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Braddock, VC's blog
Posted by Braddock, VC | Apr 07, 2012 @ 01:41 PM | 3,725 Views
Thought I'd post some pix of my 99% finished Xtrawot, just have to trim some of the trim edges, add the wheel pants and run the OS 160 Fx in then it's go fly, it started life as a kit in 2002!!!!
Posted by Braddock, VC | Dec 20, 2011 @ 05:37 AM | 4,025 Views
My eye surgery is scheduled for 17th January next year and I have to have a growth on my right foot removed and biopsied and my left big toenail removed, christ I'm gonna be off work for 4 weeks from mid january so I'll continue with the astrohog then!
A very merry Xmas to all, and Happy holiday to those who are pc.
Posted by Braddock, VC | Oct 22, 2011 @ 07:17 AM | 4,165 Views
I've got a package of wood ready and am marking out the astrohog fuselage formers and wing ribs. The method I use to mark out the various components is to photocopy each component on our ancient canon photocopier that uses toner; the paper wing ribs are then snipped out and placed on a 4" wide strip of paper to avoid too much waste then placed photocopied side down over the 4" balsa sheet and ironed with a covering iron turned right up. The outline is transferred to the balsa. I cut round the outline with a sharp scalpel then bolt them together to cut the slots for the spars and to sand the edges smooth.
I bought a large sheet of 3mm birch ply for the fus formers and a rake of 3/32" quarter grain balsa for the wing ribs. I can't get 5/16" balsa sheet to strip off the various spars that are made from this size balsa so I've bought 2 x 4" wide sheets of 1/8" medium balsa and one sheet of hard 1/16" balsa sheet to laminate the sheet which I will then strip off into 5/16" square sticks with my band saw.
I keep my bandsaw in a loft over my business so the whole lot, sticks, formers and ply wing ribs will be cut out at the same time. I am buying a 1/4" square tool ( google permagrit to see what I mean) to file out the spar notches en masse but I have yet to decide what material to use for the spars; the plan shows 1/4" square hard balsa - I'm torn between basswood or 2 square carbon tubes per panel with balsa for the rear spars, we'll see as I'm off to the local model shop to see what they have and how much it costs before committing.
Next week it's quiet at work so I'll leave the staff ticking over and go and visit my relatives in Wales (on the west in wales whereas I live in Dover on the East coast).
Posted by Braddock, VC | Oct 13, 2011 @ 11:25 AM | 4,030 Views
I don't know what it is but I've lost the will to fly. I think I've bought to many artfs and just can't bond with them, also I've been getting bigger and bigger airframes which seem to take me away from what I really wanted to do which was fly smaller aircraft, say 5 feet wingspan with smaller engines.
I've been following the thread on here called is the astrohog the best plane ever. I had one of the flair models and it was a real pretty plane and an excellent flier so I sent off to the X list of plans and bought the plans for the original as drawn by Fred Dunn. This plan is a work of art and I've decided to build it over the winter so I'll bond with it and perhaps bring back some of the fervour to my modelling.
I'll post some pix of it as the build progresses but only when the components are complete.
I have to go in for surgery on my right eye to straighten it up so I get back my depth perception but I won't know for sure until late November so whilst I'm recuperating I'll make a kit of parts, I've got most of the wood, just need some 1/16" 3-ply and then it's on with the show.
Posted by Braddock, VC | Sep 29, 2011 @ 12:46 PM | 4,515 Views
A bit out of date now, but we had a great time.
On the way down we spent the night in the city of Tours, France about 160 miles SW of Paris.

This city was the centre for the American expeditionary force in WW1 in 1917 where 650,000 men set up a distribution centre for the logistics of your brave soldiers. Your Army built a beautiful memorial to your boys and it is well looked after. The French built a bridge over the River and named it after your President Wilson. In WW2 somebody bombed the crap out of it but the French rebuilt it and it stands today as an emblem of gratitude to all your boys who came over and fought for freedom.

