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Posted by Ron Williams | Jan 01, 2010 @ 09:03 PM | 5,577 Views
So a little while ago I decided that the time I was spending pre-visualizing the rolling circle was being miss spent: I was over doing it, trying to imagine the stick moves as I pictured (imagined) the plane's moves through the circle. I switched to just imagining the rolling circle in each of its parts (mine rolls to the right and makes four rolls in a circle) and not worrying about the stick moves.

I went out today after a month or so of cold weather imaginings and tried one. Wow! I almost had control all the way around. I had also almost given up but decided that I should just give up for a while and not think about it too much but to try it now and then. Today, after my change of approach I think I may have turned a corner (pun, as always, intended).
Posted by Ron Williams | Jul 18, 2008 @ 05:38 AM | 9,350 Views
The Rolling Circle Project

A Difficult Maneuver, Learning, Prostatitis and . . .

“Perseverance Furthers” – The I Ching

This project is about learning how to fly a rolling circle. At first, it was very hit and miss, based on watching Clyde Geist fly rolling circles with a foamcore board wreck of a plane that had no more than aileron/elevator controls.

He demonstrated by circling using only the elevator and rolling with the ailerons kept in a set position. Only lately I figured out how it was done, using the elevator to maintain pitch angle as the plane rolled to inverted or upright and also using the elevator to add the turn as the plane made the transition to knife edge between each inverted or upright position. By starting the elevator’s movement in the knife edge positon, the plane was turned during knife edge and rudder wasn’t necessary as the plane came to a horizontal position.

Talking with Roy Thompson we spoke of flying a circle to the left and the possibilities of rolling to the inside or the outside of the circle. Rolling to the outside had been recommended as the better direction to start with by a friend of Roy’s who was proficient. Deciding on a direction and concentrating on it until the maneuver could be accomplished seemed a good idea so I accepted rolling to the outside and circling to the left as the form to follow and proceeded to try to figure out how to do it.

Over the months I would practice in small increments with various models...Continue Reading
Posted by Ron Williams | May 29, 2008 @ 10:44 PM | 7,028 Views
erich is building a Lanzo Stick rubber powered freeflight on the freeflight forum and some uncertainty about laminate outlines came up. I decided to upload an image that shows laminated outlines being used to build a profile rubber job, a P-39 Airacobra peanut.
Posted by Ron Williams | May 23, 2008 @ 08:28 PM | 7,048 Views
Notice the FAI model flying in the upper center of the space.
Posted by Ron Williams | May 10, 2008 @ 08:24 AM | 6,868 Views
It's been a bit of a struggle but things are getting easier as I go. Now I have a website up and building to inform about my book's reprinting.

If the website isn't working (still building and there's always something), try the blog:

Take a look and tell me what you think through the comments feature on the blog. Thanks!
Posted by Ron Williams | Apr 30, 2008 @ 08:15 AM | 7,114 Views
Necessary Equipment Books is pleased to reintroduce Ron Williams’ book, Building & Flying Indoor Model Airplanes. Long a collector’s item, it has been reprinted for the third time. First published in 1981 and reprinted in 1984, this book has inspired future champions and model builders around the world. Over 200 drawings including plans and numerous photographs showing the hobby as it is practiced lure the reader into this fascinating and surprising pursuit.

The book was written based on notes and sketches the author made as he worked his way up to the ultimate indoor models known as F1D. Though more than two feet in wing span and thirty inches long, these aircraft weigh about the same as dollar bill: one gram. Learning to build these planes starts with simple beginner’s models. As the modeler learns the techniques for handling specially cut balsa wood and ultralight coverings, the challenges mount and the performance of the models increases.

Williams went through this process with friends and fellow modelers guiding the way. While teaching at Columbia University, he arranged demonstrations, flying sessions and exhibits in Columbia’s Low Library. The meets attracted the interest of the news media which in turn resulted in a request by a publisher to write the book. The sketches and copious notes he was keeping became the basis for the book; it took more than four years to complete with its exhaustive treatment of the hobby.

The high tech F1D planes are one...Continue Reading
Posted by Ron Williams | Mar 27, 2006 @ 01:18 PM | 8,384 Views
Scroll down for the pictures.

When the Element was loaded to go to the field the first few times, planes were spread all around on the rear floor and there was a big mess in the back. Getting everything in and out was hard on my back and the planes. When the planes were put up on the folded seats and the windows were open they blew around. Time to design.

The box is made out of blue foam. The bottom is made from 1 1/2" blue insulating foam that had been laying around the shop and the rest is from 1" foam purchased for the box. It required less that half of a 2ft. x 8ft. sheet. Deciding on the dimensions of the box required measuring the car and the planes.

The planes were propped up on scrap lumber and measured to determine how deep the box had to be so that the planes could be supported by the sides and the slots in the sides. The width of the box is wider than the maximum propeller diameter (by a few inches) that might be on any plane in the box combined with clearance for any servos in the wings (for ailerons). The length (the longest dimension) of the box was determined by the space between the wheel wells in the back of the car.

Once the box was assembled the planes were propped up in place again to determine spacing that would allow the maximum number of planes and the least chance of damage when they were loaded and removed. The slots for the wings were cut with a very thin Japanese saw. The other cuts were made with a 1 1/2" putty knife...Continue Reading
Posted by Ron Williams | Mar 27, 2006 @ 01:04 PM | 8,746 Views
Scroll down for the pictures.

A recent building project was Gary Wright’s Mini E3D. The kit was started a few monthss ago and has flown. How was the kit? Just fine except for a few little things involving the fuselage side balsa, the strip wood and a few places that had to be watched to ensure an accurately built framework.

The two fuselage sides were made from very different pieces of balsa. One side was stiff, heavy “C” grain and the other was very light and soft “A” grain. After testing them alongside each other for stiffness, some thin CA was run along the length of the “A” grain piece and hit with accelerator. That stiffened it up considerably. Assembling the fuselage required close attention to keeping it straight and aligned. In spite of that attention it came together a bit off but some soaking in acetone loosened things up and allowed it to be trued. Lesson learned: The stabilizer should be aligned with the wing before the fuselage is finally glued together.

The strip wood was quite curvey but there was enough with the kit and in the backup bins (Thank you, Aerocraft) to overcome what could have been a frustrating experience. Even wood that looked straight when picked soon warped in the summer humidity.

The paper/phenolic tubes that support the aluminum wing connecting tube allowed the wing to be twisted and for the twist to be held long enough to glue in an undesireable warp. Again, acetone loosened things up so the warp could be removed; the situation...Continue Reading
Posted by Ron Williams | Mar 27, 2006 @ 12:51 PM | 8,335 Views
The Pulsar aka Simply the Best is ready to fly. The only damage from its test flight crash was a small dent in the “D” tube of the wing at the center mounting peg, not worth trying to fix. The fuselage has now been faired into a 30mm spinner and painted with a rubbed out finish of red Krylon.

The wing tips were covered (as purchased) with a pretty apple green film that was almost invisible when the plane was up high, reducing the visibility of the plane by the area of the tips. They have now been recovered in the same red as the rest of the wing - seeing it is much easier now.

The motor, a Razor 2500 with a CC 25A ESC/BEC turned a 9 x 6 folding prop for the test flight. Next flight, with a draw of 12.5 amps on the 3S 1320 TP Prolite pack, will be with a Freudenthaler 10 x 7. The radio is a 4 channel Berg controlling the motor and a mixed V-tail.


Posted by Ron Williams | Mar 27, 2006 @ 12:41 PM | 8,128 Views