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District IV Represents at FAI World Championships for Space Models

Members from District IV joined space modelers from around the country to represent the USA in the recent FAI World Championships held in Lviv, Ukraine from 8/24- 8/30. The contest consisted of flying multiple space modeling disciplines to determine the best individual and teams in each event. The US team consisted of 39 fliers and supporters, in both the junior (under 18) and senior divisions. Each event category is flown by a team of up to 3 pilots. Each day of the contest has 2 events for the seniors and 2 events for the juniors. The same 8 categories are normally flown: S1- Altitude. Who goes the highest, using an electronic altimeter to score the flights. S3- Parachute duration. Use 2 models to fly 3 times, try and score a 5 minute max. S4- Boost glider duration. A rocket-powered, free-flight glider, 3 minute max. S5- Scale altitude. Model a real rocket, then see who goes the highest, scale score + altitude = place. S6- Streamer duration. Use 2 models to fly 3 times, try and score a 3 minute max. S7- Scale. Build a replica of a real rocket, and make a successful flight. S8- RC rocket glider. Rocket powered thermal seeking gliders. District IV attendees were: Stoil Avramov from MD flying Jr S2P, S3, S4 and S8D Dimitre Avramov from MD as a supporter Jim Filler from MD flying Sr S3 and S5 Kevin Johnson from MD flying Sr S8E John Langford from VA Sr Team Manager Jay Marsh from NC flying Sr S6 Dave O’Bryan from MD flying Sr S4 and S6 Ed Pearson from MD FAI...

Drone rule takes effect Monday, awaited by thousands

Source: Bart Jansen, USA TODAY WASHINGTON – The first comprehensive federal rule governing drones takes effect Monday, when government and industry officials say thousands of pilots of remote-controlled aircraft are eager to start their engines. Earl Lawrence, director of the Federal Aviation Administration’s drone office, said 3,351 people signed up to take a test of aviation knowledge Monday —the first day possible — to certify themselves as drone pilots. Another hint of the pent-up demand is that 20,000 commercial drone operators have already registered to start flying, in anticipation of passing those tests that become available Monday, he said. “That’s a good indication we’re going to have a lot of people and a lot of aircraft operating from day one,” Lawrence told a group of dozens of congressional staffers Wednesday. The rule governing drones weighing up to 55 pounds will largely replace the special permission that FAA granted in recent years to 5,542 applications for commercial uses of drones, such as for aerial photography, utility inspection or crop observation. Special waivers could still be granted. But the rule basically allows pilots who pass the test to fly whenever they want up to 400 feet in the air during daylight hours while keeping the aircraft within sight of the pilot and away from other aircraft. Hobbyists have always been allowed to fly under similar guidelines, but commercial pilots have had to file cumbersome applications for special permission — until now. “Monday is a big day,” Lawrence said. “We’re expecting it to blossom tremendously.” The rule released in June was a long time coming. Congress ordered FAA in 2012 legislation to...

MOVING UP TO GIANTS

Many modelers ask me how I got interested in building and flying large airplanes.  They ask for advice and information on how to go from .40 to .60 size planes using glow engines to giant models using larger gas powered models.  I won’t put this into a step-by-step dissertation, but rather discuss some of the things modelers should consider when contemplating such a move.  Some of this information is nothing more than good old common sense, supported by my own personal experiences and a few tips and tricks thrown in for good measure.  There are usually a number of ways of accomplishing any desired goal, so none of my advice should be considered the one and only way.  I’m merely presenting and sharing what works well for me. First we have to decide what type of large model we want.  This decision is based on several factors.  How much time and money are we willing to invest?  Is our work area, storage area and transportation vehicle large enough?  Do we have sufficient building and flying experience?  A modeler who has successfully built and flown a high wing trainer, a low wing sport plane and maybe a fun-fly plane, will probably have the necessary experience to build and fly an high or low wing sport or semi-scale giant project. You might have notices that I didn’t recommend a high-performance aerobatic model such as a CAP, or Ultimate biplane, or a heavy metal warbird like a P-51 Mustang.  I believe a modeler’s first giant should be similar to his first trainer or sport plane, just bigger and heavier.  Before we can...

