Patch News – November 2018

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

Patch News – March 2018

Wow, this month seems to have flown by, we’ve had the meteorological spring (1 March), the astronomical spring (20 March) and the start of British Summer Time (25 March). We’ve had a few cracking spring days but also some very wintry days and the flying has been ‘interesting’ on several occasions because of bitingly cold winds. But many of the members have flown during the month, some of us quite a lot, and I’ve got loads of material for this Patch News. In the February Patch News I said ‘It could have been worse’ and included a photo taken in Feb 2012 of my Twister in the snow. I should have known better, the next few photos were taken on 18 March.2018-03-18 10.53.45Insanity prevailed and I was joined by Captain Slow and Woody. What the photos don’t show was the howling gale that was blowing the snow right across the field. The anemometer showed that the wind was gusting over 30mph.

2018-03-18 11.04.47 2018-03-18 11.06.02Captain Slow quite correctly said that we were only there for the bragging rights and as it turned out, he won them.2018-03-18 11.13.57 2018-03-18 11.44.21He flew his red and white Obelix for a few minutes without too much trouble and then I flew my nearly all white FunGlider. I soon discovered that a white model doesn’t stand out too well in a snowstorm! It was ok for most of the flight when I was able to keep it close in, in front of me, but when I turned downwind on the landing circuit I really struggled to see it. With it coming towards me there was a very small frontal area to spot through the snow and I got completely disorientated and of course it got blown downwind making it even harder to see. Very soon neither Woody nor I could see it at all and I had to assume it had crashed. After a short search by all three of us we found it near the far side of the lower field and unsurprisingly it was quite badly damaged.2018-03-18 11.59.30However, as is often the case, back home on the workbench it all went back together pretty well and it was flying perfectly again a couple of days later, none the worse for it’s misadventure.

But we were in for a treat one weekday morning when just Gentleman Jim and I were present.  We had heard an interesting sounding large aircraft flying around but hadn’t seen anything until suddenly this appeared!lanc6 (2)It just did one quick pass but I managed to snap one poor quality photo. Apparently is was displaying at Goodwood.

Several new models made an appearance in March, the first one being Gentleman Jim’s gorgeous Multiplex Solius.

2018-03-13 10.40.58This is how the website describes it: Airborne elegance! High performance electric glider with T-tail, cockpit and clear canopy. With its pleasant handling and excellent performance the Solius offers tremendous flying pleasure to anyone from the weekend flyer to the pro-standard pilot. Whether you’re looking for long gliding flights or lively aerobatics – the Solius always gives a good account of itself. The outstanding features of this Elapor model are its many new, innovative and sophisticated details, which set entirely new standards for this class of model.2018-03-13 10.41.12The 2160mm (85”) span Solius is available either as a kit or Ready to Run (RR) which comes with the servos, motor, prop, and speed controller already fitted. They also sell a RR+ version that comes fitted with a Multiplex 5 channel receiver and a 2200mAh lipo, so you just charge the battery, bind to your Multiplex transmitter, and fly.2018-03-13 10.39.19 2018-03-13 10.39.33Jim bought the kit version which meant he had quite a lot of gluing and installing to do but the effort was worth it, the Solius is a great flier. It has the usual ailerons, elevator, rudder, and throttle, and Jim has programmed in spoilerons as well. This raises both ailerons to spoil the lift and make landing easier but I must say it does seem to float on and on even with spoilerons activated. Jim has also fitted telemetry and speech units to his Hitec radio so he gets vario bleeps to let him know if the model is rising or sinking and spoken altitude reports at regular intervals, all clever stuff. You can see some of the first flight in this month’s video.

One model that I honestly didn’t expect to see again was Chuck Berry’s E-Flight Sukhoi. (He prefers his childhood nickname Chuck to Goose). He had a bit of a mishap with the Sukhoi a few weeks ago and we all thought it was a write-off but he tells me that when he got home his wife April suggested he had a go at repairing it.2018-03-13 10.59.21 2018-03-13 10.59.03Once he got started he found it went back together quite easily and as you can see it’s now looking as good as new. Only on the inside can you see some minor tell-tale signs of where the hot glue did its’ work.

