2008: Looking Back


Weather or not . . .

If the forecast is to be believed, there will be no flying tomorrow, except for flights of fancy. Merry Christmas to you, Merry everything. Tom.


Tom's Tips & Techniques - or downscaling dangers

OK. Let's suppose you have just switched from building big outdoor rubber to dimescale.

Note that it is smaller and more delicate. Your hands look a lot bigger. In effect, they are. So when you are attaching a paper deck to the nose, remember not to hold it in place while the glue dries with the same grip you would use to say attach 1/16th sheet to 1/8th bulkheads.

Here's the reason why.

The instrument panel former will buckle and snap - stringers too. And you may put a crease in the paper. All will lose you marks in an FAC contest.

Resist the temptation to destroy ("crunch") the model because dime scale are so damn fiddly and frail. And remember, when you rebuild the nose, it's a good time to put right all the other mistakes you made.

Let's all build dime scale for a contest in the spring. Should we all build the same model? Should we suggest a postal contest with our overseas readers and then steal their models?

Happy Hols



Isle of Thanet

By George Benson

The Isle of Thanet "Duration Model" was a 24 inch outdoor model of unusual body shape in the August 1939 issue of the British Aero Modeller magazine. The plan was on one page, half scale, only one half of the body drawn in plan view, no prop size shown, but at the tender age of 11, I drew the plan to full size, and tackled the building. This proceeded slowly, I suffered many longeron breakages from the odd shape, but eventually built it, ready for the flying season at Chobham Common in Surrey, England.

By then, my father and I were members of the Walton and District Model Flying Club. Despite the war breaking out in September, we flew outdoors regularly on Summer Sundays. Oddly, I do not remember it raining or being cold, however I do remember cycling with both parents for 10 miles each way, armed with sandwiches, thermos of tea and my father's plane and my Isle of Thanet in a strong cardboard box strapped on my back with heavy cord which dug into me. I guess I did not have enough sense to pad the cord. As the military also learned to drive army tanks at the Common, a chase ensued to retrieve our planes before the driver crushed it, although I think now they would have veered away after causing us anxiety.

So much for my reminiscences, I had always remembered this model and a few years ago, when I returned to aeromodelling, I advertised in the Aeromodeller for a copy of the plan. Lo and behold, I received photocopies from a New Zealander and a gentleman from Southern California so I set to building. This time, I avoided redrawing by photocopying the plan, enlarging it, inverting the drawing of half the fuselage, oiling it with olive oil to make the paper translucent, taping it together so I had a full plan view of the body and building was underway.

Being far older and wiser,....I thought....I would have no problem with the longerons breaking, but "pride goeth before a fall" and I did indeed break longerons, and also had a warped body as well. This time too, I had another humbling time when adding a DT. The fuselage tail has a very narrow taper, and I had considerable anguish fitting the stabilizer securely and yet having it pop up as the DT activated.

Eventually, I had it flying satisfactorily, though never reliably, due to aforementioned unstable stabilizer plus rubber bunching in the narrow fuselage at the rear. However, I am pleased to say, I do NOT have to cycle 10 miles each way, nor do I have cords cutting into my shoulder from the box containing the planes.

I also scaled down the plan and built an indoor model, about 14 or 15 inch which flew adequately, though would tend to stall for no apparent reason when circling in the gymnasium.