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Mike.K

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Mike.K last won the day on June 21

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About Mike.K

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  1. It progresses well. Wings built now and covering in progress. The build time has stretched a bit due to my Father being laid up in East Surrey Hospital and having to drive down there several times a day. I see I started construction of this Bi-stormer about five weeks ago so even those commitments the build hasn`t been that slow. Images here show where I am currently with this model. Can`t wait to fly it!! More in due course. The next build is JP Panic which I`m due to collect from Rob shortly. Mike
  2. Ask me in a week, Ben! Difficult to tell weight yet as the wings are still to be made. The fuselage seems light enough even with the three MG996 metal gear standard servos installed. I nipped over to Robs this morning to collect the usual nick-nacks needed ie control horns, engine mount, poppers for press fit inter-plane struts, ball links for aileron push rods and a nice second hand ali spinner. That has rubbed up very nicely. The model is a great traditional build with loads of stringers and a fair amount of block work to shape. Its very rewarding to see it all coming together so quickly. I have a good feeling about this model and I`m confident it will fly very nicely. Emma and I joked that this model is a "James model". As we know, he loves the vintage stuff. I took a shine to his Fly-Baby bi-plane some time back. I`ve not yet found a plan for one yet but would love to build one. I found a Balsa USA kit for $365 plus shipping, import VAT and extra delivery charges this end. Obviously this was impossible to justify, hence the building of this Bi-stormer at a rather less dramatic price. More on this build when I have some further progress made and images taken. Mike
  3. My latest build. This is the 60" Bi-stormer from the late David Boddingtons` drawing board. Essentially the model is a Barnstormer with two wings. The design is about fifty years old and is much loved as a medium sized, soft floater for balmy summer evening flying. Images below show progress made to date. A 72" version is also available but is a little too big for my storage and transport convenience. Build costs also escalate the bigger a model is. I found that out to my cost during the Midwest Extra build. I bought the DB Sport and Scale kit last week direct from the makers in Wales. The kit is very much a "short" production type at £110 delivered. Delivery/production took about a week. DB Sport has changed hands several times since the late David Boddington sold it on. The kit is not really a true kit when compared to modern offerings. Much of it is "missing". You get a plan, dural landing gear and cabane struts, pre-cut sheet balsa fuselage sides, a few ply bulkheads, two wing rib packs and a few other assorted air-frame parts. It is all very basic indeed but what do you expect for the money after the producer has made some profit? The traditional construction of the model is sticks, twigs, sheet and the odd bit of ply. Building the kit is rather like constructing a Keil Craft Super 60. To complete the model it is necessary to purchase wing sheeting, leading and trailing edge material and balsa square section for the fuselage longitudinal members together with control horns and snakes, wheels, collects, coverings, etc. By the time you have all the parts together, you are looking at about £240 as a finished model. Price wise, a pre-covered ARTF makes better financial sense but I wanted a nice model to scratch (or nearly scratch) build so obtaining a near ready to fly model wasn`t an issue or was value for money much of a consideration. Perhaps price wise as a kit, its probable value is little more than £70. The extra £40 can be regarded as the makers slender profit for getting it into a box and flinging it in the post! This type of cottage industry produced kit will always be quirky and relatively basic. It is what it is and it ain`t what it ain`t! So you accept what it is and get on with the build. The build is quick and easy once you have rounded up all the extra required timber scantlings. The majority of construction has been done with Screwfix CA adhesive or Toolstation 4 minute epoxy. Both products are as cheap as it gets and have become my favoured adhesives. I don`t use much alaphatic white glue but when I do, I`ve used Gorilla Glue which seems to set up quickly and is water resistant. I usually do between eight and ten hours building each day. The fuselage and tail feathers have therefore taken about seventy hours work. It is not so much the volume building that takes the time but the attention to detail. That said the experience of building this model to date is very pleasing. It is a pretty little bi-plane which is known to fly extremely well. I now have to build the wings and cover the whole model. I envisage about another one hundred hours needed for that. If all goes well, the model should be capable of flying within the next three weeks subject to all continuing to progress well. Elevators and rudder are a little larger than standard. Many builders have said the larger elevators help when it comes to three pointing the model when landing. The top wing will loose its dihedral in favour of a flat wing. Ailerons are also described as a little non reactive so I expect to increase size slightly and perhaps to include ailerons on both wings. Advice will be sought from Rob Newman today when I go over to Bromley for further building supplies. Colour scheme? Not really thought about yet but the model has strong likenesses to the Stearman. I do quite fancy a silver machine with white and red checker and RAF markings. Pre-war the University Air Squadron operated Tiger Moths and Hawker bi-planes at airshows of the period. Essentially those guys were the forerunners of the Red Arrows. If you know the Shuttleworth Tiger Moth, then you will have some idea of what I have in mind. Power will come from the auction sourced £4 SC.61 which is now in fine order having had its carburetor cleaned out and a missing needle valve spring replaced. Compression is excellent and it is quite clear this motor hasn`t seen much action. It is the right size and "shape" for this model but if power is marginal, then I have a brand new ASP.75 which has identical external sized components to the SC.61. Both motors were built in the same Chinese factory but are just badge engineered as an SC or an ASP. The dead Dynam Hurricane pilot has been resuscitated and lives to fight another day in this model. Harry Hawker flies again! The remains of his air-frame have donated a bullet-proof windshield which fits the top deck to perfection. More on this model as it progresses. Mike.
