Things looked up a little for aeromodelling in May as the partial lifting of the lockdown was announced on 11th which meant two people could go to the patch and fly as long as they stayed at least two metres apart. Captain Slow came up with a system of booking slots which seems to be working well and many members have been out flying in the glorious weather. Initially there was the problem that the patch grass had grown very long and the bullocks were in the field but the bullocks were soon moved out and Iven offered to cut the grass with his self-propelled mower.The patch is the long stuff on the right in this photo, Iven is mowing around the edge. Captain Slow accompanied him and did a battery swap but Iven preferred to just mow alone and he eventually finished several hours later with five one cubic metre bags of grass that he took away in his van. We are all very grateful Iven, it was a mammoth job that would have taken the members very much longer with the club mower.Since then 1066 has mown it twice with Mike Smith and once with Colin Cowplain. Unfortunately the bullocks returned on 27th May which will make things a bit trickier, especially with just two flyers at a time.
Continuing from last month with some of the new models that have been built during lockdown I’ll begin with Kryten’s Swannee. For those of you who don’t know Kryten is really Graham Swan so when the Swanee plan was first published when he and I were at school together it was almost compulsory that he built one! This is what he says: When an article about Swannee appeared in Patch News in July 2018 I was quoted as saying the model was “awful”. I first built this plane in 1966 when it was first published as a free plan in the Aeromodeller magazine.Thinking about my comment, after reading the article, I concluded that it was my building skills and lack of accuracy that were awful rather than the model, which never did fly satisfactorily. I decided later in 2018 that Swannee V2 would be my “winter build” project ready for the spring of 2019. In the event it has taken slightly longer than that to carry out and complete it.
Firstly I decided that I would add aileron control as the original model was single channel “rudder” only. The original version had a large amount of dihedral and small amount of wash out built into the tapered wing construction. I think the washout was the Achilles heel of my first model. The wings are formed from 1/16th balsa skins top and bottom with a tapering set of ribs effectively keeping the skins apart. The plan indicated 1½ deg or 1/8th inch of washout along the trailing edge. At the time I used my Father’s work bench as my “model building board” and I am sure that the surface had more twist in it than that before I even started!!
So with a nice flat building board I am hopeful that V2 will be more successful. The main changes are:-
Converted to electric power including a battery tray, extended to include space for an AS3x receiver installed directly on the CofG.
Incorporated aileron control with HXT servos built into the wings
Stiffened up the front fuselage with light ply doublers.
Reduced the dihedral, the angle of attack and omitted the washout all as suggested in an RCM&E April 2017 article.
Added elevator, an option on the original, and rudder controlled by servos rather than the “rubber band” powered escapement.
Omitted the rubber band fixing of the wings and replaced them with nylon wing bolt arrangement.
Otherwise the 36-inch wingspan Swannee V2 is constructed true to the plans and then covered in Hobby King film. Incidentally, the small cut outs in each of the formers shown in the photo, are to enable them to slide onto an aluminium box section which acts as a jig to keep the fuselage straight. This is removed before the engine mount is attached to F1.
All up weight including a Zippy 3cell 1000MaH battery is 22 ounces rather than the single channel target of 16 ounces. This equates to 15 ounces per sq ft (Please note that by way of a tribute to the age of the original model I have used imperial units)
The (dare I say it) Spektrum AS3x receiver has been set up with three flying modes:-
Mode 1 General flying – no gains
Mode 2 Launch – heading gain and rate gain
Mode 3 Landing – rate gain
Kryten sent through lots of construction photogaraphs which included the formers, fuselage, and wing halves. Here’s the model ready for covering and then completed with some very nice water slide decals that Kryten made. And here’s Swannee flying…but only virtually. Hopefully Swannee will be test flown for real before too long.
Page Boy has been busy building a Skywriter, a 48” span sports-scale biplane designed by Lindsay Todd. I don’t have any information about the motor etc at the moment but it looks as if he’s making a lovely job of the airframe and as the lockdown continues I don’t suppose it will be too long before it’s ready for covering.
Last month I mentioned that Matt Takhar was building something that’s a complete departure from his usual stuff.I can now reveal that’s it’s an Oxy4 Max helicopter! As we only fly fixed-wing models at the field a helicopter is quite a rarity for a PAM member although Captain Slow used to be heavily into choppers and some members do have small ones… but that’s another story! Matt is intending to fly his new toy with Hayling Helis in due course. Matt says: Here’s the spec… I don’t actually know what most of this means or does, but it all sounds good!
