of the month I’m not flying because the Hampshire Astronomical Group live weather station (which you can see by clicking HERE) is showing a 10 minute average wind speed of 29mph and a high of 47mph!But we’re a hardy lot (well some of us are anyway) and we’ve managed to fly regularly.

As we were returning to the cars after one flying session I noticed a very unusual weather feature, a bank of cloud with an almost dead straight edge that ran from horizon to horizon. I think 1066 said it’s called a Step cloud.The photo doesn’t really do it justice but you can get the idea, it was certainly very dramatic.

We were pleased to welcome a new member, Ian, to the club in January. Ian’s surname is Venn and for obvious reasons he was immediately given the nickname Iven, so if you’re wondering why it’s not spelt Ivan, that’s your answer. Iven visited the field, asked lots of questions about what to buy and from where, and then went to SMC and bought an E-Flite Apprentice fitted with Spektrum radio…hmm. But the Apprentice is a great trainer and it comes with SAFE Technology (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) which in theory makes it almost impossible to crash.The package includes a 5 channel Spektrum DXe transmitter but that’s a very basic transmitter so Iven also bought a Spektrum DX6e for a bit of future proofing and bound that to the Apprentice instead of using the DXe.There is some setting up to do on the transmitter to get the SAFE Tech working correctly but Iven thought he’d sorted it ok when he brought it along to test fly. I gave the 1.5M span Apprentice a quick check over, discussed the various SAFE modes, switched to Expert mode, and all seemed fine so I took it up. Almost immediately it was clear that the SAFE Tech was not performing as it should and was fighting against me as I tried to fly a circuit. I didn’t feel as if I was in total control so I landed. You can see that brief flight in this month’s video. We played around with the different modes and tried again a couple of times but it just wasn’t working correctly so Dougal Entendre and Captain Slow gave Iven a go on their Hummers, hardly ideal trainers! I contacted Kryten as he had learnt to fly with exactly the same model and radio gear and he confirmed that getting the DX6e to work with the SAFE Tech was a bit of a struggle but sent me some web links and YouTube videos to look at. I passed the info on to Iven who had another go at it and returned to the field the next week confident that it was now correct. I flew it again in Expert mode but with much the same results so I switched to Beginner mode and then it seemed to be working better.At last Iven was able to have a go at flying and he managed a couple of circuits before it became clear the SAFE Tech still wasn’t right so I landed the Apprentice again. By now I was being to think it was me so I got Dougal to fly it but he also quickly found the SAFE Tech wasn’t right and landed. I believe Iven is now going to remove the SAFE receiver and use the ‘normal’ one that came with the DX6e transmitter so we can just teach him in the usual manner. It’s a great shame as Kryten’s set up worked perfectly from day one and he learned to fly very quickly with very little assistance from others. In the meantime Dougal has set Iven up with a flight simulator so in a couple of weeks he won’t need any help at all anyway…possibly…

If you read Patch News last month you’ll know I was fortunate enough to receive an Avios Bush Mule for Christmas. Once Christmas and New Year were out of the way I moved my models out of my storeroom and it became a model room once more so I was able to assemble the Bush Mule. There really is very little involved in putting it together, just a case of joining and bolting on the wings and wing struts, fitting the undercarriage, and bolting on the tailplane/fin assembly. I also epoxied the tailplane/fin assembly in place, the bolts didn’t seem too firm to me. So far so good, but it took me quite a while to connect it all up and program the radio. Both speed controllers and motors come ready fitted and wired up but they each require a radio channel of their own and I wanted to mix them with rudder to give differential thrust when using the rudder. There are also flaps which I programmed using flight phases so I have Phase 1: Flaps up for normal flight Phase 2: Half flap for take-off, Phase 3: Full flap for landing.Add to this the cargo door, steerable nose wheel, and lights as well as two aileron channels and elevator and there’s quite a lot of wiring and setting up to sort out. The speed controllers are also able to switch the motors into reverse, useful if you fit the floats and fly from water, but I didn’t have any spare channels left so I can’t use reverse thrust. I am also using telemetry, so I fitted a Multiplex 150A current sensor which displays live current draw, max current draw, receiver voltage, the lipo voltage, the strength of the signal that the transmitter is getting back from the receiver, and, most importantly, the milliamp hours remaining in the lipo. All the values can be displayed on the transmitter screen and spoken as well but of course that’s far too much information to take in during the flight so I just have mine set to speak the milliamp hours left when I flick a switch. So it’s like a fuel gauge i.e. it will say “One thousand three hundred and eighty one milliamp hours”. It also speaks the throttle open time when I switch it.The first flight was fine, almost no trimming required, and the only problem I found was that the rock solid EPP foam wheels make the landings very bouncy. I’ve since changed the main wheels to softer foam rubber Tundra wheels which has helped a lot but I’ve also found it’s better to land with half flap and a little more speed rather than use full flap. I ordered some parachutes to drop but they didn’t come in time for the first flight so I made up some very small gliders and some toffees with streamers to drop. The gliders were rubbish as were the toffees but the parachutes duly arrived and they’ve proved to be excellent. I now have six parachutes and they’ve been providing lots of entertainment and exercise for everyone who isn’t flying! You can see a parachute drop in this month’s video. I did manage to provide some extra entertainment on one flight. I took off as usual, raised the flaps during the climb out and suddenly both motors cut dead. I kept heading straight into wind and landed a few hundred metres down the field. As I walked to retrieve the model I tried to work out why the motors had stopped, I knew the lipo was charged. Then, as I reached the Bush Mule I saw the flaps were down and it dawned on me, instead of raising the flaps I’d pressed the throttle cut button…doh! Needless to say the other fliers present were surprised when I carried the model straight back to the patch and immediately took off again. I was forced to explain my stupidity and of course once they’d stopped laughing they barely mentioned it for next two hours…over and over again!

Speaking of pillocks, 1066 had a couple of ‘moments’ in January and I know he’d be disappointed if I didn’t tell you about them. The first one was when he launched his little Blitz delta and it immediately rolled straight into the deck. He looked down at the transmitter and we all saw the light bulb moment when he realised he’d switched the model to Blaze not Blitz! Never mind Steve, the first two letters were right…His second moment was a couple of weeks later, I saw him drive down the track but a few minutes later he drove back up it again. About half an hour later he returned, clutching the wings that he’d left on the bench!

I photographed Captain Slow’s part built Zagi at the beginning of November last year and featured it in Patch News where I mentioned that SMC say “Buy today, fly tomorrow”. Well this is how it was looking in mid-January. Perfection takes time…apparently…

But as the foamboard jet trend continues Captain Slow has finished his Mig-29…blimey, they must be quick to build!He’s fitted his with a Turnigy D2826/6 2200Kv motor and a 6×4 prop. It seems to fly just the same as the others although nobody is sure just how fast it will go as Captain Slow has never reached full throttle! As you can see he’s opened up the slot to reduce the prop noise and it seems to prove that the most important gap is the one in front of the prop. Captain Slow is also now building a Sukhoi SU-27…don’t hold your breath…

Gorgeous Gary has also joined the jet jockeys with a Mig-29. He’s using a drone motor, an RCINPOWER G2306 2200Kv, the same motor as I use. They seem good with a 6×4 prop and have plenty of power for the foamies.Gary had a big smile on his face at the end of the first flight … He’s had more flights with the Mig and is coming round to the joys of electric flight at last. And guess what, now he’s got the bug he’s building an SU-27!

Having enjoyed flying his Mig-29 for a few weeks Woody has now put together a Sukhoi SU-27. Being Woody he’s kitted it out with lights and I have to admit it does look impressive in flight, they show up well. The Sukhoi is a bit bigger than the Mig and has ailerons as well as elevons which means it’s better for high alpha stuff but not quite as quick flat out. I’ve also retro fitted a rudder to mine which helps with high alpha flying.

Page Boy was given an E-flite Texan for his birthday and very nice it is too. The E-flite models all seem to be good.It’s a 1500mm EPO foam model that comes pretty much complete, just a few screws are required to hold it together, the electronics, servos, linkages etc. are all pre-installed. The Texan comes with electric retracts which have strut covers, hinged doors, and scale wheels, and it has split flaps just like the full-size Texan. Page Boy asked me to do the maiden flight and being aware of the Texan/Harvard reputation for tip stalling I was slightly nervous. But the E-flite model is totally viceless, a real pussycat to fly, it took off beautifully, flew around very smoothly, and with the flaps down it just floated in for a gentle landing. You can see it in this month’s video.

Page Boy also sent me some photos of the latest ‘proper’ balsa/ply build that he has underway. It’s a Lindsay Todd design called a Woodpecker that has a 70″ wingspan. I thought it was an English Electric Wren, I’m sure that must have been Lindsay’s inspiration. Knowing Page Boy it will soon be finished and flying.

Most of you will know by now that on 10th January we had a Chinook fly directly over the patch at very low level. Fortunately we had just packed up flying and put the fence up when it appeared over the trees by the track we drive down, it flew right over the patch and out over the valley. It was very low, between 50 and 100 feet we reckoned and was going at speed. I quickly snapped a couple of photos but they don’t really show just how low it was. Had any models been in the air it’s doubtful the pilots would have had time to take any avoiding action. We are always careful about other airspace users, keep our ears and eyes open, and shout warnings as required but this served as a reminder that we must be extra vigilant. Contact has been made with the relevant authorities to ensure they know when and where we fly but ultimately it’s our responsibility to avoid full-size aircraft at all costs.

A few months ago Norwegian Nick won a Wingnetic in the big raffle and he brought it along to test fly in January.In the usual Norwegian Nick manner he has tarted up the original colour scheme a bit and made it look much smarter than standard. It’s certainly a lot better than my own very old and tatty Wingnetic! Sadly it didn’t quite get away from the launch and incurred some minor damage, but no doubt it will reappear and fly successfully soon. The Wingnetics are great little fliers and several members have enjoyed owning them.

Last month I pictured two models that were being put together by Newbie Nick and Matt. (Incidentally Matt needs a nickname, do you have any ideas?) They are both Pilot-RC Extra 330SCs with 67” wingspan, but Nick’s is a Gen 1 and Matt’s is a Gen 2. The Gen 2 has slightly different reinforcements and some other minor improvements. They were both hoping to fly them last week but Matt discovered some hinge problems with his so only Nick’s flew. It has a 400Kv Pilot motor swinging an 18×10 wooden prop, and a 6 cell 5000mAh lipo pack. Nick has fitted Savox 0252MG servos, and a Futaba R7008SB FASSTest receiver which is powered by a 6.6v life battery. Matt did the test flight which you can see in this month’s video. It flew really nicely and had plenty of power but the centre of gravity was slightly rearward and Matt wanted to make some slight adjustments to the throws and expo so he landed with plenty of battery capacity for another flight. Nick moved the lipo forward and made the adjustments on the transmitter and then Matt went to take-off again. But there was no power, the prop didn’t turn at all!After much fiddling, investigation, and helpful(?) comments from everyone present Nick gave up and flew his F-35 to cheer himself up! Back on the workbench he discovered the HobbyWing Platinum 100A Pro V3 speed controller was dead. Nick has sent it back and has just received a Castle Creations Edge Lite 100A to replace it.

