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Messages - Deerslayer

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646
General Discussion / Fuel
« on: February 20, 2011, 08:58:16 AM »
Here is my attempt to re-open the age old controversy: castor oil or no castor oil!

Oil choice is in the realm of religion - it's all a matter of opinion, but my view is the only one that is correct. Anyone who has owned motorcycles and checked into the forums will see the endless "oil wars" up close!

OK, I am  not really trying to start a fight. Besides, it seems like we "slimer drivers" are reducing as a percentage of the overall r/c powered aircraft community and the older ones have already made up their minds. However, in case there are folks starting out, here is what I have experienced in over 20 years of using "synthetic" rather than castor oil blend fuels.

I have been using Cool Power, the same regular sport fuel with 15% nitro, on engines from .15 up through 1.20, both 2-stroke and 4-stroke. IT has worked well for me, after being the first "synthetic" I tried, and I just never felt the need to experiment further  A lot of engines, a lot of use, some from right out of the box, others purchased after various stages of use/misuse. One helicopter, with a SuperTigre .34 that just would not run reliably, immediately transformed into rock solid reliability when we changed to this fuel and a different plug type.

The ONLY bearings I have ever changed are: one set in a Saito .56 which I bought new and put through a lot of use for a couple of years and which made a lot of rumbling noises before it eventually ate a bearing; a couple of engines which I purchased used and were gummed up almost solid with the castor residue. One of the latter was formerly owned by my much older and more experienced friend (remains nameless here) who steadfastly maintained that you absolutely had to have castor in your fuel. Others will say that if you ever get a "lean run", through deliberate or accidental overly lean mixture, only castor will save you. Well, I have had that happen, too, and with no obvious detriment to my engines.

A couple of used engines that I have looked like they had hardly been used, yet when I popped them open, the bottom end and bearing areas were almost solid with castor crud. Sometimes, I would almost have to chisel and blow torch the carb throttle body to get it free to move.

I never use after-run oil, except in the case where I remove an engine from an airplane, knowing that it will be stored for quite awhile. Then, I may squirt some 3-in-one, some ATF, or better still, some Mobil 1 synthetic 10W40 motorcycle oil that I happen to have handy. Otherwise, the plane is either sitting horizontally, or preferably hanging from its prop. Some have hung for as long as 3 years, been dragged out to the field and started on the first or second try. Usually, some nasty- looking crap comes out of the exhaust at first and then it is clean and clear. That would be any crud or corruption that had collected in the lower or rear of the crankcase - and therefore NOT in around the bearings.

So-called synthetic oils (there is a name that gets badly abused by manufacturers for marketing purposes) have 3 very admirable qualities, all of which are important to me. They really cling well to the steel parts of the engine. They withstand very high temperatures (if you delve into the science, you will find that they maintain film strength at much higher temperatures than do vegetable oils - like those from the castor bean - or the so-call "dino" oils. And, finally, they maintain their viscosity grade over very wide temperature ranges, including toward the lower end of their design range.

Our model oil does not have to last long - apart from the film left coating the bearings or sleeves during storage, the rest of it is flushed through the engine in milliseconds.

I have rarely ever changed a glow plug in 20 years! Prior to my conversion, I used to be frequently changing crudded and unreliable plugs fairy frequently.


Remember, the non-vegetable oils you buy today bear little resemblance to what was manufactured 10 years ago. That is one area where technology has made giant leaps forward. Do not compare things as they were in the gold old days.

OK, bring it on!

647
Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Re: Removing wrinkles
« on: February 15, 2011, 01:14:53 PM »
 Another tip to help avoid some pain in covering: Use gloves!

I found some lightweight gloves in Princess Auto, sold for use by people who work on electronic gear and are therefore anti-static They have a very thin rubbery material on the palm side. I started using them recently, after getting tired of burnt finger tips when I am doing close work with the hot iron or sealing edges or removing wrinkles.

Of course, any lightweight gardening gloves will do - the Dollarama store has good ones for 1$ (had? I cleaned them out the other day, buying the last 3 pairs then in stock). They have little rubbery nodules on the palm and fingers. As I have always used such light gloves for my winter flying, this was a real bonanza.

