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Topics - Deerslayer

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Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Coro-Junkers
« on: September 29, 2011, 07:15:33 AM »
Someone who has observed my little Junkers fly has asked for the "plans" Ooops! What plans?

Well, there sort of are some plans, after my own way of doing things. I employ two approaches - TLAR and DAYGo (That Looks About Right  and  Design As You Go, the latter being a Patent Pending sort of approach of mine). One of the features of SPADding is that you can create and save your plans right on the project itself. All you need is a magic marker and a camera, scribble the plans onto the Coro, take a picture and then start cutting.

I have 2 Junkers: the little red beauty that chugs around our field from time to time powered by a beautiful Saito 56 4-stroke, and the one which has been hanging in my shop for a couple of years but has never had radio gear and an engine (expecting to shove in a .40 or .46 someday, if/when I decide to fly it).

I took lots of construction photos during both builds, planning to someday clean them up and produce a little package in case someone else wants to use this as a base for their project. Being a staunch member of the Procrastinators Club, I never did "get around to it".

In case someone is interested, I am attaching 2 zips here. The one contains the picture set for the RED Junkers, which was my first one. The second one actually used those pictures for its build, with very few changes. The use of polyurethane glue (accelerated with window cleaner) is the main difference, that being much easier and better than CA.

FYI - you always read about "flashing" of coroplast, i.e., taking a propane torch to clean it of residual manufacturing chemicals. I never did like that idea, and I have a much better way. Use acetone. This will not harm coro, yet will take everything off and leave a perfect glue surface. I usually clean with acetone, then slightly roughen the glue region with a 3M pad, or even very fine sandpaper, and then clean again with acetone. Finally, I spritz the glue area with water or window cleaner (if I really want lots of expansion, eg., at a bulkhead to fuselage or spar to wing surface) and then apply the glue.

Important note: We have a Provincial Election campaign underway. OPPORTUNITY!!!! Stake out one of more nice big political signs and wait until the moment that the election is complete, then go and rescue your target sign from an unseemly death. That way, some poor coro-tree wasn't sacrificed in vain. You will feel MUCH better about this election season.

If you do obtain pre-used coro, take it outside, get out your cloth and acetone and have fun wiping off the printing or political mug shot that may be lurking there. It is easy, and you end up with a brand new looking sheet of building material.

I hope the 2 zips show up OK and that someone finds them useful. If you do try this, I will gladly answer any associated questions you may have. BTW, this little aircraft is a superb sport plane, will do all the tricks,  yet can fly/look like a real WW1 machine and a beginner can easily handle it. It is my own design and I am proud of it.

General Discussion / K-W Flying Dutchman Scale Rally
« on: September 12, 2011, 10:32:05 AM »
It had been 10 years since I was up to attend this event. If you have never done so, you should. The weekend is very active, yet laid back, with free flying of scale models of all sizes. It is highly organized, and runs smoothly with no dead air time and no one missing out on flying opportunities.

The Saturday air show is as good as it gets. I will mention just some of the items of note:

My friend Sandro Novelli flew Blair Hawkins' huge scale BAE Hawk - in the attached link, you cannot miss seeing it.
Sandro is quite well known in the jet world, here and in the USA. He participated in the Jet World Masters this year on Team Canada and owns at least a dozen jets. He also flies other builders' non-jet, scale aircraft, including for Graham Meares and has done so at Scale Masters. The BAE Hawk is the jet trainer for the RCAF, the RAF and apparently for the US Navy (according to the show announcer). This model, kit-built by Blair, represents something over $20K, with the engine alone being SEVEN GRAND! I took some video clips of the assembly, the carrying out of the plane to the starting circle, start-up, flying, landing, etc., and may post them here sometime.

The helicopter freestyle demo was hard to believe, set to really hard-driving music that left us stunned by the choreography alone. I had previously seen Scott Gray (I think the last name is correct) at the K-W Rally, and we brought him down to Kingston about 10 years ago to the FDFF. According to the announcer, he is ranked #2 in the world right now. He also flies full-scale Pitts.

Due to my other reason for going up to K-W this weekend, I missed the night flying. They start this at 9 pm, and Scott will do his whole helicopter performance at night!

