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April 2018.
No. 971. £5.99




9 770001 923011



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AEROMODELLER 971 April 2018 – Next issue published on 19 April 2018





Doolittle Mill, Doolittle Lane, Totternhoe,
Bedfordshire LU6 1QX, England

Issue 971. April 2018

(Issue 053 since relaunch)


Tel: 01525 222573
Editor: Andrew Boddington

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& Alex Hall

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Fluke (Aile Basse) this

month’s Free Plan.

CONTENTS 053.indd 1 28/02/2018 14:42

News, Views and Editorial

End of an Era

fter over 50 years in business, it is sad to report products in the near future, but I have no clarification on
that Solarfilm has closed. In early February Andrew this at present. It would be nice to think that an enterprising
Hardman, son of Derek the founder, circulated the manufacturer somewhere in the world might buy the rights to
letter you see here to announce that they would no produce the unique coverings that Solarfilm developed, but I
longer produce Solarfilm Products. It seems that won’t hold my breath.
the changing nature of much modern aeromodelling (particularly As ever it is the “best of times and the worst of times” for
RTFs and foam) has meant that the business is not viable, and traditional aeromodelling; we have never had so much choice
Andrew Hardman has taken the decision to retire. with a larger variety of products (new and used) than has ever
I know that alternatives exist for some of the products, but been available before, all at the click of a mouse, but many
at their peak Solarfilm was immensely innovative introducing a long-term certainties are disappearing. I salute Solarfilm as a
wide range of coverings to suit models of all sizes. Talking to great UK aeromodelling institution and wish Andrew Hardman
other modellers I know that specifically Solartex and Litespan and his family a happy retirement.
will be missed.
A look at the Solarfim website seems Regards, Andrew Boddington
to suggest that there will be some direct sales of remaining


Last month’s AeroModeller Manager, Past Pleasures castle backdrop in question is
feature with photo plates of Ltd.” Framlingham Castle in Suffolk.
model flyers from around Very close to the castle is a
1909 has created a flurry of There was a consensus with private school of long tenure
email activity. The first email the other emailers that the site - Framlingham College so I
I received was the following is indeed Framlingham Castle would have to assume that
from Andy Dragoni: which is now open to the there’s a connection there.”
This Edwardian flyer is standing in front of public as an English Heritage
Framlingham Castle in Suffolk which should “Dear Mr Boddington, Site. It also appears that the Many thanks to all those who
now be the correct way round!
I work on a lot of English original photos may well be have contacted me so far. Can
Framlingham Castle as it is today. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons by Squeezyboy)
We didn’t have
Heritage sites with colleagues scanned in reverse. we take this another step and
space last and we are of the opinion Adrian Culf now lives in link any of the young men in
month for this these pictures were taken at Canada, but knows the place the photos with Framlingham
photo plate of
an early scale Framlingham Castle in Suffolk. well and commented: College? If you can, do email
model of the Best wishes, me on
Bleriot XI.
Andy Dragoni, Education “I’m pretty sure that the

4 AeroModeller - April 2018

HANGAR DOORS 053.indd 2 28/02/2018 14:41

Good news, there will be a lower gate price for model club members when they attend the ModelAir flying
days at the Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden.
Entry price is reduced to £8 per day with proof of membership of a model flying club. So, bring your
membership cards with you otherwise it will cost £13 a day! Camping costs £10 per night per unit as usual.
Full details at
May 12/13 - Mayfly, July 21/22 - Scale Weekend with emphasis on WW1 aircraft, Sept 22/23 - Festival of Flight


The recent mentions of yout aeromodelling prompted Tony The engine was my DC Super Merlin.
Spillane to contact us with these recollections of a brush with
fame as a schoolboy. The BBC came to the school, and filmed me flying my own design
CL Fokker DVIII with AM25 power. I had to keep backing off the
“Hi Andrew, power so that the cameraman could follow it. In the end the power
Thought you might be interested in the attached photo. was so low it wouldn’t take off, despite whipping it on the ground!
Our school (in Leeds) was selected to enter a BBC-1 schools We then went to the studios in Manchester (a converted church)
programme called “Science Fair 68”. It was recorded at the end of where Paddy Feeney compered the programme. We came
1967, and broadcast in February 1968. second, so didn’t proceed!
Our project was about mixing various model aircraft diesel fuels, Our physics teacher was into model aircraft, so he initiated the
and testing their power output on a fabricated dynamometer. We application to the BBC competition, but the chemistry teacher and
also did ‘airborne tests’, by measuring the time taken to do ten the metalwork teacher also allowed us access to raw materials.
laps in a home designed CL plane, and correlated the two results. Best regards, Tony”

Photo from November 1967 showing Tony Spillane, Julian Driver, Nick Harrison and Mick Large who were then pupils at St Thomas Aquinas RC
Grammar School, Leeds. You will undoubtedly recognize many of the models including the single channel DB Sub-Mini held high!
Framlingham Castle as it is today. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons by Squeezyboy)

HANGAR DOORS 053.indd 3 28/02/2018 14:41

News, Views and Editorial


The piece about Andrew Hewitt test flying the
Stipa Caproni FF model featured in 1950’s JIM FULLARTON RIP
AeroModellers has uncovered a ‘barrel’ of
information! First off is an email from the model Having only recently celebrated the 100th birthday of Jim Fullarton on these
builder’s son: pages, it is sad to pass on the news that Jim died on 28th December 2017. Jim
had a lifelong interest in aircraft and aeromodelling and he was fortunate in being
“Hi Andrew able to follow this interest almost to the end of his days. It is thought that he was
Just to say that myself and my father were the last surviving competitor from the first Australian National Championship in
delighted to see the article in the January issue 1938. He will be greatly missed by those who have known him and competed
about the model Caproni and the great effort by with him over the years.
my work colleague Andrew Hewitt to refurbish
the model and fly it after so many years. Just
wanted to point out a little correction. It was not
Ron Moulton who drew the drawings for the
model, it was actually my father Tony scaling
from the full-size aircraft, we’ve passed these
drawings onto Andy. For example he sized the
diameter of the barrel at 8 inches compared to
8 feet on the real aircraft. Hope to see more as
Andy also has our old model of the flying flea.
Best regards, Robert Howe.”

I’ve also been contacted by Kim Jones who

linked me to the Falco full-size aircraft website
in the USA which if you search
for the word Caproni will lead you to various
interesting pages related to Stipa Capronis. First
there is a 2/3 scale man carrying “model” built
in Australia, which first flew around 16 years ago
with a 72hp Simonini racing engine for power.
Probably of more interest to aeromodellers is
Don Watson’s large RC model. The wing span
is 9’, while the fuselage is 20” in diameter and
approximately 48” long. The biggest change
Jim Fullarton RIP. Jim was an active aeromodeller all his life.
Don made was in the cockpit area - he went to a
one-place configuration and changed the shape
somewhat. The five main bulkheads are from
laser-cut aluminum. There is a 3.8 cu inches two- LINA – SWEDISH CL MAGAZINE
cycle engine that swings a 18/10 prop. I’ve tried
Ingemar Larsson ingemar.larsson.vis@ 200 copies. They produce 2 issues per
contacting Don without success, but if he reads contacted AeroModeller year, each with 60 pages. We try to
this, please get in touch with AeroModeller.
about the Swedish Lina magazine have articles from contests, building
Lynette Zuccoli for CL flyers which is in Swedish articles and historical (nostalgic) look-
with the 65% with a few articles in English backs. Behind LINA is a Group called
Stipa Caproni
language. SLIS, an interest Group of CL flyers.
replica. It has It is a completely non-commercial All old issues can be found at www.slis.
flown! Full magazine and is printed in around org/lina apart from the last 4 issues.
information at

Don Watson is
developing this
large (approx. 1/5)
scale RC model of
the Stipa Caproni.

6 AeroModeller - April 2018

HANGAR DOORS 053.indd 4 28/02/2018 14:42

Please note that the events listed are compiled weeks in advance of publication,

and you should check before travelling in case of change. For future inclusion of
your events, please send an email with date and details of the event in a format
similar to those shown below to

MARCH 18 March 7 April 21 April

Beverley & District MAC Spring Alfreton Indoor, Leisure Centre, Norfolk ‘Insiders’ FF, Stalham
17 March Swapmeet, Tickton Village Hall, Alfreton, NE Derbyshire DE55 School Sports Hall, Ingham Rd,
Norfolk ‘Insiders’ FF, Stalham near Beverley HU17 9RZ. 09.00 7BD. 14:00 to 17:00. FF and Stalham, Norfolk NR12 9DG.
School Sports Hall, Ingham Rd, to 12:00. Tables £5.00 ultra-light RC, no rotors. 19:00 to 22:00. Informal Indoor
Stalham, Norfolk NR12 9DG. Brian Jenkins Nigel Monk 07812 670935 FF, beginners welcome. Cafe.
19:00 to 22:00. Informal Indoor Richard Crossley on
FF, beginners welcome. Cafe. 07970 959875 01692 407936,
Richard Crossley on 8 April
01692 407936, Barton Rat Day, Barton, 18 March Manchester. Usual CL Rat 22 April
OFMAC Indoor Flying, Abbey Race classes. Barton F2C CL, Barton,
17 March Centre, Furlong Green, John Bradley 01829 270253 Manchester. BMFA F2C
South Norfolk MFC Indoor, Berinsfield OX10 7NR. 09:00 to & F2CN.
Leisure Centre, Old Norwich 16:00. FF, Scale. Chris Barker 01252 850239
Road, Wymondham, Norfolk, Dave Dobson 01491 837789 8 April
NR18 0NT. 19:00 to 22:00. Flitehook Indoor FF Meeting,
All model types, 100g max. West Totton Centre, Hazel 22 April 25 March Farm Rd, Totton, Southampton F1E FF Slope Soaring Team
Goodyear Day, Barton, SO40 8WU. 10:00 to 16:00. Selection, TBC Sheffield or
17 March Manchester. British, Open & Flyers £8, Juniors & Melton Mowbray.
Tonbridge Gassers & Rubber Mini Goodyear, Barton 26. Spectators Free. Ian Kaynes 07941 852144
Fanciers Indoor, Sports Ed Needham 01614 855193
Centre, 601 Maidstone Road, 02380 861541
Rochester ME1 3QJ. 18:30 to 28-29 April
22:00. FF & LW RC. 25 March to 20 May 8 April London Area FF Gala, Salisbury
Eric 01622 737814 SAM35 Postal Contest, Under Shawbury Indoor, RAF Plain. 28th: C/G, C/R, C/P, C/E, 25” Vintage Rubber, incl award Shawbury, Dawsons Rough. P30, CO2. 29th: F1H, F1G,
or Steve 0208 942 5000 for best Achilles. 13:00 to 16:00. Electric RC F1J, BMFA1/2A, Mini Vintage, & FF. E30, HLG-CLG.
17-18 March John Minchell Trevor Grey 01892 539221
Barton Club Speed Weekend,
Barton, Manchester. All Open 25 March
Classes, F2A, Barton Club BMFA FF 3rd Area, Area 14-15 April 29 April
Speed, ‘Have a Go’. Venues. Vintage G(Plugge), C/R Barton Club Speed Weekend, Vintage & Barton Team Race,
Dick Hart 01387 820335 (Gamage), C/G, C/P, C/E, F1C Barton, Manchester. All Open Barton, Manchester. VTR, (Halfax/Plugge), F1QUK, HLG- Classes, F2A, Barton Club Barton.
CLG (Plugge). Speed, ‘Have a Go’. BMFA John Mealing 0117 947 8758
18 March Centralised on 15th Only.
Barton Swap Meet, Barton, Dick Hart 01387 820335
Manchester. 10:00 to 12:00. 30 March MAY BMFA FF Northern Gala, N
Luffenham. C/G (CMA), C/R 15 April 1 May
18 March (Caton), B/P (Hamley); [Club Indoor FF Scale Nationals, Waltham Chase Indoor FF,
Impington Indoor, Impington Champs], C/E, SLOP (Falcons), University of Wolverhampton, Community Centre, Mill Lane,
Village College, Cambridge F1H, P30, BMFA 1/2A, Walsall Sports Centre, Wickham, PO17 5AL. 19:00
CB24 9LX. 9.00 to 17.00. MiniVintage, HLG-CLG. Magdalene Rd. WS1 3TA. to 22:00. FF only, flyers £5,
£6.00 to Fly. FF incl BMFA FF scale events and spectators £1.
competitions for peanuts more! (Trimming on previous
(minimal documentation) & APRIL day 14th) Alan Wallington 01489 895157
Bostonians. RTP & small RC
in separate hall. Seminar by 2 April 07989 744251 12-13 May
Roger Simmonds explaining his Croydon Wakefield & SAM MayFly at the Shuttleworth
work on structures for small jet 1066, Salisbury Plain. F1B, 8 & Collection, Old Warden SG18
models. Also rubber powered 4oz Wakes, Marcus LWs, SAM 15 April 9EP. FF, CL & RC including
car race. Vintage/Classic events, Vintage Combat, BMFA Centre, Ebenezer, FROG Senior & KK
Chris Strachan 01223 860498 Sports FF. Buckminster Lodge, Sewstern Elf duration on Sun. Roger Newman 0239 2550809 NG33 5RW. Mick Lewis 01453 542367
18 March
BMFA SW Area Indoor Flying, 3 April
Saints Centre, St Austell PL26 Waltham Chase Indoor FF,
7AG. 12:00 to 16:00. FF & Community Centre, Mill Lane, 15 April
micro RC. Wickham, PO17 5AL. 19:00 BMFA Buckminster Swapmeet,
David Powis 01579 362951 to 22:00. FF only, flyers £5, Sewstern NG33 5RW. spectators £1. From 10:00.
18 March Alan Wallington 01489 895157 0116 2441091
Shawbury Indoor, RAF
Shawbury, Dawsons Rough.
13:00 to 16:00. Electric RC
& FF.
John Minchell

Full details of BMFA events can be found at:


CALENDAR 053.indd 1 28/02/2018 14:40

Model Engineer

Hidden Gems –
Weston UK, Traditional IC Engine Manufacturer and Supplier

Andrew Boddington visits Alan Greenfield of West engines and Weston Model Centre.
have been meaning to visit Alan model shop with models hanging
Greenfield for quite a time as I from the ceiling and display cabinets
keep coming across his West full of engines – I was immediately
engines along with other engines transported back to realms of my
he has supplied. Given the small youth! Yes you can find the latest
size of his manufacturing operation a electric power systems and drones
high proportion of West engines can for sale, but the traditional modeller is
be seen in the control line circles at particularly well catered for.
Old Warden, particularly for Carrier Alan Greenfield is passionate about
Deck and Weatherman Speed. He model IC engines in all their guises,
must be doing something right! Early and I spent an informative morning
in January the opportunity arose to learning about many aspects of his
visit the Weston Model Centre shop at business and his development of
Tydenham in North Kent and meet with engines. The West marque is Alan’s
Alan and his two assistants. own brand and production, but I was
Walk in to the shop and you will surprised (and pleased) to learn that
immediately know this is a ‘proper’ he is the owner of ED engines. He

Alan Greenfield is a mine of information about all things to do with IC engines, whether normal
configuration or the more esoteric.

This is a proper model

shop with models
hanging from the ceiling,
both RC and CL. (Blue
Pants CL seen at the top
of picture.)

8 AeroModeller - April 2018

WESTON MODELS VISIT.indd 8 28/02/2018 15:16

A mouth-watering selection of IC engines are on display and for sale. Did you know you can still buy a new ED diesel? This is the 3.46cc air cooled
Super Hunter RC.

can still supply new, boxed aircooled Magnum, Webra, AP, as well as West repair, then only parts and return postage
3.46cc Super Hunter RC diesels as well engines in aero, marine and other to pay.
as similarly sized ED marine engines. I configurations. Their own brand Genesis One project that Alan is rightly
couldn’t resist acquiring a Super Hunter Exhausts has tuned pipes and silencers/ proud of was the development of the
which will be reviewed by AeroModeller mufflers, including a made to order Curare Special 0.52 ci glow engine for
in a future issue. If you have a later ED service for that difficult cowled engine, Schweighofer of Austria www.der-
diesel which requires spares or repair it is perhaps for a scale model. Weston They wanted a retro
worth getting in touch with Weston UK to UK offer an engine repair service for looking motor for ARTF reproductions
see if they can help. any make of engine - prices starting at of the Curare 1970’s RC Aerobatic
Weston UK can also supply RCV, £30.00 for inspection, fault diagnosis and Model they were producing with Hanno

There is a large range of water cooled ED Still manufactured, the Super Hunter diesel can The Curare Special was developed by Alan from
engines, but the Super Hunter is the only air- trace its lineage back to the 1950’s. Look out for a the West T52 engine for use in an ARTF version of
cooled model. review in a future AeroModeller. Hanne Prettner’s Curare.

WESTON MODELS VISIT.indd 9 28/02/2018 15:17

Model Engineer

Alan has been experimenting with crank web A more recent development of the crank web induction engine is being trialled in this hydroplane.
induction as a way of increasing the intake of air Alan’s inventiveness is not only applied to the engine; most hydroplanes have two outrigger sponsons
and improving performance without the need to but Alan has designed his boat to work with one together with a modified hull.
enlarge the crankshaft. This is a developmental
40 sized engine.

