Friday, 29 January 2016

Primed Flanker

Oh aye - forgot to post this earlier. Flanker now fully primed, last little blobs taken care of, maybe even first top coats this weekend?
A little bit of detail there too of the magnets in one wingtip.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Sunday's flying

I had nice 3 hour or so flying session yesterday in the normal Burton Dassett bumpy air, giving the Pike WR, B52, and the Hawk a bit of an airing.  The Buff was not enjoying the bumpy air so much, and the Hawk wasn't too impressed either.  The forecast wind speed was 16mph with 25mph gusts - on the edge of the hill, at the compression point, I measured 17mph on my Vavuud...pretty terrible really, showing that there is no great amount of power in the hill at all.  As a comparison, on the Orme a 16mph ground-level speed would easily give mid to high twenties on the edge!

The bumpiness is getting worse over the years too - I think we need to visit some trees at the bottom with a chainsaw one night!

Shona forgot the camera, so we only managed a few stills from my phone, this is about the best of them.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Workshop stuff

The indoors workshop (was a 4th bedroom, but I "shotgunned" it when we moved in) has gone through a few changes in its time, and as discussed earlier, here are some photos.

The new racking is shown with a foam FW190 on top, with my old wing storage to the right of it.  The new racking will have the new bench under it, with the soldering area under the wing rack.  I'll put some more bright LED lighting in for fine detail work too.

Here is the other side of the workshop (which is through an external wall - part of the second extension) which is now stuffed full!  I can't get to the PC or 3D printer, but I don't need them too much at the moment.

I should hopefully get all this sorted out tonight and tomorrow.

Flanker cockpit

I managed to get a bit of spare time at lunch, so I cleaned up the cockpit area, polished the inside of the plastic, then glued and taped the cockpit on.

It should be dry by the time I get back, so with a bit of luck I will be able to do the fine line of filler around the join at some point today.

C17 flap canoe and spolier

Well, here are some images of the 2nd flap canoe, which as you can (hopefully) see, has space in the middle for the flap actuation rod.

I have also added a basic shape for the top surface spoiler. I think I should be able to reverse this one into a parking spot with that much brake.

And finally, all stowed for normal flight.

Project's Progress

I haven't been posting recently due to not really doing a great deal on the aircraft themselves.  I have done a little more design work on the C17, but mostly last-minute tweaks to the way things go together.  I've also got some raw materials around me now, so I'm nearly ready to make the Big Start on the BGC.

The Flanker has been sat awaiting it's pilots, and I've been painting them up all week - and first thing this morning I glued them in.  That means tonight I should be able to get the cockpit on, then tomorrow mask that off and start the final primer coats.

The F104 has had a good sanding down all over, but not really progressed since the last images I put up.  If I get the time this weekend I should be able to mist some primer on to see where we're at with the quality of finish.

The Sea Hawk hasn't really been touched, but I made a decision to make the wings non-removable on the first one.  I've been wasting too much time with looking at spar solutions, I decided "sod it", and will use the remainder of my flat carbon spar material (from the Mig29) to make a one-piece spar that keep her altogether.  I'm not struggling for transport space, so it won't matter in the long run.

Other than that, I am re-organizing the indoors workshop (again), to add in another 7 foot long bench, adding in more storage racks, and making a dedicated soldering / electronics work area.  This should free up the other benches for aircraft parts.

That's about it!  More news when it happens :)

Friday, 15 January 2016

C17 Flap canoe test

I have had some concerns over the operation and construction of the flap canoes.  I sketched up a few ideas, and this is what I've ended up with.  The flaps operate in much the same way as the full-size, with a hinge at the bottom of the canoes - for me this will be an arrangement of 3mm glassfibre board bonded to a central core of 3mm liteply.  The hinge itself will hopefully be a 4mm ball-link with a 4mm carbon pin, and a clevis on the mating part will be glassfibre board.

Shown here in the model are canoes 1 and 4 (4 being most outboard), and the flap is deployed.  Canoe 3 will be identical to these, but canoe 2 will be where the "magic" happens.  There will be two core plates on number 2, with a 6mm gap in between them.  This will allow a linkage from a servo to pass through and link up with the rear part of the canoe, close to the pivot, which will give me the required large throw.

All canoe cores will be sandwiched in blue or pink XPS foam, then glassed.  Flap servo access will be in the top surface, just in front of the spoilers.

I have also done some work on the fold-out parts of the landing lights, just for Dave!

Full size : 

Douglas A-4 Skyhawk PSS RC Model Plan

Looking good!

Thursday, 14 January 2016

F104 bits and bobs

With the successful maiden of the F104 as a PSS machine, I decided those horrible decals and colour scheme had to go.  Lots of sanding later, and the paint is mostly gone on the fuselage, but I had a problem with the wings.

The guy who built it didn't actually put anything over the veneered panels, other than maybe some sanding sealer on the wood, then primed and painted it. Yuck.  The grain was evident when closely inspected, and that just won't do.  Time for my favourite filler!  3M red spot putty / glazing putty.

A good thin film is all that is needed - most of it will come off in sanding, so I used a plastic filler spatula to scrape it on.  Some sanding later...

There! It's mostly gone.  The surface now feels like a sheet of glass - very happy with that.  Yes I could have solarfilmed it, but that always leaves a finish that WILL peel, bubble, or lift at some point.  Horrible stuff.  Or, of course, I could have glassed it - but the hinge job on the surfaces are so good at the moment, I don't want to disturb them.