All to often nowadays the people over here forget the debt of blood we owe to the USA for all their help and sacrifice in two world wars, many ignoring the debt when asked to help out in the current conflicts in afghanistan and Iraq. I'm pleased to say that we brits have helped out but because we are such a small nation the amount of help is limited in size but not, I hope, in effort.

There are many memorials over here in Europe and most of the western front soldiers of both opposing armies who gave their lives lie in beautifully kept cemeteries.

On the Eastern front it's not the same story, mass graves with little or no access for the german relatives of the dead to visit.

I've tried to paste a picture but can't so if you want to see the memorial in tours go to the website of the american battle monuments commission and search for "Tours"
Posted by Braddock, VC | Jul 23, 2011 @ 03:43 AM | 4,127 Views
We love the town of Nerja in southern spain and we try to have a few weeks there every year, normally over Christmas as it's fine but not hot.
The kids asked if we could go down in the summer this year so we rented a villa which is literally right on the beach and started getting the car ready for the run down.
The car is now 7 years old and there's a few faults so I had all the brakes replaced, full service etc etc and just over a week ago the airconditioning packed up. They want nearly $1100 to fix it, the damn car isn't worth much more so I started preparing my SUV, a gas guzzler if ever there was one so I wasn't very happy about that, the cost of fuel for the trip was more than the cost of the rental of the villa for over 3 weeks.
I spotted an ad in the paper, free credit for a new vauxhall(General Motors, bless em) and next Tuesday a nice shiny new vauxhall insignia is being delivered, a 2 litre diesel car.
The cost estimate of the fuel is less than half of the SUV so that saves us nearly $700 and I got about $3500 in trade in for the old car.
I'm quite surprised neither the wife or kids moaned about the expense and the real neat thing is I can offset the payments against tax for my business which saves a further stack of money, great!!!!
Posted by Braddock, VC | Jul 23, 2011 @ 03:14 AM | 4,056 Views
Last year I blogged about the dutch guy who tried to fly his 1/2 scale bleriot XI over the channel from Calais to Dover.
I got a call in late March this year and it was on again. One fine morning in april he took off from Calais and about 40 minutes later he landed at St Margaret's at Cliff, near Dover.

Here's a couple of videos on youtube, the short one I took, the longer one was taken from the chase heli.

Model Bleriot Channel crossing 2011.wmv (3 min 54 sec)


www.youtube.com/watch?v=3B807GPRG3s&NR=1

If those links don't work just go to u-tube and search model bleriot landing at dover.

We got great press coverage in the UK local press, front page on one and a full centre spread in the othe plus I arranged for the editor of AMI a uk model mag to get a seat in the chase boat and he did an article in the AMI.
Posted by Braddock, VC | Jul 19, 2011 @ 07:26 PM | 6,728 Views
Just an update, I've nearly finished the xtrawot but had an engine change, I bought a clapped out OS 160 Fx, sent off to Tower Hobbies for a new piston, liner and ring as they were unobtainable in the UK, 4 weeks later they popped through the letter box after being held up in Customs for nearly 4 weeks and they are now in the engine, just have to drill the mount for the engine, bolt it in and connect up the servo, a lick of paint round the cowl and she's ready to run in. A nearly new 160 FX for under $200 can't be bad. The bearings are so big they are cheap as chips, under $15 for both, german ones too.
Hopefully she'll fly this weekend, won't get another chance for 4 weeks as we are driving down to Spain for a vacation on the beach in Nerja.
My two youngest kids are 18 and 16 so it's probably the last holiday we'll have together before they go to university.
I'll post some pix next week.
Posted by Braddock, VC | Jan 03, 2011 @ 06:24 PM | 4,375 Views
Well I hope you chaps had a good holiday, I'm no further forward with the extra wot, and the chances of it flying in the near future are remote.
We had an extension built on our business and much of the work was done between december 27th and today so it's now ready for occupation and all it needs are a few coats of paint and the security sensors wiring up and she's a goer.
Unlike the xtrawot. I've had to buy new standoffs, 4 metres of fuel tube, a new silencer, new tank bungs, new felt clunk weight, new propellers and two new servos. Then some more paint, some thinners and a bottle of airbrush cleaner.
Sometimes I hate this hobby of mine Since I had my gall bladder out I cannot touch alcohol without getting severe acid reflux so I can't even get pissed to lose touch for an evening.
On the brightside, I'm saving a fortune so should be able to buy some new gear shortly.
Posted by Braddock, VC | Dec 04, 2010 @ 08:09 PM | 4,632 Views
Took a day off work to apply the decals and the fella that cut them has only cut the shapes for the starboard wing, 2 bloody sets of starboard wing decals - Fortunately solarfilm's solartrim came in the right colours so I had to cut them out by hand, and I got a fresh supply of paints for the cowl, u/c and spats. Should get them painted next week.

