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Gary Binnie

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Gary Binnie last won the day on June 10

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  1. Should be sound as a pound using wire inners. I reinforce 2 mm pushrods with carbon tube to stop them flexing, if they are really long (like an elevator pushrod) I just epoxy the threaded ends in.
  2. I would have thought any differential or travel limiting could be programmed in the transmitter? I would use a commercial 90° bell crank myself. Just a bit concerned about using carbon tube for the tail joiners, carbon is either sound or broken (snaps suddenly). I would use piano wire here as used in many glider all moving tail arrangements and live with the weight penalty which might be offset by the engine anyway. The Robin DR400 is an interesting design, I bought one on behalf of a gliding club and flew it back from Hamburg. Watching with interest.
  3. Not much, if anything, available in this country. I have three different sizes (diameters) of rubber from EMC Vega in Germany. They are specialist suppliers in all things related to glider launching. It is expensive but is very durable (my oldest is 15 years old or more). Latex surgical tube (the beige coloured stuff) is traditionally what bungee systems used, I have some but it's deteriorating slowly (kept away from UV in a bag dusted with talc as it can stick to itself). The cotton braided stuff can be used for light gliders but it can be too powerful, a difference between the latex and the cotton stuff is that the cotton hits a stretch limit because of the braiding where the latex can stretch almost infinitely. Gliders with electric motors in the nose became popular (fit a battery and launch versus walk 150 metres, stick a stake in the ground and walk back!) which eventually manifested in the competition world with F5J replacing F3J (winch launch). I still launch F3J gliders on a bungee for landing practise and there is no other use for these gliders apart from flying them on the slope for fun. Cheers Gary
  4. I built the Albatross in 2008 and the kit was pre-owned. It's been out of production a long time. There is the 'Watts Up' by Brian Austin as another option.
  5. Cheers John, I was probably overdoing it in the heat. Some light tinkering in the shed today. Started the wing root fairings. Faced one aileron and sanded its hinge face. 1. Parts needed for the wing root fairings, die-cut 2.5 mm balsa sheet, die-cut 0.4 mm ply seats and routed Liteply formers. 2. Checking the wing seat fit, pretty good, just slightly over length. 3. Checking with the wing fitted, again pretty good. 4. Protecting the wing with iron-on film backing to prevent sticking the fuselage to it accidentally. 5. The ply wing seats were glued to the inner fuselage frames only then the wing was fitted followed by 'Superphatic' applied with a paint brush to the outer join line. Added F6B Liteply former. 6. I glued the balsa parts together, adding one at a time, slightly leaned over so that they fitted into the undercut of the fuselage side. The vast majority of this wood will be carved and sanded off. 7. For interest I tackled this job on my Brian Taylor Spitfire not so long ago, it uses curved sheet mainly instead of block, not the easiest part of the build but then none of it is!! 8. Back to the Fw 190, the leading edge of the ailerons need to be sanded at an angle to allow down travel (they are top hinged with tape). I drew a pencil line for a guide. 9. I hinged it with masking tape to check the travel available, instructions say 1/2" or 12.5 mm total which doesn't seem a lot but there should be more than enough here. I need to sand back the aileron face at the tip as shown on the plan. 10. I faced the aileron inboard end with 1 mm ply after sanding the leading edge. I usually place a scrap of 1 mm ply in the gap on final assembly for clearance.
  6. Yep, the Elan wing section is probably E205, not the best for getting back from downwind. I bungee it in 12 mph winds. The Flair Albatross has a better section, has spoilers and is generally a stronger model (Liteply versus balsa). Electrifying these rectangular section fuselages is very common though the CGs were achieved with a AA receiver battery pack in the nose. The Elan is available but the Albatross is becoming scarce, there are two versions, foam wing or built-up.
  7. The Cambrian Elan is a good build and a good flier, it is a rudder/elevator glider but it can be electrified. The cheapest way to obtain an affordable F5J type glider is to watch the classifieds for a NAN Shadow or Xperience Pro, they do appear occasionally. There is a popular 2-metre class that flies in F5J, models like the Reichard Magic. In windy weather two things are important, a strong power system to motor upwind in the 30 second launch window (competition only but still desirable) and a relatively thin, modern aerofoil that allows penetration back in to wind after chasing a thermal downwind (again a competition element). When not flying competitions you can restart the motor and fly home from downwind, you can restart at any time in a competition but would score zero (restart wipes the launch height from the logger). Cheers Gary
  8. Early finish today, I started early (06:00) and it's just too hot to continue (will be fun reading this in December!). Completed the forward fuselage sheeting. Sanded the aileron facings. 1. Just this piece on the bottom to add this morning. 2. The balsa was reluctant to take on the curvature so I soaked it in water and wrapped it round my pencil holder (retired tea caddy). 3. Like a bought one! 4. Trimmed the upper sheeting back and sanded a flat surface, checking every now and then with a steel rule straight edge. 5. Adding the top strip, I rarely use pins but I had the urge here! 6. Sanded back to the front former and rough shaped. 7. The cowl is almost a perfect fit, awesome! 8. Sanding the aileron and aileron bay facings. It's very easy to make a mistake here, I did it with a Phase 6 build. 9. If the sanding block is canted relative to the aerofoil surface the facing will be too narrow and with a thin sanding block or file dips can appear. 10. If the aileron is sanded at the same time and in its place then dips will be less likely to form. Some Chris Foss designs have a trailing edge shaped extension glued on to the rear balsa face of foam wings to make the centre section, I use the same technique for that. This wing is being held off the bench by thick balsa packers to protect the servo horn. 11. Root facings to add and a bit more sanding but they're mostly there.
