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  1. Last week
  2. A quick progress update on the Flybaby. Tail feathers and fuselage have been partially covered and the top wing built and trial fitted to the cabane wires. So far so good. Hard points and mountings for that wing still remain to be constructed. Note the somewhat unusual main spar arrangement designed into the model. It is rather similar to that employed on the full size aircraft. Note the similarity in proportions to the Tiger Moth. One can`t but help think that Pete Bowers might of been slightly influenced by the Tiger Moth! A little off topic but as the Tiger Moth figures here, the little second hand Tiger I bought from Rob has now been stripped of its old faded and embrittled covering to reveal a model that only needs minimal rework to make good. The remains of the old covering are easily removed by light sanding. Once the big Flybaby Bipe is complete, the Tiger can be re-covered. It will probably assume the colour scheme worn by the Shuttleworth example. Sorry about the embedded plane here. Can`t work out how to remove it! Mike
  3. Earlier
  4. Quite by chance, I tripped over an old Pilot magazine on eBay which detailed the very aircraft that I`m in the process of building. This was in the August 1997 edition of the magazine. I`m pleased with this purchase as it gives a very good detailed insight into some of the finer modelling points and is likely to be helpful particularly in the later stages of construction. Images of the relevant pages have been added below. One of the things I found useful when the magazine arrived was having confirmation of the core colour scheme. Originally I thought it was white with blue trim. Now I`ve found the aircraft to have been silver and blue. Annoyingly, I`d already covered the fin, rudder, tail plane and elevators in white. It has all had to be stripped off in favour of the silver. I have half a roll of the Hobby King silver film in stock. This is sufficient to cover the fuselage but not the wings. Frustratingly, the current Hobby King listing shows the material as out of stock. I`m just hoping it will make a re-appearance in the not too distant future. The fuselage has had its cabane struts added and also the top decking. This part of the build was far from easy but at least it is done. Only the rigging wire hard points remain to be added before I can completely cover the fuselage. The going is rather bitty at present but the model progresses slowly. Certainly, it is my most ambitious project yet and will probably take another two months to complete. Mike
  5. Last night at the September 2019 club meet, the big Flybaby bipe build took an interesting turn. James took another look at my fuselage and became certain that my 84" version from the Eraldo Pomare/Nexus/Sarik plan was the same size as his one built some thirty years earlier. He recognized the designers name. He had earlier measured the wing span of his example and found it to be around 64". That is something like a 20" span difference when set against the dimension quoted on the plan. Placing my fuselage in his Volvo estate, he became even more convinced that my model was indeed the same size as his. Back home, I measured the fuselage length at 55" and then referring to the wing plan (not looked at in any real detail to date), I measured the wing span which came out at 64".....the same as James`s example. Scratching my head, I then realised that whilst two fuselage plans are shown, ie differences for the monoplane and the bi-plane, only a wing rib section was shown for the mono-plane but not a plan form for the extended winged monoplane version. Two and two eventually made four and it became obvious where the quoted plan wing span of 84" came from.....the mono-plane wings are some 20" longer than the bi-plane! A quick text to James leads us to conclude we now have the answer to the conundrum and that we both do have the same model from the same plan. That is indeed good news because my model has also been fitted with an OS .91 FS motor which is the same size as the one fitted to James`s model. As we know, James flies his Flybaby beautifully on a .91FS and my hope is that my rendition will fly in a similar fashion. We are both looking forward to seeing both models flying together. Progress on my model has been rather slow over the past couple of weeks. My spinal operation developed complications and I`ve been rather off colour. This affected my building speed and also my perceptive abilities. Thankfully, I`ve now sharpened up a bit but tire rather easily. A wire bender arrived from Robotbirds for around £12 and is capable of bending 4mmOD piano wire for the cabane struts and landing gear. Getting the bending radius of any bends takes a bit of practice but my technique is now developing. I must admit to dropping a couple of clangers with the fuselage. The head rest behind the pilot got placed about 2" further aft than it should have been. I`m blaming an anesthetic clouded brain during that part of the build. That stuff does hang around in the body and takes a while to burn out. To cut a long story short, I`ve had to hack into some of my previous work, remove the bulkhead and re-locate it in the right place. Now I can locate the cabane struts in the right place as well! The cowl has also progressed and fits the model reasonably well with a good clearance around the engine being obtained