Of course, you need white gloves if you are going to look cool while you work ... cut like a surgeon, sew them there hinges and yell out "Code Blue" when you drop that shiny new heating iron onto the floor!

Another thing to do, especially if your heating iron gets scratches up or worn, as mine do, is to use a kleenex between the iron and the covering. You can easily slide both the iron and the tissue along and really pour the heat on without much risk of melting the fabric. I find the irons to have very poor heat control and it is easy to bump the control knob to a high setting while working. This solved all such problems for me.

648
Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Masks
« on: February 15, 2011, 07:45:01 AM »
Do you ever need to mask off a component in order to spray paint?

I do a bit of very amateurish airbrushing - having zero talent, I mostly play around and pretend that I know what I am doing (unlike Amanda Smith, for example - check out the sign at the KRCM gate!).

Having been an admirer of Flames in particular, since they first arrived on the hot rod scene in my mis-spent youth, I have done a bit of artwork on a couple of planes in recent years.

I have tried various masking techniques, eg., frisket paper, liquid masking, free-standing templates, etc. Most are either costly (friskit) or messy and time-consuming (the fluids, you have to wait for them to set up and perhaps re-apply and I am too impatient).

A few months ago,  I found the ideal, CHEAP source of excellent masking material - the backing material from Ultracote. I noticed that this is a paper material, with the low-stick surface bonded to one side only, the side that protects the stickum side of the film. I no longer discard it, at least the large pieces.

I use Elmers Spray Adhesive. It has a very fine spray pattern. It can be used on anything, including foam.

1) Take some of the Ultracote backing and do the following in whatever order suits you:
  * cut the stencil/mask
  * lightly spray the contact cement onto the PAPER (non-shiny) side of the backing

2) Let the completed stencil/mask sit for awhile, anywhere from 5 minutes and up. This will even work after at least an hour or more of sitting around. IMPORTANT: You DO NOT apply any contact cement to the object itself!

3) Apply the stencil/mask to the surface. (I usually lightly wipe the whole object itself, the part to be masked and the part to be painted, with acetone on a paper towel prior to painting.) Ensure that the edges are stuck down, perhaps even run a fingernail or something along them.

4) Spray the object.

Optional: Depending upon the complexity and the kind of painting I have done, I may carefully and lightly trace the edge of the mask/stencil with a blade, to ensure solid adhesion of the paint to the object and not have it try to lift when I peel off the stencil/mask.

5) After awhile (can be almost immediately if you are airbrushing), carefully remove the mask/stencil.

You should find that the mask/stencil comes off easily. It will even be re-usable! If you do want to re-use it, store it using another piece of the same material, shiny side to sticky side of your mask. The next time you need to use it, you may find that it will still do the job; if not, lightly spray again before setting into place.

Give this technique a try, unleash the Inner Artist in you!

Hint #1:
 Some of us have crashed an airplane or sailplane at some point in our modelling career. IF there is enough left recognizable, save a wing panel for future use as an experimental set-up. You can then try out covering and finishing techniques on it. Bonus - as you play around with this, you can re-play in your mind the good times you had with the originally intact aircraft, plus you can now view its final flight as part of the bigger plan, i.e., to prepare a test bed for your future great ideas and your late birdy would highly approve of what you have done. Win-Win! That's how I get through the day, anyway.

Hint #2:
 An old piece of window glass is the ideal thing to work on for many things. For cutting a stencil/mask, you can either stick down the material with a couple of tabs of masking tape, or just by itself if you have chosen to spray the contact cement onto the material before cutting. I tend to do the latter, as it also helps me in getting the right consistency of stickum. You want to have your material so that is barely sticks to the object to be painted.

 Hint #3:
 Jim Thompson told me once of a very good technique to ensure that you don't get color bleeding around the edges of your mask/stencil. I have not tried it (laziness), but it sounds good. He puts the mask in place, then sprays or brushes a light clear coat around the edges and lets it set up a bit. Then he does the color spraying. That way, if anything wants to bleed, it will be the clear coat, while the color is prevented from doing so. Sounds good!

