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  • Here's an item or two from the latest catalogues, magazine advertising or websites  - not  necessarily all new products on the market, but items large and small that will be of interest. 
If you contact any supplier as a result of reading this page, please be sure to mention ModelFlight.


I recall Bob Nicol mentioning some months ago that aerial combat was becoming increasingly popular at his club, High Peak Model Aero Club, and since then I have noticed mention of it cropping up quite a few times in the modelling press. Well, here is something very new in that field - a non-contact combat system that fires infra-red "bullets", keeps the score and is perfectly safe. Here's some of the interesting stuff from the system manual that doesn't appear in the advertisements.


aerial combat system from CSM

The CSM AIRWars system has been conceived to enhance the enjoyment of R/C models by creating a totally new way to compete with fellow flyers. It is primarily intended for aerial combat use with EPP foam slope soarers, but with its high degree of programmability, it can be applied in many ways to all types of R/C models.

airwars module.gif (74069 bytes)The system consists of a small single unit which is installed in the model and which is connected to the receiver. The unit measures 25mm x 50mm x 9mm and weighs approximately 25g. From the diagram below, you can see that the unit has connections running to an infra-red "gun" emitter to fire infra-red "bullets", and a "target" sensor which detects any hits you receive. The system is eye-safe as it does not use lasers.    


Two methods of firing are available. In normal operation the unit fires when triggered by the pilot. To achieve this, the Trig input of the unit is wired to a suitable and otherwise unused receiver channel which can be controlled by a switch on the transmitter - the "gear" channel is often a good choice. If no such channel is available, then the AIRWars unit can be used in continuous fire mode simply by leaving the Trig input unconnected. This mode may also be useful to less-experienced combat pilots who may initially find operating the trigger switch whilst flying a bit too demanding.

A further optional connection allows for the model to actually respond physically on being hit. In this case, one of the control functions - say the ailerons - is connected to the Rx input of the AIRWars unit and the appropriate servo is connected to the Servo output, as shown above. The servo will continue to respond normally to commands from the transmitter until a hit is registered. On being hit, the servo will then go through a short pre-set sequence of movements, interspersed with periods of normal control. The default servo sequence when used on an aileron servo causes a rocking of the wings for about 2 seconds following a hit. If this physical response is not required, the servos on the model are connected up as normal and the Rx input of the unit is connected to an unused channel of the receiver (e.g., the rudder channel on an aileron/elevator controlled model).

Installation of the system requires careful siting of the "gun" and the "target" detector. The "gun" needs to be mounted just behind the nose of the model or just behind the trailing edge of the wing, so that the cone of fire is not obstructed by any part of the model. The "target" detector must be mounted on the tail of the model so that it is not sheltered by any part of the model.

The AIRWars unit itself carries a Fire/Hits LED that records combat activity, so it needs to be sited so that this LED can easily be seen - an extension LED can be connected if necessary. The  PC Interface connector also needs to be readily accessible, if this more advanced recording system is to be made use of. 

In simple combat the LED will flicker during a burst of fire and will also indicate the number of hits received at other times by flashing the appropriate number of times between pauses. The use of the optional PC Interface cable and related software allows for much more detailed data collection for up to 30 pilots per contest. "Bullets" are coded to identify who hits whom, the scoring system will use pilot names to simplify contest organisation and the scoring system will keep permanent detailed records of all combat!

The recommended retail price of the AIRWars unit is 42.95 and the optional PC Interface cable and related software is priced at 14.95. The equipment is available from good model shops or by mail order from Revolution Models, sales@revolutionmodels.co.uk

If any of you have a go with this gear, please let us know what you think of it. 



I have just been sent the latest catalogue from Expo Drills & Tools and rather liked the look of this little balsa/material stripper. It is for use with a 735-40 No 5 knife (which is not included) and features a fully adjustable (0 - 6mm) metal fence on the underside which allows the user to produce accurate strips of material by pulling the stripper along a piece of thin sheet wood or plastic. Cost is 5.00, code no 735-30.



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