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  1. Last week
  2. Some further progression now with the Fly Baby landing gear now sheathed in a 1/32" ply and balsa laminate. The covering is sticky backed vinyl which I previously used to tonse up some bare white UPVC windows on the house. I obtaining it from eBay several years ago. It is of external grade and five years later still looks good having been subjected to all weathers. The ply laminate required epoxy on the surface to give "energy" for the vinyl adhesive. That enables the low tack vinyl to grab the surface and adhere well. Joints and corners had a little more epoxy applied over then to help stop fuel ingress. The result looks quite convincing and rather like raw spruce. Its as near as I could get to emulating the timber work on the full sized aircraft. Now onto the cabanes which need similar treatment. Mike
  3. Earlier
  4. OK, here is the first stage of the landing gear construction using a vice mounted wire bender capable of bending up to 4mm O/D piano wire. The unit was sourced from Robot Birds for around £18 and takes some of the fright and effort out of bending largish sized piano wire. It takes practice to use and one needs to gain a little confidence before committing to produce cabane struts, landing gear etc. Its worth reading up about bending radius requirements before starting to bend wire parts for your latest model. Its also worth noting that when you have bent wire to a required bend, you can expect that bend to start opening up again (known as "spring back") a few minutes later. You then have to check your bend again and perhaps apply more bending pressure to reset the bend. You might have to perform that operation three or four times before you get a bend that behaves itself! This landing gear took me about six hours of concerted effort to make. The wires were cleaned with acetone on a clean rag to remove protective grease, before being abraded with a file and again being wiped in acetone to remove all remaining traces of contaminate. All joints were bound with copper fuse wire (10m lengths available from eBay) before being dobbed with acid flux, heated with a large soldering iron and being flooded with proper lead solder. (On red reels, NOT the yellow reel non lead stuff often found at builders merchants) Joints were left to cool by natural heat loss before being scrubbed under hot water with a wire brush or wire wool. It is important to get all that flux removed otherwise the job is a pain to work with, the remaining acid based flux gets everywhere and you will never get any paint or adhesive to bond to the wire. Job cleanliness is vital. My landing gear building result is seen in the images below. It will now be sheathed in a ply and balsa laminate before hopefully being covered in self adhesive timber grain vinyl. Further images will be posted once the gear is fully finished. Mike
  5. The decals have arrived from "The Sign Builder". Certainly a hassle free way of obtaining graphics. Now installed on the Fly Baby and looking quite nice. There is a little artistic, non scale licence applied to the fin and rudder ie the addition of SMAE and BMFA together with the Fly Baby logo which on the full sized aircraft appears at a cock-eyed angle. That wasn`t very pretty so I`ve used my own ideas. This model is far from being a Nationals award winner...its rather more of a usable sport club flyer. A few changes won`t do any harm. As an aside, I`ll be using The Sign Builder to provide graphics for my proposed next build. I`ve just ordered a Seagull Jungmeister from Rob. Apparently it will be on his next delivery. I`ll be using the core colour scheme of the Seagull kit as the basis for a rendition of a pre-war aircraft that was flown by aviatrix Liesel Bach in aerobatic competitions of the 1930`s. My colour scheme modification will entail re-covering the tail plane and upper surface of the top wing. You will see an image of a Jungmeister dressed in the colour scheme used by Liesel Bach below. The Sign Builder have been asked if they can supply the special graphics and they have indicated they would be happy to assist. In the meantime, I must finish this Fly Baby before being consumed by yet another build! I`m currently building the landing gear from 5/32" wire using a simple wire bender. It is far from easy bending symmetrical parts. I`ll post images of the landing gear once I`ve progressed it further. Mike.