Our patch is in a beautiful spot with lovely scenery all round, particularly to the south where views over the Solent and on to the Isle of Wight can be enjoyed.  Late one Friday afternoon I noticed a glorious sunset starting to form and thought what a lovely photo it would make for Patch News. There’s always someone to pee on your parade…

Time now for this month’s video, most of which was filmed by Captain ‘Heavy Breather’ Slow: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

This month’s Finishing Funny comes from Dougal Entendre:

The flight attendant sees a suspicious looking couple on board, so she reports it to the Captain immediately.

“Sir, I think we have a case of human trafficking! There is a very pretty, hot and sexy female passenger on board who looks quite frightened, and the man she is with is a fat old slob who looks like a lecher, very sullen, mean and dangerous!”

The Captain responds, “Patricia, I’ve told you this before. This is Air Force One…”

Colin Cowplain

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

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

Patch News – October 2018

As I was away towards the end of October this Patch News will be a little shorter than usual and it won’t include any events that occurred in the last ten days or so of the month. No doubt other members will keep me informed of anything I missed and I’ll be able to add them to the next edition. Thanks to Dougal Entendre, Captain Slow, Catapult King, Dwayne Pipe, and Kryten for their photo and video contributions this month.

October saw the expected changeable weather and we missed flying one Sunday morning and a couple of Friday afternoons due to some pretty heavy rain and strong winds. But there were also some absolutely glorious days so we still managed to fly a fair bit, especially the Midweekers. The friendly bullocks that had returned towards the end of September were moved out to the lower field in mid-October which made life much easier for us. But the fence has done its job and the patch is in great condition, just needing an occasional mow now.IMG_4020TI don’t imagine the existing bullocks will be back in the field again as they’ll be off to a supermarket soon, but we’ll no doubt be joined by some much younger ones in a few months time. I expect they’ll prove to be really inquisitive at first and will probably be a pain until they get used to us.

I’ll begin with an event that actually happened on 30th September, too late for me to include in the last Patch News. Dougal Entendre was flying his HobbyKing Edge 540T and Cream Egg was flying his nearly new HobbyKing Voltigeur when there was a sudden bang, they’d had an unfortunate coming together. As is almost always the case when a mid-air occurs nobody was really to blame, it was just one of those things. Although…Bob the Builder (previously known as Basher Bob due to his fondness for mid-airs) was also in the air at the time of the collision. Just saying…! Cream Egg was definitely the winner of this skirmish, the collision pulled out the Voltigeur’s right hand aileron but, despite the aileron fluttering around still attached to the servo, he managed to land safely back on the patch.IMG_0870On closer examination we couldn’t find any sign of the impact, not a mark on the model other than the detached aileron. Presumably just the Voltigeur’s propeller made contact with the Edge, and even the trailing aileron was unmarked. Dougal however was not so fortunate, the impact tore the right hand wing clean off the Edge and despite Dougal’s best efforts at knife-edge flight the damage was too severe and the inevitable ‘hard landing’ occurred.2018-09-30 11.19.58 2018-09-30 11.20.09It was quite impressive, the wreckage was a long way from the ripped off wing, he managed several hundred yards of ‘flight’ before it reached its final resting place! Cream Egg had the Voltigeur back flying again a few days later but sadly the Edge has made its way to the big hangar in the sky… Never mind, it was a lovely day and there were plenty of members present to witness and enjoy the event!

Staying with Dougal, he sent me this photo of his Laius last month and it just happens to include his ill-fated Edge.2018-09-07 15.48.10-1The point of the photo was to show off the huge new rudder he’s fitted to the Laius in the hope that he’ll be able to prop hang the model. I’m not sure if it’s done the trick or not, but I do know he managed to snap the undercarriage and it’s now been replaced with an aluminium one, maybe that was the result of some failed prop hanging?

Stanley Knife has always had a penchant for larger models and during October he flew his 68″ span Black Horse PZL Wilga on a couple of the nicer midweek mornings. I really like this photo of it.2018-10-10 10.34.10I’ve covered the Wilga in Patch News previously but it was a long time ago and it’s worth repeating. The full-size Wilga was produced by Polish company PZL from 1962 until 2006 with over 1000 being built in many different versions. The version Black Horse have modelled is a 35A (no, that’s not how much current it pulls!) which was a mass-produced basic variant for sports aviation. It was fitted with glider towing hook, and was produced from 1968. It was fitted with a radial engine and the wingspan was just over 11M (36½ feet). The Black Horse model spans 1,720mm (67.72 in) and weighs just under 4kg (around 8½ lbs). Stanley has fitted a Turnigy Aerodrive SK3 motor from HobbyKing and says it produces almost 1300W on 8 cells swinging a 16×10 prop.2018-10-10 10.33.48 2018-10-10 10.32.38It certainly has plenty of power for the Wilga, the model takes off rapidly and then stooges around beautifully on much less than half throttle for most of the flight, only requiring more power to perform some gentle aerobatics. I shot some nice video of Stanley flying the Wilga, but unfortunately the only landing I captured was the only one bad one he did. You can see the flight in this month’s video.

I got tempted by a HobbyKing promotional email a couple of weeks ago, it was offering a Sukhoi SU-27 kit for just £7.64! Alright, so it was only a Glue-N-Go profile model made of foamboard and with a centre mounted motor but at that price it was simply too cheap to ignore. Unfortunately the cheapest postage option from the UK warehouse was more than £5 which seemed a bit excessive when the kit was so cheap so the obvious thing to was to buy two and effectively halve the postage. After a few seconds listening to a ridiculous voice in my head telling me I didn’t need another plane I pressed the Buy button. 1066 has already bought the second kit for a future club raffle so pay attention, you might be the proud owner of your very own Sukhoi soon!2018-10-15 15.13.002018-10-15 14.18.02The SU-27 has a wingspan of 750mm and is 1080mm long so is actually bigger than I expected. It also seems to be bigger than HobbyKing expected, the website says 650mm span and 900mm long, odd. The box contains nine pieces of pre-printed laser cut 5mm foamboard a plastic motor mount, a carbon tube, all the necessary linkages, and an instruction booklet. Oh, and 4 screws that are shown in the parts list but I have absolutely no idea what they are for! The builder has to provide a motor, 2 servos, speed controller, receiver, and 3 cell lipo. Unlike the stuff you can buy in art shops the foamboard is not paper backed and HobbyKing say it’s impervious to water. It all goes together very quickly, almost all with hot melt glue, and mine was ready to fly in just a couple of days.2018-10-15 14.18.29 2018-10-15 14.18.19A servo on each side of the ‘fuselage’ drives one aileron and one elevator half, so up elevator also gives up aileron, and the elevator halves also act as ailerons. I would have expected up elevator to be combined with down aileron so it seemed rather odd. So would it work in practice and how would the plane fly? The short answer is yes, brilliantly!Screenshot (38) Screenshot (29)Despite my doubts about the way the control surfaces operate they proved to be perfect in the air and the Sukhoi is nicely responsive to both ailerons and elevator. The specs say 1300-2200mAh packs can be used and I’ve been using 1300 and 1800 packs with no problems. With a 3 cell 1300mAh graphene lipo mine weighs 450g and balances at the suggested C of G with no lead required. It does feel very light for its size and that shows in the flight performance, it will slow right down to walking pace and still remain easy to control. Open the throttle and it will climb away vertically but I have to say it does become rather noisy at full throttle so I spend most of the flight stooging around at high alpha low speed where it’s most fun anyway.2018-10-15 15.13.03The noise is a result of the centre mounted propeller, pushers that have the propeller close to the wing trailing edge suffer the same problem. I’ll try a few different prop sizes to see if I can quieten it down a bit but otherwise it’ll be a case of avoiding full throttle most of the time, not a problem.

Captain Slow spent some time visiting old friends in France during October. Knowing they were into modelling he took his Multiplex FunGlider with him and they managed to enjoy some flying on the land alongside their house.IMG_0125 IMG_0198Captain Slow also discovered that his friend collects transmitters, he sounds like he could be Dougal’s new best friend although with only ten transmitters he’s not really in the same league yet!

1066 has been on a spending spree but not on new models, he’s recently relieved ex-PAM member Cyano Steve of his remaining modelling gear. From what I could gather he picked up a variety of top class 3D models (some in need of repair), batteries, and props for a bargain price. Cyano Steve used to buy top quality 3D models and 1066 has already started flying Steve’s old 51″ AJ Slick. The initials AJ stand for the designer Andrew Jesky, and Andrew is a world class aerobatic champion so he should know what he’s doing when designing a 3D model.2018-10-19 15.00.51 2018-10-19 15.00.581066 seemed to be getting on very well with the Slick on the first few flights that I watched so we can look forward to some impressive aerobatics in the future. Right now he’s still being careful with it but I’m sure that will change!

In Patch News a couple of months ago I featured Dougal Entendre’s shiny new Freewing Moray that had an excellent first flight but crashed on it’s second flight. Last month I explained that the cause had turned out to be failure of the speed controller and in October Dougal had another go with the newly repaired model.2018-10-19 15.00.22 2018-10-19 15.00.30He’d made a good job of the repairs and fitted a new motor and speed controller so all was looking good. Sadly it didn’t go well, the Moray rolled hard left from the launch and crashed. Presumably the motor torque caused the roll and Dougal’s application of right aileron wasn’t enough to stop it. Sadly, I’m not sure he’ll bother repairing it again.

Never mind, Dougal has a shiny new model to play with, or rather a shiny secondhand model. One of the models that 1066 bought from Cyano Steve was this lovely 3D Hobby Shop Velox and he’s now sold it on to Dougal.2018-10-21 10.13.08More details next month but for now, it’s a tad under 6ft span, weighs just under 9lbs, and Dougal flies it on 6 cells.2018-10-21 10.13.58 2018-10-21 10.14.09It flies beautifully and I have taken some video which you’ll be able to see in the next Patch News.

Here’s a selection of Catapult King’s and Kryten’s excellent flying shots that I held over from last month:IMG_4039T IMG_4036T IMG_3997T IMG_3985T IMG_0886 IMG_0885 IMG_0883Video time now: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

An airline pilot dies at the controls of his plane and goes straight to hell where the devil takes him to the ‘arrivals’ area. There are three doors, marked 1, 2, and 3. The devil tells the pilot that he will be allowed to choose his own hell, but first the devil has to take care of something else, and disappears for a couple of minutes.

The curious pilot sneaks a look behind door number one. He sees a pilot going through pre-flight checks for all eternity. He looks behind door number two, and he sees a pilot that forever finds himself trying to resolve emergency situations. He looks behind the last door, and sees a Captain being waited on hand and foot by scantily-clad stewardesses.

The devil returns just as the pilot gets back to his waiting position but he only offers the pilot a choice of door number one or two. The pilot says, “But I wanted door number three!”

“Sorry,” replies the devil, “that’s stewardesses’ hell.”

Colin Cowplain

Patch News – September 2018

It’s autumn time again and September gave us a mix of some really lovely and some really terrible weather, but I suppose that’s what we should expect in autumn. The patch is getting better and better, it was mown regularly in September but it shouldn’t need many more cuts this year. I snapped this shot of Dougal Entendre, Norwegian Nick, and Woody all trying to stay awake while waiting for Captain Slow to finish one row with the mower.2018-09-14 14.49.01Farmer George moved the bullocks out early in the month so we haven’t had any problems with them but he’s recently said that they will be back shortly. Stop press: 26th Sept – bad news they’re back!