So, rolling the rocketship over sees the next job - the underside.  I've given her a good sanding, but I think I will do some more glaze puttying, and a bit of P38 on the centreline of the fuselage too.  I may also 3D print some sleek servo covers as I'm missing one and the others do even cover the servo horn.

She's pretty close to priming now - I think the this and the Flanker will be hitting the paint shop at the same time in the very near future.  At this rate, they will both be ready to fly at the end of February, and maybe a cheeky Orme visit will be lined up for that purpose!

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

C17 tail modifications

I've spent some time today arranging the tail structure, to ensure it is easy to build, align, and modify if tail incidence changes are required.  Here is a picture (click for full size):

  • The fin spars will be underneath the veneer sheeting, incorporated into the build right at the start.  They are different lengths to meet the changing taper in the bottom of the fuselage at the right point.
  • Fin top plate is a 1/4" (6mm) birch ply plate.  It is gorilla-glued to the top of the foam in the fin, and the fin spars should pass through it slightly so a puddle of epoxy will secure it.  A duplicate of this plate (for facing the upper part) will be glued to the underside of the fin box sides / tailplane spar assembly.  Captive nuts will be secured under the top plate.
  • Fin box side plates will be 1/8" hard balsa, grain vertical.  This will resist compressive forces well, and they are epoxied to, and held apart by the two tailplane spars.
  • Tailplane spars front and rear.  These are inserted into slots cut into the foam after joining the tailplane halves.  Gorilla glue bonds them.  A channel will need to be made through one of the holes in the rear spar for cabling.
Everything above the fin top plate un-bolts and is removed in one piece.  Shims can be added at the back or front if needed.  Location is retained by two large dowels and the whole lot will bolted up with stainless socket head cap screws.  All of the shape of the fairing will be achieved with XPS (blue or pink extruded foam), and glassed for a finish.


I have added a picture here of the elevator servo positioning, as requested by Dave.  The model will use an elevator per servo, and the dotted lines show intended cable routing.

Monday, 11 January 2016

A slightly primed Flanker

I managed to brave the cold in the garage last night for spraying duties.  I brought the rattle-can of primer in doors and sat it in a sink full of hot water first though (brings the pressure up, and makes the paint runnier), then after a bit of last minute prep, shot the first base of primer onto the Flanker.

Not too bad I guess.  I left that in front of the heater to help set the paint, then brought it inside when it was dry to the touch and the stink of the paint had lessened.  So, roll her onto her back, and pick up on the black lines I'd drawn around the battery box.  Spot-on for location, which is nice!

I then reinforced the underside of the hatch with some 1/64th" ply, added some mounting blocks inside the fus, then re-attached the hatch with servo screws.  I rolled her back over, and went at it with a strong light and the red stopper / glazing putty.

No real surprises - pretty much where I thought all the problem areas were, I found and filled.
Onto the next hatch - this time the receiver one.

A slightly wobbly line on the RHS there!  I was distracted by a dog unfortunately, and my ruler slipped a touch.  Not a problem - it'll be hard to see once the camo is applied.  Again, spot on for location - there's all my servo and power wires - great.  A switch / charging jack will live in here next to the RX.  I added some blocks for support around the inside of the fus, but haven't decided on retaining method yet.  I think it'll be a hatch-catch in the hatch, with carbon dowels at the front.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

A new beast for the hanger!

I persuaded Matt Jones to part with his lovely Hawk in commemorative colours today. Already programmed into the radio - can't wait to get this one chucked off the hill!

Flanker sees primer

I braved the cold this evening and cracked on with a first guide coat of primer on the Flanker. The fins, sub fins, ailerons and elevators are now drying out with their first layer of glass too.  All coming along!

Thursday, 7 January 2016

C17 view

Here is a view with my 10C lying on the 3-joined-A0 sheets that make up the side view of the C17.  Big enough...?!

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Su27 Flanker glassing

Well, it's hard to see here, but that's the underside of the airframe all glassed.  I'm using Ronseal diamond-hard WBPC varnish, and some fairly light (no idea on weight) cloth.  I really like glassing - it's so quick!

For sale : PSS Horten 229 v2 - NOW SOLD

Anyone interested in a PSS Horten 229? Seems to be the time of year for moving airframes on, so thought I'd see if there's any interest. Built by me last year from a plan, with a built-up centre section and foam-veneered outer panels.

Comes with two metal-geared digital servos, battery, and switch. I think it was 3lbs 2oz AUW? Can check that. Also comes with silver-bubble-wrap onesie suit for transport and storage.

If interested, send me an email here :


Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Page updated

In case you missed it, the PSS model roll-call has been updated!

PSS Hawker Sea Hawk - colour choices

So, the Sea Hawk is moving along nicely at the moment - the fuselage planking is nearly complete, which means it's time to look at some colour schemes.

I found these two picture on the 'net, and their copyright is shown :

I quite like the look of the all-black version, but I'd be a bit brave for that on the slopes.  I think my favourite from these is "191" with the wasp striping on the fuselage and wings.  Quite a simple scheme too, so shouldn't be too hard.

Monday, 4 January 2016

First post for 2016

Happy New Year to one and all!

Right then, Christmas is out of the way, and wouldn't you know it - 3 weeks off, and hardly any building done. Typical.

So, back at it now.  I molded some glass fibre tubes over a potential aluminium Sea Hawk wing spar, which went well until I had to get it off, so I have now admitted defeat and will source a commercial unit.

The Flanker got a little bit of love too, with the tailpipes being finished off and a few blemishes taken care of with filler.  Now 100% ready for glassing.

Should be a big year, with some great projects and (hopefully) loads of flying, so really looking forward to it!