together with getting the throttle and choke controls working correctly. The main mixture needle valve control exits the cowl nicely on the underside with a long piano wire extension fitted. People have asked me why I didn`t invert the motor. I`ve two answers for that. One is that James installed his motor as a side winder and I just followed his lead. The other thing that influenced me not to invert was the difficulty of inserting the glow plug NiMh unit through the cowl. Yes, I suppose I could have remoted the connection. The fact that I`m more than just a bit incapacitated due to major sciatica in my right leg and back, caused me to shy away from having to operate on my hands and knees for starting and having to struggle to get the glow plug fired up with an almost unseen connection point. So a side winder my model also has become. A straight exhaust of flexi hose is needed in place of the slightly bent pipe supplied with the motor. Use of that pipe would have caused me to hack an unsightly hole in the cowl to allow the bent pipe to rotate as it is tightened up. I can see why Emi suggested I went the flexi route and remoted the exhaust canister to a more convenient location. Only two images on this occasion but will add more once I have something more tangible to show. Mike
  6. A progress report here. Three weeks on, the build of this big 84" Flybaby bi-plane continues well. To add to the fun the first few flights of the new kit built Seagull ARTF Flybaby mono-plane took place. Now fitted with a replacement port wing due to the original item being badly warped, I`m pleased to report this model flies very nicely indeed. With the new wing fitted, I didn`t even need to adjust trims on the transmitter to obtain straight and level flight. The model is perhaps just a tad nose heavy but this can easily be corrected by shifting the LiPo back about 25mm. That can be done once the rain stops. The trouble with rain is once it starts, it never stops....the forecast shows its here to stay for at least the next three days. Time to spend more time in the hangar. So back to the big Flybaby Bipe. The OS 91FS Surpass arrived and is a cracking little motor in fine general condition. The fuel tank, servos, control snakes, wing bolt mounts and a Bowden cable for the throttle has all been installed. Fin, rudder, tail-plane and elevators also now feature. A block and sheet balsa Piper Cub type cowl has been constructed, profiled and light e-glass sheathed with industrial boat building epoxy. Bending of the 4mm OD wire cabane wires, landing gear and inter-plane struts have still to be started. The wing construction is still to begin. So far, so good. Images below tell the story to date. This model is quite an epic build. I expect completion to take around another two months. I wanted a winter build. It seems I have one! Mike
  7. A Flybaby update. Correction. The warp was due to a distorted wing which had 12mm excess "Wash in", ie the port wing tip was at a higher angle of incidence than the root of the wing. Not nice. The offending port wing panel went back to Rob. He immediately agreed the panel was a real shocker and phoned Perkins on the spot for a warranty replacement. Just over a couple of weeks later a replacement wing was supplied together with a new aileron, cyno hinges and a nuts and bolts pack which included a replacement glass fibre aileron control horn. Back in the hangar, the new parts were joined up and the complete new wing fitted to the model in little more than an hour. The only cost to me was a few dribbles of cyno used to fit the CA hinge tabs. Full marks to Rob for sorting the problem for me. Such a nice guy.... The weather has been lousy this weekend but I finally seized an opportunity this Sunday evening at 17.00 to fly between the showers. Conditions were a bit dank, slightly blustery but very flyable. I`ve been somewhat out of action recently having had back surgery followed by several complications and this has rather dampened my enthusiasm for excursions away from home. I finally found the energy to get all the kit together and put the Flybaby in the car. I`m glad I did. Although conditions up at the field were a little lumpy, the re-worked model flew a treat with its new components. It was a completely different beast to when I first flew with the warped wing. It is a peach to fly around gently with no apparent vices even when the weather is less than calm. On this second flight I noted the aileron response was a bit sharp and that the model was perhaps just a tad nose heavy. Adjusting the aileron expo at the field from -30% to -35% made aileron response softer and more flyer friendly for the third flight. Just a smidge of applied left aileron trim had the model flying straight and level. I`ll correct the slight nose heavy condition for the next flying session by simply moving the 4500 LiPo aft by about 25mm. Internally, there is masses of space for even a 6000 LiPo. The LiPo sits just forward of the CoG under a magnetic removable section of upper fuselage and the LiPo is held in place by velcro straps. Access to batteries, receiver, servos, cables and switches is easy and straight forward. As a practical no nonsense proposition, the Flybaby is great for field access, isn`t fiddly to operate and can quietly spoddle around the sky at about one third throttle. Flown into wind with its Clark Y, flat bottom section wing, it can climb like a