Multi-Tasking

There’s a product that I have been using to shine all sorts of metal products around the workshop and the household too.  It’s called Simichrome and it will make just about any metal shine like a star.  I found out about it from a friend that has been using it on his metal parts on his motorcycles for many years and once I bought a tube of it, I was hooked.  These days, it is available from Amazon.com and a tube of it costs about $10.00, and it will last a long time.  I have used it many times on aluminum spinners and mufflers, and if you follow the simple instructions, your spinners and mufflers will look as if was chrome plated. However, that’s not what I came to talk to you about today.  I came here to talk about another use for Simichrome that just about all of you could have used over the years.  I recently had to remove a few scuffs and scratches and CA fingerprints from a clear plastic side window on one of my planes.  Rather than remove it, cut a new one and run the risk of getting more CA fingerprints on the new one, I tried to remove these nasty marks with just about every product I had available.  I first thought of using CA remover, which would certainly take off the CA prints, but would probably melt the plastic.  I tried WD-40, alcohol, paint thinner and even very fine emery paper, none of which worked at all.  Then I spotted that tube of Simichrome sitting on the shelf and decided to...

FAA PUNTS ON THE PREEMPTION ISSUE IN PART 107

Source: Drone Laws Blog  Photo Credit: FAA The FAA’s recent announcement of Part 107, the final rule for commercial small unmanned aircraft systems (SUAS or drones), has justifiably received a lot of publicity and general praise.  There has been little comment on what the rule does, or rather does not do, on the issue of federal preemption of state and local drone regulations. Federal preemption is what’s referred to in political circles as a “third rail” issue. Like the electrified third rail on a subway system, you don’t touch it unless you absolutely have to, and it can shock and hurt whatever or whoever touches it.  For that reason, it was not surprising that the FAA’s 2015 SUAS NPRM did not mention preemption.  Nonetheless, during the rulemaking proceeding the FAA received a number of comments on federal preemption. Most contended that without a preemption provision, state and local governments would continue to attempt to regulate small UAS operations, resulting in potentially conflicting rules and hampering the industry’s development. They argued that conflicting rules lead to confusion and litigation costs, burden commercial and hobbyist UAS users, and delay the adoption of UAS technology. Under the federal Administrative Procedure Act, the FAA had a duty to review the preemption comments and make at least some response showing that it had considered the arguments made by commenters.  Continue reading the preemption issue in Part 107…  ...

TIGHTEN YOUR TAIL

Now, now, let’s not go there.  I’m not talking about working out to reduce flab.  I want to talk a little about adding tail brace wires to your larger models.  These suggestions may also be used on many smaller models. The main purpose of tail brace wires is to provide extra strength between the fuselage, stabilizer and the fin.  Many models I have built have very little contact area between these parts, which often results in too little strength to hold these pieces together.  Full size planes sometimes use lower braces only, or a combination of upper and lower braces to provide the required strength.  Let’s take a look at several ways of building tail braces for your model. Probably the easiest and lightest method of building tail braces is to use braided fishing leader connected to small metal brackets attached to the surfaces.  This wire is available wherever fishing supplies are sold, and while you’re shopping, get a package of ferrules, the correct name of those little crimp-on sleeves used to join the wires permanently. Holes drilled through balsa surfaces need to be reinforced to take the loads, and this should be done before covering, by drilling holes for sections of hardwood dowels or plywood glued in place and sanded smooth.  Drill a hole for a 2-56 or 4-40 bolt to pass through, and you’re ready to add the braces.  If your model is already covered in these areas, simply drill a hole for a piece of hard brass tubing through which you will later pass the bolt.  This way, tightening the bolt and nut won’t crush or...

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