  6. More work done. Tail feathers all have hand made brass hard points fitted for flying wires. In addition, the tail wheel unit is installed. Custom made registration letters are in the post. Not cheap at £49 but quick and reliable service from The Sign Builder on line or via eBay. Their work is of high quality and I previously used this business when I had the graphics done on my big Extra. No doubt I could have sourced for less cash but that requires a trip to Gerry Booth at Wallington which costs in miles, fuel and time. As we are all on home lock down due to the virus panic, I makes sense just to send off for the graphics and stay off the streets! This model progresses. Landing gear, inter-plane struts, flying wires etc remain to be constructed. The Fly Baby will then be on the downhill streak towards completion. Mike
  7. A twelve hour covering session produced a fully covered and colour trimmed fuselage. The wings were the subject of additional covering work. The model is now coming on quite quickly. The modified tail wheel assembly comes from the Seagull Gypsy Moth kit. When I built the Moth, I fitted a more scale like unit, hence this unit being held back for another project. It fits this scratch built model to perfection. A quick and easy solution. Now I have to build the landing gear, make inter-plane struts, sheath large gauge cabane and landing gear wires and finally rig the flying wires. Still a fair bit to do. Time scale looks like being about another three weeks to completion. Mike
  8. Bottom wing now covered with servos installed. Both wings now trial fitted with inevitable slight height across model issues. Two heads being better than one suggests that a trip over to Rob for a little advice would be benificial. Scratch built bi-planes are not the easiest thing in the world to build accurately. All sent to try us. Images show the further progress. Mike.
  9. And a bit more. Top wing now complete with C 0f G marks in place and all scale colour trim applied. Mike
  10. Thank you, Trevor. A little more progress. All hard points for inter-plane struts and rigging points installed on the wings. It was a tedious job but all done now. Struts will be a laminate of 2mm x 12mm carbon strip and ply which Rob is sourcing for me. In the meantime, I`ve covered the top wing with blue trim to be applied today. Then I can get on with covering the lower wing. Its all coming together gradually. Mike
  11. More progress. My thanks to Pete Ward at the Falcon Model Flying Group for providing me with the new motor. It is now fitted to the fuselage but some cowl modifications were needed to get it to fit. Whilst the crank case width and engine bolt holes were identical to the previously fitted OS91FS, the cylinder is appreciably larger and the motor length is about 10mm longer. A spinner will cover that mismatch. It has all fitted together nicely as you can see from images. The standard exhaust sits comfortably in the lower part of the cowl and a silicon exhaust deflector tube will be able to protrude from the undersurface of the cowl. Sat on the work bench, the model is getting bigger by the moment. Another month or so of building should have this model complete. Finished dry weight is estimated at just over 11Lb. Mike
  12. Just acquired from one of the Falcon guys, a brand "new in box", unused and in perfect condition, an SC120FS for a very reasonable price. I`m well pleased. To make things even better, crank case width, mounting bolt pitch and forward crank case/crank shaft length also appears identical to the OS90FS which I had originally intended to power this Fly Baby bipe. Apart from perhaps some mods to the cowl, this motor should be a one for one swap. This nice thing about the change is it will give a useful additional amount of forward ballast to a model that has a long tail moment and a short nose. If I`m lucky, I can hope that little if any additional lead ballast will have to be added. Tonight, the predicted weight of the finished model looks like being around 11Lb. More on this model build shortly. Mike
  13. Light can be seen at the end of the tunnel! Wings have now been constructed and fit well to the fuselage. Wing build for this model is NOT easy especially around the centre sections which are swept back and have dihedral. Scarf joining of the spruce spars is required together with butt joint reinforcement. This part of the build has been slow and somewhat tedious. Great attention to detail has been required to ensure the wings remain flat, accurate to the plan and have some chance of mirroring each other. This is not a beginners build. The replacement motor will now be a brand new SC120FS. I nicked the OS91FS for the Gypsy Moth! Finished weight will be around 11.25Lbs. Progress now being made. Another update in due course. Mike