There were a couple of mishaps during March that will require some serious work, maybe Bob the Builder and Modelling Clay should ask Chuck Berry for a few tips on repairing. Modelling’s mishap is in this months’ video.WP_20180304_11_36_49_Pro 2018-03-23 15.10.59

My old friend Dave Durnford from the Alton club was good enough to write an article for Patch News about his recent visit to the Paul Heckles Flight Centre: Back To School – Models & Flying Tuition by Dave Durnford

There are many ways to learn to fly model aircraft, and as many and more model types used in the process. In the halcyon days of our hobby, when almost every town had a model shop, R/C trainer model kits were a plenty and balsa readily available should you chose to build from a plan.

I would suggest nowadays the newcomer has a more limited and less easy choice. At time of writing, this might be summarised as what wholesalers Ripmax / Perkins etc. are currently distributing to the few remaining shops. Otherwise it’s an online order to the likes of Hobby King for a RTF model.

As a club instructor, I get to see all types of ‘perfect’ trainer as supplied by the various outlets. Some are better than others, both in terms of quality and suitability. No doubt there are one or two, (somewhere?), that learnt on a scale ‘Spitfire’ or ‘F3A’ pattern ship but most of us cut our flying teeth on a high wing trainer of some description. Looking around at the models presently available that fit the bill, I was a little disappointed. I then remembered the professional model flying tuition, what model(s) do they use? Surely they must have seen it all and know what works and is durable to withstand the newbie’s bumps ‘n knocks.

So my enquiries lead me to Paul Heckles Flight Centre located at Draycott Aerodrome, near Swindon. Their website (CLICK HERE) describes the operation and includes photos of the superb flying site used.

P1020492I made a visit to Paul to see for myself the models he uses for training.

For fixed wing training, (the school also teaches rotary), the Flair / A.T.S. ‘Kite’ is the stalwart aircraft in their fleet.#13Despite all the knocks and ‘heavy arrivals’, very few airframes have been totalled in all their years of operation.P1020482 P1020491Unfortunately, this model kit is no longer in production and after speaking to Justin at the current Flair Models in Warwick, unlikely to be in the near future. All is not lost though as foam wings are available from ‘Bill Kits’ and fibre glass cowling & carbon u/c from ‘Carbon Copy’. As for a plan, there never was one, so I’m doing my best to draw something up from existing airframes.

Tuition – Paul gave me a tip into his proven successful approach.

This might be summed up as always seeing and maintaining a fixed horizon. Just think of trying to fly a model whist straining up and peering at a blank sky. What attitude is the model at? Is it climbing? Descending? Banked? Not easy to say without a reference i.e. a horizon be that the ground or a line of trees, always kept in the peripheral of your vision. Thinking about it, it works for me, how about you?

So what model would you recommend for a newcomer to our great hobby?

Thanks Dave, that’s all good stuff.

Stanley Knife recently dug deep into his pockets and splashed out a fiver on a new receiver. Yes, that’s right, just £5. I think he said it’s a Redcon CM703 2.4G 7CH DSM2 DSMX Compatible Receiver from Bang Good but I’m not certain. Not wishing to risk an expensive model to check out such a cheap new receiver Stanley then splashed the cash again, this time on a Flite Test Bloody Baron from Sussex Model Centre.2018-03-21 10.13.10The 29” (737mm) span Bloody Baron is a sort of Fokker/Ugly Stick lookalike that’s made from water resistant foam board. As you can see it’s a very basic quick to build four channel chuck it in the back of the car type of model and Stanley chose to fit a Turnigy 26-36 1100Kv motor coupled to a 40A esc. The model spec says to use a minimum 3 cell lipo so Stanley is using 4 cell 1000 lipo and an 8×6 prop which gives plenty of power.2018-03-21 10.12.12 2018-03-21 10.12.29The first flight went perfectly and looked like a lot of fun so Stanley let me have the second flight. It flies really well, much better than you have a right to expect for a few pieces of foam board, and the only problem I found was that it didn’t seem to have enough up elevator movement. As I landed I was holding in full up elevator and even that was barely enough. We checked out the movement and found the problem, the elevator servo had come loose! Oh, and that £5 receiver? It worked perfectly so I reckon that was a bargain.

