A return to model building and flying. Part 17

Running in Circles

July 2005

It's been a strange end to the month of May. My car has a developed a CV joint knock, so it was a choice of spending money on an old car, or looking for something else. If the joint goes so does the the modelling. Fortunately my son came to the rescue, June will see me with a new-er car. I still have to pay for it, so I'm in in that catch 22 situation again. not much to spare for the modelling.

I also went into hospital for a nose operation to help a breathing problem I have had for many years, so a few weeks of slow recovery and waiting to see if the surgeons work was successful, and not feeling like doing anything are inevitable. I seem to have a split mind, half wanting to get on and build things and the other saying, "I can't be bothered."

I did manage to motivate myself enough to get to the flying field a week after the operation, to try and sort the rat out after it's handshake with terra firma.

The rat was clocking 120kph so the repairs had not slowed it down. Not fast by proper racing standards but respectable for the time trials we run as the pit stops are the real decider in most cases; I refer to them as races but we can't form teams and things can get a bit hairy flying two or more for many reasons. Being mainly a bunch of geriatrics doesn't help.

Pete Moore (Methuselah) arrived as I was landing and casually said, "Fancy going two up?" As I like anything that makes life more interesting I agreed.

A short time later I was not so sure I had done the right thing? Pete has a been known to fall over on occasion, so that was always at the back of my mind. Pete also flies in a slightly stooped position with his hand at a constant height. Both models where quite closely matched for speed, so When he tried to over take I ended up in an awkward stoop to allow for his low arm position. I have raced in the past and know that some times overtaking requires an arm extender almost vertically over head to clear other pilot's heads if you happen to be shorter than they are. Pete didn't! and he was not walking round the circle either! This resulted in me almost loosing sight of my own model as I had to run round him at high speed looking like I was about do a forward roll on the ground

Mercifully he finally overtook after what seemed like an eternity, and I could finally stand strait again. I breathed a sigh of relief when my tank ran dry and the model landed and just collapsed on the floor feeling as dizzy as hell and gasping for breath, the effects of the operation on my nose where really making themselves felt as I also started coughing and spluttering.

Despite what it sounds like, I really enjoyed the experience. I you have never done any CL team racing even on a simple club level you can have no idea of the adrenalin rush it can produce. Suddenly going round in a circle takes on so many different facets, for a pilot you need two brains and eyes in the back of your head. Pitting can get very tense, especially if the engine starts playing up. The noise of multiple engines all around is a quite exiting and unique experience too. Maybe one day we will have enough members to take the racing a little more seriously. I live in hopes.

After an extreme effort of will and to try and counter the feeling of post operative tiredness (been there before so know the symptoms well), I did some work on the Luck Lady. For those that have jumped in at this point, a small 2.5cc powered flapped stunt that I have been wresting with since last year, It must be one of the worst designs to build I have ever come across, and has easily surpassed the Space Hound which held the honour up until now. The whole process has been one of glue something together them spend a week trying to figure out how to undertake the the fitting of some other small part or control surface. All very frustrating.

After finally getting to the point where I had to cover the wing before I can start fitting the flaps, yes, plastic film covering does raise a lot of problems, I had the most strange experience ever with an iron on film. Numerous people have given me bits of iron on film for which I am grateful, as it has allowed me to try out different types and get a feel for the material and how to handle it, without involving me in a lot of unnecessary expense. So I have tried most types and have some idea how they behave.

Picking up a role of blue coloured film, I tacked it down as usual and then tried shrinking it. The film went slack then recovered to its original state with a dirty great crease in the corner of a wing panel. OK, I though not enough heat, turn up the temperature of the iron. Same thing happened? After turning up the hear as far as it would go, I could barely hold it in the end, all I got was more of the same with no sign of the film melting.

The film felt like a light-weight Profilm, except profilm will keep shinking even at very high temperature. I am puzzled as to what it may have been, but in the end I binned it, and used some old Solarfilm which behaved in a more predictable manner.

I am still very frustrated by the slow progress and constant problems and have been tempted to scrap it quite a few times.

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