Prettner. They modified a West 0.52 T to induction engine with tuned pipe, fitted performance available from traditional
look more like an original 1970’s motor. in a hydroplane – it is showing plenty configuration West engines prepared for
Hanno Prettner assessed the engine and of promise. Weatherman Speed has been utilised by
reckoned it had more performance than So why are West engines proving David Finch to set Class 7 (using West
his original 0.60 engine, yet it is smaller popular with control line flyers? Special 52) and Class 5 (using West 30)
and lighter. reverse rotation West glow engines are world records.
being used by Carrier Deck control line So if you are a lover and user of
Crank Web Induction Engine competitors. The reverse rotation has model IC engines, get over to Weston
Typical of Alan’s ability to look at the advantage that when throttled back UK (it is an ideal stop off on the way to
engineering conundrums with a unique for flying slowly the direction of torque holiday destinations such as Whitstable,
perspective is his development of a helps keep the flying lines taught. A Canterbury or Margate!) Alan Greenfield
crank web induction glow engine. There ‘pusher’ prop is required and you must isn’t always in the shop, so do check
is a problem with a traditional crankshaft remember to start the engine clockwise! before travelling if you specifically want to
induction engine if you want to improve Elsewhere in CL Vintage Speed the high talk with him. ●
performance - you have to put a bigger
crankshaft in if you want larger induction
for the same number of degrees rotation,
which means a bigger bearing, heavier
weight, etc. If you use the outer diameter
of the crankweb you get a longer
opening for the same number of degrees
(the crankweb being significantly wider
diameter than the main crankshaft).
The early development engine shown is
aimed at car use and has its exhaust is
at 45% and facing forwards – this helps
with the gas flow through the ports on
either side of the main bearing, picking
up the gas lower in the crankcase and
The Tuned by West Magnum Four Strokes have changed heads giving them approximately 20% more
making the flow more efficient. Also power, and modified carburettors installed directly to the head giving them snappier throttle response
shown is a more recent crank web and easier starting, eliminating flooding when inverted.

10 AeroModeller - April 2018

WESTON MODELS VISIT.indd 10 28/02/2018 15:17

1937 Slingby T.7 Kirby Cadet
RC & FF kits available” in that box

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19 inch diameter
Howard DGA3 Pete
Offering over 90 original retro & vintage RC and FF 1:12 scale 20 inch foamie
model airplane kits plus many unique laser cut accessories, Some of our kits now available through
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ALWAYS IN STOCK: Huge range of miniature Fast m
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Tel: +44 (0)115 854 8791 Email:

RETRO RC.indd 1 28/02/2018 15:07

Free Flight Scale

Scale Matters
Bill Dennis on the latest scale kits and builds.

Vintage Model Company front end. The full PC10 or PC12 I built in a fair bit of down and
Sopwith Triplane (argue amongst yourselves) scheme is sidethrust but in case it needed to be
This latest offering from the Vintage a bit drab. There was at one point the changed, the front end was just tacked
Model Company, and designer Andrew possibility of including the big tail on together. The top and bottom wings
Darby, appeared just before Christmas the plan but as there isn’t a square inch stayed perfectly flat but the middle
and I was quick off the mark to order to spare, I guess it was not possible. In ones inexplicably curved a little, and no
one. I am not going to discuss it in depth any case, it is an easy job just to enlarge amount of steaming and weighting down
because other models in the range have a three view and build directly over it. has cured the problem. I should
been reviewed and if you built one, this is There is plenty of spare wood in the kit. re-cover them.
the same. The philosophy of these models is I prefer the appearance of a sprayed
I decided at an early stage that I would to produce a modern, well-engineered finish (Flair/Spectrum PC10 and cream)
convert it to Telco CO2. I had done the take on the Veron and Keil Kraft kits. In which, as a matter of interest, added
same with my SE5 with good results and this case the Triplane parallels the Veron only 0.6g. For the first time, I used all
I enjoy flying it more than with rubber. example; I built one of those, with the the paper markings for the roundels and
I also wanted to build an early version sparless wings which, when covered, rudder. I have been a bit sniffy about
with the Pup tailplane; partly because I adopted an extreme banana-curve. them in the past but I was wrong. I found
think it looks nicer and also because the These wings have wisely been given a that if I soaked them in water and applied
aircraft so fitted have a silver/aluminium top spar. a thin coat of RC Modeller’s Glue, they

Here is the Sopwith Triplane in the

company of its VMC (Vintage Model
Company) WWI stablemates.

SCALE MATTERS 053.indd 12 28/02/2018 14:40

The Triplane is assembled using these jigs which result in a perfectly- This is the next model to come from the Vintage Model Company – a
aligned model. delightful Bird Dog

sat down neatly over the top surface. the original SMAE Model Flyer in the 80s. like most low-wingers; just when it looks
Even the rudder went well, with multiple Like many of Mike’s models, it was made like it will go, it winds in. Having tried
little cuts 1mm apart allowing the edges of thin, pre-doped and decorated paper all the trimming wheezes he has come
to stick down without fuss. Neither the applied over a minimal balsa structure. to the conclusion that lowering the CG
Triplane nor Camel schemes in the kit A drawback of the technique is that it significantly is the only solution. Heavy
feature fuselage roundels but these have has to use straight lines but with care the wheels have always been recommended;
now been included on the VMC website results can be remarkable. In fact the first for the Nate it was a heavy bomb that did
for those who want different markings. time I met Mike he was holding a paper the trick and it will be a heavy fuel tank
Assembly went well and the wings Mitsubishi Claude… for the Claude. Power will be a Mills 1.3
lined up perfectly, thanks to the jigs again, inverted to also keep the
supplied. Rigging wires add greatly to Mitsubishi Claude weight low.
the strength. As I write, snow is falling; Ivan Taylor continues to churn out scale
not exactly conducive to CO2 tests so models at a startling rate. He is taking a Eddie Riding Trophy
I shall have to be patient. I could try break from fast jets and has produced Thanks to a lot of work behind the
it indoors but I know for certain that I this magnificent Mitsubishi Claude. You scenes by John Minchell and others
would return with a tangle of wings. It’s will recall his Nakajima Nate, and this in negotiation with the BMFA NW Area
a very attractive model and well-worth one is very similar in size and layout. I who used to run the Woodvale Rally, the
spending a lot more time and care on have watched Ivan wrestling with the Eddie Riding event is to return. It will be
than I did. I’m not sure a Telco will be trimming of the Nate which performs held at the SAM35 Vintage and Retro
“man enough”, but we shall see.

Bird Dog
On a similar theme, Andrew Darby has
been busy on his next project for the
VMC; a Cessna Bird Dog, which I saw at
a recent indoor meeting. This is quite a
contrast in complexity to the Triplane. It
has plenty of character and is extremely
attractive; this one is finished in green
tissue and will be the subject in the kit
but there are plenty of other schemes
available. I can confirm that it flies
beautifully – very slow and stable despite
the scale dihedral – possibly due in part
to its low drag compared to some other
high wing designs.

A Mike Hetherington design

It’s not scale but I had to include a photo
of this model by Paul Briggs that I saw
recently. It is a freelance fighter designed
by Mike Hetherington which appeared in Here is Mike Hetherington’s freelance design, reminiscent of Rupert Moore’s Viper II


SCALE MATTERS 053.indd 13 28/02/2018 14:40

Free Flight Scale

The latest from IvanTaylor is this

gorgeous Mitsubishi Claude,
Mills 1.3 powered.

Nationals at Buckminster Lodge on July If you have not been to Buckminster, it competition. This is one of those events
7th and 8th. There will be separate scale is a nice site, similar to Old Warden, but that penalise a painted finish. Normally I
competitions for IC Power, CO2/electric, I strongly recommend that diesel models would never compromise a model for the
rubber and jet (Rapier/Jetex/DF) all run in particular have some sort of engine sake of adhering to rules but I thought it
to BMFA rules. Also there will be the timer to avoid disaster; there are trees. was time to improve my covering skills
Eddie Riding Designs competition which which have become a bit slapdash,
I outlined last month. More details later, Fairchild Argus particularly as I had acquired a quantity
or make sure you are on the FF scale This model is now nearly finished. of coloured Modelspan. It is certainly
email list by contacting me at It was built as a sport-scale model very much more difficult to make a good specifically for the Eddie Riding Designs job of an unpainted model because all
tissue joins and overlaps have to
Your columnist’s
Fairchild Argus be good.
built for the With the exception of the tail surfaces,
upcoming Eddie
Riding Designs. I first covered the model with polyester
It is finished in tissue in the interests of puncture-
the original AM
colour scheme. resistance. I like this material as it is very
easy to apply and shrink but you must
remember to put it on shiny side out. I
use it on smaller diesel models and also
the fuselages of rubber duration models
On the fuselage, I began with the most
difficult part – the top of the fuselage.
This has a lot of double curvature and
of course there is nothing to be gained
by trying to put it on wet. I don’t like
messing about with strips so I just
slapped on one big piece of polyester
tissue to see what would happen. There

14 AeroModeller - April 2018

SCALE MATTERS 053.indd 14 28/02/2018 14:40

was a lot of bagginess over the top and Out came the airbrush and coloured for light weight and strength. For
wrinkles where it was stuck down at dope. No doubt I shall be punished in the example, the UC and cabane are
the side. It didn’t look promising but the contest for not using a tissue finish, but fitted via wires in tubes, which is much
beauty of the material is that the more then the article says ER’s model stronger than the wood-to-wood joints
you apply the hot air gun, the tighter it was painted! so often seen. The other advantage is
gets, right up to the point where it melts. I don’t recall ever spraying colour that it can all be put together
I was left with a drum-tight covering with dope over Modelspan but I was after covering.
just a few puckers to be fixed later. impressed. There was a slight texture Mike has given his model a realistic
Next came a coat of shrinking dope. to the finish and a satin sheen. I didn’t semi-opaque finish by using chalk
No need to fill all the pores, it’s just want overspray filling the cockpit but pastels. I have never tried this technique
to help attach the Modelspan tissue. nor did I want to do lots of masking so but it involves rubbing chalk into the
I found the best results came from I just stuffed it with kitchen tissue. The ‘rough’ side of the Esaki tissue and
soaking the Modelspan in water before markings were cut from decal sheet; applying it chalk side down. I haven’t
laying it on and smoothing it out with the fuselage letters were silver with red knowingly seen a ‘chalked’ model, which
a tissue pad, then doping through. I insides added on top. They aren’t perfect may mean that it is highly effective, but
didn’t try any fancy double-curvature, but are acceptable. I shall try to find one at the upcoming
preferring to butt-join panels, and nor I have always envied those who can Indoor Nationals. From the photos of
did I follow the stringers – straight lines produce crisp, clean cockpit glazing. I Mike’s model, the results are much
all the way. Any gaps were later filled in certainly can’t but I did a slightly better better than tissue alone and provide an
with tissue fragments, avoiding overlaps job this time. I use RC Modellers’ glue to alternative to my approach, which is to
which darken the colour. By the time I attach but instead of applying the glue dig out the airbrush. There is doubt as to
had finished, I was quite pleased with to the model and adding the glazing, I whether there is any weight saving, so it
the quality of the finish, if not the colour, attached the acetate with lots of little is purely a matter of preference.
which was dull. pieces of tape and then applied the It is worth having a look at Mike’s
At this point, things took a bit of a glue to the edge with a pin, whereupon website -
downturn. I was following a scheme I capillary action does the trick. - which lists a wide range of interesting
had found on the internet of an all-blue- It’s a nice little model and only weighs plans, short kits and accessories, all
machine with silver trim. Then I read the 8oz complete with DC Dart. That’s designed with flying in mind. A recent
rules (!) which say something along the another one to wait for warmer weather. addition was the Grumman Guardian,
lines of ‘it can be any colour you like but very attractive in its dark blue scheme.
the markings must be the same as on Mike Midkiff Models Those with long memories may recall a
the original model’. I put out a call for Those who were either at Nijmegen or similarly-sized version by the previous
help and got copies of the original article who watched the videos on YouTube will incumbent of this column, Alan
from Ron Marking and cover painting have been impressed by the Rumpler Callaghan. Many of the models are of a
from Mike Fantham (yes, that one). This CI of Lars Tolkstam, with its slow and size that will suit both indoor and outdoor
showed that the original had Royal Blue stately flight. If you want to emulate flying and will be of interest to those keen
fuselage and fin and silver wings and tail. it, Mike Midkiff has been working on a on our Indoor Kit Scale class, in which
I sat and looked at the model for some larger (28”) version of the Rumpler and it they would be very competitive. ●
time, trying to convince myself that the is now available as a short kit.
drab, incorrect finish was ok, but failed. Like all Midkiff designs, it is engineered

This new kit from Mike Midkiff is a Rumpler CI which would be a strong Another Midkiff design is this Grumman Guardian – looks like it means
contender for Kit Scale. business.


SCALE MATTERS 053.indd 15 28/02/2018 14:40

Capacitor Power

Part 1. Bob Lee explains how to get the best out of this small model power source.
n the August 2017 edition of AeroModeller I explored the subject of combinations of motor and supercap (I’ll also refer to them simply as
charging supercaps (the new generation of electronic capacitors). ‘capacitors’) for different types of free flight model, from slow flying
These can be used as alternative power source to batteries for small indoor types, through to outdoor sports models and possibly even
free flight models. Charging the supercaps is of course only a part of outdoor ‘duration’. From my results, I believe that supercaps can offer
the story, the supercap then needs to power an appropriately sized solutions for all of these, given the right powertrain.
model via a suitable motor and prop. I’ll use the term ‘powertrain’ to Supercaps are available in a wide range of values, measured in
describe the combination of supercap(s), motor and prop. Farads(F), but I have limited these tests to capacitors in the range of
Most importantly, you need a well balance powertrain, there is no 10F to 50F. These are all easily charged in the field with simple chargers
point in a small motor being used with a too large a supercap in an based on AA cells (see my article, August 2017). In order to charge
unsuitable sized model. Although many people are having a lot of larger capacitors than these in any reasonable time (remember they
success (and fun) from a ‘build it and see how it flies’ approach, my aim have to be charged before each flight) then a power source is required
is to put it on a more scientific footing to optimise the performance. which can supply large currents (several amps) and a dedicated charger.
I have been doing extensive testing to try to identify suitable This all goes against the idea of supercaps being easy to use. In any

OPTIMISING SUPERCAP.indd 16 28/02/2018 14:39

The motors and supercaps tested – see text for The motor end of the test rig. Motor securely mounted ready for testing. The
details. load cell is the item just underneath the cable tie.

case, 50F capacitors can pack a significant amount of power, as I will on their data. Values that I measured were:-
The supercaps used were all from Maplin ( and 6mm motor 2.2 Ohms
manufactured by Nesscap. Part numbers are: 7mm motor 1.3 Ohms
Maplin Part number Nesscap Part number 8.5mm motor 0.7 Ohms
10F, 2.7V N49QQ ESHSR-0010C0-002R7 Dual 7mm 0.65 Ohms (two 7mm motors in parallel)
25F, 2.7V N50QQ ESHSR-0025C0-002R7
50F, 2.7V N51QQ ESHSR-0050C0-002R7 The props used were the readily available GWS (or ‘GWS like’) units, 4
x 2.5, 5 x 3 and 6 x 3. The 4 and 5- inch props have the same hole size
Supercaps from other sources may well also be suitable but be aware and are a push fit onto the motors. The 6- inch prop for some reason has
that not all are capable of handling the currents involved, so the max a smaller hole and isn’t an easy fit. The 8.5mm motor that I tested had a
current rating will need to be checked. different prop mounting arrangement that allowed me to use the 6-inch
prop with a suitable adaptor.
Test Process One important aspect of supercaps is the voltage decay. You don’t get
For these measurements and to ensure consistent results, the capacitors constant power, it falls rapidly at first then the rate of decay slows down.
were charged using a constant current charger. This charger monitors the For this reason there is little point in just making static measurements. I
charge voltage and terminates the charge when the target voltage has built a test jig that allowed me to measure thrust, voltage and current and
been reached. It can charge single capacitors or two in series. Simpler to be able to plot these over time. A diagram of the test jig is shown in fig
charging solutions, such as I described in my previous AeroModeller 1. The motor under test is mounted on the end of a swinging arm, pivoted
article, will provide practical field charging for either single or series at the far end on a ball race for low friction. Thrust from the running motor
capacitors and will provide similar results. produces a downward force on the end of the arm. Halfway along the
In order to provide a range of solutions, I tested various sized motors. arm is a screw head which bears down on a device called a load cell. This
These were all geared units based on coreless motors of 6, 7 and 8.5mm produces an electrical signal in response to the force on the end of it.
diameter. They are manufactured by AEO RC and I bought mine from A bunch of electronics records the signal from the load cell (thrust),
HobbyKing ( They can also be bought direct from the voltage across the motor and the motor current. These three reading
AEO RC. To confuse the issue, HobbyKing seemed to have changed are taken, twice a second, for the duration of the motor run which was
the part numbers since the work that I did. The original GPS prefix has fixed at 2 minutes. They are sent to a PC via a USB link. The readings
changed to EPS. The motors that I tested were the GPS-6, GPS-7, GPS- appear on the PC screen as long list of numbers. I cut and paste these
8.5. I also tested the DEPS-7S which is two of the 7mm motors driving into a spreadsheet where I weave some mathematic magic to produce the
the same prop. graphs shown later.
A good indicator of the usefulness of a motor for this application is
its resistance, this is what you will measure if you put a multimeter set Shared Learnings…
to ohms across the motor. A high resistance motor will give a lower Before discussing the results and what can be deduced from them, I
power for a long time, a low resistance motor, higher power for less time. would like to share a couple of lessons learnt during the exercise. The first
Unfortunately neither AEO RC nor HobbyKing quote the motor resistance is motor mounting. Particularly when using series connected capacitors