  9. Another day of tinkering in the garden (with my sun hat on!). Have just about finished the forward fuselage sheeting, just the top to go. 1. Six rectangles of sheet are provided for the nose section, no particular way of doing it is mentioned in the instructions so I thought I would glue to the centre longeron and let that dry and then curl the sheets round (in theory!). 2. Adding the upper sheets, each sheet shares the longeron. 3. While allowing things to dry I decided it was time to tackle a small but annoying problem. I have been using CIS (now Javis) Velo-set PVA and Aliphatic for over 10 years now, recently they changed the bottle design with a spout that when cut has a large hole in it and the glue 'splurges' out everywhere. The old, narrow, nicely controllable, nothing wrong with it, spout is the bottle on the right. Spent a while cleaning one of these old bottles out to use for PVA, I'm happy now! I did try to swap the spouts over, different threads of course, nothing's ever easy!! 4. Could have done with three hands for this job, leaving to dry overnight.
  10. Still waiting for M3 nuts so I cut out the ailerons and faced them today. Also been working on a DIY transmitter tray. 1. I had made pin holes from the inside to mark the cut lines before the upper wing skin was fitted. Popped a couple of pins in and taped a steel rule along them (to stop it slipping) then made the first cut. 2. The cut lines pass over two Liteply ribs and through the block and ply core wing tip, used my razor saw to cut through these. Probably time I bought a new blade for it as it took a while. 3. Same idea with the chordwise cut, many light cuts across the grain with a scalpel. 4. The plan was to cut the ailerons out in the middle of the space provided which pretty much worked, yay! 5. Using the pin method again the ailerons were quickly trimmed. 6. Some trimming needed at the spanwise cut, I usually face this area and the end of the aileron with balsa or thin ply, it's not called for in the instructions or plan. 7. Trimming the wing cut out. 8. Nice! 9. After sanding the wing and aileron are faced with 1/8" balsa which is then sanded at an angle to allow movement. A very clever idea used in the Aeronaut A-10 is to use trailing edge stock for the facings, no sanding required. 10. Tipped the wing up on to its leading edge and wedged lightly between two batteries to add the facing, can press down fairly hard while applying the masking tape.
  11. Been two months since I worked on this due to a motorbike project and finishing the F-15. The first challenge was finding it all! I'd had a PM about CG position uncertainty, the instructions say 75 mm, the plan says 95 mm and my calculations say 113 mm! I checked it again and it seems to be about right, I can add lead to the battery for the first flights then remove it if needed. Thought I would tighten the motor mount bolts and add the rest of the stringers and sheet the front of the fuselage but the nuts wouldn't tighten, obviously not M3 probably some weird BA or BSF size from my bits box! Ordered a packet of 50 M3 stiff nuts. Another thing to do was check the direction of motor rotation, I could programme the ESC but it's easier just to swap the cables over. Plugged the battery in, turned the transmitter on, nothing. I had bought another transmitter, same make but lower spec/value for foamies and sport models, I transferred the model memories over but the receivers have to be rebound, luckily the receiver was still accessible. The motor turned the right way so no need to do anything. Will probably cut the ailerons out next while I wait for the nuts. 1. Problem with switching between builds is remembering what stage you're at, I usually pencil line through completed steps on paper instructions but I don't have any for this kit, just the PDF. Read the instructions again and scribbled down some notes for jobs to do. 2. There is plenty of room to tape extra lead to the battery if needed. 3. A slight mystery is the upper fuselage stringers, they're not shown in the instruction scrap views or on the plan. I'm assuming that they come together in a 'V' at the front former as there is a cut out there the right size. Not glued in yet just in case I change my mind! Supposed to be two gun troughs in this area, might well leave them off.
  12. Pushed on today as I was feeling that the build was dragging out, pretty much finished. Glued in the ballast system. Glued in the pilot and fixed the canopy. Painted the jet nozzles. Set the balance point. 1. Ballast and adjustable nose weight arrangement glued in, added a tail of hard 1/8" square balsa so that I could move the battery with the wing fitted. 2. Glued the pilot in, don't look too close! Better than an empty cockpit. 3. Fixed the canopy on with strips of aluminium tape. 4. Masked up for brush painting. 5. Frames added with pre-painted tape strips. 6. Painted the jet nozzles, first silver then a dusting of black. 7. Adapted my Multiplex CG rig by taking the stops and balance weights off to use it as a pivot, I had to move the battery back a fair bit to achieve balance. Weight RTF is 1,860 grammes or 4 lb 2 oz. 8. Pretty much done, might paint on some nav lights and anti-col beacons, I am toying with fitting the sensors to the top of the fins but they could catch in the grass at the slope.