demon. Flown into wind at slow speed, it can almost come to a stand still. That`s quite fun to do. The model looks at its best when flown slowly with steep turns thrown in. It appears very realistic and with the motor turning at less than half throttle, it can hardly be heard in flight. I love small full sized home-built aircraft and this model fits my easy to fly, semi scale requirement perfectly. I suppose one could say that it flies rather like a big lightly loaded trainer but has rather more maneuverability and potential for basic aerobatics. I`ve yet to fully explore the full flight envelope but the Flybaby experience to date looks like being a good one. Anyone considering this model will not be disappointed. (Just check the wings for accuracy when you first open the box) Having got your A-test and with your confidence building, the Seagull Flybaby would make a great second model to progress to. Its far less "full on" than an Ultra Stick which gets around the sky rather faster than the Flybaby. We all know that our Fickleshole site takes care and practice to operate out of due to the surrounding trees and their placement. That said, I had no difficulty navigating this sizable 69" span model around the circuit or successfully getting it down on the pitch with space to spare. It is as forgiving as the lovely little SFM Se5a that I`ve been flying recently. Some might expect that model to be a bit of a handful but it is not. Its another little sweety with similar characteristics to the Flybaby. As some of you may know, my 84" scratch built Flybaby Bi-plane is progressing well with now just the wings to begin. It will be interesting to see how the mono-plane and bi-plane versions compare. More news on both models in due course. Mike K
  8. Good call Amol, there aren't many of us that has not experienced the tree plane scenario. Number saved.
  9. That oak tree certainly grabs the models. I`m certain the thing is mounted on a moving trolley. As we know it grabbed Chris`s model on Sunday afternoon. Image attached. It has already had my Super Chipmunk and my No 1 Ultra Stick! Thanks for posting the details, Amol. Phone number now saved to my mobile.
  10. The big Flybaby build is progressing only interrupted by back surgery at Guys. I`m somewhat incapacitated at present and a second stage of surgery is needed the week after next. Undaunted, I`ve continued with kitting the model with materials supplied by our Rob at Avicraft. Rob is attempting to source a SIG Piper Cub J3 one quarter scale fibre glass cowl which fits this one third scale model. The replacement wing for the smaller Seagull Flybaby mono-plane is expected from Perkins in the near future. I made an appearance at the field on Sunday taking my cut out kit parts and plan with me. James was present and gave my collection of raw sticks and twigs an eye-ball. Looking at the plan, he recognized the designers name and also the construction details. Subject to confirmation, it would appear that I`m building from the same plan that James used to build his model some thirty years ago. Soon, we will be able to put the models side by side and see if we have two identical air-frames. It will be fantastic to fly both models together. The build hasn`t been at all complex to date. Its all very straight forward construction and has a considerable amount of similarities to something like a Super Sixty. Elevators, fin, tail=plane and rudder are complete and encompass some weight reduction modification. Fuselage sides are now done with a couple of bulkheads glued and fitted to one side. Great care is being taken to ensure precise alignment and accuracy needed to ensure a good, straight fuselage. The two sides are due to be joined today. James`s model flies with a .91 four stroke engine. He informs me that the model does not need a larger size power unit so I`ve managed to find a second hand, lightly used OS FS .91 Surpass unit on eBay. I paid the seller £120 for the motor and £6 for the postage. Assuming the motor is all good when it arrives around Wednesday next week, Rob considers my buy is as good as it gets for this type of unit acquired from the second hand market.. Certainly, four stroke motors command higher prices than two stroke units which are obviously cheaper due to lack of four stroke valve gear complication . Bought new from retail sources, the going rate appears to be about £280. The motor was described as having high compression and to turn smoothly. We will see what arrives shortly via Royal Mail. Anyway, here are some more progress shots of the construction work to date. More updates on this thread as the model takes shape. All comments appreciated. Mike
  11. As many of you know, I recently had a plane stuck in the Oak tree at the end of the runway. It was stuck up quite high in the tree and there was no way I was going to be able to get it down. l checked with a few tree surgeons and everybody quoted £100 to get the plane down. Finally I came across Michael Howden. He agreed to do it for £40. He has even offered a repeat discount (10%) to anybody in the club as long they quote my name. I don't know how long the discount will last. But the young man seemed to know what he was doing and he did an excellent job climbing up and getting my plane wihtout further damage. His details are: Michael Howden - 07842558734. I have attached his visiting card as well. Hopefully this will help others in the club.
