We’ve had heavy snow all week, causing travel chaos. Then it all melts at the weekend and we get left with very windy and the snow turned into rain. Needless to say, this morning was bright and sunny, but with a strong southerly wind (at least that’s a warm one) that’s too strong to fly. With a forecast of heavy showers and prolonged rain towards lunchtime, today was not a day for flying outside. The wind was so strong that you could actually see the bad weather rolling in towards you, and right on cue round about 11:30am, we had the first heavy shower.
In the meantime, though, I’ve almost finished fixing the autogyro, if you ignore the five surfaces that still need covering (three on the fuselage and the new blade). I’ve made an attempt at fixing the broken head plate, but I don’t know whether it’s going to work yet.
What I’ve done is to glue triangular tabs to the underside, over the holes where the blades screw in. This is because the whack that was given to the blade that was sheared by the prop strike left a crease in the plate around the hole position. What I’m hoping is that the epoxy and fibreglass reinforcement is enough to repair the crease and stop the blade pulling out when the head spins. That would never happen as it wasn’t that badly damaged, but it’s the upward flex that concerns me. The plate is 0.8mm thick, which gives the right amount of flex in flight, creating the “coneing” that’s essential for flight and control. Once it’s all back together I should know whether this flex is going to crack the glue joint on the reinforcements. I might just have to replace the whole head plate, but it’s proving very hard to source just the right type of fibreglass board.
and Interstate Cadet
Now that the autogyro is almost airworthy again, I’m think about what to build next. I was really taken with the Micro Aces Bristol F2B “Brisfish”, which is featured in the latest issue of RCM&E (March 2018). However, many years ago I had a Peanut scale kit of the WACO SRE and Interstate Cadet aircraft which I never managed to complete – I was only 12 and they were quite hard to build, given that I was using a pencil sharpener blade wedged into some wood as I wasn’t allowed a real knife. You can see the plan above, along with the complete mess I made cutting them to shreds with my improvised modelling knife. It’s always been my intention to finish these two kits and I’m altogether quite fond of the WACO, not having any biplanes of my own. Zipping around the sky with the UMX Beast and DR1 Triplane was fantastic, hence the fascination with the Brisfish, which has incredible scale detail. I want to do another own design, though, and here comes the interesting bit. The Brisfish is 380mm span, while the WACO plan in the picture above is 330mm span. It only needs a small increase in scale and some micro radio to bring it in line with the UMX ARTFs which fly so well (i.e. the Champ, Aeronca etc.). The only problem is how to build down to 38 grammes? I’m going to start looking into Depron and foam modelling. I might even see whether any bits can be 3D printed?
My modelling ambitions will have to wait for a bit, though, as we’re at the Big Bang Science Fair in just over a week’s time and I need to build a drone controller using a Leap Motion sensor. This is just for the simulator at the moment, but, if it works, then we might try it out with one of the micro drones.