Monday, 22 July 2019

The most epic days flying in The Gower

During my weeks holiday in Wales last week, I was fortunate to go flying on a few occasions.
The first time was flying at Ian's house with his Blaster 3.5 DLG. Ian had recently had his paddock cut and the grass being bailed for hay. This area lends itself perfectly for some DLG soaring. It was great fun flying there and early on was very easy to get away. Ian's dog loved chasing his model as long as you got there before the dog.
Our second meet was up on 'The Bwlch' with Ian and Nick. The wind was very light but on Ian's advice I left my light wind soarer in the car and dragged the Ascot and my big Carbonara up to Mickeys. It was a real challenge to stay airborne with virtually no slope lift but with soft thermals drifting through.
The real fun was when we met up at Rhossili in a good Westerly breeze. It was blowing around 30mph with a cloudless blue sky. It's a bit of a trek up onto the top especially when you have your hands full with an M60, Valenta Carbonara and a TX box.
The lift was stonking! Silky smooth and awesome.
Ian had a good selection of models which included his Jedi, M60 and his Jart. Nick brought along his brand new Graecalis ready for its maiden.
Nick started of the flying session not with his model but strapped into a tandem hang glider. He disappeared for about an hour while me and Ian flew our big mouldies and raced our M60's.
After a few hours of maximum fun and enjoyment it was time for me to walk back down to meet my family patiently waiting at the café near the car park.
Nick was maidening his Greacalis when unfortunately he had a midair with a foamy Blaze. The foamy was destroyed but Nicks new glider was badly damaged.

If anyone is visiting South Wales and specifically the Gower then don't miss an opportunity to go flying at Rhossili. In my opinion this slope is the best in the UK!

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Warden Park Academy 'Enrichment' Days 8 - 9 Jul 19

Following  the  successful  enrichment  day at Warden Park Academy in Cuckfield in 2018 by BMFA SE Chairman Stuart Willis, Rob S and Graham U  we were asked to run the same course this year but because of the demand from the students it had to be split over 2 days with approximately 20 per day.  With the number last year at 19 it was quite hard work keeping control of the groups so we decided that we needed another BMFA member to help us out this year, so Rob enlisted the help of Scott.

 We started the first day with 4 BMFA members, 1 teacher and a classroom assistant and 22 students and the second day was 4 BMFA members, 1 teacher and a one-to-one helper for one of the students plus 13 other students.

The agenda for this year was much as last time, the idea was to build and fly the BMFA Dart – one per student. Stuart Willis opened the day by explaining what we were going to do and then he went on to explain the functions of the BMFA and the basic different types of aircraft we fly. We had examples of different models on display for the students to see including a large IC plane, an EDF jet, an electric heli, a couple of multirotors and a glider. Stuart also explained about the different types of power source and passed round some electric motors for the class to see. He reminded the class that a rubber band was also a motor and that’s what we would be using on the day for the BMFA Darts. Following on Stuart explained the health and safety aspects especially with respect to the scalpels and the glue plus there was a short video about the origins of aircraft.

We then each took a group of 4 or 5 students and started on the Darts, with only a 20 minute break during the morning, by 12:00 they were pretty much all complete except for the props and rubber motors. During the lunch break we checked every model and made sure everything was ready for flying in the afternoon. After their lunch, the students put on the props and rubber motors and we were ready.

Stuart had made a modification to the Darts for this year, by 3D printing a wing support for the leading edge. This gave much better gluing capability for the dihedral and great support for the wing during flight, whereby we had far fewer wings folding up during flight than last year.

The flying was organized into small groups test gliding indoors to sort out their trim and C of G, followed by outdoor flying for the rest of the afternoon on the playing fields.  Every model was a success in that it flew well and the students were all very happy that their efforts had resulted in such a great little model.

At the end of the flying the students were shown another video and then took part in a short ‘quiz’ based on what they should have learned during the day. Finally Stuart gave out 3 certificates to the students we considered had made the most of the opportunity during the day with the ‘gold’ certificate also receiving a VMC Pilot kit to build.

