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The PAMPA Gallery is now an archive and is no longer accepting uploads.
This following list has been suggested by Allen
Bob Gialdini's Olympic
Jim Young's Bellanca
Cris Lella's Model Aviation stuff on the the three columns on the three axis of models and planes
Paul Walker's Impact
Al Rabe's Mustunt, Mustang and Sea Fury text and pictures
Oh my God, the rice is blue!
Actually, this story had its beginnings far too long ago when I began to build a Randy Smith Dreadnought.
This is when all the fun began. I transferred the solution in its pot from the stove to the sink so that I would not make a mess on the stove and clean running water would be nearby. All of the
Curt's Quick Tinting Tips...
1. Use liquid dyes only
About a year and a half ago, I was fortunate enough to inherit a complete set of the Rapidograph technical pens - or so I thought. Upon closer scrutiny, it became obvious that these pens were in
I was absolutely determined to clean them since I wanted to try ink lines on my new ship and had no intention of spending the big bucks on a full set of these babies. To make a long story
Step 1. Fill a sink with hot soapy water and clean each individual part of the pen as well as possible. Most of the parts clean up fine, but the problem is the actual metal tip. It was welded in place with dried crusty ink. When I shook the tip, there was no detectable movement of the valve.
Step 2. Fill a clean glass jar with a 50 / 50 mix of Windex and rubbing alcohol. Any chemists in the
Step 3: Using EXTREME care, disassemble the tip. The finer the pen, the more care that must be exercised when removing the valve. What can happen is that you get the weight part of the valve out, but leave the wire part that fits into the barrel of the pen still stuck in the barrel. What
When you have the needle valve out of the pen, put it and the tip back into the cleaning solution for a few more minutes. When it comes out, dry it off with a paper towel and blow compressed air through it from both directions. It’s just like cleaning a spray gun; you must remove every trace of
I hope that others can benefit from my frustrating experience, but I don’t expect for this tip to be of much value since anyone who actually works for a living and buys one or more of these pens would EVER put it away without cleaning it…..right ??
I was coming to the end of the ink line work on my new Buccaneer (yeah, I know I’m a little slow), and it came time to do the fuse. So far, everything was working great. I put a couple of lines on
After some scrounging around the shop, I came up with a clear sheet of plastic that had letter stencils cut out of it. I had purchased it with the intent of hand stenciling on the lettering. It’s just
If you don’t want to buy a set of stencils for this, you could try using overhead projector transparency film. It is .004" thick and may not have quite as good an edge on it, but it’s a possibility.
This probably comes as no great revelation to the more experienced folks, but it was
To greatly ease the process of tying off the ends of your control lines (you're not using ready-to-crash crimped lines are you?), purchase a fly tying vise from a fishing tackle supply store or catalog. The vise is easily attached to a table or chair arm, and neatly holds the eyelet, leaving both hands free to wind on the wire binding, per AMA Rule Book. The fly-tying vise is small enough to carry in a tool box or contest supply box for field use. Price is around $10 to $12
Nearly everyone uses Epoxolite from SIG for making fillets. A problem with this stuff is its tendency to form "granules" in the brown part (can't remember if it's "A" or "B", sorry) from extended time on the shelf. When used in this form, it's like making fillets out of sand -- it works, but isn't pleasant to use.
To fix the problem, put the package of brown stuff into the microwave for about 1-1/2 minutes on "high". Loosen top, but leave it resting on the container to prevent any spattering inside the microwave. Result is an almost watery liquid which dissolves all the granules. Stir thoroughly to be sure. When re-cooled, it will be butter smooth. However, I like to mix up my working Epoxolite while the brown stuff is still warm and liquid, as it makes blending the two parts much easier.
After opening new Epoxolite a couple of times, only to find "rocks" after I'd mixed the two parts, I now routinely "zap" the brown part before any use. I suppose application of a heat gun or placing the container in boiling water would work too, but the microwave is certainly quicker. When using this stuff in "liquid form", it's handy to use one of those little plastic medicine cups to get exact
Most Balsa suppliers sell triangular stock. Just glue a strip to the square leading edge and your are done!