OPTIMISING SUPERCAP.indd 17 28/02/2018 14:39

Capacitor Power

(charged up to 6V) there is a LOT of

thrust produced and there is no soft
start, it comes on very quickly. The
motor needs to be very securely
mounted, there is no room for shortcuts
here. If the motor does break loose,
apart from the obvious danger, it will pull
the wires from the back of the motor
and be ruined. Please don’t ask how
I found this out (twice!). There seems
Fig. 2. TYPICAL THRUST CURVE, 7MM MOTOR, to be two mounting types. One is
5 X 3 PROP, SINGLE 10F CAPACITOR fixed with screws from the front, which Motor securely mounted in a model - no
is really fiddly. The other type (which
HobbyKing appear to be moving to, and model can be expected to land with
all the current AEO units are) is fixed power still on and assuming that nothing
more like a small diesel engine, beam is stopping it, the prop will continue for
mounted to a plate with two screws. several more minutes yet. So, expect
This is much easier to use. Some small a powered descent all the way to the
screws are supplied with the motors but ground, rather than a glide phase.
I found it better to get some size 0 self- There are two important parameters
tappers. You can get these from Model that we can get from the curve. The
Fixings ( and first is the ‘time to ½ thrust’. I think that
while you are there, get the screwdriver the aim should be to design models
they sell for them. that will climb to around this point and
The other lesson learnt was the start a descent shortly afterwards.
importance of a drop of lubrication. The other parameter is the ‘time to
During the testing I noticed that some ¼ power’. A bit of guesswork on my
of the motors started to make horrible part, but I think that most models will
noises. Taking one apart I found scoring be on the ground (or close to) around
on the prop shaft where it runs in the this time. Looking at fig 2 again, this
bearings. A tiny drop of oil applied to would result in a model that climbed for
each of the bearings (from the end of a about 16 secs and landed after about
screwdriver) fixed the problem and even 40 secs. Actually, that’s just about what
cured noisy, already damaged motors. most indoor, rubber powered sports
I would therefore recommend some models achieve and gives a clue as to a
lubrication before running a motor. possible use for this setup.
Some of you will have noticed
Test Results something odd about fig 2 (and all the
Having discussed the motors, other curves to follow). There is no
capacitors and test method, I can move thrust ramp up, it seems to suddenly
on to look at some results and what can appear at full power, surely it takes a
be deduced from them. second or two for the motor to get up
Fig 2 shows a typical thrust curve. to speed? It does but there is a good
You can see from the curve that the reason why you don’t see it. Due to
Fig. 4. DUAL 7MM MOTOR (5 X 3 PROP), 25 thrust initially decays fairly fast but as vibration, the raw data collected, when
time progresses the decay slows to a plotted looks more like a mountain
very flat ‘tail’. The flight profile to expect range than a smooth curve, it’s all over
from this curve will be an initial climb, the place. In order to get a smooth
slowly transitioning to a nearly level curve I apply something called a
cruise and then a powered descent. ‘moving average filter’. The effect of
This of course is all very similar to a this is that the first time point (time zero)
rubber powered model but with one is the average of the first 5 seconds of
difference. Normally a rubber powered data and this irons out the initial
model would ‘run out of turns’ when the ramp up.
model is still in the air, the model then There are several things that you can
gliding in with the prop freewheeling or change in the powertrain, so let’s look at
folded. Look at fig 2 again and note the effect of these, one at a time.
that the tail is pretty flat from 60 secs
out to 120 secs (and continues). The

18 AeroModeller - April 2018

OPTIMISING SUPERCAP.indd 18 01/03/2018 10:08

1 - Motor x 2.5 prop which comes to 6.5 grams. The heaviest would be the 8.5mm
The first thing that can be changed is the motor, moving to a larger or (or dual 7mm) motor, 2 x 50F capacitors and 6 x 3 prop at 35 grams. As
smaller motor. Fig 3 compares the 6mm and 7mm motors, all other you see, a wide range of solutions to suit a range of model sizes.
components being the same. The 7mm motor gives a higher initial (peak)
thrust but the thrust falls more rapidly to the point where, after 20 seconds, 3 - Charge Voltage
there isn’t much difference between the two motors. The result would be The next variable to look at is the charge voltage and the effect of going
a better climb but for not as long, after that the flights would be similar. No beyond the rated 2.7V. I’ll be clear, I’m not a fan of overcharging the
big surprises there, the bigger motor has a lower resistance and is drawing capacitors and don’t believe that, given a balanced powertrain, you need
more current, causing the capacitor to discharge faster. Think of the do so. However a modest overcharge to 3.0V I think is OK and the effect
capacitor as a bucket full of electrons. The faster you drain electrons from of this is shown in fig 6.
the bucket (i.e. the more current you draw), the faster the bucket will empty. Clearly even the small overcharge from 2.7V to 3.0V has resulted in a
You could use a larger capacitor with the bigger motor and the effect of significant increase in thrust during the climb phase of the flight. However,
the capacitor size is what I’ll look at next but before I do, I need to be clear as always it has come at a cost which is that the initial decay is faster. The
on one point. If we move from say a 25F capacitor to a 50F capacitor, reason for this is that with the higher voltage, the motor now draws more
they will both still be charged to 2.7V and it’s the voltage that determines current, hence draining the capacitor faster. The result is a faster, but
the peak thrust. You will get the thrust for longer but you won’t get more shorter climb. I think that the aim should be to choose the powertrain that
of it. Think of it as fitting a bigger fuel tank to an IC engine, the RPM will will power the model correctly at 2.7V and then use the overcharge if the
still be the same but you’ll get a longer engine run. A bigger capacitor climb performance turns out to be poorer than expected.
won’t cure a model that doesn’t have enough power to climb, actually, it The charger that I described in the August 2017 AM has diodes to
will make it worse since there is now more weight to carry. reduce the charge voltage from 3.0V to 2.7V. Adding a switch across
these to short them out will give a boost charge to 3.0V and is a
2 - Capacitor worthwhile modification.
Fig 4 shows the effect of using a larger capacitor on the dual 7mm motor
unit, going from 25F to 50F. The change is dramatic, clearly there is now 4 - Prop Size
a very long power run, but the initial peak thrust is the same. You do have The only motor on which I did tests with two prop sizes was the 6mm unit
to take into account the weight increase due to the larger capacitor and and I tested this with both the 4 x 2.5 and 5 x 3 GWS props, the results
ask if the model can carry this extra weight and realise the performance being shown in fig 7. There is a dramatic difference with a lot more thrust
increase. In this case, if you apply my earlier rules about climbing to ½ from the larger prop. The thrust is more, but the decay is also faster. The
thrust and still in in the until the ¼ thrust time, fig 4 would give a model larger prop is causing the motor to draw more current. The smaller prop,
that would climb for over a minute and still be the air, with power on, after although it doesn’t produce much thrust, has a very flat decay and would
2 minutes. Fine if you are looking for a duration model and have a DT, but suit a very lightly built indoor duration model. The larger prop would be a
you won’t want to fly this at Old Warden or Buckminster where the fields better fit for an indoor sports model.
are small. I would expect a similar performance comparison between the 5 x 3
When determining the size of the capacitor to use, I think that you and 6 x 3 props but don’t have the data on this due partly to time and
should first identify the flight profile that you are looking for, then choose partly because the props aren’t directly interchangeable. A larger prop
the appropriate capacitor that will give this. Don’t use a larger capacitor would be another way to rescue an underpowered model.
‘just because you can’, it’s likely to be counterproductive. In part two I’ll be looking at what series connected capacitors have
Now is a good time to take a look at the weights of the various to offer and how to estimate the correct size and weight of model for a
powertrain components and these are shown in Fig 5. The lightest particular powertrain. If you want to share your experiments with supercap
powertrain considered here would be the 6mm motor, 10F capacitor and 4 powered models you can email me on ●


MOTOR, 25F, 6 X 3 PROP


OPTIMISING SUPERCAP.indd 19 01/03/2018 10:08

Free Flight Duration


aving enjoyed a good experience the forecast, AOK. has the use of one of these blocks. Flying into
there over the years, a return to The site is in the Sonora desert near Casa the adjoining areas of land is not a problem;
Arizona is always in order. The Grande/Eloy, half way between Phoenix and I had a mountain bike for retrievals courtesy
week-long trip starts at Heathrow Tucson. It is marginal land that in the past had of one the organisers Tom Gaylor. The overall
then direct to Phoenix on a 10- been inhabited by native Americans and in organising of the FAI events is in the hands of
hour 55-minute flight with a 7-hour time shift. recent times irrigated. There are a few scrubby Peter Brockes whilst the AMA/NFFS classes
This year I arrived and found it to be a very bushes, but by UK standards this is next best are handled by Chris Lidberg who has taken
windy on the 1-hour drive to Motel 6, with to paradise. There is evidence of this previous over from his late father Al who passed away
dust warnings being posted on the freeway. use by the way of pottery shards and ruined during the spring of 2017.
Overnight there was a heavy rain storm, drainage channels, these channels cut the
however the morning dawned, as promised by site into 1-mile blocks and the Phoenix club Assembly and Selection
The first morning was the sorting of the LiPo
cells for the timers and reinstalling them in
the models - on air flights the cells have to be
transported in fire safe bags. It was then off to
test fly and meet the regulars. After this was
done the serious work of testing and trimming
for the contest was started. Being desert,
everything gets quite dusty; the dust here is
very abrasive and is used by the Ford motor
company to test the paintwork and upholstery
of their vehicles…
The weather was just as good as in
previous years. The day started with the
temperature at zero; as the sun rose so did

SWR ARIZONA.indd 20 28/02/2018 14:37

temperature, by mid-day reaching around
seventy degrees Fahrenheit. In the afternoon,
the temperature dropped back with sun-set
to zero. Despite the benign conditions the
recovery method used by the locals is a
motorbike. My retrieval, except in the contest
when I used the pedal cycle, was done on
foot; this way, I could observe the flight
pattern of my models more closely. By the
time of the contest I was pretty happy with
the way things were going. I brought 6 F1Bs
with me and worked my way through them
to find the best option. I had plenty of rubber
(some 70 motors) so I could do as much flying
and testing as I needed. In the end I decided
that I would fly the 6-panel wing models on
the basis that the glide seemed to be more
responsive in the light Arizona air. The other
models were OK, however the 6-panel wing
models wander better on the glide making the Julie Parker having her F1Q fettled by husband Faust. The model is an ex-F1B previously owned by
best of the prevailing conditions. Eddie Vanlandingham
On the second day of model testing a
squadron of six light planes circled the field
they then promptly landed. Imagine this
happening in the UK on Barkston Heath? The
pilots got out and came over for a chat; we
shared a beer and explained what we were
doing. Chuck Powell from Texas took one
off for a flight! Chuck was staying on after
the SWR to do some parachute jumping he
obviously likes all sorts of flying. After a ½
hour or so the aircraft simply took off in a
cloud of dust to leave us to continue, but not P30s by Chuck Powell based upon the “Speckled Bird” design.

until they had come through in line astern with

waggling wings doing a low-level pass.

Range of Classes
The event is run over 3 days covering the
myriad of AMA/NFFS classes plus a full
schedule of FAI events. Looking around I
surmised that the entries were down a bit on
previous years - I discovered that one or two
of the regulars were laid up with flu; seems
that the same issues as the UK this winter are F1A by the winner Jim Parker had novel turbulator system.
also happening in the US. The AMA/NFFS
classes differ from those we fly in the UK with
a predominance of heavy duty power models
with the “Satellite” and its variants ruling the
roost. Ken Kear who runs “Satellite City” has
versions in a multitude of sizes.
This report is centre around the FAI events
in which I participated. The event was
declared as being for 5 flights with no long
first round max. The flying day is short with
the earliest possible start time being 08:30
and a conclusion needed by 17:30 sunset - a
sufficient but not an excessive time window.
The first day started with steady conditions
Visiting light aircraft were an unusual sight for Charlie Jones with elliptical outer-winged F1B.
with a light drift from the South East with this Brit.


SWR ARIZONA.indd 21 28/02/2018 14:38

Free Flight Duration

Tiffany O’Dell’s F1B. Tiff’s models are always pink! Jerry Murphy with E36/F1S Glen Schneider with one of the many massive
power models.

an increase, as predicted, later in the day.

For most all the rounds went well, with only
errors causing dropped flights. In F1B Charlie
Jones went out in the first round with a prop
fold on the wing, an error which he repeated
in the second round but this time he maxed.
My model snaked under power in the later
rounds but a reduction in the amount of
positive adjustment on the wing mover during
the power element cured the problem. The
rounds proceeded as expected the only other
drop being in the fourth round from Mike
Richardson due to bad air picking, he then
tied for last place with Charlie.
As predicted a 10mph breeze sprung up
for the fly off. The fly offs were organised, by
mutual agreement, to be run to a 6-minute
max. The fly off was run within the new
7-minute window, with an allowed 5-minute
pre-winding window for one motor. I timed my
wind to be ready to launch at the start of the
round, Peter Allnut agreeing with me that the
air appeared good and I launched. The model
was buffeted on the climb, but the air was
good and the model sailed away with me on
Tom’s bike in hot pursuit. At about 4 minutes
plus some turbulence induced a slight stall
that recovered after about 30 seconds.
However, the damage was done, and the
model was down at 5:22. By going early I
missed the drama with both Walt Ghio and
Tiffany O’Dell going in very turbulent air. Blake
Jensen broke 3 motors only getting away in
the dying seconds of the round to make the
max and win.
During the day in the light air there were
F1As towing all over the place, often being
in a good position to help the waiting F1Bs.
Most F1A dropped flights were a result of bad
launches. Over half the entry made it to the fly
off and all went away in the same piece of air
to make the 6-minute max. By the time of the
second round fly off the lift was not as strong
and all dropped time - Jim Parker found the
best to win, but Mike Keever got in terrible
George Morris an trouble on tow to lose control and finish at the
d a “Satellite”.

22 AeroModeller - April 2018

SWR ARIZONA.indd 22 28/02/2018 14:38

bottom with only 22 seconds. for his 2nd podium place of the
FIQ attracted a few entries with only one weekend. Peter Brockes who had
maxing out, however this was not without an been running the whole scheme
incident. Tom Ioeger made a bad start on the crashed out for a zero.
second round but saved the situation with The other events? There were
RDT to make a successful second attempt a myriad of similar but different
and an eventual win. Dick Ivers was very close classes. The power classes are
having only dropped a single second in the typically divided by engine size.
first round. F1Q/F1P produced a fly off. The Some of these models are large
bigger bird, the F1Q, took the class. and date back years, with the
Sunday, the day for the mini classes, was “Satellite” in umpteen sizes being
a calmer day, the breeze not getting up as it a standard.
did late in the day on the Saturday. As would On Monday, the last day, the
be expected in such benign conditions, fly weather was the best. I came
offs were the name of the game. In F1H it out and test flew until the dark
took 4 fly off rounds to produce a winner; descended - the light faded
in 2017 Blake Jensen made a double zero as I was using my last motor.
but his year no mistakes, he won. F1S (FAI I wonder what the Motel 6
E36) is catching on and it too ran to several housekeepers made of a
fly off rounds. The two chuckie experts rubbish bin filled with shredded
Buddenbohm and Hines fighting it out for 1st rubber? ●
and 2nd respectively. In F1G Tom Ioeger beat
Geralyn Jones, wife of FAI supplies Charlie,

Mike Pykelny and F1G - started well then had problems. Organiser Peter Brockes takes time off with F1G. Geralyn Jones took 2nd place in F1G.

Ken Kear with a mini “Sailplane” rather than his One of the many Satellites – this XL. Ray Boyd assisted by his daughter with a “Double
usual mighty “Satellite”. Feature”.


SWR ARIZONA.indd 23 28/02/2018 14:38

Novel Construction

Fuel Tanks
Richard Preston uses the April issue to describe his wooden
wonders. Fueling not fooling!

any years ago I returned a bit so a power pod was the only answer, time of about five minutes. This would
to aeromodelling after a and as this was a long time before electric be sufficient to get the model up to a
long layoff for all the usual power it had to be a small diesel. The only reasonable height for a decent flight. Once
reasons; I had the calling engine that I had left was an old ME Heron the tank capacity had been established
once more and decided so that was used. Nowadays it is easy to by doing a fuel consumption test on the
to get back into the hobby. I still had my mount an electric motor on the nose of a engine I was able to work out the size
old Fleet RC gear so after a new set of model but back then the option of power of the tank. The materials used on the
batteries I was ready to go - but what pod on top of the wing was popular as first tank were 1/16” ply, 1/32” ply, 1/8”
to build? An old copy of AeroModeller it was usually detachable and there was diameter copper tubing and thin brass
provided the answer in a 60” span glider much less goo left on the model after each sheet for strengthening around the tube
called ‘Orange Box’. This was a traditional flight. This was the route that I chose. exits. I have since done away with the
two channel model and just the job for me Making the pod was easy but where do brass sheet as I now use brass washers
to get back into some simple RC flying. I I obtain a small tank and how do I mount which I have found produces a better, less
was still serving in the RAF at that time so it in a nice slim line pod? I didn’t relish fiddly job. A lot of modellers have initially
flying sites were not a problem. The only the idea of making a bent metal tank. I been sceptical about wooden tanks but I
problem was how to get the model up in then decided to make my own tank out have made about a dozen over the years
the air on my own. Bungees frightened me of thin ply which would give a running and none of them have leaked… honest!
Now I don’t use them for all of my models
as it is a lot easier to fit a proprietary
nylon tank in most cases, but if space or
convenience is a problem then a bespoke
wooden tank is an option.
Not all of us are sufficiently confident
enough in their own soldering ability to
make a brass tank that would be leak
proof. The advantage of a wooden tank
is that it is light, it is easy to make and if it
does leak it is usually easy to seal up by
applying a coat or two of fuel proofer over
the affected area after a clean-up. What of
my Orange Box then, how did that fare?
Very well is the answer as it gave me lots
of good RC flying on my own until I could
build a conventional model with a modern
RC glow motor. It is now long gone but
the original tank is still knocking around
in my fuel tank collection box and it never
Since then I have built quite a few
Richard Preston made a custom wooden tank for his own design Chummy 2 channel RC model. Engine diesel-powered models using these tanks
running time about eight minutes. and they have all performed well and there

24 AeroModeller - April 2018

WOODEN FUEL TANKS.indd 24 28/02/2018 14:34

is no reason why they can’t be used for
glow fuel. They are not confined just to
RC models as they would be perfect for
free flight or control line models as well. I
have now standardised my construction
method which I have found to be straight
forward with a minimum risk of leaks.