We were walking back to the cars after flying one midweek morning when we heard the distinctive sound of a Chinook. It sounded close but we couldn’t see it at first. The sound grew louder and louder and we suddenly spotted it. We’d made the foolish mistake of looking upwards but it was actually below us, down in the valley south of the field! It had climbed a bit by the time I got my phone out to take this photo:2018-08-30 12.36.10It went eastward, not over the field, but it was scarily low and could just as easily flown right over the patch. We enjoyed seeing it and I know we are always careful but it does serve as a warning to be extra vigilant if we hear a full-size aircraft heading our way. I managed to take a short snip of video which I’ll include in this month’s video.

Last month I featured Dougal Entendre’s new Freewing Moray that had suffered some damage when it crashed on just its’ second flight. Dougal had climbed to height to check out the stall but having stalled the model inexplicably failed to recover. Well Dougal is now pretty sure he has found the problem, an overheating speed controller. He says the model felt down on power as it was climbing so it seems likely the controller was overheating and when the model stalled there was little or no power to recover. Dougal sent me a photo of the offending controller, explaining that this was how it came out of the model, he hasn’t cut the heat shrink afterwards.2018-09-23 10.46.00He also confessed “That’s the last time I buy a sub-£5 40A (supposedly) ESC on eBay”.

A couple of months ago I pictured Norwegian Nick with his new EDF Hawk which looked great but didn’t have enough thrust to fly. Nick was using a 12 bladed ChangeSun fan and a 3 cell lipo pack and the consensus was that 3 cells weren’t enough to drive the ChangeSun fan, so he swapped it out for a 5 bladed Lander fan.2018-09-27 10.30.212018-09-27 10.30.02He’s now using a 4 cell lipo and a 4000KV motor which flies it beautifully as you can see in this month’s video.2018-09-27 11.32.21Nick currently only has one 4 cell pack so needs to raid the piggy bank to get more than one flight per patch visit.

Nick has also built a new Depron flying wing type model called E-Shark from the designer Graham Dorschell.2018-09-14 16.00.01It was free plan in RC Model World and this is what the Traplet website says about it: This is a simple sports or slope (using a folding prop) 41 in. span model design by Graham Dorschell built up from 5mm Depron using the ‘folding wing’ method, with some balsa and Correx board and using basic tools with two 9g servos for delta mix. With just a few parts to cut it turns into a quick model to fly with a 35mm 1500kv brushless motor, 60 Amp ESC, 8″ x 6″ prop and a 3S 2200-3000 mAh lipo.

Norwegian Nick has fitted his with a 3536 1400kv outrunner motor, a 60 amp esc, and is using an 8×6 prop.2018-09-14 15.59.38 2018-09-26 10.31.14It flies extremely well on a 3 cell 2700 lipo, only requiring around third throttle for stooging around so the flight times should be long. It failed to climb away from the first launch but then Nick realised the elevons were slightly down with the stick centred so he adjusted those and it went away beautifully from the second launch. I took some video of the E-Shark that you’ll be able to see in the next edition of Patch News.

There seem to have been some very strange fashions on the PAM catwalk at the field recently. Last month I pictured Woody’s refurbished Seagull Swift in its’ new Blue Angels colour scheme and this month I snapped the man himself with the model… ‘Built the model, bought the T-shirt’!2018-09-02 11.22.23Whilst Woody’s T-shirt is understandable some other fashion statements on the PAM catwalk are less so, here we have Dwayne Pipe modelling a rather snazzy pink bin liner that is usually reserved for carrying his crashed models.2018-08-24 15.33.43And Captain Slow (AKA Billy No Mates), feeling rather lonely, tried his “I’m hoping to become a Freemason” look!2018-09-14 14.23.30At least they made the effort and got to the field, 1066 just stayed at home and napped on the couch.1066-1Perhaps I should explain that he’s had an operation for a torn retina…ouch! I bet he’s really pleased that his wife Jen put the photo on Facebook for me to copy. Not sure what that odd lump on his head is though, maybe Jen clouted him for being so lazy! But don’t worry, he’s fine now and back flying again.

New members Nick and Matt are continuing their trend of having almost identical models! This month they both bought Sbach 342s but they aren’t the same, Nick’s is manufactured by Dynam and Matt’s is from HobbyKing.2018-09-16 11.49.38 2018-09-16 12.06.46First, a bit about the full size: The Sbach 342 is a two seater unlimited aircraft manufactured by XtremeAir GmbH, it’s the first ever certified all composite aerobatic aircraft. The lightweight aircraft features the solid Lycoming 6 cylinder air cooled motor and massive control surfaces to provide it with the low speed aerobatic handling needed in the most advanced and testing aerobatic schedules.

This is what Dynam say about Nick’s model: Straight out of the box you will find that this Dynam Sbach 342 model is lightweight, rigid and features a fabulous showroom finish using quality paint and decals that will look great at the airfield and in the air. Efficient and affordable power supply is guaranteed with the pre-installed quality ESC (with ample reserve capacity) and oversized 900kv brushless motor, driving a reinforced two blade nylon propeller will readily translate into an impressive flight envelope. Knife edge loops, 1 roll circles, flat spins, harrier loops, snaps, point rolls and prop hanging are performed with accuracy and grace that belie its compact 1250 mm span. Dynam have chosen an exceptional aircraft to replicate; they have delivered a lightweight EPO foam airframe in a quality finished, classic bold colour scheme and provided a near perfect power-train partnership. In short, it’s a model that can proudly and deservingly display the Sbach 342 badging.

So there you have it, we shall expect to see Nick performing knife edge loops, one roll circles etc. every Sunday…2018-09-16 11.47.39 Nick is using 4 cell 2900mAh lipos and the model had loads of power. You will see in the video that it appeared to have a slightly rearward centre of gravity but other than that it looked really good, a promising start.

I think Matt said he bought his HobbyKing Sbach second-hand from someone on Hayling Island. HobbyKing say this about it: The Sbach 342 is made from tough EPO foam, it is a really quick and simple build that requires no glue, the tail plane simply bolts on and the 2pc wings are a plug in set up, also ideal for transportation. The servos are pre-installed, the elevator/rudder servo’s being standard size with plenty of torque for aggressive 3D manoeuvers. Also pre-installed is the powerful brushless motor and ESC, for maximum performance and efficiency, a 2 blade prop is supplied. This fantastic looking Sbach 342 offers both the 3D pilot and sport pilot a very capable model with tons of performance and a whole load of presence, the large control surfaces are perfect for just about any manoeuver you care to throw at it. This superb Sbach 342 will keep you grinning from ear to ear, just make sure you have plenty of lipos to hand, prop hanging the Sbach is addictive!

According to the specs the wingspan and length are both 1400mm and the flying weight is around 2.3kg. Being second-hand I’m not sure if Matt’s has the standard set-up but it should have a 4250 800kv motor, a 70A speed controller and two standard size servos on the elevator and rudder plus two 9g servos for the ailerons.2018-09-16 12.06.23Matt is using 4 cell 5000mAh lipos so his model should have had a similar performance to Nick’s but it didn’t, vertical performance was very poor for a 3D style model. It has a lower kV motor so will need a larger prop than Nick’s model but in fact it had the same diameter but a lower pitch. So the next stage is a larger prop or maybe more cells. Other than the lack of performance the Sbach looked good and I’m sure Matt will soon have it performing well.

Dougal and 1066 are both happy flying low inverted and also both competitive so it was easy to wind them up with shouts of ‘Lower’ at every pass. I snapped a photo of each of them, not at their lowest points but you get the idea.2018-09-02 12.31.13-1 2018-09-02 12.38.02On this occasion I think 1066 came out on top…or should that be underneath???

Chris P Bacon was getting to grips with his new Ripmax Bolero during September when disaster struck.2018-09-02 11.45.06He was rather unlucky, it wasn’t even a real crash that caused so much damage, it was just a relatively minor hiccup on a landing approach. The problem nowadays is that the 3D models are so lightly built in order to give the best possible performance that a relatively minor mishap is harshly punished. The damage probably isn’t actually as terminal as it looks and I think it will repair fairly easily, I hope so anyway.

Two years ago a group of PAM members visited Vulcan XM655 at its’ home in Wellesbourne and were treated to a tour of the aircraft including the cockpit. This year on Sunday 16th September the 655 Maintenance and Preservation Society (MaPS) held a Members Day and, as both Percy Vears and Captain Slow have become members, they were present to see and hear the Vulcan’s engines being run up. When Percy built his lovely EDF Vulcan model he finished it in the XM655 colour scheme so he took it along on the day and found there was another Vulcan model there as well. Captain Slow took some photos and I downloaded some from the official website.P9160001 P9160015 Vulc-1

Norwegian Nick was given a part built model recently but had no idea what it was. Most of the model structure is built but it’s missing a fin, cowling, and cockpit so Nick decided to ask if anyone could identify it on the RCM&E forum ( It took just 8 minutes for someone to identify it as a Chorus Gull designed by Brian Peckham and featured in RCM&E in February 2002. The design was loosely based on the Percival Mew Gull and was originally designed for a 60 size I/C engine but of course Nick will be using an electric motorto power this one.IMG_0940 IMG_0943Various posts on the forum provided photos and a link to a company selling the plan, cowling & canopy. Another post had a link to a build blog on different forum. Nick has already ordered the plan. He says the model is beautifully built and he’ll now get on and complete the model. Isn’t the internet a wonderful thing?