  4. I already have one, Ben, although it is a scratch built version! Images below. I scaled the 10cc model up by 33.3% and it made an appearance at last years model competition evening at one of the CAMFC monthly gatherings. At that time it was unfinished but I think it was the model that landed me a trophy at the February AGM. I recall I won three awards for the pile of models I brought along but can`t recall which one exactly won the trophy. That said, I`m pretty sure it was the big Ultra Stick that did it!! It is a big bruiser and probably somewhat heavier than an original kit version. It weighs in at some 14Lb with the wing and metal geared servos accounting for about 4Lb of the total all up dry flying weight. It is a tad heavy aft of CoG and I put that down to an over heavy build at the tail end plus only having an SC1.08 on the front. Lead has had to be added. I think power might be marginal so when I get back to that model again, I`ll be looking for something like a cheapo Mokki 1.40 which might help get weight and balance under better control. The genuine big 30cc model flies like a witch. There is a Youtube vid around which shows a fella called Azza flying the nuts off the thing. Although it is a big model, it seems to do everything its smaller brother does without difficulty. The most popular motors seem to be around 35cc and are petrol four stroke. There we go. Mike
  5. I thought it might be of some interest to others to read about my very positive experience of working towards and taking my A-test with CAMFC. Some of my modelling background here then. Back in the 1970`s, I started my modelling journey with the encouragement of my Father. We had hooked up with several other local modellers through my Fathers links with the construction industry. Two of his business contacts were keen RC flyers. Father was an architect, Geoff Swafield was a quantity surveyor and Brian Kilner was a building company director. The three of them decided to set up a new flying club based on the open and accessible games field behind the Riddlesdown Secondary School. Father became founder Hon Sec, Geoff became Chairman and Brian was Treasurer. I assume they sought permission to fly from that field from the authorities. That was back in 1972 and I was about fourteen at the time. The field was large and flat and proved ideal for the purpose. New members were quickly accumulated and we forged strong links with the Epsom Club. Seemingly the favoured model flown was the Super 60 trainer which was often powered by an HP.61 and modified to have an aileron wing with little or no dihedral. Radio gear was frequently 27Mhz Skyleader Clubman in four or six channel format and servicing, radio and spare radio parts were easily sourced from Skyleader who occupied part of the control tower at Croydon Airport. Our local model shop was in South Croydon where the lovely Ted Setterfield operated Heset Model Supplies. The second local retailer were the Hooper brothers who had a high street shop in Caterham on the Hill. The Hoopers were heavily involved with the Caterham MFC and our James remembers them well. The tenure behind the Riddlesdown school didn`t last long. Inevitably noise issues killed use of the site. A move took us south to a field behind the then Noble Lowdes(?) Insurance company playing field between Hamsey Green and Warlingham. Essentially, the field was little more than a quarter of a mile further up the road towards Warlingham from the current CAMFC meeting venue at Trenham Drive. The field was closely bordered by trees which we hoped would control noise issues. Sadly not. About a year after taking occupation, we were on the move south again to a field immediately next door to the now Knights Garden Centre. Again noise got us, a court case ensued and was lost. Off we went again. This time to another enclosed field half a mile east of "The Bull" on Chelsham Green. Within a few years the field was lost due to the local owner wishing to change its use. That was around 1979. Father and I dropped out of the modelling scene for a couple of years due to having taken on the mammoth task of building a house. I was soon to move away from the area to pursue a career in the PR, marine and aviation industries. Sadly, becoming married, having children, getting divorced and following other interests took me away from modelling for around forty four years. Father has kept his links with the Riddlesdown Club and I have indeed joined it once again. Now flying from a site below Edenbridge, the site is some sixteen miles distant from my current home at Warlingham. That journey doesn`t sound far but for me, it is a fair hike in a car which I don`t enjoy due to having a collapsed and herniated lower lumbar and raging sciatica down my right leg. Pain levels become uncomfortable and that trip to the site and back is not nice. It suits me better to be a CAMFC member which is just ten minute journey. My thanks go to Rob Newman and our wonderful Emma for roping me into CAMFC in April 2018. Problems with my ailing Father meant I didn`t do much flying in 2018. I built a 47" Mini Super with which I infrequently staggered around the Fickleshole skies re-learning basic flying techniques from forty four years ago. It has been a steep learning curve. Whilst the flying came back easily, I had to get my teeth into electric power and the advancements of 2.4Ghz radio technology. I soon learned that the hobby was far more regulated than it was forty years ago and the emphasis was on safety and the latest Dft/CAA requirements. It quickly became obvious that gaining an A-test was a vital part of modern day model flying requirements both from the legislative aspects and to ensure maximum safety at flying sites. If I wanted to progress the hobby, then I had work to do. Having satisfied the Club Committee that I could fly to BMFA and local Club rules, the A-test learning curve began in April this year and in May I piled the flights on to gain the experience necessary. In addition I boned up on the 23 BMFA oral questions together with our local club rules and also studied the BMFA handbook and the CAP658 CAA publication. As much time and effort went into that as attempting to learn what was required for the practical A-test flying examination. As far as the oral questions were concerned, committing them to memory really wasn`t difficult for me but one did have to pick out the operative information contained therein. To achieve this I read the questions on a three times daily basis for about ten days before the test, but most importantly, wrote it all out by hand on four sheets of A4 paper. This learning technique was taught to me at a CAA licensed training "agency" ie Brunel Technical College in Bristol between 1993 and 1996 where I studied for Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineers certification under Section A8-20 of the Air Navigation Order. (As an aside, the nick name of the didactic Head of School was "Ponchas the Pilot"!) Manually writing out all those questions by hand helps the brain absorb the material into the "Ownership and Possession" part of ones brain. Once you mentally take ownership of the material, then it is more likely to hit and stick to the little grey cells. Writing things out on paper by hand helps focus the mind and provides you with a regular "refresh" by quizzing yourself when coming up to examination time. The human brain is fully capable of achieving a good degree of retention provided you are interested in the subject and are capable of holding and compartmentalizing information. Carried out in a relaxed fashion, learning need not be difficult and it can be quite surprising what you have retained even years after you did a cramming session. At Aero School, I soon found myself developing a sharpened mind which seemed to open up and become more absorbent the more I studied. So with the A-test oral material, I found I enjoyed learning and that gave me the confidence when it came to oral examination. It pleased me greatly to answer the questions from Trevor and only on a couple of occasions did I have to dredge deeper through my mental filing system to come up with an answer. I always regard my own mind as infinitely expandable but operating in a slightly clunky fashion similar to lap top running Windows XP......it gets there eventually but that is sufficient for the purpose! As far as the A-test flights were concerned, I was operating at a level of less than full confidence. On the Sunday before the test, I was confident of a pass under coming test conditions on the Tuesday. I`d flown reasonably well in front of around twenty club members that afternoon and managed three consecutive dead stick landings on the pitch. I felt good and happy and was clearly primed and ready for the test. Next day (Monday) the wind had dropped to nothing and any that there was came from the North West rather than from the East. I knew that landings would be faster than on Sunday and that I`d have to work a bit harder to set the model up for the finals approaches between the two trees at the Biggin Hill end of the landing patch. I managed a couple of good flights but on my third landing l lost concentration for a moment and caught the model on the lower bough on the right side of the huge model eating oak tree! The Ultra Stick lodged in the tree for a couple of seconds before dropping flat to the ground. The damage to the tail, a wing tip, a wing leading edge and a displaced wing/fuselage mount was enough to