Thursday, November 30, 2006

Some feedback from Joe Coetzer

I had an email from Joe today.
He mentioned two things that might be of interest to members.

(i) The management committee has charged Alan Fraser with the task of suggesting a policy for the SAMAA on Park Flyers. Ideas from members will be welcome. You can email Alan

(ii) We have made an application to the CAA for an increase of the maximun height at which we are allowed to fly above registered sites. This is good news. More info here.

Hermanus 2006 -- Dave Greer

Back to the salt mine and thanks to the AFC lads for another excellent Hermanus event. Special mention is made of the ever cheerful and helpful Andrew Basson and missus, Andrew's back seen below at prize giving, sporting the even more natty annual T shirt:

For a change, the team Sharkey armament was reasonably ready ahead of time but still meant a visit to the legendary "even more packed than normal" Hobby Warehouse and a cup or two of coffee with Andy and Alan Imrie. Still not caught them out on spares and was even able to procure a roll of Graupner hinge tape! Thanks guys.

I must admit most of the time was spent on the foamy side - the new el cheapo Easy Coat white iron on doing its best to unravel of the at last completed Adrian Baker Chapter 2 crunchy Sharkie wing..... The Brian Duckitt Assagai correx wing providing the most fun on the Bird Work's Zipper fuse and managing to stay out of the way of the marauding foamies, the sky often like below..... Brian low flew down in a new Alfa GT and managed to loose his Assagai some where along the way, much to his chagrin as the lighter foamies were not quite in the same league in the awesome conditions. His cute little Fokker triplane managed to snaffle a prize early Sunday, thanks sponsors.

The attendance seemed a bit lighter on away folk but, apart from Pinetown's oom Dave Hooker driving down all the way on his own, local lad Pete Netterville remains a honorary Maritzburger, despite having been down south for some years. Pete's glassed and heavy (real heavy) Little Devil was probably the most impressive change of pace plane I saw, for me on the weekend. Did alright in the spot landing compo, too.

The speed run attempts revealed Charlie Blakemore and Sithebe still to be the speed king combo at 140 miles per hour - so bragging rights remain there, all ye Prodij, Toko and other moldie folk.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Loss of email -- Bob Skinner

A few days ago, I experienced a power supply blow-up on the PC that contains a lot of SAMAA data. The resultant power surge caused damage to the hard disk. Luckily there were back-ups of the data and all of it could be re-loaded onto a new hard disk. Unfortunately all the e-mail messages prior to 10th November, which were not archived, are lost.

I know there were many messages from existing members of the SAMAA, and prospective new members, who either renewed their membership or applied for membership. And of course other requests perhaps too.

If anyone has sent an e-mail message that required action, please re-send so that I may attend to it promptly.

Thank you

Bob Skinner (SAMAA general manager).

PO Box 1961
Alberton 1450
Tel/fax 011-907-4652

Saturday, November 18, 2006

An alternative source of epoxy resin -- Evan Shaw

Recently, I discovered an Epoxy Adhesive called Sikadur AP at Builders Warehouse. ( See photo, they are yellow tubs with red lids and one tub is attached onto the lid of the other. Made by Sika ) .

It is extremely strong and light weight and bonds just about anything to anything.

It is not a quick-set epoxy, with a 40 minute pot life and a cure time of a few hours. So really nice for those jobs when you don't need a quick fix. It is easy to mould into shape and cleans up with water. Yup, just wipe away the excess with a wet rag, so no more grubby epoxy finger marks all over your pride and joy. Dries as hard as a rock and sands very easily without clogging up the sandpaper, unlike other epoxy's that stay a bit rubbery. It eats planer blades though.

It comes in two pots of total 250ml and cost about R50,00. So it is very much cheaper than standard Pratley's which costs anywhere between R25 and R30 for the two tubes (about 50ml I think! Maybe less when all the air bubble come out!). You do the math! It is also available in bigger tubs.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Lightfoot / Street connection -- Dave Greer

Paging through a 1984 Brit model mag, the names John Lightfoot and Rob Street popped up on the subject of 3D extreme slope aerobatics, with some really far out maneuvers like vertical eights with quarter rolls and four leave clovers. All way ahead of the current electric foamie theatricals.