 

649
Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Multi-purpose Work Stand
« on: February 14, 2011, 07:48:40 AM »
Now, this may not sound cheap at first, but bear with me and I will suggest a way to get around that!

Do you sometimes, or always, struggle in securing an aircraft while you build, rig, paint or repair it. It sometimes seems awkward to me. Plus, I often have to plough off a corner of the bench to make room to shuffle the damned thing around while working upon it. Well, what you need is a multi-purpose, versatile work stand!

Get yourself a reasonably sturdy camera/telescope tripod. It will have a nice 1/4-20 captive bolt on the mounting plate. Just the place to put a wood or Lexan or aluminum pad, say, about 12" square. Or, any other contrivance, such as a wing bed, whatever you might want to mount and restrain something on for easy working. Great Planes makes nice 1/4=20 brass threaded inserts, available at the local hobby shop, which you can install into your attachment(s).  I have one of those small table-top Workmate thingies that I can mount onto a small wood base and then slap it onto my tripod, when I want something really secure or otherwise awkward to hold.

I really did think that this was my original idea - until I mentioned it to Cliff Smith, who informed me that has such a thing already  :(   Regardless, it solves some of my problems. For example, I have had to "refurbish" a T-tailed seaplane after it was ambushed by a tree. I strapped it to this stand and it allowed me to do some repairs, paint touch-ups, at various locations quickly and easier than finding bench space and propping it up with various pieces of foam and junk.

This makes an excellent field stand, too, just throw it into the car with whatever attachments you may have made up for it. If you have to work on a plane or heli anywhere, even in the pits, it takes up little room and sure beats crawling around on the ground, especially for those of us with older bones and muscles.

If you have a giant scale aircraft, or a sailplane with huge wingspan, this can help when you assemble it at the field.

Bonus: You can still use this to mount your camera to take really nice "farewell pictures" of your new flying machine, or even mount a field telescope on it to better track your birdie as it flies away after a radio failure (wish I had been able to do that once upon a time a few years ago)

So, what about CHEAP?

Hint: Do you have any friends that are deep into: photography, astronomy, bird-watching (of either the avian variety or human variety)? Or perhaps you could even strike up a very short-term purpose-driven friendship with one of them?  Well, such people are often like model aircraft folks, they are always spending money and upgrading to something better, and leaving behind last year's stuff. So, here may be your chance to pick up a perfectly good tripod for either zero, or a beer. This serves two purposes: you get a freebie piece of gear, plus you find out how strong said friendship really is!

I am attaching a picture - not one that I am proud of - to demonstrate the concept.

BTW, for taking close-up photos of objects, consider using a screen, to remove the background clutter and improve lighting. An old sheet works well. In this picture, I dusted off my old slide projector's screen (something else you may be able to score from a friend!). The picture, and lighting, are crap here but I was in a hurry to do something useful around the house.



Aside: Full scale glider pilots who have to de-rig and rig their sailplanes often have "wing stands" to enable easier and safer work  - a 30 foot wing section is no easy thing the maneouver and fit, especially if there is any wind, so yo have a fuselage stand and one or two wing stands to keep things in alignment. I have watched someone open his trailer, remove and assemble his 17 meter competition sailplane and be ready to do his Daily Inspection within 15 minutes, with the help of very cleverly designed stands - all by himself! Usually, you need at least 2 helpers to do that job.

650
Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Penny Tech
« on: February 14, 2011, 07:10:56 AM »
This would be a good place to post some of your really good, but cheap, ideas for making one's modelling life easier.

651
Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Re: Hints and Kinks
« on: February 09, 2011, 09:07:14 PM »
How about  Fritz? (Remember that great movie, Fritz the Cat?)


