Friday, 23 June 2017

1/6th Scale PSS A10 Thunderbolt II - upgrades and repairs - part 3

OK so work continues on the new tail.  Here we have the carbon spar, hinge blocks, servo bays, and wiring all in place for the rudder servos : 

Then some local bracing for the carbon dowels to stick through at the front of the tail.  Here, she is shown mounted in the fuselage:

And from the top - perfect fit!

The top skin was then added, along with a liteply end face, that had the carbon tube protruding through.  Front hole is for wiring access, rear hole is for the M4 bolt :

The fins then need a corresponding mating face.  This was pressed up against the vertical spars within the balsa structure, locally reinforced with triangular section.  The carbon dowel was cyano'ed in place, then backed up with a large, thickened, epoxy fillet on the back face.  

The gap that currently has balsa wedges in will be lined with balsa to tie the skin in, and neaten things up a bit :

Bolt holes drilled through and now mounted on the original plastic bolts: 

Then the fin was slipped on, and the nylon bolt done up: 

From the inside: 

So I need to do the other fin mounting plate, line the fin gaps with balsa, do the tailplane blends front and back, then its ready for glassing.


Tuesday, 20 June 2017

1/6th Scale PSS A10 Thunderbolt II - upgrades and repairs - part 2

Some progress on the new A10 tail.  Once two sheets of 3/32nd  have been joined, I can start drawing out servo positions (brought over from the old elevators) and a general rib layout :

Dry fit of ribs, hard 1/4" balsa TE glued on :

Ribs start going on over lower square sub-spar, after having been run-through with the large brass tube for lightening holes :

All ribs in, as well as new 12mm OD carbon tube spar, and upper square sub-spar :


Friday, 16 June 2017

1/6th Scale PSS A10 Thunderbolt II - upgrades and repairs

 In between a few builds at the moment, so I've decided to have a look at the A10 tailplane with a view to replacing it with a lighter, stronger version.  The bottom of the TP had another spanwise crack in it, alongside the original full depth spar, so rather than re-glue it and put up with more damage next landing, it's upgrade time.

Firstly, fin removal.  Ah well, no going back now!

End view of the TP, showing original spar :

Elevators are actually built straight and not too heavy, so I will re-use these : 
Saucy left foot action!
 Other fin off now - this one was a bit more sturdy :

I knew I had the templates somewhere for making the foam core TP, so I got out the collection of foam wing rib templates that I've collected over recent years. A10 TP ones are at the bottom : 

Sandwich up 13 slices of 1/8" balsa, and sand to shape :

I've done two sets as Phil Cooke is re-doing his TP too (was also foam) and whilst I had the template out, I did him a set as well.

I'm at Weston Park model show tomorrow, so I will buy the 3/32" balsa that I seem to be short of for the top and bottom sheeting, plus some carbon tube that will be its spar.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

New baby! Dassault Rafale for PSS

At the weekend Dirk Tink brought across a model for me from a chap in Belgium who seems to have a huge supply of the old HET models (same manufacturer as my glass Mig29 and the F15 that Matt Jones now has).

It's a little (950mm) Dassault Rafale!  I love those aircraft, with their sexy sucked-in cheeks and pointy noses, and had planned one for a balsa build at some point - I had drawn up about 6 formers for a much bigger one.

This'll do me for now though, with a lightweight glass fuselage, foam-veneered wings and a lovely clear canopy.

Here's some full-size pics for reference :

I have no idea when this build will start or finish, but there isn't much to do in reality, so it might be quick?


Bwlchfest Sunday

A good time on Sunday with some great flying on the Bwlch. The Fox maiden went well in the end on her second launch, unfortunately she managed to get away from the launchers first time round before they'd pushed her much, but I landed OK on top of the hill with no damage.

After that it was all gravy!  The skies were a bit grey and with the CofG on the rearward point, I landed her after about 20 minutes.  Happy to say the brakes work well, but I had a CFIT moment and scuffed the fuselage on an access track around the tail wheel mount, and snapped an elevator linkage. 

Quite a strange failure, but at least she flew and I think it's a keeper for now.

Stop taking the piss when I'm flying!