I know I barely mention it so you’ve probably not noticed but I’m a Multiplex fan, as is Captain Slow. But the other day I began to wonder if we were getting a little too similar in our ways as it’s not just the transmitters we have in common. I snapped this photo to illustrate my point:2018-03-23 16.22.10If fellow Multiplex users Woody and Percy Vears also turn up with FunGliders and twin finned flying wings I’ll really begin to worry. And Chuck Berry has now got an MPX Cockpit SX9 on order…

Other transmitters are available of course and Dougal Entendre (AKA Tranny Agate) has many many different ones. Fancying a bit of retro rc he decided to convert one of his collection to 2.4 GHz and eventually chose one of his several Devo sets as the donor and an American 72 MHz Royal transmitter as the recipient. With my blissfully small knowledge of electronics I thought it would be a very straightforward task to swap the innards from one transmitter into another case but it seems it’s not that simple. At a recent club meeting Dougal gave us a presentation of the conversion and the various problems he encountered along the way. One of the things that happened when transmitters were computerised was the change from mechanical to electronic trims and Dougal wanted to keep the original stick units along with their mechanical trims in the Royal tx. This involved quite a lot of head scratching and mechanical engineering but eventually he cracked it and thought he’d overcome the worst of the problems.2018-03-25 10.19.15But when he switched on for the first test he discovered that the electronic output from Royal stick units was much less than from the modern Devo ones which resulted in much reduced movement of the servos. More head scratching soon had the problem solved and all worked well so then it was down to mounting the new electronics and a modern lipo battery in the old case. Modern transmitters all have a screen to display the various available menus for setting the model up and in the retro transmitter this needs to be hidden but easily accessible so Dougal mounted it inside, rear facing, and then made the rear cover quickly removable.2018-03-25 10.20.21One thing considered vital these days, especially for electric flight, is a throttle lock switch and that had to be mounted on the outside of the case but other than that the only external differences are the stubby 2.4GHx aerial and the addition of a neck strap attachment ring. Having satisfied himself that everything was working as it should Dougal chose his Hummer for the test flights and, as expected, it performed perfectly.2018-03-25 10.19.40Well done Dougal, an interesting and well executed project.

The winner of the latest Patch News caption competition was chosen by a poll of the members at the last meeting in March and the chosen one was…insert drum roll here…Page Boy! The winning caption was ‘Apparently 1066 thinks he has to go through a gate (Agate) to get to Hastings.’ Congratulations to Page Boy who received a 3 cell 2200mAh 40C lipo for his efforts. Told you it was worth entering!

As well as entering caption comps Page Boy has been busy building more models. He’s already completed two Mini Blitz club models and now has a Dawn Flyer almost completed. The four channel 48” span Dawn Flyer was a free plan in RCM&E, and was designed by Lindsay Todd for a motor that puts out around 300W of power.20180316_134320 20180222_103027(1)Page Boy is hoping the finished weight will be around 2-1/2 to 3 lb so a Turnigy 3536 1200kv motor, coupled to a Plush 60A esc and a 3s 2200mAh lipo should be ample. To make life a little easier he ordered a £23 CNC cut wood pack from SLEC which contained the ribs, formers, and ply parts. The fuselage will be mostly stained whilst the wing and tail feathers will be covered in antique Solartex so the final look will be something like this one:458638[1]

A link I spotted whilst browsing the HobbyKing website recently provides some useful information on lipo safety. It’s well worth a read, personally I was unaware that the salt water treatment is a myth. You can read it HERE

The last new model to fly this month was a Prime Jet Pro that Kryten won in a recent club raffle.2018-03-26 10.54.03It’s a flying wing with fixed canards from the HobbyKing Glue-N-Go series and is made from laser cut foam board with some carbon fibre reinforcing rods. It looks very smart, Kryten certainly made a good job of building it and fitting a Turnigy 2826 2200Kv motor powered by an 1800mAh 3 cell lipo. He said the instructions were a bit rubbish.2018-03-26 10.53.34There was no indication of any reflex required and he was unsure about the C of G position. The instructions say it’s marked on the canopy but it isn’t so he so he used a position suggested on a forum. Having been asked to do the first flight I can safely say it was wrong! It was most peculiar to fly, the first thing being that it had far too much reflex so I had to use all available down trim. But even while I was adjusting the trim the model would suddenly tuck under with no warning, almost doing a half outside loop with no stick input at all! I quickly switched from mid rates to low rates in an effort to calm things down and more by luck than judgement I got it back on the ground safely.2018-03-26 10.53.25We decided the cause was a rearward CG so we added a lump of lead in the nose, guessing the amount required. The result was a transformation, the next flight was a pleasure, and I soon switched up to full rates. There was a large trim change when the throttle was opened but that can easily be sorted with some throttle/elevator mixing, and apart from that it flew very well.  I look forward to flying it again as, once the throttle/elevator mixing is sorted, I’m sure it will be a great little flier. Kryten managed to take a very short piece of video during the second flight, you can see it in this month’s video.

