march 2010
Here's a page for smaller items of general or special interest - follow-ups on previous articles, 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.


Viewing linked web sites from modelflight

Conforming more to the way you are probably most used, there is a change to the way links to other web sites are handled on the pages of modelflight this month. Previously, when viewing a site from a link within modelflight, it has been necessary to click the Back button in your browser to return to modelflight. From this issue, clicking a link to another web site will open it in a separate browser window and when you have viewed it, closing the window will return you to the modelflight page from whence you came. You close the window by clicking on the X in its top right-hand corner or the right-hand end of the tab in browsers that display tabbed windows such as the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc. (see examples below). Whilst not saving any time, this more familiar procedure will prevent you inadvertently losing your connection to modelflight when closing an external site - a hazard which prompted Colin Stevens to suggest I might try this alternative!

classic window

tabbed window

To avoid any confusion, the same procedure will apply when clicking on a thumbnail image to view an enlarged version - after viewing the larger image, just close the window or the tab to return to the main page of modelflight which you were viewing.


Silencer gaskets, cont'd

Last month, Colin Stevens highlighted the problem of the non-availability of Thunder Tiger silencer gaskets. Here's what two readers had to say on the subject.

Richard L. Joslin: I opened the modelflight magazine then an article on Thunder Power silencer gaskets caught my eye. Now all the people that I know around my flying fields do not use gaskets after the first one wears out. By the way it seems they wear out quickly due to expansion and contraction of the silencer to motor block joint due to heat cycles. The best way to fix this problem, and one I have used for the last fifteen years, is high temperature RTV silicon gasket maker. It is the red material. I use Permatex brand over here but I am sure you have something equivalent in your area that would work just as well. Just clean off the surfaces with alcohol and then take a tooth pick and spread the red paste around the sealing surfaces at flange joint. You will never have another leak. I have found this to work in every case where there is a butt joint. This is certainly much cheaper than trying to run down gaskets that are scarce as a spare for nearly every model made.

Mike Hawkins: Colin Stevens writes disparagingly about Thunder Tiger as he cannot get a replacement silencer gasket.

He need not worry. The silencer already has two large holes in it, one to let the gas in and the other to let it out. Any seepage around the crankcase/silencer joint will have no effect whatever on the function of the engine. Indeed, a little oil seeping out will help to reduce the chance of corrosion on the outside of your engine

If you need a replacement gasket, there is no need to spend one's hard earned pittance on it. Get a sheet of thick brown paper and rough cut an oversize gasket. Punch a couple of holes for the mounting screws and make a short cut where the exhaust comes through. Bolt it on and commit aviation. The hot exhaust will immediately burn away the excess from the exhaust passage. The tightly opposed metal will stop any oxygen getting to the operating part of the gasket and you can trim off the surplus outside with a No 11 blade if you are that tidy (I am not).

You can do the same with cylinder head gaskets if you need.

The Thunder Tiger rep. can get a good night's sleep!

Bob Ware

"This is how I do mine," writes Bob, "with a little five minute resin to seal the exhaust joint. I also put washers and spring lock washers on all my exhaust and engine mounts, (I have never had a loose engine).


Meet new modelflight reader Nelson (Jack) DeLisle

I'm 79 and have been enjoying the Radio Control hobby/sport since 1967 when a fellow worker at Ford Motor Company was assembling some electronics and I asked what he was doing? Seems he was building a servo from a Heath Kit. Since I was an electrician/electronics technician my ears perked up and I ended up getting his old system. An almost glider with a "Galloping Ghost" radio and an Enya 29 engine. The radio was a Citizenship with a rubber band powered escapement.Heath Kits were made in Benton Harbor, Michigan, USofA and they also made TV, radio, testers as well as the R/C radio. I ended up buying the Heathkit system and building it. I think I paid $240 plus for that? Princely sum then.

Over the years I have flown everything except helicopters. Had a turbine powered plane called the AV8R (say it fast) and flew that till my eyes started to go and it wasn't fun anymore. I have since gotten new eyes through the magic of surgery and can see distance again but having a jet once was enough for me.

I follow the sun and have been wintering in Florida for the last 16 years but my home is St.Clair, Michigan for seven months of the year. It's a tough life but ...

I belong to five clubs: The River District R/C Eagles of which I am a founding member almost 40 years ago. The Propbusters of Goodells, Michigan, The Wolverines whose field is near a place called Roberts Landing in Michigan, The Flying Eagles of Ft. Pierce, Florida of which I am also one of the original members and the Sundancers of Ft.Pierce, Florida.

The bad/good news lately is that I stuck my finger in a prop again shortly after warning the owner of the plane he was getting too close to the prop. This time it took the first finger of the right hand down to the first knuckle and it needed plastic surgery and made for a sleepless night or two. [Jack gives a very detailed account of this accident in his Propbusters club magazine. I will spare you the toe-tingling detail, but It was clearly a very nasty incident and a reminder of just how dangerous rotating props can be.] The good news is that the Wife, Nancy, asked me to not fly wet fueled engines anymore and when I told her it would cost about $500 to get into the kind of electrics I would like to fly she didn't even flinch. I'm expecting a Great Planes Reactor in the mail any day now and have ordered the motor, controller and etc. Will have a nice covey of planes to sell shortly.

