On the net since 1994. Still don’t know what I’m doing.


Getting back to it after about 30 years........

After the Barton B.A.S.H. (our local aerodrome) here in Manchester, I saw my very first model jet engine. I saw an engine spooling up to about 150 thousand rpm, and I wanted one! I went out, and bought an Easy Pigeon, with Futaba 6X, to re-acquaint myself with new technologies in the modelling field. Later I bought a Futaba computer set. Excellent piece of kit. Follows, some thoughts.....and just to prove to our visitors from overseas (and south of Luton), we DO have greenery, space and blue skies, here in Manchester UK!


Easy Pigeon

First electric model.

ARTF? What the he...??? Ahhh! Ready made. That's good. Well it was. Wasn't it?

Build time:      One evening to assemble. Had fun digging out 30 year old X-Acto knives and various other tools.

Maiden flight: Easy, really suitable for the complete beginner.


On a later flight.......

I found out at about 1000' that if someone else has made it, you don't know how well it's put together. She got caught in a thermal, I was losing visual, some gentle rudder to spiral out, and the most gentle recovery I could do was far too harsh. The poor thing just folded on me, and fluttered down to earth like a wounded butterfly. She recovered, though, thanks to the rep (new wings!). Good man.

I fly her with a six pack of 1500, and 2000 SCR's, (buggy packs) and get about 15-30 mins ave. thermal hunting. I need to install a SP500/buggy motor when I get around to it.


NOTE: There is no reinforcing across the wing spar! The spars just butt together. Bloody shameful. Keep her to minimal G.

Months later, I stuffed her into the top of a tree adjacent to the cemetery, about 60' up! Well, I'd recently bought a new set of drain rods..........

"Hey Sarge, there's this bloke wrestling with what looks like a 50' snake........" 

Drain rods are bendy, of course, everyone knows that, don't hey?


Next: Ahhhhhhh!   I knew kids were born for something useful. Up you go, lass. Well, 11 year olds don't weigh much, you know!

     The last flight I had with her was a very thermally day, they were poppin' up all over the place. Flying her towards me at about 300', and she did a wing flip (180°), she was now upside-down, still coming! I was truly surprised at the violence of the flip not snapping the wings!


All in all a good kit for the money. Recommended.


The Multiplex Cargo

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The cargo, looking for her third flight, after the dreaded climb/stall/snap! How's that for a strip?

Look, she DOES fly level (using mixing on elevator)

An early flare, ending up as a real greaser. Great fun! Carrier deck comps, anyone?


Multiplex have really dropped the ball on this one. The CG needs to be 1¼" forward of the plan position (thanks, Roy - Mega Models), and should have DOWN THRUST built in (about 2° should do it), not upthrust. What were they thinking???? If you build this as per plan/instructions, it WILL unstick after 10'-20', and launch itself upwards at about 60°, stall, and come back to you. The snapping sound is not nice. Ouch.

     I've used a Ripmax Extra 50A speed controller (great items, I wouldn't use anything else, now), with 7x2000 SCR's. About 7 mins, semi-carefully. She rolls, too. If it can carry 500g, why not another flight pack? 14 mins? Just don't open the doors!

     I bored out the nose, as much as was sensible to get the flight pack as far forward as possible, yet I still had to batter some lead in the nose. Two HS-55 Hi-tecs at the back end give the push/pull on rudder/elevator. This is destined for LED landing lights, with those high power white lights. Should look good at dusk on finals.

I've found her to come in on finals very fast, and floaty, so I crow brake her in. Make her as dirty as I can, but she still floats on, and on, and on (Ariston?). 




Crazy Sparrow

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Underpowered. A lot. I've just read about how to cure it. A new motor/box/prop combo. I'll post it soon. Trouble is, when you see it in the box, you just plain can't resist! Looks really well in the air, but it is very fragile on landing, the main gear just needs a bit of beefing up.

Miss Europa

On the strip. A lovely park flyer, a great first model. No vices at all.

Speed 400 7.2v running an 8"x4", through a 1.5:1 Graupner box. 3 x HS55 Hi-Tec servos.

I run two packs, 7x500Ni-Cad's, gets about 10mins, and a 7x1100 Ni-Mh gets you about 15 mins! ROG (not grass) a bit twitchy, it ground loops for fun! Just the ticket on those balmy (!) summer days.



The Twinstar. A great little performer. Get one to-day! Poke through the spinners with a pin, then press the props on FULLY. They won't come off (unlike my first flight with this one - wheeeeiiizzzzz .....splat!) Now retired to that great dustbin in the sky.

My Twinjet. Great machine. Still flies in almost all weathers. 7 x 2000SCR.


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Balsacraft Spitfire. What a great kit.  Cyano and CNC parts were a revelation! How easy the Spit went together. I installed, as per plans, but I put a dual conversion Rx in. Mistake. They don't like electric. After a roller-coaster ride in the sky, I put my foot on the floor, and pulled the Spit out of the ground (she'd buried herself about 4" in!) and pulled. Slooooop! Out she eventually came. New kit installed, and some repairs (amazingly little damage, but now I know to allow for batteries coming through the front!). I found her to be very responsive (on 7x2000 SCR's), but a bit too quick for me at the moment. She is currently retired, but will be flown again (when my adrenaline levels are too low!). GWS (pico 4ch) receivers rule, OK!

Back in the day...

Forgotten this one, hold on, it'll come back to me.... ah yeah. A Jolly Roger. Check out that tranny! It let me down in the end (Skyleader). It disappeared vertically downwards into a field (max revs - natch), close by and in plain sight. I spotted the point of impact, took a distant transit ( a big tree), and walked towards the tree. I should by rights, have trodden on it (the grass in the field was only about 4" tall). But even with the assistance of a passing Bell 47G crop-duster,

it was never seen again................ Dun, dun duuuuunnnn (drum roll, exit stage left).

Mind you, I started when MacGregor was putting out those anodized blue bits of stuff they laughingly called radio gear. Before launch, you had to wind up the rubber band on the escapment - truly! Single channel never ruled, and it wasn't OK!

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Literally just bit the dust - in the days of no silencers.  The hook just behind the TE on the fuz is the winding eye for the escapment (rubber powered servo to you newbies!)

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Vernon Mini Robot s/c (single channel on rudder only - max deflection right if you press the button once and hold. You get left by pressing, letting go and pressing and holding! A right royal pain in the bum!).  You can see the actuator arm out of the fuz and up into the rudder loop

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Cobra C/L (covered in silk), with Merco 35. 

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Keil Kraft Gazelle C/L (with DC Spitfire I think). Good fun.

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