Kryten also snapped some quality stills with his decent camera this month including a great shot of a kite that followed my FunGlider around for quite a while… even kites like Multiplex!IMG_3593T IMG_3590T IMG_3603T IMG_3611T IMG_3597T IMG_3622T

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

A customer was really hassling the girl running the airline check-in desk, yelling and using foul language.

However, the girl was polite, pleasant and smiled while the customer continued to abuse her.

When the man finally left, the next person checking in said to the girl, “Does that happen often? I can’t believe how nice you were to him.”

The girl smiled and said, “No problem, I took care of it. He’s going to New York. His bags are going to Bangkok.”

Colin Cowplain

Patch News – February 2018

February certainly sorted the men from the boys, for much of the month the weather was very cold and very windy. We did also had a few reasonable days when it was just plain cold, days that seemed almost balmy without the biting winds. When I arrived at the field on Sunday 25 February my car thermometer was reading zero degrees but the wind chill made it a fair bit lower at the patch. I took the photo below of the six idiots that turned up to fly:2018-02-25 11.40.24From left to right they are: Dougal Entendre, Woody, Colin Cowplain, Bob the Builder, Captain Slow, & 1066. We flew but it did seem a bit bonkers and Woody said we should be known as The Certifiable Six!

This was taken one windy day earlier this month; note the models placed inverted to stop them being blown away:2018-02-04 10.57.05-1 (2)One midweek morning we packed up a little earlier than usual as we could see dark clouds rolling in. Just as we reached the cars we were treated to a couple of minutes of snow but fortunately it didn’t settle at all.2018-02-09 11.41.36But it could have been worse, looking back through my old photos I found this one from February 2012:IMG-20120205-00312It’s of my then almost new Multiplex Twister in the snow of the patch, looking pristine in its’ Blue Angels colour scheme. I still have it but it’s a bit tatty now. Unsurprisingly I was the only one daft enough to go flying that day!

The good news on the patch is that the sheep have gone again. They weren’t in the field long before being moved to the bottom field and they’ve now disappeared completely, presumably having been moved to lower ground because of the heavy snow that’s on the way. The patch is looking pretty good, the F.A.R.T.S. have rolled it a couple of times and an electric fence has now been purchased to protect it from the livestock in future.

Woody has been braving the strong winds a lot this month with his little Minimoa two cell electric glider and I snapped this rather blurry photo one day to prove he was capable of battling upwind in adverse conditions.2018-02-09 10.40.23-1It might not be terribly pleasant flying on days like that but it certainly teaches you a lot.

Bob the Builder has fitted electronic stabilisers to a couple of his models and they are a great help, they take out nearly all the bumps and stop the model being chucked around all the time. Bob uses OrangeRx ones which are usually available from HobbyKing although they seem to be out of stock at the moment. I have a couple of them myself and can vouch for their abilities. I fitted one to the Twister that I pictured above because, being of high wing configuration, it was almost impossible to fly steadily inverted, it always tried to roll back upright. The stabiliser transformed it and inverted flight became easy. For Spektrum users they are also available built into DSM2 compatible receivers, I believe Dwayne Pipe has some of these and is happy with them.

In the last Patch News I posted a photo for a CAPTION COMP but only three people have entered. There is a particularly good prize up for grabs on this one and I think it’s worth more than three entrants so here it is again:2018-01-07 10.25.52I realise it’s not a particularly easy photo to caption but please have a go. You can enter as many times as you like and I will choose a winner from the comments on both the January and February blogs. The prize will be awarded at the meeting on 22 March so get commenting!