My current finishing method is Certified or Randolph color with automotive toners added to get those colors no available off the shelf, talc filler/sanding sealer and final coat of Automotive
Here's the process:
Pour some full strength clear in a large container with a good sealing lid. Now dump in as much Talc as will stay suspended in the dope (allow about 10 minutes to settle) Next, very important step is to mix in a small amount of Black dope, just enough to make a very light gray. The very best Talc I have ever used comes from Tap Plastics. It has no odder or oils. Next, thin this mixture only enough to get it through your spray gun. I use a big ugly gun with pressure feed, they're cheap and readily
Color: Thin all colors 50 to 60% with and spray on dry. Just enough to cover, don't worry about shine, blushing or even being a little rough. Once all colors are on. Spray on 2 coats of clear thinned
I usually do this procedure 4 times. Degreasers such as Prepsol or AcryliClean don’t get the job done. What you really want to do with cleaning is remove everything that is not fixed permanently to the surface. The reason for all the cleaning is I discovered that just about all of the dust particles that end up in the clear coat are on the plane to begin with. Very little comes from the air. Once you have cleaned and re-cleaned go over everything with a tack cloth several times being careful to apply only light pressure.
Buy some cheap lacquer thinner from the home supply store of your choice. I have tried Acetone, and I have tried retarder, cheap thinner works the best. Next, buy a couple of rolls of Bounty
With a wet, but not dripping towel, wipe on a small area of the model, about a 6" square. As you wipe, open the towel, re-fold it, then continue to wipe on the same area. When it seems like the towel is no longer working, it will still be wet, but saturated with dope. Throw that towel away and repeat the process.
You will also be able to remove the paint that is down in the hinge lines this way too, just be very
You will find that the paint comes off in layers, and you can stop at any point. I took mine down to the paper, however I could nave gone farther, or stopped sooner. When you are done, you
It will not take long for you to get the hang of it and establish a pace that works. It took me about 30
The reason I decided to re-cover the wing, was because I felt I would avoid any problems where the paper had been weakend on the edge of cap strips or sheeting from the previous finishing process. I also felt that the model would finish quicker that way.
It took me a total of 3 hours to remove the entire finish from a 60 sized 680 square inch airplane. Once stripped, I let it sit for three days to gas off and dry out. Once dry, I sanded it lightly, gave it one coat of clear, and recovered it. The new paper filled much quicker than it would have over bare wood. Had I not had to make modifications to do on the fuselage and tail, there would have been no reason for me to do anything to the fuse after one hour of stripping other than to re-paint it.
I did not invent the method, Frank McMillan and Randy Smith both told me it would work. I wrote a
With sanding, you always run the risk of cutting too deep and making a mess. I will never do it any other way than with thinner. Give it a try on an old wrecked model first - that is why you should "Save the pieces" as Phil Brown would say.
I have been asked to make a post on how to convert a glow powered stunter to electric, so here is a short write-up giving you a starting point. This will also work for a scratch built electric model and in turn will be easier than doing a conversion. Converting an exsisting airplane is not the ideal situation because more than likely there are areas that are over built, oil soaked, or are going to need to be modified to accept an electric power system. Also, batteries may be hard to mount depending
To determine whether or not the airplane can be sucessfully converted follow these steps.
1) Determine the target weight ready to fly. (My example will be a .40 size stunter.) The target weight I chose is 46oz. I will set this as my upper limit.
2) Now you need to calculate the power needed to fly the stunter at a satisfactory performance level. We want a minimum of 160-170 watts/lb input. We have a 46oz stunter or 2.875lbs so we are looking at 2.875lbs x 160 watts/lb = 460 watts input power minimum.
3) Pick the current draw you want the power system to run at and then divide the total number of watts needed to fly the stunter by this number. I will use 35amps, so 460watts / 35amps = 13.14. This number is the minimum number of volts you will need to get the power input we are looking for.