  14. If you are an Avicraft customer and have ever glanced up towards the ceiling in the shop, you may well have spotted a rather down at heel and unloved Seagull Zlin Z50LS. It was particularly notable due its baggy and wrinkled covering and neglected appearance. Emma told me it had been hanging there in the shop for something like two years. People had looked at it and walked away. I did that same thing at least three times myself before looking harder at this model which was badly in need of some TLC. Structurally, the airframe appeared sound and undamaged. That gave some cause to consider the model further. Research indicated that a complete new kit retailed at £225, plus of course the additional costs of an engine, servos, receiver, propeller and battery, etc. Another £250 or so would perhaps have to be added to the cost of a build to make a flying model. The total cost might possibly accumulate to about £475. I`d watched a few You Tube vids which showed this Seagull model to be quite a performer as well as having fairly benign landing characteristics. My search was for a model that could become a hack for my learning curve and completion of the B-test later this year. I wanted something a little more lively than an Ultra Stick and something that looked more like a full sized aircraft. I also wanted to find an economical alternative to buying a fresh new kit. In other words, I wanted a bargain with some potential at a rock bottom price! I wasn`t too concerned that the model might have usage rash or be a bit unsightly in places. It just had to be sound, usable and perhaps expendable without too much outlay being involved. Rob offered me the model for £100. It included Futaba servos but no engine. Removing the model from the ceiling showered us both with a quarter inch thick layer of Avicraft dust. The model was filthy! Rob and I cleaned it up a bit so that we could examine it further. I was told it was a commission sale. I never haggle with Rob on prices as I know he always gives me a reasonable deal. Back home, the model was washed down with a damp cloth, dried and then given the once over with vehicle waterless cleaning fluid. This made it look rather more presentable. Yes, the covering had slackened badly and required a re-tighten with a hot covering iron. That done, it looked vastly better. The wing tightened to almost new appearance but the fuselage which had many self adhesive decal stickers applied to it, was a bit of a headache. I persisted and eventually ended up with an 80% good appearance. Ideally, the fuselage could do with a strip and recover but the current state is good enough for my purposes. I removed the fuel tank which was contaminated with solidified fuel residue together with its fouled fuel pipes. Tanks and pipes are cheap enough, so I`ve not wasted my time on cleaning it out. It went straight in the bin. A replacement tank was sourced from my ever-increasing stock of unused Seagull kit parts and a length of new fuel pipe was obtained. All simple stuff. The spares box also supplied a new pair of engine mounts, new blind nuts and a new throttle rod. Set to one side, I had a low use SC120 FS ear marked for my Fly Baby bipe build. This was re-directed to this Zlin. Another replacement ASP/SC 120FS "new in box" is due for collection next week and that unit will be directed at the Fly Baby unless a more suitable 90 sized unit becomes available via eBay or some other source. My power units get moved periodically from airframe to airframe. Again from stock, I pulled a new seven channel FrSky FASST receiver which is fully compatible with Futaba FASST transmitters. At a humble £25 each from Rapid RC, they make a reliable alternative to the Futaba 617 receiver which costs double the price. Other modellers speak highly of this budget priced FrSky receiver. I also replaced two terrible old cheapo light weight switches with a decent unit which has the benefit of an external charge port. How I hate and distrust low cost switches. Apart from some localized silver Oracover covering repairs being needed, I`ve only had to block up a few blind nut holes and a badly executed throttle rod exit through the engine mounting bulkhead before disguising the work with a few Oracover off cuts. The cowl was in reasonable condition but any cut outs for the previously fitted engine or silencer placement were badly carried out by the original owner. Fortunately, the cut outs required for my chunky large ASP120FS removed the clumsy previous work for ever. This large motor installation made the model slightly nose heavy. Correction to attain the correct C of G position was easily accomplished by placing the 2600NiMh battery pack aft of the servos. No problem with that. All clevises, push rods and control horns were checked for security. Essentially, this Zlin received a full check over, re-work and overhaul over a space of a weekend. What has been achieved has pleased me greatly. The Zlin is of better appearance than I predicted or thought possible. It is a long way from