cause me nine hours of frantic repairs and a consequential loss of built up confidence. Next day, I flew a test flight to confirm the model was good again but I certainly had the jitters. I could have cried off taking the test but I decided to continue regardless. (Get back on the horse that threw you attitude.) I`m a pretty emotionless person and refused to let the tree incident get a strangle hold on me. Never the less, my flying no doubt showed signs of nervousness. Trevor was the examiner and was typically he was his usual encouraging self and showed sympathy for my dose of jitters. I was chuffed to bits to hear I had passed the test and on the way home bought a chilled bottle of Pinot to enjoy in a deck chair on the patio. In the afternoon, I fell asleep, rather exhausted but very happy..... Saturday saw me attend the Sevenoaks fly in/barbecue. I flew three flights and began to feel the confidence return. It became obvious that the more elapsed time and the more flying I put in between the tree smash and my later flights, the sooner I would begin to forget about the incident. I know that almost everyone finds that oak tree at some time so the best thing to do is just put it down to experience and laugh it off. These things happen. The A-test examination occurred fairly quickly for me. I had the advantage of learning to fly models when still a teenager. Even forty years later, the skills had stayed with me and just needed polishing up again. I suppose the run up to the test took me about six weeks and in the final week I attempted to fly almost every day dependent on suitable weather conditions. At all times I was conscious that the Club had given me the total responsibility of my own actions which included adherence to CAP658, the content of the BMFA guidelines, BMFA questions and also those local rules of our Club. Trevor Searle who kindly nurtured my journey towards the test was consulted when ever I required advice and I listened intently to his advice if I was seen to have strayed off the track. I`m immensely grateful for his quiet, careful and watchful tutelage and his regular appraisal of my progress. As a pupil it is important that one listens to ones mentor and then takes the steps necessary to advance to the next stage or correct errors in procedure if they become evident. Trevors` unflappable temperament instills instant confidence and I can`t thank him enough for his time and efforts on my behalf. As I was a returning flyer after a 44 year break, I surmised that my reappearance on the modelling scene would probably be at a low intermediate level. That recognized, I began to look for a suitable air-frame for the A-test training regime. Knowing that I would need a tough model and one that I could easily repair myself, I discounted most of the ARTF/PNP foamy offerings. They can look a dreadful mess after multiple repairs and in any case, I really don`t seem able to bond with a model that I have not built myself. I was looking for a laser cut ply and balsa model that was capable of absorbing a huge amount of punishment on the lead up to taking the test. In my internet search, the Hanger 9 Ultra Stick 10cc quickly gained my interest. Whilst the H9 kit is ARTF, there was enough work needed from myself to enable me to bond with the model and make it "mine". Now having six of these models, some of which are scratch built copies, I can usually build an H9 kit example in abut nine hours. That the US was a product off the design board of Ali Machinchy gave the model some serious credentials. Sales videos confirmed that the model could be used as a benign advanced trainer but could also operate as something akin to a flying witch on a broomstick. There was no opposition or competition really. At £207 delivered from Als Hobbies (Ali Macs` fathers model shop in Milton Keynes) all that was needed to complete the kit to flying condition was the power system, radio receiver, suitable Lipos, an ESC and six standard servos. In my case, I asked George Worley at 4-max to spec and supply the power system. George sent me a 70a ESC, a 5065-420Kv motor, a 3700mAh lipo, a 14x8 prop (15x8 found to be better) and a motor program card. That package came out at around £270 so it wasn`t particularly cheap. Savings could be made by buying cheaper gear or going the i/c route with a .60 size or larger two stroke glow motor. Would the Ultra Stick be suitable for a raw ab initio student pilot? Perhaps not.....a new flyer really needs a couple of cheap and cheerful PNP models on which to cut his flying teeth. I`d say for a beginner, he really needs a relatively valueless model that can be bashed and smashed without fear of having to find over £200 each time the model gets hit hard enough to make it a bin bag job. Training thrills and spills can and do happen! There are plenty of cheap trainer models around and the possible the demise of a cheapy shouldn`t cause too many tears before bedtime. My suggestion for a newbie pilot would be to take advice from his tutor in respect of selecting a low value tool to fly until basic flying skills are attained. Once that is achieved, moving onto a more expensive model such as the Ultra Stick could then become a sensible progression. A newcomer to the hobby is almost certainly best taught using a buddy box lead and two similar linked transmitters. Once a reasonable standard of proficiency has been reached, then I believe it is essential that the the newbie flyer gains flying time off the buddy box system. It is one thing flying with a tutor having master control with one transmitter and the novice being on the end of the buddy lead with the slave transmitter. It is quite another thing flying off the buddy box system as one progresses to flying solo. As a newbie progresses to flying solo, he should also have studied and taken on board the contents of CAP658, the BMFA guidelines and questions and the local club rules. At our Croydon Club progressing to a level of basic proficiency leading to the A-test allows the novice flyer to fly off the buddy box system as part of the learning curve once reasonable proficiency has been reached. At other Clubs, the regime is not so helpful and one is tied into the buddy box system until the day of the test. I don`t think that is particularly helpful as it could come as something of a shock to suddenly find oneself off the buddy box in one swift moment. I think our Croydon Club operates an excellent policy of allowing you to fly solo and off the buddy lead before you take the A-test and I`ve been very grateful for that. It has meant that I could visit the Fickleshole site alone and get some true solo experience and practice achieved before submitting to examination under test conditions. My next target is obviously the B-test. Subject to test flights and confirmation that the model is suitable, my plan is to use my low wing version (conversion) of the H9 Ultra Stick. This is simply a standard 60" Ultra Stick modified by turning the fuselage upside down, correcting side thrust, adding a couple of inches of dihedral and re-locating the landing gear. That is for the future after progressing flying skills to the test standard. So thanks again to Trevor for his time and assistance. The picture below shows us together immediately after my A-test and was sent to me by Ivan Smith. The other image is of my Ultra Stick low wing conversion which might make a good model for B-test flying. Mike K
  6. An update on flying my No 1 Ultra Stick. This is an original built in June last year which first flew in the hands of Steve Fysh last November at the Riddlesdown MFC site below Edenbridge. The model was proclaimed as all good with pleasant handling, nice landing characteristics but performance wise was not that quick on the 6 cell, 420Kv and 14x8 prop. This model and several others built since November languished in my hanger awaiting the onset of nicer weather. The model flew again in mid April 2019 at Riddlesdown with me being passed the transmitter on that second flight. After a 44 year break from the hobby, I found no control difficulty but was obviously a tad rusty with technique. That didn`t stop me making several good flights with take offs and landings not causing any real issues other than learning the finals landing positioning. I was quickly doing "touch and goes" and received a dedicated two training flights off the buddy box to fine up on technique and to start to prepare me for the A-test. A prop change at that time to a 15x8 proved beneficial to performance and lead sheet was added as nose ballast when using a lighter 1.2Lb 3700 Lipo. This shifted nose weight forward and alleviated a tail down flying attitude. When using a 4500 lipo weighing 1.5Lb, additional nose ballast was not required. If I were to offer further opinion on this, I`d say it might be prudent to move internal fuselage mounted rudder and elevators forward as far as possible towards the CofG position with the relatively light 5065-420Kv or 360Kv electric motor set up. Installing a large lipo in the nose makes reasonable sense but space is somewhat cramped with a 4500 unit. As regards suitability for an A-test, No1 Ultra Stick fitted the task to perfection. I worked solidly for two weeks attempting to fly every day at Fickles hole. Dear Trevor made a benign and very encouraging tutor, initially flying the Stick to get the feel for it, then passing control over to me using a second compatible Futaba transmitter with buddy box lead. I requested this action as the