  12. I`ve always loved James wonderful white 70" Flybaby Bipe which I understand is now over thirty years old and built from the RCM&E plan. James flies the model to perfection with a .95FS nailed to the front. I must admit to being transfixed by that model and I suppose it was inevitable that I would eventually have to have one myself. That time has arrived and I`m on the case! As an interim measure, I bought the Seagull Flybaby 70" monoplane kit version just to help me partially scratch the itch. Trevor and I flew that model last week but discovered after the first flight that the port wing had around 15mm of wing tip wash out built into it at the factory. Highly disappointing in view of the SIG/Seagull reputation for producing quality kits. That major fault made the model fly in a most peculiar fashion and the matter is now with the kit distributors, Perkins. The port wing is as warped as a nine bob note and unsuitable for the purpose. So back it has gone and I await a replacement part. All this has been detailed in a separate thread. Size wise, the model is of similar proportions to James`s bi-plane version. There are several Flybaby Bipe kits around. The best known is the hugely expensive American Balsa USA rendition at a cost of around $475 USD plus American carriage to the UK, plus 20% UK import VAT and Royal Mail delivery. That`s seriously outside my own and probably many others budgets. I finally decided on a 54" Sarik supplied plan for a scratch build project. The plan was penned by one Eraldo Pomare and appears to come from the Nexus Plans Service. One thing this plan is for is not a 54" model, but one of 84"! So be it. I can live with that. Wings span is 84", chord13.5", wing area 7.5 square feet, fuselage length 4`9", prototype weight, 9Lb 8oz, power is .60 two stroke. The construction is very light weight and rigging is fully load bearing. My vision is to run my model on a 1.20 four stroke which would give the right sound quality. The motor is yet to be sourced. The build is quite straight forward, is of large proportions but is essentially a structure that is full of air. Wheels are 5" Dubro inflatable at a cost of around £30 a pair. The cowl used is from a 1/4 scale SIG J3 Piper Cub at a cost of around £23. Rob tells me the cowl should be easy to source. I`ve only just begun construction and have started by making some of the bulkheads. F1 measures about 6" in width and about 8" in height. This will proportionally produce quite a chunk of model. Most of the bulkheads are either 3mm/1/8" ply or balsa. Others are from 6mm/1/4" material. Parts have been traced from the plan and the tracing paper stuck with Prit-stick onto the core sheet material. Parts have been cut out using a Dremel fret saw with the remains of the tracing paper being removed once cutting has been completed. I started with quite a sizable piece of 3mm birch ply sheet but that soon became consumed. These big models certainly gobble material. I have 51 wing ribs to produce...I`m looking forward to that....not! So the build has started. The progress will be documented here is matters progress. I foresee a build time of about two months. Watch this space. Mike
  13. Another late afternoon/evening session flown. With the chunk of ballast already in the model moved right forward into the motor cowl and a further 20gms added, the model became further improved. On the first flight I considered the model now a tad nose heavy. Removal of 10gms and another flight found this model just about perfect in trim. I`d also adjusted transmitter expo to give 35%< which took all the bite out of aileron and particularly elevator inputs. An aileron to rudder mix of 50% helps the model avoid yaw although rolls tend to be of the barrel type. I need to learn to counteract that with a good stab of opposite rudder to get something akin to a reasonably straight roll. More practice needed. The nicest CoG dimension is 115mm rearward of the leading edge of the TOP wing. At that location, the model flies as perfectly as it could become. A few basic loops were tried and found successful. Once again conditions were reasonably calm with wind at 7mph/15mph gusts from the south. I enjoyed circuit work in preparation for landings. The model does float and gets pushed upwards quite easily as you come over the hedge from the Biggin Hill end of our site. Getting the model back down low again for a landing on the patch with better accuracy will take further air time practice. I`ve flown the Se5a now for about 30 minutes in total and continue to explore the flight envelope. The model is a little sweety and I`m very taken with it. Images below show the model on its maiden flight last November. Until someone gets up to Fickleshole with a camera, these flying pictures will have to suffice. Overall impression of this kit, its build ease and flying ability fully deserve a ten out of ten rating. Value for money with a build cost including coverings, motor, esc and 3200 Lipo amounting to about £230 is a typical costing which you would be hard to beat. Radio gear is an obvious extra expense. Ground handling and take off are a cinch and I`ve not yet managed to tip the model on its nose. Landings can be excellent three pointers with plenty of elevator authority. All in all, this SFM kit is an understated little gem. I like it very much. Mike