perfect but my total outlay to get this neglected model operational again, amounts to a total spend of just £270. Its certainly the cheapest model in my collection although perhaps not being the tidiest! Value for money, it's a half price model rebuilt for a purpose. Certainly, it was worth what I paid for it and the twenty or so hours I've spent nailing it back together. Good enough for Government job!....yes, and it is the first model that I`ve placed my shiny new CAA OP label on....Legal it may be, nonsensical it almost certainly is! (My opinion) The finished weight is a very acceptable 8.4Lb/3.4Kg. The manufacturer states 8.6Lb -9.4Lb. This Zlin then is the first ever model that I`ve been involved with that weighs LESS than the manufacturers spec. Pleasing, I think you might agree. Anyway, here are some images. All comments appreciated. Mike
  15. Well here are images of the recently acquired YS pumped 140 motor. It`s a real belter of an engine for the money. It reminds me of the 6.75 litre engine in an old Bentley I owned many years ago! I miss that car if only for its incredibly solid engineering. I don`t miss its fuel consumption. It was every bit as heavy on fuel as the Jaguar V12 XJS I also ran for a while. The Yamada built YS140 is quite stunning and the motor, although as yet untested, is nailed to the front of one of my Ultra Stick flying test beds for familiarization and air tests. It really is quite a chunk of proper Japanese model engineering. It has a fuel regulator and also a diaphragm fuel delivery system which pressurizes the fuel tank via a take off nipple located on the motor back plate. Yes, the motor does require 16-20% nitro methane with a high oil content. Advice from Rob and also Model Technics advises use of the MT BEKRA product which is somewhat more costly than my standard use, 10% MT Contest fuel. Powerful engines require higher calorific fuel content. It is the price to be paid for using this type of motor.....My wonderful Bentley only ran properly on 5 Star leaded fuel so again there are similarities! Pro Build have supplied the exhaust header pipe and the muffler. That does seem rather on the small side as is the exhaust exit pipe. If this motor is overly vocal, then I`ll have to fit a larger canister. Typical prop sizes are 16x10 or 16x12. More news on this engine and the Seagull Jungmeister in due course. In the meantime, I`ve rescheduled kit delivery for mid March which gives me the time and finances to complete the Fly Baby bipe build. Mike.
  16. Back on thread again now with the continued story of my Fly Baby bipe construction. This build stalled badly around October of last year due to non availability of a further supply of 115 covering film from Hobby King. I was assured that the material would be back in stock again by the end of December. No such luck and remained completely unobtainable apart from a half roll obtained from a seller on eBay. This was insufficient for my needs but I bought it in the hope of turning up a complete roll at a later date. The model has sat neglected in The Hangar whist four other air-frames were built and completed. Martin Wood broke the deadlock by pointing me towards Rapid RC at Minster on the Isle of Sheppey. I required more Futaba R617FS FASST recievers but they are some £55 each new, or between £32-£36 used on eBay. Martin and Ian both told me that the FrSky FASST Rx units worked with a FASST Futaba Tx, so I`ve taken the plunge by buying a pair of new FrSky units priced at a very acceptable £24.99 each from Rapid RC. The situation improved further because Justin (the boss) at Rapid RC told me he had a couple of rolls of HK 115 covering film in stock. A deal was done and just 24hrs later my consignment arrived with me. Top grade service, prices and a great bloke to deal with. I`m more than pleased especially about finding the ten metres of silver 115 which now enables me to continue building the Fly Baby bipe. So this afternoon, renewed enthusiasm for the project has been found. I`ve covered the scratch built cowl in dark blue covering, again supplied by Hobby King. Fortunately I have one and a half rolls in stock which is more than sufficient for my current needs. Off we go again then.... With the building of the Seagull Gypsy Moth recently, the Fly Baby donated its engine and servos to the Moth. I`m now on the hunt again for a good solid, low time OS90FS Surpass as a direct replacement for the donated engine. I also need a handful of good, used Futaba standard servos. No doubt Rob will oblige. What a great friend he has become and I can`t thank him enough for helping me so much over the past couple of years. What`s next on Fly Baby list then? Quite simply, I need to build a bottom wing. All the ribs have previously been cut out and a good supply of appropriately sized spruce has been obtained from Rob. So far so good then. The build is once again on the move. More images soon. Mike.