Bit of a change of plan on the engine front, I've decided to change the engine, bought a dla 32 gasser to go in there, never realised how many different accessories I had to buy, new fuel pump, new fuel tubes, the list is endless.

Should be ready to fly before Christmas though. I hope.
Posted by Braddock, VC | Nov 15, 2010 @ 06:44 PM | 4,429 Views
Can I get the time to clear a space on the table, lay some soft towelling over it to lay my plane on and apply these bloody decals?
The answer is NO! Always the way I have 4 busy days and nights and next weekend my son is playing away and I'm the taxi so I won't be finishing the Xtrawot for at least a week.
It's almost christmas, I've done no shopping so that week might stretch into two and then three then it's christmas and I need a vacation but I can't go as we've a major expansion going on in my business, hot damn I only work to pay for my hobby and I can't get the time to do it.
Rant over but I guess you guys out there know how I feel, I need four hours or so, tops and I can't string em together.

Frustrated of Dover.
Posted by Braddock, VC | Nov 12, 2010 @ 07:07 PM | 4,407 Views
Here's the layout of the graphics I have to add, couldn't do it tonight as I'd something else on, perhaps tomorrow.
BTW the colours are much brighter than this, the red is a much deeper red and the light blue is sky blue.
Posted by Braddock, VC | Nov 12, 2010 @ 06:55 AM | 4,644 Views
I hope these pictures come through, this is ready to go in the white.
I have 3 colours of vynil trim, there is dark blue and the cowl, spinner, u/c and pants will be this colour. Also light blue and maroon.

By the way it's fitted with the two seater canopy.

