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Old Apr 13, 2016, 11:16 PM
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Build Log
50+ Build Off: The Veron Cardinal.

I am off to England for a few weeks. Not sure exactly how long I'll be away, it will depend upon how long my cousin, who is also my dentist, will need to sort my teeth out! However, I intend to start the build of the Cardinal when I return. Even I should be able to build a small 3 channel model from a kit in six months! Meanwhile, for those with time on their hands, here are two articles I wrote about the Cardinal and its place in my aeromodelling life, they describe the first flights and the last.

Happy landings gentlemen.


Aeromodelling: How I Became Addicted.

In 1960 was about 12 years old and this is when I built my first model aeroplane. My father had never built a model aircraft but two of my uncles had, and so it came to pass that I was assisted in this process by my Uncle Geoff, an architectural draughtsman, who built beautiful free flight models and who had married my mother’s sister; gliders were his particular passion. The first model was the Keil Kraft “Ajax”, a 30” span rubber powered model, itself an enlargement of the more popular “Achilles.” This was followed by a small Keil Kraft glider. Neither was well-built and neither flew very well. Neither did I get a positive reaction from Uncle Geoff who criticised my inadequate workmanship and urged me to take more time over my next model!

Had I given up at this stage I would not have been writing this now, but I bought a Mills .75cc diesel engine with the proceeds of my paper round and a Veron “Cardinal” to suit it. This was a 36” high wing monoplane with a sheet fuselage. Stung by Geoff’s earlier criticism, I took my time over its construction, double-glueing all of the joints with balsa cement, and it came out looking pretty good even if I say so myself.

Now for the covering; the flying surfaces were not a problem, I had decided to finish them in yellow lightweight tissue. However, I’ve always been one who wanted to stand out from the crowd, (years later several people told me, too late, that I should have been an actor,) and I wanted to finish the fuselage in purple but in those days you could not buy purple dope but you could buy red dope and you could buy blue dope; I bought a tin of each. Had I finished the model in either of those colours the model would have looked good in a conventional colour scheme but I mixed the two together and they came out brown! The wing and tailplane were covered in yellow tissue, given two coats of dope and a coat of fuel proofer and looked really smart. Then there was nothing for it but to take my brown and yellow Cardinal round to Geoff to show him.

To do this I had to go to his parents’ house. It was the summer of 1960, Geoff had contracted cancer and he and his wife had moved in with his mother and father so that all three of them could look after him. He was to die of this disease the following winter, just a few months after his baby son was born; he was only 31. He was very positive about my improved workmanship but questioned the use of heavy coloured dope on the fuselage until I explained that it had a sheeted fuselage. He didn’t mention the colour!

So after showing him the model, I went with my father and his brother, my Uncle Ivor, who had also built model aircraft, to Forton Aerodrome to fly the model. Geoff wasn’t fit enough to join us. Forton was a WW2 training aerodrome. It was here that the great fighter ace Jean-Pierre Closterman first flew a Spitfire. In 1960 most of the main runway hadn’t disappeared beneath the plough and we flew the model from the intersection of the two runways. It was a beautiful windless summer’s day and having trimmed the model over the proverbial long grass I put some fuel into the thimble-like fuel tank and launched it. The model climbed to height, as the fuel ran out the engine revs would rise and the model would climb more steeply. When the engine cut, the model would stall, regain flying speed and glide back to earth in wide circles. As there was no wind, we found that we could fill the fuel tank which gave an engine run of over two minutes by which time the model was a tiny cross in the sky, then there would be a repeat performance, the revs would rise, the model would stall, regain flying speed and return to land just a few metres away. I can still see the sun shining through those yellow wings. I didn’t know it then but I was addicted.

In the next three years a succession of free-flight and control line models followed but none had the same impression as the Cardinal. Then in 1963 I took my first girl to the pictures and for the next 25 years, aeromodelling gave way to sex and drugs and rock’n’roll and I’ll plead guilty to all three. In fact was still leading rock bands until 2008 before I realised that I no longer had the power and range that is required to perform this role. Besides there’s something rather ridiculous about a sixty year old man singing about making love “All Niiiight Looooooooooong!!!” I still have all the equipment and sometimes dream of forming one last band but the thought of organising everything puts me off. Maybe if somebody else…ah well, never mind.