Thanks to Dougal and Captain Slow for their video and photo contributions this month. Kryten has also sent me lots of great ‘in air’ photos, here a selection, I’ll use some of the others next month:IMG_3972T IMG_4006T IMG_4016T IMG_3978T IMG_3993T IMG_4032T IMG_4054T

Video time now:

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

On an airplane, I overheard a stewardess talking to an elderly couple in front of me. Learning that it was the couple’s 50th wedding anniversary, the flight attendant congratulated them and asked how they had done it. 
“It all felt like five minutes…” the gentleman said slowly.
The stewardess had just begun to remark on what a sweet statement that was when he finished his sentence with a word that earned him a sharp smack on the head: 

Colin Cowplain

Patch News – August 2018

August saw a change in the weather and we’ve gone from moaning ‘It’s too hot, I’m sick of this heat, we need some rain’ to ‘What’s going on, it’s supposed to be summer but it’s like winter’! The patch greened up very quickly when it rained and the speed of the transformation from dry dust bowl to lush green grass was quite incredible.2018-08-27 11.29.21The FARTS (Friday Afternoon Rural Trimming Society) sprang into action and gave it a good cut on Friday 17th but even by the Monday it was growing rapidly and when it was cut again on Friday 24th there was a lot of grass taken off. With the fence doing its job of keeping the bullocks away the grass is now in first class condition and the patch is better than it’s been for a very long time. The bullocks have learnt not to go near the fence and they leave the fliers alone most of the time so we have rarely needed to use the pen round the pits area. I took this photo one midweek day when we had just arrived and were busy lowering the fence, that’s not how we had the pits set up!2018-08-21 10.20.27 We had an ‘incident’ this month, John Warren managed to run his Albatros into himself whilst connecting the battery and the propeller did an excellent impersonation of a bacon slicer on his arm. He was extremely lucky that the cuts were not too deep and with the application of pads and a bandage the bleeding was soon stemmed. Initially we thought John was fine and we rang his wife to come and collect him but then shock kicked in, the blood drained from his face and he briefly passed out so we rang for an ambulance. John was laid down on a groundsheet with his arm raised and was looking much better by the time the ambulance arrived. The ambulance service was excellent (both the staff on the phone and the crew) and, once they’d checked his blood pressure etc., they soon had his arm cleaned up and re-bandaged. They said it didn’t need stitches and a trip to A&E wasn’t required so John’s wife drove him to Petersfield hospital where he was given a thorough check over, the wound redressed, and his arm put in a sling. Several things came out of the incident. Firstly, we must never get blasé about the dangers of an electric model once the battery has been connected. Secondly, the club first aid kits issued to members proved to be very good and we must all keep them with us whenever we fly, they are no use at home or in the car. Thirdly, it took several members to manage the situation, caring for John, directing the ambulance, replacing the fence and so on. Fortunately the bullocks stayed at the bottom of the field and didn’t need to be kept at bay, had they been more inquisitive the situation would have been much more difficult. I don’t want to be unsympathetic but John had been warned several times that he was not being careful enough with a ‘live’ model, hopefully he has learned from this. The incident should also serve as a warning to all of us not to be complacent, a model is dangerous from the moment the battery is connected and must be treated with the utmost respect.

Lecture over, onto more pleasant things now. Despite it still being summer there was a slight lack of new models in August but Page Boy turned up one morning with a very nice little North American AT-6 Texan.2018-08-15 10.34.22The British version is the Harvard but they are basically the same plane. Page Boy’s Texan comes from FMS and it’s an 800mm span model moulded in EPO foam. He actually bought it second-hand (but unflown I think) on eBay about a year ago but has only just got around to finishing it. Page Boy has fitted 1900Kv bell motor in place of the stock 1300Kv motor and uses a 3 cell 1000mAh lipo. At full throttle it’s giving 185W and as the Texan only weighs 450g (1lb) that’s an awful lot of power! The rest of the gear is as it comes, a 20A esc and four 9g servos.2018-08-15 10.34.34 2018-08-15 10.34.53As you can see in this month’s video the Texan flies really well. Page Boy was flinging it around at pretty high speed when I was filming but I had a flight with it afterwards and it is also well behaved when flown much more slowly, I was really impressed with it, a lovely little model.

 At Buriton recreation ground, before the last meeting of August, Dwayne Pipe flew his the latest version of his indoor/very light wind model, appropriately named Mark 3. Unfortunately I was busy flying my Hummer so I didn’t get to video the Mark 3 but it looked to be flying well, certainly much better than either the Mark 1 or Mark 2 did.2018-08-23 20.15.17 2018-08-23 20.15.21I asked Dwayne for some details of the model and this is what he sent: The Mark 3 is my latest attempt to home build an indoor flyer that uses my standard Spektrum transmitter. I have a couple of HobbyKing indoor planes already, which always come with their own low spec custom transmitter. The Mark 1 was a 15″ Depron Blitz that flew round in circles. The Mark 2 was a 15″ Depron Splot that was too heavy and could barely fly.

The Mark 3 is a 15″ own design based on the Splot planform. It flies on rudder, elevator and throttle control. The wings and tail feathers are made of 3mm Aero Depron. The cambered wing is heat moulded to a Clark Y section using a process I found in a recent RCME article. This construction makes a very stiff wing that requires no spar. The two wing sections are assembled with dihedral and then epoxied to a couple of 2mm carbon fibre tubes which form the fuselage, with the tail being sheet Depron. The whole thing including battery I estimate as about 30 grams.2018-08-23 20.15.30The electronics are a Bang-good 2.4G Micro DSM2 compatible receiver with built in brushed ESC. This was bound to my transmitter (eventually) and unlike most “blocks” comes with 4 servo micro sockets. It turns out that only HobbyKing make servos to fit these sockets. These are HobbyKing HK-282AS ultra-micro analogue servos at 2.2 grams each. The motor is a Bang-good coreless brushed motor fitted with gearbox and 5.5 inch propeller. Most importantly I discovered that these tiny aircraft require no down thrust or side thrust when setting up the motor. The battery is 1S 300mAh positioned to balance the model. The model is designed to take the wire wheels from another indoor flyer and will take-off from the ground.mark 3From initial flights it is very stable and should be ideal for indoor flying at Havant but probably too cumbersome to fly at the much smaller Medstead. Thanks Dwayne, I’ll try to get some video of the Mark 3 for a future Patch News.

It finally happened, Cream Egg eventually ran out of skill luck and crashed his Wot4…big time! He had to search for a replacement and this is his story: I spent a lot of time considering what model to purchase following the demise of my WOT4 through stupid pilot error! I ended up with a very extensive shortlist and then Steve Hastings (1066) kindly came over one evening for us to go through the choices and finally settled on the Voltigeur.2018-08-17 14.41.47Cost: £142, including motor, 45 Amp ESC, servos, prop and everything necessary other than the receiver. Assembly instructions: None. Simply 10 pictures on the box, which were very easy to follow. The servos and linkages are pre-fitted. These feature very nice ball joints and the servos are metal gear versions. The entire model is foam construction. Carbon fibre rod through the wings, which is typical. The wings are secured by small plastic bolts for easy disassembly. All one needs is some good Gorilla Glue to install the elevator/rudder/tailplane assembly. Connecting the linkages was reasonably straightforward. The worst operation is assembling the wheels and the fairings that surround them. This took more time than any other operation. Wheels are small and one already has a partial flattened surface and so I am inclined to change these and indeed increase the size slightly as the fairings will accommodate a larger diameter. The plane is designed for 3S batteries and demonstrations by Michael Wargo of Hobbyking show this to be a high performance aircraft with this size of battery and the 1000Kv motor/45Amp ESC. However, my 3S batteries were originally used in my Pandora when I started out and, as they have not been charged/discharged very much over the last year or so, I found them to be quite weak. Accordingly, I thought I would try my 4S batteries, which I have been using in the WOT4. A full load test with Andy‘s assistance showed a maximum power draw of 500 Watts at 40 Amps. Accordingly then, the 45 amp ESC supplied should in theory be adequate, but I plan to use the 60 Amp ESC out of my WOT4 instead. My last flight lasted eight minutes and came down with 57% on the 4S battery flown in fairly high winds of up to 17 mph. All up, I am delighted with the model and especially the way she handles, especially when landing. She is very light and when climbing vertically, it is really impressive. I believe it will be a great aerobatic model to further develop my skills.2018-08-17 14.42.14 2018-08-17 14.42.02The Voltigeur certainly looks good both on the ground and in the air, it’s a very pretty model that performs really well. You can see 1066 doing the maiden flight and some of Crème Egg’s latest flight in this month’s video.

I mentioned in last month’s Patch News that we had been visited by ex-PAM member Peter Mason and he’d promised to organise a quiz night for us. He duly came along to the first meeting in August and ran what turned out to be a very successful quiz consisting of 50 wide ranging aviation questions. The questions were well thought out and I was pleased that there were none of the ‘How many rivets were used to construct Mk.9 Spitfire’ type. Some questions were comparatively easy while others made our tired old brains whir quite a lot! Peter provided some very nice prizes for the first three places and I’m pleased to say that I won with just 25 points and Dougal and Woody tied for second place with 24 points each. I’m sure all those present thoroughly enjoyed the evening and we pass on our thanks to Peter.

Woody bought himself a new Wot4 recently and has been getting along well with it in August.WP_20180805_10_29_58_ProIt’s an ARTF wood E version, not the Foam-E and is identical to the one being flown by Bob the Builder. There could be trouble ahead…! Kryten snapped a couple of lovely flying shots of the Wot4.IMG_3964T IMG_3966TWoody has also finished a renovation job on his old Seagull Swift trainer. I think the Swift was Woody’s first model and it served him well but as it’s now around 5 years old it was starting to look a bit tatty.2018-08-27 10.32.31He decided to give it a US Navy Blue Angels colour scheme in the hope that the bright yellow underside would show up well even at 5000ft where he usually flies! It certainly works, looks very smart, and flies as well as it always did. Although Seagull sell the Swift as I/C or electric it’s really just an I/C plane that’s easy to convert.2018-08-27 10.31.56 2018-08-27 10.31.50Woody has fitted an old Thumper motor and runs it on a 5 cell lipo which gives it ample power to do all the aerobatics that you can expect from a trainer. Good one Woody, well done.

Having buried his original Kung Fu 1066 decided he missed it and has built another one.2018-08-24 15.10.27The first one was built for the annual club model event although 1066 seemed to have trouble counting fins as his only had one rather than the two shown on the plan. The club models were built from Depron and most flew very well, 1066’s being vastly over-powered as usual. He has built the replacement Kung Fu from foam board, the paper faced/foam core stuff that can be found in art supply shops etc. It’s very easy to work with although 1066 found the paper is easily damaged by tape when trying to hold it together while glue dries. I imagine cyano would melt the foam so UHU Por, Gorilla Glue or epoxy would be the obvious choices. The new one is to the plan apart from only having one fin (again!) and a slightly lengthened nose in order to achieve the C of G without requiring nose weight.2018-08-24 15.10.44 2018-08-24 15.11.12It seems to fly just like the original which is unsurprising as 1066 has fitted the same motor etc.

Dougal Entendre has finally got around to finishing the Freewing Moray that he bought some time ago from Alibaba in China. The Moray is intended to be flown on a 4 cell 1600mAh lipo using a 1400Kv motor but Dougal wanted to use his 3 cell 2200mAh packs so he has fitted a suitable 1800Kv motor instead and it flies very well.2018-08-27 10.17.46 2018-08-27 10.18.30Some of the first flight can be seen in this month’s video and all went well. Unfortunately the second flight didn’t!2018-08-27 11.09.25It was flying perfectly until Dougal decided to check the stall and, despite having ample height, the Moray didn’t recover as expected and crashed. At the time of writing the cause is undetermined but the damage didn’t look too bad so hopefully Dougal will soon have it repaired and flying again.

Chris P Bacon visited the BMFA Nationals over the Bank Holiday weekend and sent me some photos of the event.IMG_2653 IMG_2650 (1) IMG_2654He says the Vulcan had incredible presence in the sky but he didn’t feel the same about the Lanc. Maybe I’ve been flying electric too long but for me the petrol engines used in most WW2 models always sound terrible and with 4 of them in the Lanc I don’t think it would ever impress me. The jet turbines in the Vulcan just sound like…jet turbines.IMG_2648Chris P said the ailerons on the fun-fly model were the biggest he’s seen, I imagine they can be drooped a little to change the wing section for the Max Glide part of the competition, hence the size.IMG_2649He also said all the F3A aerobatic models were electric powered and used 10 cell lipo packs to give the performance. Nice! Thanks for the photos Chris P, more of us should make the effort to visit the Nats next year.

