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Gary Binnie's blog
Posted by Gary Binnie | Sep 11, 2013 @ 09:40 PM | 2,922 Views
For my own convenience I am listing my build threads here, easier than searching for them and perhaps readers might like to visit them. For the latest blog post see the first thread below as this list is a 'sticky'. Thanks.

Chris Foss gliders:

Hi-Phase, open class thermal soarer. Converted from the Centi-Phase below, finished and flown, love it!

Phase Lift, open class thermal soarer. Bought used, not flown, hope to build a new one (found a nice ready built one!).

Multi Phase, open class thermal soarer. Finished, flown, crashed during a competition landing, repaired, written off, radio failure.

Centi-Phase, 100" thermal soarer. Became the Hi-Phase above but bought a used Centi-Phase. Currently building another from a kit.

Phase 6, slope soarer. Kit build, finished, flown, a few lumpy landings but still going strong.

Other gliders

Cambrian Elan, 100" thermal soarer. Kit build, flown, recommended. Includes bonus Flair Sunrise rebuild/recover mini thread!

Flair Albatross, 100" thermal soarer. Kit build, flown.

Veron Vortex, 100" 1970s thermal soarer. Kit build, test flown.

Pat Teakle Slingsby Vega, 1/4 scale slope soarer. A refurbished used model, need to fit servos in the wings before it flies again.

Multiplex ASW 22, 4 metre span, semi-scale slope soarer. Refurbished and flown, see thread just below in my blog!!

Multiplex DG600, 3.5 metre span, semi-scale slope soarer Just sort of 'came my way'! Flown 9/03/2011.

...Continue Reading
Posted by Gary Binnie | Sep 07, 2013 @ 07:06 PM | 2,611 Views
Over a year since my last blog post, very slack!!

Not building much at the moment, urge has temporarily departed!

I really only fly F3J gliders now and am concentrating quite hard on competitions, doing ok with scores slowly creeping up but I do struggle with the 'sticking to the sky' bit!!

My main glider is a NAN Xplorer 3.5 with a Tragi Cluster for lighter winds, backup models are a Pike Superior (glued together in several places!) and a Vladimir's Graphite (the really old open structure version).

I have a Tracker for the 100S class which I just don't seem to do well in at all, need to practise more with it.

Pictures of the 'fleet':

GB
Posted by Gary Binnie | Jun 18, 2012 @ 06:20 PM | 3,187 Views
Although I love building I knew I had to spend more time flying, particularly gliders.

So... last winter I bit the bullet and bought an Xplorer 3.5 and a used Pike Superior. Just recently I bought a Vladimir's 'Graphite' (the early open structure version) and last week a 'Tracker 100' for the peculiarly British '100S' class.

I'm flying the BMFA F3J league, having fun and making great new friends at the same time.

Aeromodelling budget is very low at the moment but who cares!

GB
Posted by Gary Binnie | Nov 24, 2011 @ 07:21 PM | 3,936 Views
With all that 'Sticky' stuff above I sort of stopped posting blog updates, suppose I should!

I'm struggling to remember what I've done this year, looking back I bought a Multiplex DG600 which is faultless on the slope and more recently a Multiplex Fiesta which is rapidly becoming a favourite.

On the building front I started a Medicine Man glider and in the middle of that I built an electric Me163.

A 1/4 scale Fournier RF-4 had some love mid-summer.

Up till August I spent a lot of time on restoring our syndicate Tiger Moth, that did eat in to the modelling hours!!

Crashed two models, a mid-air collision that I maintain was not my fault and a loss to radio/power failure. I don't crash so that was bad!!

An early New Year's resolution is to build much smaller models, they're quicker to build and take up less room!

GB
Posted by Gary Binnie | Jan 28, 2011 @ 11:01 AM | 5,673 Views
Moved to top of page.
Posted by Gary Binnie | Jan 11, 2011 @ 02:49 PM | 7,892 Views
A friend mentioned that he had an old Multiplex ASW 22 sitting at his parents' house and I said that I would like to have a look at it, somehow it has ended up in my shed!!

It was in reasonable condition but has some problems that need fixing:
  • Wrinkly wing covering
  • Broken airbrake link pin
  • Hole in rudder
  • Elevator drive horn broken

The damage is mostly from house moving and storage and a little bit from flying. I've fixed the hole in the rudder and the broken elevator horn but the covering is defying all attempts to tighten back up (though it is looking better than it was).