Then in 1988 I was living in North Devon and saw a man flying a radio controlled model in a field. I stopped the car, walked over to him made some enquiries. I bought a kit, a St Leonard’s Models “Gemini” at an auction where I was buying furniture, bought an unused radio off a carpenter who was setting up “on his own,” and was given an Irvine 21 car engine by a kid who’d wrecked it. I got it to go and the rest as they say is history. The Gemini was not a success owing to my own lack of physical co-ordination. I put the engine and radio into a vintage Junior 60 which I covered in olive drab parachute silk which suited me much better. I swapped the Gemini for a damaged Telemaster, the 66” version with the plywood fuselage and that led on to other things!

Over the 2015-2016 winter I built another Gemini powered by an electric motor. I found that I could fly it successfully after 28 years experience!


"How the Cardinal Met its End!"

You may recall my Uncle Geoff referred to in a previous article; he taught me how to build model aircraft. He died of cancer in 1960 while his son was still a baby. Spool on 35 years and his son, Nick, is now a dentist living in Norfolk in the east of England while I'm a jobbing builder living in Devon.

Now Nick was once the Midlands Area Schoolboy Cycle Champion and still regularly competes on his bike, however, in the mid Nineties the bicycle racing had forced him to go into hospital to have an operation on his knees. At the same time his mother gave him a plastic bag containing his father's old model aeroplane engines and suggested to him that he could build a model while he was recuperating. The engines included; an ED Racer; an ED Competition Special; an ED Bee; a Mills 1.3 and three Mills .75s. He phoned me to recommend a suitable kit and I suggested the Cardinal.

The model was duly built, the lad had obviously inherited his father's skills, and he brought it down to me for help with the covering. We chose Solarfilm, (Yes I know!) yellow fuselage and dark blue wings, (Yes I know!!) but we didn't have the time or weather to fly it before he had to go back to Norfolk.

The following summer he asked me to come and paint the outside of his house. My painting kit went into the van. Then he asked me to fit an outside tap. The plumbing kit went into the van, and to wallpaper the lounge, the wallpapering kit went into the van, and to wire up a couple of spurs for the hi-fi and computer. You get the picture.

In the end there was no space for even my smallest R/C model so I dragged the Cardinal out of a thirty year retirement the night before setting off for Norfolk. The engine still turned but the yellow tissue was now very brittle. I soon had that off and ironed on some pale blue Solarfilm (YES I KNOW!) that I had lying about, ironed Solartex onto the top and bottom of the fuselage, degreased the remaining brown paint and painted the fuselage with dark blue Hammerite, a type of metallic paint which dries to a hammered finish intended for protecting metal, but in the time available....

I got to Norfolk, got stuck into the job and one beautiful summer's evening we took our Cardinals out into the fields near Nick's house. We glide-trimmed both models, then we started Nick's engine for the first time in over forty years. We launched it on low power but it dropped its starboard wing and hit the ground. We persevered for a long time trying various trim tab settings but in the end we agreed that Nick had incorporated too much right side thrust and that that was causing the problem.

By now dusk was falling, but we started my Mills and observing that Nick's engine required about half a tank to run for twenty seconds I put the equivalent amount of fuel into the thimble and launched the old thing! It climbed in right-hand circles, and climbed .... and climbed until it was a tiny cross in the sky, reminding me of its performance over thirty years ago but this time there was a slight breeze and the fields in Norfolk are divided by dykes rather than hedges, so we couldn't chase it. It was a long way from us when I thought I saw it land in front of a stand of pines. We went back the next night and the following evening but couldn't find it. We enlarged the holes in the engine bearers of Nick's model, straightened up the engine and flew that successfully but we didn't manage to find my model.

I put a couple of notices in the pub and the local post office. "5 Reward for the Recovery of a Small Model Aeroplane." No response until the following Saturday when I was in the house by myself for Nick and his wife Nikki had gone away for the weekend, and the phone rang. The voice on the other end said that he'd found something which could be the remains of a model aircraft. I went round and saw the chap, a local farmer. He took me to the spot where he'd found the Cardinal. It was a long way from where I'd thought it had landed and all that remained of it was the engine, the bearers, the undercarriage and the pale blue Solarfilm.

"Where's the rest of it?" I enquired.

