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Posted by FWAL | Aug 31, 2015 @ 10:06 AM | 4,017 Views
Mixed up the Epifanes 2K paint today and white washed the Mefisto nose cone and fuselage. Rebel's hull, rudder and bulb.
Posted by FWAL | Aug 26, 2015 @ 12:58 PM | 3,679 Views
Whilst discussing build tips on another thread I thought it might also be useful to post the process here on how I go about making deck eyes. It involves modifying a 3" butt hinge to allow the removal of the pin (Some hinges can be purchased with drop out pins0. In this instance I just cut the head off one end. Then I cut approx 2mm 1/16" off one knuckle and 8mm 1/4" off another knuckle.
The hinge is opened fully and the S/S rod is passed through the narrow gap and the hinge closed to form a 180 degree bend. The pin is removed and the bent rod released, the pin is replaced and the rod placed in the wider gap perpendicular to the first bend. The hinge is closed to form a 90 degree bend. After that trim the ends and you have a perfectly formed deck eye without using a pliers
Posted by FWAL | Aug 24, 2015 @ 05:35 PM | 3,227 Views
After too long sitting at the back of the work bench I dusted off Rebel (My D&B RG65) and made a concerted start to finish her. It hasn't taken that long as I have had plenty of time to come up with the design which is a little unique in that the battery pack is located under the masts. Also, I'm using a standard double servo arm which is only 55mm in length but should produce >100mm of sheet travel. At the moment I'm pretty optimistic about the set up and fingers crossed the deep narrow hull design will also prove to float and tack!
Posted by FWAL | Aug 24, 2015 @ 03:26 AM | 3,307 Views
All waxed up, spread with thickened resin and inserted in the slot
Posted by FWAL | Aug 24, 2015 @ 03:19 AM | 3,022 Views
Not the best photo's but I was trying to multi task by not crashing and shooting some snaps at the same time! Not even my wife can multi task..........she can't sit down and be quiet at the same time
Posted by FWAL | Aug 22, 2015 @ 05:32 PM | 2,977 Views
Today I made a start on fitting a Dave Creed fin to a DC bulb. The best most accurate tool to form the rebate in the lead bulb would be a very expensive milling machine. Alas I made do with a pillar drill, fein multi tool and a glass of wine!
I positioned the fin to bulb threaded fitting bar (bolt) directly on the bulbs CoG. This moves the bulb approximately 25mm further aft than my current bulb / fin configuration.
Posted by FWAL | Aug 18, 2015 @ 02:53 PM | 2,640 Views
The wind kicked in this afternoon. 24mph directly on shore. Wow, did I have a nice hour on the slope with my Faze 6. The Traceur struggled due to its 600g AUW
P6 & T2 (1 min 49 sec)

Posted by FWAL | Aug 15, 2015 @ 04:03 AM | 2,521 Views
The original Mefisto wings finally gave up the ghost after hours and hours of slope abuse back in 2013. Today their replacements arrived and I'm very excited about the prospect of more Mefisto magic. The new wings are slightly different in that I have opted for the additional flaps which should allow for a more versatile flight envelope. I can't wait.

Here's a vid of the original outer aileron wing:
Mefisto Magic (2 min 26 sec)