Or, Fraidy  (as in fraidie cat, a term we used to hurl at each other in our street urchin days)

Or, Kool (Kat, but we have to see if it at least flies before giving it a lofty name like that)

Or, Scat (as in what you find in the woods that is left behind by animals, and may be appropriate if your contraption doesn't work out so well)

652
General Discussion / Re: Winter Flying - Tx Stand
« on: February 07, 2011, 08:00:54 PM »
This little gizmo is not just for winter flying. I use it outside all year, as well as at my workbench. A simple and cheap item, it keeps the Tx out of the muck and in a position where you can see or operate it while doing set-ups, etc. Since 2.4 GHz arrived, Tx's tend to end up lying around all over the pit areas, rather than in Tx compounds. You wouldn't treat a fine musical instrument like that, so why risk this flying instrument, and the expensive gear that depends upon it to fly well! Another accessory one should have is a large Ziploc bag to slip over the Tx on its stand when there is light snowfall. Getting moisture inside the case is never a good plan.

A couple of dowels, a piece of plywood, and optionally some chunks of pipe insulation - that's it. You may note the couple of indents at the top to help retain the Tx. As well, the large oval-like opening is there to give lots of clearance around the "bind / range check" button on a Spektrum.

I offer this in the hope that someone else may find one useful.

653
General Discussion / Winter Flying
« on: February 07, 2011, 07:17:08 PM »
Well, since it seems like we have it for about 6 months or so some years (this being one of them, it looks like), why not enjoy it?

Have a good location to fly from, dress warmly and ENJOY!

As the real estate folks say: Location, Location, Location. Winter works with us in this regard. As well as our own Club field, there are almost unlimited possibilities for great flying, safely away from other people and/or buildings - and perhaps even away from those pesky trees. (My personal airfield is our bay on Lake Ontario, with a vast expanse of clearance, yet I tagged the only tree within miles the other day - D'oh!!!)

Although I really enjoy flying here, it is still better to go out to the KRCM Field when the handful of die-hards are burnin' up the air out there.
I miss the "good old days" when, on any typical winter Sunday, the club house would be packed with flyers and the pit area crowded with airplanes.

I have attached a panorama of the Preston Cove Airfield, which is just outside of my "hangar". The nasty tree that bit me is out on the point to the left - well outside of the turn to final approach, unless you suffer a momentary brain fade and screw up said turn! In fairness to me, I was battling a control issue (later found to be a defective on/off switch). At least I have a couple of chainsaws nearby, should I ever need to get more serious about a rescue.

Please tell us about / show us your Winter Flying activities, survival tips, etc.

654
One thing about flying wings (or perhaps more properly termed tailless aircraft, at least if they have any vertical surfaces for control or stability) is that the C of G is typically more critical than with "conventional" aircraft. Depending upon the airfoil, the C of G may have to be well forward of the usual 25%  or 30% that we generally think of. For instance, the Desperado 60, like other Bill Evans Simitar series of models, calls for the C of G to be up at about 12% of mean chord!

655
I almost never use epoxy - messy, smelly, sometimes not reliable. I like to use straight polyurethane glue, or Weldbond, for areas where designers typically call for epoxy. IF I have an aircraft requiring, say a band of strength at the center (dihedral area) joint, I use drywall tape and thinned Weldbond or carpenter's glue - this will not be the weak area in my wing!

I seldom use CA, as I make mistakes and may need some "correction" time. I use thinned Weldbond for all spar and rib and sheeting. No epoxy anywhere.

The Sky Bird kit called for some filling in of the area where the wing joiner tubes fit into the root ribs and spar area with micro-balloons, as well as using epoxy for the joining of tubes/spar caps/ plywood webs.

I don't have, and have never used, micro-balloons. I typically use light spackling compound where any filling or smoothing is required. But, spackling has no strength and I wanted to achieve a robust structure, not just a filled space. So, I use a technique I discovered a couple years ago. I take some water-based Lepage Wood Filler and mix it with just a bit of Elmers Ultimate glue. The latter is a polyurethane glue, the same thing as Gorilla's polyurethane glue.

I originally reasoned that since the polyurethane is activated by water, and since the wood filler hardens as it gives off water, we have an ideal situation. It is even better than that! As the mixture starts to set, it greatly expands, filling every void. You have at least an hour in which to push it back, or cut some of it away. Within a few hours, it has set and is easily sandable. Yet, is has good strength and is paintable. Awesome!