"The cows have eaten it," he said,

"Where are all the cows," I asked.

"They're all dead," he replied. I had visions of the biggest insurance claim in history being lodged against British Model Flying Association but then he added,

"I took them to the slaughter-house the day before yesterday!"

It seems that cows like vintage models but don't like Solarfilm.

I expect most of you vintage model enthusiasts are the same!


I suppose I'll have to build a new Cardinal after all this!

Happy Landings!
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Old Apr 14, 2016, 02:02 AM
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Wonderful story. Nostalgia and precious memories. Thanks for sharing them.
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Old Apr 14, 2016, 02:20 AM
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I've posted the link MR and look forward to following your buid when you have got the teeth sorted out!
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Old Apr 14, 2016, 03:08 AM
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It must have a machinegun
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When you wrote "I still have all the equipment" immediately after the sentence about making love, I got a bit confused momentarily.
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Old Apr 14, 2016, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scaledown View Post
When you wrote "I still have all the equipment" immediately after the sentence about making love, I got a bit confused momentarily.
...Mmm and probably like the Mills tricky to start when cold, and needed a good few flicks and priming !

Great story Monza, and following with interest. Funily enough, was looking at my Cardinal plan and pondering...

Chris
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Old Apr 15, 2016, 06:26 AM
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So I'M meant to be in control?
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Great stories! I love hearing about people's early forays into the hobby as invariably I find similarities with my own (see my blog if anyone is interested) or I can at least feel the pain and youthful elation as appropriate.

Looking forward to the Cardinal build - it has been on my build list for a while too!!
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Old May 26, 2016, 06:14 AM
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I started building it this morning! Even I should be able to build a small two or three-channel within the time allowed.

My first task was to clear the workbench. The first picture shows my workbench at the end of my latest project. As that project was simply assembling an ARTF, a WOT 4 XL to be exact, I hate to think what my bench will look like by the time I've finished a proper model like the Cardinal!

The second picture shows the kit produced by Vintage Model Works of London on the now cleared-up work bench. Those few tools in the foreground are waiting to go into my lightweight tool box and the damaged trainer wing in the background belongs to my local club. We were going to repair it but wiser counsels have prevailed and the FFAM is giving us an electric trainer to replace it. I plan to remove all of that sticky back fablon from the structure, reduce the structure to small sticks and offer them as kindling to a local lady, no longer in the very first flush of youth, in order to worm my way into her... er... affections. I may recycle the ailerons as trailing edge stock!

The third picture shows the kit removed from its outer cardboard packing. It's a pretty comprehensive kit which includes the wheels, and a piece of wire to make up the undercarriage. If there were any instructions I have lost them through opening the kit as soon as I received it, as you do! However, I built one of these before, over fifty years ago and there are copious notes all over the plan.

The fourth picture shows the start of the construction process. I used the plastic which once covered the wings of the WOT 4 XL to protect the plan. The first job is to glue the upper and lower fuselage parts together over the plan. I used another piece of ARTF plastic film between the two fuselage sides so that didn't stick to one another.

Finally, at risk of getting black balled by the cognoscenti, may I recommend the WOT 4 XL to anyone who wants a nice-flying sports model. Mine is fitted with a 120 fourstroke but I have seen them fly on a 91. If you can manage a four-channel trainer, this would be a good follow-on model. It is quite big, but smaller WOT 4s are available and they fly nicely too. The WOT 4 was designed by Chris Foss who was also a prominent designer of r/c gliders in the past. Right George?
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Old May 26, 2016, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monza Red View Post
......The WOT 4 was designed by Chris Foss who was also a prominent designer of r/c gliders in the past. Right George?
Quite right MR. IMO, in modelling terms CF is a deity. I doubt if he ever designed an ugly or unsuccessful model (and if he did he had the good sense to keep quiet about it!!). I had a wonderful eight years campaigning four of his Hi-Phase soarers in Open class contests, and even with the disadvantage of having me on the sticks they managed to win lots. I also built, flew and enjoyed his Phase 4, Phase 6 and Mini-Phase slope soarers.

