Tuesday, 22 May 2018

PSS Antonov An-225 - complete!

It's been a while since I've posted, but I've been on-and-off on the building front due to other life stuff.  The 225 is now complete, balanced, and ready to fly.  Not quite true I guess, as I haven't added the thrust tubes onto the back of the engines as yet, but I'm happy for her to fly without those for now.



What a lump! I'm never moaning about moving the A10 around again..

Friday, 27 April 2018

PSS C17, Antonov, and Typhoon progress

Work is progressing well on all sorts of parts.  I've been on a bit of a glassing binge recently, getting a few parts done every night if I can.  Here the Typhoon ailerons, C17 elevators and wingtips are all getting their first sides glassed :



Then the second side :


Rub down and clean-up.  Really liking the finish on these ailerons :


The Antonov has had its middle-fuselage-piece faced with 3mm birch ply, and the clamp plates secured :


The rear fuselage piece has had the facing started, hopefully everything will be ready for covering by Sunday.

Monday, 23 April 2018

C17 Globemaster III for PSS - garden shot

Just an update to show the C17 alongside the Antonov.  I have done a few bits on the C17 this weekend, including changing how the tail section is secured to the nose, which will make it quicker and more secure to put together.





Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Antonov An-225 Mriya - the rebuild progresses

Lots of work on the 225 these past few days, including the biggest change - sawing the main fusealge in half.  This thing was 14 feet long, and made moving / transporting / handling / everything just too hard.  OK this isn't an everyday slope model, but it actually needs to not make me want to kill it every time I work on it.

Here is a snippet of the fus cut - join will be via 4 latches and 2 aluminium tubes :


I actually read some instructions and figured out what I was doing wrong when binding the second RX to give me 16 channels on the Horus.  Wing programming is now finished.  Here the 4x 4200mAh LiFe batteries that will run everything, as well as the two receivers on their respective distribution / battery back boards :


The nose is ready for some HK film now :


Flaps 3 and 4 (in-board centre section) have had new servos, servo arms and pushrods :


I'm now waiting on the wing tube delivery from SLEC so I can get the fus parts sorted.

Friday, 6 April 2018

PSS HET Rafale - complete

Well, she's just about done now.  All balanced, and needed no noseweight, which is nice.  AUW is 2lb 2ozs - thank god I replaced the fin with a balsa one!

I was going for three colours on the top, but have stopped where she is for now.

A white nose, panel lines and weathering done :

Weathering and jet exhausts done here :


Exhaust detail :


That's it, and she's ready for this weekend's (windless) PSS event in North Wales.  Done!

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

PSS HET Rafale - colour being shot at last!

With a to do list of about 22 items, and realistically only 3 days to get it done (and still working for a living), the Antonov has been put on the back burner for the April meet.  So what to finish off instead? Well, the little Dassault Rafale is so close, it'd be rude not to!

Masked up the blue underside :

Here we go :


Light sand colour shot first :


Drying off in the (new) kitchen :

Masking up for camo :


Darker sand colour sprayed :


Off with the masking! :


Very happy with the sand / blue contrast :


Time to get some decals and panel lines on, then she's ready for top coat.


Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Antonov An-225 Mriya - lots more work

This beast is not only taking up a lot of room, but a lot of my time too.

Nose section, sanded "smooth".  Yes this is the smooth version, with wood glue seeping into the cracks before the P38 filler comes out today :


Loom soldering.  Lots of wiring going into this, and it stole the Emcotec connectors I was saving for the Typhoon.  This beast has 8 servos in the wing in total.


Starboard wing recovered, and new LE chrome trim added.


Many more updates to come, the push for April continues.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Antonov An-225 Mriya - a PSS legend

In 1995 Simon Cocker made a rather large PSS glider - the Antonov An-225 Mriya ("Dream").  At 6m span, she made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.




Alas, in about 2006 the model suffered a crash on finals when the forward hatch blew open which resulted in a large un-commanded yaw manoeuvre.  The aircraft would not respond quick enough to corrective action, and she went in at just below cruise speed. 

The aircraft punched clean through a bush that slowed her a little, then parts starting hitting the ground.  The nose hit hard, and pulled the mounting hardware clean out of the main fuselage section, pivoting backwards and leaving a large gash in the port LE. 
Next, the main fus section hit more or less straight in - this was the big hit.  The main bulkhead ploughed  through the soil then fractured halfway up, blowing out a large section of the bottom of the fuselage.  This shock load flexed the wing tip panels so hard, the scarf joints cracked in the spars and the veneer creased on top.  The entire fus flexed, creased the veneer in 4 distinct lines, then righted itself. The tailplane also suffered here with a flexing stress crack of the veneer.
Most of the weight of the plane is the centre wing section - this carried on going forward, pulling the bolt plate clean out, fracturing a large 1/4" birch ply tongue, and shed all the engines.  5 out of the 6 engines were damaged, one badly.  The fins - nearly 2 foot high each - were completely unscathed from the crash.

When I picked the aircraft up she was in a sorry state, having sat dormant in a garage for the best part of 12 years since the impact.  Simon and some of the PSSA guys had managed to clear the crash site rather well, and just about every part was recovered though - making the rebuild a fair bit easier.

I have taken pics of most of the repair process, and probably wont blog them all, but here are a few.

The nose rejoins the aircraft on its latches for the first time in a long time

Port LE repair

Front of main fus repairs

Repairs continued

Centre wing flap reattachment

This has put a big dent in all the other aircraft builds and repairs, but they'll all get done, eventually.



Monday, 12 February 2018

Douglas SBD "Dauntless" for PSS - Weathering and finishing up

The SBD is coming along well, with only the wing servos left to install.

I mounted the engine in the cowl with a medium balsa brace (painted black) across the back of it:

So I thought it's about time for some weathering on this beastie:

Oh, and I've painted those control horns now too, to match the rest o the airframe.  Not a lot left to do - underside weathering, servos in the wing, balance and set up on the Horus.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Douglas SBD "Dauntless" for PSS - new (quick!) build

The SBD was a pretty sturdy and effective aircraft from WW2.  Not only a dive bomber, they were used as scouts for the carrier fleet and due to their overall ruggedness, the pilots took no crap from enemy fighters and engaged them aggressively when threatened. 


Hobbyking do a lovely all-built-up ARTF SBD for not a lot of money, and I splashed the cash a week or so ago for one.  Of course, they are set up for IC / EP with an undercarriage etc, but they also come with impressive dive brakes and centre flap; some lovely scale detailing on the covering; a decent cockpit set; a glassfibre cowl; and of course retracts.

Hefty all-electric retracts:

Lovely split dive brakes: 

An FG cowl:

A fattish semi-symetrical section:

Nice detail all over, really: 

So, to work!  Retracts out, centre flap servo hole boarded up (I will do this differently), e-flight bomb release slot added:

The retract wells get covered up by some lovely heavy-plastic gear doors (not shown yet).

Wings joined with wood glue on the heft quarter inch ply joiners:


Cockpit detailed up, re-painted, and weathered where necessary.  I converted the single-piece cockpit to the four-piece type as shown in the full size photo above, and as used in combat:



9 cylinder radial drawn-up and printed, pushrods added, ready for primer:

So she's about like this at the moment - servos and control rods just going in, then some more weathering, and then the serial decals etc.



More to follow!