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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spirit of St. Louis N-X-211 (Ryan NYP)

Charles Lindbergh's famous Spirit of St. Louis the Ryan NYP.

This RC model of the Spirit was constructed from a Royal kit in the late 1960's and for years was flown on the 21 May the anniversary of that famous flight of 1927, always a handful to fly requiring application of rudder ailerons and elevator for coordinated turns.  

Wing Span...................80 inches
Dry Weight...........................8 pounds
Power.............................ENYA 52 4 C

Charles Lindbergh's final resting place has to be one of the most idyllic locations on this planet. I recently had the good fortune of visiting that site on the Hawaiian Island of Maui; on the wet side not that far from the village of Hana.

Experience the thrill of Lucky Lindy's famous flight:-

To get a feel for what a challenge the original was to fly click the link at the bottom of this page and have a look at this feature presentation. 

About this feature:-
The creator painstakingly assembled news footage from five different cameras that filmed Lindbergh's takeoff from Roosevelt Field, Long Island and mixed it with enhanced audio from the same newsreel sources.

When you right click on the address, episode #3 comes up ready to play.
You can also click on "Contact" to the left and select #1, then watch them in order, #1 through #4 if you prefer to watch the four segments in their natural order.
What guts Lindbergh must have had to overcome the odds against him and accomplish his amazing feat.

Remember to right click choose "open in new window" and Select "Contact" after each clip to choose the next.

The Flash Player may ask your permission to run; give your permission if you want to view the amazing video clips.

Pretend that it's May 21 1927 all over again, climb into that cramped little cockpit, settle into that wicker chair used as a pilot seat, don't fret by the lack of a front windscreen, you can use the periscope in the instrument panel if you want to see where you are going and prepare to experience for yourself.......

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Jazz Up Your Scale Project

Add Extra Realism to your next scale project the easy way.
We are all not capable of replicating the intricate details of full scale subjects in miniature although we look up to those who can. Most of us wouldn't spend the time and effort required to produce a high quality detailed scale model aircraft even even if we could. What we really want is a flying scale model that looks right from 10 or 15 feet distance. There is an easy way to get the results that you are looking for. With only a minimal effort one can produce a good looking model like the one below from a Ho-Hum ARF like the one pictured below it.

The method I have been using lately utilizes images from the internet, an image editing program, a color printer and some reasonable quality photographic paper. The photographic paper is required just to conserve the color ink, which seems to be the only expensive item used in the process.

The following images were quickly located via Google Images and the scale accuracy is unquestionable since they are of full scale aircraft.
    The first problem with using the downloaded images to decorate the P40 model to find an identical mirror image to apply to the opposite side. After some thought the solution was to utilize the editing software's photo flipping about an axis procedure.  Flipping photos 3 and 4 about the x axis gives identical mirror images for applying to the right hand side of the model's fuselage.

   The second problem was to print images of an appropriate model scale  Again the solution was quite simple, this time we resorted to using the print preview process. This process allows the user to resize the object and shows the resized object over the paper sheet. Since the size of the paper sheet (dps) is known as is the appropriate model dimension (dm). The apparent screen dimension of paper can be scaled from the computer screen. (adps). There is now one unknown, the apparent object dimension which we will call "x".
Then utilizing the rule of ratios.

(x)/(dm)= (adps)/(dps)  or (x)=(adps)(dm)/(dps)

Resizing the object on the screen to dimension "X" will give the appropriate size after printing.

The following are some closeups of the model after applying the images.

The instrument panel,  exhaust ports and cockpit were first cut out from the printed photographs and applied to the model with CA glue.
The pilot figure and turtle deck was cut from the photographs and glued to both sides of foam core poster board with canopy glue, CA would work just as well. After drying the poster board was cut to the correct profile and glued on the cockpit centerline with white glue. 
The canopy glazing frames were painted to the inside of the canopy to minimize wearing off from handling. If this were a nitro powered model the items would need to be fuel proofed by spraying with clear paint. The wire landing gear struts were thickened up to resemble oleos by slipping silver painted sections of soda straws over the thin music wire

Model Specifications:-
Aircraft Type Curtis P40 War Hawk
Wing Span 34 inches
Flying Weight 1 pound
Power Speed 400 Brush-less Out Runner
Servos 3 9 g
Control Rudder, Elevator and Ailerons
Battery 800 ma 3 cell Li Po
Controller ESC 30 amp   

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Forgotten Piney

Piney the forgotten ARF constructed entirely of Pure Canadian White Pine by Master Builder Jim McBride (Canada's first and only ARF designer).

The Piney is an unusual parasol wing model resembling the Pietenpol Air Camper which is constructed entirely of white pine (even the surface hinges and strut attachments).  I have inherited a lot of pieces over the years;  enough to get one ready for flight for this coming flying season. I have a vague recollection of the Piney project but I have no real background material and if anyone remembers her I would be grateful for your information. Thanks,  Dave

Specifications:- 60 Inch wing span;
                                      5 pounds dry weight;
                                      OS 48 4c Nitro Power.

The Piney has a reputation of being a very poor flying model airplane: People have told me that before attempting to fly it I should be aware of its propensity for severe adverse yaw, supposedly because of its large strip ailerons. Adverse yaw is a condition where application of aileron control will always be accompanied by a yaw in the opposite direction. Before attempting to fly the Piney we programmed the radio for 20% rudder linked to aileron movement. Watch the short clip below to view the results.
Adverse Yaw

The second major flaw in the Piney design that I discovered independently is its severe tip stall that can be triggered by any form of control surface movement at low speed. After three crashes on takeoff I started to suspect the wing incidence as the cause. The wing is set at 5-1/2 degrees which in hind site, is too much for a high wing design with a modified flat bottom wing. Watch the short clip below that demonstrates how prone the Piney is to tip stalling.

Tip Stall

Ca-bane strut bracing wires was added to minimize the damage to the members in tip over accidents during takeoffs and landings. The picture below emphases the excessive wing incidence angle of the original Piney.  
 Note below the 1 cm shims attached to the wing's rear spar to reduce the the wing's angle of incidence from 5.5  degrees to approximately zero.
 Wing incidence change to zero degrees

The Maiden Flight

Other Known Models

Fitting my Piney for Float Flying

Now fitted with with a more powerful engine (OS 50 2 c)
Too bad! We never got around to flying her off water;  it was totaled .in an unexplained crash (probably a spiral death dive due to pilot error) in October 2017.