The basic tank consists of a 1/16” ply
base and top with 1/32” ply sides and end
pieces (or metric equivalent). I must point
out that accuracy in cutting the ply is very
important to minimise the risk of leaks and
the use of epoxy (I’d recommend good
quality slow set epoxy – Editor) for all the
wooden joints is highly recommended.
• Cut the 1/16” ply base and top to size
making sure that the edges are square to
each other.
Figure 1. Typical tank layout and pipe fixing.
• Cut the two 1/32” ply end pieces to
the same width as the ends of the base
and to the required height. • Make sure that the tank top piece is Gradually increase the size of the holes
• Cut the two 1/32” ply side pieces over an accurate fit on top of the tank base using a bigger drill each time until you
size by about 1/16” on both the length and between the two upwardly extended sides reach a hole diameter that is a tight fit
height. This can be trimmed back later but do not glue in position at this stage. for the pipe. This drilling method greatly
when assembled. • Mark out where you want the pipes to reduces the risk of splitting the ply. Take
• Glue the end pieces to the base exit the tank but do not position the holes your time and don’t force the drills through
followed by the two sides using epoxy too near the edge as this could split the ply.
adhesive. Check for squareness and the ply. • Cut the copper tube to length noting
lightly clamp together. I use elastic bands, • Now the important part - the that the fuel feed pipe for the carburettor
especially those little loom bands which plumbing. I now use 1/8” diameter copper goes to the back of the tank. The fill/vent
were all the rage with youngsters a couple tubing for the pipe work and M3 brass pipe only need go through the top of the
of years ago. Note that the top of the washers for the pipe fixings. tank and the choice on whether to have
sides are higher than the end pieces as • Starting with a small drill about 2mm individual pipes for both fill and vent is up
this provides a better location for the top diameter, carefully drill through the top to you.
panel. Leave the adhesive to cure. Refer piece at the marked positions. I find a • Chamfer the ends of the pipes and
to diagram for tank layout. small pin vice to be ideal for this job. remove any swarf.

Early version on left with brass strip. Latest tank on right which was View of tank with pickup pipe and fill/vent in top. Note the mounting flange
mounted across the fuselage with the lower feed facing towards the engine. built into the base of tank.


WOODEN FUEL TANKS.indd 25 28/02/2018 14:34

Novel Construction

now clamped the pipes to the tank top

with the two washers each side of the ply
and this is the most important part of the
build process.
• Brush coat the inside of the tank
and the underside of the top with a good
quality fuel proof varnish to seal it all,
I usually give it two or three coats of
Clearcoat by Solarfilm just to make sure
but any good fuel proofer for your chosen
fuel will do. (To be sure you might want to
try immersing and leaving a piece of fuel
proofed ply in your chosen fuel to check
– Editor)
• When all this is dry, epoxy the tank top
on to the base and leave to cure.
Tank ready for the top to be epoxied into position. Note the solder fillet round the washers.
• Give the outside of the tank a couple
of coats of fuel proofer and allow to dry
• Take a brass washer and check for • When cooled, remove the pipe/washer thoroughly.
fit over the copper pipe. The hole in the and clean the remaining part of the pipe Now the moment of truth, the leak
washer may need to be enlarged slightly that is going to protrude out of the tank check. I usually attach a couple of lengths
with a small rat tailed file. top surface of fuel tubing to the pipes and whilst
• Prepare both the pipe and washer • Reinstate the pipe/washer back in clamping one with my fingers, I then
for soldering by cleaning thoroughly with to the tank top so that the pipe now blow into the other tubing with the tank
fine grade wet and dry before tinning both protrudes up through the top. I usually immersed in a mug of water. Any small
items with solder. smear the inner face of the washer with leaks can usually be rectified by drying off
• Position the washer over the pipe small amount of epoxy at this stage. the tank and applying another coat of
and carefully push the pipe through the • Repeat this procedure for all your fuel proofer.
required hole so that the washer will be pipes in the top making sure that they are There you go, it may seem a bit of a
on the inside of the tank. With everything nice and firm and correctly positioned long-winded way to make a tank but they
square and with the washer sitting nicely when the top is finally epoxied into can be tailored to fit into awkward shaped
up against the underside of the lid, run a position. spaces, they are a good talking point
bead of solder over the washer pipe joint • You can now solder the second brass down at the field and, as I have found, I
(see photo). washer over each of the pipes. You have have never had one leak in service. ●

Wooden fuel tank installed in Chummy. Neat dummy wooden cylinder

head gives a pleasing opposed twin finish to the model.

26 AeroModeller - April 2018

WOODEN FUEL TANKS.indd 26 28/02/2018 14:34

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p 02 Corsair Book 142.indd 8 11/12/2017 14:44

Free Plan


If you thought Aile Basse was fish in garlic sauce go to the bottom of the class! Fluke is a novel 104cm span, low wing
(aile basse) Coupe d’Hiver F1G rubber powered FF duration model. Suggested and described by Mike Woodhouse, it was

designed and built by Spencer Willis, and the plan was drawn by Walt Hodkinson.

e all know, don’t French who invented Coupe d’Hiver Rene Jossien introduced the Aile Basse
we? That low wing (Winter Cup) back in the late 30’s also “Wing Low” models.
aeroplanes don’t fly developed many exotic designs. The The annual “Coupe d’Hiver” now
as well as high wing models of Marc Cheurlot (1923-2002) held at Viabon near Chartres in France
aeroplanes. It is a illustrate this point (try searching online every February includes an Aile Basse
case that free flight duration models for Marc on the pages of the French class. Over the years the AeroModeller
have wings at least on top of the AAAA - Association des Amateurs has published a report detailing the UK
fuselage or mounted on a pylon. The d'Aéromodèles Anciens). In addition, participation in the event. I’ve flown in

28 AeroModeller - April 2018

FLUKE FREE PLAN.indd 28 28/02/2018 14:31

Constructing the tailboom - initial taping of the centre of the 1/32” sheet to Spiral the tape outwards to wards the end of the sheet.
the mandrel (snooker cue). Wrap the masking tape round to stick to itself.

Again starting at the centre, tape the sheet to the mandrel working out until The final taped boom is left to dry.
the other end is reached.

the various additional classes, but on P30 and Vintage Wakefield models and was necessary to not show the inner left-
the day of the major event - the Coupe this is my first diversion into F1G (that’s wing panel (although you should be able
d’Hiver contest - I’ve had nothing to the FAI nomenclature for the to build the left panel over the shown
fly. I didn’t want a vintage or full blown C d’H class). right inner panel, remembering to reverse
modern model, so what to do? I’ve Flying the low wing model presented the position of wing tubes and outer
always been intrigued by the low wing some new but surmountable challenges. panel!) Also, the full length of the 1/32”
class models, so why not try one? Winding was an issue in that the motor tailboom is truncated, but the overall
What to fly? There are no plans peg is above the wing. The model has length of 610mm / 24” is given.
that I fancied. The original model by thus to go into the winding stooge
Jossien, being vintage, held no appeal upside down! The fin then catches in Low Wing, High Glide
for me. What to choose? Spencer the stooge and timer pins fall out… How does it fly? The first observation
Willis, who lives local to me, flies an A few modifications to the system was that the glide was superb (as is
excellent stick and tissue Coupe. So, a were required. The next issue was the the standard Willis Coupe model) and it
discussion ensues, can we make a low launching, holding the fuselage above holds the lightest of good air very readily.
wing version? The answer was yes and the wing is not easy (as that is where The power trim was easy to sort, once
“Fluke”, the model presented here, is the motor peg is) and the wing must be launching had been mastered - I still
the result. manoeuvred whilst holding the prop. My need to practice getting my hand away
arms were not long enough (OK a gorilla quickly. I failed to do this on my last flight
Simple Evolution would cope with it!) - to make this ready at Viabon in 2017 when I caught the tail
Spencer simply moved the wing to the for launch ‘underarm’ movement easier and knocked it out of place, the model
underside of the fuselage and provided we reduced the wing span by a couple was in good air but the trim was spoiled.
a built-up motor tube instead of the of panels. The reduction in span has had This cost me 2nd place in the overall
usual tube. The first confession is that no effect on performance, but the plan classification which would have been a
Spencer built the model, utilising a shows both options. good result against all the latest up to
few suggestions from me. The second To fit the free full-size plan on to three date kit. But as they say in France “C’est
confession is that I’ve only ever had F1B, A3 sheets in this issue of AeroModeller, it la vie”!


FLUKE FREE PLAN.indd 29 28/02/2018 14:31

Free Plan

Cut through the tape with a sharp knife after the boom has dried. With the boom having been cut and removed from the mandrel the join
can be carefully glued with cyanoacrylate/superglue. Take care to ensure a
correct fit with no twist or other distortion in the boom.

Trimming was basically easy a shim right/right power/glide. When I get time, I should be constructed in the following
of up elevator on the tail little side thrust will do a bit more work on it. way. Find a suitable piece of 1/32” sheet,
and a Gurney strip along the fin and the medium grade that bends easily across
model was sorted in a couple of flights. Build Tips the grain, with no hard streaks, and cut it
More flying and pushing the number of Building is as for a normal stick and to size. Check the circumference of the
turns and I reckon a good regular flight tissue model except for the tubular rear large and small ends of your mandrel -
time would result. The model is flown fuselage. Spencer advises that the tube Spencer uses the small end of a two-

Mike Woodhouse competed with

Fluke at the Viabon, France F1G
events in 2016 and 2017.

30 AeroModeller - April 2018

FLUKE FREE PLAN.indd 30 28/02/2018 14:31

The under-wing fairing is not obligatory. It covers the bands and
hooks so that they don’t get tangled in stuff and gives something waste
to hold.
and the
piece snooker cue. Measure with small the centre tape in
strips of tissue and add 10mm to the as you small
large end and 8mm to the small end. Lay might do sections -
this blank onto a piece of release film when you’re try to pull the
and apply a coat of neat shrinking dope. rolling a plan. tape along the
When dry sand lightly and apply another Take a full turn grain to prevent
coat. The blank will already be curling. of masking tape tearing the balsa.
When the second coat is dry use thinners (10 mm wide is best) The tube can now be
to fix an oversized sheet of lightweight sticking the tape down to glued (off the mandrel) using
Modelspan tissue, brushing thinners itself rather than the wood as this will thin cyano through a capillary tube, while
along the centre line. The curl will lessen still be damp. Then wind out the tape accurately together holding the two sides
during this process. Carry on applying in a spiral, rolling the tube round as - when dry this is more or less instant.
thinners onto the release film this will you go. When reaching the end stick a The tube should be sprayed with water
stop the tissue’s tendency to creep off wind of tape onto the mandrel. Repeat on the outside, left for about ten minutes
the edges. from the centre to the other end. Put to swell and then refitted to the mandrel
When dry, water spray the uncovered it somewhere warm such as a radiator and put somewhere hot. This will get
side - a plant sprayer will work well. This or airing cupboard. When dry the tube rid of any distortion caused by the lap.
will make the curl even more pronounced can be cut through along the centre of When dry sand while still on the mandrel.
after about ten minutes, and the sheet the overlap seam, no need to be too So why not build a Fluke and use it
can then be wrapped easily around the accurate because any wavers of your as a grande excuse to come and fly in
mandrel. Tighten around the mandrel at cut will be matched either side. Remove France? ■


FLUKE FREE PLAN.indd 31 28/02/2018 14:31

28/02/2018 14:32
FLUKE FREE PLAN.indd 37 28/02/2018 14:33
FLUKE FREE PLAN.indd 32 28/02/2018 14:32

FLUKE FREE PLAN.indd 33 28/02/2018 14:32


FLUKE FREE PLAN.indd 36 28/02/2018 14:33

FLUKE FREE PLAN.indd 35 28/02/2018 14:33
Engine Review

PB 0.33cc

Brian Winch puts this quality small diesel engine from Australia
through its paces

am borrowing a little space here from suburb of South Australia somewhere near senior modellers when your model could
“Mr Power Trip” Maris Dislers, our where Maris lives… I wager he knows about be tied on your back (with string) while
(almost) resident small engine reviewer the manufacturer, so, now I will let you into you rode your pushbike to the flying field
- I’m sure he won’t mind as I feel certain what I know. and then enjoyed hours of pure modelling
this will appeal to him if he isn’t already pleasure. All you needed to take as support
in possession of one. Along with the lineup A LITTLE BACKGROUND equipment was some spare rubber bands
of magnificent small engines Maris has This engine is a rare gem for engine loving for the wings, a small container of fuel and
reviewed over the years, this will be, for modellers - a gem to be examined in a cloth to wipe your hands (a handkerchief
many modellers, the ‘one to have’. First detail, for the enjoyment of owning it, to was good for this). Being a small capacity
off, it is available as a single speed engine be put on display or, as it is designed, to engine your model was of applicable size
or fitted with an RC carburettor, it is of be fitted to a model and flown. An engine and, trimmed correctly, it would fly at low
outstanding quality and it is made in a reminiscent of the early days for many level around the field while you and your

Peter Burford has done an excellent job manufacturing a

0.33 cc diesel to such close tolerances.

38 AeroModeller - April 2018

ENGINE REVIEW.indd 38 28/02/2018 14:28

mates enjoyed the sight of the model flying propellers he sent me details and photos sulphide material) screw in backplate that
and hearing the unmistakable sound of a of the manufacturing of the dies, and that is sealed with an inner O ring and, when
diesel engine running. If you had the desire was evidence of an incredible attention to screwed in correctly, it sits flush with the
to get your model up high and let it sniff for detail which shows in the finished products outside edge of the case. Directly below
thermals when the engine cut, you would - magnificently shaped and balanced and the main section of the case is the top for
tune the engine to high RPM. On the other super accurate pitch. the polyamide plastic fuel tank. There is
hand, to just enjoy watching the model I strongly urge you to visit his website a formed rim around the fuel tube exit, a
circle around the field you would wind the and watch the several videos very small drilled hole for the tank
compression off a bit, the engine would showing various processes breather (and overflow) then
‘burp-burp’ with just enough power to keep of the manufacturing a neat, tiny brass nipple
the model in level flight. All great enjoyment. of the engines - it for attaching your
These days the flying fields of days past will certainly tank fill tube. At the
are very rare so, to keep within boundaries enlighten you to front of the tank
of allocated flying areas, we need to keep processes you top is a gusset
close control of the model and this is done might have onto the front
with radio control equipment. read about housing and
In days past when we first tried radio but could another one
I remember well many attempts and never picture on the top of
experiments to have control of the how it was the case from
compression lever (AKA Tommy bar) in done. When the transfer
order to alter the engine RPM but nothing you see the port bulge.
ever worked. RC carburettors were not honing process The third gusset
considered for small diesels and, even if for example, you is on the right-
they were, many engines would not have might wonder how hand side (from
been suitable due to the sub port induction soft his hands become the front), all providing
- skirt of the piston exposing the open after a few hours on the job. excellent support for the front
exhaust manifold on the upstroke. These The engine on test is one I housing… certainly no shaft flex here.
days there are super strong servos available have had for some time and I did review it Looking at the fuel tank, it is a very firm
that would move a Tommy bar but - who elsewhere as it was then, but there are two press on fit over an O ring on the underside
needs them - we have appropriately ported reasons for a new review with the first being of the cast top that is definitely non-leaking.
diesel engines fitted with RC carburettors a number of readers asking me about very If you intend to use the engine for free flight
and this engine on test is one such. Maybe small engines and if there were any small models you will need to measure the fuel
you just read over that last remark - “so diesels still available. I told the readers that you put into the tank as full will have your
what, it has an RC carby - most engine do they are still available but most were niche model OOS (Out Of Sight). If you intend to
don’t they?”, but I urge you to look again market or limited sales items. I know that use the engine with the RC carburettor and
at the size of this engine - 0.33 cc… an the Redfin engines are generally produced thus radio assist the full tank will provide
absolute miniature and it has a miniature full in batches of 100 or so and they sell like good long flights.
working RC carburettor. proverbial hot cakes - you have to have
your name in early if you want one. CYLINDER HEAD
LONG PEDIGREE The second reason is that Peter The very finely finished screw on finned
Peter Burford, the designer and developed a new piston and liner with head and cylinder is machined from bar
manufacturer of the engines comes with port changes to increase the output and stock aluminium with the fins radiused at
a long history of model engine design and a new crankshaft and connecting rod to the root to further add to heat dissipation.
manufacturing. He, his brother, and father match, and I have this set now fitted to my In the slightly domed section on the top
Gordon produced a long list of model engine so we can see how it now performs there is a cross slot nylon grubscrew that
engines in Australia under the names of compared to the initial design. can be adjusted to provide friction for
Sabre, Flight, Glowchief and, eventually the compression adjustment screw (AKA
Taipan which became the name so EXAMINING THE PARTS compression vernier or, Tommy bar, but…
commonly recognised worldwide. The maincase is an incredibly high-quality who is arguing?). The adjustment screw
The general range of engines are no investment casting in a tough aluminium is 5mm brass with a 0.4 mm pitch thread
longer produced (Gordon slipped off this alloy with a phosphor bronze sleeve (my measurements) - superfine thread for
mortal coil) but there have been several pressed into the front housing for the a super fine adjustment. The domed top
reproductions by (now deceased as crankshaft bearing. shape and the steel Tommy bar looks like a
well) David Owen who was a great mate The rear of the case is a 2.5mm thick bollard fitting for a small model ship.
of Gordon. I really do not know what manifold shape, two gussets each side and Being brass, there could be a problem
induced Peter to produce this engine, but the two mounting holes (3 mm) centred with the lower end that contacts the contra
I have an inkling it was his love of super between the gussets - a very sturdy piston - mushrooming comes to mind - but
fine engineering and absolute quality platform. Inside the rear of the case is a this is taken care of by having the screw
production. When he first made the black resin (glass reinforced polyphenylene hollow and a free fitting brass button (like a


ENGINE REVIEW.indd 39 28/02/2018 14:28

Engine Review

fitting of the pin to allow free movement.

Some very interesting machining can be
seen on the connecting rod which is fully
machined from 7075 T6 grade aluminium
alloy (a common and good choice for this
item). Micro honing is carried out for the big
end fit and the press in fit of the gudgeon
pin - a substantially tight fit to ensure no
side float.

