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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...

AC 107-2 – Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS)

Photo Credit: FAA         Source: FAA The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is amending its regulations to adopt specific rules for the operation of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) through a final rule. These changes address the classification of sUAS, certification of sUAS remote pilots, and sUAS operational limitations. This advisory circular (AC) provides guidance for conducting sUAS operations in the NAS in accordance with Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 107. Summary as of May 2016, see above link for current details signed June AC 107-2 (PDF, 404 KB): Category Proposed Provisions Aircraft Requirements The sUAS must be registered with the FAA prior to flight. Aircraft markings are required. FAA airworthiness certification not required. However, the Remote Pilot in Command (Remote PIC) must maintain small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) in a condition for safe operation and prior to flight must inspect the UAS to ensure that it is in a condition for safe operation. 14 CFR part 107 does not apply to model aircraft that satisfy all of the criteria specified in Public Law 112–95 section 336. 14 CFR part 107 codifies the FAA’s enforcement authority in part 101 by prohibiting model aircraft operators from endangering the safety of the National Airspace System (NAS). Remote Pilot in Command (Remote PIC) Certification and Responsibilities Remote PICs are required to: • Be at least 16 years old • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language (FAA may make exceptions for medical reasons) • Be in a physical and mental condition that would not...

FAA Announces Final Small UAS Rule

Photo Credit: FAA These Special Rules for Model Aircraft helps to maintain our exemptions for model aircraft. For more on the FAA’s final small UAS rule, we encourage you to read this USA Today story, “FAA completes landmark rules for commercial drones,” which includes a mention of AMA’s analysis of UAS sightings released earlier this month....

Please read the recent Washington Post article: Why America’s drone problem may not be as bad as everyone thinks https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/why-americas-drone-proble…/ Why America’s drone problem may not be as bad as everyone thinks A new report finds that drone pilots appear to be flying more carefully....

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