Rob Stanley 

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Flat Field Flying 6th July 2019

Today we decided to get some flat field flying , so we took our DLGs and electric models to the North Field.
When I arrived I found that the field had been reduced in size by about 50% with the far North part fenced off. When Paul arrived just after me, we started with our DLGs and waited to see what others thought when they got there. Once everyone arrived we decided that we would just stick to DLGs and stay in the new boundaries of the field.
Today there was Paul, Robin, Tony, Scotty and John M (and me) and we all had DLGs except for Tony who is still working on his Blaster 3.5.
This was my chance to maiden fly my new Loola - although I've had it for many months I hadn't had a chance to fly it. Paul suggested just a simple hand launch to test glide for trim and C of G and that was wise advice as I found the ailerons were reversed !! After sorting that out, I threw it normally (DLG) and the glide was fantastic, after help from Paul with trim, set-up for 'launch mode' and stuff, we had it flying very well - I even managed to catch a thermal for couple of occasion, but only a short while.
Paul had his Fireblade DLG and after just 1 throw he managed to stay up for about 20 minutes in a thermal - why can't I do that ? Paul continued to catch thermals and we had trouble seeing the model at times because it was so high.
Robin brought a DLG (can't think of the name) and it flew very well, the launches seemed to result in almost a loop but it certainly gained height and was gliding very well.
John's HK Raven was gliding very well, but like my HK 1.5 mtr DLG, it won't seem to catch the thermals or gain much height. Paul spent a lot of time with John, but they didn't manage to 'get it away' on a thermal.
Scotty had his Libelle and with Tony's help it too was gliding very well, but again didn't want to catch a thermal. Later in the session I noticed that the Libelle wings had come apart a little, so it was retired.
Paul spent a lot of time helping all of us to trim and set up our models and we are all very grateful for his help and guidance.
I also had my HK DLG and Paul had his older Blaster 2, which we both flew later in the session.
By far the best performance was by Paul's Fireblade and I was able on 3 occasions to catch thermals, but I couldn't get the glider to slow enough to stay in the uplift. Later we decided that I need to reduce the nose weight slightly (which I have now done)…

Altogether a very enjoyable and successful session by the 6 of us.

Thanks to all for coming (didn't get any pictures I'm afraid)


Chris Foss Phase 6 build/mods

Hi you may remember from earlier in the year I wrote a brief blog about my plans for a phase 6 build.
After a good few months later, I have managed to make a start and from following Paul's blog on his build and research into others, I have made a few changes to my original plan of action.

Since a lot of the build had been completed already, you'll find my blog is about the final build and mods I've made.

Stage 1: As you can see my wing was an early spec with the centre servo for the ailerons, here I've removed the trailing edge and  balsa rear facing strip with a knife and long steel rule.

Stage 2: Here I've glued on some new trailing edge balsa facing strip and marked out positions for my four servos in the underside of the wing to operate independent ailerons and flaps.
The positions were achieved from discussion with Paul regarding his phase 6 and based on the size of the flaps and ailerons from the phase 6 instructions for optional flaps. i.e the centre trailing edge is 3" wide, the flaps are 10.5", then the rest is aileron either side of the wing.

 Here you can see I've cut out all four servo holes. My choice of servo is the Savox SH-0255MG bought from which I found at the best price.
My reason for my choice was first because I had purchased them for another model and didn't need them at present, but also due to them being in my opinion a high spec -  being digital, great torque and ball raced and £13.75 each.

 Stage 3: Using a knife and my steel rule I cut out runs for the servo cable to run in.

Stage 4: After research into other builds of the phase 6 with Flaps, I made the decision to install a 6mm carbon tube spar over the top of my servo cable for added strength.
This maybe an overkill and not need, but I thought I would give it a go
So the servo cable cut outs where cut a bit deeper, extension leads added to the outer servos and some heat shrink applied to the connections then sunk into the cut out, 5 min epoxy over the top and the 800mm carbon tube on top and held in place with weights.

Stage 5: The servo cutouts and wing centre servo hole was in filled with block and strips of balsa, purchased from one of those bargain bundles for about £3 from  which  are a great saving for all those small jobs like this.
Now the wing just needs filling with light weight filler in places and sanding.

Stage 6: Here I removed the previously installed front fuselage top deck to check to see if the inside of the fuselage had been reinforced with fibre glass.
It had been, so I continued by adding in the extra balsa former ahead of the battery to aid in preventing its movement on a heavy landing, then further fibre glassed  the rest of the fuselage, back to behind the wing with lightweight fibreglass cloth and water based satin varnish.

Following this I reinstalled some new 3/8" balsa to the front top deck.

Stage 7: Here I continued by starting to shape the top deck and front top deck, add the 1/8" balsa infill  and ply facing plate behind the wing.
I continued to add the fin, which I had completed and added the extra fairing for a better look, I do like the way Chris Foss puts some great ideas into his designs, the back end of the fin just slots into the back of the fuselage aiding alignment and strength.