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Posted by eye4wings | Feb 24, 2017 @ 05:55 AM | 2,197 Views
In response to a request for information I am posting my inexpensive method for connecting up all three of the Messenger's rudders to a single servo.

My Messenger design was to a span of about 72" and had the scale tailplane section which was built up using 1.5mm soft balsa sheet with 2.3mm ribs which left plenty of space for the connection system.

A pull-pull wire system was used to operate the central rudder using a spare four-armed servo output with one arm cut off. The actual connection to the central rudder was made via a wire extension with a brass tube on the vertical part to act as the lower hinge point of the rudder and the other end connected to a hole in the arm that lay along the fuselage centre line. This arm also had the end hole taken as connection for the two outer rudders.

The simplest (and cheapest) way to do this was to cut a length of wire about 150mm long and make two right-angled bends in the middle. This was fed through the hole in the arm before the arms were installed in the airframe leaving a wire end sticking out each side into the tailplane - which was lacking the top skin at this stage so that working access was easy. A partly flattened brass tube was slid onto each wire end to take the outer sections later.

The outer rudder horns were cut in the same gauge piano wire as the rest of the connection and had no provision to act as a hinge because the outer rudders had two hinges already, one at the toop and one below the place the...Continue Reading
Posted by eye4wings | Feb 18, 2017 @ 12:14 PM | 2,617 Views
There are still many aircraft types for which there are no plans available - or maybe there are but they are too small or too old and heavily designed to fly scale. If you are looking for one of these to scratch build from then I may be able to help you fulfil a dream.
My circumstances have changed recently and I cannot get out test flying so often as I used to but I can still design and draw... and I still like to get my designs published so each design is available to all the model builders out there.
A modest fee is received at publication so I am offering to split it half and half with anyone who wishes to form a partnership with me to build and flight test their own prototype built to my design.
If I am equally enthused about the type you are looking for (enough to spend months drawing it up to your preferred scale) I will do the design work so that you have drawings to work from.

The cost to you will be keeping the progress out of the public gaze until after the test flying is complete and the article (or articles for some larger models of greater complexity) has been published and taking frequent photos to send me (by email) of the work as it progresses.
We will agree any amendments required as we go and after publication run an 'after-build' thread so that all the photos become available free, although the drawings themselves will remain in the charge of the publisher.

Because I have developed my own inexpensive methods your half of the publication fee...Continue Reading
Posted by eye4wings | May 08, 2015 @ 05:06 AM | 4,755 Views
From time to time I see threads relating the loss of a model due to it flying away or being 'taken by the wind'. A search is made but the model is not found, the owner having to come to terms with the implications. As we gain experience in controlling our models such losses become rarer (although FPV increases the risk) but for those lost models there is a way of finding them which many think highly questionable. Some of us however have used the method successfully as I have done in finding not only things that are lost but information on how to find things that I wish to see.
The method is called 'Dowsing' and involves the use of a tool to amplify otherwise undetectable reactions in our bodies. Some use Y-shaped twigs of Hazel or bent metal rods, but my favoured tool is a pendulum. This allows the enquirer to ask 'yes or no' questions as well as directional information. It is also the least bulky to carry around and can be used without attracting nearly as much attention as others.
The pendulum is held on a short chain or string about 3-4 inches long (you will find your own best length and pendulum weight but a smaller pendulum reacts quicker) and you start it swinging in a straight fore and aft direction. By clearing the mind and thinking of a positive 'yes' the pendulum should after a few moments start to deviate from its straight movement to enter a clockwise or counter-clockwise circle. This may be different for different individuals and (I have been told) can...Continue Reading
Posted by eye4wings | Mar 30, 2015 @ 02:23 PM | 5,419 Views
Down the years I have settled into a number of comfortable methods of doing things simply and cheaply some of which I have already shared. This is my favourite method of fixing parts of a model together without any separate screws or other small bits and pieces that can get fumbled by cold fingers and dropped in the grass. It grew from the simple system shown in the main sketch, where a pin was inserted into one side of the fuselage and pushed through a guide tube to slip through wire loops glued into blocks at the fuselage sides and emerge on the other side of the fuselage.
This was very effective, but I lost two models due to two different but related problems.

One was that at first I did not kink the wire, which could therefore slide out of the loops and eventually the model leaving the tail connected only by the wooden dowels and servo wires. That saw the demise of my Tigercat and the 100" Liberator also lost its' tail, this time on take-off, because wear and tear allowed the pin to miss its loops on both sides... and I did not check security of the fixing before beginning the run.

That one resulted in me using a slightly thicker wire for the pin and making sure the tip was well rounded and tapered to give positive feeling when inserting.

The drawing below shows 20 swg wire for loops and 18 for the pins, which is fine for models up to 70-80" span, but above this I would use one grade thicker wire for each.

This method suits my building style...Continue Reading
Posted by eye4wings | Sep 26, 2014 @ 08:09 AM | 5,535 Views
Been talking about ways of rigging biplanes recently and thought I would put my own method down in a drawing for posterity.
I hope forumites will find this useful.

The basic tenets of the design are...
1. Cheapness.
2. Not too much trouble - that is no bolts or screws to get lost in grass.
3. To use materials readily to hand insofar as possible.

The sheet below is designed for the DH83 Fox Moth in particular although the method was developed for two 2-bay WW1 biplanes many years ago (DH9 and Brisfit) for which the rigging was permanently installed and the wing pairs simply plugged into the fuselage / centre-section and wire pinned in place. Most biplanes would require to be rigged using two lengths of wire per side, but because of the single lower fixing point to allow access for passengers the Fox Moth was rigged using a single length per side.

The original wire was plastic covered 7-strand fishing wire of 20pound breaking strain but this stretched during use and I have recently re-rigged using 40pound wire.

