Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Control Line Vintage Stunt Day -- Keith Renecle

We have decided to hold our annual vintage C/L stunt day at RMAC, and join in with the Old-time R/C fliers. I have spoken to the organizer of the Memorial day event on the 24th of July, Colin Matthyssen, and he has agreed that this is a good idea.

There will be no competitions, and the emphasis will be on joining in the fun of bringing out all of those old control-line models that you have had lying around for many years. We will have some spare lines, handles, and even some spare diesel fuel! We will start at around 09:00, so we would encourage all to come out and join in the fun of "Fly-by-wire" flying.

It would be particularly appreciated if folks could wear "vintage" clothes, and arrive in vintage cars if at all possible as well. I will be making a properly edited video/DVD of the event available later, so the more we can add to the atmosphere, the better.


Keith Renecle 083 415 1409

Swaziland Jet Airshow -- Rodger and Francis Dunn

In South Africa it is a mission to obtain permission to host a flying event on a disused military air field. The model air show that was organized by Rodger Dunn from Randburg, his wife Frances and a very small group of helpers was held on Matsapa International Airport. An invitation from the organizers was extended to some pilots from JHB, Pretoria, Nelspruit and surrounding areas to be part of the second Swaziland model air show.

The majority of pilots traveled on Friday to Swaziland where they were met by the organizers and were settled into some first class accommodation. Friday evening all were treated to a supper served in a hangar alongside the airfield. This was a perfect opportunity for all to get to meet one another. Danie and Neville soon had all amused by their flying skills with their 3D Electric planes inside the hangar.

On Saturday morning all congregated bright and early at the airfield with the mammoth task of unpacking and assembling of aircrafts. Some struggled a bit due to the Friday evening festivities.

The weather over the weekend was great as well as the flying. There was a large variety of aircraft from large scale aerobatics, jets, scale models, fun fly's, 3D Electrics, down to trainers. All the pilots through out the weekend did exactly what they were invited to do and that was to keep the crowd amused at all times. The whole weekend went off with only one incident of a crashed Delta.

Saturday evening was back to the hangar for yet another great evening with 2 sheep on a spit, liquid refreshments and a lot to talk about. Danie Potgieter and Shaun Russell put on a night flying display, which was watched by all in amazement. Danie flew a Shot Gun decorated with glow sticks used by the military and divers. Shaun used special designed rotor blades with built in batteries and lights in the tips as well as some glow sticks on the tail. The helicopter blades when rotating forms a red circle with a second circle about 100mm to the inside of that. With the tail of the chopper lit up you can see the attitude of the helicopter clearly. The attitude of the helicopter in the sky while performing aerobatics is by far more visible at night than in the day. At the end of the night's activities the hangar was used to store all the aircraft.

The great atmosphere and party mood then moved over to our hotel where some groups partied till the early hours of Sunday morning. Loud singing noises could be heard all over the hotel by one particular group singing (or trying to) "I'm so lonely". I don't know if they were actually lonely or could only remember those few words to one song.

Early on Sunday after packing up our rooms and having a breakfast it was off to the airfield to enjoy yet another good flying day with good weather.

Bob Skinner did commentary on both days with the host Rodger Dunn relieving him from time to time. Flying ceased at about 14h00. After packing up all aircrafts we were once again treated to a meal in the hangar, which was followed, by greetings and a big thanks to our hosts for a great weekend of flying and enjoyment.

A few local Swazi businesses as well as some from SA sponsored the weekend. Swazi Bank and Mr Bread were some of the Swazi sponsors, with Sign Link from Randburg being the main sponsor. Henley Air charters supplied a helicopter, which was sponsored by Mr Bread and was used to take people for flips over both days. During lunch the helicopter was used for an emergency evacuation of a lady who was stung by a bee and is highly allergic to bee stings. Thanks to Henley Airs crew she was stabilized and later released from hospital. Some pilots collected a donation, which was handed over to the Local Lions Club. All the money made over the weekend was handed to the Lions club who distributes it to the local charities.

A big thank you to all the pilots, sponsors, helpers and supporters for making the second Swaziland Air show a resounding success. Once again a special thanks to Rodger and Frances for all their hard work and we look forward to next year.

Monday, June 27, 2005

2005 Soaring Nats.
The travelling Malberies Don, Frank 'n Ricky - Don looking as dapper as ever.
photo by Dave Greer
Posted by Hello

2005 Soaring Nats.
Victor Ludorum Mama Michelle with super relaxed baby Mathew and "run you lazy bastards" Craig Piglet.
photo by Dave Greer
Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Claude's pattern flying manual

It's possible to buy a 2 X 2, But not the Skills
it's possible to buy a Wheel, but not a Perfect landing;
it's possible to buy a Motor, but not the carb settings;
it's possible to write a pattern, but not the flight;
it's possible to buy a Helicopter, but that's just plain stupid;
it's possible to buy a radio, but not know how to use it;
it's possible to buy airplane, but not the excitement of flight;
it's possible to buy sex, but PATTERN ....IS.... BETTER.

