What's It all About ???

This page is all about the building and flying of radio controlled model aircraft. It's a highly diversified hobby that takes in as many skills as you like to use. Everything from electronics to carpentry, to painting, to drawing and designing with a little bit of metal work thrown in. Some builders even go into doing their own machining, pattern designing, fibre glassing, moulding and engine design. You can use electric motors, 2 stroke or 4 stroke internal combustion engines or even minature turbine (jet) engines for power. My own models use 2 and 4 stroke internal combustion engines and range in size from about a metre in wingspan to well over 3 metres from tip to tip!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

In The "Good Old Days"

As readers will know one of my current projects is a Lanzo Bomber and, as it a classic old timer design, I've tried to build it as much as possible by traditional methods and with traditional materials - SO - that just had to include covering it with tissue instead of one of the modern iron one materials.

Tissue?? - yep - and a good old traditional shrinking dope. Now the older readers probably know what the hell I'm talking about but younger modellers might think I've lost a marble or two. So - for their information and amusement here is how we used to do it in the "good old days"

I've added this comment because some one commented on the dangers of using chemicals: 

Model aircraft dope contains dangerous chemicals which are both toxic and volatile! Do not use dope without adequate ventilation and preferably with a fume mask. Do not smoke or use the product near an open flame. Children should only use this product under Adult supervision

First job is to select the grade of tissue - it's usually available in light -medium and heavy grades. For this job I chose SILKSPAN medium grade. Then for the typical covering job you need to cut out 4 panels - that is top and bottom on both sides. Of course for things like the fin and rudder you only need 2 and for a big wing you might use 8 or more.

You also need a couple of brushes, a can of dope and preferably a bottle or can of Acetone for thinning and cleaning your brushes after use.

I apply the first panel buy brushing on unthinned dope around the edges of the panel and then applying the tissue over the panel before the dope has dried.I brush a second coat over the edges of the tissue to ensure it is firmly fixed all around.

Trim the tissue after the dope has dried and cut slits every cm or so around curved edges - tissue does not have the same 'stretch to conform' properties as the iron on covering

When everything is trimmed I use a water spray to lightly soak all the tissue. I wipe off excess water and leave the tissue to dry thoroughly - this step pre shrinks the tissue so you get a nice tight finish when you dope the whole structure.

I apply an overall coat of dope - thinned by 40% with acetone over the whole structure. For light weight tissue this is sufficient but for medium 2 coats and some times 3 for the heavy weight.

And when every thing is dry this is the result. Remember that tissue is translucent and any marks that would normally be covered by heat shrink film will show through the tissue. Some Hobby shops might be able to sell you coloured tissue or if not you can colour the thinned coats of dope with food dyes. Remember to use a fuel proofer if you are using an IC engine.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Bloody Murphy's Law

I don't know if "Murphy's Law" is known in other countries around the world but If not I'm sure you have something similar under a different name.

Murphy's Law states  
 "What can go wrong WILL go wrong" 
- there are some other less gentile versions as well.

Murphy's Law is well known and active in Australia. I was going to post a heap of photos over the weekend but - thank you Murphy - it didn't happen. I'm now in the process of rectifying that so if you happen to be on this blog right now check back in about an hour and I'll have the updates and photos on the Telemaster and Lanzo Bomber pages. The rest should be there a bit later tonight.

That bald headed old fart holding the Telemaster is me 


It's either a very big model


I'm a very small builder!

The Senior Telemaster has a wingspan of 94"

Friday, October 19, 2012

Slowly, slowly -

I've just added a couple more photos to the Bird of Time thread. The NovaRossi hasn't arrived yet but it will be here soon - in the meantime I've got some more photos for the Telemaster, the Lancaster, the Texan to Wirraway conversion and the Lanzo Bomber but it's late and I'm tired so I will post them over the weekend.

With a bit of luck I'll also have a couple more of the Wittman Tailwind and even the Asso Champion - Wallaby Bob has a new Girlfriend co-pilot and I've got the retractable  under carriage fitted.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

More pictures - and something different soon

I'm finally starting to get all those bloody photos sorted and onto the blog - it's been a bit of a circus but I'm getting there now - only a few at a time I admit - but they all  need to be cropped and sized to fit into this blog. Any way - a few I've caught up with have been added to the Senior Telemaster thread and the first update on my ambitious plan to rebuild a totalled Bird of Time.