Posted by eye4wings | Aug 02, 2014 @ 05:33 AM | 6,528 Views
In the past accurately equipping a model with scale sized propellers with the correct number of blades tended to be a very expensive business. Most commercial concerns offering three-bladed wooden props tend to demand a premium for their product to reflect the extra effort involved.

I have posted on the forum before on my very much cheaper alternative and shown that I could in the past produce four three-bladed props for less money than the purchase of these expensive items just by buying the much cheaper 2-blade props available and spending about an hour cutting, gluing and painting.

I have also been asked how strong my DIY props are and I now have had an unfortunate arrival at ground level that broke a blade off. Whereas some commercial products have cast blades in use because they are made using simple cuts and metal pins for economy, my props have never suffered from any such failure. The last 2 photos testify to the fact that a properly made joint fixed using ordinary wood glue does not fail. Rather the blade itself splinters.

Of course the down side is that getting the stump of the old blade out so as to set a new one in is quite a job - but it is possible.

So here is my photo sequence from build to destruction!...
Posted by eye4wings | May 29, 2014 @ 05:28 PM | 7,625 Views
There has at times been discussion about Servo tabs, their effectiveness, the ways of providing them on our models, and the reasons for doing so in various threads. I thought that it was probably time that I (as one who is convinced by the savings to be made in using them) put down on virtual paper a visual and very brief how to, so here is my offering.

I hope it is helpful and informative, but chapters have been written on the subject so the information in one page is bound to be sketchy. Please feel free to comment if you feel it can be improved - or if I could have put it clearer.
Posted by eye4wings | Mar 26, 2012 @ 06:47 AM | 9,307 Views
I only just realised how useful it could be to all the scratch builders on RC Groups if I posted my wing-building method for everyone who wants to to copy - so here we go!

The purpose of this method is
1. To produce a wing structure with the least amount of material wastage.
2. To make it as strong as possible for the least amount of material used.
3. To eliminate as far as possible the need to work out the various wing sections throughout the span.
4. To minimise templates and jigging.

The light gradually dawned during my design and building of the Miles Messenger and Gemini models, starting when I realised that the manufacturing method used had been to produce a top surface and bottom surface of the wings then join them together by the completion of the spars. I noticed that many other wings have structures which are very different from what we traditionally used in our hobby and then wondered why we took to cutting out complete wing aerofoil sections for our wings in one piece. for a tapering wing every single rib is different and has to be worked out beforehand following which even positioning them with great care on balsa sheet inevitably produces a large quantity of wastage - further compounded by all the lightening cut-out bits - all of which is money in the bin.

Why not build so as not to put the material there in the first place?

The purpose of wing ribs is firstly to maintain the intended shape of the wing surface and to prevent the main spar(s)...Continue Reading
Posted by eye4wings | Apr 16, 2011 @ 07:13 AM | 9,731 Views
After two years' flying the Q6 finally hits the shelves in the May issue of RCMW.


Parts kit and plan are now available.

The Traplet shop website has had a bit of a revamp and looking better now - well done all!
Posted by eye4wings | Oct 03, 2010 @ 08:12 AM | 10,018 Views
These below are videos by myself and others posted on YouTube. All but the DH Heron are of published plans (see the Traplet list in my blog for links). So that these are kept in one place for reference purposes I list them below...
(There are others on my YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/user/R0binF0wler )
Shorts S29 Stirling
Stirling flight (3 min 0 sec)

Gear and flap (0 min 41 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by eye4wings | Jun 09, 2010 @ 01:13 PM | 12,138 Views
I used to reckon that I built three or four new models every year, but since I have experienced the advantages of flying larger scale models the number turned out has, understandably, dropped to about two. Consequently as there are more sheets per design and producing finished design drawings is my least favourite part of the production system to publication, my publisher has not had much from me for the last year or two.
What he has had from me over the years however is building to quite a long list, which I reproduce below. (updated since the Traplet site revamp)
The links given are to the page at Traplet's shop where the plan can be ordered.

Short S.29 Stirling. 118" (1:10 scale)
With DIY retract system and Gouge flaps.

Percival Q6, 112"

DH.90 Dragonfly, 86"

DH83 Fox Moth 76"

Zenair CH701UL 80"

Hawker Tempest 5, 42

Alco Frolic (sport design), 51.5

Percival Prentice T1, 60
http://gb.trapletshop....Continue Reading
Posted by eye4wings | Oct 27, 2009 @ 12:32 PM | 10,870 Views
The Mean Modeller's Mandate:

To attempt by any means available to make as little balsa wood (and other modelling materials) fill up as much space as possible and still stay in one piece while above ground level.

General Dicta:

'Lead' is a swear word.
Weight is the enemy.
DO NOT 'Beef it up' just in case.
The smaller a scale model is and/or the heavier it is built, the faster it will have to fly to stay aloft and the less 'scale' the flight will inevitably appear to the watcher.
Reynolds numbers work against the smaller wing.
Added weight means added drag, which means more power will be needed to fly the model. which means larger motors and batteries (and more cost), which means more structure to carry it, which means more weight, which means more drag, which means... that it is impossible to win by doing it that way.
Saving structural weight where it can be spared means that the model will fly at a lower speed, which means it will take less power to fly it, which means smaller motors and batteries (and smaller outlay), which means further savings in structure... etc...
The greatest bending moment for a wing to withstand is at the joint to the fuselage so why use constant thickness spar members right to the tip? Even if the wing is a constant chord one, and only just takes the strain at the root, that is a lot of wasted material and weight nearer the tip.

For the last ten years or so I have used tapered span-wise spar members, typically 1/2"x1/4...Continue Reading