Friday, November 12, 2010

Corro Mig – Part 8

Yet another photo finish! These last minute slope projects are turning into a bad habit. But then I do work better under pressure...Smile

Last night was occupied with most the remaining odd tasks to finish up this model and the repairs to the GWS Corsair and Blue Angels F18.

I had to finish half a 2 litre Coke in a hurry to obtain the material for the canopy but once again I’m chuffed with the end result. Pity I didn’t have a little bust figure to occupy it.
Initially I had a black and yellow scheme in mind but previous experience with the black vinyl lifting as soon as it caught a whiff of sunlight made me settle on my signature blue and yellow. I’ll add some black trim tape for flair.

Covering the fuselage is as far as I got before I ran out of time and imagination…

Time won’t allow another build update here before this baby hits the slope but I’ll make sure to take plenty before and after pics and report back next week

May the fickle wind gods smile upon us this weekend!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Corro Mig – Part 7

Over the past two nights I picked up the pace on the build and spent less time taking pics throughout the process.

It went something like this: finish torque rods, join wings, work on Corsair repair while waiting for glue to dry, add hard wood bearers for servos, make cutouts, install servos, make carbon push rods, check setup and throws on radio, take picture, go to sleep and come back next evening to admire handy work. The end result is very satisfactory.
If you are used to the tight spaces typical of F3J/F3B models this fuselage is simply cavernous, swallowing up all the necessary bits and pieces with plenty of room to spare. This model should be the perfect platform for an electric power plant….

Hmmm, a Turnigy Park 480 should do nicely and I see they are only R185.00 from WiFlySmile

The wing seat on the fuselage and the wing centre line join also received some doublers as reinforcement.
Next up on the to-do list was the elevator push rod. Nothing out of the ordinary here. Not being a fan of z-bends I opted for some decent clevises instead. Some wire and a 6mm dowel completed the setup.

Whilst trying to test the elevator I found the servo was dead….? I could have sworn I bought all four the GWS 2BBMG servos together but on closer inspection this one looked used and felt hot to the touch after leaving it on for a minute or so. Ah well, fortunately I won’t be needing a throttle servo….

All that remains to do now is to close up the aft fuselage bottom, balance the model and add a splash of colour. Oh, and a spinner to round off that square nose.

The spinner has already been crafted from some polystyrene. Paul Carnall suggested I try using a drill as a lathe, sticking a block of foam on a dowel and shaping it with some coarse sand paper. It worked like a charm. The secret is to use as high a speed as your drill can deliver and light pressure while sanding. And if you value the peace at home, DO IT OUTSIDE!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Corro Mig – Part 6

One would have thought after 15 years of marriage I would have learned some skills from my highly organized wife by now, especially her planning skills……!! If I did then I would have had the rights parts for last nights build i.e. the correct length bicycle spokes for the aileron torque rods.

So the bulk of last night’s available building time was spent scratching my head and eventually manufacturing my own torque rods with some wire, brass tube and ball links. The only other option would have been to mount the servos further outboard with direct push rods but I don’t like the idea sticking unwanted bits in the airflow and creating weak spots in the wings where the cut-outs for the servos would have been.

For the inboard end of the torque rods I made use of some ball links lying around which were soldered to a short section of brass tube.

The other end was soldered to the inboard 90° bend of the torque rod.

These will be connected to the servos via small pushrods.
The hardest and most delicate part of making the torque rod was putting the outboard bend in it without ripping the wing apart. This because it has to be done with the torque rod already installed and the wire I had is as hard as hell!!

This bend fits into a second piece of brass tubing that was inserted into the flutes of the aileron.

The section of torque rod inside of the wing is supported on both ends by a 25mm section of plastic tube inserted into the flute to take up the slop. In the end I was extremely satisfied as the whole setup resulted in ZERO slop on the ailerons.

The two servo slots in the servo tray and the plan’s lack of indicating the rudder position had me puzzled once more. After speaking to my “consulting engineer” on the project, Gert Nieuwoudt :), I decided to not add a rudder on the model as it would only complicate matters of where to route and exit the push rod for the rudder, possibly weakening the fin and as Gert pointed out the model has a very short tail so the rudder would probably not have been as effective as I would have liked. Only after our conversation it dawned on me again that as this model was originally designed as a power combat plane the second servo position in the tray was for the throttle…… DOH!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Corro Mig – Part 5

Although I didn’t get as far as I had hoped I would over the weekend, the Mig has progressed quite nicely. I’m running out of time though as there are still two other models that need some reconstructive surgery before the weekend…. And the trusty old Zagi is still naked after I had stripped it of its tattered pajamas.