4) So now we know to fly a 46oz model we will need to draw 35 amps from a battery source of at least 13.14volts. Since we are using Li-Poly batteries we have to choose packs with voltages divisable by 3.7. Each Li-Poly cell is 3.7 volts so 13.14 volts / 3.7volts = 3.6 cells. Remember we are using minimums to calculate our setup so we don't want to drop down in cell count, so we will round up to a 4 cell pack. Most packs on the market with discharge rates high enough for our use are 2P packs or 2 cells in parallel. Putting the two together gives us a 4S2P pack. (the number of cells parallel depends on the C rating needed)
5) Now that we know what we are looking for we can decide on what motor and battery combination to use. This is where things become more difficult. The selection may seem endless when it comes to motors, so how do you know which one to pick? If you read up on electric power systems you will find the most popular or best performing motor brands. (Ex. AXI, Plettenberg, Aveox, Hacker, Jeti, Mega) to name a few. I have used mainly AXI and Plettenberg outrunner style motors from the beginning. There are also a number of motors that are the conventional "inrunner" style that will work well, but I found good results with outrunners so I have stuck with them for the time being.
6) After you decide which brand or brands you want to look into you need to determine what size motor will handle the voltage you will be using. We are using 14.8volts or 4S Li-Poly pack. Motors are normally rated at a min and max voltage, max continuous amperage, and max efficancy @ a given current level, or at least that is what we will be looking at mainly. We need to be sure we fall in between them.
As far as the battery pack goes you need to be sure it is a 4S2P (for this setup) and can handle the 35amps continuously that we will be drawing. Do not pick a pack that says it can handle 35amps continuous and say 50amps for short bursts. We want some room for error and a little safety cushion so look for a pack that can handle at least 40amps continuously. This will let you pull more current later if needed and also keep the pack from working at it's limit extending it's life and keeping it cool during use.
8) Ok, we now know our target weight, power system requirements, battery voltage needed and amp draw that is required. We are pretty sure the motor we picked is what we need or is close enough that a few prop adjustments will get us there and the battery pack will deliver the power. That leaves us with an ESC and timer.
ESC's for the most part all perform very close to one another. A few examples are Castle Creations and Jeti. The biggest difference is the programming options. All you really need to be concerned with is that is capable of handling the current levels we will be pushing, has a governor and has a BEC built in. I recommend like the battery going a little higher on the rating than needed. For a 35 amp setup go with a 40 or 45 amp controller. Again we don't want to push the system to the limit and cause heat problems. Just like an IC setup to much heat is bad for electric power systems
Timers are limited right now to the Z-Tron and the JMP. I only have experiance with the Z-Tron timer and can say it works very well although the JMP has gotten very good reviews as well.
I am sure you can guess what to do next. Pull that engine, prop, tank, fuel lines, filter, etc... out of the airplane and weight it. Above 24oz and you may be a little on the heavy side. 24oz or less and you are on your way to a successful conversion. If you are close to the weight you may want to pull the engine beams/crutch assembly and tank mount/floor out to get you to your target weight or maybe even below it. Don't forget to pull out any nose or tail weight. You will be able to shift the battery to compensate for the added balast previously needed.
If you are using this step by step for a scratch built project you can build the model to suit the weight needed making it easier on yourself.
Like I said earlier this is just a quick rundown on how to get started. I didn't really go into any detail on any one subject. Electric power systems have so many variables one could write page after page about them. There is still a lot of theory behind it all (for C/L use) and there are many things I still don't know myself. Also, the figures I used may not hold true. They are just examples to show the math involved.
I think this will give you a good starting point on designing your own power system. I am sure I missed some things, and may have even been a little off on somethings I mentioned. I apologise ahead of time if I did.
