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FWAL's blog
Posted by FWAL | Jan 03, 2014 @ 07:57 AM | 2,222 Views
Wood has a certain quality, feel, look that fibre glass can not compete with. Carbon does come close but wood is good! Therefore, I have compromised the weight ever so slightly and veneered the decks with Walnut. The rear deck was glued in place two days ago and yesterday received one layer of 80g/m2 fibre glass. This morning prior to a refreshing walk around a very wind swept South Gower coast I glued on the fore deck and will glass that this evening. Looks as if the next week will be spent applying another couple of coats of resin and plenty of sanding prior to painting. I must mention that I almost paid 48 for Epifanes paint inc delivery but clicking another page over certainly paid off, I managed to purchase the same 2K paint inc delivery from Norfolk Marine eleven pounds cheaper.
Posted by FWAL | Dec 24, 2013 @ 09:54 AM | 2,347 Views
Festive fun, family, food a little drink and a lot of fettling!
Posted by FWAL | Dec 17, 2013 @ 03:07 PM | 2,014 Views
This morning the cramps came off the pot recess. A little bit of trimming and sanding and I'm happy with the result. The bottom of the recess is curved so water will run out easier when the yacht is heeling and the overall oval shape keeps the volume down whilst allowing the lid to be easily removed.
This balsa and liteply part will be glued to the underside of the deck which will have a matching oval aperture cut out.
Below is a photo of the BOR's miniature pot which only housed the RX. Again the canted sides of the recess is to allow water to drain out and gain access to remove the lid.
The last photo shows the size and location, of the recess. The BRC winch will be located on the Port side of the fin case. The rudder servo (futaba 3050) will be located on the starboard side and the 3S LiFe battery and rx will be in the pot. I think it's really important to keep the weight as close as possible to the Centre of Balance or put another away make the bow and stern as light as possible. The circular disc in the bottom of the photo is to stiffen the joint between the mainsheet post and hull.
Posted by FWAL | Dec 16, 2013 @ 09:36 AM | 2,241 Views
Now that Wiz is starting to resemble an IOM I have decided to re-name her. Wiz is now Edge. Why? due to her design there is a hard edge along her freeboard and I just feel Edge reflects the boats looks and character a lot better than Wiz. Here's a couple of photo's of progress thus far.
Posted by FWAL | Nov 16, 2013 @ 01:19 PM | 4,870 Views
Planking complete, pleased with the results. The transom is 90mm wide but looks a lot more in these photo's.
Posted by FWAL | Nov 11, 2013 @ 04:57 AM | 2,114 Views
Wiz will be the third IOM which will be constructed on 6mm thick foam board shadows. Foam board is readily available from hobby stores and is cheaper and easier to cut than say 1/8 ply. The slightest of draw backs is that the pins don't always produce a good hold. However, I have found that inserting the pins at an angle ensuring the pin projects through the paper surface of the board definitely increases it's holding capabilities.
To ensure the tightest of gaps between each balsa strip I rub over each edge with a small sanding block and 120 grit paper. The first edge which will be the open edge is sanded at 90 degrees, then I turn the strip over and sand the edge that will be glued at a slight chamfer. The angle of the chamfer normally increases towards the bow and stern to ensure a good gap free joint.
I have also found out that using the glue sparsely is the best way to reduce sanding and also vastly reduces the grab time. If you think about it you don't need a lot of glue to adhere 1/8 or 3mm thick strips of balsa together. Trust me sanding large globules of glue run off from inside a hull is a thankless chore.
Over time the hull slowly evolves. With this particular IOM I'm restricting myself to two strips on each side before leaving it alone for a couple of hours for the glue to cure. Whilst this is happening I add a couple of rubber bands and perhaps temporary wedges just keep everything nice and snug.