PAM members were invited to attend the Alton Model Flying Club indoor meet on 13 February at Medstead Village Hall and five of us went along. The event is held every month through the winter and is run by my old mate Dave Durnford. He will be running two more before the summer break, on 13 March and 10 April. The hall is quite small, a typical village hall and not dissimilar to the larger of the two at Buriton, so it’s not really suitable for shock flyers unless you are really competent at prop hanging. But it’s ideal for smaller models and most of the Alton members were flying Parkzone Night Vapors or Mini Vapors. The Night Vapor is just under 15” wingspan and weighs around 0.6oz. It flies on a single cell 70mAh lipo and has three channels, rudder, elevator, and throttle.Night_VaporIt’s called Night Vapor because it has lights so you can fly it in the dark. Goose Berry has one that he was flying at the event and he was kind enough to let me have a go with it. I could be tempted to get one but I think they only come as Bind ‘n’ Fly for Spektrum and I don’t think I could take the stick if I were to buy a Spektrum transmitter! On the evening we went they were running some light-hearted competitions, pylon racing, carrier deck landing, and balloon bursting. They set out four posts with balloons attached as pylons, and a couple of tables laying on the floor formed the carrier deck. Both the pylon racing and carrier deck landing comps went ok but the Night Vapors proved to be incapable of bursting balloons! You would have expected the props to have made short work of the balloons but they just couldn’t burst them! If we ran that comp at Petersfield you lot would be sharpening up the props for weeks beforehand but the Alton members are a more genteel crowd.2018-02-13 20.48.15Captain Slow took along a small electric helicopter to fly, and I took a couple of drones, one of which is fitted with a camera. They ran the pylon race with different slots for fixed wing and rotary models so when Captain Slow was competing with his heli I was flying a drone in the same slot. I very quickly discovered that while I’m ok at drone flying generally, moving slowly, hovering, turning etc I’m totally incapable of flying one quickly around a pylon course! I may as well confess now (he’s probably already told you 15 times anyway) that I managed to take out the Captain’s heli just as he was doing rather well in the comp. My new motto is ‘If in doubt knock ‘em out’!PICT0000Dwayne Pipe flew a drone as well, and also a small electric biplane, both of which came from HobbyKing.DSCF3284The drone is a Mini X6 Micro Hexa-copter which is 130mm across (the website says ‘wheelbase’, maybe that’s how drones are usually described) and it comes complete ready to fly. The transmitter has two selectable flight modes, a basic super stable mode and a sport mode in which it can do flips and 3D tumbling. Not seen any flips or tumbling Dwayne, get out there and strut your stuff! The transmitter is also reversible from mode 2 to mode 1 with a simple gimbal rotation, the transmitter swivels across the stick centreline, you might be able to see it in this photo:49496s5_1__2It’s very clever but I’m slightly confused as Dwayne usually flies mode 3. Maybe he has to fly mode 2 with the drone, I will pay more attention next time Dwayne flies it.

His biplane is a Double Helix Slowfly which has a wingspan of 420mm and weighs 40g with the battery. Like the drone it comes ready to go, just charge the single cell 150mAh lipo and fly. Construction is from EPO and carbon which makes it pretty strong, Dwayne’s is in its third year of indoor flying and he says it takes a lot of punishment.DSCF3285 42298-5It looks like a good introduction to indoor flying but sadly the HobbyKing website shows it as discontinued and as far as I can see it isn’t available anywhere else.

I also took along an old indoor model that I built several years ago and found damaged up in our loft. I repaired it and updated it to use 2.4GHz radio and a lipo battery but kept the original geared brushed motor. Unfortunately I have no idea where the centre of gravity should be and I can’t remember what caused the crash that damaged it.2018-02-27 17.09.33It’s a Pogo and is based loosely (very loosely) on the Convair XFY-1 vertical take-off and landing test aircraft.pogoThe Convair did take-off vertically, fly around normally, and land vertically but it was never considered a success and only one was built. The hall was really too small for mine but later in the evening, when nobody else was flying, I had a go with it. With the limited space all I could really attempt was to prop hang it and I’m not very competent at that anyway so all I managed was a few fairly out of control hops. But I didn’t break it so I’ll persevere.

The Alton club members made us feel very welcome and I intend to go to the next one on 15 March.

Sticking with Alton MFC events, I mentioned at our last club meeting that George Worley of 4-Max would be giving them a presentation on 2 March at Medstead Village Hall. But due to the forecast of heavy snow that day the event has been postponed until Friday 23 March. All PAM members are welcome to attend and if you pre-order something from George and collect it on the night you will receive a 10% discount if you pay in cash.