  17. Sorry to see you go , Ben. Your studies must come first. A similar situation to my own back in the nineteen eighties when I had to complete a course then find gainful employment. Then I bought a house, got married and had kids. Forty four years later, I returned to the hobby and I`m glad I did. Perhaps your return might occur a bit sooner than my own. Lets hope so. All the best, Mike K
  18. Just a little note from my myself for the benefit of all of those not on the club Facebook page. Just a quick note from me to say that, sadly, I won't be renewing my CAMFC membership in the new year. There have been several factors involved in me making this decision, not least an apparent lack of free time! I also feel that the recent CAA legislation will not help our hobby in the years to come, and I am perhaps slightly unwilling to invest any more into such an unknown environment. This is especially true, since I would only have 18 months before heading off to university, without my models! At this point, I just want to say a massive thank you to all of the people that have helped me endlessly since 2014. Without people like Rod, Emay, Trevor, Peter, Emma, James, Shane, Steve, Gerard, Duncan, Ivan, Sevan, John, Les and the Ian's, I doubt model flying would have been this fun I will also be looking to sell or get rid of the plethora of models, parts and equipment that I have collected over the years, and I will hopefully be allowed to advertise it all here in due course. This is not, however, a final goodbye from me. I still hope to make it to open club events such as the summer family BBQ, as well as try to keep my eye in completing the occasional slope soaring session with James, or perhaps the odd trip somewhere here and there with the sole survivor of my once mighty fleet - a good old foamie Wot 4 So, after all of that, all that remains for me to say now is - TTFN (To The Field Now) B
  19. Guys, The date of this post is 10/02/2020. Please treat this thread as live for the next couple of years or so. I need the following RC model plane bits and pieces on an ongoing and regular basis for personal use and NOT for commercial gain. Do you have anything you wish to sell? Realistic prices paid in cash. Wanted. Good condition "new in box" and used low airtime four stroke engines, 0.70 > 180 size. I don`t mind them grubby, but I don`t like them worn out! Always wanted, Futaba R617FS FASST 2.4 receivers. The lowest retail shop prices are around £51 each, supplied new across the counter or via the internet. New or used, fully working, undamaged examples only please. Futaba or other reputable standard size servos. Reliable units only please. Futaba 7C 2.4 transmitters, working, dead or dying required. Airframe parts for Hangar 9 Ultra Stick 10cc. I don`t mind crashed, "oak tree`d" or incomplete examples. In particular, I could do with some spare wings. Covering condition is unimportant. Electric and I/C props between 15" and 18". Props must be in serviceable and safe condition. Prop nuts, locker nuts, bolts and washers etc from scrap engines. OS, ASP, Magnum, SC, Irvine, YS etc. (MDS units not wanted!...... Metal Door Stop) Please call me to discuss what you might have available. 01883 625406 or 07974 131127 Cheers guys, Mike Kennedy
  20. Just keeping this thread alive.....9th February 2020. Six Ultra Stick 10cc models now in stock, plus one large 30cc scratch built clone. No 1 is my original Hangar 9 , now a little battered electric version. Repaired several times and still going strong. No 2 is an Irvine Q72 two stroke side mounted in a clone fuselage. Unflown. No 3 is an original Hangar 9 fuselage fitted with a high powered, pumped, Yamada YS140FS with tail mounted servos and rear of fuselage mounted battery pack. Built as an engine test bed. Unflown. No 4 is my original Hangar 9 kit converted to low wing configuration and fitted with a side mounted ASP.91 two stroke. The wing has been cut and re-joined with a little dihedral for stability and to counter any possibility of adverse rudder yaw. Unflown. No 5 is a stretched, scratch built, twin engined version using two .46 OS two strokes. It is known as "The Scary Stick" for obvious reasons. Unflown! No 6 is another clone fuselage fitted with an ASP120FS and tail mounted servos. Built as another flying engine test bed. Unflown. All the conventional standard high wing models share two original Hangar 9 wings. Replacements cost £116 each with the full kit costing just £90 more. Buying extra wings is hard to justify....you might as well buy the full kit and keep the spares parts and fuselage! The No4 low winger has its own dihedralled wing. This stock list should be enough to keep me flying during the coming 2020 season. Mike
  21. I`m beginning to favour No 4, the low winger as the B-test airframe. It has an ASP.91 two stroke and weighs a moderate 8.7Lb dry. It is now fully completed but still has to have its maiden flight. No Ultra Stick could ever be said to be pretty. Perhaps though, this low wing conversion goes some way towards being angularly attractive?! Mike