A very small Nylon grubscrew provides just This is a very tiny brass pin that sits on top of the One of my favourite engine components is
enough friction to prevent the compression contra piston to prevent spread of the end of the
adjustment screw from moving of it own free will. compression adjustment screw which is hollowed the crankshaft - I really enjoy studying the
in the end to accommodate the pin. A very nice designs, styles and method of manufacture.
touch indeed.
Of great importance (to the engine and
me) is the final finish and here we can
often see a ‘make or break’ situation.
Some crankshafts I have examined over
the years leave me wondering - wondering
what grade of axe was used to carve such
a hunk of metal. Others leave me with
the desire to use them as an ornament
- an example for all to come after. Small
crankshafts are intricate and demanding
in sizing and finish if they are to last more
than a couple of hours running. They can,
In all its hardened glory, the liner is, like the To prevent the cylinder from misalignment or
rest of the engine, a fine example of precision rotating during assembly, this very short cap if well made, be an absolute jewel and
engineering. Note the location slot below the fuel screw just enters a slot in the liner skirt. here we have a fine example. Due to the
bypass port.
upgrade provided by Peter, I now have two
crankshafts - the original and the latest
drawing pin) in the end to make the contact with fine grinding on the outer surface and so… the original is going to be a badge for
and prevent damage to the end of the location face then the bore is super my coat I wear when I go to model meet
the screw. finely ground at 65,000 RPM to almost dinners and the like.
size with the final touch being carried out As a brief description, the shaft is fully
INTERNAL PARTS with a diamond hone to mate with the machined (all one item - no pressed in bits)
piston diameter. from EN 36 A alloy steel bar (high tensile
CYLINDER case hardening alloy steel), the rotary
The cylinder (AKA liner) is very accurately PISTONS AND CONNECTING ROD inlet port is milled in and the crankpin is
machined from heat treatable steel bar. In The pistons - main and contra - are angled on the end. The shaft is then case
the initial machining process, the exhaust machined from similar material to the hardened then all surfaces are precision
port and transfer ports are finely milled, cylinder, bought to pre-finish size, hardened ground to the final size with extremely small
the cutaway in the skirt (location slot) is and tempered to the required hardness tolerances. When fitted to the engine it has
done and the job is ready for hardening then finally precision ground to size. The all- a steel thrust washer (AKA propeller drive
(heat treatment). After the heat treatment important gudgeon pin bore is drilled then hub) that is a work of art in itself. It is case
the precision finishing comes into play diamond honed to the required fit for the hardened for wear purposes if the engine is
run as a pusher and it would then contact
the front housing bushing. It is driven by
The piston is
counterbored two flats machined on the crankshaft and
where the a 0.280” diameter spigot to centralise
gudgeon pin
is pressed into fitted propellers (perfect fit for the supplied
the gudgeon propellers). The propeller washer, as such,
eye. A simple
jig would be is like a small spinner nut, machined from
used in the aluminium bar and the front is recessed to
to eliminate enclose the head of the 4-40 socket head
any chance cap screw that holds the front assembly
of piston
distortion. together - thrust washer, propeller and
Should you want to extend the forward
position of the propeller, a 13 mm long

40 AeroModeller - April 2018

ENGINE REVIEW.indd 40 28/02/2018 14:28

aluminium extension spool is available as is quite easy to obtain.
an optional extra and is supplied with the Now, the alternative to the exhaust flap
appropriate length socket head screw. and, while it is easy to describe, I would
venture that it took a lot of development
ON THE OUTSIDE leading to some complex moulding and
machining to produce a fully variable and
MUFFLER operational air bleed carburettor that has a
None as such and really not required for a main body just .5” long. I am sure it would
small diesel such as this. Generally a diesel have taken a fair bit of ‘fiddling’ as it took
is much quieter than a methanol engine but, me a few hair tearing moments to fit it on
if muffling is required, they tolerate even the engine with the tiny brass studs and
Two features of the crankshaft to note - an angle
very restricting muffling. On this engine, the nuts that are just 0.109” (2.79 mm) AF relief on the crankpin for ease of fitting the
first version was supplied with a moveable (Across the Flats). On occasion I have had connecting rod and the mill cut port slot with
rounded ends to reduce weakness in that section.
flap for the exhaust, not so much to quieten visitors in my workshop and I have heard
it but to act as a variable speed control the remark, “look at all the tools you have
for RC operation - this wasn’t successful and all the different spanners - you must
at bringing the engine back to idle, so an have every size available.” Well, I do have a
alternative method was in order which we lot of tools on display and many more small
will see in a moment. spanners in drawers and racks but… not
one to fit those damned tiny nuts. I wasn’t
FUEL CONTROL too upset as two tool supply shops didn’t
As a single speed engine (free flight/control have them either nor had they heard of any
line models) the engine is fitted with a non- for that size nut. Anyway, I made a suitable
variable carburettor that has a venturi that spanner and then fumbled around screwing
is open at 5/32” on the intake, 0.076” in the in the studs (I also made a little stud driver)
centre and back out to 5/32” in the base. You certainly won’t wear the knurling on this
Off to the side of the reduced diameter is propeller drive hub - it is very hard steel and
extremely well designed.
a moulded section for the spraybar which
is indexed (flat machined on a section) in fitting the carburettor in place then a few
order that it be fitted correctly with the jet ‘interesting’ moments fitting and winding
hole inline with the centre of the down the nuts - all good fun.
venturi flow. The carburettor is simply a miniature of
The nipple section of the spraybar is those on larger engines and it has air bleed
curved back to avoid kinking the fuel line adjustment, throttle stop and a free moving
from the tank and the knurled adjusting throttle arm. The venturi is 5/32” diameter at
wheel of the needle has a small drilled the top (inlet) and it tapers down to the bore
dimple for your reference purposes. The in the rotor (throttle barrel) which is 0.076”
adjustment is very fine and ultimate tuning diameter (#48 drill - 1.9 mm) with the fuel jet

Originally the engine had an

exhaust flap (seen on the
exhaust stub) to control the
speed but low idle was not
a feature.


ENGINE REVIEW.indd 41 28/02/2018 14:29

Engine Review

The angled position on the test

mount Peter supplied allows
clear access to all adjustments
and a good visual of the fuel
level. The engine is resting here
a moment after gurgling a tank
of fuel.

42 AeroModeller - April 2018

ENGINE REVIEW.indd 42 28/02/2018 14:29

just impinging on the side where the main
mixture control (needle valve) enters. The
needle valve is the same as the single
speed unit and it is not as close to the
propeller as you might imagine but…
don’t get careless. The whizzing propeller
is still close to your finger and, even
though it is a small engine, I can imagine
that it will have a good bite. The complete working carburettor - so small it After a lot of very fine work I was able to mount
would be totally unseen if I closed my fingers the carburettor on the engine and tighten the
over it. retaining nuts.
Before we slip off to the test bench, a engine was quite happy to run on all of Maximum RPM was dead steady - no
quick word about the supplied propellers. them. I did not test a range of propellers variation and the running sound was
These are also made by Peter and they for super RPM or large propeller load almost undetectable from a reasonable
are, as is often quoted, ‘state of the art’. and the like as I see this engine as quite distance away. My wife hears my engine
When he started producing these some unique and to be used in nice free flight test running and often makes a comment
years back (before the engine became models, RC assist or small control line about how good some sound or how
available) he sent me one of each, 6 x model. I would not consider running it in loud some are. When I came into the
3 -6 x 4, to test and report. I was very a high performance competitive manner - house for a cuppa she asked when I was
impressed with the entire presentation it would take the rough and tumble but it going to run the engine - she had not
of the shape, rigidity (just a little flex), is too nice for that treatment. heard it over the period of run testing of
the final finish and the balance which You can see it running on www. about one hour, so, no noise problems at
was a ‘moist breath’ accuracy. Wearers flying fields with this little gem.
of spectacles will understand this - you Starting will test you as the propellers
open mouth, breathe on your glasses PB propellers used. are lightweight, and the engine is small so
lens and give them a wipe. The tiny 6 x 3 latest RPM - 11,900 Previous- 11,300 residual heat is gone rapidly. As such you
amount of moisture breathed out does 6 x 4 latest RPM- 11,100 Previous- 10,300 will need good diesel flicking experience
the cleaning and it is this that I used and, with a good flick, it is away and
to test the propellers. I had each one Current test was conducted on running regardless of the throttle setting.
mounted on my high point balancer, they 29.11.2017, weather was 28 degrees C I did not put it through the paces of
stopped in random positions (correct and humidity was 69%. various propellers for RPM increases
check for balance) and a soft moist The engine runs extremely smoothly, as I do not see this as an engine for
breathe was enough to move them just no detectable vibration and is quite competitive use - just a nice little beauty
a little. I repeated this on a magnetic responsive to control variations (mixture to power a pleasant model around at a
balancer (absolutely no resistance in needle and compression adjustment) leisurely pace.
these) and the results were the same. I must admit I was taken back a bit
When I discussed my findings with Peter when I throttled down to idle as the PROPELLER TESTS (using RC
he told me he had spent many hours running was absolutely steady as was the carburettor)
polishing the moulds with diamond transition back to maximum RPM - no pb propellers supplied and used.
powder to obtain both a perfect static lag and this applied to variable speed 6x3 11,683 3,000 Idle
and dynamic balance. When you watch settings over the throttle range. 6x4 11,366 ■
his videos on his website and note the
attention to accuracy, you can then SPECIFICATIONS
easily appreciate his development of the ENGINE: pb 0.33
propellers to such a fine degree. CONFIGURATION: Single cylinder diesel
BORE: 7.00 mm
To compare the latest modifications to WEIGHT: RC version 40.5 g, Single speed version 30.0 g
the original engine, I used an identical DIMENSIONS: 35 mm wide x 53 mm long x 70 mm high
fuel and the supplied propellers. The fuel R.P.M. RANGE: to 11,000
mix was (in parts) 40 ether - 30 kerosene PROP RANGE: 6 x 3 - 6 x 4 (supplied with engine)
SHAFT THREAD: Socket head screw supplied.
- 14 synthetic oil - 14 castor oil (I used VP SUPPLIED WITH: Spare fuel tank - two O rings (for the tank), two Allen keys (propeller and
highly refined castor) - 2 Wynns Diesel Venturi mount), 100 mm of 1 mm bore fuel tubing, two propellers, instructions.
Improver (amyl nitrate is difficult to obtain
generally and quite expensive. I later ran Prices: pb 0.33 RC is AUD $500, pb 0.33 single speed is AUD $450.
the engine without any improver and did Sold direct by Peter Burford, shipping is extra.
not notice any difference). I used a few Tallebudgera Creek Rd, Tallebudgera Valley, QLD, 4228 Australia
other mixtures of my own types and the


ENGINE REVIEW.indd 43 28/02/2018 14:29

Model Science
Dave’s restored T34 in the air again over Woodbury
Common. See later for the story…

Part 41
Dave Hipperson with further experienced advice and old tales of retrieval.

Sometimes the Public an extent that it left the field by some Next day (Saturday) he went back with
Surprise You… way and dropped down behind some his wife Sally explained the position to
Although in the main the people one trees to the North. Routine stuff really this estate manager guy and just to keep
bumps into during searches will be at the – no distance away. Ted drove around him happy double checked the fields
very least interested and often positively to discover a very salubrious gated around the property which turned out
helpful, there will be occasions when community. The tracker said it was inside to be difficult weedy and jungly terrain
however careful you are they will not be. and as Ted approach the main gates they wet from the rain in the night. They
It can come as a surprise - be ready! opened and so he drove in. Security men blundered about a bit but all the time
appeared from all directions asking Ted the Yagi telling them it was inside and
Ted & Sally Challis versus the to leave immediately. When he explained were very conscious of security cameras
Sultan of Oman that he was looking for his model everywhere. Still the inhabitants were
Ted was trimming one Friday evening aeroplane they insisted that as they unhappy with Ted & Sally so much as
on Chobham Common. A light southerly hadn’t seen it, it couldn’t be there and looking in their direction. Despite their
drift and a powerful thermal held his hence please search elsewhere. Ted told being off the property the residents were
Horry vintage Wakefield up on DT to such them that he would return in the morning. becoming threatening with cars various

44 AeroModeller - April 2018

BETTER PART 41.indd 44 28/02/2018 14:26

drawing up along side them and looking
intimidating. Eventually they were told
impertinently that “they had been lucky
so far to not have been taken away for
Pause for a moment - Ted & Sally were
not on private property. They had every
right to be where they were without let
or hindrance. These are the sort of high
handed antics that you may get from
people with very little authority. Beware
of plastic policemen or worse private
security personnel. Just across the road
there is an MOD high security site which
makes military vehicles and with which
I have had dealings. The guards use
live ammunition but are polite, speak
softly and are super helpful as I will
explain later. The dangerous ones are the
Back to their story. How Ted and
Sally kept their tempers I do not know The Challis team returning from a successful recovery of Ted’s Hep Cat off Barkston Heath at the 2015
Nationals. Ted with model is powerfully backed up at all times by wife Sally seen here with the Yagi aerial.
especially when these idiots suggested
that they should leave their details and to phone back. You see – the proper that they were able to have two bouncy
the security guards would search and police to the rescue! castles permanently inflated in their
they would be phoned. Well, what do garden whereas his had to be returned
you do? They went home and later the How many Bouncy Castles do after each party!
staff did ring but only to say they had you need? While this light-hearted encounter
found nothing. What a surprise! They This security ‘boss’ was contacted was unfolding outside Ted was getting
went back the next day (Sunday) and and he went through the act of being deeper into the recovery process. His
searched the surrounding fields again but surprised even annoyed that Ted hadn’t party of security guards was now itself
all the time the Yagi direction was quite just rung on the gate! Well of course he being tailed by another party of more
clearly pointing to the front of the biggest had and this pretence was simply a cover traditionally dressed Arab security men.
house. They asked again at the gate and up and save face after someone much Ted’s Yagi was pointing him towards the
this time there were more security staff more powerful than he had pulled strings. front of the Sultan’s house but the security
than before behaving in an even more Nice feeling! men didn’t want him walking there “in
aggressive and agitated manner. They Ted, all dressed up for this visit, after all case he was seen by the occupants!”
wouldn’t let on who lived there but they it was the Sultan of Oman’s place, rang Thankfully someone finally spotted Ted’s
did say someone even more important at the gate for the umpteenth time and model up an Oak tree and a ladder was
was about to visit and they wanted what a suprise he was ushered in and quickly produced. Ted was reunited with
them to clear off! Dejectedly Ted & Sally allowed to search and Sally waited in the his model after what was in essence
retreated home again wondering if this car outside. It was now her turn to have three days of searching when Ted pretty
one would ever be recovered. the visitation. There was knock on the car much knew where it was all along. Most
By Monday Sally had asked window to ask what she was doing there frustrating but persistence paid off.
professional legal advice and now had a – again! She explained and it transpired
letter to be handed to these fellows on that this fellow was a local resident from Compare and Contrast
the gate. However realising that even that one of the smaller houses – they were all This treatment contrasted sharply with
might not be enough she phoned the rented by MOD personnel and they had mine in a similar situation less than a mile
Surrey police. They were most helpful become suspicious seeing an unfamiliar away when an F1B’s DT failed when I
and explained that the owner of the car parked in the same place three days was trimming on the Common, the model
establishment was the Sultan of Oman running. He was most amused at the eventually glided into the Fighting Vehicle
and he had had an important guest this reason she was there and so was the Research & Development Establishment
weekend - so they passed her request young lad he had with him. They opened – affectionately known, since we first ever
for access over to Special Branch! Even up to her a bit and were happy to explain used the Common in the mid 50’s, as
Sally thought this might be over the top that this house Ted was searching was the Tank Factory. I turned up to the front
but obviously not. Special Branch then kept for the occupancy of the Sultan and gate at just about dark and the security
phoned her giving her the name and family from May to the end of September. there was of the loaded automatic
number of the security boss at the place They didn’t like them much, the young weapon variety. However the man ‘on
and explaining that if she had any trouble lad in particular - he was very jealous the door’, was the height of politeness