Oxy 4 max
GDW DS595MG Tail servo
GDW DS290MG Cyclic servos x 3
Scorpion Tribunus 06-80amp Esc/SBec
Egodrift Tengu motor 3220/960KV
HRB 6S 1800mAh lipos x 3
Micro Beast flybarless unit (aka the magic box of tricks)
Fun-Key FK RT Carbon Fibre Main blades
Fun-Key FK RT Carbon Fibre Tail bladesThe build has been very enjoyable, mainly down to learning something new. Although I will admit I spent the best part of three hours trying to work out how to setup the flybarless unit with the RX/TX, it uses a single SBUS lead from RX to unit.
That looks like a real feat of engineering, not what we normally think of as building. Good luck flying it Matt!
Norwegian Nick is still at it, building models that is. He sent me some info on his large Tiger Moth that looks almost ready to fly now: Bought it on eBay, cost £50. It’s a 1/5th scale Toni Clarke creation. When I got it home and gave it a good going over, I thought that’s 50 quid down the drain. It had been covered in doped on nylon cloth and painted in an awful earth colour probably dating back to the early 80s… Anyway in for a penny in for a pound. I used about 2 pints of cellulose thinners to remove all the covering which seemed to take ages. On exposing the frame work it was obvious that quite a lot of Balsa would need to be replaced. The wings thankfully were ok and needed no attention. The fuselage top and bottom longerons were spruce and in good nick however all the lattice balsa struts rudder and elevators just crumbled to dust when squeezed. So I bit the bullet acquired a set of plans and rebuilt all the affected structures. On completion I noticed that the tailplane was slightly offset to the horizontal but thought I don’t care anymore it will still fly. Covered in plain Solatex and sprayed to the Norwegian aircraft insignia. All servos were the first Futaba 3003s, huge, and control linkages in the wings were bell-cranks and wire pushrods. Now fitted with Hitec servos throughout and conventional push pull cables for elevators and rudder control as per full size. Had to make new struts for wings because they were absent when bought. Anyway enough of the waffle, it’s just over 6ft wingspan weighs out at about 10 lbs which is normal. Reluctant to power it with electric motor which would have involved major dockyard surgery on the front end and I think would belittle the concept of a Tiggie so have fitted a Laser 70 4-stroke for power which I guess will be abhorrent to some. Just been online and the price of the same model from Toni Clarke is 499 Euros so fifty quid seems a bargain.
It looks great now Nick, well worth the effort and it will make an excellent stablemate for your 80” span Citabria Pro.
Nick’s also got a Peter Holland Archie biplane underway, well he wouldn’t want to run out of things to do would he? So that’s a Sabre, Buccaneer, Tiger Moth, and an Archie…are there any others that I don’t about yet Nick?
I forgot to mention the March competition in last month’s Patch News. For those who didn’t read the Comments section the winner was Kryten who correctly named the three S’s as Swanage, Studland, and Sandbanks just eight hours after it was posted! I was really pleased with the photo but I didn’t expect anyone to get the answers so quickly, in fact I wasn’t sure it would be recognised at all. Well done Kryten, here’s your Gold Star ⭐
Last month I set another competition, this time to guess the number of lipos in my ammo box. This comp wasn’t as popular but several members had a go. At one point I said that there was a tie, giving what I thought was a really good clue as that meant there could only be three possible answers. Surprisingly only one person had a go after that and with a one in three chance Page Boy correctly guessed 39. Well done Page Boy here’s your Gold Star! ⭐
Another model awaiting a test flight is this rather nice Hunter that that Woody has built from the Tony Nijhuis plan. Woody bought the laser cut kit and fitted the recommended FMS 50mm fan and motor along with a 40A Hobbywing speed controller. The colour scheme is from the Empire Test Pilots’ School as Boscombe Down, in fact this one:I’ve recently fitted the same fan/motor combination to my F-22 Raptor and am happy to report that the performance is much better than with the previous Dr Mad Thrust unit. I also had to replace the speed controller as the original was a 25A unit and the FMS set-up pulls a good 30A. I fitted a 40A one that I had spare and it so happens it’s a Hobbywing one so my set-up is identical to Woody’s. I believe the Hunter uses 2200mAh 3 cell lipos but I can’t fit those in the Raptor, I’m using 1300mAh 3 cell or some old (ex-Cyano Steve) 1800 Gens Ace ones that will just fit. I haven’t managed to find any new 1800’s that aren’t too big so maybe my next lipo purchase will be some 1500’s.The FMS fan is superb, it’s whisper quiet and noticeably more powerful than the Dr Mad Thrust unit. Of course the extra power means the flights are a little shorter but only using full throttle for steep climb outs and loops etc prolongs the available time to an acceptable length. See it in this month’s video. It will be interesting to see how the performance of Woody’s Hunter compares, the Hunter has a much more modern ducting design than the Raptor. Norwegian Nick’s Sabre will use the same fan but with a 4 cell motor so should be even better. Watch this space.
