DH90 Dragonfly after-build - Page 3 - RC Groups
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Mar 07, 2012, 03:29 AM
eye4wings's Avatar
A few bits and pieces left to do... nose cone and landing light the trickiest of them. I set up a paper tube standing forward from the nose and glued formers onto it, The outer skinning was added a little at a time as the tube was likely to shift in the fuselage.
As it happened I had come across part of a torch someone had left behind as litter and was pleased to be able to do a bit of 'wombling' (litter picking for any who have never seen the Wombles of Wimbledon Common) knowing exactly how the most efficient method of re-cycling would take place.
The bulb and reflector have been serving ever since in the Dragonfly, wires attached direct to the bulb and via a switch won from a defunct item of electrical equipment far too distant in time to recall.

The hinges for the nose cone and door before it are done the same way... a 2" length of 20 swg wire is cut and bent double to link with an identical piece from the other side. One piece is glued into the fuselage at an angle to give the required stand-off and the other side loops through it and fixes to the door. These are faired in using scrap balsa and a bit of bent light card such as comes with plastic bagged purchased components and finished in the same iron-on film as the rest of the airframe.
Easy?... well there are easier methods, but cheap?... definitely!

Time to put her all together.... ROLL-OUT DAY!
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Mar 07, 2012, 03:36 AM
Registered User
Peter M's Avatar
Simply beautiful!

Congratulations on an absolutely superb job.

Good luck with the maiden flight.

Mar 07, 2012, 04:51 AM
eye4wings's Avatar
Thank you Peter.
I personally thing the Dragonfly one of the (if not THE) most attractive aircraft of its era.

Sadly (and happily) the maiden flight was to be both good news and bad news in roughly equal measure - but I'll explain it all in the next instalment.
Mar 07, 2012, 05:43 AM
Supersonic Engineering
GordonTarling's Avatar
The Dragon is a lovely aeroplane Robin, and your model is a great example. If you've never been to 'The Moth Rally', it's a must-see for anyone remotely interested in DH types - it's recently been relocated to Belvoir Castle and is held in sometime in August - you'll see all sorts of DH types there, including the Dragon and other variants.
Mar 07, 2012, 07:47 AM
eye4wings's Avatar
Hi Gordon,

I seriously thought about getting to Woburn Abbey for one of those rallies but I never did persevere long enough to find the date... then I heard that Mr Norman was now reluctant to fly the Dragonfly there anyway - may have had something to do with catching some turbulence over the trees just after take-off on one occasion! There is a photo on the net of his machine at a rather crazy angle - may have been a memorable moment for him!
So I've not made it to a Moth Rally yet... I MUST try harder!... After all I need more photos of a Fox Moth - and the Hornet Moth has long been on my to-do list (though I have plenty of photos of that since David Reed kindly showed me around his).

Thanks for the heads-up!

I see it is 18/19th August ... but I don't see an obvious flying field on Google Earth! Maybe it's that large, strangely marked field immediately to the west?

Last edited by eye4wings; Mar 07, 2012 at 07:57 AM.
Mar 07, 2012, 08:18 AM
Supersonic Engineering
GordonTarling's Avatar
Robin - I saw the Dragonfly at Woburn a couple of times, but the site caused some exciting moments at times, with one Moth even ending up in a 'pond' one year, so I can understand why Mr. Norman was reluctant to take it there. Didn't stop the Vimy going there a few years ago though! It seems that Belvoir is a better place for the Dragonfly - http://www.targeta.co.uk/belvoir_castle_2011.htm I'm not certain which field they used, as I didn't go last year, but from the pics, it looks like it's the big field just East of the castle.
Mar 07, 2012, 03:55 PM
Big gov never Works
St. Martin's Avatar
I'm really impressed with your Dragonfly, Robin. Very nice, clean work. Good luck with it.

Mar 08, 2012, 02:22 AM
Registered User
Absolutely stunning congratulations on a fantastic build, Ken
Mar 08, 2012, 12:13 PM
Registered User
yel914's Avatar
I, and my wife say "Awesome job!" Just out of curiousity, how hard is it to get a flight on a full scale DH 90, or 89 in England? Are there still some in the air?
Mar 08, 2012, 12:48 PM
eye4wings's Avatar
Thank you gentlemen!