Fickeshole flying site is about one sixth of the size of that found at the Riddlesdown field down below Edenbridge at Mark Beech. I had the jitters about initially flying the Stick myself as it was somewhat larger than the 47" Mini Super I cut my teeth on when flying from Fickleshole in late 2018. The first flight under Trevors` experienced guidance went well, indeed I even managed a passable landing. Suitably reassured, I then did a second flight by buddy box with Trevor getting finger ache by having to permanently hold the master Tx transfer switch up for so long. The next flight had me doing take-offs, "touch and goes" and several more landings. Trevor said I was good to go solo, so off I went again with confidence and technique again improving by the moment. Then followed the two weeks of concerted effort to learn the A-test schedule and bone up on the 32 questions on the BMFA syllabus and fully drumming in the CAMFC local rules found in the Club joining pack. To memorize the BMFA questions, I hand copied onto four sheets of A4 paper both the questions and the answers. In this way it forced the contents into my mind and I took "possession and ownership" of the content. This methodology was learned when I studied at Brunel College in Bristol twenty six years ago for a Civil Aviation Authority Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineers qualification. (LAME) The method worked well enough for me all those years back so I saw no reason why it should not work again. Repeated scanning of those question and our local Club rules helped greatly when on test day, Trevor quizzed me for answers. So what makes the Ultra Stick such a good candidate for A and possibly B-test use? Firstly the model is exceptionally resistant to damage. It shrugs off heavy landings, has a wide flight envelope encompassing the ability to fly very slowly especially with just a little flap deployed. It is also aerobatic, will fly rolling circles and 3D in the right hands. It is apparently capable of flying with a two stoke .46 up to and including a Saito R3 19cc petrol radial! I`ve only had one mishap due to a momentary loss of concentration when attempting a landing in flat calm conditions from the Biggin Hill end of the site. Frustratingly, the large oak tree in the corner marched out and grabbed the model! The Stick lodged in a bough for a couple of seconds before dropping horizontally twenty feet to the ground. Damage was confined to a slightly damaged starboard leading edge, a crumpled wing tip, the tail-plane knocked off, the wing/fuselage mount torn out and several minor dings. Nine hours of frantic repair work had the model ready again in time to take the A-test the next day. I can`t admit anything else other than to say I suffered a confidence drop following the tree incident. I flew a check flight with the Stick first thing on the Tuesday morning. The jitters had returned but the Ultra Stick remained docile and forgiving of my somewhat shaky flying during the test. Undoubtedly, the most difficult task to perform during the A-test is the dead stick landing. I`d practiced this task many times during my run up to test day and out of the fifteen or so dead stick attempts done during practice, only three of them resulted in my landing short in the rough. At least that gave me some experience of dead stick landings and I`m glad I put the effort into attempting to get that aspect of the test well ingrained. The Ultra Stick took a severe pounding during those attempts at forced landings but apart from sustaining a slightly bent rear motor cruciform mount, it came through unscathed. Had I used an old Super Sixty for similar training, I`m sure it would have gone home as a nylon covered pile of matchwood. It simply wouldn`t have taken the punishment. On the day of the test and the dead stick demonstration, I hit the pitch nicely at about a quarter of the way along the strip and finished the roll out without running into the high field crop. The Ultra Stick looks after you in the air and tolerates speedy arrivals with aplomb. I have two people to thank for helping me obtain the A-test. My sincere thanks go to Trevor Searle for his tolerance, patience and time input during the past couple of months. Trevor is totally unflappable and is a master at gauging pupil aptitude and instilling enthusiasm and quiet correction where necessary. I made mistakes along the A-test journey but Trevor helped with timely and effective correction. So a very big thanks are extended to him. I`m deeply grateful. At a distance in Illanois, I have also voiced my thanks to Ali Machinsky and Hanger 9 for producing such a cost effective, robust and totally bullet proof model. My No 1 Stick has done me proud and I can only say that if you are looking for a docile model to complete an A-test, the the 60" Ultra Stick ticks all the boxes. It does what it says on the tin and the videos of Alis` prototypes demonstrate model capability. Cheers, guys. Thank you all too for your help and encouragement. The image below of Trevor and I together following the test was kindly sent to me by Ivan Smith. Mike
  7. In mid April 2019, I took the Ultra Stick theme further. I began construction of a high wing, twin engine version. The project has been interesting with development occurring around a loose plan based on Ali Machinchys` Hanger 9 model. My twin is completely scratch built with the exception of an original Hanger 9 landing gear. Two fuselages were constructed in the first week. As I was to dimension and cut one set of fuselage parts, it seemed sensible to make an additional spare for future use. It can either be used as a replacement item in the event of irreparable breakage of one of my other Ultra Sticks, or can be used for another Ultra Stick build project. The twin uses a standard section wing rib taken from an original wing when I built the low wing version. Each wing rib was cut by hand from 3mm balsa rather than hard to work plywood. Each wing rib took me about eight minutes using the original rib as a template and cutting with a sharp scalpel blade. As a batch, the collection of ribs were dimension checked to ensure uniformity prior to inclusion in the wing build. A standard wing has 17 ribs. My twin version has had the wing stretched by 180mm ie 90mm/one extra panel on each wing half and uses a total of 25 wing ribs together with a slightly thickened 3mm x approximately 1700mm long. ply main spar. The spar has a vertical depth of 31mm . All ribs and spar components notch together to form a strong, accurate and warp free structure. Notch cutting in front and main spars is fiddly and time consuming but it is worth the effort. A plated dove tail joint joins the two wing spar components together with the joint being off centre of the mid point of the wing. The extra ribs replace lost wing area as a result of the twin version employing two 90mm wide engine nacelles. Essentially, the nacelles are two front sections of a standard Ultra Stick fuselage. The sides extend up into the wing and the tops are shaped as a standard wing rib. In other words, the nacelles form part of the wing structure rather than just being glued to the bottom of the wing. Ailerons are also stretched in length but flaps remain at standard size. The construction was fairly complex and time consuming and took me a good three weeks of concerted effort. Total build time has been about one month in total. A standard scratch built Ultra Stick by comparison usually takes me a just a couple of weeks. The fin and tail feathers have also been stretched by a proportional amount to match the new proportions of the twin wing. The model is now fitted with two OS Max 46SF two stroke glow motors. Sadly, they do not contra-rotate. One very low time motor was sourced in the UK, the other is brand new and unused but I had to source from the USA to find a good unit. The two motors then, probably cost me about £85 for the pair. One will be known as "Essex", the other as "Miami"! The wing stretch and weight of two motors has increased the final all up dry weight to 10.8Lb. That is about 5Kg. The fuselage only houses two metal gear servos for elevator and rudder together with a Futaba FS617 RX and a five cell, 2600NiMh battery. Cof G was easily obtained even with elevator and rudder metal geared servos tail mounted. For interest, eight metal geared standard servos weigh just over one pound. They are not light weight objects. Each motor with prop and silencer weighs just over a pound. The wing is extremely nose heavy with motors fitted even though the four MG aileron and flap servos are mounted aft of the CofG in the wing. The Cof G was easily set at a slightly forward position by placing the 2600 NiMh power pack right up against the front bulk head. ie the bulkhead to which the motor would normally be bolted. The nacelles also house two eight ounch Du-bro tanks and two mini servos for throttle control. Standard silencers are fitted. This model will obviously require noise testing. Overall, this model weighs about two pounds more than a standard Ultra Stick. Ali Mac built one of his prototype models with a Saito R3 radial spark ignition motor. That motor weighs about the same as my two OS motors. As a consequence of the heavy weight, Ali also mounted the rudder and elevator servos in the tail. I surmise my twin version probably weighs around the same as Alis` Saito version....hence the use of us both using the tail end servos to achieve a reasonable CofG. A nose cone is nylon sheer bolted to the centre fuselage. In these images, the cone appears rather long and may well get cut back in length. It is easier to cut a lump off rather than to retro fit additions. Getting the length looking right has been a challenge. I`ll get it up to the field and take others opinion on the matter. Then I can get the saw out again and hack a lump off! Members pointed me towards James as the test pilot. When asked, James responded well to the suggestion. So it now remains for me to set the model up and ensure engine reliability. Advice suggests I should fit a gyro on the rudder to assist in the event of an engine failure. That seems to be a good idea! Anyway, here are the images of the build and the finished model. Comments, as always, appreciated. Ignore the images of the tri-motor on No 3 fuselage. That just happened to be a fuselage I had to hand when I trial fitted the wing for the first time! A tri-motor...well that might be an interesting future project...... How many Ultra Sticks in the hanger now? Five and a half smaller versions and one complete scratch built 80" monster..... What next on the Ultra Stick theme....perhaps a canard, a bi-plane or even a tri-plane. Watch this thread! Mike K