  22. Be warned! I`ve had four of these digital servos fail immediately after installation. More fool me for inadvertently buying these Lofty Ambition servos via eBay. I bought a few on the basis of their being Tower Pro metal geared MG996R units. Clearly, they are not Tower Pro and examination of the labelling reveals the truth. I`ve had no issues with the Tower Pro units. I got caught good and proper with these near identical Lofty Ambition products. I`ve had this make of "knock off" servo loose centring, stall, produce smoke and seize. Not fit for the purpose is an accurate description in my opinion. Treat like The Plage...don`t touch them. Sooner or later, they may crash your model. Mine have had the wires cut off and are now destined for the Tandridge Borough waste disposal unit. I`ll no longer buy such rubbish. Fitting genuine Futaba, Hi-Tec or other reputable types makes sense. Mike
  23. I`ve got a few here ready to go but which one would be best suited to taking the B-test? Only trial flying will tell me. No 1 is my six cell, 360Kv original fitted with either 15x8 or 16x6 prop. With the 16x6 it goes like a rocket but gobbles battery power. With the 15x8 performance is reasonable and dependent on flying style, will give about 10 mins of flying time. I used No 1 to gain my A-test and very suitable it was too. Its a good hack model. No 2 has a brand new and only just run in Irvine Q72 two stroke. This engine was formerly an un-run spare reserve for Rob Newman`s Panic Team. I found it at the shop wrapped in newspaper and surplus to Rob`s immediate needs. No 2 fuselage is a cloned copy of a Hangar 9 original. It has flown just twice previously but with a 420Kv/6 cell set up. No 3 is an original Hangar 9 fuselage fitted with a large fuel tank and a Yamada YS140FZ pumped four stroke. The engine and mount only just fit onto the front bulkhead. Extra reinforcement around the nose has been added. The motor has had to be upright mounted because it is so bulky! Servos are tail mounted with a 2600NiMh for the radio gear being located on a removable external plate about six inches in front of the leading edge of the tail-plane. That helps with C of G attainment. A 16x10 prop and genuine YS140FZ exhaust are due here on Monday. Even with the aft mounted battery fitted, I expect to have to add a little lead to the tail to achieve a neutral C of G. This model is the "Big Daddy" of the fleet. It was never built for A or B test work but solely as an engine test bed. Of all these Ultra Sticks, this one is probably the least suitable as an A or B test mule! No 4 is my genuine Hangar 9 conversion to a low winger. The wing has been cut in half and re-joined with a little dihedral to make to improve appearance, make it a little more docile at low speed and alleviate any chance of adverse rudder yaw. The fuselage has been inverted, a landing gear block inserted topsides and the bulkhead removed and refitted to give the correct right side thrust. The fin and rudder are now remounted on what was previously the bottom of the fuselage. Wing incidence and the front bulkhead retain the original zero, zero, zero set up. Its a pretty conversion but is as yet un-flown. The motor is a new two stroke ASP.91. No 5 airframe is a scratch built twin engine configuration as is totally unsuitable as an A or B test air-frame! No 6 is another clone fuselage fitted with a side mounted SC120FS four stroke motor. As with the No3 fuselage, fitting of this motor was a tight squeeze. A 2600NiMh battery is fitted just aft of the marked neutral C of G position. A little lead figures under the tail plane to help with the C of G positioning. I have two original Hangar 9 wings in stock. They fit all the above fuselages. Why no more wings? I did build a clone example last year but it ended up warped and essentially is only fit for the bin. It was not the easiest wing to build so I`ve not bothered to build anymore. Additional genuine wings are around £106 each....a complete kit is £206 complete with a £30 landing gear, wheels, pushrods, engine mount, tank, etc,etc. So much hardware comes with the complete kit that the wing cost alone is hard to justify. I`ll buy your old Hangar 9 Ultra Stick wings if you have wrecked a fuselage! I now need to get flying these kites and getting them set up. The focus for this year is attaining a B-test so I need to do some practice flying over the next few months. More news in due course. Mike