I took this photo of Bob the Builder recently and every time I look at it I’m reminded of someone else…but who?2018-02-02 14.54.14 (2)Oh hang on, I think I know, I recognise that mad, wide-eyed look! It’s Doc Brown from Back To The Future! 289661 (1)There was an amusing moment at the patch recently; I was flying and heard 1066 ask the customary “Ok to launch?” as he came and stood alongside me. I was aware that Captain Slow was holding 1066’s model and was ready to chuck it. Then 1066 said “Oh, wrong model” and they both wandered off back towards the pits. I assumed that 1066 hadn’t switched his transmitter to the correct model but that wasn’t the case, Captain Slow had actually picked up the wrong model from the pits! As they walked to the patch 1066 hadn’t noticed as he was busy checking the switch positions on his transmitter. And I thought we called him Captain Slow because he likes to fly slowly…! Must add that one to the pre-flight Check List: Ensure helper is holding the correct model!

I’ve only spotted one new model this month but it’s certainly a good one. Catapult King is never one to do things the easy way and this time he has produced a Grumman X-29.2018-02-18 10.11.37 2018-02-18 10.11.46Some of you will have seen it at the last club meeting but for those that weren’t present this is what Catapult says about it: ‘The model is a Grumman X29 USAF experimental plane of which only two were made. I originally found a build on the Flite Test web site but it was a little ‘boxy’ and I found this Steve Shumate plan on RC groups. This plan looked like it could contain an EDF so modifications were done accordingly.IMG_0747 IMG_0748It turned out to be 1200mm long and 720mm wide and weighs in at a flying weight of 1.2Kg. It is made mainly from Depron though the control surfaces are balsa.  It’s powered by a Dr. Mad Thrust 64mm 10 blade EDF, a HobbyKing 80amp ESC and Turnigy 4s 2650 lipo which is drained in two minutes flat, I haven’t measured the current draw yet. All of the servos are HXT900’s and I’m using seven channels on the receiver mainly because I wasn’t sure if one servo would be strong enough to rotate both canards so they are independent which means I could mix in ailerons; at the moment they only compliment the strakes (elevators). I think following the maiden flight there may be need to improve the airflow both in and out.’2018-02-18 10.25.35 2018-02-18 10.27.12Dougal Entendre was tasked to do the first couple of flights and all went well. It only just got away from the first launch but once it got going it was fine. After moving the centre of gravity forward a little the second flight was more stable and Dougal started to look like he was enjoying himself. You can see both flights in this months’ video.2018-02-22 21.46.17Having a quick look at the figures shows there is something wrong with the powertrain. To drain a 2650mAh 4 cell pack in 2 minutes would mean pulling around 88A providing about 1300w of power. That equates to getting on for 500w/lb which the model certainly didn’t have! Also the battery would have been very warm if it had been delivering 88A for 2 minutes but it was barely warm at all. My first thought would be that the batteries weren’t fully charged but if they were and the motor really was pulling 88A then the ducting certainly needs opened up as it must be restricting the airflow. I expect by now Catapult will have measured the current draw, that has to be the starting point and will show what is going on. All in all it’s a brilliant plane, looks good, flies well, and is a rare and challenging aircraft to model.

We often moan about the lack of facilities at our field, we’d all like to have some sort of clubhouse where we could get warm, maybe have a cuppa or even a bacon sarnie, and of course, the all important loo. Wouldn’t that be great? But then I watched a video that convinced me that we should immediately bring in two new rules: 1. No FPV flying and 2. No toilet. The thought of finding 1066 like this… Urgh!Screenshot (14)Actually the photo is a screenshot taken from a Flite Test video and the video is well worth watching, they are planning some interesting developments, something amazing, something that would never happen in the UK:If you aren’t familiar with the Flite Test website I can thoroughly recommend it, there’s lots of information and fun stuff to be enjoyed, find it here: FLITE TEST

You might be interested in a new How To article about parallel charging that HobbyKing have added to their website, it should anwser any questions you may have. You can read it HERE

Time now for this months’ video which includes footage taken at the indoor event, some onboard stuff from my FunGlider, the X29, a Spit doing low passes, a Vampire, and more.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

‘It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed.‘ – US Air Force Manual

Colin Cowplain