Thanks to Kryton, Captain Slow, and Dougal Entendre for pics & video contributions; here’s 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

This month’s closing chortle is a photo that I stole from Dougal’s Facebook page. ‘Two planes sharing a joke’ Two planes sharing a joke (2)

Colin Cowplain

Patch News – July 2018

There seems little point starting this Patch News in the usual manner of talking about how the weather treated us…every single day was hot and sunny, too hot for many of us! Of course the grass has barely grown at all so there’s been no work for the Friday Afternoon Rural Trimming Society (FARTS) to do.  The bullocks made a brief appearance before returning to the lower field but barely approached us anyway, I think it was too hot for them to bother.

A few PAM members attended the Southern Area BMFA Southern Gala at Middle Wallop on 7th July. Dougal Entendre flew his Mini Blitz and large Spad, and I flew my little Sharkface. I’ve included some footage of Dougal’s Spad flying in this month’s video, it’s an impressive model. There were some interesting models present and I was particularly taken by Mike Spencer’s Swannee, a model that I can remember being a free plan back in 1966.2018-07-07 12.30.482018-07-07 12.24.20The Swannee was designed for single channel radio with ‘rudder only’ control and it was very unusual in that it was a low winger, almost unheard of for rudder only. At the time I was as school with current PAM member Kryten and as his real name is Graham Swan he felt obliged to build one! I was desperate to have a radio set but couldn’t afford one from my pocket money so my parents said I could either go on the two week school trip to Italy or have the radio set, you know which I chose! Kryten and I each bought an RCS Guidance System made by Radio Control Specialists Ltd, I think the cost was around £17. Although we both sold the radios many years ago Kryten still has the box and instruction pamphlet from his and he was good enough to send me some photos.IMG-20180726-WA0001 IMG-20180726-WA0002Those were the days! Mike Spencer’s Swannee is 3 channel, rudder, elevator, and throttle, and of course it has an electric motor instead of a small glow-plug or diesel engine. For control he uses a modified RCS 10 channel (for a maximum of 5 surfaces in 2 directions each) reed set. Reeds set were what wealthy people used before modern ‘proportional’ radio sets were invented and instead of sticks they had sprung loaded toggle switches for each control.2018-07-07 12.23.48 2018-07-07 12.25.39To turn left you pushed the aileron switch to the left in a series of pulses to achieve the radius of turn you wanted. Mike’s set has been converted to 2.4GHz but retains the reed switches and the model flew well, unlike Kryten’s original single channel version that he recalls as being awful!

Back to our patch now and Page Boy brought along his Dawn Flyer to test. The Dawn Flyer was designed by Lindsay Todd who describes it as ‘a latticework lightweight that summons the spirit of aviation’s pioneering age’.2018-07-12 10.15.16 2018-07-12 10.17.26It was featured in RCM&E in July 2013 and Page Boy bought the plan and CNC cut wood parts from Sarik Hobbies. He has fitted a Turnigy 3536 1250Kv motor coupled to a 3 cell 2200mAh NanoTech lipo via a Hobbywing 40A esc.2018-07-12 10.15.59 2018-07-12 10.18.17 2018-07-12 10.17.11The servos are Turnigy MG14 9g digitals. As you can see he has made a lovely job of building the model and covering it in Solartex, it really does look amazing. So how did it fly? Beautifully of course, but no need to take my word for it, you can see it in the video later.

Next up is Bob the Builder’s latest creation, a Dragon! It seems his New Zealand based grandson loves dragons so when Bob saw a plan for a Bat in the May 2016 RCM&E he made some changes to make it more dragon like. WP_20180622_002The main change was to do away with the normal tailplane and fin, opting instead to design his own V-tail. He added half table tennis balls for eyes and has fitted LEDs under them and also fitted LEDs in the mouth.20180704_104533 (2)The Dragon wingspan is 36″ and the flying weight with a 2200mAh 3s battery is 2kg.  The Hobbyking 2836 1400Kv PropDrive motor is fed via a 40A esc and swings a 9×6 prop. The Dragon is all balsa construction, the fuselage is covered with glass-cloth and Easykote, and the wings are film covered. Originally the whole model was black apart from one half of the V-tail which is red but as I discovered on the first flight the orientation was a major problem.20180704_104442There is no dihedral at all and the all black wing proved very difficult to see. As you can see in the video the first flight only lasted a few seconds before I lost orientation. Fortunately the damage wasn’t too bad and Bob added some white trim on the underside of the wings for the second flight. Orientation was much better and the Dragon flew well although I think it could still do with a bit more trim to help. Overall is now flies nicely and is certainly different, it looks good in the air. All Bob needs to do now is fly it in the dark so the lights can be seen…

Here is the latest of many that 1066 has fiddled won in the Big Raffle, an Evans Volksplane VP-1 from HobbyKing.20180706_150310This balsa built-up electric monoplane has a detailed instrument panel inside an open cockpit, pilot bust, and control surfaces with large counterbalances built in. Here’s what Hobbyking has to say about it: Enjoy simple, traditional flying that has lasted generations. The Volksplane design was first created by aeronautical engineer William Evans in 1968 and has delighted hobbyists ever since. This yellow and grey US Version is made of lightweight balsa and plywood, featuring a printed PVC covering.20180706_150246 20180706_150240The 62.9” span Volksplane is an almost ready to fly kit from VQ models and some assembly is required, although the parts count is low. 1066 has fitted an NTM 4250 650Kv PropDrive motor which swings a 13×6 prop, and uses a 4 cell lipo via an 80A esc with a separate BEC. He said it was horrible on the first flight but then realised what he’d done. To set the control throws he had simply copied over the settings of another model on the transmitter without thinking too much. The model he had copied was one of his 3D machines so he was flying with 90% expo on the ailerons, about 60% too much for the Volksplane! Once he’d sorted out the settings properly it was much nicer to fly as you can see in the video.

Earlier I talked about Page Boy’s Dawn Flyer but he also had a maiden flight with his FMS Edge 540. He actually brought the Edge up to the patch in July 2016 but didn’t fly it and didn’t bring it out again until now. The 1320mm span model is made from EPO foam and weighs 1.7kg with its 4 cell Turnigy NanoTech 2650mAh battery. It comes ready fitted with an FMS3948-750Kv motor, a Turnigy Plush 60A esc, and 4 x 17g metal geared digital servos.2018-07-19 10.38.26 2018-07-19 10.38.57Unusually it all comes with a 3 bladed 13×5 prop and matching spinner. The Edge flew perfectly well as expected but it seemed to lack the power you’d expect (and need) for the all the usual 3D manoeuvres.2018-07-19 10.38.50I’ve watched the FMS marketing video of the Edge and it has loads of power, certainly more than Page Boy’s. As it comes with all the powertrain already fitted the only think we could think of was that Page Boy’s batteries aren’t up to the job. Has anyone got any high C rated 4 cell packs that he could try?

Page Boy also had a couple of flights with his Dynam Hurricane in July. He hasn’t flown it for a while and in the meantime has replaced the retracts with some much sturdier metal ones from HobbyKing.2018-07-25 11-11-11 2018-07-25 10.35.26They worked perfectly and I shot some video of the flights which I’ll include next month.

The latest club member, Mike Critchley, has been practising hard for his BMFA ‘A’ cert since joining PAM.  Mike is a member of MVSA and is used to flying gliders but wants to fly power models so he’s bought a Wot-4 Foam-E.2018-07-19 10.39.09The Wot-4 is probably the perfect trainer for him but he also has an electric Multiplex Easy Glider that he’s been flying at the field, obviously a man of great taste and impeccable style!2018-07-22 12.09.05I’ve been impressed by Mike’s commitment, in July he had flight after flight just doing figure eights in preparation for the test. He’s gained second place in the Climb ‘n’ Glide comp for ‘A’ cert holders even before taking the test. But on Sunday 22nd July he took his test, even though it was probably the busiest Sunday this year with lots of pilots watching, and passed with flying colours. Dougal conducted the test and once Mike had passed the flying section Dougal gave him a good grilling on the questions. All went well and Mike is now the proud holder of his ‘A’ cert.

We welcomed two more new members in July, Matt Takhar and Niki Weatherley. Both already have their BMFA ‘B’ certs but hadn’t flown for a few years before joining us at the patch a couple of times during July. To get back into flying they both bought Wot-4 Foamies and Max Thrust Lightnings but they are now down to one of each! They have joined up and they will be a welcome addition to our membership.

If you read the last Patch News you’ll have seen the Chris P Bacon carelessly ‘lost’ two models within the space of a few days. Well now he has a replacement, a Ripmax Bolero, a model that is billed as ‘a high performance fun-fly aircraft with huge control surfaces for 3D flight.’ Apparently it was designed by some bloke called Alan Wood.2018-07-10 10.28.56 2018-07-10 10.28.30Let’s hope it’s not our very own Woody earning a bit of extra dosh on the side! The model comes as an ARTF so the purchaser has to supply their own powertrain, servos etc. The Bolero is 59” span and the finished weight should be around 3080g (6.8lbs). Chris P has used the same motor etc. that had powered his Wots Wot including the 5 cell lipo. He asked me to do the test flight and the Bolero was good, it flew just as it should although Chris P had sensibly set the control throws towards the low end of the scale so it wasn’t too lively.2018-07-10 10.28.21 20180715_104221After some minor trimming I passed the transmitter to Chris P but he very quickly passed it back to me and he’s now practising more with his Cougar 2000 before trying the Bolero again!

The last new model I spotted in July was an EDF Hawk belonging to Norwegian Nick. I thought it was the same as the one that Dougal flies but looking at the HobbyKing website I think they are different models.2018-07-25 10.33.17 2018-07-25 10.32.20Dougal’s is a 950mm span T-45 Goshawk with a 64mm dia fan but Nick’s is a 990mm span BAE Hawk with a 70mm dia fan. Oddly the BAE Hawk is described as Red Arrows but it comes with a US Navy colour scheme! The other major difference is that Dougal’s flies extremely well and Nick’s doesn’t…well not yet anyway.2018-07-25 10.34.13Dougal’s Goshawk comes as a Plug ‘n’ Fly so the motor and fan are already installed. Nick’s model came with a fan supplied but he has fitted a ChangeSun 10 bladed fan, not sure if he has the recommended motor or not. Both models are designed for 3 cell batteries but Nick’s just doesn’t seem to have enough power to fly and is going to need 4 cells. I think the high blade count of the fan means it needs more power to spin at an efficient speed. But the aborted attempt at flight did virtually no damage so hopefully it will fly properly very soon.

