Here's a place for smaller items of general or special interest, personal introductions, conversational stuff, hints and tips, incidents and accidents, snippets of advice, warnings, encouragements - not necessarily directly model flying, but perhaps with a bearing on our hobby activities.


Boost tabs - an alternative view from Malcolm Logan

I always feel hesitant about putting out another point of view but here it comes. The article (air space, Dec.) suggests that boost tabs are the answer to a maiden’s prayer as far as keeping down size and costs of servos on big models - well, in over 60 years of modeling, I’ve found that it ain’t always that simple; there’s always another way and another point of view ... and then there’s compromise. That’s aviation, aerodynamics and aerospace for you.

The reference to the difference in movement of any two servos e.g., 45º and 50º is an easy one – first, modern servos don’t have such large discrepancies and second, the difference (the “slack”) can be taken care of by a simple linkage described as follows – connect the two servo outputs to a steering arm’s (or tiller arm’s) outermost holes and connect the centre of the arm to the surface’s horn. Yes, the modeler may have to make that arm from a suitably strong material to suit the loads expected as it’s unlikely that a standard commercial product would be suitable. This linkage has the benefit also that if one of the servos fails – even completely – there is still limited control from the good one to land the model safely.

Further, while boost tabs work fine when the aeroplane is actually moving through the air in flight, many of today’s 3D aerobatic manoeuvres (“aerial antics” some prefer to say) very often produce little or no forward motion – sometimes even sideways motion as in a prop hanging sideways flight along the length of the runway. And let’s not get into the problems here of prop hanging, rearwards flight (á la Lomcevacs), linkage slop, flutter and any other antics you can think of...

I’ve used boost tabs on my scale models – Stearman elevator. They work fine and look good – a good ooh-aah factor – but don’t ask if they actually do anything to assist in flight. I’ve not built a model with and then without boost tabs, so for scale models I think the real advantage is the additional ooh-aah factor.

Malcolm's Stearman


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Charlie Stone asks, "How do you do that?"

Re December modelflight: Another masterpiece from you, I love the Moore drive stuff and have not yet looked at everything, but you have triggered off a question. I see that you have extracted some photos out of a series in PowerPoint presentations ... How do you do that?

Last month's hotchpotch carrying Power Point images

Charlie has obviously discovered that you cannot 'Save' pictures from Power Point presentations, but my answer is simple, although a bit long-winded! I run through the presentation and when I come to a picture I would like to keep, I simply press the Print Screen button on my keyboard which captures the screen exactly as you see it as a screen shot and holds the image on the clipboard. I then exit the Power Point slide show, Open the program that I use to process all my graphics (in my case it's Micrografx Picture Publisher), then copy the clipboard image into it. With Picture Publisher, I can do this by simply selecting Paste as New Image from the Edit menu, but if you do not have a similar facility, you can simply Open a New blank image window in your graphics program and then copy the captured image by selecting Paste from your Edit menu or, even easier, press Ctrl + V on your keyboard and it will drop it in. From there it is possible to crop and size the image to suit your requirements. To grab your next image, you will have to open the Power Point presentation again and repeat the process.

Although I think there is quite a lot of unnecessary and pretentious use of copyrighting on the web, I still obey the rules and do not copy images that carry copyright notices or symbols unless I have obtained prior agreement from the copyright holder. For the record, I do not claim copyright for anything I produce on modelflight, so unless I specifically say otherwise, anybody is free to use anything they want that appears! Did you know, in fact, that there is no procedure or registration needed to claim copyright? All you have to do is to state your work is copyright, and that's it, and anyone then breaching it can be liable for proceedings to be taken against them!


Gordon Walker asks about submitting material for modelflight

Gordon wrote: I'm going to try to put another article together for you, but I am unable (my wife prefers the term incapable) of locating the instructions on the website for your preferred format for articles/size of images etc? Can you give me a pointer, please?

Gordon can take heart on this occasion because I have not had anything specific on my website re article and picture formats, etc. but am generally happy to accept whatever folk might like to send! However, Gordon's query made me think it would be worthwhile putting something up permanently on the site for those who might like a bit of guidance in this matter, so there are now a few pointers up on the 'about modelflight' page and a note to guide readers there at the foot of the 'club house' page - did you notice it, I wonder?


Geoff Peacock enquires about control line interests

Geoff wrote: Is there any interest in control-line within the modelflight readership? I ask because C/L was my first love (back in the late 50s/early 60s) and I have been spending quite a bit of time recently in trawling through my small collection of Aeromodeller Annuals (1956, 57, 58, 59 & 60) – finding quite a few plans which have revived my interest. In fact, I’ve been motivated enough to redraw one of them, as it was the one I had most success with as a young lad. It’s called Manx Cat, a biplane flying wing for C/L combat, and as it’s a quick build I might have a go at it after the Uno Wot’s finished (it’s expected to arrive tomorrow!). I’ve scaled it down for a .15 engine (which I’ve got), and as we have an active small group within the club it might make an interesting project. It would be even more worthwhile if there were some interest from modelflight readers – I would happily post the plans and instructions in the magazine or make them available via email if you think it would be followed up.

So, is it worthwhile putting a note in the next edition asking for interested parties to make themselves known? I’m keen on the idea and already thinking of which one to do next! It could even develop into a series – think big, that’s my motto, except when it comes to spending my money! I suppose that I ought to worry about copyright on these plans – but I’m not sure about the legal aspect since the copyright laws last changed. There's no hurry to get back to me on this, but it would be nice to hear your opinion.

The only worry I have these days about control-line is: will it make an old man like me dizzy? I remember that it did when I was young, but it wore off after a time.

To which I replied: There are most certainly a number of modelflight readers known to me who are keen control line flyers and I am always delighted to have material from devotees of ALL disciplines within the model flying fraternity!

I have had several control line planes on the gallery from time to time and a couple of items of Charlie Stone's on 'workshop' and much of the input from people like Charlie Stone and Norm Kirton in Australia is control line material. A few issues ago I did a feature on the feasibility of electric control line, which included some great stuff from Charlie Stone and Mike Palko - the latter being regarded by some as the acknowledged pioneer in developing electric control line planes. This was on my August 2007 issue and Mike Palko's ground-breaking electric control line stunter was featured on the front cover. The article was on air space of that issue and is still on the archive, of course, at

I honestly don't think there is any need to ask for folk to put their hand up - there are definitely a good number who will be interested and glad to see something more of control line on the site, and I just love to have stuff on some of the lesser-followed disciplines. ... S0 if you are game to 'have a go' and share it with modelflight, that would be just great.

As far as the plans are concerned, it would be as well just to let me know if they claim copyright on them or if the magazine in general claimed copyright on them. If so, I would try and find out if they still have any rights or whether I can obtain permission to make them available as files. If they are not actually for sale anywhere, I doubt if they would object to them being resurrected as long as no one is getting financial gain from them.

As far as getting dizzy goes, I can offer no help - I've never tried it! However, my mates Charlie Stone and Norm Kirton are flying control line in their late sixties and still winning championships, so I guess it is possible to surmount the problem! (In fact, these two gents are currently practicing for their control line Nationals!)



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