All pretty much out of the reach of us lesser slope mortals apart from two which are kinda fun and attainable with foamies, the cute names escaping me now.

The Street one was a close in bunt (half outside loop) coming down wind with a half roll out right at the bottom, tween the grass blades. All toward the pilot himself with the completion low and very fast. This is one I had fun with on the Wing Warrior Zipper foamie but these lads must have been awful brave on the crunchie models in those days.

A popular local party trick is the quick knife edge along the slope with hard down elevator to whip away from the maddening crowd but Messrs Street and Lightfoot took it one step further. Quick quarter roll flick to knife edge along the slope face, hard down elevator to do a FULL knife edge circle and carry on, completing with a roll to normal flight.

Could probably source and scan the little ribbon drawings if some would like. Something to chew on for Hermanus and other such fly ins, just for change of pace for the half pipe folks. ;-)

Kind regards

Dave Greer

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Flying clubs should support the SAMAA

There was some discussion at the AGM about the value of the SAMAA to the ordinary club flyer...

In my view there are three main reasons for flying clubs to support the SAMAA:

1. The SAMAA insurance scheme covers members against third party claims. The scheme is very good value for money. Of course you can take out your own insurance. But this will be much more costly.

2. The CAA has given official recognition to the SAMAA. This means that registered SAMAA flying sites are protected by CAA rules. It is against the law to fly model aircraft near SAMAA sites. This is a key benefit. In the past the SAMAA found it hard to restrict this kind of off-site operation. Not any more. A stroke of the pen removed a possible source of radio interference.

3. The SAMAA has an effective link to ICASA. It secured a wider 35MHz band solely for model aircraft use. It has used the link to track down and remove illegal users of the band. Again this means safer flying.

SAMAA membership is of great value to "Sunday Fliers" - the great majority of Aeromodellers in South Africa. Membership gives safety and peace of mind at a low cost. Join the SAMAA now.

Biggest Electric Aircraft in South Africa -- Jonathan Spratley


40% Aeronca Champ
Wingspan - 168 (4267mm)
Weight - just over 16kg
Motor - AXI 5360/20
Prop - Menz 32 x 18
ESC - MGM Compro 12032-3
Batteries - FlightPower 5S1P 4900 x 2 in series

The Aeronca at Oudtshoorn 2006

This model was scratch built. It was started in April 2006 with the hope of finishing it and flying it at the annual Oudtshoorn Scale event held 22 - 25 September. It was successfully maidened on the 18th September and is a beautiful flier. Take off is around ¾ throttle and she happily flies around at ½ throttle. Expected flight times would be about 10 minutes comfortably.
This model was built by myself, Jonathan Spratley with help from Chris Freeman, Colin Matthysen, Alex Jones, and laser cutting done by Alan Ralph.

I am proud to announce that we entered our 40% electric Aeronca Champ into the first yearly Model Motors (AXI) worldwide competition and it WON!!!

SAMAA AGM 2006 -- Louis

As threatened I did indeed attend the AGM, rain and slow traffic couldn't keep me away.

Although the agenda was followed the meeting was very relaxed and informal. Not a single whiff of politics anywhere. Tony from PRF attended the meeting as well since they are thinking of joining SAMAA due to the CAA delegating R/C related matters & safety to SAMAA. Tony pointed out that ambiguities exist in the current constitution and after some discussion SAMAA management undertook to put a group together to look into this. Tony also asked the question about a quorum and it was stated that no quorum is needed due to a record of poor attendance from members. And herein lies the danger - the very few members who attended the meeting could have suggested changes to a very important document like our constitution. Sure, a due process would have been followed but time as well as your SAMAA subscription fees would have been wasted to undo the suggestion. As I always say, ban Futaba & mode 2. Maybe electrics and heli's as well.... ;-)

Some concern was expressed about the age profile of the SA R/C hobbyist - we are a bunch of old toppies that is only interested in Sunday flying. SAMAA mangement also expressed their commitment to serve the hobby but very few, if any, suggestions from the members are forthcoming in order to improve & promote the hobby. The chairman's annual report was tabled and the SAMAA financial affairs were discussed. Some discussion around e-copies of the SAMAA News also took place. All questions and comment were handled in a mature and professional way.

The meeting lasted a slightly longer than an hour. I have just stated the points that interested me and I think it was well worth it to attend.

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