  8. Here is my latest low wing conversion Ultra Stick project which is now complete and ready to go. A couple of weeks ago I bought another standard Ultra Stick kit from Ali Machinchys` father at Als Hobbies in Milton Keynes. This makes the third one I`ve had from him to date. The first two have been built, one as an electric version with a 5060-420Kv motor running on a 3700 or 4500 six cell and UBEC set up. The second one has a brand new and unused Irvine .72 nailed to the front. I also have a scratch built cloned fuselage fitted with a low time ASP 1.08. A genuine spare wing will be sourced from Munich over the next few days to give it its own wing. Why from Munich? Well, even with delivery charges and customs and UK delivery added, I can make a saving of £36 on that spare wing with the complete and covered "spare part" with ailerons coming for exactly £80. In the UK, the lowest price I can find for that same part, costs another £36. In perspective, given materials and covering costs of scratch building, it hardly makes building a cloned wing a financially viable proposition let alone finding about twenty five hours of personal time required to build it from raw materials. OK, everyone knows I have the hots on the H9 Ultra Stick ARTF kits which are not only exceptional value at £206 delivered, they fly like a witch, are very forgiving with a wide flight envelope, but best of all, the kit is so well designed and has a large amount of parts included which makes building a standard high wing kit possible in only about eight hours. Over the past year or so, I`ve looked at a number of internet forums and at YouTube vids. This has given me an insight into the world wide Hanger 9 Ultra Stick scene. It has been interesting to see what other modellers have done with this particular H9 offering. One of the most fascinating models was a standard kit modified to take an I-beam across the engine bearers which was then fitted with two electric motors. Ungainly the model was but boy, did that model do the business when flown. The sound was amazing. Just as interesting was that the modeller was based in deepest Alaska and was flying the Stick in winter half light off a beach covered with foot high snow! I also tripped over a 2001 vintage article published in the American RCM magazine. The writer, Jim Feldmann had taken one of the early Hanger 9 78" Ultra Stick Lite kits and converted it to a low winger. He then wrote about it for the magazine and included detailed images of the salient conversion points, miniature plans and also helpful pointers for anyone thinking of converting a kit from high to low wing. Google images also showed that several other modellers had also built similar low wing conversions. The Feldmann article gave me the impetus to perform surgery to Ali Machinchys` latest Hanger 9 kit and to get into email conversation with him at the Horizon Hobbies HQ in Illanois where he holds the position of Senior Product Development Manager. Ali was interested in my comments about the standard Ultra Stick kit and was quite amused when I said that I intended to chop a kit about and turn it into a low winger. Now the model is complete, images have been sent to Ali and I`m presently awaiting his comments. I`ve also mentioned that I quite fancied building a high wing, twin OS .40 engine version but that is a subject for another thread. The conversion was straight forward enough and without any particular issues. I noted Jim Feldmann had initially flown his conversion with a standard flat wing that was devoid of any dihedral. This caused the model to suffer adverse yaw when rudder was applied. Right rudder input would cause the model to roll to the left which was of course rather undesirable. Jim then cut the wing in two and added an inch of dihedral under each wing tip which cured the issue at a single stroke. Rob at Avicraft and indeed our James both thought that adding dihedral would be un-nessesary. I went away and cogitated on the conundrum. I hated deciding to turn down the advice of Rob and James especially as they are two such experienced guys. Mr Feldmann said in his article that the model improved greatly as a result of the dihedral addition and that the resulting improvement gave the low winger almost identical benign flying characteristics as the original high wing configuration. My flying abilities are presently advanced ab initio at best so I decided to err on the side of caution and give the model the highest chance of survival in my hands that I could possibly manage. So dihedral this model has gained at this point in time. A flat wing can also be trialled at a later date. The next item that required my attention was moving the landing gear from the bottom of the fuselage to the top. The idea of the conversion was that the fuselage would be stripped of the original H9 covering and simply turned over to provide instant low wing configuration. On the high winger, the landing gear axle line is just behind the leading edge of the wing. Short of building the landing gear into the front of the wing just behind the leading edge, on the low winger I would have to accept that the landing gear had to re-locate forward of the leading edge putting the axle line about two inches further forward when compared to the high winger. Jim Feldmanns model was built to that maxim and he said there was little to chose between high and low wing versions when it came to take off, landing and during ground taxi work. That gave me further encouragement. The Dural sheet, pre-formed landing gear is standard H9 Ultra Stick which on the high wing original, points slightly forwards. As I needed the axle line to move rearwards on the low winger, I simply reversed the landing gear and put the wheel spats on back to front! A classic case of keep it simple, stupid!! The thrust angle for the engine was reversed at the front firewall and I left down thrust as set in the high wing kit. Only after examining images taken yesterday, did I note that the engine appeared to have a considerable degree of up-thrust. How I missed that detail, I don`t know but the issue has now been fixed by insertion of a covered 1/4" ply packer inserted between the top part of the two part nylon engine mount and the top of the firewall. The engine now appears rather better zero`d out and the panic packer is almost un-noticable! The wing was cut in half with a modellers hand saw. Wing ribs and spars are made from lazer cut and profiled 3mm ply. Ribs are notched at the TE, LE and mid depth section to engage the spars during construction. Lengthwise, the two part spar is joined off centre from the centre section with a dovetail joint which is over plated with a section of 3mm ply which acts as the reinforcement joiner. Above and below the main spar are two conventional 6mm square spruce spars which together with the full depth ply spar, run full length to the tips of both wing sections. 