Thursday, 28 July 2016

Another PSS project? OK, go on then!

Matt Jones (of PSSA fame) sent me a link to a model on the BMFA classifieds site the other night, and after a quick few texts with him and the owner, a plan was hatched. I now own another Fulcrum!

Snug as a bug!

Currently holidaying in Didcot
I do love my MiG 29's, so very happy to get this one.  All glass fuselage, with built up wings - the same manufacturer as my F15.  Which, incidentally, I am now selling to Matt! I'm sure he will more than do it justice.

Now I just need to get and see him soon so I can get my sweaty palms on this one, but in the mean time, the fun part - choosing colour schemes!

C17 Progress - all 4 flap canoes

I placed an order with Blackburn Models earlier this week, and the parts came today.  One of the main things I needed was the XL Robart pin hinges, as I was one short to finish my flap canoe test.

A quick squirt of the hot glue gun, and it's mounted.  All 4 hinges now on the right line, doing what I want :

Lots of flap deflection here!  This means that this first wing can have its canoes clad in foam, then bonded on, then it's one step closer to being covered.  Very happy!

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

C17 Progress - assembled in the garden

Now the second wing panel is coming on well, I decided to slip it onto the spar, and assemble the rest of this little glider in the back garden.

All coming along nicely, and even though the RH wing was at such at an early stage on Sunday, by Wednesday (today), it has been :
  • released of it's control surfaces
  • pine LE and false TE added
  • wiring bored and added
  • servo boxes cut out and lined
  • main spar box added
  • spoiler trough cut out and lined
No hanging around now!  The rear fuselage section has now been completely filled in foam and rough cut with the hot wire, and filling the front section started today at lunch time too.  Finalising flap canoe positions and getting the flaps hinged is the next big hurdle, where I'll hopefully see my intended mechanical contraption operate.

Oh, and I mowed the lawn yesterday in the 35 degree C heat too! Phew!

Thursday, 14 July 2016

C17 progress - it lives!

I originally scrapped the rear fuselage, as the blocking out of foam was not going well.  Too many formers made too many joints in the foam, which used more glue and more shims squaring things up.  I hated it.

So she looked like that a few months ago, and was ready for the bin.

After speaking to Mark Kettle a bit over some PSSA meets, I decided to strip the formers out the middle, and just use 4 longerons (one in each corner) to push a foam "box" up against.  This could then be hot wired and sanded to shape.

Like this :

Then some rough shaping : 

Tail on, in the house!  OK, she's still big then.  Oh, and you can see some more fuselage shaping :

So my worries of the fuselage have pretty much gone away (until I get to the nose section), so I started to work on the wings again.  I was going to use the first panel as a test, but I think it's tidied up quite well and so will use it on the final model :

That's the wing LE and TE being shaped...with a power planer!  They are quite hard 3/4" x 1/2" spruce, so take some work to get right.

This is why I was going to scrap this wing - you can see ripples in the veneer.  This is how the sheets were supplied, and I should have rejected them and got them sent back straight away, but I thought I could get rid of the problems in the press as the veneer went on.  I was wrong.  I have locally re-glued under the bubbles, and am blending it here with lightweight filler.  The spar box and also full-depth ply shear web are now in on this shot too.

So back to to the tail - I re-veneered a part of this in balsa (yes a bit of a mish-mash, but it'll work fine) and set out the servo positions for the rudders.  

I have used some 1/4" square balsa on the edges of the fin for a hinge shroud.  

Will it be finished this year?  Not sure, but I hope it would be ready for the last meet this year.

A4 Skyhawk printed parts

Building a Skyhawk for the PSSA mass build?  I've modelled and printed this refuelling probe that uses McDonald's drinking straws for the tubes.  This one will be going to Phil Cooke for starters, and after he's fitted and trialled it, I will offer them up for sale.

Sunday night Pike flying at Burton Dassett

I braved the M40 on Sunday night to go over to my local club slope at Burton Dassett country park, and was surprised to see I was the only flier there.  The wind was around a bit westerly for the SW slope, but the Pike and the newly-refitted Carbon Mini Blade went well.

Arty HDR shot

Fly with right hand, phone taking pics in left hand!

Some big clouds came steaming through - lots of knobbly lift.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

White horse big air and Su27 repairs

I had a great time on my favourite inland slope last weekend - the Westbury White Horse.  The best of these slopes is really the northerly ridge which is very long, and has nothing in front of it for a dozen or more miles - just the flat flood plains of the Wiltshire Avon.

The above shots are from the car park - in the first picture you can see the start of the westerly slope as the hummock on the far right of the horizon line.  The westerly slope lets you actually fly over the ancient white horse itself - a very steep slope you would not want to land out on.  There is a shelf to the far right that can be used in emergencies, but to be honest I've never had variable lift on these slopes, that I've been flying since the late 80's.

Pictures by Shona again of course!
So the Hawk went well as always, but the Flanker didn't get away too great from two launches - I think she was flying with way too much up-trim from the Bwlch visit where the air wasn't as great, and refused to push out into lift.
The first launch resulted in Shona putting a thumb through the bottom of the wing skin (oops!) and the second launch by me resulted in a landing behind the launch point.  It looked like she came down softly, but cracked the top skin on the fuselage around the hatch, and dislodged an interior aileron linkage too.
So the repairs, then :
Crack sanded down both sides of RX hatch

Top skin removed around aileron linkage
Balsa infill where thumb went through

Cracks gone and painted, rear cut-out panel glued back in too