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FWAL's blog
Posted by FWAL | Jun 02, 2013 @ 01:53 PM | 2,479 Views
A Planing pun as this was no flight. The vintage Wavemaster had her first proper maiden at the lake this afternoon. It was a rather short affair as the 1300mAh LiPo didn't last more than a couple of minutes!! But still she looked a treat and went very well. She's definitely no speed demon but does look a treat and planes at a very realistic scale speed.
Posted by FWAL | May 30, 2013 @ 10:58 AM | 2,839 Views
The Tracer (T2) is all finished and ready to maiden. It took roughly 6 hours to complete the kit including a fair bit of thinking and covering time. The balanced AUW is 570 grams (20.1oz). This includes 4 x 14g servo's. So using 9g servo's would take you well under 20oz which is pretty good. It also took 17g (0.6oz) of lead in the nose to balance on the advised COG. Here are a couple of photo's of the linkages
Posted by FWAL | May 23, 2013 @ 02:05 AM | 3,332 Views
The two halves of the Tracer now make a whole. Prior to gluing together I rebated out some EPP just to take a little weight out of the boom. I used Latex to glue the two fuse halves together. It's quite runny stuff so I dripped it and spread it out with a brush, both halves received the same treatment and once dried clear I slapped them together, gave a gentle squeeze and the joint was securely made. All together with the aileron extension leads just protruding out of the fuse on each side. Then I started to router out the wind servo apertures after which the iron made it's debut and the covering has started in ernest.
Posted by FWAL | May 21, 2013 @ 03:43 AM | 2,854 Views
The weeks previous forecasts leading up to the 2nd IOM SWDCS (south west district championship series) at Yeovil had varied form + 15mph and heavy rain to -5mph and wall to wall sunshine. In the end the wind never rose above 5mph and the sun never really shone through the clouds. It did however always threatened to rain with a few very light showers at times.
Sixteen Competitors arrived at the lake and racing started just before 10.30. There appeared to be more wind on the opposite side of the lake as the control and racing area was in the lee of the steep tree lined railway embankment. What little wind there was did generally come from a North West direction so a triangular course was laid and remained un-altered for the rest of the day. At the start of the event there was a slight bias to start nearest the bank. This was only due to the fact that it was approx 3 boat lengths nearer the windward mark. As the day progressed so the wind filled in slightly, probably making 5mph in the gusts, this slight change made for a more equal and fairer start line as the stronger wind was found in the middle of the course making up for the extra distance to travel.
I would imagine that at least 12 races were run with a short break before lunch and another small break prior to the last 3-4 races. No one skipper appeared to be taking the majority of the bullets, in fact I doubt if anybody had more than 2 bullets to their name. Although, to my mind the one person who managed to...Continue Reading
Posted by FWAL | May 16, 2013 @ 06:14 AM | 4,380 Views
Build an EPP glider that is! So I've built a couple of EPP wings but that's different, they aren't real planes. The build is that simple that no instructions come with the kit and the info on the web is..........lets just say it isn't worth the cost to print off. The only information which I can see will be of any use is the COG.
I thought I'd start by deciding on the location of the servo's, bearing in mind I want to keep them well forward but not enough to interfere with the battery pack. Servo apertures are now cut out, battery and rx locations sorted. I have kept the rx well above the fuse carbon tube recess. Both fuse halves have been rebated and chases cut for cabling. I have rebated the AMT control horn into the fuse to allow full movement which would have been difficult if the clevis protruded outside of the fuse. Then more chasing into the fuse to take the rudder clevis & control rod. Note both snakes run into the carbon reinforcement tube towards the servo's.
Magnets are fastened into the fuse wing root supports which have then been glued into the preformed fuse rebates.
Posted by FWAL | Apr 27, 2013 @ 04:14 PM | 2,767 Views
A short film of a Spook from Foamwings.co.uk. A really nice small wing heavily influenced by a certain Weasel just a fair bit cheaper It was also sub zero when I shot this so I didn't stick round for long.
SPOOK (1 min 21 sec)

