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Activities & News

By | August 14, 2019

Please feel free to post something and photos about what you are doing in the club or where you have been flying. Please choose at least 1 category, E.g. Activities for your post to help others find it.

Club calendar 2022 is available to download

By | January 3, 2022

I have tried to use as many photos sent in by members as possible but with just 12 months there was a limit to how many could be included. The calendar is A4 in size and one page per month. The file is a PDF and is approximately just over 6MB. Go to the website home page to download a copy. If you have any problems, let me know

DGD September 19th 2021

By | September 21, 2021

The car park opened at 09:30 with a few spots of rain and the horizon around the moors looked a little threatening. However the forecast proved pretty accurate and the conditions quickly improved and the initial westerly drifted N.Westerly allowing the long North South strip to be used for take off and landing. Martin briefed pilots before flying began to ensure we all knew the safety protocol that has become so important lately.  First flights circa 11:00 discovered some thermal activity and Chris got a pleasing 18 mins with his 1/3 scale Pilatus from working some lift after calling landing!

Around 20 people turned up, mostly pilots with electric or aerotow models and great fun and banter was had. Martin Tonkins was (at first) our sole tug pilot with his very powerful electric Wot 4 and worked hard dragging 2 x 1/3 scale models and an assortment of 1/4 scale models up to great heights. Felix Marten had kindly sorted out a NOTAM for the day allowing us to 1500ft. Martin was unfortunately limited to his battery life and around 2pm aerotowing ceased. I say ceased, but in fact we were all treated to a new pairing, David Ramsden and his OD Old Phoney towing Tim Naylor’s 3lb Spirit. Despite the long grass and fairly rough surface the Old Phoney pulled the Spirit up in a steady and safe way to a fair height before successful release on several flights…great entertainment and I imagine David will be looking for more customers with lightweight gliders and a release for further towing experiences.

Landing of the day has to go to John Hacker for the perfect approach and incredibly smooth scale landing in front of the assembled and spellbound with his ancient K8, the round of applause was well deserved! We won’t talk about some of the day’s other landings.

Eventually the scene was gradually vacated circa 3pm, with batteries and lift fading after a late lunch, short lived but good quality!

On a final note I will be asking for firm bookings for the Club Xmas Lunch shortly, it may sound early but the Dainton will require a deposit next month. For new members, traditionally the club holds a Xmas lunch at the Dainton Golf Club in December for members and spouses etc, unfortunately after many years Covid scuppered 2020 but we hope this year will be as normal as possible.

Regards

John

Check out our Gallery for more photo’s of the event.

 

Devon Glider Day 18th July 2021

By | July 19, 2021

Morning everyone, DGD went ahead yesterday in warm sunny conditions but flying was not brilliant. The clear blue sky made seeing models at height difficult, added to that the easterly breeze produced very little lift. Having said that, the small gathering enjoyed plenty of chat and of course the views were stunning.  Check out our Gallery

Two potential new members arrived to watch proceedings plus a very nice couple holidaying from the Isle of Man, both fly gliders but preferred slope soaring the island’s hills. I have attached a YouTube link to a recent video of that very couple doing some pretty extreme soaring on the island.

On another tack we will be resuming monthly club meetings at the Kingsteignton Council Hall as before from the first Monday in September, I will give more details nearer the time and of course the then current Covid situation will have to be considered. For any new members, these are generally just informal gatherings, have a coffee, bring a model and chat etc.

On yet another tack the club is installing a couple of small Beware Model Flying notices at the entrances to the LH strip, this is to satisfy one of the safety requirements of a risk assessment. Hopefully these will not be disturbed in any way.

John

PS: Sorry if your glider flight is not included but my camera had to leave early. Robert

Old Phoney – Part 4 covering and completion

By | June 22, 2021

There’s something rather satisfying about the first time it all comes together, wings, fuse, legs, and tail feathers, and pinning the control surfaces on. Pre-covering photos seem to be a bit of a tradition:

I covered the wings in Diacov 1000 from Sarik Hobbies which is an “Extra-lightweight iron-on polyester fabric” probably rather like Solartex or Oratex but I’d never used one of those so it was all rather new to me. It cost £33 for 3 metres by 73cm which John says is expensive but I must say it goes on like a dream. Just stretchy enough to wrap around compound curves when warm but adds tremendous rigidity after cooling, shrinks perfectly and looks great. Slightly translucent and slightly more so when varnished. I used polyurethane spray for the wings and brushed on the tail. Spray looks much better.

 

I cut the signwriting out of film covering and ironed it on before varnishing. Adhesion was really good.

For the fuselage I used cheap-as-chips transparent dark purple from Ali Express. The roll arrived damaged and their customer service was rubbish but enough of the film was useable and the value for money was great. Covering the stringers was probably the most challenging film covering I’ve ever attempted – curves galore.

I’m hoping that Winnie the Pooh turns out to be a good pilot. Apparently he’s had quite a bit of practice flying balloons with Piglet.

Installing the radio gear was pretty uneventful but the lightweight snakes I’d bought from SLEC weren’t up to the job at all. In the very short distance between the tube ends and the control horns they bent all over the place so I had to use piano wire instead. Fortunately the runs were fairly straight and the wire quite light.

On advice from model designer Peter Miller I went for zero angle of attack, zero tailplane angle, and zero down thrust. Although I did add a bit of right thrust and because of the high wing I have a sneaky feeling I will have to add quite a bit of down thrust so the removable cowl will probably need modifying – pretty easy.

The entire motor set up, the servos, and u/c hardware came from George at 4-max who provided great service and advice. SLEC provided great balsa and plywood. Thanks also go to John Harvey for encouragement and Cliff Harvey for inspiration and tips – particularly on laminating balsa curves, and Martin Tonkins for motor chat.

