Monday, February 5, 2018

Catching Up in February

I have not posted anything in a couple of weeks, so time for an update. The best news came in an email I received from a student I had helped online build model airplanes for the Wright Capacitor event in Science Olympiad several years ago. I have to give her much of the credit for asking good questions and being so responsive by email. She was thrilled to receive 6th place out of 61 teams at the national competition and decided to pursue aerospace engineering in college and has an internship lined up at Boeing this summer.

Witch Hawk 500

Wright Capacitor Model

This winter I have been busy building another fleet of free flight model airplanes, the building went pretty fast but finishing up all the ending details has not gone as fast. Of course I had to try some new things; one was the tissue over mylar covering technique on the New Gollywock rubber model I am building. I had covered with mylar once before and that went pretty well but I must have not applied the dope as consistent as needed to attach the tissue. Some places look real good, other spot have some sagging tissue, from a few feet away it looks fine and the finished structure is rigid and light.

New Gollywock

After building and flying my first glow powered model in several years last year the Basic Yeller powered by a Cox PeeWee .020 I decided to try more glow models again. I started building my largest free flight yet, the Witch Hawk 500 to be powered by a K&B .19. This is my first model with a mechanical timer for motor cutoff and DT, the timer is a Texas Timers MaxIIIA. I wanted to do everything by the book, so used the mounting kit and the plastic dust cover. Covering is Polyspan on surfaces and silkspan on the fuselage.

Basic Yeller
1/2A Streak Free Flight

Two smaller glow models are under construction also; these are the ½ A 2018 One Design models at the Nats, Streak and Smarty. BMJR had a sale on the two kits so I purchased both. The Streak is covered now but still needs to have clear dope and some trim, Smarty is in final construction stage.  I have purchased airbrush equipment but still waiting for the pressure regulator to arrive. There are plenty of Youtube videos on spray painting that I have been watching before experimenting with the equipment.

Flying Aces Moth

Another rubber power model kit that I am finally building is the Peck kit of the Flying Aces Moth. I also have the Volare short-kit that I might build with any improvements I see are needed. Instead of the included plastic propeller I purchased a prop blank from Volare, the wood propeller is almost half the weight of the plastic propeller. This model will have a viscous DT, I used Manuel Cisneros article on Rotary Damper Timers as a guide for setting up a DT system for this plane.

Icon A5 Electric RC

Flash X18 on Frozen Lake Winona
When the temperature and wind are not too bad I have been doing some winter flying both RC electric and some simpler free flight models. The frozen lake close to where I live gives a huge unobstructed flying site but so far there has been little snow for cushion when the model lands. Crashing on ice is about like crashing on concrete. When there was a little snow I had fun doing touch and go’s with the Icon A5 park flyer electric RC. I have been test flying the Flash X18 rubber powered free flight that Dick Bertrand uses in his Free Flight Rescue program. With some minor tweaks I am getting more consistent flights.

Bill Kuhl

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