Gorgeous Gary has put together a Multiplex Funjet Ultra, he might be surprised by the speed of the thing, Multiplex say it will do 125mph! Gary has got a Himax c3514-2900 motor, a 60A esc, and will be using a 3 cell 2200mAh lipo.Gary has also been buying more I/c engines, he’s fitted a new OS55 to his existing Wot-4 and has built a new Acro-Wot that also has an OS55. He’s been flying since the partial lockdown lifting but not tried the new models yet. Dougal Entendre took this selfie of himself and Gary at the patch. Now I’m not sure if it’s just the photo but there appears to be rather more of Gary than last time I saw him. Could that be too many lockdown pies Gary?!Dougal also sent a photo of his prop hanging mishap, it seems he’s a bit out of practice but he said it would buff out. He was right, it did buff out a treat, good as new now. Well apart from the cowl but that was an earlier mishap.
I explained last month the Dwayne Pipe had treated himself to a new Futaba radio and he’s been using it in earnest.Getting everything set up can take a bit of getting used to with a change of manufacturer so the instruction manual has seen some heavy use but there have been no more unexplained crashes so it’s been a worthwhile change.
Almost last but by no means least is Bob the Builder’s new EasyTwin, an own design twin engine sports model. I did the test flight last week and after a little trimming and dialling down of the rates the model flew beautifully. The only problem was that the motors weren’t making the right noises, well one wasn’t anyway. At low throttle and full throttle they both seemed to run together nicely but at just above half throttle there were some very strange noises, definitely not correct, although it didn’t seem to affect the flying too much.The idea of building the twin was to use up a couple of old motors and a spare speed controller he had kicking around. I mentioned that running two motors from one controller was not advisable so Bob forked out for a matching pair of new ones. It now looks as if Bob might need to buy a pair of motors as well which rather spoils the whole idea. Never mind, it’s a nice model and flies well. You can see it in action in this month’s video.
Bob also built this during lockdown, just for something to do really. I have no details, what you see is what you get. Well it looks ok so the all important question is how does it fly? Just watch the video, it’s hilarious!
1066 sent through some photos of the last new model of the month, Mike Smith’s Durafly Tundra V2. It’s a standard PNF (Plug’N’Fly) model so very little work is required but Mike ordered it on a Tuesday, it arrived on the Saturday, and he flew it on the Monday. One of the unexpected joys of lockdown!
Video time now and this month your cameramen were me, Captain Slow, Dougal Entendre, and Bob the Builder, thanks chaps. Please watch the video full-screen, it’s so much better with small models flying around.If the video won’t play for you click HERE
Some of you might also want to watch a second video. A couple of weeks ago, during a lockdown clear out, I found a VHS tape of the 1987 Nationals Fun Fly that Don Eades, Graham Head, Dick Hall, and myself entered. The tape was made by the event organisers using a camcorder and copies sold to competitors. I haven’t been able to play VHS tapes for many years so I had it converted to an MP4 file. I found the original video was 1hr 12mins long so I’ve edited it and made a PAM version which is mostly of the four PAM members and is 22mins long. It will probably be of little interest to many current members but it is a bit of club history and it’s here if you’d like to watch it:If the video won’t play for you click HERE
Give a man a plane ticket, he’ll fly for a day. Push him out of an airborne plane and he’ll fly for the rest of his life.