Monday, 28 November 2016

West Wings Aurora, review part 1


Thinking ahead to balmy summer days of light-wind soaring I thought I'd offer a progress report on my rendition of this lightweight beginners' kit from West Wings.
Of course I didn't follow the plan/instructions to the letter because I wanted to 'improve' the model.
When I bought the kit I was really looking for something like the Graupner Dandy, an example of which I flew 40 years ago when a colleague of my father's gave me a lesson atop Mount Caburn; as I recall the flight ended abruptly and messily. The Dandy Mk III is currently available but only in ARTF format for £140, so for a more authentic nostalgic experience I opted for the Aurora kit and will take inspiration from the Dandy's colour scheme when I cover it.
Like all West Wings models it's a well engineered kit, the components are neatly cut and fit together perfectly. However, it is very light and feels in need of some localised reinforcement.
I added extra balsa to the inside corners of the fuselage for strength and to allow for more rounding-off with the razor plane. I also put a layer of glass cloth on the inside-front-half of the fuselage and at the tail end where the fin and tailplane are glued on. Having never liked the odour or messiness of two-part epoxy or polyester resin I tried water-based floor varnish to bind the glass instead – it seems to be equally effective and I washed the brush under the tap!
The Graupner Dandy is the same size as the Aurora, but the wings are separable, which is handy. So, in an attempt to create a 'rucksack-able' model, I made a two-piece wing by gluing 1/4 x 1/8inch full-length spruce spars into the ribs, then cut a wing joiner out of an aluminium/ply sandwich to slide between the spars.
Some careful cutting and ironing of red and white Solartex should create a pleasing two-tone finish...

Cheers

Russell H

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Dont stand so close to me.......

A cloudy old day up on Ditchling Beacon today. Ian A, Bob P, Jim, Will and I all got plenty of flying in. I flew my Willow 2. Which on the first landing met up with the fence as I didn't realise that I was actually behind the fence - DOH! Luckily I was almost down when the collision happened. Had a few more flights and eventually managed to get some on board footage using a suction mount and my RunCam 2 camera.
Need to move the camera round a bit as the wide angle lens distorts the nose a bit but the quality of the video was surprisingly good for a dull old November day.
Ian flew his big mouldy, M60 and the horrible little red brick and impressed us all with just the perfect landing at the end with his big heavy old mouldy. Jim got on well today and was demonstrating some smooth flying and continues to improve. Will flew his foamy Jart which he was flinging around the sky like a mad man. he worked with Ian to really improve his landings. Bob, seemed to have a load of models today which he worked his way through during the morning and showed some real skill today.
Oh yes - why the title 'Don't stand so close to me' well this was what seemed to happen when I stood next to someone on the hill there model would do strange things and possibly crash! We put this down to my lead underpants getting in the way of the signal. Ian, Will and Jim will all corroborate this story.

Not a bad day for late November.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

BMFA Fees for 2017 Remain Unchanged

Hi All,
Great news from the BMFA today, following their meeting on 19th November, they have announced the 2017 fees as below from their web site - - 
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The Society Annual General Meeting held on Saturday 19th November, has agreed the subscriptions for 2017 which will remain at the same level as for 2016.
BMFA Subscriptions for 2017 are as follows.
(Apply from 1st December 2016)
Seniors £33
Juniors £17
Family Senior £33
Family Partner £22
Family Junior £13

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I will be sending members an email asking about renewal in the next day or two and detailing how to proceed.

Rob Stanley - Hon. Sec.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

A light wind day at Mill Hill

I was expecting a light breeze and when I got up to Mill Hill I wasn't disappointed. Ian A and Ian D were already there and ready to go. I rigged the Expro mouldy (light wind thermal soarer) and started the day with a number of flights of just cruising around from thermal to thermal. Ian A was doing the same with his Shadow. Then joined by Scott and Graham. Ian D and Will spent a good while flying of the lower shelf with there light foamies. We were also joined by Kevin B. Twice in a week Kevin, watch it or you will get yourself a bad name!
The wind picked up briefly and Graham and Ian flew the heavier mouldies and Scott flew his Dragon with just a little help with the landings. Spent some time going through the landing options with Scott. Rain was looming bit we carried on through the hail and soft lift. Had a spell with my Weasel which loved the light conditions which was more can than be said for our M60's (fully loaded) and Will's Jart.
With virtually no wind / lift we called it a day and left.
Was worth the effort with everyone managing to get some good flying practice in given the lighter conditions. A good effort shown by Ian D, Will and Scott in a some what challenging session.
Roll on the next one!!