If you need more strength, omit the wood filler, spritz the joint area with Windex, apply the glue and clamp or weight the wood pieces in place. The poly glue will expand and set quite nicely. Be careful, there is something about window cleaner that REALLY pushes the poly glue - it can be a bit of a mess, although easily removed, but it makes dandy fillets or reinforcements for firewalls or areas that are hard to reach or get a clean joint.

With my mixture of wood filler and polyurethane glue (I call it poly-wood), I get enough strength for non-strength-critical locations, along with simplicity and ease of use.

I have used my poly-wood mixture at home to repair some rotted areas of an outside window sill, and to repair some significant holes in the KRCM clubhouse siding. Both repairs have been through 2 full winters and are as good as new.

If (when?) someday I damage a wing leading edge, I will probably try filling it with my poly-glue mix, sanding and re-covering the area, rather than getting into the tradition repair technique.

You may wish to try this mixture sometime. Mix up just a little bit, trying different ratios. There is no formula, so just wing it. Stick it on something, observe its characteristics, play around with forming and finishing it. I think you may be impressed.

656
General Discussion / The Sky Bird
« on: February 02, 2011, 10:43:08 AM »
To start things off, attached is a picture of what I am currently building (slowly, as I have been in a bit of a building slump). I must acknowledge that the included picture is NOT mine, nor is it of my specific project; rather, it is taken from an excellent web site:

http://www.aerosente.com/sky-bird-build-log.html

The aircraft is the Sky Bird, an 11 foot span sailplane designed and kitted by Ray Hayes,
who is

http://www.skybench.com

This design is very similar to Dick Thornbird's Bird of Time, a classic from the 1970's. There have been a gazillion BoT's and variants built over the years. Ray's variations range from the 78" Lil Bird up to my 132" Sky Bird.

I saw KRCM Member Don MacLean flying his older Lil Bird at the field last fall. That re-kindled my long time, but rather dormant, interest in the Bird of Time. My friend Dave King
"threw together" a Bird of Time awhile back and I noticed it in his shop a couple years ago. Some Members know Dave from his decades of full-scale builds of multi-hull sailboats and powered aircraft, including his amazing Storch. These two fellows inspired me.

I will have to bite the bullet and wade into the e-power swamp for this, as I have decided to make it self-launching rather than launched by hi-start, aero-towing or just hand-launched (for slope soaring at Fort Henry hill, the best soaring site in the entire region).

More and more sailplanes seem to be showing up at our field these days. Practical, small, electric technology has made a great difference, combined with 2.4 GHz radios. No longer need a glider guider be unwelcome due to his hogging of a valuable channel and stringing out a couple hundred feet of hi-start or winch cable, or having to find someone to aero-tow.

Ray's kit is beautifully laser-cut, excellent wood, well-packaged. The Sky Bird cost about $200 plus shipping from Fort Wayne Indiana. I might not recommend it for a novice builder. I have puzzled over a couple of the building approaches - I am just at the inboard sections of the wing, and am trying to achieve perfection, which always frustrates me as I am just not that good!

When I get something all framed up, I will post more pictures.



657
General Discussion / What's on YOUR Building Board?
« on: February 02, 2011, 10:38:29 AM »
Let's see what you're working on. Nothing inspires a builder like seeing what other folks may be up to. Often, a project is most interesting to an observer while it is still under construction. That is the time we get to see, and learn from, what others are doing and how they do it. Questions may even be asked. Answers given might help you, or others, to improve building skills and techniques.

So, come on - don't be shy!

658
General Discussion / What's in YOUR Cave?
« on: February 02, 2011, 10:35:47 AM »
Everyone assumes that model airplane designers/builders live in caves somewhere, occasionally emerging into the world to try out their latest creation (or fix-up, following a prior excursion). So, what does your cave look like? Here is mine (attached photo).


A couple of notes:

First, this picture was taken by combining 3 successive shots into a panorama, using AUTOSTITCH. This program is available, free - just Google for it. It is very useful, usually for outdoor scenes but also for situations, such as in my attached picture, where you have a confined space. Yes, there will be some distortion, but even that can be largely taken care of. (I have some learnings which I may try to pass along sometime in that area).