  24. Correction...make it two flying engine test stands! I found my first prototype clone copy (No 6) Ultra Stick kicking around in the garage. I knew it was in there somewhere but only had to find it. It is a bit heavier in the tail than an original Hangar 9 kit built example, but that's not a big issue. This rendition is the roughest build of the Ultra Stick bunch, being constructed last year when I was under pressure due to my Father being in hospital. I recall being exhausted at the time and in the rare moments I had to myself, built this example as a sequential batch of two spare fuselages. This No 6 fuselage previously flew last year but at the time was electric powered. Lessons learned on this first scratch built example were later incorporated into clone airframe No 2. To confuse matters, the numbering of my Ultra Sticks doesn`t follow any logical build sequence. Numbers got slapped on them in random fashion when I began to have difficulty identifying each individual model....they all look nearly identical. The genuine Hangar 9 examples have "Ultra Stick" decals on the fins whilst the clones have no such identification. At least now I can match the two genuine wings I have to five similar fuselages. No 4 fuselage is my Hangar 9 kit low wing dihedraled conversion and No 6 is the terrifying, scratch built, twin engine "Scary Stick" monster. Get the drift? Consider yourself smart if you do! As previously said, No 6 example is slightly overbuilt at the tail. I`ve subsequently reworked the fuselage by removing some sheet material on the top, sides and bottom. It is amazing how much excess sheeting adds to the finished weight of the model. I constructed this fuselage from all the sweepings off the workshop floor so it has little value to me. I consider this fuselage to be the expendable example and would probably simply shrug my shoulders and laugh if it became a write off. The fact that this model is my least liked example and which I regard as something akin to a flying t##d, makes this fuselage ideal as another airborne motor test platform. Having recently acquired a lightly used SC120FS motor via eBay meant I was looking for another test bed. A day of wood butchery now sees No6 converted from electric to nitro power. With the addition of fuel tank, engine mount, throttle push rod and some internal reinforcement of the F1 bulk head together with epoxy fuel proofing, this flying pile is almost ready to go into action. Having written the above text in draft yesterday afternoon, given the passage of some eighteen hours and a fit out of the model last night, I`m forced to reconsider whether I was entirely fair about the No6 fuselage. With motor, tank, motor pushrod and servos fitted, the near finished model has taken on another dimension. The SC120FS motor is a heavy old lump and perhaps not unexpectedly initially produced a forward C of G. I moved the 2600NiMh battery under the balance point. Things improved markedly. I then moved the elevator servo to the tail...almost there. I added a few lead balance weights which with the wing fitted, produced a perfect flying balance. I don`t like carrying unnecessary dead weight, so the rudder servo will also be moved aft and then the lead can be removed. I`m happy enough with that. Presently I`ve run out of 3mm clevises, couplers and 3mm solderable piano wire. A trip to Robs emporium will sort that issue. With a receiver still to be sourced, this second flying test bed is ready to fly. Mike
  25. I`ve acquired a number of new engines recently for up and coming new builds. I`m a tight wad so many of the new to me engines are often " pre-owned or pre used low time "new in box" or low use examples in good physical condition. Before committing them to use in expensive new models, as a rule of thumb, I`ve decided to commission and test them on a relatively cheap and proven air-frame. The Ultra Stick provides an excellent test platform with a wide Centre of Gravity range. Servos can be tail mounted to off set the weight of some of my larger capacity motors. I have six and a half available Ultra Stick examples in The Hangar presently. The half model is accounted for as its scratch built fuselage is a near copy of the kit version but is devoid of its own dedicated wing. It therefore shares one borrowed wing from one of the original Hangar 9 kits. Chosen as a flying engine test bed, my No 3 example is a genuine Horizon Hangar 9 example complete with its own genuine wing and has previously been fitted with servos fitted at the tail of the fuselage together with extra large fuel tankage. As originally built, I`d fitted an inverted, hardly used, ASP 1.08 two stroke glow motor bought at one of our Club auctions for just £15. Although constructed over a year ago, this No 3 air-frame has never been flown. Two new to me, four stroke engines have arrived here over the last couple of days. Destined for a Seagull Bucker Jungmeister, it is a great lightly used condition pumped Yamada140FZ four stroke lump. What a cracking engine it is. Constructed in Japan, it looks like a cross between a motor bike and the contents of a Bentley car engine bay. Its a stunning piece of top level engineering which is built like a