The highlight for me was my F104 flight.  33mph with 50+ gusts, and she handled it very easily.  It was wonderful to see her on only her second flight grooving around with very axial rolls, and quick height gain when required.  As expected though, a tip tank was damaged on landing, so one flight was all she got.  I think I have a solution for the tip tanks to be easily knocked off but sturdy enough to stay on in flight - as the damaged tank is already repaired, I will try and incorporate it before the Lleyn meet.

Leave me alone!

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Reichard "Long" Fox build

Well, this big Fox is nearly done now, with just a couple of jobs left before a hopeful maiden at the weekend.

Dual aileron servos here getting their covers attached :

Spoiler servo in place.  Box needs a quick tidy then this will get an Oracover patch to hide it :

Nose installation.  2 off LiFe batteries, Powerbox switch, rudder / aileron / tow release servos, FRSky R8XR redundancy bus receiver.  I will add the vario, too :

Hopefully I will get it balanced this week, along with a simple cockpit detail job. 

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Fouga pushrods and Flanker nose

Not too much here, as I am progressing quickly with the Fox and failing to take photo's of it!  Then again, it's practically an ARTF.

Some issues when flying the Fouga at the last PSSA event were caused by floppy pushrods, which I have since remedied with 5mm carbon shafts and M3 hardware either end :

 These now cross over in the fuselage, so I will have some re-programming to do next time I hit the slopes :

And lastly, the Flanker nose is now ready for primer.  5 or 6 coats of hard floor varnish on top of the glass, and we're good to go :

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Su-27 Flanker nose job

After performing so well in the clean, steady lift on the Cloud, I unfortunately managed to donk the landing a bit.  The rotor on the back of the slope managed to catch us all out at one time or another, and where this wasn't a particularly hard landing, it was straight into a large lump of heather, and the plastic nose caved in.
Flanker in her element - photo courtesy of Phil Cooke
This is what I was left with - oops!

Back in the workshop, it's time to laminate up some medium-hard 1/2" balsa sheet around the original undamaged centre plate, using Tite-Bond wood glue and two large clamps :

As I know she was carrying about 4 ozs of noseweight behind F3, I took the opportunity to hollow out the blocks a little and add 2ozs of lead into the nose.  This should result in an overall lighter aircraft, which is a good thing :

Stuck on with thickened epoxy, the airframe was protected with a few layers of cheapo masking tape, and the initial carving began :

A quick splodge of lightweight filler and a fine sand, and she's ready to be re-glassed :

 Hopefully I can get the glass on this week, then the primer and top coat done at the weekend.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Fouga Magister for PSS - a few tweaks.

As mentioned before, I have been working on a few Fouga mods.

Firstly, tip tank dowels.  Tanks are now held on by 2 carbon dowels going into brass tubes in the wings, as well as the original 3 magnets :

Look away now if you have a nervous filler disposition! 

This is what was required to make the faces match up. It's not pretty, but it works - like most of my building in fact :)

This then gives a lovely close fit, once it had been sanded flush, primed, sprayed, panel lines added, then top coat :

Done, and ready for the slope again.

Monday, 8 May 2017

A new transport trailer, servos, and PSSA coverage

A bit the bullet at last and bought a new trailer for model transportation.  The biggest problem with my old trailer is that it wouldn't fit the U2 fuselage, and now that there are some bigger airframes coming through that I'd rather not have inside the living space, I thought the time was right.

Dual axle (for a bit more security on the road), with space to fit the A10, C17, FW190, U2, Vulcan, M55 all at the same time, plus lots of smaller models.  It'll have racking for the main aircraft listed above, plus lash-down points for the glider tug, as well as a water carrier, space for the generator, and room for the gazebo too.

I recently went on a servo purchasing spree, so thought I'd line up the hardware for a quick picture!  This includes servos for the C17, the Ilyushin, the Seahawk, the big Fox, and the large FW190 (that I've not really mentioned on here as yet).

I've just had RCM&E's June edition through the post - what an amazing slice of  PSSA coverage!  6 pages of text and pictures from the Orme, which has to be one of the quickest turn-arounds for event-to-magazine that I've seen.