Posted by FWAL | Apr 25, 2013 @ 08:26 AM | 3,865 Views
Trimmed, filed and sanded the GRP and have finished the canopy plug, the photo doesn't do it any favours but it's not that rough, it's not perfect either but after 3 layers of GRP it'll be OK. Whenever I use fibreglass I always use 3M spray mount to tack the cloth to the given surface, this saves so much agro and to date has had no detrimental effects. The canopy plug has been covered with cling film which will remain glued to the inside of the canopy until after it is completed and painted then sanded off.
Well it took it's time to finish and has made it to the slope for it's maiden. It was during the pre flight checks that one of the Hitec servos packed up.........Guess I was lucky! The span is 940mm, weighs 304 grams with a root chord of 250mm and tip 170mm. Wing loading = 5oz/sq.ft or 15g/sq.dm Thats pretty floaty.
Posted by FWAL | Apr 23, 2013 @ 02:24 PM | 3,170 Views
Speedo pro III inner carbon wing joiner tube recently split out of the underside of one wing. And the Mefisto wing has had two chunks taken out when it hit a couple fence posts whilst landing Repairs in progress.
The thruster has had a slot cut into the fin boom and the two wing halves joint has been reinforced with GRP
Posted by FWAL | Apr 23, 2013 @ 01:37 PM | 3,010 Views
Great soaring with this 1.9m, 850 gram, Vee tail Blejzyk Mefisto
Mefisto Magic (2 min 26 sec)

Sawing, snoring what next?
Posted by FWAL | Apr 19, 2013 @ 03:16 PM | 2,769 Views
The dust had only just settled after the Wavemaster makeover and now it's time for another homebrew wing. The Thruster will be a 37" high aspect ratio, light to medium weight wing, with a 10" root, 7"tip and 8% chord. I'm guessing the AUW will be around 500grams, hopefully a little less.
I doubt this wing will be that easy to fly due to the aspect ratio but there's only one way to find out! I started the build this morning and the concept is developing nicely. I have now decided that although the laminated block of balsa which houses the battery rx and servo's is shown in the vertical plane it will now be housed into the wing horizontally. This should allow for the easier removal of servo's etc should anything get damaged or broken in the unlikely event of a crash
Obechi foam cored wings which were originally developed and kitted with the Tracer pylon racer, the profile is semi symmetrical. A small length of very light tapered carbon tube has been introduced into the wing joint which will support the fin. Leading edge and trailing capping pieces are glued into position.
Posted by FWAL | Apr 18, 2013 @ 02:12 PM | 2,882 Views
I've been doing a bit of damage to the gliders recently so I need some bench space back to carry out the necessary repairs. So a little blitz on the Wavemaster has been taking place. She is ready for her sea trials (lake) but I should install a Li-po low voltage alarm prior to any serious voyages!
The refurbishment has been quite an enjoyable experience. I definitely didn't want to change the age/history of the boat or in other words I didn't want to make it look as if it was a brand new kit completed yesterday, so there are some small areas of damage around the windscreen and not perfectly fitting coach roofs which have just been left unaltered.
So what have I done? I have repaired the keel band and given the wetted hull area a couple of coats of twin pack epoxy paint. The freeboard and stern has had three coats of QD white gloss (they may have another coat in the future). The old varnish has been removed from the decks and cabins and these areas have had two coats of West resin. The fore deck roof and bridge floor have benn undercoated and QD painted, the aft cabin roof is completely new comprising of ply, balsa and GRP finished with Halfords spray Appliance paint. 3mm perspex was used for the cabin windows and glued to the internal surfaces, the windscreen and quater lights has had the perspex cut into the openings to give a more realistic appearance.
Right, confession time! I'm a complete novice when it comes down to motored boats so this was all new to me...Continue Reading
Posted by FWAL | Apr 15, 2013 @ 03:05 PM | 2,682 Views
A fairly short film of my latest homebrew and if you're lucky you'll be treated by an old classic The Tubes I spent my teens listening to the Tubes, Doobie Bros, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Steve Miller etc etc etc you get the picture.
Tricky Tracer (2 min 32 sec)