 

So there we are, my first vintage model. But in truth, of course. Although she looks old. She has no vintage whatsoever. In fact, she’s nothing but an Old Phoney.

POST-MAIDEN UPDATE

Turns out the u/c legs weren’t up to the job so I made a more substantial pair. The wire braces still broke so I switched over to using bowden cable and steel springs – seems to be fine now.

Here she is with new legs.

Test flights are going well. I’ve added down thrust and mixed elevator with the throttle. Her speed range is impressive from fast enough right down to extremely slow. Even with full down flaps and holding in full up elevator she doesn’t seem to stall, certainly doesn’t drop a wing anyway. Shortest landing roll I’ve managed was 3 metres in still air.

Little Haldon Site Rules

By | June 16, 2021

Some of you may be aware the club has applied to BMFA for a ‘Site Permit’. This will be (if granted) to allow us to fly models over 7.5kgs above 400ft, and we think will last the season. There may be a requirement for a NOTAM (notice to airmen) as well but we are not sure yet. However, when we hold our open Glider Days models may turn up that are over the weight limit for above 400ft and of course some of us regularly fly such models.

When filling in the necessary forms for this application we also needed to accompany the info with a list of ‘site rules’ and a risk assessment. As we did not have definitive club rules for LH we had to come up with some. These are now on this website on the Club Documents and Safety & Incidents pages and can also be viewed by clicking on this link. Please have a read.

Hopefully you will agree the rules only reflect what we all practice already so no need to panic. The rules and risk assessment will be reviewed as required.

We may also need to put some form of signage up (with permission) to warn the public of model flying, we envisage these to be permanent low profile and at key entry points.

Although we have always prided ourselves as being an ‘informal club’ with the advent of Article16 and other legalities and restrictions, we now have to demonstrate a degree of responsibility and compliance, so please bear with us on this, the majority is only common sense.

Regards

John

Informal Aero-tow Sunday 30th June

By | June 3, 2021

Hi all, to anyone wondering how things went at LH last Sunday. Here’s a quick resume’. Steve Thorne and Graham arrived bright and early with their tugs and towing commenced circa 10:30 in a not too pleasant easterly and fairly brisk to boot.  My first tow with the Solution was exceedingly hairy as the dolly bounced the model off on the rough ground and I just managed to get away without striking the ground with both wing tips..phew! As can be expected the lift was lacking and flights were short. However by lunch time the wind was easing with more south and we changed to the N to S runway…much better for the 7 glider pilots and the tug pilots were very busy. A technicality with a tug meant a replacement tug was put into service and away we went again. David, a complete beginner to aerotow, accepted the chance to experience a couple of  launches with a 4 metre Alpina and thoroughly enjoyed it, so who knows may be we have another fan of this aspect of flying, although he is also dreaming of towing, check out his Old Phoney on this website.

By 3pm people were packing up their gear and heading off after a fun day. I have also to say that although contributions to the cost of fuel etc were volunteered our sterling tug pilots refused to take a cent..how generous was that? Many thanks.

Regards

John

Check out the Gallery for more pics from the day.

Old Phoney – Part 3 the fuselage

By | May 20, 2021

Just as the wing was my first without span-wise sheeting – this is my first fuselage without sheet sides. But, as it turns out, there’s something rather satisfying about longerons, stringers, and all the fiddly bits in between.  And when you’re REALLY enjoying a build, anything that makes it take longer just means the pleasure lasts longer.

What are they called? Those curved bits that hold stringers in place? I have no idea but they seemed like a good place to start. Cut out of balsa they’d be bound to split, and terribly weak, so I cut the shapes out of 1/64” ply then glued 1/16” balsa copies either side but with the grain in opposing directions. Light, stiff, and strong. Not a bad start:

Next job was to cut out the 1/32” ply doublers. I copied their rather weird outline using the old ‘pin prick’ method. I remember being 13 and getting into terrible trouble for doing that in a school woodwork lesson. “But it works so well” I exclaimed. The teacher wasn’t convinced. Evidently it was not ‘the done thing’. Cutting them out with a scalpel was a bit hard on the fingers but it gives such a clean cut compared to the scroll saw or fret saw:

(The weird bit sticking out above the cabin is because I’d not yet decided how to build that part – just leaving my options open).

Because the longerons had to be ¼” square, but hard balsa and very curved, I laminated two 1/8” x ¼” strips instead. (the ‘Cliff Harvey effect’ again). With the help of a weak solution of household ammonia (to loosen the wood fibres) they bent quite easily and were glued after drying:

All the fiddly bits went together well with soft ¼” sheet infills at the front:

Whilst making the formers I had the idea of incorporating a tow release which I incorporated into F3 so the mechanism terminated just behind the wing:

 

 

The cabin top was a bit of a challenge.
I don’t like the look of wing bands that go to a dowel below the cabin so the cabin top needed to be strong enough to cope with pulling quite a bit of G force without the front wing dowels giving way. I tested the strength of a 15mm projection of 6mm dowel by sticking it in the vice hanging a 12kg weight off it. It didn’t break. But whatever they were glued to needed to be equally strong. But the shape was complicated. Hmm…
In the end I carved and sanded a block of 12mm birch ply to shape. It’s curved in two directions; top view to match the screen wrap-around; side view to match the airfoil; and V-shaped in the front view (to match the wing dihedral) and epoxied to three layers of 1/16″ ply on each side, all just 6mm thick:

The diagonal bracing and turtle deck stringers were most satisfying:

…and making the battery hatch and removable cowl:

Almost ready for covering!