PS: I'm sure a man of your calibre won't need instructions to build a Cardinal! Only tips I would pass on from my own R/C version, which has been flown by all and sundry, is to add a bit of fin area and don't over-do the elevator area. That's mine below, and with all due respect to Phil Smith, who was a genius, I think my fin shape is more harmonious with the rest of the model.
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Old May 26, 2016, 09:45 AM
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I have a bigger fin for r/c in the kit.
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Old May 27, 2016, 02:04 PM
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I've done a bit more building and took pictures of the build this morning. However, I'd left the card in my card reader overnight so there was nothing to show for my efforts!

However, having mowed the lawns this afternoon I rewarded myself by starting the Mills 75 for the first time in about 15 years. Peter Rose overhauled the engine some years back and I bought a throttle assembly from him as well. It didn't take too much to get it going and once I'd got it running well, I fitted the throttle and got it going with that. I didn't use an electric starter honest! Just my sixty-eight year-old fingers. I need to spend some more time setting the throttle to get the best results and I have to decide whether to fit the throttle and a small team race tank or to leave the standard "thimble" tank in place and just fly the model till it runs out of fuel. The latter option would be more authentic after all, I wont be flying the model in windy weather, I'll use a WOT 4 for that!

Two pictures to keep you all amused. The one on the left shows the engine running with the Peter Rose, (David Boddington?) throttle, the one on the right shows the engine running with the standard spraybar and fuel tank.

Where can I get an 8x4 propeller with a narrower boss than the one in the pictures so that I can use the Mills' spinner nut?
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Old May 27, 2016, 03:27 PM
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Looking forward to your Cardinal build.

Nice to see the diesel. Add the throttle and a larger tank.

The Carina and Little Bishop (bipe) look very similar on the fuse section. The plans were in a magazine many years ago.
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Old May 27, 2016, 11:55 PM
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Picture of fuselage under construction as promised. The building board is starting to acquire its traditional clutter! The F3 former is simply placed in position because... er... well you know why! Note the use of a wide variety of pins which typifies my frugal, some would say cheapskate, approach to aeromodelling. I've always admired other modellers' pictures of structures pinned together with matching glass-headed, black plastic or T-shaped pins but I've an old sweet box full of ordinary dress-makers' pins which I hammer into the building board and remove with pliers. Vintage hammer to the right of the picture. When I get round to building that 1/3 scale Mick Reeves Sopwith Camel maybe I'll invest in a job lot of smart new pins! The previous sentence is not a joke incidentally, I have been given the Mick Reeves kit with an already-built fuselage on condition that I finish the rest of it.

I have decided to make a few alterations to the design. On the original model, the undercarriage is sewn to a ply plate which is then glued to the F2 balsa former. I am thinking of replacing the balsa F2 former with one made from 3mm (1/8") plywood and sewing the undercarriage directly to that.

I also have to decide whether fit the throttle to the engine or to run it with the original thimble tank. If I fit the throttle I will have to fit a small tank like those used by Phantom racers. This will involve moving the F1 former to the rear, which means that I will have to make a slightly larger former, and while I'm at it, again I will probably make it from 3mm plywood. I will do some more bench running of the Mills with the throttle before making a decision.

If I retain the engine's original fitment I will be able to keep F1 in position but I won't have the same degree of control over the model which a throttle would give me. On the other hand a Cardinal should be easy enough to fly and I'll only be flying it on calm days.

I have other models which can be flown in a breeze.
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Old May 30, 2016, 05:58 AM
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We've had nothing but rain and strong winds in my neck of the woods for several days, no chance of flying or even gardening. I've stopped working on the fuselage temporarily until I decide whether to use the Mills' throttle or not.

I knocked up the tailplane yesterday, note the smart matching black-headed pins! The tail-ribs are supplied for a free-flight model and have to be cut down to fit the false trailing edge.
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Old May 30, 2016, 08:13 AM
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I'd rather be flying.....
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Hi Monza -

nice to see your progress on the Cardinal....

The Mills . 75 : my .75 I flew on a " Tlush Mite " and used the throttle from the Indian K-Mills. it did work well. The .75 in my opinion is much more flexible and powerful than it's appearance suggests

best regards,

jeff
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Old May 30, 2016, 11:58 PM
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If I decide to use the throttle I will need to buy some suitable fuel tubing for the diesel engine. Can any French residents suggest a suitable source of supply?

I see that Topmodel offer a range of tubing suitable for petrol motors. Would these be suitable? They also sell black neoprene tubing. Would this work?
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