Whaddya think?
Posted by Braddock, VC | Nov 11, 2010 @ 05:04 PM | 4,175 Views
All back together, bought two digital servos, one for the elevator and one for the rudder, they are the bog standard spektrum ones and apparently are quite torquey. I used Kavan furry mylar hinges pegged with cocktail sticks after epoxying them in, was going to use gorilla glue but didn't find it until after I'd used the epoxy .
I've been rethinking the colour scheme, the original builder gave me a set of vynil trims that I felt was not the right colour for me.
I rolled them out tonight and blow me they are just the ticket so I'll be slapping them on tomorrow night.
I have two dynathrust props one 18 x 6 and one 17 x 8, the thing is about these props they are quite heavy one is 125 grammes the other 127, nearly twice as heavy as an apc so it'll cut down on lead if I need any. Just have to trim the carl goldberg spinner I have to fit it, this was originally intended for the goldberg ultimate I'm building but I think I'll put an alloy one one there.
I have two canopies one for a single seater version, the other for a two seater, christ it's not even semi-scale!! it does look prettier with the 2 seat version though.
No hurry to get it all together, no flying weather for a couple of weeks yet real depressions swinging in from the atlantic, at least it's not cold.
First thing to do will be to run in the laser 200 vee, the hog of the model aero world! .
I'll get a couple of pix without the colour then some with the colour and post them shortly.
Posted by Braddock, VC | Nov 04, 2010 @ 06:54 AM | 4,435 Views
Bit of a set back, the builder used Kavan piano hinge type hinges and I gave them quite a strenuous pull test, one aileron pulled out due to inadequate gluing but the rudder, I actually broke two of the hinges.
These were a real pig to remove and I intend to replace them and the aileron hinges with fuzzy hinges, unfortunately both the aileron and rudder hinges enter into the foam that is used to build the wings, ailerons and rudder so I'll have to get some gorilla glue as any cyno, including the foam safe, is suspect in these critical areas.
I gotta say it's far better to have this happen before she gets wind under her wings than during the flight.
I also had a look at the weight issue and have decided to go down the route of digital servos for the rudder and elevator, both mounted at the rear, using one for eles and one for rudder.
If anyone has used the futaba budget digital servos then I'd appreciate a heads up over which to use.
Posted by Braddock, VC | Oct 31, 2010 @ 08:33 PM | 7,703 Views
Following on from my previous post, even if I sell all those planes I'll still have the following fleet:-
1 Chris foss Wot4, kit built not artf saito 82
2 Chris foss acrowot, saito 82
3 Chris foss extrawot laser veetwin 200
4 Super Scorpion Vintage os forty fs, 66" span
5 Flair Junior 60 vintage os 26 fs 60" span.
6 Plan built winday ain't it, vintage, os 26fs, 61 Span.
7 Plan built Southerner Major 84" span os 52 fs
8 Kit built Keil Kraft Falcon 96" span, laser 70
9 GP slopoke 40 artf os 55 ax
10 Goldberg c/w cub laser 80
11 goldberg ultimate bipe 120 4s
12 plan built super tauri Irvine 36
13 ARC Jupiter os 55 ax
14 arc cessna os 91 fx
15 electric flying wing thing
Plus several repairable planes and 4 or 5 kits.
No wonder my wife is anti-models!!!!
Posted by Braddock, VC | Oct 31, 2010 @ 04:42 PM | 8,360 Views
As I mentioned the last time I posted, some of my fleet required maintenance which I've now carried out, not much clearing congealed synthetic oil from carb spray bars, little bits and patches over holes in the covering and rebending u/c wires.
I also had a long hard look at my fleet as I find I have almost 20 fliers, many of which have not had wind beneath their wings for many a long day and in some cases have not even flown.
So, to help me prepare prices etc, here's a list of what is being sold.
1 Kyosho calmato 60 with either a 61 SC or a 91 OS Fx up front, lovely flier nearest plane to the astrohog I've ever flown.
2 Ripmax Wot4 mk2 ready to go with saito 82 little used, the airframe has never been flown.
3 Laser 3D 60" span 3d flier, never flown, ready to go with a little used saito 62.
4 Never flown Thunder Tiger V Bat flying wing with power pod and OS 10 FP, no rx or servo but with battery and switch.
5. Never flown Black horse Ultimate Bipe 90 size with a little used saito 125 all servos etc add rx and fuel and off you go.
6 Ultra stik with irvine 36 and ready togo.
7 Flair Fokker D7 airframe and servos only, the engine is a laser 80 hence a keeper.
8 Graupner Skycat airframe, no servos.
9 ST model fox electric glider all servos, 2 3 cell lipos slight damage to nose, spare electric motor.
10 Multiplex merlin with multiplex tuning motor and esc, 5 batteries (3s lipos 500mah) only flown 4 times, some hangar rash.
11 Precedent T180 (Cub lookalike) airframe only yellow and blue solarfilm.
12 BT Hurricane ready to cover and finish. includes mick reeves retracts.
13 Never flown H9 F22 raptor, all servos, battery switch and includes a yamada 45 2 stroke with mini pipe.
All will be keenly priced and raring to go.
Posted by Braddock, VC | Oct 28, 2010 @ 05:21 PM | 3,738 Views
First up I can't add pictures as I've forgotten how, the plane is in the white and the finish is profilm on the wings dope and tissue on the fuselage and the tailplane and fin then painted with white acrylic paint.
This last bit is the only thing I don't feel comfortable with, I don't know how the paint will react to overcoating with epoxy paint which i'd like to do.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
All the pushrods have now been changed, 3mm steel rods screwed at one end and a 3mm adaptor silver soldered on the other.
I've used steel clevises on one end of the aileron pushrods, ball links on the other. The elevator pushrods have ball joints at each end and the rudder is pull-pull.
I'm not sure whereto go from here, I have vynil stick-ons the builder had cut but the colours are not what I like.
I'd like to spray the cowl, spats and u/c light blue and make up my own profilm stick-ons in light blue and metallic purple. The thing that's holding me up is the acrylic paint on the fus.