Posted by FWAL | Nov 08, 2013 @ 10:49 AM | 5,095 Views
Wiz - someone who is dazzlingly skilled in any field
Wiz- or Wizer is street slang for the drug Speed

My Wiz IOM is a combination of the two
Posted by FWAL | Oct 28, 2013 @ 04:34 AM | 2,233 Views
Great Gower Gorse
It's not often I will sing the praises for Gower gorse bushes, they usually badly scratch or seriously damage my gliders. Yesterday was an exception. You know the saying "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" Well in this case the wind was a lot stronger on the other side of the bush. In this case it was 46 - 48mph and after an hour of battling we surrendered.
Here's a collection of soarers with a 30yr generation gap between the oldest and newest!
Posted by FWAL | Oct 25, 2013 @ 06:22 AM | 2,286 Views
Here's a photo of my local slope. OC has just launched his vintage Fat Box (25-30yrs old). Not long after the heavens opened My normal slope is in the background 10 mins from my front door. It works best on a South Westerly but accommodates West to South very well. This photo was taken from the South to South East slope which has a lot smaller landing zone.
Posted by FWAL | Oct 23, 2013 @ 10:07 AM | 2,719 Views
Following a fairly long cooling off period I have now settled on the design and transposed Wiz's plan and section drawings into bodyplan patterns. These are drawn on coloured paper which helps greatly whilst cutting around the individual shapes to produce the shadows. There are twenty hull shadows and eleven fore deck shadows.
The final design has the same beam and rocker as the 7BOR. However, the transom is narrower and the bow fuller. A rebate has been introduced along the mid ships freeboard to help reduce leeway whilst heeling. The foredeck has been specifically designed to improve the hulls aerodynamics whilst at the same time promote the end plate effect from the foot of the jib. The transom is narrower and has more curve in the cross section to help reduce drag when the water leaves the hull. The Mast will be lowered which in turn allows the whole of the aft deck freeboard to be reduced again improving the aerodynamics and lowering the centre of balance.
Posted by FWAL | Oct 15, 2013 @ 02:42 PM | 2,241 Views
Far from being boring I've tried to have a bit of fun with imovies. Hope you enjoy watching. I certainly enjoyed designing, building and racing the 7BOR. Although now is the time of year to design & build next years weapon!

7 BOR 2013 (0 min 54 sec)

Posted by FWAL | Sep 18, 2013 @ 09:52 AM | 3,751 Views
Yep, the ME 109 is all but finished. All that is left is to acrylic varnish the undersides. However, there is one slight problem. I thoroughly enjoyed this build especially the camouflage and markings. OK to the expert eye they aren't of the correct scale or dimensions but they were hand painted after all. I can definitely see myself doing another PSS wooden kit model again.
The wing is fastened using a 5mm nylon bolt located in a captive nut which has been glued to 3mm ply. This is located in a grooved ply former fastened to the wing doublers. Therefore making it easy to remove and replace should it break on a heavy landing.
The rudder is a pull pull affair. I have crossed the control wires in the fuse to perhaps give a better angle of exit-entrance out of the fuse sides and thus reduce friction and wear. The elevator servo and rx are positioned under the forward hatch.
It took 150 grams of lead to balance the 109. As can be seen, I managed to fit it all in the spinner. The models AUW is 1500grams (3.3lbs)
Now I just have to set up the spoilerons and she's ready for his first sortie.
Posted by FWAL | Sep 16, 2013 @ 03:20 PM | 3,696 Views
Some photo's from Dartmoor SC. The venue of the 5th IOM South West District Championship Series.
Posted by FWAL | Sep 12, 2013 @ 04:32 PM | 3,465 Views
Yesterday the 109 received a coat of watered down matt varnish. I did this to seal the balsa and perhaps raise the grain. Then this morning this was lightly rubbed over with 400 wet or dry. After that the wings and fuse received two coats of rattle can primer and two coats of light blue spray to the belly and wing undersides.
I'm not going to copy any original ME 109 colour scheme, partly due to there being well over 30,000 manufactured, so chances are my scheme will be a close match to at least one. I'm also too lazy to find out the correct colours hence this blue is from the Ford range!