  14. Here we are again as at the end of August 2019. Having gained my A-test and piled a load of air time in on the Ultra Stick, my abilities are rather better than when I re-started flying after a forty year break in April this year. I`m certainly more confident now than I was and have learned to fly out of Fickleshole with a reasonable certainty of being able to get a model back on the pitch. With confidence improving and to an extent also my own ability, I decided it was time to fly the Se5a myself. Yesterday saw me up at the field flying the model. During commissioning in the workshop, I`d struggled a bit with the CoG recommendation in the build manual which put the position 100mm back from the lower wing LE. It seemed very far aft and I`ve become aware over the months that some Chinese or Vietnamese kit builders are hopeless when it comes to signifying the correct CoG. My research into bi-plane CoG said that one should measure back on both wings 25% of the wing chord marking the easily found point on the lower wing. The same idea on the underside of the top wing. Dropping or raising vertical lines would produce two points. I did this on the top wing underside. Splitting the difference between those two marks apparently gives the correct position. As it stood, I was highly suspicious of the SFM CoG which seemed to make the model very tail heavy. My calculation of CoG position was some 65mm further forward than recommended....!? I had also looked at plans for the Se5a on the internet. It appeared that generally, CoG positions marked on many model plans had CoG markings at a similar point to my own calculated positions. I had something of a quandary on my hands. I had to start somewhere with the issue so moved the model CoG a little further forward than SMF suggested. The model took off well but immediately stuffed its nose skywards. Clearly tail heavy. I flew the model around for a few minute just to get an improved radio trim and suss out low speed handling prior to landing. That was event free but the model was far from stable on finals. On the bench in the pits, more lead was added. Very much better on the second flight but still not right. Elevator for and aft pitch control was very sharp but calmed down somewhat with lead added. Back in the workshop, more lead has been added. Hopefully, I`ll fly the model again today and see how that pans out. Up in the evening sky, the model looked wonderful. At slow speed it appeared very scale like and evocative. The model has the potential to be a very nice flyer. I just have to get that CoG sorted. More news in due course. Mike
  15. Some news about the Flybaby. Prior to the maiden flight, it was seen that ailerons were loosing their neutral position upon switching on Tx and Rx. Re-setting arm positions and messing with the linkages then followed to restore positioning. After a few stick waggles, the servos and ailerons would loose the plot again. It was most frustrating.The more the transmitter stick was waggled, the worse the issue became. Power/signal leads were fitted new as were servos. I`d perhaps bought badly. Although I`ve previously purchased Tower Pro digital servos with a metallic purple label, the ones pulled from my stock had a black label. Internet forum research now indicates that these particular items may well be "knock off" copies. Having found the issue at the flying field. Dave and Trevor suspected an issue with the RX. Back home, I changed the receiver but the problem persisted. I tore those servos out and substituted some simple but old analogue Futaba S-148 units. An instant fix. So buyer beware. Avoid any black label servos marked Tower Pro. They appear to have feed back potentiometer issues. With the servo issue fixed, I couldn`t put a maiden flight off any longer. Trevor stood by as I took the model up for its first sortie. It wasn`t a pleasant experience. Masses of right aileron trim had to be applied together with a little right rudder and some down trim. The model seemed cranky and directionally un-stable. After a couple of minutes flying, we had the model trimmed as best as we could but it really did remain something of a handful. Slow speed work was rather un-nerving but I performed a few circuits just to get the feel of what was needed for approach and landing. The landing got me back on the pitch well enough if rather over to the far side of the strip. As the model slowed, the starboard wing tip just touched some of the surrounding crops which spun the model around by about 120degrees and stuffed the nose into the vegetation. As we recovered the model, we could see damage to the port wing tip. Lifting the model, a broken wooden propeller was noted. Back on the flight table, the excess applied aileron trim added in flight to get the model to fly straight was immediately noticeable. Sighting down the starboard wing confirmed a straight and true wing. Not so the port wing panel where we could see excessive wash in ie, the wing tip rib sitting higher in incidence that the rib at the wing root. That explained the problem. Yesterday I phoned Rob at Avicraft whilst traveling on the train up to London. Rob was most sympathetic and suggested that I take the wing back to him so that the distributors, J Perkins could examine the offending panel. That is were I`m off to now so more news on the distorted wing shortly. It is disappointing that such a bad panel could have left the factory. Clearly there had been no quality checking carried out before the kit had been dispatched from Vietnam. Lesson learned. Even quality kit wings need checking by the finishing builder prior to first flights.... The first image here shows the distorted wing clamped down to chair arms over-night in an attempt to correct the 12mm wash out issue. Un-clamped next morning, the wing jumped out of the clamps to revert to its original warped state...it was worth an attempt. The second image shows the bashed wing tip following the first landing. Mike K