BETTER PART 41.indd 45 28/02/2018 14:26

Model Science
in the night and the next afternoon I got a
call from a guy that had found my model
on the ground in the wood. He explained
that it was a bit damaged but he had it
all. Thinking back he did sound rather
nervous but happily invited me down. I
said I would come the next Saturday to
pick it up and I promised I would hand
over a couple bottles of wine. Everything
sounded fine. No rush now as the battery
life of the bug was no longer an issue as
he had the model.
So the next Saturday we set off down
Apologies for the slight distortions but this illustration was pieced together from the original maps to Dorset again and drove around the tiny
used on the day. It covers about 10 miles. It shows the original line drawn on the map when we were
still on the flying field. You can see how very close it came to the exact spot at which the bug was roads to find vehicular access to this farm
eventually found. Note also the listening “L” marks on the map, made on the day as we progressed and were puzzled by the sight of some
down the line. They don’t even start until we had driven six miles. The reason they finish short of the
model was that the rest of the journey, half a mile or so, was done on foot. slightly intimidating bulwarks and huge
concrete blocks quite close to the edge
explaining that he was sure a search with T34 one of my favourite Slow Open of the road as we got near. We spotted
could be conducted but could I phone Power models (on a very breezy night) what looked like the farmhouse and I
in the morning and explain to the gate went off the radio after half an hour. We went up to the front door. It didn’t really
so they would be ready to help. I did just took a bearing, not with a compass but look lived in or even finished but knocked
that and by 11am I was being greeted over a local landmark - the model had anyway. No answer. We continued to
by a man who seemed to be expecting disappeared directly over the top of an drive and eventually ended up in the
me and had printed out a pass. They enormous Wellingtonia some three miles same farm yard as the weekend before.
had already located the model high up a downwind. We had a precise line as I Quite a few operatives about so I asked
pine tree and had a huge three section already had the tree’s position marked for the man’s name who had phoned me.
extendable wooden ladder together with on my O.S. map. More accurate than Someone went to get him – he seemed
a guy to help me. Furthermore, they were any compass bearing what with all the a bit shy but then he was working on a
perfectly happy with me lopping a few allowances for magnetic variation and so Saturday and that seemed rather odd
bits off this tree to aid its passage down, forth. So we were looking and listening too. He had only been away a couple of
before I sawed the main branch it was on at first 5-6 miles downwind, but we minutes when there was shouting and
so it could float down on it rather than didn’t hear it until we had gone a couple a very large angry looking man came at
glide off crazily into another tree. The further. Maybe I got out of the van a bit us! I recognised him as the guy in the
entire recovery was completed in less early but I remember the light was going tractor the weekend before - the guy I
than an hour and the model undamaged. and I still had rather a long walk - too had waved at and who had waved back.
A great deal of hand shaking and I was good a signal, so obviously up a tree. I He wasn’t so friendly now. ‘What are you
off… the professionals you see. didn’t have to so much as climb a fence doing on my property?’ I explained we
Michael Marshall had a similarly or even open a gate to find myself in a had come to collect a model aeroplane.
pleasant brush with such professionals very spacious farm yard, in front of me a ‘Why didn’t you ask for me?’ Well we had
when he lost his Lanzo Stick on Salisbury steep rise with a big wood. I saw a man done our best and only had the name of
Plain. Next day he gets a phone call from on a tractor some way off and gave him the guy that had phoned. Furthermore we
an RAF airman stationed at Benson in a wave – he waved back. I entered the had simply driven up and not so much as
Oxfordshire. He had been flying over wood but really it was too dark. As before opened a gate let alone climbed a fence!
the Plain in his helicopter, spotted Mikes a, huge signal – very difficult to see much What made this interview more, shall we
model, landed by it, picked it up, popped as the canopy was pretty. Did my best – say, interesting, was that our large friend
it on the chopper and flew home. Mike really got nowhere as the light had gone who was getting redder in the face by
goes down to Benson to collect it where so returned the way I had come, planning the second was wielding a shotgun and
he was extremely well received, checked to come back. On the way through the it was closed ready to use and for quite
through security and was taken to the farm I noticed a Porta-cabin with light a bit of the time pointing in my general
map room to be shown exactly where it on and went over and was greeted by a direction. It sharpens the senses I can
had landed. Model was a bit damaged friendly lady who was the farmer’s wife - I tell you.
by the downwash of the rotor blades but explained what I had been doing and she At this moment the man that had
otherwise OK. Then he got a look around said she would keep a look out. I told her found my model appeared with it. It had
the workshops and the helicopters. A I would probably be back when it was obviously been damaged by the hail
marvellous ecperience he wouldn’t have lighter. No problem apart from me not storm – lots of tissue panels torn plus
got any other way. having the model. Then I got flashed by a the fall from the tree had broken the
speed camera on the way home and me fuselage behind the pylon but it was all
Loss and Confrontation in a sluggish camper of all things. there. Mr Angry looked delighted that
An enormous fly-off flight from Merryfield There was huge and quite violent storm it was damaged and said so, and also

46 AeroModeller - April 2018

BETTER PART 41.indd 46 28/02/2018 14:26

looked like he was about to damage it direction that I had thought it must have earth – no grass. Holding the radio flat
some more and possibly us. Things were been. On his property on the top of the I moved it slowly one way then another
getting pretty ugly. It was now I was tree covered hill – some mile distant. until the signal faded. Went back to the
conscious of quite a few other odd bods Remember – a signal a mile away a week strongest sound and then I saw three
around the place – many in fact. I got the after it had been lost. Bug high, hanging inches of shiny wire protruding from
impression that something was going on in tree obviously bearing in mind the the compacted mud. Gentle excavation
here that was being kept hidden and he clear signal. revealed the whole bug, undamaged
didn’t want anyone snooping around and I couldn’t leave it there. Sue stayed and working perfectly well past its 200
asking questions. At the time I though it with the van although I was still worried hour life. Clearly it had escaped from
might have been a Red Diesel dump but that some of his henchman might be the model when it fell from the tree and
subsequently realised it could have been in the area but I strode off with all the broke its fuselage. The guy that found
to do with the workers living in other necessary aerials towards the signal. it would not have thought to look for
Porta-Cabins I could see around the farm Down into a valley and then a climb something so small, and as he drove
yard. I tried hard to placate the guy and up to the top of the wood with the away probably pushed the bug it into
explain that we would leave right away signal getting encouragingly stronger the mud.
and for a frightening moment I didn’t all the while. Pretty much on the top I consider this to be my finest job of
think he was going to let us. However, of the hill now and quite a few yards recovery. Not so much for distance but
the man with the model broke the further downwind than I had walked the for degree of difficulty what with the
confrontation and brought it over to me weekend before. I now had a strong guns and so forth. As for performance of
- he was adamant that he didn’t require signal with just a simple rubber aerial. I the equipment, what more can you ask
anything for his efforts. Basically he was was standing on a rutted path that had for? The C150 Radio, Pym Ruyter bug
off – he didn’t want to get involved in any obviously had a large vehicle on it since buried underground and working for a
gun play. Sadly that also meant I was the rain. I was in a clearing – all around week! The model repaired beautifully –
unable to ask him to take me to where me were big trees. Because the signal see before and after pictures - and flew
he had found it, as luck would have it the had been so strong, and still was, I was successfully again. It was the only model
fuselage had broken at the bug box and convinced the bug must be up a tree. I have ever completely recovered as it
the bug was missing! However every time I walked off into the was punctured everywhere and being an
Apologising profusely (but I don’t know trees in whatever direction it got weaker. elderly I though it deserved it. (One of
exactly what for) we made it to the van Took off the rubber aerial and put on a 2” the reasons I use Cyano exclusively for
and got off the property as quick as we wire. Same result but more obvious. The gluing flying surface parts. You can strip
could. We had the model complete but penny still hadn’t dropped – and me an the covering off by bagging up the wing
not the bug. When we were far enough expert! I took the 2” aerial off but now no in polythene with a few teaspoon full’s
away we stopped and caught our breath. signal at all. of thinners. In a few hours all the tissue
A close one I think – very close. We had Thankfully at this point I noticed one falls off but the structure doesn’t come to
a look at the Ordnance Survey map as of my shoes had come a bit loose and pieces as it would if you had used balsa
no way was I leaving without a try for bent down to tighten it and as I did so cement or similar.) Furthermore I never
the bug. I could approximate the place the radio around my neck also came got a ticket for the speeding. My lucky
of landing from my previous search so lower and instantly a signal! This was day in so many ways. First place, model
we drove around his property, possibly with no aerial at all. I had been so sure back, no speeding ticket and not shot
a couple of miles, and approached that this bug would be hanging in a dead – result!
from the rear. We got there and had a tree somewhere I had overlooked the
listen just in case it was still sending much greater possibility of it being on If you thought that was spooky then
out a signal. Miraculously it was. The the ground. The signal was quite strong we will try finding models in the dark next
Yagi suggested it was roughly in the with the radio a couple of inches off the month! ●

Recovered from the clutches of an angry farmer, one of Dave’s favourite T34 The repaired T34 model prior to re-covering. The tissue has been removed
Slow Open Power models. The tissue damage was due to the heavy rain but simply by bagging the wing and tail units overnight with a spoonful of
the broken fuselage was sustained when it fell, hence dropping the tracker cellulose thinners. Model stays together because ‘cyano’ is used exclusively
bug in the mud. for construction.


BETTER PART 41.indd 47 28/02/2018 14:26

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Aeromodelling History

Meanwhile, Up in
Canada... Model
Engine Manufacturing
“North of the Border”
Adrian Duncan looks back at his local engine manufacturers.

anada is definitely not the engines produced to a high standard American marketplace. Nevertheless, a
first country that comes to immediately south of the border in few optimistic but now largely forgotten
mind when the subject of the USA. Canadians did throw their hats into the
model engine manufacturing The first of these two factors tended ring. Let’s review their efforts!
comes up. In large part this to restrict model engine manufacturing
is doubtless due to the combination of in Canada to small-scale ventures Early Manufacturers
two factors: one, a huge geographic area located in major population centres Although a few model engines were
(second only to Russia) combined with producing limited numbers of engines undoubtedly constructed in Canada by
a relatively small population created a primarily intended for the local market in talented home machinists during the
very thinly spread consumer base and the immediate area of production. The pre-WW2 period to September 1939,
hence a highly fragmented domestic competition from the USA made it very there seems to be only one record of
marketplace; and two, the presence of difficult for Canadian manufacturers to any commercial-scale series production
a ready source of competitively-priced compete price-wise in the broader North being undertaken in Canada during those

This photo of the Ajax .359 cu in. production model was taken from the The Strato 60 Mk I was produced during WW2 in small numbers. (Photo by
brochure. Peter Rathke)

50 AeroModeller - April 2018

CANADIAN ENGINES.indd 50 28/02/2018 15:13

years. This relates to the Ajax .359
cu in. (5.88 cc) spark ignition model
which was manufactured in very small
numbers in Winnipeg, Manitoba during
1938 and 1939 by one Arthur Jaques
following some successful prototype
testing in 1937. The engines were
marketed through the St. John Model
Shop in Winnipeg. The associated
brochures specifically cited this engine
as “the first motor to be manufactured
in Canada”, seemingly confirming the
manufacturer’s belief in its priority.
According to research carried out
by Paul Knapp and Arthur Polson
and published in “Engine Collectors’
Journal” no. 221 (April 2014), some 20
examples were constructed and sold
between March 1938 and sometime
in 1939. No surviving examples of the
production model are known today,
although one of the 1937 prototypes
does survive along with a few brochures
and advertisements. The venture was liest model.
ch lighter than the ear
doubtless killed off by the previously- Super 60 (this is no. 34) was mu
The improved Strato
mentioned competition from the USA as
well as by the onset of WW2. fact that he was 28 years old in 1940, he a lot for a simple sideport unit of this
The next model engines to be was definitely of military age. However, displacement! After only some 10
commercially produced in Canada were he does not seem to have been called examples had been built, a somewhat
the Strato series of 0.604 cuin. motors up at any time. Presumably he was lighter Mk. II model was developed
which were constructed between 1940 in a reserved occupation in which his having revised crankcase and
and 1946 by an individual named Randall continued services in his peacetime cylinder castings produced in light
Bainbridge (1912 – 2006) of Montreal, capacity exceeded his potential military alloy from permanent molds. There
Quebec, using the registered trade-name value. A skilled precision machinist could were also changes to the engine’s
of Strato Model Engines. These sideport certainly fall into the "reserved" category. porting dimensions and timing. About
units generally followed the design style Whatever the circumstances, the Strato 8 examples of this second variant
which had evolved in North America engines were clearly produced with were manufactured before production
during the nineteen-thirties. They were commercial exploitation in mind, since seemingly ground to a temporary halt,
individually constructed to very high nicely-labelled boxes and professionally- likely due to the ongoing exigencies
standards. printed instruction leaflets were of wartime.
When considering the Strato venture, prepared. As the end of the war drew closer,
it must be remembered that unlike the The Strato Mk. I design which model engine production in the
USA, Canada was heavily embroiled appeared in 1940 was a .604 cuin. USA resumed in September 1944
in WW2 at the time in question, with (9.9 cc) sideport unit having a very when the US War Production Board
a consequent re-focusing of national heavy screw-in cast iron cylinder with decided to release sufficient material
attention away from hobbies such as integral fins along with a sand-cast alloy and manufacturing capacity for non-
aeromodelling as well as a diversion of crankcase. A noteworthy feature was its military purposes. Mr. Bainbridge
both materials and precision engineering radially-finned cast alloy cylinder head, also resumed production at this time
capacity into war production. Indeed, it’s reminiscent of that seen on the infamous with the Strato .604 Mk. III. This was
a matter for wonder that Mr. Bainbridge G.H.Q. unit from 1930’s America (as basically similar to the Mk. II but featured
managed to produce any model engines was the cast iron cylinder). Somewhat further modifications to the porting
at all under the circumstances! unusually for its date of manufacture, it arrangements to improve performance.
Although details are lacking, it seems was a short-stroke design having bore Some 20 examples of this model were
likely that model engine manufacture and stroke dimensions of 0.9375 in. reportedly manufactured in 1944/45.
was in fact a sideline activity for Randall (23.81 mm) and 0.875 in. (22.22 mm) The final Strato design to make a
Bainbridge, separate from the war- respectively. commercial appearance was the Strato
related production to which talents such This model’s main drawback was “Super” Mk. IV which made its debut in
as his were then being applied. Given the its weight – all of 15 ounces. That’s 1946. It was another .604 cuin. spark


CANADIAN ENGINES.indd 51 28/02/2018 15:13

Aeromodelling History

This is the first model of the Merlin Super B. (Photo by Tim Dannels) Merlin Super B This overhead view of the second model shows the rear angled
exhaust stack. (Photo by Tim Dannels)

ignition sideport unit which featured a three successive variants between now stamped onto the intake tube.
completely revised set of castings and a 1945 and 1947. It was manufactured in In addition, the edge of the cylinder
different method of assembly, using bolts considerable numbers. retaining ring was now serrated,
instead of screw-in components. Most of The first model of the Merlin “Super B” presumably to allow the use of a special
these engines featured metal tanks, but a had an exhaust stack with an outer end tool for tightening. A very positive test
few later examples sported plastic items. which was parallel to the engine’s main of the American-made Merlin “Super B”
Mr. Bainbridge also produced two axis. The serial numbers were stamped by Louis Garami appeared in 1947 in the
crankshaft front rotary valve (FRV) units on the top of the right-hand mounting pages of “Air Trails” magazine.
and a single fixed compression diesel lug, beginning with the letter “A”. The Production of the Merlin "Super B"
as experiments, but these never saw second variant was basically similar, seems to have ended in late 1947 or
production. Sadly, Mr. Bainbridge found but the outer end of the exhaust stack early 1948, presumably because of the
that with his limited production capacity, was now angled towards the rear. Both arrival of the commercial miniature glow-
based upon individual construction variants had “Made in Canada” stamped plug in late 1947. There's no evidence
to very high standards, he could not onto the lower rear face of the integrally- that a glow-plug version of the engine
compete with mass-produced American- cast backplate. was ever developed.
built .60 cu in. alternatives such as the Interestingly, the rearward angling of Out on Canada’s West Coast, the
Ohlsson & Rice, Atwood, Herkimer (OK) the exhaust stacks on the later models Queen Bee engines were developed and
and Super Cyclone units which became was created with the use of a bandsaw produced to a very high standard by the
available in Canada following WW2. After or some equivalent tool. This implies Salonen Brothers Tool & Engineering
some 40 examples of the Strato Mk. IV that the same casting was actually used Works on West Tenth Avenue in
sparker had been manufactured, Mr. throughout. Vancouver, British Columbia. The first
Bainbridge finally abandoned the model The final variant was supposedly model to appear was the .248 cuin.
engine field. manufactured in the USA, although (4.06 cc) Queen Bee 24 spark ignition
the possibility exists that they were unit which made its debut in 1945. After
Post War Production merely assembled in whole or in part some 140 examples had been produced,
Bainbridge’s Strato production had from components shipped down from the Queen Bee 24 was followed in 1946
not gone unnoticed! It’s very likely that Canada. They were marketed by a by a revised spark ignition model called
these efforts inspired a number of other Brooklyn-based firm calling itself Merlin the Queen Bee 29. This model featured
Canadian manufacturers to enter the Miniatures, Inc. Its only given address increased bore and stroke dimensions
model engine field at the conclusion of was Box 33, Station V, Brooklyn 15, New to yield a displacement of 0.297 cuin.
WW2. Among these was a firm called York - no actual location was provided. (4.87 cc). At one point the Queen Bee 29
Merlin Miniatures of Toronto, Ontario, The supposedly US-made Merlin held the West Coast Class B control line
which was owned by Sam Crystal. This was essentially identical to the second speed record at over 100 mph.
company’s flagship product was the version, including the rearward-angle Apart from their serial numbers,
0.232 cu in. (3.80 cc) Merlin “Super exhaust stack created by sawing, neither the Queen Bee 24 nor 29 bear
B” spark ignition unit. This well-made but lacked the “Made in Canada” any marks of model identification. They
and lightweight engine appeared in stamping, while the serial number was look very similar, to the point that they

52 AeroModeller - April 2018

CANADIAN ENGINES.indd 52 28/02/2018 15:13

Spark ignition Queen Bee 24, serial number 0050. The glow-plug version of the Queen Bee 29.

have often been confused. The 29 has bypass passage on the 29 is visibly Arden’s late 1947 introduction of the
slightly larger cylinder and crankcase somewhat larger. commercial miniature glow-plug. This
external diameters, but that’s not much Both models carry serial numbers model did not carry serial numbers and
help unless you have both models side stamped onto the front of the was made in relatively small numbers.
by side. The easiest points of distinction crankcases. My own 24 bears the It was created by the simple expedient
are the mounting lugs – those on the 24 number 0050, while my 29 carries of replacing the timer with a tapered
only extend to the front of the crankcase, number 0131. If the reports of 140 aluminium alloy press-on sleeve and
while those on the 29 are extended examples of the Queen Bee 24 having employing a smaller-diameter prop
forward onto the main bearing housing. been produced are correct, this implies driver. The plastic tank was also omitted
In addition, the cylinder head on the 24 that the serial number sequence was since it would not have withstood use
has a rounded profile, while that of the restarted for the 29 model. with glow fuel.
29 has a basically square profile. The The final commercial offering from A few experimental prototypes were
lowest cooling fin on the 24 has a slightly the Salonen brothers was a glow-plug also constructed, including around half
reduced diameter, while all fins on the version of the Queen Bee 29 which a dozen diesel variants as well as one
29 have the same diameter. Finally, the appeared in early 1948 shortly after Ray example each of a pair of .60 cuin. units
featuring glow-plug and spark ignition
respectively. However, none of these
Queen Bee
29 with spark prototypes ever reached production
ignition. status. Production of the Queen Bee
engines was quite small – probably no
more than 400 units of all types were
constructed in total.
The Queen Bee saga reportedly ended
rather precipitately! Finding that he
couldn’t compete price-wise with the
new offerings from K&B, OK, Ohlsson
and others, Al Salonen apparently
expressed his frustration by throwing
the Queen Bee dies and tooling into
the waters of Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet!
There they repose to this day…

Racing Engine
Returning now to Eastern Canada, it
is a little-known fact that Canada also
produced a single example of a large
racing engine. This was the 10 cc


CANADIAN ENGINES.indd 53 28/02/2018 15:13

Aeromodelling History

The Monarch 600A no. J88972 is well-made and a very rare engine.

