The Weather God
The sun is shining - no wind to speak of and I've finally got my Mitsubishi Van back on the road - Ahhhhhh - flying time! Load the Powerhouse, the Kyosho Trainer and the J3 Cub into the van and head for the field. Arrive at field approximately 20 minutes later, unload 3 models and set up ready to fly - it is only 0815 hrs. Fill tank of first model - about to hit the starter and suddenly the bloody sky clouds over, the wind picks up to a gale AND - it starts to drizzle rain! Grrrr. Retreat to van - hastily disassemble 3 large models and sit with a hot coffee and much mumbling and cursing under breath. 30 minutes later the clouds disappear and the wind drops - repeat set up which, with large models, takes about another 30 minutes. Ready to go and - you guessed it! Clouds return - no wind this time - but it bloody pours rain. NOTE: Screaming and cursing and loud obscenities do not stop rain. Finally give up, pack models in van and go home. Oh well it is winter time. Arrive home - unpack van - resign myself to another day at the building board. Get out balsa, ply and other assorted supplies to work on current projects - AND - the bloody sun comes out, the day clears and is perfect flying weather for the rest of the day. I did not venture back to the field - no way am I going to let other fliers who might be there see a full grown man bawling his eyes out. I'm sorry oh great weather god - I did not mean to call you THAT and I will accept my just punishment.
The Harvard ain't a Harvard no more.
Regular readers may have looked at the Harvard page and even sympathised with the ups and down I've had with this model - and even followed with interest the continuing saga of crash and rebuild. As last noted it started life as a Texan and after a series of these crash and rebuilds I decided to completely restore it as a New Zealand HARVARD. This meant completely tearing the model down, stripping it back to the bare bones, modifying some of the structure and adding a lot of extra detail. Hmmm - then I discovered that the CAC Wirraway - an aircraft used by the Royal Australian Air Force was, in fact, a modified, built under licence version of the early NA16-2K - the predecessor to the Texan/Harvard line. The RAAF never actually placed the Harvard on it's type list although some Australian pilots learnt to fly on Harvards and or Texans in the Empire Training Scheme in WWII. The Wirraway however was bought in quantity by the RAAF and even, much to my surprise, used by other Airforces as well! "Y" squadron RAF used an ex 21 squadron RAAF Wirraway in Malaya in 1941-42 and the USAAF 5th Airforce used a Wirraway as an HQ Flight hack.
The Wirraway was built in 3 distinct versions (Mk I, Mk II and Mk III) and orders were placed for a total of 755 aircraft with deliveries between July 1939 and June 1946. I've never flown the type myself, my fixed wing instruction was done on the Winjeel, but I remember one was used as an instructional airframe at Forrest Hill during my early days as an apprentice airframe fitter. SO - was it an achievable goal to rebuild the Harvard as a Wirraway??? - I had three versions to chose from and most of the changes were similar between the three. There are differences in armament and things like air intakes and the like but the major visible structural difference is that the Wirraway has a stringer and fabric covered fuselage as apposed to the all metal construction of the Harvard/Texan. The other visible difference is in the rudder shape of the Wirraway which is more rounded than the basically triangular shape of the Harvard/Texan. Hmmm said I to myself - it's do-able! First photos of the start of the conversion to follow shortly. NB - see -"Bloody Technology". I am most indebted to the following website for accurate information and drawings that will make the conversion possible:-
Those damned electric heli's.
It seems that I have a "conversion" bug providing yet another delay/re-organisation to my building programs. As noted a couple of weeks ago my brief flirtation with those "*lectric" whirly things left me cold and a mate is in the process of converting them to proper IC power. The conversion of the first victim - errrr model - seems to be going well and so in the due course of time I will have two Cox 049 powered helicopters to terrify myself with ! Then all I have to do is learn to fly the bloody things!
I mentioned the problems I'm having with my digital camera - the very expensive top brand, highly regarded, all singing, all dancing , latest you beaut digital SLR. The saga - and the bloody yelling and stamping of foot continues but I've managed to salvage a few photos in between breakdowns. Check out the Lanzo Bomber page and "A Friends Trainer " for some pic's.
Progress and other Impossibilities.
Yes, there has been movement at the station, unfortunately in most cases you'll have to take my word for it - photos are an ongoing problem at this stage: -
Lanzo Bomber. I've now got the fuselage mostly sorted out and I've built the tailplane (stabiliser for the US readers) as well as the fin and rudder. I've just started on the wing ribs - luckily most of them can be built by the sandwich method. Photo's of the early stages of the build are now available.
Big Lazy Bee. I'm up to the stage where those bloody laminated parts have to be done so it's sort of gone to the rear of the pack. Sorry but the photo's are not available yet - in fact it's highly likely I'll have to take them all over again.
Telemaster. The model is finished, the undercarriage is fitted - I've done some taxi tests and the model is waiting on the weather god for it's maiden flight.
Aero Commander. Finally got those bloody fuselage bulkheads done and I'll be fitting them this week - all going well
Harvard to Wirraway. I'm still researching and deciding where to apply the knife.
Lancaster. Still fiddling with the fuselage, mostly working out how to connect up the rudders and elevators. I've built the centre wing section and nacelles. Next job is to fit the snakes, servos, fuel tanks etc then make the retracting U/C, it will be a while before I can plank it all.
Fournier . Ummmm - no progress
Hustler Delta. Ditto
Finally I'd like to apologise for the lack of photo's. IF the dealer gets off his backside and delivers as promised I should have the camera back on Tuesday of this week. Then it will take me a couple of days to retake a lot of photos and a further few days to re size them for this Blog. There is a possibility I'll have some by the next update if all goes well and according to plan.