  16. A few external shots taken today. It seemed like a good idea at the time....I love James`s wonderful Flybaby Bipe. It really does fly like a full sized plane and I fell in love with it months ago. To have one is an itch I just have to scratch. So I bought a plan from Sarik for a 54" with the intention of having the plan blown up to about a 70" span. Then the plan arrived and I opened the envelope to find it was for an 84" span model with the prototype weighing in without fuel at about 9.7Lbs. Power was from a Super Tiger .61 two stroke glow motor. The cowl used was from a SIG 1/4 scale piper Cub. It didn`t take me long to decide to build this monster and perhaps power it with a Saito 1.20 four stroke unit or similar type engine. There is a used one on eBay presently with two days to run. It is described as recently serviced, in good order and a great starter. Bidding currently stands at £102 plus £7 carriage. Anyway, there is plenty of time before I need an engine. I expect to take at least three months on the air-frame build. I`ll open a separate thread on the project. If the weather is suitable this coming Tuesday, I`d like to maiden the Seagull Flybaby. Watch this space. Mike
  17. "Build" is perhaps the wrong word as the kit is an ARTF so "assembly" is the more accurate word. Collected from Rob on Thursday, the usual retail price of this lovely semi-scale model is £217. It is a very nicely constructed offering from the thriving Vietnamese Seagull company. The parent owner would appear to be SIG. To complete the model you need either a .61 size two stroke or .90 size four stroke I/C engine or electric power set up. In addition, you need radio gear. Other than those items, its all in the box. Value for money, its a lot of nicely constructed model for the dosh. The kit includes a conversion kits. It is your choice whether you go I/C, in which case you use supplied two part engine bearers, fuel tank and a throttle linkage wire and outer sheath. The electric kit comprises an electric motor mounting box is also in the kit. Four M4 bolts allow either the I/C or electric kit to use the same bulkhead blind nuts to secure either of the conversion kits. It is a very cute design and you could convert either way in about half an hour if you wish to do a later conversion. The core of the model was built in about four hours on Thursday. Another five hours were spent on Friday with most of the effort going into manufacture of the dummy rigging wires and end fittings. This was my first effort at rigging and I found it slow and somewhat tedious. It is very fiddly work and you need steady hands and reasonable eye sight to deal with the plastic coated rigging wire and the pre-cut lengths of aluminum crush tube. The tube lengths were rather mean but Rob had previously sold me a length of ali tube so this saved the day. Slightly longer tubes allowed a better finished crimp to be formed. Sixteen lengths of rigging need to be constructed to achieve the full visual effect. That job is perhaps the most difficult aspect of this kit assembly. My rigging effort is reasonable but I would expect to achieve a higher standard with my next effort. Practice makes for a better technique and less frustration as one becomes more adept with the process. The Oracover covering has been well applied at the factory. No issues at all with that. The model is easily assembled using normal hand tools and there are no nasty surprises or irritations within the kit. This kit is a class leader when compared to some of the naff under developed Chinese laser kits which have recently flooded onto the market place. Made ready for flying, the Flybaby took just twenty or so hours to put together. In the 1750mm/70" class, its a lot of model for the money. The finished all up weight is 9.6Lbs. This includes a 50/65 420Kv motor and a 4500mAh lipo together with an appropriate speed controller. I have a dislike of UBEC units having had one burn out on Rob Newmans` counter recently. A five cell 2600 NiMh additional free standing battery pack has been fitted above the electric motor mounting box to provide a separate and stand alone Rx/servo power supply. I find that rather more reassuring than waiting for another UBEC to go up in smoke! The electric motor set up employed on this Flybaby has been snatched from my well known and trusty No 1 Ultra Stick. It is the right spec for the job and utilizes a 15x8 APC prop. I have a 360Kv version of this motor currently installed in another Ultra Stick. This can turn a slightly bigger diameter prop which the Ultra Stick can handle with its taller landing gear. No 1 will be refitted today with that power unit. Would I buy another Seagull offering? Yes, I certainly would. Great price and value for money. Construction is first class and the finished item cuts a good dash. Yet to be flown but not possible to do this Sunday due to the Biggin Hill Airshow, I might nip up to Fickleshole tomorrow or perhaps when some of us gather on Tuesday morning. More on the first flight shortly. Mike
  18. Version 238

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    SE Area newsletter issue.238 The South East Regional newsletter is sent regularly to the club and is requested to be circulated to all members. Please read and enjoy as this newsletter comes directly form the BMFA and contains information that affects model flying in your region.
