Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Vulcan progress - covering & cockpit

The big (72") Vulcan is coming along well at the moment, with a bit of a push underway for her to make the June PSSA meet at the Great Orme.  This weekend I dabbled a little with the covering, finishing off the fuselage as I had sorted the wings and flying surface already.

So, onto the cockpit then, as I never managed to get hold of an original from the supplier unfortunately.  Out with the pink foam, and using the 1/72nd scale model as well as the plan, I knocked one up.  Here it is on the Vulcan, freshly stuck down :

I peeled the Oracover away under the foam to expose the balsa first of course.  Next stage is to glass this with light cloth and WBPU :

Getting there!   It looks messy at this stage, but the cloth will be cut back shortly.  I have filled the weave with a WBPU / talcum powder mix to thicken it all up.  This should be set tonight ready for a light sand and final coat.  Then its on with the P38 body filler and she will be ready for priming.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

PSSA at the Bwlch - a couple more photos

Google kindly made a panoramic picture for me out of two pit shots yesterday, so here it is :

And a couple from Phil Cooke of me and Bob Jennings with our Flankers :

Thanks Phil!

Edit to add - this is also my 150th post to the blog, go me!

Monday, 23 May 2016

PSSA at the Bwlch - May 2016

I travelled down on Saturday morning to the Bwlch area, as the forecast in the week was less than great unfortunately, but as we approached Pontypridd on the A470, I thought I'd made a big mistake!
The wind was blowing, the skies were clear - ideal sloping weather.

Then we got into the valleys - oops!  As forecast, it was peeing down and the tops of the hills were covered in thick mist straight into the base of the cloud layer.  I still went up and stopped in the layby next to the "wrecker", just in case we got a few minutes of calm or clear weather - it didn't happen.

The clouds were teasing me with lovely views across the valley on the leeward side, but where the mist was being compressed on the windward side, the clouds were dumping the rain out profusely.

A few videos on the laptop later, then we were off to the pub in Ponty - the Bunch of Grapes.  An excellent meal with 4 other like minded guys (and the wife unit) with lots of laughs and talk of future designs and flying trips made for a really great evening.

Sunday dawned with a bit of rain that cleared quickly, so off to the slope we went.  The wind was blowing up and down a bit, but seemed good enough for a few lighter models.  I campaigned the little Hawk through the breeze on "Mickey's", but there wasn't really a lot of energy to be had, so I rigged the Pike.  This of course went very well, but I was mindful that the wind was getting up more and more so I brought her in - straight into a pile of sheep shit. Great!

Phil Cooke getting Pete Garsden's Vulcan away

I had a couple more flights with the Hawk, but again the variability of lift meant that on one pass you had great aeros, then the next pass I was scratching for height.  After lunch the wind seemed a bit more steady, so I tried the BUFF.  Not really that great, as again, the inland slopes were being affected by a lot of thermal activity and probably turbulent waves from the other side of the valley.  She landed out after I battled away on the sticks, re-gained my launch height, then left in dead air again.  No damage other than an aileron servo horn needs replacing.

Bits of BUFF at the bottom!
The wind did seem to swing around some, so we de-camped and walked off to "Mickey's West", which is a much more impressive slope with a steeper base.  The wind was pretty good here, but again quite variable.  I got the Phantom away (now 25 years old - still flies well!) into booming lift that then disappeared a few moments later.  Guess what? Another land out, but thankfully no damage to little 'Toom.
Pits on Mickey's West
I decided against throwing the Flanker off into this variability, but Bob tried his best with his recently acquired Matt Jones version.  Alas, it seemed the balance was off as she wanted to dive a lot, and she piled into the hill out of view, destroying the nose section.

Some rain blew through but Shona and I were sheltered behind the sportbrella, which did a stirling job of keeping the wet off of us, and not much longer after I had the Hawk flying again, mostly straight at Phil's camera.  We knocked it on the head at about 4, just in time really as some very heavy rain and thunderstorms headed in from the West.  We did get a bit of bombing practice done, but we can see that much more practice is required!

Looking forward to the Orme in a few week's time -it should be a good 'un with the CSA guys being there for the Ray Jones memorial.
Lovely views out to sea

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

C17 slowly moves along - flap canoe

A little progress on the single C17 wing that I am slowly putting together, in the shape of flap canoe number one :
The shape is "mostly" right, as I have had to take some artistic licence on it - there are no cross section or head-on views of it available, so I have done my best from a multitude of pictures.  It's only a PSS machine anyway - it's not as if she's going to the World Jet Masters!

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Fame in RCSD, and cover photo fail

Well, this month's Radio Control Soaring Digest has a lovely spread of pictures from my Flanker build - really nice to see her in "print", as it were.  Here is a link to the May issue.

Phil Cooke's photography from the recent PSSA meet just missed out on the cover of RCM&E magazine this month, a real shame.  Instead Matt's lovely Hawk (flown by me) was replaced by a mass-produced foamie.  Oh well, no accounting for taste!

Here are some of Phil's great pics that didn't make it.

Phil had the cheek to say that I was trying for a landing - swine!  I was just putting in some balls-out fast, low passes for him and the lens.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

L59 builds continue

It's been a while since the Albatrosses appeared here, mainly as it's a build I've done the before so not a lot of it is interesting.  Here are a few pics though of recent developments that I've not done before - cockpit moulding.

I made a form from medium balsa, and sanded it fairly smooth.  I didn't go balls-out and fill / sand / prime / sand, as I just wanted to see what it would do with a Cooke bottle.  It went really well!  The flat front windscreen part came through very nicely, and no "graining" or whatever came through in the plastic.

As a first try, I am very happy.  The bottle was old and manky; I didnt remove the glue first, and I scorched the plastic near the front as the blocks moved from the bottom that hold the tension on the bottle.  I followed a how-to that was in RCM&E recently, and that I had also seen on RCG I believe, so it's great to try out and means I'm not afraid of cockpit creation any more!

Monday, 2 May 2016

Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker for PSS - maiden done!

On the 30th I joined up with a few of the south Wales fliers on the Ice Scream slope in the Bwlch range of hills above Treorchy for some slope flying.  The wind was NW ish, but it would gust with more W in it temporarily, giving us lots of turbulent air and not much lift.

Anyway, the Flanker got away ok in the end, after scratching out some lift she went well.  I struggled with my TX a bit, as it seems the up elevator trim switch is not working - I know this is a common fault with the 10C unfortunately, but not a big problem as I will swap it for the elevator trim switch internally.  This gave me no real feel for the planes performance in turns, as I was flying the elevator all the time I could have been close to the stall.

Enough chat, here's a video from Steve Haughton.

And a few stills from Tom May :

Some finer tuning I hope at the May PSSA meet on the same range of hills.