Monarch 600 spark ignition unit from for Toronto-area modellers. Both reed was manufactured between 1944 and
Toronto, of which only three examples valve and disc valve variants of this 1950 in Toronto, Ontario by Murray
are currently known to survive. The well-designed and quite original unit are “Ray” Hunter’s Production & Tool
name of the maker of this extremely known. Production of the engine seems Company located on Adelaide Street
rare unit is lost, but he seems to have to date to the period 1946 – 1947. East. The company’s original design,
been a lone individual working out of a the 1944 Hurricane, was a 0.244 cu in.
home machine shop in the Scarborough Long Lasting Hurricane (4.0 cc) crankshaft front rotary valve
district of Greater Toronto. It’s quite Probably the best-known and longest- spark ignition model which was almost
probable that the Monarch engines lived marque in Canadian model engine identical to the 1942 Dreadnaught .24
were individually built to special order history is the Hurricane series which from Oakland, California, but with a few
very minor detail alterations. Apparently
this model was originally to be called
The first variant
of the Super the “Whirlwind”, but this choice of name
Hurricane 24 was amended to “Hurricane” just as
was spark
ignition. production was getting underway. A
few boxes were produced bearing the
“Whirlwind” name.
Two further variants of the Hurricane
24 followed in 1945, along with a few
examples of a short-lived .198 cuin.
spark ignition design which followed a
similar design layout. In January 1946
the first of three successive “Super
Hurricane 24” variants appeared with
its “trademark” streamlined cooling
fin profile. These Super Hurricane .24
cuin. spark ignition models remained in
production into 1948. With the late 1947
advent of the commercial miniature glow-
plug, the consequent switch by North
American modellers to the new form
of ignition forced the 1948 introduction
of the Hurricane “Hot Top”

54 AeroModeller - April 2018

CANADIAN ENGINES.indd 54 28/02/2018 15:13

glow-plug model. post-WW2 Canadian productions which engines remained undiminished. Prior to
This was simply a straightforward scarcely seem to qualify for inclusion in leaving for Canada, he had discussed his
glow-plug conversion of the final Super a listing of commercial products. A few plans with his good friend Peter Chinn.
Hurricane sparker. It was basically the examples of several different CANUCK Those plans included the
same engine with the timer omitted and glow-plug models were produced during establishment of Ted's own Canadian-
a metal tank replacing the former plastic the late 1940’s by Lionel Gay and Keith based model engine company, the initial
item. It was a serviceable engine which Wooley using the facilities of the AVRO product of which would be an ultra high-
performed well by the standards of its full-size aircraft plant at Malton, performance twin BB .049 diesel with
day. However, it did not sell in sufficient Ontario, where they worked which to compete in the huge US ½A
numbers to ensure the survival of the - both .049 and .35 cuin. market. Chinn remembered this matter
Hurricane marque – production models were made. very well because Martin had apparently
seems to have ended at some Much later, there were invited Chinn to join him in this venture.
point in 1950. also a few high-quality Perhaps wisely as things turned out,
This did not prevent team race diesels Chinn declined. Martin’s planned .049
Lawrence H. Sparey made by Brian Fairley diesel project never got off the ground,
from publishing a rather in a variety of styles. likely due to funding difficulties.
belated test report in Some of these even Since that time, Canadian model
bore a maple engineers have continued to construct
leaf emblem! many well-made model engines.
AeroModeller gave a favourable
review to the Hot Top glow There However, there has been no revival of
Super Hurricane in was also actual commercial manufacture in the
December 1951,
but by then the case country. Given the declining state of
production of “the the model IC engine market today, it
ceased. one that seems highly likely that we’ve seen the
got away”! last of any such ventures. Still, Canada
In late 1951 model did stand up to be counted among the
the December engine designer Ted Martin world’s model engine manufacturing
1951 issue of accepted a position with General nations!
“AeroModeller” magazine, long after Motors (GM) in St. Catherines, Ontario, My sincere thanks go out to my
production had ceased. Sparey reported Canada, thus ending his association valued friend and colleague Tim Dannels
an output of 0.279 BHP @ 11,600 rpm, with the Chester-based AMCO range but (Engine Collectors’ Journal www.
a very respectable performance for a leaving them very much on a high note for his
lightweight plain bearing 0.244 cuin. as a result of the success of his ultimate very considerable assistance during the
(4.0 cc) glow-plug design dating back to design — the AMCO 3.5 BB. Despite preparation of this article.
1948. now working primarily in the automotive Adian Duncan’s own engine website is
Sparey commented that while field, Ted’s interest in models and model ●
currency restrictions had severely
limited the number of examples of the
Hurricane “Hot Top” reaching Britain,
those that had done so seemed to Hurricane “Hot
Top” denoting
have acquitted themselves well. Sparey glow ignition.
made mention of one Johnny Jones,
who had achieved excellent results in
Class B team racing with his “Scramble”
design powered by a Hurricane “Hot
Top”. Although the Hurricane gave
away a full 20% displacement to other
competing engines built to the full 5
cc displacement limit, the engine’s fine
handling and excellent fuel economy
allowed Jones to get away fast and
complete the full five mile heat distance
non-stop on a single 30 cc tank of fuel
while maintaining an airspeed of around
75 mph.

Also Rans
There were a few very small-scale


CANADIAN ENGINES.indd 55 28/02/2018 15:13

Technology for Aeromodellers

DIY Laser Cutting

Part 2: Bryan Gostlow gives some practical tips for working with laser cutting
technology and shows how it’s possible to move beyond guesswork when cutting balsa.

o reach the point where one working with these on a day to day basis might find, as I did, it a bit daunting to
of these A3 laser machines - to go further and cover how they are configure so much software and worse,
becomes useful means getting installed and configured would fill a whole most of your ducks need to be in line
to grips with a minimum of five issue of AeroModeller. before you can do anything worthwhile.
pieces of software - and those So, with the editor’s agreement, a zipped Rather than ploughing on alone, consider
are just the ones you try and decide to resource folder is available to download calling in a favour or two and work with
stick with. Two at the top of this list are from It
The online
LaserWeb4 which generates the code and contains additional detailed notes, resources at www.
sends instructions to the A3 laser machine, sample drawings, a spreadsheet,
will give additional
and GRBL running in the microprocessor the GRBL software and the nozzle information to help
to control the stepper motors and laser 3D print file. If you are at heart a DIY Laser Cutting
itself. My aim in part two is to introduce traditional aeromodeller then you

It is hard work to produce your first set of laser cut parts for something like the Scarab, but the second and following ‘kits’ are straightforward.

56 AeroModeller - April 2018

LASER CUTTING PART 2.indd 56 28/02/2018 14:23

A ventilated support box to hold the balsa sheet. The design for the 3D printed nozzle to improve the removal of combustion products.

someone with the right IT skill set to give experiment with expanded metal or with printed it up for me and had it in the post
a hand in setting up. Think of it like this, making a grating from strips of wood if not the next day then the one after
if you’d struggle to unzip a file and create placed on edge. My box, designed around that. The lead-in tube needed tapping
a shortcut or locate Device Manager to 80mm axial fans, is arguably too deep, for the M4 nipple, the regulator on the
check on a port… well it’s a trivial problem but what I did get right was spending time compressor set to 10 psi and since then it
for someone who does that sort of thing all arranging for the surface to be flat has worked faultlessly. (A copy of the print
the time. and level. file is included in the zipped resources
Supporting the Workpiece Air Assist
You’re not going to get very far without My first attempts were discouraging: Test Cut - DXF and G Code
some sort of bed to support the material the laser was doing its job of cutting but Draw a simple test shape in DraftSight or
(balsa sheet) you’re working on. For a day leaving very obvious dark lines of oily/ your chosen drawing package, keeping
or so you might get by with a scrap of sooty combustion products. Knowing it close to the origin and including a closed
MDF propped up on something, but it is was possible to do better I tried holding path [this is useful when checking that
possible to do much better. the end of an airbrush hose and following the laser has cleanly cut the material as it
I made up this box with a honeycomb the laser beam around – tedious but it drops out]. Save the drawing in the usual
top and four axial fans ‘sucking’. You made a huge difference. Next, a friend way as a .dwg calling it “test_grid” say,
don’t need four fans as I found increasing turned up a nozzle from brass which fitted but then type exportDXF in the Command
the airflow beyond a point makes little under the laser. Soldered to this was a window and be sure to select Save as type
material difference to the quality of cutting stub of tube to accept a length of flexible R12 ASCII drawing.
[always aiming to reduce burn lines] but [silicon] fuel line from the model shop. When you look in that file folder you
the hold down effect of that suction is This worked quite well but left me a bit should see the test_grid.dxf file next to the
invaluable. Lay down a test piece or scrap anxious about blowing air almost directly original test_grid.dwg file.
of balsa, mask off the remaining open onto the underside of the lens… this led Next, open LaserWeb4 and import the
area with a few handy pieces of copier me to drawing up a more suitable nozzle test_grid.dxf file - If you forgot to export as
paper and you’re good to go. No need for for production by 3D printing. [Using type R12 as above then you’ll be reminded
weights or masking tape, it won’t move. DesignSpark Mechanical software] and you’ll need to go back.
Having the balsa on an open support so It consists of a nozzle within a nozzle – As prompted, drag the file down to
that the smoke is carried away makes not easy to turn in brass but well suited where it says, “Drag document(s) here to
a visible difference to the underside of to 3D printing. In discussion with Hexa3 add”. The very least you need to do now is
the cut wood. I just happened on some ( a high temperature to enter the Laser Power as a percentage,
honeycomb material but you could Formlabs resin was chosen and they then enter the Cut Rate in mm/min. To

The finished
3D printed
nozzle fitted to
the laser.


LASER CUTTING PART 2.indd 57 28/02/2018 14:24

Technology for Aeromodellers

The G Code you’ve generated should look Cutting Balsa

something like this: Let’s assume you’ve got a small drawing
A simple test grid such as “test_grid” in .dxf format loaded into
drawn with your G21 ; Set units to mm LaserWeb4 and that you have the power
2D CAD package
e.g. DraftSight. G90 ; Absolute positioning set to 10% and the cut rate at 200 mm/min.
When successfully M4 ; Dynamic laser mode You’ve clicked on [Generate] to create the G
cut the square will
drop out of the ; Code and you’re good to go. Disconnect the
wood sheet. ; Operation: 0 lead to the laser itself and don’t power up
; Type: Laser Cut the control board just yet but use a miniature
; Paths: 5 USB cable to connect your computer/laptop
; Passes: 1 to the microprocessor [Arduino NANO] on
; Cut rate: 200 mm/min the control board. An LED or two on the
microprocessor will light up – their power
; Pass 0 is coming down the USB cable. Turn to the
[Comms] tab in LaserWeb4, select the serial
Exporting a drawing in DXF. ; Pass 0 Path 0 port and click on [Connect].
G0 X0.00 Y15.00 Towards the foot of the page you should
G1 X15.00 Y15.00 S25.50 F200 see the “Machine connected” message.
The bit about “Firmware grbl 1.1f detected”
; Pass 0 Path 1 is the microprocessor talking back to you
G0 X15.00 Y15.00 over the USB link, announcing the version
G1 X15.00 Y5.00 S25.50 F200 of grbl uploaded to it. Manually slide the
laser carriage towards the middle of the A3
Saving the DXF file as type R12.
; Pass 0 Path 2 working area, checking that it moves freely.
G0 X15.00 Y5.00
G1 X5.00 Y5.00 S25.50 F200 Nudging or Jogging
As you’ve disconnected the 3-wire lead
; Pass 0 Path 3 to the laser you don’t need to put on the
G0 X5.00 Y5.00 safety glasses just yet, but power up the
G1 X5.00 Y20.00 S25.50 F200 EleksMaker control board. You should hear
the stepper motors energise, maybe with a
Two versions of the test_grid file will be
; Pass 0 Path 4 slight jolt. Turning back to LaserWeb4 select
seen in the folder after the exportDXF G0 X5.00 Y20.00 the [Control] tab and click on [set zero] –
G1 X0.00 Y20.00 S25.50 F200 wherever you left the laser carriage is now
M5 ; Switch tool off End zero in both x and y directions. Click on the
grey [jog by 10mm] button and then the
Looking back at our test_grid design you pink [X+ 10mm] button. The carriage should
will see it is made up of five lines and these move to the right. Next click on the green
are the paths 0 to 4, so ‘G0 X0.00 Y15.00’ [Y+ 10mm] button and it should move away
moves up 15mm ready to draw the first line from you. Try moving left and right, up and
and ‘G1 X15.00 Y15.00 S25.50 F200’ cuts down before clicking on the [Goto XY zero]
the first line, out to the right, with a power button when the laser carriage should return
of ‘S25.50’ and a cut rate of ‘F200’ or 200 to the set zero position you entered earlier.
mm/min. But didn’t you set the power to 10 If the laser carriage moves the wrong
Seen here test_grid.dxf has been added to
%? Well, G Code regards full power as 255 way, right rather than left say, or by more
LaserWeb4. [the biggest number a byte can hold] and or less than the 10mm step you input then
10 % of 255 is 25.5 – so it makes sense. the grbl setting held on the microprocessor
You could almost go on now to run the (Arduino NANO) need adjusting ($3
“break the ice” you could try 10% and machine, but while looking at the screen controls direction, $100 and $101 hold
200 mm/min before moving up the page you will see that as well as laser format, the number of steps per mm of travel – all
to click on [Generate]. Generate, as you LaserWeb4 will offer to generate code to covered in the resource notes.)
might guess, creates the G Code you’re take a mill around a shape - 12 options If the carriage is moving as it should then
going to need later. You can save it now altogether – plus you can choose the power down the control board briefly and put
though you don’t need to. Click on the eye offset. The option to set Passes means on the laser safety glasses (and follow all the
icon and you can read the G Code though what it says and if you find the need, safety procedures discussed in part 1), before
it may appear in a separate window behind when cutting ply say, you can generate G re-connecting the 3-wire laser lead and
the one you’re viewing. In any case you Code which will take the laser around for powering up the control board. You should
can always save the code to file and view a second or third pass to burn all the way hear the laser’s fan turn on and see an LED
it with WordPad [Microsoft]. through thicker material. light up. Be sure to select PWM and not TTL

58 AeroModeller - April 2018

LASER CUTTING PART 2.indd 58 28/02/2018 14:24

with the left-hand button on top of the laser As you experiment then sooner or later you’ll
and check that the blue PWM LED glows. find, holding the test piece up to the light,
Choose an envelope sized sample of that you’ve been able to cut right through the
balsa 1/16” or less and place it on the table balsa. Make a note of these settings. So you
under the laser. Check that the gap between might ask, “will this setting work every time?”
the balsa surface and the underside of the Well, yes and no. It will be close for a different
laser is 18 – 19 mm. Press the right-hand area of the same sheet of balsa but another
button and a dot of blue light should be sample which is more/less dense, thinner/
seen on the balsa surface directly under thicker... well try it! You may even find that the
the laser. This isn’t the laser itself but a density of your balsa test piece changes one
reference light to help you position the laser. edge to the other. It’s worth holding it up to a
Remember to turn it off – a flashing red LED strong light, you’ll probably see some variation.
reminds you. Aim to make a habit of clicking Again you might think, “is there a setting
on [set zero] before going any further. for 1/32”, another for 1/16” and so on?”
Click on [check size] and follow the laser well, definitely not. You’ll find balsa ranging
carriage going around the periphery of your from 6lb/cu.ft right up to 12lb/cu.ft in most
drawing. Be ready to click on [abort job] model shops… and it gets worse because
should it looks as though things are going one piece of nominally 1/16” may actually
wrong. If all looks good then, with laser vary in thickness from a thin 1.5mm up to
safety glasses on, click on [run job]. The a thick 1.7mm. But don’t worry, there’s a
laser carriage should move to the start of way to make sense of this.
your drawing and then the laser itself turn on.
Once it gets to the end of the last line in your Weighing Makes Perfect
drawing the laser will turn off, but it won’t be Take your envelope sized test piece of
at the origin, so click on [Goto XY zero]. balsa and weigh it. Working in metric you
need a balance with a precision of ± 0.1g
Practice Makes Perfect which may set you back a bit, or as little as
Have a good look at the track left by the £20 online. The good news is that you only
laser. As you set the power to just 10% it need a ruler capable of ± 1mm precision.
won’t have cut through but should leave Measure your sample of balsa and find it’s Entering Laser Power and Cut Rate.

behind a clear mark. Grab a pen and write area: length x width = area
10% 200mm next to the track, and maybe So if it’s cut from a 4” sheet say then it might
make a record on paper [I strongly encourage be 250mm long and 100mm wide: 250 x 100 =
keeping notes so you can reference what has 25,000 but that’s not a friendly number
worked or failed in the past]. so, instead work in decimetres [1 decimetre
Return to the Files tab and increase the = 100mm] and thus 250 x 100 = 25,000
power to 20%, but remember to click on becomes 2.5 x 1 = 2.5 We have yet to You will see when looking at the Screen in
[Generate] so that the G Code is updated. take the weight into account. If decimetres are LaserWeb4 that many options are available.

