Patch News April 2012

Well I’m sitting here watching the rain bucketing down yet again so I thought I might as well tell you what’s been happening at the patch recently. Things have been a bit quiet since my report in March, the long spell of almost perfect weather turned into wet & wind for much of the time but we have still managed to fly a fair bit and several new models have appeared.
When my Hobby King Sportjet first flew it was disappointingly slow. I had fitted the supplied undercarriage and was using 4 LiFe cells (A123’s). The model was designed for a 4s lipo and I thought the slightly lower voltage of the LiFe cells wouldn’t make a huge difference…wrong!  Steve Montague lent me a 4 cell lipo to try and the power difference was amazing, so I added a fifth cell to my A123 packs and hacked the existing battery box around to make it fit. It took off from the patch ok but didn’t look like a jet should with wheels hanging down, plus I kept having to straighten out the flimsy u/c legs, so they had to go.  The C of G was where it was supposed to be but it needed up trim and inverted flight needed a lot of down elevator so I started adding lead to the tail. Eventually I arrived at a point where inverted only needs a sensible amount of down. I have been tweaking rates and expo to get it to my liking and now it flies really well.  Flat out speed is now almost identical to Wonky’s Alpha Jet so there have been quite a lot of fast ‘formation’ low passes. Sooner or later there will be a bang followed by an awful lot of polystyrene beads blowing away downwind, watched by two dejected ex jet pilots!
Staying on EDF’s for a moment, Ron Vears, spurred on by the success of his Alpha Jet, splashed out on an FMS Dassault Rafale from Kings Lynn models. It started off rather like my Sportjet, with wheels and underpowered. It has a 64mm fan (both the Sportjet and the Alpha are 70mm) and is supplied with a 3 cell lipo. It wouldn’t get off the patch so Ron removed the u/c and hand launched instead. It flew but was still underpowered so 4 cells were shoe-horned in and it now flies very well. It looks great in the air and Ron is building up confidence to fly lower and faster!
Meanwhile Jim Hobday has got his Black Horse T-28 Trojan finished. Although the model is sold as I/C or Electric there is no battery access hatch. Not wanting to remove the wings after every flight Jim has made the cockpit detachable and now puts the battery in from the top, surely a mod that Black Horse should do if they are selling it as electric compatible? Anyway it works well and Jim has made a very nice job of it. The test flight proved rather dramatic as the C of G was very rearward, despite being where the instructions stated. After the addition of some nose weight it flew very nicely and Jim just needs some decent weather to get used to flying it.
Multiple Models Montague decided that he needed even more and bought an Eflight Texan on eBay at a bargain price. He confessed that by the time he had bought some expensive retracts along with a UBEC, ESC, more servos etc it was rather an expensive bargain!  The finished model looks great and flies even better, it’s one of those models that just feels right, lovely and smooth but totally aerobatic and scale like. It does however have the Harvard/Texan tendency to drop a wing if the airspeed drops too much. I tested the stall on the first flight and it dropped into a full spin, luckily I had enough height to recover safely.  Once the flaps are lowered it comes in to land beautifully, but it definitely needs to be treated with respect.  Steve was also tempted by a Seagull Edge but due to several holidays in Florida he has only been able to fly it once. It flew fine and when he eventually returns I think he will really enjoy it.
Finally a new I/C model! Viv Burgess has put together one of the new Seagull Giant Scale PT-19’s. It is 80″ span, powered by a 120 four stroke, and weighs in at over 11lbs. Viv test flew it and it took off beautifully and flew in a very scale like manner. After enjoying it for a few minutes he let me have a go (big mistake!) and I did a few circuits and gentle aerobatics. Unfortunately the motor cut on the landing approach over over the valley and I couldn’t make it back to the field. Luckily the damage was pretty minor, the wing pulled off but only the centre section mounting was damaged and Viv says it has gone back together easily…phew!  I’m afraid I forgot to take any photos of it but will do so next time.
All we need now is for some decent weather to fly all these new models again, roll on summer. 
So, a blonde fighter pilot was flying in a two ship one day. She was flying her heading just fine, when all of a sudden her wingman called, “We have Migs coming in at 6 o’clock!” She quickly took a look at her watch and said, “It’s okay! It’s only 5:30”!


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9 Responses to Patch News April 2012

  1. 1066 says:

    Nice one Andy, once again you have put the nerd into nerdy, you also cursed the rafele, Rons confidence took a Knock when he smashed it on Saturday afternoon, Ron did say it was a record for him two in one day, not to worry though as soon as the wife is away he will take delivery of a few more!!!

  2. Colin Cowplain says:

    Oh dear, I didn’t know about the Rafale. I saw the demise of the Alpha in the morning… 🙁

  3. Smiffy says:

    Nice one Mr. Cowplain, do so like reading your website updates.
    So when’s MM Montague going to pull his finger out and get this wiki / blog page / forum up and running… I think we’ve now demonstarted adequate demand.
    If Jim’s looking at this, I’d like to see his black horse top-hatch mod as I’ve been looking to do this on another model but haven’t had the bottle to cut through the covering.

  4. monty says:

    Nice report Andy, shame about the weather, its been a bit weird out here as well, hotter at the start of the trip and cloudy skies for the last few days 🙁
    We should be able to sort something out with the site when I get back Smiffy.

  5. Smiffy says:

    I’m not sure I should find this quite as funny as I do:

  6. Colin Cowplain says:

    Haha! The idiot threw it straight at the bloke who was launching a plane in a totally different direction!
    Monty, don’t moan about the Florida weather, the fish don’t mind the rain!

  7. Monty says:

    The fish don’t mind the rain, but I need sunlight to see them as I’m sight fishing, it brightened up today, blue skies 🙂
    Yesterday I shot a video of the local flying club in Key West flying their EDF’s

  8. Colin Cowplain says:

    Yes Monty, 100% scale with turbine sound…nice!
    Went to the Blackbushe Show today, excellent day, it was like a club outing. Woody bought an F-18 Hornet, 1066 spent a fortune on 2.4 radio and elec bits 🙂

  9. 1066 says:

    Shhhhhuuuuusssshhhh, the wife might read this.

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