I've had to stop doing it for a bit and do maintenance work on a couple of my fliers, also I'm assembling a Hangar 9 F-22 that's nearing completion, also completing a 3d flier that I've had in the workshop for some time(9 years to be exact).
I'll get back when I've researched the properties of auto spray can acrylic paint.
Posted by Braddock, VC | Oct 08, 2010 @ 03:16 PM | 3,698 Views
I've started sorting the various components out to make this bird airworthy and have been spending time getting really tight linkages.

The designer, Chris Foss, is one of those who thinks less is more, consequently the plane has been designed with standard servos in mind. Just to recap, it's 72" wingspan and 60" long and a design weight of 10.5 pounds with suggested engines 91 - 150 2 stroke and 120 - 180 4 strokes.
The elevators and the rudder have aerodynamic balances ( bits of control surface forward of the hinge line) intended to reduce servo loads and when I bought it, it came with 5 futaba 148s, in honesty I was a bit dubious at first but the more I thought about it the more I felt hey, this guy is the designer and he's been successful for the last 30 odd years at it who am I to query his work.
So standard servos it's gonna be except I'm going to fit hitecs with karbonite gears, and two on the elevator, one to each half, two on the rudder and one to each aileron, also one for the throttle.
The engine is going to be a laser 200 Vee Twin, the prototype flew on a laser 150 single which gave it unlimited vertical but I got this brand spanking new twin for the same money as the single so that's what it's gonna be.
I hit my first snag, the guy who built it provided enough dubro 1/4 scale horns and clevises and I made up the pushrods.... DOH!!!!! the clevises are american ((4 40???) and all the roods I have are 3mm 2 hours work wasted as I now have to take the clevises off and tap out the holes to 3mm.
Back to the grindstone and will let you know the solution to the snag soon, it wasn't as difficult (on the ailerons anyway) as I thought!
Posted by Braddock, VC | Sep 26, 2010 @ 03:53 PM | 3,467 Views
Well, I've started fettling the extrawot, it needs several major decisions made which I'll talk through.
The engine is superb and initially I thought it would prove too heavy at 1.2 Kg so I tried to swap it for a saito 36fg then I found that was heavier still so I am going to use the laser, principally because I have thoughts about scratch building a fw 190 A4 at about 75" wingspan and the cowl will swallow the laser.
Anyway the builder had had made a beautifully machined alloy spacer that took the form of a flanged tube, this weighed in at 200 grammes, but the big disadvantage was there are no holes to allow the fuel tubes to exit so I bought some 12.5 mm thick maple engine bearers and they weigh 60 grammes.
With these in place and with the cowl fitted together with18x6 prop and carl goldberg spinner it balances nose heavy BUT it still has to have the elevator servo(s) fitted at the rear beneath the tailplane. I find I need 160 grammes to achieve the correct balance. The standard servos weigh just 84 grammes for the two so I'll have to fork out for two metal cased digitals that weigh 63 grammes each.
The other problem is the servo for the rudder, the rudder is simply enormous and a 2.00 cubic inch motor on the front is going to introduce some serious aerodynamic forces. Currently the fitted servo is a futaba 148 which is going to be operating at full load just to stay in neutral so I linked up another one in tandem, works just fine, and it's a little more weight behind the c of g.
I'll update from time to time.