2.5mm balsa sheet spans the centre section with capping strips topping the majority of the wing ribs. It is traditional construction given a modern twist. On the standard wing center line there exists a centrally placed 3mm rib. To keep that rib in one piece to act as a pattern for my re-construction, I cut down either side of the rib in order to preserve it as a template. That done, all I had to do was cut two new and identical ribs plus one that had and extra 2.5mm of height added to wing sheet level. The three new ribs were laminated together and that gave a glue land for new sheeting to be added either side of the center line. Dihedralled wing joiners were constructed for all three spars with the LE and TE spars having long, taper scarf joints machined on their exposed faces with a similar detail being machined onto the new dihedralled wing joiner reinforcer at the LE and TE. A replacement planted on balsa leading edge was glued to the front spar and sanded to profile. Wing dowels were re-located as the wing orientation is turned up side down (or downside up) which ever way you might wish to see it! Re-building the wing took just a day and a half and although I had to cut back covering in order to chop into the wing, some of this has now been replaced with matching Hobby King white and black covering with the Oracover bright day-glow orange also requiring replacement in various areas. Inevitably you can see where I have replaced covering sections but the end result is probably a 95% good job. I could have completely recovered the wing but that measure seemed rather extravagant. You have to examine closely to see where I have cut and shut this wing back together. The wing weight gain after reconstruction was just two and a half ounces. The fin and rudder required triangular additions once the fuselage had been inverted. The tail plane is mounted exactly as for the high winger but obviously the fin and rudder had to mount at 180 degrees variance from the high wing model. Small dorsal fins have been added in front of the fin and below the fuselage. A modified Du-bro tail wheel assembly was required in order for the tail wheel assembly to mount correctly. Inverted, the flat profile of the Ultra Stick looked very poverty stricken and uninteresting. It also visually looked "unfinished" and the presented top decking looked like it had been penned by the man who designed the railway sleeper. To counter that effect, a simple shallow, light weight "whale back" structure has now been constructed on what is now the top of the fuselage. This tapers in a straight line from zero at the front firewall to a height of 18mm approximately 30% back from the wing LE line and then again tapers down to about 6mm at the rudder stock. The effect is of a long, gentle curve of an elongated aerofoil which adds interest and character to an otherwise bland expanse of fuselage top deck. To pep things up further, I plundered Jim Feldmanns model for his cockpit idea. Jim had a molded, clear plastic canopy made for his model which is somewhat reminiscent of a P.51. To save additional cost and effort, I cobbled up a light ply and balsa cockpit, sanding to profile and covering with white Hobby King film and some silver film to hint at a glazed area. This cockpit represents an option or two. Once the model has been test flown without the canopy, it can then be added if desired and the model reevaluated to ensure flying characteristics haven`t been unduly eroded. Fitting only requires a bit of double sided tape and the gap disguised with a few strips of HK covering material. The motor fitted is a brand new, unmarked and as yet un-run ASP.91 sourced at a bargain price from eBay. It is side winder fitted with the exhaust exiting just inboard of the starboard landing gear leg. It looks a neat and tidy installation and one that is rather prettier than an inverted install. My 1.08 version has the inverted set up and frankly, it is downright ugly as well as being more challenging at start up time. I changed the standard 8oz fuel tank for a Du-bro DB412 12oz tank in view of the large engine fitted and its fuel thirst requirement. The tank just squeezes through the bulkhead aperture forward of the wing. I soon realised that an access hatch would be impractical given that bottom access would be needed and that any chance of removal via that hatch would be impossible due to the new mounting location for the landing gear. Jim Feldmann also came to a similar conclusion as myself and he too also decided to fit the tank into the model via the wing leading edge bulkhead, dealing with any tank maintenance or cleaning when and if an issue ever arose. I don`t like sealing a tank in place but in this case, like Jim, I had little choice. The model weighs in at 8.3Lbs/3.7Kg and is about a pound heavier than the very light weight electric version. The heavier .91 motor allows rudder and elevator servos to be tail mounted. All servos in this model are metal geared and as a result a pack of eight weigh just over a pound. Seven are fitted in this model. A 2600NiMh 6v Rx and servo battery pack is positioned on the main internal chassis plate just forward of the rear wing sheer bolts. Moving that battery for or aft is easily accomplished and has a useful weight shift which allows the C of G to be altered with little fuss.The weight and balance schedule now being what it is implies that the model is of a similar weight to one of Ali Macs prototypes. On that example, Ali fitted a beautiful if somewhat heavy Saito 19R3 radial engine and countered the weight with rudder and elevator servos placed at the tail plane leading edge. That model flyies wonderfully even at that weight so hopefully mine will do likewise. With a reverse colour scheme now applied and with a standard high wing US along side, I find myself doing a double take each time I see two fully rigged models in the workshop. You think, "Eh, err, which one is the right way up"?! I still haven`t adjust to that visual impact yet. I wonder what others will make of it? As always please guys, comments good or bad appreciated. Mike
  9. Guys, does anyone have a very low time OS Max .40 SF two stoke nitro/glow engine with muffler in near new condition that they might no longer need? I have one almost new engine here but need another identical unit for an up and coming twin Ultra Stick project. Please give me a call or pm me if you have one you no longer need. Thanks. Mike Kennedy. CAMFC member. 07974 131127
  10. I`ve copied and pasted the text below which I`ve extracted from my post asking for advice on a suitable B-test model. As it is about the Ultra Stick, it seems appropriate I add it to this thread. It makes interesting reading. "This is an old PDF from around 2001 and can be found attached at the foot of this posting. It is an extract from the RCM magazine publication of a similar period. This is the write up of an inverted "low wing" conversion undertaken by Jim Feldmann...presumably in the States. Jims` conversion was applied to the then current Hanger 9 Ultra Stick Lite 78" version which was the earlier H9 kit produced before Ali completely reworked the design into the version which hit the suppliers shelves in 2018. Jims` low wing conversion appears very nicely executed having acquired a bubble canopy and pilot, a Pitts type cowl, had its fuselage inverted, fin and rudder inverted together with a dorsal strake below the lower, rear fuselage added and the landing gear moved forward to enable the wing to mount without obstruction. The model has also gained a rounded turtle deck which softens appearance somewhat. My next proposed Ultra Stick is highly likely to be a low winger with an inch or so of dihedral added to the wing to counter adverse rudder yaw. As I understand it from other forums, the low winger then flies pretty much the same as a high wing model. My intention would not be to add the extras that Mr Feldmann built onto his model, but would keep the hard edged appearance of the standard H9 model complete with an "inverted" colour scheme. This would be quickest done by stripping the fuselage covering off completely and recovering once modifications are complete. Using the remaining stock of my Hobby King white and black together with florescent red Oracover which I have here, the re-cover costs will be minimal with time taken to re-cover being just a couple of hours. If another H9 kit arrived tomorrow, I`d estimate that I`d have a conversion ready to fly in little more than a couple of days. These kits really do build quickly and without issue." It looks as if a third landing gear ordered from the States is on the move again out of Heathrow via carrier. This will enable all three models to be fitted with a spatted landing gear. In the meantime, I`m off up to Fickleshole in a moment with a view to joining Trevor for a bit of flying. The plan is to fly the electric Ultra Stick and perhaps run engines on the other two air-frames. I`ll take a camera and see if I can grab some images. Mike Ultra_Stick_Lw_RCM-1307_Article(1).pdf
  11. Here you go, Ben. Available from Als Hobbies on weekday, next day delivery by DPD. Ask for Big Al and mention my name. Ultra Stick 10cc ARF (A-HAN2345) These two videos show Ali discussing the model and flying it. 13:15 Hangar 9 Ultra Stick 10cc ARF 60" Flight Talk 3:54 Hangar 9 Ultra Stick 10cc ARF 60 It would be nice to get a squadron of them flying together! Ten good modellers sat round a table together with basic tools could have one flying in an hour! Mike
  12. A bit more spin on the Ultra Stick and its derivatives. I see Hobby King are punting a 1200mm class Ugly Stick type model for just £61 plus post. This is known as a Crusader 30E and runs with 9g servos. Flaps do not seem configured on the model so a basic four channel set up would be quite adequate for it. Primarily designed for electric power the model has more in common with the old Ugly Stick than the rather more advanced H9 Ultra Stick development. Obviously this little air-frame could be modified to IC power. I might get one of these models just to mop up a spare OS.35 that is kicking around here. The kit is ARTF and comes pre-covered. I see this model as a nice little "expendable" unit that might be ideal as a trainer. No doubt my grand daughter, Esme, would be tickled pink if I were to give her one of these. H-King Crusader 30E 1200mm Stick (47.3") (ARF) I`ve had it in mind to tackle another H9 Ultra Stick but this time to look at converting it to low wing. Images below show what other modellers have achieved. Conversion entails simply flipping the fuselage upside down (symmetrical wing section) and then re-locating the fin and rudder on the fuselage in an "inverted position. Whether this would affect ground handling to any significant degree needs thinking about. Others have also cut the wing in half on the centre line and added three degrees of dihedral to counter adverse yaw which has been known to occur on low wing Ultra Stick conversions. Conversions seen in the attached images seem to have been well done and look very sweet indeed. Naturally, I`m tempted to have a go myself. I have a pile of servos coming and recently acquired another pre-used Irvine 72 with good compression for £35. I bought the engine as spare stock. It isn`t as tidy visually as the brand new engine I bought from Rob Newman recently but fitted with a new anodised red cylinder head, it would then visually lift to almost new appearance. It could certainly be fitted to a low wing Ultra Stick and add another to my growing fleet. With the same white, black and florescent orange colour scheme, a low winger would certainly cause a visual double take. Its something to cogitate upon whilst I rebuild badly depleted finances! Mike