The Flying manual brings success. The original is stored in Cape Town. (The centre of the universe, as it happens). This manual has already flown about 8 times around the world and this time it will bring success to you. After receiving this letter you will become a very happy Chappie!!! IT IS NOT A JOKE!


Here are some examples have taken place:
Andre received the letter in 1983 and asked his secretary to make 20 copies. In 9 days HE WON THE NATS!!! PIERRE received the letter and forgot about it. Couple days later he lost his Prop He decided to send this letter and continue the chain and IT BROUGHT SUCCESS TO HIM!!! (He won the 2004 Nats) In 1997 Danie received the letter, laughing he threw it away. Later he had radio failure. Danie found the letter and made 20 copies. WITHIN A WEEK HIS TX was repaired!!! In 1987 A young man from Durban received the letter. He did not listen, he crashed into the power lines at the Helderberg field when he was in Cape Town, He promised to retype it and send it to 20 friends of his. So Louw helped him repair his pattern ship HE CONTINUED THE HAPPY CHAIN!!!

I wonder if posting in the BLOG counts a sending to 20 people? If so, I'm im for some good luck!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Louis Bester on his "gutter" aeroplane

I have built myself a "gutter" airplane from 80mm square gutter downpipe as manufactured in South Africa by Marley. I had a 40-sized trainer wing left over from a previous aircraft and used this as the basic input into my design. The wing has a chord (width) of 270mm. Using some basic guidelines I made the bit between the prop backplate and the LE of the wing 1.5 x chord. The total length of the downpipe is therefore the wing chord + (1.5 x chord) = 2.5 x chord.

The fuselage part between the TE of the wing and the tail feathers is made of 20 x 20mm Obechi wood. Total length of this is 2.4 x wing chord. I allowed some extra length as I mounted the servos and the tail feathers on it as well. I made a H-type bracket out of 3-ply and mounted this and the servos directly onto the one end of the Obechi. The tail feathers were folded out of correx and mounted with self tappers directly onto the other end of the Obechi. I used normal 6mm dowels as pushrods between the servos and the tail feathers. This whole arrangement is mounted inside the Marley pipe with another set of self tappers, i.e. the servo end is mounted inside the pipe.

The aircraft is powered by a MVVS 49 with a mini-tune pipe and swinging a 10x6 prop - what an amasing engine. A word of advise should you wish to built this aircraft - keep the nose section long (1.5 x chord) otherwise you will have a problem (a) mounting the tank internally and (b) be required add a lot of weight to the tail in order to balance it.
The aircraft doesn't look as flashy as the ARFs but it flies like a dream. It is exceptionally strong as well and was extremely cheap to build - the 3 metre downpipe was R66 approximately. I would also highly recommend this aircraft as a trainer/ beginner/ Sunday flier.

Gliding postal results for May 2005 from John Lightfoot

Link to pdf with details

Monday, June 13, 2005

In memoriam -- Cliff Culverwell

Posted by Fran, his wife.

It is with great sadness that this comes to you.
Cliffie (Clifford Augustus Culverwell) passed away peacefully on Tuesday &8th June at noon(12.15 South African time). Cliffie was told on 17th Nov 2003(after almost 2 years of having test upon test done, for Drs to determine what the matter really was) and Proff Bill from the medical Faculty of the University of Natal, after a lengthy examination, confirmed it to be Motor Neuron Disease(MND or sometimes A L S)
There was in the medical field nothing that could stop, cure or prevent it. I nursed him as this debilitating illness claimed him, but eventually on 1/3/2004 he went into a frail-care clinic. Ten days he developed a cold, but with an all ready much deteriorate internally, the lungs were so weakened that it was soon a serious pneumonia. He was transported to Kingsway Hospital, I C U for the final stage
We cannot wish back, Cliff, who always had been a giant, with such skill and abilities, so great a heart, active to the time when he could no more had been subjected to the most devastating suffering, but never, never did he becry his fate. He kept his strong Faith in God, his Creator.
Much love. Fran.

Stephane du Ponsel's aircraft at the BERG F3B comp in June, makes a change from the same-old same-old F3B ships. Photo by Charles Flee.
Posted by Hello

Friday, June 10, 2005

Johan Beyers on wing servos

In my Shongololo and now my Pike Superior I have experimented a bit with different wing servo's to try to find ones that last longer than 6 months.