The next update will be a little different - I've just bought a mint NIB NovaRossi 60 so I'm going to do a bit of an article on it - if you are an IC engine fan it might be worth a look. Should have it written by this weekend or early next week.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Photos, photos and - a few more photos

I've started to add the new photos to their respective pages. The first couple of recovered Lancaster photos are there and I've started a new page for the Bird of Time and the Asso Champion. There are some updates on the Texan to Wirraway Conversion and a couple more on the Lanzo Bomber page. If nothing new shows when you have a look - check back in half an hour - I'm still loading them and this #$%^& internet connection is  slow as a wet week.

Another Update

This post should be titled - "Just when you thought it was safety to go back to the building board" !! A fellow club member recently had an "unfortunate" equipment failure with his Bird of Time electric power assisted glider. Of course I absolutely adore that model so guess who ended up with the pieces? Now I need another project like I need a hole in  the head - BUT - I told myself - it IS a Bird of Time and it might be repairable AND the club member gave me all the bits! I'm a dedicated IC engine fan so the electric motor, lipos and other assorted stuff was returned to the owner. Now I have a project to rebuild a Bird of Time as the pure glider it was first designed to be. It's late at night here right now - well actually early in the morning - like 2 minutes to one AM! So - as I spent most of the evening pulling the thing apart - cutting out the broken bits and planning how to fix it I'm completely worn out. I've taken photographs of the damage and I have some of the Telemaster and the Lancaster as well - they are from the CD of recovered photos my mate done for me - but right now I'm to damn tired to post them - it will wait till the morning. Come back tomorrow if you are interested.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Week 30/09/12 to 6/10/12

Bear with me folks - the CD with all the recovered photos arrived in this mornings post and I'm just going through them to sort out what to put in the blog. I'm slowly recovering from the Surgeons knife and I'm beginning to get around a little better now so there will soon be a whole swag of new information and photos.

As soon as I clear up the backlog I'll start the new projects - Guess what the next one is? - Clue? - OK - It's twin engined - a scale WWII Bomber and was manufactured in the United States. The Royal Australian Air Force used a small number late in the war.

First off though I have to finish off the following: -

1. The Lanzo Bomber: - Currently the fuselage and Tail Feathers are done - wing to do.
2. The Wittman Tailwind: - Currently almost finished framing it all - covering and detail to come.
3. The BIG Lazy Bee: - Umm - dragging my heals a bit on this one - Fuselage 3/4 done - 
4. The Lancaster: - Fully Framed up - A lot of work to do on the fitting out
5. The Texan to Wirraway conversion: - Progressing - Rebuilding the fuselage
6. The Fournier RF4: - This one ended up in the back of the hanger for a while - dragged it out recently and building the wing.

Photos of all 6 projects will be -posted in the next week or so.

The Senior Telemaster is still waiting for suitable weather for it's maiden but I have photos of the finished model to post. The Asso Champion is also finished and waiting for it's maiden.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Week 23/09/12 - 29/09/12

As I mentioned last week this update is a few days late - sorry about that but the Surgeon had to fiddle about a bit longer than first anticipated. I'm sitting here feeling a bit sorry for myself and contemplating his assurances that the NEXT operation will be the last - yeah - right.- somehow I remember that assurance from once or twice before!

Anyhow - to  things more pleasant. I decided to get all fancy and equip the Asso Champion with retracts and a "sort of" detailed cockpit. There is not all that much latitude for getting to fancy under the cockpit canopy because the floor gets in the way and to fully detail it would require major "surgery" - ugh - that word again. So I've settled for an instrument panel and a passenger - it is a two seater after all - and the pilot that came with the model has a smirk (lear?) suitable  to accommodate a female passenger - photo soon. The model has cut outs already in place to fit the retracts - It's an "option" and I'm fitting mechanical retracts with a Futaba retract servo to operate them.

The Instrument panel - a piece of 1/16 ply, a piece of plastic from a shirt box and a couple of printouts from stock photos.

Instrument panel and the mechanical retracts I'm fitting

I'm pretty much restricted to doing jobs I can do while sitting down till I recover from the Surgeons knife so some of the bigger models have been put on the back burner until I fully recover. That means I've concentrated on the smaller models - the Wittman Tailwind and the Lanzo Bomber. Man handling a 90 inch Lancaster wing with 4 motors, half finished retracts and 6 servos is not going to bring me any thankyou's from the hospital if I bust something open.

By next week I should have the missing photos of the Lancaster build, a few of the Big Lazy Bee and an update of photos on the Fournier RF4 - my mate has worked his magic successfully and recovered most of them. The results are on the way back to me on a CD from the Mainland - Mainland Australia that is. I live in Tasmania which is that island to the south you can see on most maps of Australia - some times they forget we exist and leave us off.

I'm also posting a few update photos of the Wittman Tailwind and the Lanzo Bomber on their respective pages.