From the Control tab nudge or jog the laser unfamiliar it may help to cut out a piece of card
carriage to a spot 5mm or so above your measuring 100 mm by 100 mm [about 4” x
earlier test and click on set zero (or you’ll be 4”] as that’s a decimetre square and you can’t
going over the earlier track again!). Check beat holding something in your hand.
you have the laser safety glasses on [it’s Next think of a sample of balsa you want
so easy to take them off to look closely at to cut from – it’s the amount of material
how a cut has gone, then forget to put them under the laser beam that’s important and
back on]. Click on [run job] and you should not the thickness. So it could be a sample
see the laser cut a new track but darker and of really dense 1/32” or some contest
possibly deeper. Once again use a pen to (light) grade 3/32”. Start by calculating the
write the details (20% 200mm) next to the Surface density, which I’ll call Sd.
track and make a note. After a while I’d write Calculate the surface density [Sd] by taking
#999 (for test number) 10% 200mm in my the weight and dividing by the area. A real Making the Comms connection.
notes and just write #999 next to the track. example: part of a standard 3” sheet was 763
Whatever works for you, but keep a record. mm long, 76.5 mm wide and weighed 20.1 g
Next you could try either more power or and so it’s area is 7.63 x 0.765 or 5.84 dm.sq.
a slower cut rate (remembering to click on Going further, it’s surface density [Sd weight/
[Generate] to update the code). See if you area] will be 20.1/5.84 or 3.44 g/dm.sq.
agree that 40% at 300mm/min is roughly “Is there any light at the end of this tunnel?” When correctly connected you should
see this message followed by the
equivalent to 20% at 150mm/min – this is you may be asking. Well yes because if you microprocessor response back.
an important idea I’ll come back to. can find the setting of power and cut rate to


LASER CUTTING PART 2.indd 59 28/02/2018 14:24

Technology for Aeromodellers

cut cleanly through one sample of balsa then the cut is all the way through - be sure to
the same settings are going to be about right include a small tab or two (1.5 to 2mm long
for any other sample of balsa with the same will do) when you’re at the drawing stage.
surface density. Better still, if the density of
another sample is a bit higher or lower then you Focusing
The laser controls on the carriage.
can adjust your settings in proportion. In the Typically a successful kerf (cut line thickness)
example I gave above, my ideal settings turned will just take a strip of copier paper [thickness
out to be 80% power at cut rate of 240 mm/ of the order 0.1mm]. Somewhere within every
min but I could easily adjust these for a different laser is a converging lens to bring the laser
sample of balsa, one of more or less density. light to a focus. When cutting, this point of
Are you thinking, “a spreadsheet would focus should be at the balsa surface or just
soon sort this out”? Well done if you are. a little below. The 7W laser has a fixed focus
(A spreadsheet is included in the zipped 18 to 19 mm below the laser body, at least so
resources folder.) far as I can tell. When cutting thicker material
I’ve included a graphic of the spreadsheet such as 1/8” the laser needs to move up to
with the details entered for a typical 3” sheet maintain the point of focus at or just below
of balsa. It measured 763mm by 76.5mm and the surface. When trying to find the optimum
weighed 20.1 g. Now one laser might not be height for cutting I improvised with a strip of
equivalent to another, more or less powerful, balsa, one end packet up a couple of mm
but you could take a sample from this sheet higher than the other. Next I repeatedly cut
and with my setup be confident of cutting it the same small test grid side by side along
cleanly on 100 % power at 220 mm/min or from ‘high’ to ‘low’ before taking out the strip
75 % power at 165 mm/min and so on. to have a really close look and gauge the
There are times when I might want to keep optimum distance. If you’ve added a Z-axis Using a spreadsheet takes the guesswork
out of cutting with the right power.
the power down but still cut quite fast: 50% then there’s an obvious way to investigate
power say but avoiding cutting as slowly as the point of optimum focus.
110mm/min. The spreadsheet shows this
could be done with x2 passes at 220 mm/ What Could Possibly Go Wrong..?
min or even faster [330 mm/min] in x3 passes. Early on I found some components cut very
LaserWeb4 allows you to select the number of nicely except for a detail which was much
passes. You run the job and the laser simply darker, spoiling the effect. Repeating and
goes around as many times as you specified. watching closely I realised that the laser
Any snags? Well firstly, this spreadsheet was going back to a part of the track it
works for me but you would need to tweak had already cut. When I took a look at the
the value I’ve called f-factor (0.132) to suit original drawing I realised that I’d drawn The tabs were included in the drawing of
your setup by trial and error (more for a less some lines twice (easy to de when copying this former.

powerful laser and so on). Secondly, I make and pasting). This is such a common fault
a point of always running a small test grid that some drawing software includes the It is on record that you shouldn’t think
to check the settings before loading the dxf option to discard/delete duplicates. Erase of cutting plastics, with the exception of
cutting file. If your test grid is small then you any duplicate lines and you’re back on track. acrylic, as the fumes may well be toxic.
can simply nudge the laser carriage up a mm Low tack masking film will cut, but there
or two, tweak the settings and run a second What Else Can You Cut? are better ways of going about it.
test - as many as four across a 4” panel. Thin birch ply (0.5 – 0.8 mm) will cut, though If you’d like to add parts numbers then
Don’t rely on holding your test up to the light several passes are needed. I’ve even had pull a second dxf file into LaserWeb4 below
as it’s very hard to distinguish between cut some success with 1/16” ply though the results the cutting file, remembering to dial down
right through and almost right through – until weren’t pretty, but if we’re talking internal the power or you’ll produce stencilled ribs.
you come to free the ribs or whatever. bulkhead, a building jig or something unseen My impression is that until recently the
Behind the spreadsheet is an idea that’s then perhaps acceptable. (AeroModeller will biggest laser you could source was around
worth getting to grips with: if laser power/ have an article on a computer-controlled router 2.5W followed by 5.5W and when I came to buy
cut rate = Q, then Q = f-factor x Sd and suitable for thicker plywood in a future issue.) it was 7W. The other day I saw that Bangood.
once you’ve found a combination of laser Paper cuts well and heavyweight modelspan com are about to ship a 15W laser for much
power and cut rate for one sample then cuts particularly well though you may have to the same price. By the time there’s a 25W laser
you can calculate the f-factor for your give some thought to supporting it with black on sale then I’d be ready to try cutting Laser
setup and forget about guesswork. card say and just a breath of spraymount [the Plywood (see what offer). If you’ve
Include a closed track in your test grid repositionable sort in the blue can]. White got this far then you might think of adding a
and then you’ll see it drop out, or not. Depron isn’t successful - either it doesn’t have Z-axis and a high-speed router, upgrading the
While we’re here let me reiterate the point enough pigment to absorb the energy of the hardware – search for OpenBuilds Part Store.
from part 1 that you definitely DON’T want laser or the material melts momentarily, only to Do share with AeroModeller the fruits of your
your ribs or formers to ‘drop’ out although close up again as the beam moves on. 21st century traditional model building. ●

60 AeroModeller - April 2018

LASER CUTTING PART 2.indd 60 28/02/2018 14:25

Aeromadeller Science


indsight is a wonderful thing. University one of the Scandi Noir-Brick
How many of us have flown academic institutions who is well known as
a FF model in the middle of being supportive of aeromodelling related
large airfield - no obstructions, research. He confirmed that gravitational
a constant wind speed and attraction does indeed vary across the
direction - and watching as the model landscape depending on what density of
finishes its glide been surprised by its mineral is buried under the surface, and that
behaviour? The path of the model is, as most of the UK has already been mapped.
expected, a gentle downwards slope, but It turns out that the British Geological
occasionally during the last few feet before Survey has a publicly accessible database
landing the model sinks abruptly as though that comprises of over 165,000 gravity
“the earth sucks”! Most of us would probably observations on onshore Great Britain. So it
discount it as nothing at all, or just an seemed that all the hard work had already
anomaly caused by air moving down next been done, and even better use of the data
to a thermal pocket. But suppose there was is free for commercial, research and public
another effect at play… Could you use this use under the Open Government Licence
to your advantage, as the corollary of there as long as the British Geological Survey is
being an area of increased downwards force acknowledged.
The anhedral on this Yagi aerial suggest that
is another area with REDUCED downwards You can see more for yourself at www.bgs. there is weight at the tips. Could this be one of
force i.e. an upwards advantage! the flyers using the minimal gravity technique
to identify the launch point? (Photo by Dave
According to my source, the occurrence Although the coverage of the survey is Hipperson)
of an area of increased gravity was first good, the results are not discriminating
conjectured by an observant modeller who enough to know within a metre where exactly strain gauges would monitor the fluctuation
was attending a duration competition at to launch a model from to most easily escape in measured force (weight) as the aerial
Barkston Heath, but due to a broken leg he the ‘..surly bonds of earth”. A specialised was wafted around for supposed pre-flight
was not participating but remained seated in piece of measuring equipment would be checking. A small microprocessor built in
the same place throughout the day. Through needed to refine the optimum position of to the handle resolves the readings to give
the hours he noticed that models flying minimum gravity once the general area had a variable pitch depending on the gravity
lowish over the same patch of field exhibited been identified from the survey. below the aerial. A low pitch is the area of
an unexplained sudden drop, even after a How to do this without raising the low gravity and is pre-selected as the place
change in wind direction. A hobble over to suspicion of fellow flyers at the field? The to launch.
the area in question uncovered no obvious answer was to build the gravity discriminator So now you know what is happening. Is
difference in surface that might explain local into a device which would pass unnoticed - this a legal advantage, I’ll leave you to judge,
thermal-related activity. His mind started to what better than a Yagi type aerial used for and who is using this technique? Just keep
think, what was the cause? tracking the bug in a FF model! The span you eyes open for the flyer(s) who are most
Our observant modeller got in touch of the aerial allowed lead reference masses diligently testing their tracking radio before
with Professor Loof Lipra, of Uvebienhad to be held at known distances apart and flying has begun… they’re no fools. ●

Coverage of Land An example of the GB Land Gravity Survey coloured shaded/ GB Land Gravity Survey points sample. (Based upon BGS
Gravity Survey across contoured. (Based upon BGS surveys, with the permission of surveys, with the permission of the British Geological Survey.)
Great Britain. Each the British Geological Survey.)
reading is a red ‘+’.


GRAVITY.indd 63 28/02/2018 14:23

Control Line Scale

In Scale Circles
Part 2 on the completion of Ronnie Tribe’s control line Junkers Ju 287 with four EDFs.

Initial Test Flight wing was flying high and it was nose
The first flight of the Ju 287 took place at heavy. As I had used two large LiPo
Basildon in September 2017 over grass batteries and old heavy speed controllers
football fields on a fairly windy day - not this was no real problem as these would
really suitable for its first test, but I had to be changed later on. Wheel pants were
try the model to see whether the results now also added to the undercarriage
were good or bad. It was decided to fly after this flight; these were made from
the model on 52 foot lines to give it the Lite ply and balsa block, additional
best chance in the wind and over the plastic tubing was also fitted to represent
rough muddy ground. The model took the scale size. A temporary front canopy
off and flew fairly well for its first flight; was also fitted from a well-known
problem areas identified at this stage takeaway dish.
were tip weight required as the outboard Further test flights were undertaken in

Test flights were successful and pointed to adjusting weight

distribution to improve flying characteristics.

62 AeroModeller - April 2018

IN SCALE CIRCLES 53.indd 62 28/02/2018 14:20

The model was finished in grey primer but no detailing was added before test flights.

November 2017 on 55 and 60 foot lines, weight saving of about 150 grams. Electronics
the 60 foot lines proved to be the best Motors 400
length for this scale model, however, Weight ESC 160
yet more tip weight is needed for this No mention so far about the total weight Wiring/plugs 500
length. Also a single Turnigy heavy duty of the model 2.8 Kg. This is roughly
LiPo rated at 3300ma 4cell from Hobby broken down into the following major Detailing
King was tested instead of two LiPo component weights in grams. Now we have proved the design we have
batteries, this provided ample power to a model which performs well at low and
run these four motors. I managed to fit Model high flying including takeoff and landings
this battery between the lower fuselage Wings 450 with the better CG position. We can now
and the bottom of the wing which Fuselage 400 proceed to the final stage of finishing;
immediately improved the CG position Tail Fin 50 this is always very time consuming. I
and improved the flying characteristics, Pods 150 started by spraying the model with grey
a saving of 250 grams was made by Finish 175 primer all over. Details of fuel tank panels
using only one LiPo. The next step is UC 400 were added to the wings using heavy
to purchase four new BRC 40 amp pro Bellcrank 65 weight tissue, this also included bolt
speed controllers which will give another Pilot/canopy 50 positions using PVA glue and a syringe.

Masking the model Ju 287 ready for final painting.


IN SCALE CIRCLES 53.indd 63 28/02/2018 14:20

Control Line Scale

The model was then sprayed light

blue on the undersurface and dark
green and black green on the top
using Humbrol Acrylic paints. Detail
panel line work was drawn using a Uni
Pin fine line pen, fuel spillage marks
were added to the filler caps, the
whole model was given various coats
of very thinned paint for weathering
effects. The canopy details were last
to be added with two scale Luftwaffe
pilots, the front canopy being formed
with my small vacuum forming
Very few photos of the only flying
aircraft exist however you can just
make out the colour differences in
certain photos. The write up of the
full size in various publications do
The finished Junker Ju 287 is a strikingly different scale model with its swept forward wing.
include the correct colours used,
however they do point out that paint
was in very short supply at the end
of hostilities and therefore the paint
style did not necessarily follow the laid
down "Luftwaffe" patterns.
I look forward to 2018 flying venues
to demonstrate this most unusual
subject aircraft to its full ability - it's
definitely different!
Have a look at my web site for
further information at www.control-
With its large clear canopy, pilots and cockpit External detailing and weathering bring the or email me on
detailing are essential if the space isn’t going to model alive. ●
look empty.

64 AeroModeller - April 2018

IN SCALE CIRCLES 53.indd 64 28/02/2018 14:20

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AM052 p65 BUYERS GUIDE.indd 1 28/02/2018 14:22

Tail End Charlie
Another pot pourri of aeromodelling miscellany…
Solar Steering designs” competition in the UK – now Wrexham MAC are running
Firstly, thanks to Gerhard Wöbbeking for providing more information an event for original RC ODs on Sunday 22nd July 2018. Here are
on solar steering along with a page from “Modellflug” a German the rules for those who would like to enter. Please let Bob bob.davis.
model building book published in 1942. Gerhard wrote: know if you are interested.
“….. the NS regime tried to attract boys with building and flying Rules:
models. WMAC will appoint a single Judge for Design and a single Judge
Launching with a towline was less common than slope soaring, for Flying. It may or may not be the same person.
and the annoying feature of the models to turn around and steer into The Designer, Builder and Flyer of the Model must be the same
the slope should be overcome. Either the needle of a compass or person who must be a current BMFA member.
Scoring is deliberately skewed towards design with only minimal Cover of German aeromodelling book from
the pointer of a milliampere meter closed an electric circuit which 1942.
activated a control magnet, moving the rudder and turning the model extra points for exceptional flying skills.
to the left. The schematic drawing shows a rudder usually controlling The first two elements must be completed for a qualifying score.
a right turn, and as soon as the sun stopped producing weak
electricity the control magnet gave the rudder free, turning the model • Design:
back to the right. Originality – max 50 points
It is not handed down whether these systems worked. But both Structural design – max 30 points (drawings or in-build
records for hand launched gliders by July 1942 were considerable: 43 photographs would be a big help here – you can’t judge what you
km distance and 38:26 min duration.” can’t see)
Pretty impressive performance! Execution – max 20 points

Solar Riser • Basic Flight:

Start up and take off observing BMFA and Club rules, fly one
From the USA, Stephen Winkworth outlines the challenges as he
rectangular circuit and land on the Field without major damage. (An
progresses towards a scale model of the first solar powered aircraft Page showing impressive solar steered glider.
extra, non-scoring trimming circuit is allowed.) Maximum 50 points
with the test flight of a “conventional” prototype.
“I was worried about pitch stability, since I could not see how to
• Enhanced Flight (all optional)
make a ‘reflex’ section,…... There are no spars in the wing: just a
Inside loop – maximum 10 points
leading-edge tube and an identical trailing edge tube. So the trailing
Figure of 8 – maximum 10 points
edge is pretty thick (4mm). The wing section of the ‘Icarus’, on which
Two consecutive centred rolls in any direction parallel to flight line –
Mauro’s machine is based, and for which I have a fairly detailed sketch
maximum 5 points
in the 1970 book on hang-gliding, shows no attempt at reflex.
Stall turn – maximum 5 points
Would the washout of 2 1/2deg plus the further 2 1/2deg negative
Outside loop (bunt) – maximum 3 points
incidence of the whole lower wing, be enough? (The top wing also
Slow roll less than 10’ from the ground – maximum 1 point
has 2 ½ deg washout.) Would the transparent tip fins, which are rather
small and depend on a tiny wire spring to neutralize them, so that
Bob added – “To be clear, a scratch build to someone else’s plan is
they only twist outwards when a turn is given, vibrate or misbehave Airframe for the full size Solar Riser.
not a qualifying original design. A scale model isn’t an original design
in flight? And what about the thread which pulls them, and which is
- although if Burt Rutan turns up with a Quickie model we might have
strung across the trailing edge of the lower wing: would it have dire
to make an exception! What we want to do is get Designers together,
effects, or would it be pulled back by the airflow? As there is no spar
show that there is a decent body of us and get the BMFA to take the
or dihedral brace joining the wings, which end at the fuselage sides
thing forwards in future years - at the Nationals.”
– would the compression of the upper wings together with the thin
I think running such an event on Sunday evening at the Nats along
tension wire holding the lower wings to the fuselage be enough to
with the “chuck and duck” is an excellent idea.
resist aerodynamic loads?
Don’t forget to send your answers, comments, congratulations or
In the event, she flew: pretty well. The rudders worked extremely
complaints to me by e-mail to or by snail
mail via the editorial offices.
Congratulations Stephen.

Wrexham MAC Award for

Original Design By Chris Ottewell
Sideshow Bob wrote last year bemoaning the lack of an “original Stephen’s Model all ready for its first flight.

66 AeroModeller - April 2018

P66 TEC 053.indd 1 28/02/2018 14:17

AeroDetail series ONL
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