Putting the tailfeathers together is straight forward and the only deviation from the plans was to add the balsa triangle stock to keep everything square and give the glue more surface area to take on

The formers have been glued in here and the fuselage sides pulled in. Masking tape holds everything in place while the contact glue takes time to take hold. I still found the ends of the correx was lifting afterwards and tacked them in place with cyano.


The original plans are for a gas model and had this cut-out up front to allow for engine installation. I blindly traced and cut the template and only afterwards realised that it isn’t required. So I decided to utilize it as the battery bay and made a little cover for it. Makes for a convenient location for lead should I need to add any to adjust the CG

Here the spar has been glued to the bottom of the wing. The leading edge fold needs to be creased only (not cut) and when the wife wasn’t looking I nicked her rotary pizza cutter for the job… Smile

Worked a charm!


And who can resist the mockup when the parts start taking shape?


The servos installed and the tray in position. There is a LOT of space in this fuselage… Next to go in are the push rods, switch harness and receiver.IMG_7831

Friday, November 5, 2010

Corro Mig – Part 4

IMG_7757Part four got underway night before last but about 10 minutes in to my soul cleansing activities our dear Eskom decided that it’s bed time for me F#&$%!!!. Working in the proximity to sharp tools by candle light didn't appeal to me.
I managed to find some 8x3mm spruce (very scarce to find) and a sheet of 6mm AAA grade balsa from Airborne Passion at a princely sum. I must admit that at least it is very good quality wood, not the usual crooked and wavy stuff some hobby shops stock.
The shear webs were made by gluing 35mm strips of cross grain balsa end to end and then cutting the tapered profiles from this strip.
The spruce was glued with polyurethane wood glue and clamped to prevent distortion. Formers F5A & B were then glued in position on F5 as per the instructions.
Next up will be the making of the dihedral braces and I should be ready to start assembly then.

I’m starting to think I may have to sacrifice my flying this weekend just to be sure the project is completed on time. Rather safe than sorry Smile


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Corro Mig – Part 3


More dust! After doing some “on the sly” outline shaping on a bench grinder at work yesterday (yes, I know it’s not the right tool for the job…) all that remained on the formers was to finish the cut-outs. Drilling big access holes first allowed the sanding drum on the dremel to make short work of this task.

Now the dihedral ply braces for the spars remain to be made. Only thing is, I couldn’t find any damn plywood stock, although I’m sure I had some…. The liteply used for the formers won’t be up to the task. Just the right excuse to visit the hobby shop today I guess.

The main spar also calls for a 5mm yardstick to be used, something you don’t find in hardware shops anymore. I also don’t look forward to cutting this from a hard wood so started thinking about other options. Speaking to Paul Carnall he suggested making a spruce capped vertical grained balsa shear web spar, so the shopping list for the hobby shop grows.

The above pic shows the fruit of last night’s labour and the GWS 2BBMG metal gear servos I’ll be using on this project. They’re pretty noisy from what I recall but their ruggedness makes for ideal use in a slope soarer bound to have some rough landings.

Stay tuned for part 4 tomorrowSmile

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Corro Mig – Part 2

I had forgotten what plywood dust smells like! The wife wasn’t too happy when I tackled the making of the formers on the lounge floor last night while catching up on some of my favourite “crime soapies”. She deflated a little this morning after seeing that I had removed all evidence of my activities last night.

After first having to scratch around for the liteply I knew I had but couldn’t find in the mess I call a workshop, the templates were marked out on the wood and using a pin, the position where all the cut-outs are supposed to go were marked.

I finally figured out how to convince the wife to start buying me the proper tools I need…. It is bad for your wellbeing using improper tools! Losing digits to slipping exacto blades will seriously shorten your model building career….Smile

After much cussing and cramping fingers I called it quits after getting the wood cut into appropriately sized rectangles and decided to quietly slip into the workshop at work today to finish off the final shaping.

Former F1 calls for 3/16” (5mm) ply, I think primarily to be able to bolt a motor/engine to, so I substituted it with liteply as well as this model is meant for the slope. Should be OK…. I hope….

Only a couple of balsa formers remain to be cut and tonight I’ll hack out all the cut-outs in the ply formers.