On Thursday 12th July we held the annual chuck glider competition at Buriton before the usual club meeting. IMG_3902sIt’s always a popular event and there were 11 entries this year. One entrant was a PAM member from around 35 years ago, Peter Mason. I remember Peter but I doubt any other club members knew him other than Don of course. Peter was an art teacher and he designed and painted the club logo featuring a Marsh Harrier. He brought the original along with him and presented it to Dougal for the club, a nice thing to do I thought.IMG_3909TIt was great to see Peter again although sadly he is struggling with Parkinson’s Disease and is far from well. But he had a valiant attempt at the comp with a couple of chuck gliders that presumably were getting on for 40 years old. Peter is coming to the club meeting on 9th August when he will run a quiz on general aviation for us all, please try and make the meeting. Back to the chuck glider comp now, the first three places were taken by Colin Cowplain, Percy Vears, and Tony Neil. Thanks to Dwayne Pipe for running the comp and recording all the times. Kryten was on hand to take photos, here’s a selection:IMG_3929T IMG_3927T IMG_3912T IMG_3911T IMG_3898T IMG_3897T IMG_3878T IMG_3873T IMG_3882TCatapult King is named because of his model launching prowess but it didn’t seem to go quite right with his chuck gliders. I think it was down to lack of trimming rather than poor throwing but he was unimpressed with their performance and decided to stamp on them! Perhaps we need to rename him Wrecker Richard…2018-07-12 20.12.04Speaking of comps, don’t forget to have a go at the ongoing fun-fly comps that run all year. There are various tasks to try and there are classes for A cert and B cert holders to give everyone a chance. Full details of the tasks and the latest scores can be found on the Competition page of the website. I can’t help noticing that at the moment in the Max Glide event the top 3 scores for the A cert holders all beat my B cert time. Hmmm…must try harder!

Video time now:

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

This month’s ‘joke’ is actually a true tale, a conversation between Dougal and myself. Whilst flying alongside each other one day Dougal’s transmitter suddenly started making intermittent beeping noises:

“Why’s your transmitter beeping, is it the low transmitter battery warning?”

“Dunno, I’d better land and check it out.”

A few minutes later he returned and took off again.

“So what was the beeping?”

“Well there’s this knob on the transmitter…”

“I know that…!”  End of conversation.

Colin Cowplain

Patch News – June 2018

I must start by apologising for the lateness of this Patch News. I seem to have been away for most of June and only arrived home on 2nd July after being away for the last two weeks of June. Of course this means I haven’t been flying much so I’m relying on information, photos, and video that others have been kind enough to provide, and this edition will undoubtedly be rather shorter than usual. Many thanks to Dougal, Kryten, Dwayne Pipe and all others.

Some of you may remember that last year the mower packed up and it was decided to buy a new one and to keep the original one as a back-up once it had been repaired. Percy Vears has now repaired it and brought it along to check it was working properly. All was good and Bob the Builder & 1066 did a bit of gang mowing.IMG_20180622_142818So now we have a back-up mower should one fail. With the new fence in action the condition of the patch has improved dramatically and that has the added bonus that the mower has an easier job to do, less bullock ‘deposits’ and hoof marks to mow over! The patch is looking great at the moment.

The first new model to feature this month is a glider from 1066. It’s a 2.4 metre span ASW-28 that he bought from HobbyKing but he’s chucked the box and instructions with all the info!2018-06-08 14.54.46Apparently the original manufacturer is Volantex and this is from their website: The full-scale ASW 28 is a Standard Class glider with a fifteen metre span built of modern fibre reinforced composites. The manufacturer of the ASW-28 is Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co. The ‘W’ indicates this is a design of the influential and prolific German designer Gerhard Waibel. Serial production started in 2000. As all Standard Class sailplanes, the ASW-28 does not have flaps or other lift-enhancing devices. It has tall winglets, a retractable undercarriage and a water ballast system. The structure is a complex composite of carbon, aramid and polyethylene fibre reinforced plastic. This permits a light structure with the strength to carry large amounts of water ballast, thus permitting the widest possible range of wing loadings for weak and strong soaring weather.

The Volantex ASW 28 is a sport scale model that does incorporate flaps unlike its full scale counterpart. It comes plug and fly so you just need to complete some final assembly, install your battery, receiver and fly. The airframe is a mix of EPO foam for the wings and tail, with a blow moulded plastic fuselage. This gives a slick finish that is also extremely durable. Great for those less than perfect slope sites. A powerful 4018 850kv brushless outrunner motor rockets the ASW 28 to altitude, then when you throttle down, the propeller folds back for extended soaring. Accessing the battery is easy through the canopy with four small snap locks that keeps the canopy secure.
This Version 2 comes with lots of extra features. The wings come with two spars in each wing to give extra strength during those tight turns and power dives. Installing the wings is now easier with a plastic latch for securing the wings. Inside there is now a bigger plywood tray to make it easier to carry FPV cameras, VTx’s or other electronics. Landings are now a lot easier with the inclusion of landing gear. No more scraping the fuselage.2018-06-08 14.54.20 (2)
Not sure what VTx’s are, anybody know? Anyway it seems to fly well. 1066 says he’d like a bit more power but then he always does! The wings certainly flex a lot but it looks good in the air and it was definitely a bargain price.

Chris P Bacon had an ‘eventful’ June, he managed to destroy not one but two of his Chris Foss models! The first was his Wot-4, one of the built from wood versions that comes ready for either I/C or electric motors. Chris P’s was electric of course, powered by a Turnigy L5055C 700Kv outrunner and a 4 cell lipo battery.2018-06-01 15.38.56The model took off normally but almost immediately Chris P said he had no control. The model didn’t appear to do much other than continue in the same direction but losing height quickly. The resulting crash was pretty comprehensive and I don’t think it will be repaired. Although the first call was loss of radio it all appeared to be working perfectly after the crash and Chris P is now wondering if it was actually a lipo failure and all he had really lost was motor power. The pack had previously swollen but the cell voltages appeared to be fine and when we checked them again after the crash the voltages still looked normal. But later he wondered if the meter just showed 3 cells at normal voltage and nothing at all on the fourth cell. I’m not sure a duff cell would actually not register at all and anyway I think the model would still have flown on 3 cells although obviously with a quarter less power. Chris P has ditched the pack after the crash so now there’s no way of knowing for sure.

Chris P’s second Fossie failure was with his Wots Wot, that’s the biplane one. The Wots Wot is quite large for a bipe at 50” span and it weighs around 7lbs. It’s all built up construction from balsa and ply, and is designed for a .70-.81 4 stroke glow engine or a 5 cell electric set up with a 5055 700Kv motor. That’s the same motor as Chris P had fitted to his Wot-4 but that used 4 cells. This time the crash had a much simpler explanation, loss of orientation.2018-06-15 16.05.33 2018-06-15 16.05.41The model was flying fine but, at a reasonable distance from the patch, Chris P simply lost orientation and the Wots Wot crashed heavily. It’s a shame to lose a model like that but I think it’s fair to say that Chip P never quite mastered it and although I flew it several times I must say that I never felt quite at home with it somehow.

On to more sedate things now, Captain Slow has re-motored his Multiplex Twinstar which was originally built with a pair of 6v Speed 400 brushed motors and flew on an eight cell nimh pack.IMG-20140105-01269But the always-with-the-latest-tech Captain Slow wanted to ditch the NiMH batteries and use his lipo packs. He wasn’t convinced that the 6v brushed motors would be able to handle the higher voltage of a 3 cell lipo so to keep up with the latest technology he bought a pair of 12v Speed 400 brushed motors!2018-06-03 10.13.08 2018-06-03 10.13.25To be fair (that’s not like me at all) he said that if he had switched to brushless outrunner motors he would have had to change all the wiring within the wings. I’m not sure about that, the latest versions of the Twinstar come with outrunner motors and the speed controllers fit in the nacelles behind the motors so surely you could use the two wire power leads that are already in the wings? No doubt Captain Slow will explain…

Percy Vears took a trip up to Medstead to see Ian at ModellbauUK and bought himself a Max-Thrust Riot.2018-06-12 10.43.36 2018-06-12 10.43.04It’s very much a Wot-4 lookalike but is supposed to be better in certain aspects. This is what the website says about it: The Max-Thrust Riot is the perfect all-rounder. With reduced control throws it’s smooth, stable and remarkably easy to fly for the novice or beginner. Increase those throws and the Riot more than lives up to its name thrilling the most ambitious aerobatic pilot. Featuring durable “EPOFLEXY” construction throughout, the superbly moulded airframe is not only very light and stiff, it’s extremely tough too. It’s ideal for operating from “less than perfect” flying strips, resisting hangar rash and those inevitable bumps. And to keep you flying there will be full spares support available.

The Riot is 1400mm span and comes complete with all you need to get it in the air except a receiver and battery. Everything just screws together, no glue required.2018-06-12 10.42.57 2018-06-12 10.42.39I haven’t had a go with it yet but I watched Percy flying it and it looks very steady in the air, and it even has lights on the wingtips, Woody must be yearning for one already! 1066 did the first flight and found it to be very aerobatic on full rates but at the moment Percy is flying it on the more sedate low rates.

While I was away Dougal Entendre sent me a couple of reports for Patch News, here’s the first one: Catapult King brought along his F16 (formerly Chris Hard’s). He’d not flown it for a while, and forgot that anything over half throttle is inadvisable, which led to quite a hairy first flight. He kindly let me explore its flight envelope on the second flight – all went well until I tried it inverted, when it went into quite a violent oscillation. I throttled back and pulled out successfully, then tried it again – same result. I flew it around fairly gingerly for the rest of the flight, and landed it without incident. We investigated the all-moving tail and found no problems, but as shown in the photo it transpired that in fact the whole of the rear part of the fuselage (apart from the hatch cover) had almost broken off!2018-07-01 11.34.14 2018-07-01 11.29.15We were lucky to get away without a much worse outcome.

Later on in the pits, someone said “Hey! Look at all those flies!” A huge cloud was coming our way, and we quickly realised it was a swarm of bees. We all kept our heads down, and fortunately they passed without incident.

Towards the end of the morning 1066 was aerobatting his Piper Cub (as he does). He pulled out of a manoeuvre inverted over the south field, then appeared to go in quite hard. He stomped off to get it muttering about how that was the end of that, but remarkably came back with it all in one piece, with no sign of any accident! I think he would have flown it again if we hadn’t put the electric fence back up by then.

Dougal’s second report is about his visit to the Horsham club following the cancellation of the show at Sumners Ponds: I had a brilliant time flying at the Horsham club’s field in just about perfect conditions. We parked along the edge of the field under the treeline, which provided some welcome shade. Although the field was covered in grass about 18 inches high, they had mown a track out to a 60m strip in the middle. I must say the facilities were excellent – they had a large shipping container for all the mowing equipment with an en-suite chemical loo, and a generator for recharging batteries if required. Free tea, coffee and biscuits were supplied throughout the day.20There was a good variety of models, from gliders, large scale and large 3D planes down to club trainers, and a smattering of helicopters. Flying was very relaxed; in fact general flying was suspended at one point while someone took his ‘A’ test!

I had 5 flights during the day, and my Mini Blitz delta attracted every bit as much attention as the SPAD. In fact, the Horsham club chairman later emailed me to ask for details of the delta, as he thought they might do a club build competition based on it themselves!29 265I counted at least 25 cars and vans at the busiest point, so it was quite well attended. All in all one of my best RC days out, and if they do it next year I will certainly try to get along there again.

Thanks for those reports Dougal.