I struggled for hours trying to fix the airbrake but in the end I pulled it out of the wing fairly neatly and will be installing new Graupner double paddle units. Update:These brakes were eventually fixed and used in another glider, see here for how I did it!

It has a central aileron servo in the fuselage and I wondered about fitting wing servos but I'm not confident that I could thread any wires through. The linkages are fairly slop free so I'm going to use a servo for each aileron as shown in the instructions for the Multiplex Alpina Magic (ASW 22 and Alpina Magic instructions are downloadable from MPX).

I think this will go nicely on the slope but it does have a belly hook, just wondering whether you can bungee launch a 4 kg, 4 metre span glider safely? Maybe with a headwind!! I don't do aerotowing yet but must have a go this year.

Cheers

GB
Posted by Gary Binnie | Jul 21, 2010 @ 06:13 PM | 7,706 Views
Our 1:1 scale Tiger Moth is in for a three year birthday (Star Annual maintenance and Certificate of Airworthiness renewal).

Part of this process, the 'check flight' is done and passed. That involved a full power timed climb for five minutes (to check the engine is giving the right power), stalling, spinning (two turns, both left and right) and the best bit, a run to VNE (Velocity Never Exceed), makes your eyes water!!

It was recommended last year that we got the tail surfaces recovered in the winter, that slipped somewhat (oops!) and so I am doing it now.

The covering is still good but the problem with modern synthetic material is that it lasts so long that the internal wooden structure does not get inspected enough (they reckoned on seven years average for linen covering where the tail covering on the Tiger has been (cough!) on quite a while!!

Will post some photos, if anyone needs any more photos for detailing a model of a Tiger then just shout (I have lots!!).

Cheers

Gary
Posted by Gary Binnie | May 29, 2010 @ 03:47 PM | 7,075 Views
Thought that I would report on my progress at the Radioglide 2010 competition and describe what it's all about at the same time. It's my first glider competition and I had a fairly steep learning curve with the rules this morning (although I had read and digested them beforehand!).

Saturday 29 May
Turned up early to a small field at Marsh Gibbon near Bicester (got lost finding it, should have used the satnav!), grey skies, breezy and not looking too promising.

Checked in Tx, only pilot on Ch 62 so that was good. Chatted to one of the comp staff and picked his brains on the rules and saw the entry list, only 33 flyers (it was packed in the 1980s apparently).

Met Chris Foss and had a short chat, it rained later and we had a much longer chat!!

They laid out five (or six) electric winches next to each other with landing circle tapes behind them, getting nervous now as I had never used a winch.

Plead for mercy with the competition director to use the bungee, nope, not allowed, doh!!

Looking round at the models I could see that I was out of my league despite the pre-advertisement of 'bring anything that you have got'. With the strong wind and worries of snapped wings on the winch I selected the only available weapon, my Multi-Phase.

Round 1: I was paired up with a lovely chap who gave me advice on using his winch and I was called forward to launch, gulp!! With no power at all the wings bent upwards alarmingly during the launch and I was very relieved to get...Continue Reading
Posted by Gary Binnie | Apr 16, 2010 @ 01:55 PM | 7,718 Views
Thought I would chart the progress of my new shed/aeromodelling workshop. I have a garage which is not really usable (full of old motorbikes and a fridge/freezer), my loft is converted but very small (ok for building Peanut scale!!) and my days of being allowed to build on the kitchen breakfast bar are over (by mutual consent!).

So I've asked a local shed company to do the whole lot, lay the base, build the shed and install a new garden fence while they are at it. Work should start in about 10 days and I'm looking forward to moving in.

Will post progress as it happens, might help others who are thinking of doing the same thing.

GB
Posted by Gary Binnie | Dec 20, 2009 @ 07:27 PM | 7,717 Views
Not posted in here for a while.

I'm building a Chris Foss Phase 6 at the moment, nearly done, just needs painting. Thread is in 'Slope' (too tired to link!!)

Looking at some other projects, thinking about a very small, scale, control-liner. I am fascinated by the 50s-60s era of aeromodelling, there are some lost skills there that I would like to try (wet Nylon covering !!!).

No television, no telephone, no Internet etc. that's why they were craftsmen!