Now, to make things even better (if that is possible), a chap from New York (I missed the name, but he is right up in the top of international competition) put on an incredible 3D routine. I believe it when some describe portions of this kind of flying as "throwing the airplane at the ground and missing". I do not know how some of this is done - my engineering education never covered the latest advances in basic physics, I guess! Who would imagine that there are servos that can act that fast? There must be a direct Vulcan mind meld or something between the pilot and the control surfaces...

In the K-W Club, there are a couple dozen fellows who do full out combat each weekend. They use the Strykers. None of that sissy ribbon cutting stuff - this is all-out, "take no prisoners" war. So, there was a demo of this swarm in the air show. It never ceases to amaze me how tough it is to DELIBERATELY perform the famous "mid-air collision" maneuver. Those of us who have lucked into such a situation never really found it to be all that skill-testing, did we?

 One participant impressed me with the way he travels. He tows this trailer - it looks like the upper half of a very large rocket - behind his motorcycle. When he arrives, he opens it and unpacks a whole squadron of aircraft, and proceeds to assembles them on the work table that is part of the trailer. Awesome!

Well, here is a link to some of the pictures already posted by others. Blair's BAE Hawk is in a couple of them:

General Discussion / Crazy Horst
« on: September 04, 2011, 06:02:42 AM »
Even if you don't "sprecken ze deutch", you should get the drift of this:

It would appear that this fellow is pretty well known in some circles. He has some neat videos out there.

General Discussion / Low Level Flying
« on: August 28, 2011, 03:11:40 PM »
This may well be the most amazing flying you or I will ever see. Turn up the sound, hang onto your chair and ENJOY:

Low Level Flying

KRCM Flight Training Course & Training Nights / Training Nights
« on: July 06, 2011, 02:19:39 PM »
 Training is NOT restricted to only 1 night per week. Wednesday evenings - during the summer - have been designated as Training Nights (more about this later), but there are many other opportunities for a Student to arrange for instruction.

 Sunday morning is a popular time, as several of our Instructors try to be out at the field early, anticipating the arrival of Students.

 At other times, our Students are able to take advantage of our very active Instructor corps, as one or more of them will show up on good flying days. Then, there is the possibility of specifically arranging to meet an Instructor at a mutually agreed upon time for a training session.

 Training Night  is really  "Club Night", i.e., a focal point whereby Club Members of all levels of experience can come out with the expectation that there will be something to learn, to get assistance, to provide help to others and to just enjoy our Club, its facilities and its resources.

On these evenings, which take place each Wednesday from early May until into September, the emphasis is on training. However, anyone can fly, with the training activities having priority. It's a great time to get some help in sorting out the bugs of a new aircraft, and getting lots (too much, even?) free advice.

Often, one can learn a lot by simply observing others flying, talking to more experienced flyers, and asking questions. This is an opportunity not to be missed.

We always need KRCM Members who already have their Wings to come out and help the newer folks.

Remember - the weather is always fine on Training Nights at our field! Come on out.

General Discussion / Maynard Hill
« on: June 23, 2011, 08:18:50 PM »
Some may remember the Trans-Atlantic flight - an amazing accomplishment:

Ken Park (former KRCM Member, organizer of the yearly SMALL Event for this region, significant Contributor to Model Airplane News and all-around good guy) says:

 "Please share this link with your club and US buddy's
PS I now have a Model Airplane New magazine website BLOG feature of my Own! so the World can see anything I post - Volksplane got my first post - Editor wants it also for last closing page in next issue to boot!"

Here is the link:

Keep, them coming, folks!

P.S. To get to Ken's Blog from our FDFF Event, here is the short path:

 Sometimes, we can pass along to others something that we learned the hard way. Other times, we can refresh our own memories and avoid those nasty deja vu situations and (what my little granddaughter calls) booboo's that may result!

 Here is one:

 For most of my modelling career, I have used screw-lock pushrod connectors, such as seen here at

 I haven't used my expensive Z-bend tool in decades, as I do not like the enlarging of servo arm holes that results from z-bend pushrods. Plus, I like the ease of adjustment that these screw-lock connectors provide when I am setting up and trimming a model. In some situations, such as throttle control, I use them at both ends.