Introduction: Over the last 25 years, the choices of covering materials for R/C models have expanded steadily. So why is it that some "old timers" still cover models with old-fashioned
While generally used on smaller models like Old Timers, 1/2A glow and small electrics, silkspan is also an excellent surface prep for sheeted surfaces even on giant scale warbirds. It's an excellent choice for applications like simulating fabric-covered control surfaces. Be forewarned though, silkspan is easier to tear or puncture than most modern coverings, but it's also extremely light.
Please note that the nitrate dope used for applying the silkspan is not fuel-proof. If the model is
1. Materials: The required materials include: sheets of silkspan (for all but the smallest models, I use medium or heavy material), nitrate (not butyrate) dope, dope thinner, water, 2 or 3 brushes, talcum powder, 240 and 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper.
2. Surface Prep: After finish sanding the airframe and removing all dust, brush 2 to 3 coats of 20% thinned nitrate dope on all surfaces that will contact the covering. Sand the airframe lightly with
3. Application: I recommend starting with the bottom of the wing, as it's the easiest surface to
4. Trimming: Start lifting and smoothing the silkspan until all wrinkles are removed and it's pulled fairly taut. The wet brush will help you to force bubbles to the edges. Be careful not to tear it, but even wet, it's surprisingly tough. Wet a piece of 240 wet-dry sandpaper, and sanding on the
5. Doping: Once the silkspan is trimmed, and while it's still damp brush on a coat of nitrate dope that's thinned 50%. The dope is this highly thinned because you want the thinner in the brushed-on dope to partially dissolve the dope that's already on the bare balsa. This will bond the covering
6. Continue Covering: Continue to cover the rest of the wing and then the fuselage following steps 2 thru 6, overlapping the successive pieces so that there are no gaps. If you tear a sheet or can't get it
7. Additional Coats: Once the entire airframe has been covered and doped into place, allow it to dry thoroughly. As it dries, the silkspan will turn a uniform white color and will pull nice and taut. Next,
8. Mixing Filler: To fill the weave preparatory to painting, mix regular talcum powder into your thinned dope until you have a slurry. You'll have to acquire a feel for how much to use; too little
9. Filling: Brush the talcum/dope mixture onto the model and allow it to dry. Work quickly, as the mixture will set up in a hurry.
10. Final Sanding: Lightly sand the airframe. Note that the talcum is not only easy on your skin, it smells lovely as well! If you can still see rough spots, repeat steps 9 and 10. That's it! The airframe is now primed and ready for the paint finish of your choice.
11. A NOTE ON REPAIRS: When patching holes or repairs, tear the silkspan patch instead of
Conclusion: This covering technique is lighter than nearly any film, will never wrinkle, and is quite easy to do. There's no trick to it!
Here's the drill:
Get yourself a bottle of LIQUID fabric dye - RIT, Tintex, whatever.
We have incorporated Fuel Filters into our program in an attempt to add a little more longevity to our motors. The important thing with these fuel filters is to check them regularly. Countless times we have had a problem with the motors not wanting to needle properly and checked the filter only to find that it was the culprit. You can break the filter apart, and when you see what is in there sometimes you are glad it did not go into the motor.
We use Master Airscrew Fuel filters. They are small, blue single screen filters and have been known to leak, but they seem to fit the best in our models, and if we suspect them they are cheap enough that you can throw them away and put a new one on.
One thing I have done in an attempt to prevent these from leaking is take some thick CA and run it around the seam, then wipe the glue with a paper towel, making sure you spread the globe around the seam. You could maybe heat the seam and cause it to tighten up, but I have not tried that. Another possible idea is heat shrink tubing.
Another thing we have used and like is the black rubber air filters that fit around the venturi. These house a changeable filter. The only two filters I have seen are a black one and a green one. The black one is a little more course, than the green. One must remember that these do reduce the
Cut a round patch of panty-hose matrial larger than venturi opening, stretch it over venturi opening, then slide one or two proper sized rubber "O" rings over the venturi to secure the "filter". (Shamelessly stolen tip from Richard Oliver.)
here you go:
I don't like the yukie silver color of the APC nylon prop. If you would perfer black as I do, just soak the prop in about a quart of very hot water with a whole package of black Rit dye for about two or three hours. You will then have a nice black prop.