I have used JR 368 digital servo's, JR digital slim wing servo's, Hitec 125 analog wing servo's and various other types of plastic geared servos.

These planes suffer a huge aerodynamic load, and they have quite large flaps and ailerons. On landing you need crow braking and every so often I forget to tuck the flaps back in place before landing. This causes substantial force on the flaps and thus the servo gear trains.

As a result, my plastic geared servo's just did not last. In my view, the JR331 servo's are simply not up to the job. Considering your investment in the plane I think these servo's represent false economy.

I have thus resorted to metal geared servos.

I have found that the slim wing servo's - the Hitec 125 and the JR digital wing servos - suffer stripped gear trains on a regular basis. I have also experienced servo motor failures on the JR slim servo's. The JR368 servos lasted long, but it is a pricey servo, and there is a big current draw with digital servo's.
My suggestion would be to go for a 13mm thick metal geared servo like the Hitec 85MG. These servos are economical (about US$ 35 each from aircraft-world.com, compared to US$45 for the Hitec 125) and I think the added thickness (approx 13mm) gives a much stronger gear train than the slim wing servo's.

One must also bear in mind that, every time you want to replace the gears, the whole servo has to come out. If, like me, you epoxy the servo's in place, this is a mission, even if you tape the servo's before epoxying them in.

In the Peninsula Soaring competition on Sunday, I suffered a stripped gear train on a Hitec 125MG flap servo, and I was out of contention. If I had installed proper servo mounts in my wing, I could have replaced the stripped servo in 5 minutes and continued flying.

So I have now resolved to buy proper servo mounts from cubittsmodels.com (about R40 each) which are secure and which add no thickness to the servo installation. This also allows one to replace the stripped gears without damaging the servo - my JR wing servo's were glued in so securely that I had to router them out of the wing (even though they were masking taped before epoxying them in) thus destroying the servo. Had I spent a little extra to start off with, I would have been able to replace the gear train only with no damage to the servo.

Servo mounts also allow you to fine-tune the position of the servo output arm after installation - this is impossible once you have glued the servo in place.
As regards your Shongololo - mine suffered a catastrophic wing failure on launch due to a manufacturing defect related to the installation of the wing joiner tube. Unlike international manufacturers of planes like the Tragi or the Pike, you will find the manufacturer of the Shongololo singularly unsympathetic to your plight if this happens to you, so I suggest that you check that the wing skins are securely glassed to the joiner tube before you fly the plane. I have been told that several Shongololo's experienced this problem - maybe the manufacturer has attended to this defect since, I don't know.

Hope this helps.

Kind regards

Johan Beyers

Andre on the care of LiPos

Just a note for the guys that are not aware of it: always unplug your Lipo battery from the ESC when not in use (even if it has a on/off switch like for of trhe newer ESCs). I have seen a number of lipos damaged (discharged too low) after a week or two when connected to the ESC - it seems there is still a current draw to the ESC although it is switched off.

Another problem that I have noted is that some guys run their lipos too hot, which eventually destroys the battery (typically middle cell in a 3-cell pack). If the battery is too hot to hold in your hand after landing it will not last. Rather reduce the amp draw by using a smaller prop, limit flying times or use better quality battery. Rather have 2 five minute flights on the T-rex and allow time for cooling with the Align battery than one 10 minute flight, as it gets too hot after 10 mins with the standard Align motor.



Wednesday, June 08, 2005

A comparison of local and imported LiPo battery prices

Johan van Tonder of Ballistic RC provided the following table;
Any other dealers like to contribute?

I have compared prices with a leading Kokam retailer in the USA: FMAdirect

Price is calculated on the Dollar ($) exchange of 7 ZAR + 14% VAT, NO SHIPPING COSTS included for or from USA.

Lipo are not allowed to be shipped airfreight anymore from the USA. (TowerHobbies and FMAdirect)

Type Battery:
FMA Direct

910mah 2S1P 15C
R 251.37 ($31.50)
R 278.00

910mah 3S1P 15C
R 369.15 ($46.26)
R 415.00

1250mah 2S1P 15C
R 310.82 ($38.95)
R 335.00

1250mah 3S1P 15C
R 442.89 ($55.50)
R 496.00

2000mah 2S1P 15C
R 454.46 ($56.95)
R 436.00

2000mah 3S1P 15C
R 666.33 ($83.50)
R 650.00

3200mah 2S1P 20C
R 786.03 ($98.50)
R 920.00

3200mah 3S1P 20C
R 1161.09 ($97.46)
R 1376.00


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