 I never had a bad experience with using these connectors on many sizes of aircraft. BUT, I recently sustained a minor crash due to ignoring my own advice! 

BUT - There is a basic FLAW all with of the ones I have used - from a couple different suppliers. For whatever reason, the screws do not protrude far enough to properly clamp the pushrod, or flexible cable. Sometimes, it seems that the threads tapped into the connector do not go deep enough, but generally the screws themselves are just too short. Thus, you can think that you have tightened your pushrod or cable, but it isn't really so. Hence my abbreviated test flight of a new design. (Minor booboo resulted, all fixed up and rarin' to to go again.)

My heartfelt advice is that these are excellent connectors in principle, and in practice, provided that you pitch the supplied screws into the nearest trash bin. Replace them with 4-40 (I think that is pretty standard for them) Allen set screws, cap screws, etc., and TEST that the screw will go well past where you may reasonably need them to go in order to securely clamp the rod in place. If the screw doesn't seem to go far enough, run a flat-end tap in, or even make a cleaning screw (take a screw and dremel a cut across the end to provide a bit of a cutting surface).

The other part of the job is to prepare the pushrod or flexible cable surface.

For a pushrod, roughen up an inch or so - wherever you think that the connector may end up being located. It is guaranteed that, provided you use a long enough screw and tighten it reasonably, nothing will slip. Another thing I have learned is to not be afraid to use the plastic retainer washers that secure the connector to the servo arm or control horn. Make sure it "clicks" into place and that you can see the connector end protruding from the washer. I have never had an issue with these. I never seem to use the metal ones, although they are supposedly better - I just never saw a need to.

For a flexible cable, it can be useful but not entirely necessary to try to apply some solder to the area which may be clamped in the connector, prior to installing - try to wipe the solder into the wires. I have found that to be difficult, as you need to get the cable properly fluxed, etc. I often use these cables for throttles, sometimes using the solder technique to stiffen a region of cable for possible bending into a specific shape to clear the engine.

Weedeater (nylon monofilament) line makes an excellent throttle cable in many cases, just in case you have no flex cable on hand. Just make sure you pick a good size and run it through a support tube (an old ny-rod or some 1/8 plastic tubing should work, unless you like "exciting" excursions in speed at unexpected times.

Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Radio Tricks
« on: April 23, 2011, 08:47:44 AM »
 Well, perhaps there are no magic tricks per se, but there are a lot of things that can be done with our modern, programmable radios. Looking around our field, I notice the preponderance of Spektrum and other programmable Tx's in the hands of our pilots. Yet, I also notice where some folks still seem to "fight" their aircraft, e.g., trying to shorten their landing and take-off space requirements. This is one example of a possibly unnecessary problem that may have a simple solution.

 Since the early days of programmable function radios that you get an Owner's Manual that explains, in varying degrees of clarity, how to do some of the programming and coupling of various functions. What is missing most of this information is the "Why" and then the "How" to implement specific techniques.

 The intent of this topic is to bring forth some of the little "tricks" or techniques that various pilots use.

 If anyone wants practical help in this area, there are many experienced pilots in our Club who would be happy to assist. Keep in mind, as with the skinning of cats, there is more than one way so do some of this! Take a moment to ask folks what they may have done to improve the handling and/or performance of their aircraft - you may find something that you can apply, or you may get a better understanding of what kinds of things are possible with your particular radio system.

 So, let's see where this ends up ...

General Discussion / Slope Soaring
« on: April 21, 2011, 06:31:07 AM »
I used to do some slope soaring, about 30 years ago. This can be a relaxing and/or exciting aspect of aero-modelling.

A number of our Members have some sort of sailplane, typically e-powered with retractable props, such as the Radian. While not designed specifically for slope soaring, you can have lots of fun with these. As well, you will learn how to use real piloting skills to accomplish long flights, rather than just jamming on power whenever you lose altitude. It really is rather boring, I find, to just drag a sailplane through the air with a prop like a powered sport plane, rather than via one's soaring skills. Knowing that you WILL land very soon, unless you read the air and apply your knowledge and skills well, is a great part of what soaring of any kind is all about. That's where the rewards lie.