tank! Also purchased was a cheap and cheerful SC120FS unit. Japan meets China! The SC looks like a Yugo when compared with the YS 140. I`m not sure where that SC120 is due to finish up, but it certainly fills a gap in my engine stock. Last night saw the 1.08 two stroke torn off the front of No 3. I flipped the motor mount over 180 degrees and fitted a new throttle rod arrangement to suit the YS140. Space was very tight between the rear mounted carburettor and the bulkhead but a workable solution is now in place. Good enough for a Government job! I need a suitable propeller before sorting the C of G position. The rear mounted servos will help with that. In the fuselage, apart from the throttle servo fitted towards the nose of the model, I have a free canvass on which to mount the receiver and probably a 2600NiMh to power the radio gear. The battery can if required be mounted right back against the rear bulk head. The receiver can go anywhere to get a C of G that is best placed on a central position between the fore and aft C of G markings. This model is pretty uncritical as regards the C of G so that is a bonus point for this type of air-frame. From my experience flying my electric No 1 air-frame, even at the aft limit, the model is still reasonably docile provided you keep up air speed on the landing approach. The docile nature of the Ultra Stick makes it a very versatile model generally with great potential to handle a variety of engines of differing weights. The YS140 mounted in upright position on the Ultra Stick looks quite outrageous. The carb spray bar is well above the centre line of the fuel tank. With a normally aspirated non pumped engine, fuel flow issues would no doubt become apparent. That is not an issue with this pumped YS unit as a running motor produces a puff of air from the crank case on every fourth cycle stroke. A simple fuel pipe fitted with a non-return valve leads to the fuel tank to provide a pressurized flow of fuel to the carburettor. Its probably as close as you can get to having a fuel injected engine! It is not necessary to provide a pressure feed from the exhaust as is needed with a conventional two or four stroke set up. Here are a few images of Ultra Stick No3 now fitted with the YS motor. All I need now is to find a spare receiver, a 2600NiMh battery, an exhaust and a 16x10 propeller to make the thing flyable. If anyone has any large (15-17 inch) high pitch (10-14 inch pitch) propellers they wish to sell, please let me know. Mike
  26. A small update on the forthcoming Jungmeister kit assembly. Obviously I`ve a while to wait before the kit arrives in the UK, so my thrust has been to secure a suitable power plant for the project. Trawling eBay found a brand new and unused RCV 130CD four stroke glow engine. This unusual engine features a geared rotary cylinder valve arrangement rather than the traditional poppet valves found in conventional engines. Martin W has several engines of this type in various sizes and very good they are too. Bidding for this listed YS130 ended on Saturday evening. The bids had topped £96 up to the last ten seconds of the finish of the auction. I hoped that my bid of £162 would secure me the engine being pinged off within the last eight seconds. I felt confident.....but my hopes were dashed when an obvious automatic bid from another player smashed my dream to dust at £188! We can`t win them all!! Having lost this auction, I had a second target to shoot at. A "buy it now" listing advertised an elderly, pumped, four stroke Yamada YS140FZ in used condition. It was of slightly grubby appearance, black rocker cover paint a little worn and described as having good compression and as an easy starter. No exhaust is present although the motor was in an original box, with a users manual, needle valve and a couple of other spare ancillary parts. Before committing to buy, I`d checked with Probuild in Wimbourne that all spares parts for this motor were easily available. No problem in that respect. I made a £120 offer to the engine seller which was accepted. An eBay notification this afternoon confirms the engine is now in the post to me and that it should arrive on Friday. I`ve taken a bit of a risk buying this relatively low priced engine unseen. If it is a good one, it will be a cheap answer to powering the Jungmeister. If it turns out to be a dog, I`ll have to deal with its issues as required. I think it no bad idea to overhaul the pump diaphragm, gaskets, springs and any other worn parts as a matter of course. The motor can be bench run before being test flown to establish reliability on one of my Ultra Sticks. It can then be transferred to the Jungmeister if proven satisfactory. Now I need to acquire some suitable servos. Please contact me if you have any good standard size servos you wish to sell. More news and more images in due course. Mike
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