Model Airplane News #01
A constant flow of model airplane news and useful information to keep you amused and entertained and save you shed-loads of money at the same time.
Has that got your attention? I hope so because what follows is my first attempt at a newsletter about model airplane activities, news and tips from around the world. It might live up to the ‘headline’, I hope it does but there are no guarantees – though that doesn’t mean to say that I won’t be trying.
Some time in the last six months you expressed an interest in my ebook; ‘Model Airplane Secrets’ and signed up for the tips for beginners. I’ve neglected you since then and this is my attempt to get back in your good books. Why? Well I could have some more interesting stuff in the future that you may be interested in.
This newsletter might be monthly – though you never know – and I will hope to keep you interested and even amused or entertained. Whether I can save you money only time will tell. If you find my scribbling useless or boring you can unsubscribe at any time by just clicking on the unsubscribe link which will be included in every email message.
There’s lots of ‘official’ stuff out there for events, competitions, results, know-how tips and that sort of thing so I’m going to concentrate more on the interesting, amusing or downright banal that comes across my screen relating to model airplanes and aviation. As well as newsy stuff I’ll be giving my newsletter readers first access to the fresh articles that I write about model airplanes .
Regrettably, not everything in real life can be fun and amusing and that includes some aspects of aero modelling. There’s been a string of incidents in the last few weeks including a fire in Texas and two dreadful deaths in Hungary which are pretty fundamental so lets be inconsistent from the beginning and start with some serious stuff.
I published a press release a few weeks ago referring to an astonishing story of how a model airplane was used to find a man missing for 4 months in West Texas. You can see the press release at: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2006/5/prweb384409.htm .
I was using the news to show how developments in modern technology are turning this fun ‘hobby’ of model airplanes into a socially useful resource. However, fate kicked in and the following morning the news broke of 2 spectators killed and 4 injured by a model airplane at an airshow at Ocseny Airport, SW Hungary. There’s a big thread on the subject on RCUniverse here: http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_4275706/mpage_1/key_/tm.htm where there is also reference to a fatal accident involving an RC power boat.
Naturally, my positive story was lost in the tidal wave of interest in how people were killed by a model airplane.
The point of the story is simply that however entertaining we find our hobby, we must always maintain a responsible attitude. Our models are potentially lethal flying missiles and we should always behave with that in mind. It’s bad enough that our sport has been the instrument for the death of innocent people. Just imagine how bad it would be without a responsible attitude from all modellers.
The message, as always, is to FLY SAFE – then you can HAVE FUN.
On a lighter note, here’s an article about building real cheap models from other people’s rubbish..
Featured Article: Cheap Model Airplanes from Builders Cast-offs
Once you have mastered the basics of building a model airplane and have a few spare bits lying around your workshop it becomes very easy to produce your very own design of plastic model airplane. Simple Plastic Airplane Design (SPAD) is a really cheap and fun alternative to constructing expensive remote controlled model airplanes kits.
The concept of SPAD started in the late 90′s and has evolved into a highly detailed and solid method for building RC model airplanes. While using traditional building materials and techniques can take weeks or months to put an airplane together, applying the SPAD concept can reduce the build time down to days, or even hours.
SPAD materials are widely available and are less expensive than those used in standard model airplane kits. Plans and help for building a SPAD can be found online and are completely free. The best part about flying a SPAD is its survivability when it comes to the inevitable crashes as your enthusiasm gets away from you!
The basic RC model airplane SPAD concept revolves around using inexpensive building materials that can be found at local hardware stores and sign shops – or even picked up for nothing from builders cast-offs. While the materials required for constructing a SPAD vary from one design to another, the basic materials used include; PCV downspout pipe for the fuselage, CoroPlast(corrugated plastic) sign material for the wings and controls surfaces, HDPE cutting boards for firewalls and landing gear blocks, and CA (superglue) to hold everything together.
Because of the simplicity involved in putting a SPAD RC model airplane together, even an inexperienced modeler can complete the job in a single weekend. A basic fuselage made from PVC downspout can be made in a matter of minutes, CoroPlast wings and control surfaces in just a few hours, and all the miscellaneous parts to complete the project in just a few hours more. Acquiring the materials needed for a RC model airplane SPAD project may require no more than a trip to the local hardware store and a few phone calls to local sign shops.
Aside from these readily available materials, there are a few other items that you will need; self tapping sheet metal screws, zip ties, a utility knife and a few wood sticks(4mmx27mmx1m Pine lathing/lattice). Other items needed to complete your RC model airplane, such as wheels, landing gear and control arms, will need to be fabricated or purchased from your favorite hobby store.
Plans for building a SPAD RC model airplane are available online, free of charge, from many different sources. www.SpadToTheBone.com , the original home for the RC model airplane SPAD concept, has plans to suit just about anyone. From the ever popular trainer called the Debonair, to the more sophisticated Coro Edge 540 sport/funfly model. A community has been built around the RC model airplane SPAD concept at www.SpadWorld.net where model builders from all over the globe help each other learn better and more exciting ways to make SPADs.
One of the greatest benefits to building with the RC model airplane SPAD materials is just how tough they are. Whether you’re trying a new aerobatic maneuver and just can’t seem to pull out of it, or just learning to take off for the first time and cartwheel your airplane down the runway, the chances that your plane will survive are very good. Compared to easily breakable balsa, plastic is a very forgiving material that can survive higher impact speeds without damage – and is easily fixed when broken.
Ease of construction, low cost and survivability all add up to a package that encourages modellers to experiment with design concepts and methods that extend the envelope of their experience and knowledge. Why not give it a go yourself?
A new ARF just released by Hobby Lobby
One of a long line of civilian light planes converted to military use (like the Taylor, Piper, and Stinson “Grasshoppers” of World War II fame), the Cessna L-19 “Bird Dog” observation and Forward Air Control aircraft traced its origins to the Cessna 170, a 4-seater civilian light plane, with its military power upgraded from 145 to 213hp.
Winning a U.S. Army contract in 1950 with its Model 305A redesign of the Model 170, Cessna was awarded an initial contract for 418 of the aircraft, which were then designated L-19A, and named “Bird Dog.” By the time the final craft was manufactured in 1962, over 3,400 Bird Dogs had been built and there are over 120 still in service today.
Although they were only used in small numbers during the Korean War, Bird Dogs were widely employed during the early days of the Vietnam war, when the U.S. Air Force acquired many to use in the Forward Air Control and observation roles, for which they were upgraded to carry wing stores, such as White Phosphorus (“Willie-Pete”) target-marking rockets.
You can find the whole review right here: http://www.rcgroups.com/links/index.php?id=4934
Pit lane humour…
After a real crusher of a landing, the flight attendant came on the public address with:
“Ladies and gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt up against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we’ll open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal.”
It’s not very different whatever scale you are working in…
Small planes fly big
49abcnews.com – Topeka,KS,USA
… John Henzler is a model airplane enthusiast. … “I think the world’s record for a model airplane is 200 plus miles an hour,” he said. …
Bomber’s New Mission
Published: Friday, June 9, 2006
The newest addition to the Oregon Air and Space Museum at the Eugene Airport needs some work, but it will be a labor of love for the aviation enthusiasts who run the museum.
The volunteers on Thursday received a retired U.S. Navy A-4C Skyhawk, delivered from the U.S. Naval History Museum in Pensacola, Fla.
Click the link for the whole story: A4 Skyhawk
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This is a great time of year for modellers. The weather is glorious, well, just for the moment, and there are shows and open days all over the place practically every weekend.
So I’m not going to keep you from your flying fun any longer. Happy flying till next time.