There's also another admission, the eagle eyed or those in the know will notice the distinct lack of radiators on the wing undersides. They were supplied but like the ailerons mod I want my this soarer to be fairly agile so they've been omitted.
Now how far do you go to make this PSS glider look realistic. This has been bugging me for a little while. I keep telling myself that less is more (like the undersides of the wings) but then I find myself thinking of adding more detail. I guess time will tell as work is still very much in progress.
Posted by FWAL | Sep 11, 2013 @ 05:13 PM | 3,157 Views
The Bwlch is a notorious soaring spot in the UK. Despite only living 25 miles away this was only the second time I had flown there this year.
Bwlch sept 13 (2 min 20 sec)

Posted by FWAL | Sep 10, 2013 @ 06:05 PM | 2,785 Views
18mph increasing to 24mph occasionally gusting 30mph. Good wind, good lift and good company. It had to be done an enjoyable afternoons soaring at the Bwlch with my two Blejzyk models. The 1.9m Mefisto and 2.4m Hammer. Chris (the local) brought along his Willow, Air One, Tucan and Voltige. Devon Rob aka Tiger Oats flew his Stage 2 and 48" Fusion.
Chris's planes were all very nice and appeared to revel in the blustery conditions, whilst my Mefisto was a joy to fly and I really appreciated the vast expanse of the Bwlch compared to my local slope. This encouraged one off big manoeuvres or just multiple smaller manoeuvres providing thrills combined with a fair amount of concentration the net result of which was pretty awesome.
On the other hand the non ballasted Hammer was a bit of a damp squid, sluggish and not very inspiring. This has now prompted me to seriously incorporate a means of ballast into the fuse which would have been a lot easier during the construction phase!
It was a bit too windy for Rob's Stage 2 not making much headway during it's one and only flight. His Fusion faired a lot better but one nasty gust saw it make a pretty hard impact which broke the fuse. A bit of tape should see it fly again on his next road trip stop over at the Orme this Thursday.
Posted by FWAL | Sep 09, 2013 @ 02:19 PM | 2,965 Views
I dug deep and pulled out my buried airbrush stuff from a cupboard. I haven't used it much so it took a little while to remember how to set it up, once done I had a quick practice to see what damage I could do. The first results aren't too bad, a couple more swatches and I should be able to do a reasonable job on the 109.
The wing fairings have also been fitted. They looked fine from above but underneath was a different matter with a fair amount of work required by means of sanding, shaping and filling.
The sundry fittings have also been attached so it wont be long now!
Posted by FWAL | Sep 08, 2013 @ 02:51 PM | 2,776 Views
Fritz has had a change of jobs! No longer will he be driving the MFA RC speedboat. Oh no. He is now a WWII German pilot. I hope you agree he is certainly a lot less scary than when I first acquired him, in fact he looks pretty realistic.
Posted by FWAL | Aug 27, 2013 @ 03:05 PM | 3,442 Views
The fuse is progressing well, the foam core top and bottom parts of the fuse appear to be matching the fuse sides with only minor fettling required. The rudder will be a pull pull affair and as can be seen here the elevator will be operated by an ordinary snake. The modelling pins are holding the bottom of the cockpit in place whilst the glue cures.
Not the most authentic WWII German pilot! I must admit but he was extremely cheap.
Starting to look like a fighter
Posted by FWAL | Aug 25, 2013 @ 12:45 PM | 3,611 Views
I had a PM last week, would I be interested in an un-started ME 109 kit...... How could I refuse!
Now I'm really looking froward to a little Power Scale Soaring (PSS) with this Aerotech Models International Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-2. span 56" length 42" weight 5-5.5lbs. I did a little searching about this manufacturer/model and it made for some interesting reading! most of the comments were of a negative bias relating to the manufacturer but what little info there was relating to their flying characteristics was a little more positive. Anyway. I'll be soaring in good lift ;-)