I have been flying a foamy T-28 from Parkzone for a year and it's a great flying machine and I have flown a small electric flying wing called the Razor so I'm not a novice with electrics.

Let's hope no one tells the understanding Nancy that electrics can bite more ferociously than i.c.s! To be fair, though, Jack won't have to be adjusting a carburettor now, which is where he has found himself most vulnerable!


Hercules school project from Abel Napp

New modelflight contact Abel Napp mentioned his involvement in an interesting project at the school where he works in the Netherlands. Students who like to both hobby and learn are making a copy of a Hercules C-130 from scratch. Perhaps more accurately described as a look-alike, the model has two engines instead of four and the wing profile is a beefed-up version used in other planes previously constructed. The chosen engines are two OS MAX-160FX units and the estimated finishing weight of the model is 14 kg.

Click images to enlarge

Two pictures of the model under construction are shown above and there are more pictures and information, in Dutch, on the school web site here. As well as the opening page, two other pages well worth browsing are archieffoto's and Excursie foto's.


If you're thinking 'model flying' - think modelflight!


Colin Stevens' sticky problem

Self-Adhesive Tape for Bubble-Wrap?

I like to use wing bags and other protection for my models, but I wonder if any readers have solved this problem?

Which self-adhesive tape will last at least a season when used with bubble-wrap? I've been through all kinds of Gaffa tape etc., from that sold by Dyas to the cheap tape we see on market stalls, but every time I find that the bubble-wrap has the unique property of drying-out the tape adhesive, so that my bags fall apart.

A club colleague has solved the problem by using his wife's sewing machine. No hope of a Dremel attachment, I suppose?

Proven solutions will be most welcome and will make a useful addition to the tips and techniques page!


How the modelflight archive works

Occasionally someone will ask me to 'resend' them the latest issue of modelflight because they have lost or deleted their reminder email which carries the modelflight web address (URL). It could be that they do not happen to have a note of the URL, but sometimes the impression is given that they think my email actually carries a unique URL that applies to the latest issue, without which they will be unable to access it.

The fact is, however, that the latest issue of modelflight ALWAYS has the same URL - - so if you have a note of this web address or, better still, set up a short cut to it on your desktop, you will always be able to go straight to the current issue of modelflight whatever month of the year it is and whether or not you have had a reminder.

So when, for example, this March issue went up to the web with the standard URL, what happened to the February issue which also had the same URL and is still accessible from the modelflight archive? The answer is that it has been moved to a different folder on the server which delivers modelflight to you and if you were to now select the February issue from the Issue Selector panel on the archive page you will be directed to the new folder which now holds the February issue.

In practice, just before I was ready to upload this March issue of modelflight to the web, I re-read the February issue and added entries to the yellow Archive Index panel on the Archive page to refer to its contents and also added a new entry to the blue Issue Selector panel for the February issue (right). Next, using the files of the February issue still on my computer, I changed the black top frame of every page to a special version, below, which carries direct links back to the archive or to the latest issue. Without these links it would be frustrating for anyone just wanting to browse the archive from one issue to another, since otherwise you would have go back to the Archive page of the latest issue to get back into the archive. The navigation menu below the special links still works in the usual way, moving you from page to page within the issue you are viewing.

Next, I removed all the dedicated links pages from my copy of the February issue and replaced the main links page with a special version which directs readers back to the current issue to view the latest version of the links pages. I do this because many links become broken as web sites get removed from the web or change their URL so some of the entries on old issues of modelflight will progressively get out of date.

When all that was done, the February issue on my computer had then been converted to an archived issue, so I uploaded it to the web in its entirety to its own special location on the server. This is done before the March issue is uploaded, so at this point, although readers are not aware of it, there will be two versions of the February issue up on the web - the normal one which was still accessible and the archive version which was not!

Finally, this very latest issue - the March issue - was uploaded to the web to the same location being occupied by the standard February issue. This overwrote the February issue completely, replacing all pages and images, and includes the new Archive page with its references to the February issue. Thus, when you go to you will see the March issue, whilst the February number has become part of the archive, accessible from the Archive page along with all other back issues of modelflight.

Incidentally, for those who like to poke around in the archive just for the fun of it, you can go straight to the archive without having to open the latest issue of modelflight first. Just type or copy into your browser, click on the Go button and you are there. I actually have a short cut on my desktop for the purpose since I find that quicker than going to my own copy of the archive which I hold on my computer. I also have a short cut to take me to the latest issue.


If you enjoy the sort of thing you find on modelflight, then help keep it going by sending in your contribution. Views, news, comments, pictures of your models, details of your building projects, articles, experiences - there's space for them all on modelflight's pages and all are most welcome!



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