Next, a couple of the "features" of the Preston Cove Hangar:

My main building bench, the latest of many that I have messed around with over 30 years, is moveable. It is approximately 4' x 4', so it can support a fairly long wing or fuselage if that is set down diagonally. I seem to be constantly moving it around, partly because I have a TV in the corner but mostly because I tend to move my bench rather than the pile of tools I have cluttered around on it, as I am working on different parts of a project or on a couple of smaller projects.

I recently replaced my fixed flourescent light arrangement. I McGyvered an adjustable system, cobbled from bits and pieces of wood, bolts, bungee cord, a diver's weight, etc., I can rotate it to relocate it totally within a couple of feet radius, rotate the light itself and raise or lower it by about 2 feet in total. It is all counterbalanced, so I just push it around as desired. Why? I got tired of often working in shadows on my projects, or needing just that little bit of extra light for fine work. Yet, a table-mounted lamp mount (like on my other table, in the foreground) always seemed to be in the way. I have enough problems, without making my building work any more difficult!

But, that's just me: someone who is never satisfied, obviously has too much time on his hands ...


Not shown in the above picture is the rest of the clutter in my "hell hole" as the superior resident (SWMBO, as you married guys would know) of the house refers to it. Also, the big door through which I walk out of and down to the water to fly on floats or skis, depending upon the seasons, on one of the world's greatest airfields - Lake Ontario.


(Rolly, we should do a set of pictures and descriptions of your laser cutting operation, including how one goes about setting up something for cutting. The airfoil templates I drew up and you cut are one example of how easy it is and how it all works.)

So, what's in your cave?


659
Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Let's all stick together ...
« on: February 02, 2011, 10:29:17 AM »
 ... but perhaps not too closely! Huh?

This topic may be about adhesives, and some tips or techniques for their use. Please add your thoughts, comments, techniques, etc.


660
General Discussion / Major Fun !
« on: February 02, 2011, 10:27:57 AM »
Check out the video at this link (there is a YOUTUBE video in the first post):

http://www.rccanada.ca/rccforum/showthr ... post790079

I flew at Cobble Hills (outside of London) a couple years ago, having met Ted Banks through his column in the MAC mag. I never saw a bunch of guys having so much fun! Every Sunday is COMBAT at the Cobble Hills Fighter Group's field. Some Coroplast, and/or foam, a .26-size engine and some raw courage and you are in the game. Surprisingly, mid-airs seem to be a rarity during normal Sundays, considering that the whole point of the exercise is the cut someone else's streamer as numerous pilots mill around in the fray. These guys have some serious grudges with the Humber Valley (west Toronto) and, I suppose, anyone else from anywhere that thinks they are up to r/c combat. That is the subject of this video. The Albatross's are the design of a Humber Hawks chap, the Fokker D.VII's and the SE5's are a Cobble Hills fellow's idea. Any others ... well, who knows? Then, there are the WW2 planes, a separate Combat class. The only difference, as far as rules go, is that WW2 planes have no landing gear and are hand launched, whereas the WW1 planes have gear and must take-off from the ground.

Some of their planes look pretty ratty. Those would be the ones to watch out for, methinks, as you are probably looking at a veteran of many fights and fights. Others look "real purty", all smooth and painted up like a "workin' girl" on a Saturday night. Such aircraft probably will lose some of their newness rather quickly, if they aren't careful.

And, if you think that their planes are "interesting", you would be really intrigued by the (manditory) flying helmets they wear out at the flight line. Very strange - the pilot wears a helmet of, to my view, rather dubious protective value while the (manditory) observer dude doesn't have to. Either this is to make sure that the observer keeps really sharp, or that he's just a nuisance of low value. By the way, contrary to what some think, this style of Combat is no more dangerous that any other flying we do and injuries are unheard of.

That old expression, "There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are NO old, bold pilots", comes to mind. Some of these guys are rather old and very bold and you wouldn't want to take them on in the air, for sure, so I think some of the Cobble Hills guys and their little friends from elsewhere have beaten the odds on that bit of wisdom!

Why aren't we doing this at KRCM?

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