The last new model I spotted (and was asked to test fly) in June was Bob the Builder’s Durafly SlowPoke.2018-06-17 10.34.23It’s another one from HobbyKing and at 1200mm wingspan is a handy size and uses almost ‘standard’ 2200mAh 3 cell lipo packs. It is a Plug’N’Fly so just needs a receiver and battery. The power is provided by a 3648 700KV motor and 40A ESC and the prop is a 12 x 8. The model comes with large balloon wheels that are perfectly suited to our grass strip. It flies beautifully, handles the wind well, is nicely aerobatic but looks good just stooging around the sky.2018-06-17 10.27.45 2018-06-17 10.27.30When I did the first landing I remarked ‘If you can’t land that you can’t land anything’. Bob has tried to prove me wrong a couple of times, it seems to be magnetically attracted to the only fence post we leave in place when we fly! All in all a lovely little model and you can see it in action in this month’s video.

Inspired by the success of Bob the Builder’s Blitz Fu Dougal decided to try this, a Kung-Fun-3:2018-06-29 17.25.26He says it’s just a concept at the moment as he hasn’t finalised the attachment method. I’d be a little concerned about the prop clearance on the Kung Fu myself!

I have a few photos from last month’s club model flying day for you:IMG_0783 IMG_0789 P1000500 IMG_0788 IMG_0792 IMG_3645T

Time now for the 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

Both optimists and pessimists contribute to the society. The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute. — George Bernard Shaw

Colin Cowplain


Patch News – May 2018

We had some lovely summery weather during May, and in particular it was ideal for the first flights of this year’s club models on 6th May. The field remained bullock free for most of the month partly due to the Sustainability Centre using it as the car park for their Green Fayre on 13th May. The fence was left in place that day but switched off just in case some little darling decided to see if the warning notice was genuine. We added red/white striped tape to the top wire to make it more visible in the hope that the visitors wouldn’t drive right through it. They didn’t, and all was well when 1066 went to turn the fence back on in the evening. We are expecting the bullocks to return any day now but we’re ready for them, the fence is armed and dangerous…well switched on anyway. Woody did a ‘hands on’ test of the fence the other day (accidentally) and it certainly gave him a jolt… Oh how we laughed!2018-05-20 11.13.04In the meantime the Friday afternoon mob have been working well rolling and cutting the patch and it’s now it is in excellent condition. Barring any fence problems the patch should just get better and better through the summer.

The highlight of May had to be presenting and flying of the 2018 club models, the Mini Blitzes. The presentation was at the meeting on 3rd May when no less than 13 models were brought along. There are at least 2 others that couldn’t make the meeting so I know of 15 that have been built, a good number from a small club.2018-05-03 20.15.19Most were built more or less to the plan but there were a couple of ‘oddities’. Firstly Dwayne Pipe decided the Mini Blitz was going to be too small and too fast for him so he built a twice size version. Having flown my ‘correct’ size Mini Blitz I have to say I can see his point, mine is very fast and being so tiny it disappears all too quickly. The second model that wasn’t to plan was Bob the Builder’s Blitz Fu. In a brief moment of insanity Bob decided to mount last years’ club model, a Kung Fu, on top of his Mini Blitz. So he ended up with a twin engined (one above the other) biplane, the lower wing being a delta and the upper one a swept forward flying wing. The normal Kung Fu elevons became just ailerons, with the Mini Blitz elevons being just one elevator. What could possibly go wrong?!2018-05-06 10.45.19 2018-05-06 10.45.28All the other Mini Blitzes looked to be pretty much standard although Kryten’s was made from Depron and had a Kline-Fogleman stepped wing section (more shades of the Kung Fu). Modelling Clay’s Blitz stood out for being very heavy, I think he’d made it out of modelling clay! The customary judging by all present took place and the winners were: Best Looking Model – Tony Neil and Dan Handley (Page Boy) tied for first place. Least Likely to Fly – Bob Hill (Bob the Builder). Most original design – Bob Hill.

Neither Captain Slow nor Dwayne Pipe could make the official first flight day of 6th May so they both flew theirs the day after the meeting. Dwayne’s just flew away perfectly from the launch with just minor trimming required, all rather boring really! Captain Slow’s was rather hairier and, much like most of the correct size ones, it was fairly fast and disappeared rapidly. After much protesting and shouts of ‘I hate it’ etc. from Captain Slow we let him land to have a coffee and a lie down! But later both I and 1066 flew it and found it was a nice flier with no vices.2018-05-04 14.35.31 To be fair to Captain Slow, the Blitzes really do need to have very different colours or markings on the top and bottom surfaces, it’s all too easy to lose orientation with such a small model. Captain Slow’s is almost identical top and bottom and I think that’s a large part of why he hated it!

On Sunday the 6th the weather was perfect for the test flights and 10 of us turned up with our Mini Blitzes. As various ones flew we discovered that very little reflex was needed, much like the Kung Fu’s last year. Modelling Clay’s didn’t get away from the launch, I think it’s going to need a bigger motor to overcome the weight problem.P1000483Kryten’s Depron Blitz failed to get away from the launch the first time but after minor tweaking it is now flying well.IMG_0795All the others flew well, some are relatively slow, others, like mine, are scorchingly fast and difficult to keep up with! Orientation is a problem as they disappear so quickly. Although mine flew well I did manage to break it a week or so later but it was soon repaired and flying again. Dougal was good enough to photograph it for me…so kind…2018-05-07 12.04.26The biggest surprise was Bob the Builder’s Blitz Fu, not only did it fly but it actually flew well and was nice to fly.IMG_0798 P1000528 P1000530Sadly on a later flight, it lost the battery retaining hatch, closely followed by the battery; the result was inevitable.

This month’s video includes several snippets of the first Mini Blitz flights but they are a bit too small and fast to get much decent quality footage so it’s a bit limited. The video also includes a couple of models that first flew last month, Stanley Knife’s Excalibur and Norwegian Nick’s Sprite, but I forgot to include them in the last video. Some of the video and superb photos this month come from Captain Slow, Catapult King, Dougal Entendre, Gentleman Jim, and Kryten, many thanks chaps. I think it was Kryten who took these lovely shots while I was flying John Warren’s newly repaired (again!) Albatross. Note the trailing rigging wire and the wheel with a tyre hanging off!IMG_3673T IMG_3682TI always like photos of the buzzards and kites that we often seen when flying. Gentleman Jim snapped this superb one of a buzzard with amazing plumage and Kryten took the one of a kite having a close look at my Ezio glider.P1000552 IMG_3624As well as all the Blitzes several other new models first flew in May. First up we have Page Boy with his Phoenix 1600 that was a Big Raffle prize last year. We’ve seen several Phoenix 2000s flying at the field but this is the first 1600 as far as I know. It’s basically the same model but with 400mm less wingspan and (I think) a slightly shorter fuselage.2018-05-03 10.36.26 2018-05-03 10.36.01The powertrain is the same in both models so the slightly lighter 1600 version has a bit more go and is a bit more aerobatic, but presumably doesn’t glide quite so well. It’s Page Boy’s first electric glider and it will take a bit of time to figure out how to get the best from it but he seemed to enjoy the first flight and had no problems.2018-05-03 10.36.14Next we have Catapult King with his new Altagerra.  When we first saw it several of us oldies said it looked like a control-line stunter and it turns out that’s exactly what it was originally. The Altagerra was a free plan from the Outerzone website and drawn up by someone referred to as Old Pilot so Catapult sends his thanks to both of them.2018-05-06 10.35.10 2018-05-06 10.34.32It is a conversion from a 1961 control line stunt plane and Catapult’s is powered by a 2200 3 cell lipo connected via a HobbyKing 40A esc to a Turnigy D2836/8-1100Kv motor fitted with a 10×6 prop. Catapult says he needs to do a power check to see if he can increase the size of the prop as it could do with a little bit more pull. That said its flight characteristics are fine and it will do a loop from level flight. All the throws are wound in quite a lot and have a large amount of expo as it was originally extremely twitchy as you can imagine being a stunt plane with a short fuselage. 2018-05-06 10.35.59 2018-05-06 10.35.23A quote from the designer Old Pilot: I’m converting the Altagerra, a 1961 control line stunt plane, to a 5 channel R/C electric for a contest build on RC Groups. Had to change the feathers a bit to tame Dutch roll and porpoising, along with the size and location of the ailerons for better roll response…

Wonky Wiltshire has had an EFX Racer for quite a while and flown it lots. It’s pretty quick but when Durafly announced the EFXtra Racer version he couldn’t resist. He first showed up with the new EFXtra Racer back in November last year but he decided not to maiden it in the howling gales present that day.2017-11-12 11.36.42It’s a clipped wing version of the EFX Racer that has an uprated motor and esc, better servos, and ball link connectors. There is more battery space and also more glass fibre and carbon fibre reinforcement.2018-05-07 11.24.15The website says it’s suitable for either 3 or 4 cell batteries, with just a different prop size to suit the cell count you choose. I’m not certain whether Wonky was using 3 or 4 cells but from the way it went I’m guessing 4 cells. Watch it on the video see what you think, if that’s 3 cells I don’t ever want to see it go on 4!

The next one is far from being a new model, in fact it’s pretty old, but Dougal has recently given it an update. It’s an Olympic 100” span glider and Dougal has flown it at the field occasionally over the last couple of years when he has fitted it with a pylon mounted electric motor. It worked well enough but it certainly wasn’t pretty.2017-08-20-10.19.39But in May Dougal decided to bite the bullet so he chopped off the nose and fitted a permanently mounted motor.OlympicIt looks a lot neater than the pylon mounted one and the model flew well, although the climb rate is rather sedate.

Dougal also flew his large scale Spad XIII a few times during May. I’ve featured the Spad before in Patch News but it’s only had one outing previously so many of you won’t have seen it. The model is an ARTF from Maxford USA and at fifth scale the Spad is 1727mm (68”) span and weighs around 6kgs (13lbs). To power it Dougal chose a Turnigy Aerodrive SK3 – 6364-245kv brushless outrunner motor which swings an 18 x 8 propeller at about 6000rpm. 2018-05-27 10.45.27He uses two 5800mAh 4 cell Zippy Compact lipos in series (8 cells) linked to a Robotbirds Pro-80 amp Brushless ESC V4 Opto HV speed controller. He’s fitted a separate high voltage BEC to ensure the radio gets the voltage it requires.2018-05-27 10.39.39There is loads of power available and the lipos still had around 50% capacity remaining after each 7 minute flight so there’s plenty of reserve. Dougal says it’s lovely to fly around and he’s now progressed to doing gentle aerobatics with it, but the landings are taking a little longer to master. A big heavy biplane with inter-plane struts and rigging wires has a lot of drag so it needs to be flown all the way down with some power applied which makes it difficult to touch down on our small patch. But Dougal is getting there, each landing is better than the last and, as you can see on this month’s video, he’s pretty much cracked it now. Assembling a large model at the field is a bit of pain, and then it has to be carried along with all the usual equipment as well as a ‘back up’ model. This is Dougal’s solution:2018-05-27 09.59.48 2018-05-28 12.45.57

The video also features another previously featured large model, Norwegian Nick’s gorgeous Citabria Pro that he built from a Balsa USA kit. The model is 2032mm spam (80”), is covered in Solartex and is fitted with Hitec servos.2016-10-30-10-22-59 2016-10-30-10-08-25The all up weight is 11lb 9oz so it needs a powerful motor and Nick eventually plumped for a PPPO 5065-380Kv from 4-Max which should provide 1820-2100 watts. He has fitted a YEP 100A speed controller and it is all powered by a 5 cell lipo of 3000mAH capacity. When he flew it previously Nick felt it could do with a little more power so he has fitted a larger prop and it now has more than enough get up and go.Screenshot (3)As you can see in this month’s video Nick enjoys doing lovely smooth low passes with the model, some very low!