Posted by FWAL | Jul 12, 2015 @ 03:14 AM | 3,040 Views
I do enjoy watching the French performing slow and low slope aerobatics with large gliders. With this in mind I've been looking for a glider to help me learn and perhaps one day fly like the French. My 3D Traceur is a little too small, light and twitchy. The Phoenix 2000 is close but not quite aerobatic enough and my modified Phase 6 isn't a million miles away either. I'm not a good enough pilot to try these manoeuvres with the Hammer just yet. I have tried and have paid the consequences! And the Mefisto is still sadly out of action waiting for a new wing.
When I came across the new Hacker XL Vagabond it looked just like the glider I had been looking for. Large 2m wing, Epp bouncyness and relatively light.
So here's what you get and what unfortunately you don't get!
The manufacturing of the parts is really impressive along with the art work and laminated covered aerofoils. The fuse is left naked which for the cost is a little surprising as these kits aren't cheap.
Once you have read the instructions you'll soon be aware of two glitches. The kit doesn't include servo extension cables or the parts for the +/- 90 degree pulley controlled tailplane. This came as a bit of a shock as Hacker make no mention that additional cables are required and actively promote and photograph the pulley powered tailplane in their marketing literature.
The first job is to make long shallow cuts into and along the fuse, then to push in and glue 5 lengths of reinforcing carbon fibre...Continue Reading
Posted by FWAL | Jul 04, 2015 @ 10:52 AM | 2,044 Views
Yep it's always nice to come home and find a big box in the hall. Yesterday was no exception.
However, when you pay a lot of money for an ARF kit it's pretty mean of Hacker not to include servo extension cables (I've had them in much cheaper kits) and not including all the parts advertised in their marketing blurb and photo's. I say this as it is "stated" that the XL has a pulley system elevator which produce +/- 90 degree movement. Yet in the kit and instructions this is non existent. I will be contacting the dealer soon to find out why this is the case. But it's not the start I was hoping for.
Posted by FWAL | Jun 23, 2015 @ 03:01 PM | 2,067 Views
A Sunny day with a 15mph SW breeze. The conditions were just right for my annual 2ch soaring reminder. So with the Svenson Sunny's batteries charged I popped over to Hunts. The lift was extremely good and I had a great time with the Sunny and Hammer. However, it ended on a sad note when I stalled the Hammer too close to the ground and damaged the starboard wing. I have just emailed Rob at 'Flying-dog online RC' to see how much a replacement is going to set me back! I was going to email him anyway as last week I pre-ordered a XL Vagabond which should be a little more bouncy!
Posted by FWAL | Jun 21, 2015 @ 10:39 AM | 1,966 Views
After a week of pretty nice weather and some good SW winds it was great to be able to pop over the Golf Course for a little Sunset Soaring. I only took the Traceur and she wasn't set up very well for the lightish 10mph winds. I had to tone down the throws quite considerably but the outcome was well worth it.
Posted by FWAL | Jun 04, 2015 @ 04:38 PM | 3,126 Views
My boys are getting a little excited about a dogfight. The 66" model of a 79 Fighter Squadron MK1 Hurricane is nearly finished.
Posted by FWAL | May 26, 2015 @ 04:59 PM | 2,459 Views
The morning was spent on the shore the afternoon on the slope, not any old slope. Probably one of the very best slopes in Britain, perhaps the World
Posted by FWAL | May 13, 2015 @ 05:05 PM | 2,515 Views
4 layers of F/G 3 x 80g/m2 and 1 x 135g/m2 moulded over a 45mm dia plastic pipe. Cyno'd and glassed to the fuse. Very happy with the results.
Posted by FWAL | May 05, 2015 @ 01:51 AM | 2,583 Views
Not wanting to upset the family but still craving for a bit of flight time I was up and out early for a little slope therapy. This mornings slope was a short walk from my front door where I launched off the 6th tee of Langland Golf Course. It proved to be a really nice start to my Bank Holiday.
Posted by FWAL | Apr 26, 2015 @ 06:20 AM | 2,674 Views
After almost 2 weeks of Easterly winds the wind finally changed direction with just enough speed to allow some serious South Gower soaring. I was not the only person taking advantage of this small window of opportunity as tomorrow the wind is forecasted to be Northerly.
My latest and dare I say plastic Phoenix 2000 soarer was ready for a maiden. I'm not really sure what possessed me to purchase a plastic and polystyrene plane but the cost of 47 ex P&P and video's of it's flight characteristic persuaded or perhaps brain washed me to think that it was a good decision. As advertised it didn't take long and was an easy task to put together. As mentioned on forums the supplied clevis's do appear to be very fragile and could possibly have been replaced but I didn't at this stage. However, I did decide to add an additional rudder hinge, my own motor, ESC, folding prop, spinner and not forgetting the 6 servo's.
For the maiden I didn't programme any mixes and used Y leads for the ailerons and flaps. Keeping it simple to start off with. The CoG was set as per the instructions and when she left my grip into 20 mph of clean, crisp, off the sea lift there were no immediate flight corrections required, she just sailed off in a straight line whilst gaining steady height. In fact it was a very uneventful maiden, she flew extremely well, at times I felt she could do with a little more weight and the rolls were a bit slow and not very axial but to be honest I'm glad as I can now look forward to a bit of tweaking and experimentation to further improve this gliders performance. One thing which wont need any altering are the flaps, they did their job brilliantly and made my landings look quite professional.
Talking of professional the two Jet Proost pilots were looking very pleased with themselves! I was not alone this morning as an old Mumbles Modeller and his wife were also making the most of the favourable wind direction. Kerry has be a modeller since 1954 and his vast experience is very evident in both his building and flying prowess.
Posted by FWAL | Apr 16, 2015 @ 04:47 PM | 2,907 Views
A new build and a slightly different approach! I had previously amended Vertex's plug to increase the rocker and volume near the bow. However, I lent the plug to another Club member but they never found the time to build a hull. Saturday morning I awoke, took my four legged friend for a little walk down the woods to Caswell, around the cliff path back over Langland Golf Course and home. Breakfast, coffee then wetted out the first layer of 135g/m2 of fibreglass at 10:00hrs. At 14.00hrs the resin had 'kicked' and I applied another layer of 135g. At 17:00hrs I could lay the final laminate of 80g/m2 fibre glass. Then that evening whilst the resin was still green I applied a coat of just resin to fill the weave.
Therefore, in one day the whole F/G laminating process was completed and all that was left was a 80 grit sanding prior to another resin coat and hopefully painting. Usually this process takes a couple of weeks and the occasional fish eye.
By using this quicker technique approach I din't have to use spray mount to tack the F/G to the plug, nor did I use a brush. Instead I used a small foam paint pad and a credit card to do the wetting out. Am I converted? YES....
So with a little more enthusiasm this evening in between painting a bookcase and treating the lawn I made good progress by laminating the foredeck, kicker well and a fin box for my RG 65 Rebel D&B
Posted by FWAL | Mar 31, 2015 @ 02:30 PM | 8,787 Views
West Kirby Northern District IOM Ranking races 28th-29th March.
Wind, Rain, Sun, no wind and too much wind. What a weekend Oh and a record 65 entries including numerous IOM National, European, World Champions and me