  13. Hi Guys. I built my first Hanger 9 Ultra Stick around June 2018. The model was spanking new onto the market then and the first imported kits were hard to find at the time. Mine came from Als Hobbies in Milton Keynes with next day delivery for £206 delivered. The owner of the business is "Big Al". His son is" little Ali"... but better known to us all as Ali Machinsky! When I was looking for my next model, I`d been impressed by the price, by its design heritage and the excellent Ultra Stick marketing videos put out by Hanger 9. It ticked all the right boxes and the videos on You Tube showed the model off to perfection with Ali explaining what he did to the original design to make it a brilliant performing all round model. I looked at loads of other competitive listings and reviews for models but kept coming back to the Ultra Stick as the one that "did it" for me. For me it would have been a "no brainer" not to have bought one. The original model was designed by Phil Craft as the Ugly Stick back in the 1960`s. The best known version at the time was the Graupner offering resplendent in a red covering and sporting German World War 1 black on white Maltese Cross decals. It was certainly eye catching and everyone desperately wanted one. Few could afford it and the price was hard to entertain when a Skyleader servos cost around £25! Remember in reading this that my recollection comes from about 1975. The kit was an eye watering price at about £375. To put this in perspective, in 1972 my Father bought a brand new Triumph 200 estate with over-drive. That cost ex-works, £2200. Buying one of those Graupner kits was therefore a rich mans privilege! Nearly sixty years later that the design has been modified in some form or other in shape or size and has been produced in kit form by over fifty different world wide manufacturers. It shows how popular the design became and how fond modellers are of it. It is as classic a design as a Keil Kraft Super Sixty but that kit was a mere fraction of the price of the Graupner Ugly Stick. So the latest offering from Hanger 9 is their second generation of their Ultra Stick model which they let Ali Machinsky loose upon to update and improve. Ali hales from Milton Keynes and was head hunted by Horizon Hobbies in view of his modelling abilities and exceptionally high standard of flying. Adding his name to their resident staff based in the USA at Illinois was probably the most cute business move they were ever likely to make. His picture on the box in which the model is packaged shows Ali clutching an Ultra Stick. A good name will greatly assist marketing credibility and sales. That is a well proven strategy and Big Al can`t get his hands on the Hanger 9 Ultra Sticks fast enough. The kits sell like hot cakes and I know from experience just why that is and why this model is becoming so popular in this latest rendition. The model comes pre-covered as an ARTF and is easily completed in around ten hours as either an electric or IC version with a power requirement of 10cc or greater. The kit includes everything needed to complete the model but not radio gear or any power package. All parts are to a good standard and there are no dodgy bits in either the parts package, covering or model structure. Put simply, a monkey could build this kit just with basic hand tools. My first example was built in my holiday caravan in the middle of the Kent Marshes without the use of mains electric power. You have to hinge and fix the control surfaces with CA adhesive, fit the control horns, run your own servo cables and/or use the piano wire inserts for pre-installed sheaths for rudder and elevators. Only when I installed a big 1.08 motor though with heavy nose weight, was I able to then fit the rudder and elevator servos in cut outs at the rear of the fuselage. The model is a light weight construction of laser cut ply and balsa. It is as tough as old boots and should last for years. The landing gear is made from painted aluminum and comes with a really nice pair of glass fibre spats (wheel pants) and bolt in axles. A ply support block is fitted and bonded into the spats and building the landing gear can be done in about half an hour. Three M4 cap bolts secure the undercart to the model. A pair of separate nylon type IC engine mounts also come with the kit with 104mm PCD bolt spacing and are capable of taking a typical 39mm crank case width 61 size motor. My No 1 model has an Irvine 72 fitted which is identical in physical size to the Irvine 61. A useful up-grade done without additional weight penalty. Covering is Ultracover/Profilm. White is the under lying base colour with black trim and very high visibility fluorescent red/orange panels which really does make this model stand out in a stormy late afternoon November sky. The colour scheme really does pop. Now having two original Ultra Sticks and an additional self built clone fuselage, I found the cost of the fluorescent Oracover plus post rather on the expensive side. A two metre roll cost £30 with postal charges! Tough, That is what it costs and if you want it, you just have to stump up the cash. Indeed Ali said the fluorescent orange was expensive on his video!! Inevitably being a production kit, the covering although of a general high standard will need further shrinking up with a film iron to bring up top a top standard. That is no big deal and probably no different from any other factory built kit offering. Ten minutes with a hot film iron sorts the defects out without difficulty. The white and black on my clone is Hobby King and costs about £9.50 for a five metre 600mm roll. It is a shame that HK don`t market the flourescent red/orange as a product. Which is best, HK or Oracover? The HK material is lighter, covers defects more easily, has a much higher gloss and is cheaper. It is very good indeed. Anyone doubting he statement should see my Fokker Tri-plane covered in HK material. It is a real eye puller. The kit comes with a motor mount template for a 52 size electric motor, a 10cc Evolution two stroke or a Saito 19ccR radial. Those were engine types fitted to Ali`s prototypes. The template then is only useful if you are fitting one of those three motors. The thrust lines are laser burned onto the engine bulkhead so it is easy to mark out for your own chosen power unit. Your drill your own holes in the bulkhead, then insert T-nuts on the rear of the bulkhead. Nothing difficult about that. The supplied fuel tank is said to be 15oz. That it is not and is more like 10oz in size....perhaps H9 mean US fluid ounces? Being wise to this anomaly, I elected to buy a Jamara 16oz tank for an additional £5 when I ordered my second model from Big Al. I was after extended fuel capacity for my 1.08 powered variant and I was sure I could squeeze the 16oz tank in through the tank hatch. However the struggle was too much and I cut away the tank access panel, installed the tank and epoxied the panel back onto the model with a little re-covering being needed to cover up my surgical intervention. With the benefit of my experience, I would have thought a 14oz tank would be a better selection and would avoid having to chop the model around as I did. That tank space will also accommodate one of the 4-Max 3700 6 cell Lipo batteries with ease but fitting a similar larger 4500 battery is a bit of a squeeze. Ali`s preferred electric power combo is a 52 motor with a 5000 5 cell Lipo. An under tank floor void area is large enough to take a 60amp ESC and UBEC. Fitting the large, inverted ASP 1.08 motor on this latest model (No 3) the front bulkhead mounting was a squeeze but easily accomplished using an ali OS 904 engine mount with 104mm PCD bolt spacing. This 904 mount has the same bolt spacing as the kit supplied nylon mounts which is convenient. My two IC variants are therefore capable of having either a 61-1.08 sized motor installed on either air-frame. The wing is one piece, very light in weight and is fitted with aileron and flaps. Four separate servos fit on lid mounted brackets held to the wing mounts by self tapping screws. Flap actuation is simple in as much as an electronic servo reverser is not used. One simply flips one of the servos over in one flap servo bay and moves the control rod and horn further along the wing about an inch. Control horn position bolt holes are even marked and only need drilling out to receive 2mm mounting nuts and bolts. Stout 3mm control rods for tail mounted, aileron and flap servos together with clevises, lock nuts and fuel tube security keepers are included in the kit as is a white propeller spinner. Apart from RC gear and control wires, engine