Posted by FWAL | Apr 01, 2013 @ 03:38 AM | 3,055 Views
Today Swansea Model Yacht Club ran the first leg of the Zulu Cup. At the lake a cold easterly wind fluctuated madly. The conditions were tricky with all boats on an A rig but occasionally there were some strong gusts which came across the lake like a bowling ball knocking the fleet down like ten pins. The racing was predominantly close. However, some skippers did manage a flier on the first beats to eek out some comfortable victories during the 10 race series, perhaps we would have ran another couple races if Ian's performance was better!
Although, I think all the skippers enjoyed the course and conditions and it was especially pleasing to see Dave H and Nigel doing so well.
Posted by FWAL | Mar 30, 2013 @ 03:02 PM | 3,782 Views
There's nothing better than receiving an unexpected gift or in this case a restoration project. I had been working for an old classmate and long time friend doing building work on his farm. In one of the workshops was an old, broken model boat and knowing that I enjoyed building models he let me have this model to repair, enjoy and sail with my family.
That was yesterday, so today I did a bit of internet searching and have found out that this model is called a Wavemaster, designed by Les Rowell in 1953 and was first produced by Hammersmith Model Makers, in later years circa 1960 it was produced and marketed by Yeoman Kits
Posted by FWAL | Mar 19, 2013 @ 08:08 AM | 2,911 Views
A little light wind montage of Sunday's pre-race sailing and some soaring from yesterday afternoon. Both the Yacht and Glider are my own design and builds and the Wing is a Spook

Spring drifting (3 min 2 sec)

Posted by FWAL | Mar 19, 2013 @ 06:45 AM | 2,992 Views
The tricky Tracer sustained a sprained wing during it's last run out. Whilst flying inverted an incorrect signal was transmitted and rather then ascending a quick decent ensued. The subsequent damage report was quite brief, a snapped aileron servo horn on the Port wing and a deep split on the underside skin and foam core of the Starboard wing. Both the leading and trailing edge spars had also snapped.
Back at the Hangar a liberal application of CA glue was administered to the area of damage and within a few seconds the wing appeared structurally sound again. Although, I wasn't sure how much more stress and pilot abuse this repair would take. So the decision was made to add some local reinforcement to the effected area in order to help prolong the life of this wing due to the pilots incompetence at the controls.
Two 110mm x 9mm slots were cut into the underside of the wing and two rectangles of wetted out fibre glass was persuaded into each of the slots using a T headed pin. The area was cleaned up ready for some light weight filler and a patch repair recover. Now we're just waiting for the right conditions to throw her off a Cliff again and expect her to return in one piece!!!
Posted by FWAL | Mar 11, 2013 @ 12:31 PM | 2,831 Views
Bor went under the scrutiny of the Measurer today. I had prep'd the boat so as for the weight I knew she would be in the right field, I just had to add 7 grams of lead up the B rigs mast to bring it up to 308 grams which is the same weight as the A rig. The hull required another 124 grams of lead ballast which was positioned just behind the CB. The rigs were measured last year so a quick check of the deck to lower band was all that was required there. Now the interesting bit, the water tank. This is the bit where I can get a proper understanding of my design (some would say guess but I prefer experiment!)
I was very pleased to see that along with the right weight I had also produced a hull which was exactly 1m long with an overall draft of 408mm, the hull draft being around 38mm. So now I have the relevant paperwork to post off in order to receive a Measurement Certificate which will allow me access to Open Events
Posted by FWAL | Mar 11, 2013 @ 11:15 AM | 2,587 Views
Here are a couple of photo's of the B rig on the BOR. The sails were purchased from Spindrift 11 months ago but due to the sheltered nature of the local lake this was only the second time they had been flown. I'm really impressed with the shape and quality of these sails and would highly recommend Spindrift not only for sails but parts to.
Posted by FWAL | Feb 23, 2013 @ 05:47 PM | 2,646 Views
The Spook was thrown out over Craig-Cefn-Parc to check the lift. It was cold and snow was floating in the light breeze. However, the lift was OK and was improving all the time. After a quarter of an hour session with the Spook,warming up my thumbs which had had a 2 month lay off the sticks I was starting to twitch. It was time. Time to see if my latest creation would actually fly. Time to see how long it would last.
The first and second launches proved very quick. After adding roughly 120 grams of lead in front of the battery pack and clicking in some down elevator she really started to soar. I thought she wouldn't be that aerobatic but I was extremely wrong. WOW, this glider can rock! It was about ten minutes before my first unscheduled landing when she went into a unrecoverable spin but this bird is strong. It wasn't long after when she went down again in the same spinning manner. I needed to tame this tracer. It was time to to dial some rates and expo in until I learn how to fly this mad machine. Watch out, this 58" Tracer can axle role and loop a hell of a lot better than the pilot.
Now I'm really looking forward to getting to know this plane as there is loads of potential for learning new tricks. OK exaggeration! Loads of potential for the just learning to keep her in the air is probably closer the truth.