A return to model building and flying. Part 67

September 2010

What Can I say?

Well it all started with good intentions! Get the Bearcat finished and ready for the Nationals, after all I had two months to do it in. Ha! Where have I heard that before?

That model must hate me and me it! I was still having problems with it, for too many to even begin to mention. But this was the final result.

bearcat finished

Looks pretty doesn't it. Remember, beauty is only skin deep!

I always knew the undercarriage was a potential source of trouble from the moment I looked at it, I have seen free flight models with better hardware attachment than this design,for it's intended purpose, it's just plain Wrong! .

And sure enough after a couple of landings it started to show sign's of serious failure. Not only that the first flight was awful, bouncing around in a breeze and being almost impossible to hold at anything like 30 degrees.

So it was back home, add lots of lead ( I'm running out ) to the outboard wing, and hack away the at the UC mounts in the hope of strengthening them, a task made no easier by the original design.

beracat uc fix

Placing blocks either side of the original mount was the only way I could find room for saddle clamp screws. But in the end I managed it and sheeted in the lower surface of the wing across the the UC mount. It's all wrong, but the best I can do without building another wing.

Back at the field, the extra lead helped but it still floundered around like a sick whale in in a gentle breeze when flying slowly. In a last ditch effort and running out of ideas, I set the line rake as far back as I could. Instant change, with it holding it's angle with no problem! I have never seen line rake have that much effect before so I was a little surprised. Only problem was, what would it so in a wind?

Back home I stuffed more lead into the Corsair wing too, I had already upgraded the 36 to a 40 with no problem, it enabled me to remove some of the lead i had in nose and gave a little more power. Frightning when you think that the model was designed for a 15-19 size engine? My forward planning when I convetred the model for CL and Carrier, although very time consuming originally, had paid off in this department. Then I waited for the Nationals.

Barkston Heath is known for it's windy tendencies, flat and windswept features are good for helping fully laden military aircraft take to the air, but a pretty poor choice for model flying! even if it is big and expansive.I have known wind at this location, but nothing like this before; although you would never guess it from looking at the pictures. Last year was bad but flyable, this year was bordering on, is it worth it? But on the Saturday I did try. After one hairy flight with the un-blooded Bearcat in Basic, and actually managing to get it down (more by luck than judgement) onto the deck, I was to say the least, glad it was over. What's more the modified UC stood up to it, so at least that was a success.

The Corsair handled the wind reasonably well but I was struggling on the slow run with no attempt to do things properly. Landing was another matter. It just would not come down. A characteristic of this model it would seem? I bounced, I just missed, I hit the ramp and bounced, until I finally ran out fuel and luck and it rolled of the end of the deck to safety on the grass.

Sunday dawned and it was even worse, with insane gusts of wind blowing across the openness, and having to lean into wind to walk at times. Sometimes you have to make the decision, and I chose to write it all off as bad weekend and wait with intact models for the next comp and the next Nationals. Nothing would be proved or be worth the risk, It may have been different if  I had proven models that I was used to, or models set up for extreme conditions. but these are not. One thing I did bring away with me was a determination to practice in the wind, and not in the calm. If I can fly in wind I can fly in calm weather, so there is no point practising in it.

With the last half an hour spent in the CD's tent talking to people, it was becoming evident that there is s revival of interest in Class One Carrier, inspite of all it's hairy brute force and complexity; or maybe because of it it? I certainly came away with with lots of ideas for making the Corsair a little more competitive, or even in my case a little more controllable. So maybe it was not a totally wasted weekend.

corsair in flight

The Corsair looks attractive in flight.

Considering the Corsair was never meant for Class One, Andy Housden's silver tongue talked me into it. I just wanted to make a model that was in the spirit of Carrier for Basic, rather than an out and out competition model, I think I have at least succeeded on that score, even if the competition scores will be pretty dire! It's great pity that there are not more kits or RTF RC models that are the right size and suitable for conversion like this one. It's bordering on the maximum size to fly of a standard carrier deck; I don't have much clearance if there is a conning tower or bunting.



Thanks to Paul Breuring, Andy Prime and Max Ewen for the photographs

If you are interested, there are more pictures at these locations. This is how most of my images will be displayed in future, from an image service to save me time. So be sure to click on the links if you want to see stuff.

PLEASE NOTE: The server can be a slow at times, but Hey! so far it's free, so give it time if nothing seems to happen, and also try again if you get a message about, 'Connection timed out'..?  It will work,  It seems to to try and cache the images before displaying them, so will be worse on a slow connection. But at least it's better than Google's Picasa rummaging around on my hard drive. I know where my images are thank you; I don't want anyone or thing snooping around looking for them.

Nat's Carrier Pictures

Nat's general Pictures Pictures from the LeicesterModelAeroClub site. These contain some duplicates of the carrier pictures in the previous link.

Like Barkston Old Warden seems to have it's own weather system too, but usually much kinder than the former, and it was at a ubsequent meeting at Old Warden, after several sudden engine stops with the Bearcat after take off, and eliminating every possible cause, the finger finally pointed at the tank.

At home I discovered that the tank in the Bearcat was aligned in totally the wrong orientation, with the feed pipe sucking from the inboard side of the tank? Managing to get a flight in at the Nationals must have been pure luck!

This tank problem I can fairly safely place at Brodak's feet. Nowhere on the Brodak site is there and indication of the internal plumbing of their metal tanks. the entry point of a tube gives no certain clue as to where it eventually ends up inside. They also have a tendency to be sloppy about the photography of components, which means that they cannot be relied upon as a guide to how something should be used. Some of the arrangements and orientations seem to be very strange to me personally. Maybe I am just not used to the Brodak way of doing things, but that must include the rest of the world outside the US too?

In the end I had to surgically remove the rear of the tank and completely re-plumb it into a baffled uniflow type. I would have been better served making it myself in the first place! So much for saving time by buying a tank?

Old Warden Pictures

Old warden

These infrequent updates on my modelling activities may get even more scarce until next year, as I am about to embark on a ten week Open University course on Linux (I must be mad!. I am certainly not going away, ever hopeful of some good weather, and looking forward to a carrier comp that my club is hosting toward the end of October.

So watch this space. :)

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