West Kirby A Fleet, C Rig (7 min 14 sec)

Windy West Kirby (2 min 33 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by FWAL | Feb 24, 2015 @ 01:46 AM | 4,323 Views
Sunday morning I set off at 06:30 to the last South West District Winter Series race at Sedgemoor, Somerset. Prior to leaving the drive the windscreen required a good scrape to clear the ice, the dash was telling me to beware it was 0 deg C. It only just rose to 2 deg C in the 2 and 1/4 hrs it took to travel to the lake. At the lake it was off with the Sun glasses on with the wet weather gear. Six layers just about kept me warm and dry for the day.

SW IOM Winter Series, Sedgemoor (0 min 57 sec)

It didn't take long for the organisers to set up the race office and get the kettle and soup brewing. At this time the wind was pretty light and like a seasoned Green Keeper prior to a competition the buoys were layed in some awkward positions with the windward mark/finish line placed in the lee of the trees and leeward mark close to the bank and overhanging branches.
The skippers briefing was short and sweet and the 14 competitors were rigged and ready to race. Although, some were a little hasty and forgot something fairly important! A little warm up and the racing started at 10:00hrs
The racing was close and the left hand side was favoured by the fleet through out the day. Occasionally the centre paid off but you were likely to fall into a hole as you approached the windward mark/finish line which put pay to quite a few races for some skippers (me included) on more than one occasion. It wasn't long and the forecasted rain started and at the same time the wind...Continue Reading