  13. Slack day today, mowed the lawn and put some bunting up under supervision. I was in despair for a pilot when I remembered that there is a vacform one in the Fw190 kit that I am building. I found it and apart from having goggles it was about the right size. The two halves of the vacform didn't fit very well so I glued them to a 1/16" balsa core and cleaned it up with files. Not perfect but a magnitude better than what I could have carved from scratch. Sprayed the inside of the cockpit area which was another little job that needed doing. Have started painting the pilot with ancient Humbrol/Airfix enamels, some of them must be 30 years old or more and are still quite usable after a good stir. 1. The vacform pilot from the Fw 190, I think it is 1/10 scale. Now I have no pilot for that model, will cross that bridge when I come to it! 2. Looks about the right size, he couldn't see the instruments so I broke the glare shield off and shortened it. 3. Masking up for the cockpit area, I really didn't want any overspray at this stage. 5. Perfect conditions for spraying in the garden this afternoon. 6. Getting there.
  14. Spent all day designing and making the movable battery and ballast system, it's fun 'winging it'! One day soon I would like to design and build a simple slope soaring glider, something I've never done. 1. The movable battery clamp is built on a piece of hard balsa sheet that came with the kit, it will fix to the ply reinforcements inside the fuselage and also be bonded to the floor of the plastic moulding. I had a sheet of unidentified hard wood in my scraps box, I think it is Obechi. Using that I made two 'runners' and a clamp. I drilled for, and epoxied in, two M3 brass inserts to take machine screws. I use these instead of self-tappers on cowlings as they are much more durable. I added a 2 mm scrap of Liteply to fill the gap between the clamp and the battery strip, the gap was 1.8 mm so this was 0.2 mm too thick. I did think of adding a square of sandpaper to the packer to help the grip but it wasn't needed. 2. With the screws lightly nipped the strip is secure, marvellous! 3. Part B of the project was to work out how to fix the ballast bar, I started with some very hard balsa rails to locate it fore and aft. I also cut slots for Velcro straps, I use a lot of these, even replacing cable ties on my motorbikes as they are kinder on the paintwork. 4. The whole system. I will have to add an extension to the rear of the strip as all this will be under the wing and not easily adjustable. My plan is to leave the clamp just slightly loose so I can move things then tighten fully to lock it. Another thought is that the battery will need some foam top and bottom to fix it vertically in the nose otherwise it will swing like a bell clapper. 5. I then realised that the cross rails would stop the battery strip from being removed so I cut the centre parts of the rails out. 6. There is room for a second ballast bar and it would also be possible to stack it over the first one. 7. I kept thinking how odd the CG position given in the instructions was as I have almost always used the leading edge at the root for full-size weighings and models. It struck me that if I joined the two leading edge marks with a straight edge or piece of string that it would give a position at the roots, the two pencils are pointing at them. It's something like 190 mm aft of the datum (leading edge at the root) but will confirm that when it's next assembled.
  15. Did some pilot shopping this morning and found one that looked perfect but I backed out as it was from the EU with warnings of Fed Ex charges for collecting VAT etc. Made, fitted and painted the Plasticard covers for the tail pieces of the fuselage. Fitted an on/off switch and volt checker, both accessible through the open jet pipes. I have telemetry on my transmitter for Rx voltage but I do like to see old school coloured lights as well! Went searching for foam to pack out the nose to place the battery, apart from not finding any foam I thought this would be fiddly and an imprecise way of doing it when I remembered that I used to set CG position on an F5J glider by mounting the flight battery on a stick so that it could be moved fore and aft. I found the stick (just a thin strip of ply with Velcro) and also the glider ballast weights, a combination of brass and aluminium threaded rods. So...I have a battery on a stick now and just need to work out how to make it adjustable, at the same time I will make a ballast mount. 1. This open area is to be filled with Plasticard. 2. Like this... 3. I sprayed the aerosol paint into a used yoghurt pot (a clean one!) and used a brush to touch in. 4. Looking at the radio gear, the receiver will be fixed where it is. 5. An on/off switch and volt checker. 6. The ballast system and battery stick from my NAN Xplorer 4000, the holes in the end of the aluminium pieces allow the ballast to be placed optimally for CG. 7. The Xplorer 4000 (4 metre span) for interest, luckily the wings de-rig into three pieces for transport! I have 3.5 and 3.8 metre versions of this glider. 8. I made a Liteply stick for the battery and need to work out how to vary the fore and aft position and fix it, pencil behind the ear time!!
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