Tuesday, 30 June 2015

A change is as good as a rest...

Recently, a feeling of stagnation has caused me to go back to something I'd tried before to do.  Radio Controlled model aircraft.  Of course work always got in the way and so recently I find that a model I have done some work on appeared in a forum I was on 3 years ago!

An old chum in the village, who I first met around that time, gave me an ancient KeilKraft Super  60 trainer which he'd crashed.  Most people would have made a small bonfire of it, but no, 40 years ago he simply put it away.  He also gave me another, which he'd never finished.  The former needed some repairs, but then I found that in repairing it in less than ideal conditions it had bent like a banana, so needs re-repairing.  The unfinished one is glued with Secotine or some such old glue which has embrittled and so I have laboriously reglued every stick.  In the process I thought why not make it into a low winger ready for that intermediate level of trainer, so that was done simply by replacing the same wing under the cabin instead of above it.

Said chum then presented me with a 50 year old plan and suggested it would be quicker if I just made a new one, so I cleared a space on the flattest table I have in the shed and stripped some 1/4" balsa sheet into 1/4" square strip and cut it to fit over the plan, suitably covered in cling film of course for protection. In fact it took no longer to make the whole fuselage side than to unravel and flatten the damned cling film!
So now I have the makings of not one, but 3 of these venerable old kites to play with.
In the mean time I was also given by said chum a modern ready made balsa "stick" plane with ailerons and a geared electric motor. The gearbox had a bent shaft and anyway my friend said it would be unsuitable as a trainer.  However a visit to my local model flying field recently saw me watching a plane so easy to fly that I couldn't see why I wouldn't be able to fly my one as it was so similar.  I was given some brushless electric motors and speed controllers a while back in exchange for a small diesel engine, a Frog 100 and it seemed that one of the motors would easily fly this aircraft and all I would need would be a prop and a new LiPo battery.  ALSO, last year my son gave me two of the modern pod and boom type powered glider type of trainer, with electric motors and built in R/C gear.  I did try to fly one last Summer, but succeeded only in dislodging a slate from the roof.  However, with a slight repair to the somewhat unusual method of actuating the tail surfaces, it would fly again, no problem, but this time I'll take it to a flying field to try.
All this time, the Skystreak 32 was taking shape.  A model based on the smaller Skystreak 26, a conrol line stunter from 50 odd years ago, for which a kind chap had sent me plans.  When I was about 8 years old, my Uncle gave me an original Skystreak 26, he'd built with an ED Bee diesel up front. He'd doped it in silver and black and it lived on the top of my wardrobe for years.  I could never get the engine started and my Mum probably sat on it as she did most of my model aeroplanes!
But the shape never left me.  To this day I don't think there's a nicer looking 'plane.
Here are a pair of 32s, one glow engined, one electric.
And the same brushless motor I had lined up for the "ugly stick" trainer will fly one of these.
So, from a wish to build a trainer to get into model flying, I seem to have gained a surfeit of airframes!

But a man needs a plan, lest his brain empties.  I also have the Specials to build, but they demand a bigger commitment to time than just gluing some balsa together, while glue sets on a paying job and provide a very different kind of mental abstraction, when needed.

No comments:

Post a Comment