To get a flight in the one and only DH90 in England would probably be next to impossible! You would probably have to talk VERY nicely to the owner.
I doubt if he or the aircraft is certificated or insured for passenger carrying in the normal sense of the word, i.e. fare-paying. Friends might be different of course.

You would find it a whole lot easier if you were on holiday in New Zealand because 'AYR ( the only other flying example in the world so far as I know) is still working for her living.
Mar 08, 2012, 01:47 PM
Supersonic Engineering
GordonTarling's Avatar
Robin - Torquil Norman is a lovely guy to chat to and I'm sure I could have blagged a flight in his Moth a few years ago at one of the Moth club's events. There's only the one way to find out about a flight in his DH90.

yel914 - a flight in a DH89 Rapide is easy to achieve, if you have the funds. There's a company that resides at Duxford airfield that does them and I think it was Air Atlanique that used to travel to various airshows around the country offering them.
Mar 08, 2012, 04:53 PM
eye4wings's Avatar
I haven't managed to talk to Torquil Norman although I did once e-mail him with some photos of the 90" Leopard Moth (G-ACOJ) I did a few years back. Never heard back so I don't know if he got them. All I know is that somebody did as they weren't returned.

I did manage to chat briefly to David Morris, at Great Oakley last year, to compliment him on his immaculate Auster Autocrat. He also owns one of the currently airworthy DH89s at DX.
Mar 09, 2012, 11:32 AM
Registered User
yel914's Avatar
So, a DH89 it is. Another good reason to go across the pond. Thanks gents.
Mar 09, 2012, 01:33 PM
eye4wings's Avatar
If you're going to come over why not time a visit for one of the air displays at IWM Duxford? There are usually two DH 89s working on those days - although restricted hours due to the air display itself when they can't fly.

Normal weekends it would probably pay to pre-arrange with the flight organisers. It will be a full day if you want to take in all the museum exhibits and the restoration hangars as well, plus all the little detours that show the backroom stuff.

Mar 10, 2012, 06:55 AM
eye4wings's Avatar
It was the 27th of March 2010 before a suitable day arrived and I arrived at the field intending to test fly the Dragonfly.
I had installed two packs of 2S 6,000mAh 10C lipos, one per motor, and static tested the setup with the HK 50A ESCs which gave me misgivings as they were intended for use in a helicopter and took their time spinning up at first start-up. But they seemed to work normally once over that stage so I just held it in mind in case of problems later.
I was of course aware that their cooling airflow was limited but hoped they had sufficient capacity over and above what was needed not to need any more.

The Dragonfly needs very little time to set up on arrival at the field so five minutes later I was looking at the pristine model wondering if I was ready to commit her to the air. I took a few extra photos (below) while I waited for the answer.

Next task, as others were arriving, was to taxi test so I spent a few minutes running up and down the runway in the light breeze. There seemed to be no lack of control and weather-cocking seemed no more than expected - indeed perhaps a little less.
So I had no reason not to go for take-off.
She tracked fairly straight with a little correction and lifted off satisfyingly gently and I left her climbing away at something like ten degrees - but I was soon aware that aileron control was very limited indeed. In fact although the model did show initial signs of being able to roll right after a second or so it refused to go further - so it seemed I had no ability to turn right. Having called that I had a problem I had to do a downwind leg behind the pits, at about fifty feet and half throttle - then just before turning back onto the runway line the motors died altogether.
No trouble turning left of course, and plenty of height to do it, but there was no aileron to stop the turn, so some distance downwind and now crosswind (with the wind under the wrong wing!) she arrived at ground level and I could immediately tell the damage was quite severe.

I hope you will forgive me for not having taken any photos of the results!
It was a bit demoralising - but I knew that the Dragonfly was well worth the time repairing.

I had not had much time to appreciate the look of the model in the air but she flew at a speed that would clearly allow me to once the repairs were made. In fact, while carrying the remains back to the pits I wondered if it had even occurred to me to use the rudder - and incredibly I realised that I hadn't. All this might have been saved had I been fully in charge of my faculties!

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