Take care, Dee
I've seen a couple of things I'd like to comment on.
First is the reality that this is a horsepower maneuver. (by the way I wrote a couple of long two part articles on flying the pattern a number of years ago that discusse the design and trim of airplanes to
Drag is generally of two forms. "Form drag" which is produced by the shape of the object you're trying to haul through the air and "induced drag" which is the result of producing lift. Increase either unnecessarily and you've thrown away energy that must be replaced by the power train while you're in an inverted climb.
Don't do that!
How do you maximize the energy in the vehicle and minimize the loss thereof. You have to minimize the drag in level flight and use no more lift than necessary to enter the climbing portion of the 'glass than necessary to convince the judges you have, indeed, entered the maneuver.
This means in the first case your airplane has to flying as cleanly in level flight as possible. A
In David's case I'm not real enthusiastic about the leadouts being just 1/4" aft of the CG.
To control the other form of drag, induced, we want to minimize the drag buildup in the entry to the 'glass. High "g's" mean high drag. Tight corners mean high "g's". If you hammer the entry you're going to throw away energy that even the strongest powertrains might have trouble returning to you given the fact that you've just pulled the airplane into a past vertical climb (the angles of which tell you you've maintained that high g high drag configuration for a comparatively long duration).
Ergo (pontificatorese for "therefore), fly that first corner no more aggressively than you can do without obviously depleting your energy...and certainly no more than experience tells you you can
Here's a trick, if you're ship is obesity challenged and you don't want to make the entry look like a big bagel, add some energy during your entry. You can do this easily by starting with your arm extended to its fullest and, as you start the entry move your arm toward your body and simultaneously take a step back while giving a control input appropriate to the corner you hope
At the top of the circle when flying the second and third corners be very aware of the same risks of throwing away energy. Too many people "hit" the second or third corners which throws away energy at a really difficult point because the wing lift is acting horizontally and gravity is sucking the airplane down. You've got to keep it flying. Think of "flying" into and out of these corners, not banging them.
Finally, the worst mistakes I see in hourglasses is poor shapes and vertical lines plus the top is seldom parallel to the bottom. This is usually the result of overturning the first corner which makes the climb too flat and makes the top impossibly long (usually resulting in an early third corner
This is almost always because the pilot loses (or never thought of having) any reference to help him define where the corners should be and where the straight lines should head.
I suggest using your body as a reference. Plant your fit facing directly downwind (the center of the maneuver). Start the maneuver by pulling up at your left toe, climb in a straight line to your right shoulder, fly into and out of a 120degree turn to fly directly toward your left shoulder and, when you get there, fly into and out of another 120 degree turn toward your right toe. Finally fly a nice
The secret to this is to never turn your shoulders while performing the maneuver and to minimize any turning of the head. You must keep your body in theproper relationship to the desired maneuver in order to use the body as a reference. Make sense?
By the way, the more vertical you make you hourglass (most turn the entry way too far and flatten the resulting manevuer to the point that the dive is nearly inverted flight) the easier you'll find that fourth corner (you know, the one the judges are just waiting for you to screw up)to fly with precision.
So, what you need is a "properly" trimmed airplane sucking the least possible energy out of an adequate or better powertrain flying the maneuver in such a way as to waste as little energy as possible while still flying the precise shape by using your body as a reference and, if you need a
Wow, it's a good thing computers don't use ink, huh.
2017 Issue 1 of Stunt News is available for download to current PAMPA members
The 2017 Issue 1 of "Stunt News" includes:
- Golden State Stunt Championships 8 by Brian Massey
- The Profile Warbird Saga 26 by Don Hutchinson
- T-6G/SNJ-7 32 by Don Hutchinson
- CL Action During Joe Nall Week by Mark Weiss and Derek Barry
- Plus District and International Reports, Contest Results, and much more.
To download the latest Stunt News, make sure you are logged into the PAMPA Website and click HERE.
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