Note to self: Stop by the hardware shop for some contact adhesive today.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

PSS Corro MIG 7 in the making

GEMS 2010 PSS Fest (inverted)

With the GEMS 2010 PSS Fest just two weeks away and really wanting to have something else to fly apart from the F18, it does not leave one with enough time to take on a huge project to complete.

Scratching around on my computer I came across the plans for a correx Mig 7 (which you can find here) and Gert Nieuwoudt has mentioned that he is taking his along again. According to him it builds in less than a week, so it seemed like a do-able project, even with my slower-than-others building skills. So Friday I printed out the plans and with Maizey’s Plastics in Edenvale conveniently close, collected a sheet each of 2mm and 3mm white correx. I really wanted it in yellow as I had a yellow and blue scheme in mind but the 2mm they only do in white Sad smile.

Quite incidentally, while speaking to Emma, the sales lady there, I learned that Maizey’s intend to discontinue the straight fluted correx in favour of the s-waved version. The reason being that the latter version is stronger in both axis which is better for the bulk of their customers that use it for advertising boards and the like.
This is a real pity, as it is exactly the straight fluted version that we need, especially when utilising the flute as a hinge line. Apparently the s-wave stuff is also realy horrible to work with…. Emma couldn’t say how much longer they would have the straight flute stock around so if you have any correx projects in mind in the foreseeable future you had better go stock up on some correx.

Yesterday I cut & stuck the tiled templates together and marked it out on the corex. Today I got around to cutting out the various parts and this is the fruits of my labour:

Next step is to mark and cut out all the 3mm plywood formers. Time to get dusty Smile

Friday, October 29, 2010


It is a little old news for some but we have a new logo. After kicking around some ideas (and there weren’t many to start with….Smile with tongue out) we decided on the one on the right

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

HTL#6 – Relaxed Competitive Flying

The title of this post may sound like a bit of a contradiction in itself but last weekend 23 pilots competing in the 6th Highveld Thermal League proved that not only is it possible but it is a welcome change to the usual frenetic pace of the man-on-man events. This event was, for the first time, run on postals style rules with no matrixing, man-on-man slots or normalising of scores.

With a working window of 7 hours from 8:30am to 3:30pm and six flights to do in the session, you could arrive when you liked and finish when you chose. For those that didn’t want to or couldn’t spend the whole of the day at the field, this was ideal. It made for some very relaxed flying as you could arrive at the field when you liked, quickly fly your six flights and leave or spend the whole day and complete your flights at your own pace. Although quite leisurely it also doesn’t allow you any mistakes, apart from the one throw-away allowed, as there is no normalizing of scores.

The final scores showed just how good the conditions were and/or how well the pilots picked their launch windows. Out of a possible 3500 points Alan nabbed first place with Paul just 1 point behind. The top five spots were separated by a mere 7 points!!!

The weather looked dubious at first. With low clouds, it looked like it could start pouring any minute, but by mid morning it was clearing up, making the thermals easier to find. Post event feedback indicates that the format of the competition was well received and enjoyed. We’ll definitely be doing this again next year.

If I may be permitted to blow the GEMS bugle a little…SmileIt is now just short of a year since our club’s inception and although we fared pretty well under the old ETB banner, I think we can all be proud of the performance and achievements of our club and it’s pilots. With the entire competitive core of pilots from the old ETB club, it is no wonder that our newly founded club has wrapped up first place in the club results of this year’s Highveld Thermal League after the 5th round at SGC already. THREE CHEERS TO GEMS!!!

IMG_7640Wolfgang: “ You gotta go that way Peter!”

IMG_7643Volney studiously tinkering with his AVA

Johan looking on as Gordon is about to launch his 2m

Ole Piet looking either tired or dejected… you decide

Nigel in the javelin position with his XPro

Xplorer at the ready, Paul contemplates the conditions




Ever present and dependable Martie preparing to feed the hungry pilots

Getting to grips with his own design home built Tulani (or is that the Emoyeni?), Piet confided in me it was only his lack of regular practise that prevented him from kicking everyone’s butt on the day….. Smile

Baby Nicole: “I’m so sorry for you uncle Evan…. Don’t be too hard on yourself, you’ll do better on the next flight”

“Hey uncle Evan! I’m cheering for you!”

Nigel doing his best impersonation of a winch chute while Wolfie looks on perplexed

Not everyone comes for the flying. Martie taking a welcome break after having fed the masses.





And to cap the the day, Gavin Lundie treated us to a flypast with his Tailor Craft. Lots of waving and shouting from those wishing for a flip, couldn’t persuade Gavin to land on the field……Sad smile

Maybe next time…