Cheers

Gary
Posted by Gary Binnie | May 29, 2009 @ 05:12 PM | 8,420 Views
I've been meaning to write something up about this adventure, just been too busy until now.

About three weeks ago one of the syndicate partners rang me at work to say that the Tiger had suddenly started to run very roughly and that he had got it down safely on the field that he was operating from.

A couple of days later I drove down 75 miles to where it was and quickly established that the engine was toast after a mechanical failure in No 3 cylinder.

We had recently sold our spare engine to another Tiger Moth syndicate who were restoring their aircraft, luckily they had not used it yet so we bought it back swiftly!

A long road trip had the engine collected and delivered and about six more visits had it changed and ready to fly.

A fun aspect of the job was that our Tiger was parked right on the North end of the Salisbury Plain army firing range, some shells got a bit too close one day!

I flew 'AN' home to Bicester yesterday, still some work to do with retightening things and fine tuning but she is purring again.

Thanks to Nigel the farmer who owns a pristine Tiger and apologies to Jeff for making him park his Tiger elsewhere for a couple of weeks.

Did some aeromodelling on some in between days when the job got a bit too much, had to order parts and think about the next steps anyway. It would have been a fantastic field to fly models from but I just did not have the time.

I have changed plenty of Lycoming engines but never a DH Gipsy Major so this...Continue Reading
Posted by Gary Binnie | May 02, 2009 @ 06:10 PM | 8,050 Views
Just got my BMFA membership card renewed, should have done it at Christmas, oops!

I noticed every time that I renewed that it was not showing any achievements which is strange. I made a note this time that I do have an A badge, the answer was 'send us a copy of the certificate as we have no record', good job that I kept it!!

I remember the test, Veron Tiger Moth, OS FS40 purring, figure of eights, crikey!

Came to the questions part, 'what sort of propeller should not be used?' Erm...'a metal one?' 'Good and...' 'Erm...'

I reeled off loads of answers but the one he was looking for was...a broken one! Yep, ok thanks, did I pass? 'Fraid so!!

Happy days

GB
Posted by Gary Binnie | Apr 28, 2009 @ 08:32 PM | 8,828 Views
After 75 miles on a motorbike to collect a Tx battery, fibre glass cloth and laminating resin (from three different shops) I started wondering how much harder can it get for UK modellers.

It's a mail order world nowadays but I do like to see the goods before I spend the cash. The more it costs the more I want to see it.

I spoke recently to the last surviving major UK kit producer (Chris Foss) and business was so slow that he was considering giving up. I don't know what Flair are up to, their website has been static for two years or more. Cambrian seem to be just going but are advertising a 135 model (BF 109E) with just one photo and minimal details, come on guys.

All a great shame.

What bothers me is that young kit/scratch builders are non-existant now but these guys would be the engineers of the future, it worked for me.

As long as I have got plans, pins, balsa and white glue I should be ok!

Gary
Posted by Gary Binnie | Apr 14, 2009 @ 06:10 PM | 8,370 Views
Well I've been here nearly five years now and not posted anything in my blog spot so I thought I should do something!

Originally from London my parents settled in Oxfordshire (where you can smell the countryside!).

My dad and his younger brother were both keen modellers, RC was 'smoke and mirrors' to them though. 'Uncle Bob' had a double wardrobe stacked full of kits (mostly the KeilKraft scale range) and used to give me one every time we went back to London, like Christmas to me.

My dad liked to design and fly ambitious subjects, probably the most ambitious was a 1/12 scale Avro Lancaster for free flight that appeared briefly at Old Warden in the early 1970s. Only flew once as I remember, big wing over after take off and damaged but not too badly. It still survives and is kept locally.

Dad was a National Service engine fitter with the RAF about the time of the Berlin Airlift and worked on Avro York's, Ansons etc. I followed him in to the RAF, working on jets through the last stages of the Cold War and retired after 23 years service in 2002.

In my time in the RAF I took up full size gliding and eventually became a full category instructor and tug pilot, my last posting was at the RAFGSA Centre teaching Army, Navy and RAF personnel to glide. I don't instruct now due to work committments but I might get back to it.

I currently work for Brawn GP (formerly Honda F1 Racing) in the wind tunnel, knowing not much about F1 I apparently got the job because I knew...Continue Reading