  19. Hi guys. I`m on the hunt for a good new or used OS 91/95 four stroke for my next project. This is likely to be a Flybaby Bipe similar to the one James flies. PM or call me on 01883625406 if you have a motor you wish to sell. Thanks. Mike Kennedy
  20. Inspired by Jim Beagley`s RCM&E article detailing a Panic build, I just had to have one. Robs design is bullet proof. I suppose every modeller eventually has to have one in their hangar collection. As we know, the model is as simple and functional as it gets. The kit is distributed by J Perkins and produced in Pakistan. The timber grades are first rate and the laser cutting the most accurate I`ve yet seen. The build was a doddle. Not perhaps easy for the first time builder but quickly put together if you have a couple of other model builds under your belt. My total build time was about 75hrs with probably around 12 of those hours being spent on the fiddly colour scheme. You will need to find around £105 for the kit. On top of that, you will need to provide a fuel tank, wheels, control horns, clevises, link rods, cyno hinges, cyno adhesive and quick set epoxy, glass wing tape, typical industrial slow cure laminating epoxy resin, piano wire for control push rods, clevis connectors and a bit of 5/16"dowel for the elevator push rod. You will also need to provide covering film, radio gear, power unit (glow or electric) and servos. My cost tot up comes to around £220 which includes a brand new and un-run SC .75 two stroke motor bought on eBay for just £28 including post. My Panic was completed inside eight days. One wing was built, sheeted and covered in about ten hours. Robs foolproof constructional detailing ensures the wings come off the board, straight, true and flat. The final all up flying weight with seven metal geared servos, without any ballast and with a dry tank came out at 6.9Lb which Rob tells me is acceptable. The colour scheme is a bit manic but apparently good for a Panic. It was Frantically applied by a Moronic....Nuff said! What is the kit like then? Perfectly acceptable in my opinion; simple to build, easy enough to jam full of control gear. Nothing to it really. A nice problem free build with a quick result. Now lets see how it flies..... Mike
  21. A few more images of the finished Bi-stormer. Note my originally upright mounted motor which caused a few issues with the throttle rod which included acute ends at either end. Control wise, it really didn`t make the required grade so I ripped the motor and mount out again and butchered the starboard cowl cheek to allow the motor to be turned by about sixty degrees. This allowed a straight push/pull from servo to throttle arm along the tank floor. The modified installation now functions in a much improved fashion compared to my first attempt. I didn`t want to hack the model around but push became shove and I`m glad I bit the bullet. Whilst my modification is now totally functional rather than aesthetically pleasing, functionality overrides prettiness. I`ve left the top of the cockpit combing open and the starboard cowl cheek has been removed completely. Access to engine mount bolts and the throttle control rod is almost as good as not having a cowl at all. Viewed from the port side, no visual changes are evident. Viewed from the starboard side, whilst the cheek has gone, the effect is of an open and easily serviceable engine installation. Viewed from the front, the upright and chunky cylinder crank case no longer dominates. Twisting the engine to semi side winder configuration actually improves appearance in my opinion. It also lowers the carb spray bar which should help maintain reliable fuel flow. Now finished, the Bi-stormer is ready to fly once I`ve gained some experience on a newly built Panic. The build as a project is for the building enthusiast. I`d estimate I probably spent around the usual 300hrs from start to finish. Was it worth buying the short kit? The short answer is an emphatic negative. I could have saved about £20 cutting out my own wing ribs. (A cut out rib using a template usually only takes me about 3 or 4 minutes a piece. The kit contained pre-cut front to mid section balsa sheet sides. They accounted for little more than a fiver. The laser cut bulkhead were useful but not an essential item. The pre-bent strip ali cabane struts and landing gear were the best features of the so called short kit. Nicely produced, accurate and avoided the need to bend material ones self. Sheet and strip balsa accounted for about another £70. The lovely silver covering came from Hobby King and I price that at about £8. It really is brilliant value for money and is a top class material. Around £23 was paid for a 600mm x 2m roll of orange 021 fluorescent Oracover for the trim. I used every scrap of that roll of covering. The pre-owned motor cost £4, the tank came from stock and five Tower Pro digital servos came for £3.50 each, delivered from China. The pilot came from the smashed Dynam Hurricane. Wing fastenings are 6mm nylon sheer bolts with threaded base mounts. All done and dusted, the model probably cost me £250 to bring to flying condition. I`m certainly pleased with the finished article. All that now remains is to fly the thing. Colour changes in the attached images are due to some images being taken under florescent light, whilst others were taken in natural daylight. Believe me, the orange is all the same colour! Mike
  22. Pilot Ben

    Rod Hunt

    FOR SALE - Rod Hunt ex-CAMFC member Wots Wot ARTF - flown around three times, comes in perfect condition ready to fly, has good quality gear along with a Saito gold head four stroke, run only a few times. Offers? Funtana ARTF - Never flown, comes with servos and four stroke engine, along with spare canopy, wings, cowling and tail feathers. Offers? Thousands of items from an ex-modellers workshop - including hundreds of tools, thousands of parts, fixings and spares, transmitters, servos, receivers, materials, etc. Buyer to collect what they want from Old Coulsdon with prior arrangement with myself and Mrs Hunt. Pay what you feel the items are worth, as Mrs Hunt would rather give them away using an "honest box" scheme to a good home where they will be used! Sold as seen, please comment or message me for details. Thank you for looking!
  23. At last I finally finished building the Firefly after loosing the plywood motor mount which fell into the abyss of junk in the model workshop! I used servo,s reclaimed from a deceased Wot-4 foamie with wire pushrods, a 22D-28 electric motor with a pusher 7 x 5 propeller. the ESC i used to begin with was an 18A, but the motor complained and could only fly with 1/2 throttle. A larger ESC available was rated 35A, and this cured the problem. The Firefly hand launches with a grip on the outer wing and half throttle, Just bung it slightly skyward, and once airborne and stable, increase the throttle until some height is gained, making it possible to trim the controls for SAL flight. The model is great fun to fly and runs on a 3 cell 1300 Lipo for quite some time. Flights at zero height are very possible and quite fun, some aerobatics are possible, but be careful not to rip the fin off! Firefly kits may be available from Rob at Avicraft, Chatterton road, Bromley, Kent. It might be prudent to check stock before travelling. Have flying fun, Oily
  24. Here is a link to a little video our Ivan Smith kindly filmed and kindly put together having shot one of my flights with Ultra Stick No1 with a lead ballasted six cell 3700 LiPo, a 5065-420Kv motor and 15x6 prop. This is the model I`ve been consistently flying since April this year. Thanks to Dave Bran for watching my antics closely and observing that the model does indeed fly in a somewhat tail down attitude....I`ll try a spot more lead at the next flying session. These flights were filmed on an almost totally windless day and approach speeds are a little high. My final flight that day used about three quarters of available flap deployment and certainly slowed down the arrivals. Yip, I need more practice using flaps and there is still a mass to be learned. It all takes time. Anyway here is the video and thanks to Ivan for filming it.https://youtu.be/L6vphFPwPrA Mike
  25. Well. The ASP factory has indeed closed down, and will not be reopened. That said, I believe (?) that SC and Evolution engines will continue to be made in other factories, however their supply will obviously be affected. 4.14kg does seem quite a weight, however this isn't that small of a model, and looking at the extremely solid construction, I wouldn't say that 4kg seems too unreasonable. Going with metal geared servos will pay off, Mike. I run metal gears in nearly all of my models, partially due to the fact I prefer the slightly more robust servos in the air, but mainly because I'm fed up of stripping gears when I knock a control surface! Mark Knopfler is indeed one of the greats, and indeed his new tour is very impressive with regards to band members and himself! Personally I'm just about to finish learning the first solo in Sultans of Swing, and I'm excited to move on to the second!
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