Things don’t always go perfectly for even the best fliers and some tend to get a little over confident at times, especially with older, small, almost throwaway type models. 1066 in particular tends to get a little carried away with low level manoeuvres, and one ‘mad moment in May’ resulted in this:2018-05-28 12.21.28Ouch! 1066 says the Kung Fu is (was?) such a great little flier that it will soon be repaired or replaced.

I was sent an interesting photo by Gorgeous Gary of his Jive that had lost a large section of covering one flight.IMG_1847I think I can see the problem, the name’s a rip off…  Oh stop groaning you lot!

We had a flying visit (literally) one May day when a paraglider overflew the field and landed in the bottom field.P1000490 P1000499It looked as if he had simply come too far downwind from the Mercury slope and was unable to penetrate forward to the slope again. Obviously all models were kept well clear as he drifted across our field, it’s just another occasional hazard for which we need to keep an eye out.

A few Blitz in action photos:P1000505 P1000489 IMG_3649T IMG_3639T P1000508 P1000484 IMG_3643T IMG_3655T

Now it’s time for this month’s video. It’s a bit longer than usual but hopefully you’ll think it’s well worth watching:

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

This month’s joke doesn’t have an aeronautical link but hopefully Woody will enjoy it:

My friend asked me to help him with his crossword puzzle as he was struggling with 4 across.
“What’s the clue?” I asked.
“Overworked postman,” he said.
“How many letters?”

Colin Cowplain

Patch News – April 2018

What a difference a month makes, in last month’s Patch News I included photos of several of us flying in a snow storm and exactly a month later I took this one of 1066 knife-edging across the patch in clear blue sky.2018-04-20 16.37.56-3-1April wasn’t all like that of course but it was an awful lot better than March and we managed to fly fairly frequently. Much of our time at the field was spent erecting and trying out the new electric fence, and then figuring out the best way of using it. 1066 had put in lots of work sourcing and buying all the necessary bits, making up a thief-proof system, and security etching everything. We thought we had everything sorted out ready for the bullocks…wrong!2018-04-13 15.39.21-1One day farmer George told Woody the bullocks would be put in the field on the following Monday so we removed the battery to charge it, but when we returned with it on Sunday the bullocks were already there and had wrecked the fence and the patch. The wire was torn to pieces and badly tangled and many posts were broken. Lots more work, and money later saw the fence working again but to say we weren’t happy would be an understatement!2018-04-08 10.44.46 2018-04-08 11.01.37We then had to work out a system that would allow us to fly safely whilst still protecting the patch and the pits from the bullocks. We eventually worked out a system that seems to work well, with the pits enclosed in an electrified fenced pen adjoining the patch. Not ideal but workable, and we might refine it further over the next few months.P4220002The FAGS (Friday Afternoon Gardening Society) chaps have done a great job of rolling and mowing the patch for all PAM members to enjoy and it’s now in pretty good condition, ready for the serious summer flying. In the meantime the bullocks have gone again (not permanently but at least for a while) but the fence is staying up and live as we now know we can’t rely on the farmer informing us prior to their return.

In the March Patch News I included a photo of a Lancaster doing a low pass over our field on a wintry day. Some of you realised that Patch News was published on April Fools Day…but some didn’t and totally fell for it. The original photo was actually of Mick (Hapless) Harper’s electric powered Lanc. It was taken several years ago (by Stanley Knife I think) on a bright summers’ day and I did a bit of photo editing to make it look suitably wintry.lanc6As 1st April was the 100th anniversary of the RAF it seemed appropriate to use a Lancaster for my April Fools caper.

I’ve previously featured Woody’s gorgeous looking Ripmax Easy Street but now he has added an undercarriage to allow proper take-off and landings rather than having to hand launch and belly land the thing.2018-03-31 10.30.04 2018-03-31 10.29.58It looks very smart, especially with the spats covering the wheels although I’m not sure they’ll last too long on our rather rough patch. The model takes-off well but it’s very slippery and is not easy to slow up enough for a decent landing on the patch. Practice Woody, more and more practice, that’s all it takes!

Chris P Bacon recently decided that he wanted more power in his Wot-4 as it didn’t seem to have enough oomph to satisfy his need for speed. His Wot-4 is the built up wood construction glow or electric power version and he had originally fitted one of those dirty noisy smelly things, a second-hand SC52 4-stroke. Fortunately he soon saw the light and swapped out the I/C engine for the Ripmax recommended electric motor. But now he’s upped the wattage and fitted a Turnigy L5055C 700Kv outrunner, a motor that’s maximum power is quoted as 1600W!2018-04-13 15.13.01 2018-04-13 15.12.50Chris P has fitted a 15×8 prop which I reckon should pull it out of sight vertically with no problem at all.

Stanley Knife bought himself a new toy during April, a Durafly Excalibur. It’s a 63” (1600mm) span V-tail warm-liner electric glider, a model that I’ve had my eye on for a while, I think it looks great.2018-04-19 10.26.35This is what the HobbyKing says about it:

Forged for a King in a distant realm, the legendary Excalibur is here. The most anticipated Durafly release this year, the Excalibur must be flown to be truly appreciated. Innovative design features, such as the cantilever forward swept wing, V-tail tail surfaces, incredibly strong construction and stunning lines.  Just like the legendary sword, Excalibur’s strength is paramount. The engineers at Durafly were given their hardest challenge yet, to design a wing that is ultra-thin but incredibly strong in EPO foam! The wing has carefully positioned carbon fibre reinforcement and pre-tensioned glass fibre strips. The fuselage is feature packed with a square carbon fibre tube and glass fibre strips. The V-tail along with control surfaces are reinforced. All these features combine to make the Excalibur a weapon. Servos are all pre-installed with a whopping 3542 800kv Aerostar brushless outrunner motor up front. 60amp Aerostar brushless speed controller. Two piece removable wing makes assembly fast with wire-free PCB connection between the wing and fuse.  Rule the sky with the Excalibur.

No hype there then! Stanley bought the Plug N Fly version so had little more to do than add his own receiver and a 4s 2200mAh lipo He wasn’t feeling too good on the day and decided to let me test fly the Excalibur.2018-04-19 10.27.04 2018-04-19 10.26.56I was impressed, very impressed, it flies beautifully, has loads of power, tracks extremely well and has a very satisfying whistle on low passes! The model is supplied with 13×7 folding prop blades but there are also optional 13×8 ‘Pro’ prop blades available for pilots requiring the maximum performance. It certainly doesn’t need them but it might be fun to try them sometime to see what difference they make.

Stanley Knife popped over to Australia a year or two ago to see ex-PAM member Alan Flux and visited Alan’s local model shop that also runs his club. He came back with a tee shirt that I thought was quite funny and worth sharing: 2018-04-19 12.08.17 2018-04-19 12.08.11I was rather surprised to receive quite a large box from HobbyKing a couple of weeks back as I didn’t remember ordering anything that would require a box of that size.2018-04-04 14.25.36When I opened it and removed all the padding I found six small boxes, each with a cardboard loop around it.2018-04-04 14.27.42Each box was very posh and, as well as the cardboard loop, had a couple of magnets to hold it closed. Inside each one was foam with a suitable cutout and a nice little cloth bag complete with a drawstring.2018-04-04 14.31.15Inside each bag I found a 3 cell 1300mAh lipo and of course its’ XT60 connector was wrapped in a foam tube!2018-04-04 14.28.43The batteries were Graphene lipos and I can’t help thinking some of the extra cost of them must be down to all that fancy packaging, surely it’s not strictly necessary? I notice that HobbyKing have just started using strong plastic bags rather than boxes for some items which gets over the small item in a large box issue but presumably the plastic bag is less environmentally friendly so I suppose they can’t win!

Still on the subject of batteries, I had an email from Smiffy (Andy Smith) asking if I wanted to buy a hardly used battery and speed controller. Think he’s had a bit of a problem!SmiffyHe didn’t say what had happened but it looks as if the speed controller overheated and that set the lipo on fire.

Norwegian Nick has been AWOL for a while but he returned in April and brought along a little model called Sprite.2018-04-19 11.04.49Nick built it from a free plan in the RCM&E magazine, where it’s described as a micro F3A pattern ship, designed by Tim Hooper. The model is built from balsa and the wings are covered in Solarfilm and fuselage tissued and doped.2018-04-19 10.53.11 2018-04-19 10.53.25The motor is a Turnigy 1811 2900kv outrunner which is powered by a couple of 95mAh 2 cell lipos in parallel via a 10amp speed controller. Nick has fitted four 3.5gm servos and the all up weight is just over six ounces.2018-04-19 11.05.15On the day he brought it to the patch Nick was unable to fly as he discovered the motor mounts were loose but it’s all ready to go now and will fly as soon as the weather is suitable.

One more new model appeared in April, a 3D capable 1250mm wingspan SebArt Katana S 30E ARTF.P4220003 This lovely looking model is the latest from Page Boy. Unfortunately I missed the first flights as I was away on the day but Captain Slow took some photos and video for me. Page Boy has fitted 4 Hitec HS65 metal geared servos and a Turnigy 3542 1000Kv motor connected to a Plush 60A speed controller. This is all powered by a Turnigy 2700mAh 3 cell lipo but using a 13×6 prop he’s only managing to get 4 min flights at the moment. The motor is pulling 600watts which should be more than enough considering the all up weight is just 2.2 pounds.P4220004Dougal Entendre did the first take-off and trimmed the model out before handing the transmitter over. It flew very well despite the winds being much stronger than was forecast and it looks as good in the air as it does on the ground. Dougal did the landing in the gusty conditions and Page Boy went away very happy.

We are seeing more and more kites around the field each year, usually out over the valley but sometimes right over the patch. They mostly ignore our models, especially ones under power, but they do appear to see Captain Slow’s Obelix as either a threat or simply something that intrigues them, it’s probably the most ‘bird-like’ of our models.2018-04-29 10.36.53I snapped this shot of four kites and the Obelix (at the top right) but shortly before I took the photo there were five of them in a tight formation, all following the model much more closely.

OK it’s video time:

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

This month’s tall tale was submitted by Norwegian Nick:

Years ago an old Irish ex-WW2 Spitfire pilot was speaking in a church and reminiscing about his wartime experiences “In 1942” he said ”the situation was really tough. The Germans had a very strong Air Force. I remember one day I was protecting the bombers and suddenly, out of the clouds, these Fokkers appeared.”

There are a few gasps from the parishioners and several of the children began to giggle.

“I looked up and realised that two of the Fokkers were directly above me. I aimed at the first one and shot him down. By then though, the other Fokker was right on my tail.”

At this point several of the elderly ladies of the church were blushing with embarrassment, the girls were giggling and the boys laughing loudly.

The Pastor finally stood up and said ”I think I should point out that “Fokker” was the name of a German-Dutch aircraft company who made many of the planes used by the Germans during the war”.

“Yes that’s true“ said the pilot ”but these Fokkers were flying Messerschmitts.”

Colin Cowplain