 All you need is a hill or ridge or bluff, plus some wind. The latter can be anywhere from a gentle breeze to a near-gale.

How it goes depends upon the type of sailplane and the pilot's experience. Initially, I used to slope with a rather unlikely and close to unsuitable combination - a 8 foot span, poorly-trimmed Olympic II rudder/elevator thermal sailplane being driven by an absolute beginner who really didn't know much about what they wrtr doing. Nevertheless, things went reasonably well and I had many hours of enjoyment.

Fort Henry is a superb location. Typically, we have SW winds most days through the warmer part of the year, so the west side of the hill is the active location. (On some less frequent days, usually in the fall/winter/spring seasons, the gentle north side is the place to be, and is also a perfect place for initial test glides of a new sailplane on any calm wind day.

Back in my slope soaring days, the Parks folks kept the entire hill cut and groomed. Very nice to launch and then sit back and play in the air. Today's situation is that this is a hayfield, but still an excellent place to fly - I have no idea what kind of critters prowl around in the long grass, so I might be less inclined to sit or lie down there these days.

I have often looked at my 20 year old Taube and thought, "Hmmm, take off the engine, bolt on a foam nose nose section with suitable weight inside, take off the landing gear and voila! a real bird-like slope soaring machine, at least for moderate to strong wind days. The Taube handles superbly, it has reasonable gliding characteristics, at least by slope requirements and it has beautiful form.

Another possibility, which I will definately try, is to take one of my Bat wings, just remove the prop and try it out. Many slope soarers are plank wings, they handle and penetrate very well, yet mine will slow down to a crawl for landing. If I like the way this works, I may build a nose to snap on in place of the engine and have a real dual-purpose machine.

So, does anyone else have some slope soaring interest? If so, perhaps we could get together sometime to give 'er a go.

Generally speaking, an aircraft will fly better if its basic geometry is correct. Amongst other things, a fuselage should be perfectly straight.

Many years ago, after having almost completed a fuselage, I realized that something just wasn't right. Yes, I had built it right on top of the plans, properly pinned down, yet it seemed to be somewhat curved. It was! So, I lifted it off and carefully checked the plan with a straight edge. The center line, rather than being perfectly straight, was considerably bowed! Rats! Of course, the bulkheads and fuselage sides were properly matched to the plan, equidistant from this center line, so the resultant fuse was a mess!

What to do? Trash the fuse and start over? Ignore the problem and finish this banana, as is? Unglue, cut, refabricate some parts, bend and fill and attempt to correct the problem? I chose the latter, and the finished product looked perfect. No real feeling of satisfaction, however, it felt more like a salvage job than a major achievement. I never did feel good about that plane, even though it flew well, as it reminded me of my cobble to get back on track.

Since that time, I have always checked the plans for accuracy, particularly the fuselage and spar. Amongst minor deviations that I have found, my Senior Telemaster had a curvature on its 4 foot plus fuselage center line that amounted to 1/4" at the mid-point. Just recently, I set about laying out the fuselage for a very large (11 ft span) sailplane. This fuse is almost 5 feet long and I found about a 3/16" deviation at the mid-point of the center line.

This is a more common problem than one may think, and it is not a design error. By whatever means plans get reproduced, they may get distorted. I suspect that it is simply slippage in a copying machine. Realize this possibility, verify accuracy of your plans and then deal with any deviations from normal.

Once you find such a problem, it is no big deal. Simply find the  TRUE center line, and reference all components placement from there.

When I lay out the plan, with wax paper on top of it, on my building board, I set up a simple snap line:

Place pins at the extreme ends of the original center line, then stretch a sewing thread tightly to them. Voila, you have your new center line. You may choose to mark in this new center line, or perhaps just add a couple more pins along its length to retain the thread in position while building on top of it. Check it with a good straight edge. Leave the thread in place and go ahead and build. Mark your bulkhead centers and ensure that they all sit on this new center line.

Enjoy your new, straight as an arrow, aircraft!

Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Lite Ply - what is it good for?
« on: February 28, 2011, 07:52:00 AM »
Absolutely nothing! at least the cheap crap that shows up in ARFs and many kits.

But, that's just my little opinion.

I hate the stuff, but is showing up in most kits, all ARFs and so it is pretty hard to ignore.

Combine its inherent flimsiness with the fact that it get used in places where you really need uni-directional strength yet half of the plies go at 90 degrees to that desired line and you start with a minor problem. Now, add in the concern that the wood itself is very brittle, not very strong in tension, pulls apart easily and seems to be stuck together with almost no adhesive and it gets even more interesting. Then, you (or the ARF elves) build an airframe with it, probably using CA (which has questionable stickum power on a dry wood such as plywood at the best of times) and there you are!

Oops! I almost forgot something.  In the spirit on building electric aircraft 10+ years ago where every milligram of weight was a burden to the weighty NiCD batteries and brushed motors to drag up into the air, people punch massive lightening holes all over the place. Many are in EXACTLY the wrong places - they compromise the strength of the airframe. Sometime for fun, take a big piece of balsa or liteply and punch out some lightening holes, then weigh the holes - you may have second thoughts about just how much of this lightening technique to engage in.

The manufacturers have completely ignored the modern era, where weight savings are nice but are way down on the list for many owners, well after durability. (But, these flimsy structures may generate future sales?)

I have limited experience with ARFs. I have flown lots of them, but only owned one. On many ARFs that I have examined at our field, I find that the landing gear gets bolted on with massive stainless steel bolts, threaded into tiny plywood blocks that are, in turn, stuck into ... you guessed it ... an "enlightened" liteply structure woodpeckered with giant holes. WHEN (not if) you bounce hard or land in the rough, it all comes unravelled - if you are lucky, the gear doesn't come back and take out part of your wing as well. Repairs will require beefing up the whole area, and adding decent support blocks plus plastic bolts - unless you really enjoy repairing after ever few flights. You may find out that you may have to go quite a distance to find a substantial structural part to attach to.

I have a 16? year old Seamaster. Yes, Gary has airplanes that do survive his style of flying for extended periods of time - isn't that amazing?. This is a terrific aircraft, one of my all-time favorites, great on snow/ice as well as in the water or even on wet grass. It is no Hangar Queen, and it has been FLOWN HARD.

The Seamaster looks sturdy as hell. It is NOT an ARF (although I think there is an ARF version available now). The wing is really tough as nails. The fuselage LOOKS tough. Well, I have recently had a couple of minor incidents - due to a mischevious electrical issue (DO NOT use switches that have been around for many years an that have seen all kinds of flying conditions). I did a fuselage repair - guess where? Right at the area where one needs very high strength, this lite-ply fuselage has giant lightening holes! With a T-tail, especially with the engine pod up in line with the whole affair, you have great buffeting and vibration. This is a highly aerobatic aircraft, so the torsional stresses, combined with large flight and maneuvering loads, concentrate stress just ahead of the tailfeathers. I was always used to seeing the tail movement when the engine was running on the ground, but it always flew well, so who cares?
Well, then the tail partially separated, I did!

Sure enough - the breakage was right through the thin area at the lightening holes. The wood is brittle as aged twigs. So, I added some more acceptable plywood plates on each side of the fuselage exterior, used Weldbond (NOT CA!) and recovered it.

My Seamaster now exhibits very little tail vibration and flies better than it ever did. Point made!

Yesterday, prior to taking the Seamaster to the field, I noticed a liteply bulkhead crack and a broken joint where it butts the fuselage at the rear of the wing saddle area. So, I have been doing more through inspection of any other accessible joints, so far so good. To repair this bulkhead and its attachement, I cleaned the area with acetone (I had coated all surfaces with Balsarite at build time years ago, for fuel and water protection), then spritzed the ply with a water mist. Then, I brushed on some Ultimate (polyurethane) glue. finally, I spritzed the area again with window cleaner. Now, I have a nice and tough repair, with a great fillet formed by the expanded glue. Good to go for another 16 years - I hope ...

Just sayin ...

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