and possibly a larger tank, there isn`t anything else you are likely to have to buy. Spare parts stock in Europe is presently a little slow and separate spares are on the expensive side. A wing replacement is around £116 and a fuselage about £94. Landing gear with spats are about £60. In the event of a major smash with any owned model, it makes much better economic sense to buy a complete new kit and keep the usable parts from a stuffed model as spares for the new one. Buying from the States is possible. Assuming the replacement landing gear and shipping cost includes carriage and VAT this end, I`ve managed to save £30 buying Stateside on these. However, pricing a complete new kit from the States was just £70 but the shipping cost was £132! It gets worse. A £6 decal sheet attracted a shipping cost of £169!!!!!!! It would seem sensible to buy from a UK supplier or from the German Horizon European depot. Shopping around for best deals is a bit futile. Prices for complete kits are generally within about £5 of a best deal. As said, my kits hae come from Als Models and their service is absolutely first class, advice is freely given and deliery on week days is next day via DPD. So far, the flying of this model type in my hands is rather limited. Steve Fysh at Riddlesdown MFC first flew the electric version in November last year. It was clear immediately that the model was as docile as it gets, aerobated well, landed incredibly slowly and would make an ideal trainer. I asked Steve if I needed to do anything to the model. Just like at the full sized Spitfire initial flight, the reply was "No, don`t touch it. Its perfect"! Now the additional models have arrived and await flight trials. Hopefully, I`ve manage to get an appropriate array of models that will lead me to A & B test levels and beyond. I suspect the .72 model will be similar in character to the ellctric model but be rather faster off the mark. As to the 1.08, model, well that might be quite exiting! Specs as follows, all with the same wing selectively fitted and included in the total all up weight of each model. (Wing weight 2.02Lb/0.9Kg) No 1. New and un-run Irvine 0.72/12cc motor with 12oz fuel tank. 2600 NiMh 6v power supply. 7 servos. Cloned, all ply fuselage. Dry weight 7.64Lbs/3.44Kg. No2. Electric. 5065-420Kv, 6 cell, 22.2v 3700mAh lipo, 60aa ESC and 5a UBEC. 6 servos. Push rod wire elevator & rudder actuation. All up weight 7.17Lbs/3.25Kg No 3. Low time, used ASP early model 1.08 with 160z Jamara tank.2600NiMh 6v power supply. 6 servos. Metal gear servos in tail. Dry weight 7.48Lbs/3.39Kg. Manufacturers suggested guide weight, 7Lb/3.18Kg. It would be interesting to know what Ali Machinchy`s Saito 19R3 radial equipped model weighed. Rather more than 7Lb, I would imagine. Comparing Irvine and Saito weights from published data, the Saito would appear to be almost exactly one pound heavier than the Irvine bolted to my No 1 model. I would suggest then that the Saito powered prototype cannot have weighed less that 8Lb. That model flies like a witch and lands slowly with or without flap deployment. Only on that particular prototype can one see tail mounted servos used. No doubt that was actioned to off set the extra weight of the big 19cc Saito in a similar fashion to my own 1.08 powered model where I have also used servo weight in the tail to achieve an acceptable CofG position. Whilst my models are all heavier than even Ali`s electric model, Ali was using a lighter 5 cell lipo in that model. What is also evident from examination of my own figures figures is that the 0.72 Irvine No 1 model is in fact heavier by some 2.5oz than the 1.08 No 3 model. This is perhaps easily explained. I built the clone fuselage solely from 2.5 and 3.2mm ply. Today I closely looked at the genuine kit fuselage construction. I had not noticed that the outer skins of the kit fuselage are made from 4mm balsa with ply only being used internally on fuselage doublers. One lives and learns! I also included two more rear fuselage frames in the clone which were perhaps un-necessary. I`m not concerned that the Irvine powered model weighs about half a pound more than the electric example. There is plenty of wing area available to support that extra weight. Ali`s Saito example which must hit the 8Lb figure flies without issue so there is no cause for concern. That said, the proof is always in the eating. Ali Mac deserves well earned praise for this model. There really can`t be an easier kit on the market to build. The model flies superbly literally straight out of the box. I`m looking forward to a great 2019 flying season and hope to get some serious flying going. In addition, I now have a date for getting the electronic sciatic pain killing gizmo fitted which might help my mobility and make me more inclined to spend time away from home. These models need to be flown not sat in my hangar. If any competent person would like to fly one or all of these models, then please come and talk to me about it. The more they fly, the happier I shall be. If I can source or build another wing, then we might see three in the air together. That would make quite a sight. Images here show what has been built. Comments as always would be appreciated. Cheers guys. Mike
  14. Ok. No problem. A nice un-used and seemingly never run vintage Irvine "Red Top" 0.72 sourced by the ever enthusiastic and helpful Rob Newman at Avicraft. Rob tells me it was a spare engine kept back from his days with the Panic Team. This motor has the Irvine 0.61 crankcase with a larger displacement cylinder liner and perhaps is also stroked at the con rod and crank. Rob supplied it to me at a reasonable price complete with what I believe to be a "quiet" silencer. I`m well pleased with the buy and thank Rob for his efforts in finding me a very nice engine. Now fitted to a scratch built Ultra Stick 60" fuselage with a 12oz tank in the hope it may be a suitable air-frame with which to take A and B tests this year. It currently shares the same wing from my electric version but when the slow banana boat arrives in Hamburg from Vietnam, Horizon have promised me the first available spare wing that arrives in their German warehouse. Availability is expected from mid-March 2019. Mike
  15. It has been month since I last posted on the progress of the Extra. It made its first public appearance at the AGM. I`m grateful to James for his complementary comments. Also to Sam and his father for the kindly phrased and very helpful comments and suggestions. This is the first time I`ve built such a large and heavy model so in this respect I`ve been breaking into new and unknown territory. The learning cure has been steep and the construction and fitting out of this model...well lets say eyewateringly expensive and at least double the cost of a typical 60" model. Some £800 seams like a good but may be conservative guestimate! I`ve tried not to count the cost but my pocket now seems somewhat empty!! At least me trousers are not so prone to falling down unexpectedly.... So where am I now with this over-sized project? Apart from checking CoG, the model is now ready for sound level checks. I`m assuming I`ll not be breaking any of our rules by doing so at Fickleshole? Please advise me if this is not the case. The Extra has been on a weight building spree with nothing more now to add. The Just Engines muffler system has been delivered and fitted. Perhaps a tad too long, side to side, but with a bit of cowl nibbling, the system fitted in a treat. My spec to JE was to build the quietest muffler system for a DLE 40 twin that they had ever made. It is their best shot at helping this model achieve the mandatory 82dB or less. It perhaps accounts for some of the weight at around a half pound. The model now tips the scales at the top specified weight stated by Midwest at 17.1Lb/7.78Kg. Where does all this weight come from in the last few hours of construction?! It just piles on!! This puts paid for ever any slim possibility that this model would ever be able to fly out of Fickleshole. So be it. Other arrangements are being made and I hope to be able to advise about that when and if I receive appropriate notification. Images here show the new JE muffler system supplied with over-length pipes to enable me to cut them to a precise length once the muffler can was fitted to the front bulk head. The long length of the exhaust after the muffler can be further truncated as required but at the moment acts as a useful carrying handle.... One thing is for sure. These old vintage kits are very much heavier that the latest manufacturers offerings. Updated constructional methods and laser cutting enable a bulk of excess material to easily be removed at the factory. Die stamping or scratch build DIY projects don`t seem to have such an advantage. Times and design technology move on with the years. I know Sam and his father were clearly quite shocked at the mass of this model. Typical of the era in which it was produced seemed to be the prognosis. Not much more I can say presently. Only the up and coming noise testing will now decide if this monster will ever be able to become a flyer. The idea is not an impossibility. Many other Midwest Extra examples of similar weight can be seen flying successfully on You Tube videos. Most of the footage would appear to come from the States. A natural back ground for a model of this parentage. As always guys, comments and observations gratefully received. Mike

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