Up and Away!

Monthly articles by Richard Camp, which commenced in May 2003.

Richard Camp a member that joined this year after visiting Geoff Stubbs at Oundle to purchase a stock of balsa to produce items for his wife’s hobby of dolls house building. Seeing the models that Geoff always has hanging from the shop ceiling, it stimulated him into “having a go”. Oundle Club already have a full membership, so making enquires he came to us via the Peterborough Model Shop, purchased a Tutor 40 and was, in his own words bitten by the bug. He is being taught to fly by Trevor Holmes who stated that he would not fly the aircraft with the bands supplied, but Bob Huggett came to the rescue with something stronger, and the aircraft was tried and tested. He couldn’t wait to get hands on……….to be continued.


Bringing home my new Irvine Tutor 40and a new M D S 40 which I was reliably informed was the best 40 sized engine that money could buy, I built my model and feeling very pleased with myself made my way the following week to the club A G M to meet the other club members, who made me feel very welcome. I was asked what models I had and had I ever flown before? No I’ve never flown r/c and I had a trainer with the best 40 sized engine that money could buy, an M D S, was that a look of disbelief or pity? Both I think, Bob Huggett said, in a lowered tone, he’s got an M D S, Brian Hennis said you mean a metal door stop. Other members walked round the hall wringing their hands, had I said something wrong to cause this reaction? After a few minutes everything was back to normal and somebody put a beer into my hand saying just kidding and it would be all right. On Sunday I decided to run in the M D S and did this by the book. The engine started instantly with the Enya #3 glow plug and 5%Technics expert mix fuel, but would not run at full throttle, I tried all week to get the thing to run properly but without success. 6 lts of fuel later Bob Huggett offered to help sort out the engine, so out of the model it came for Bob to have a look at and in went a Irvine 40 a great motor as it turned out. Again I run in the engine in the model on the garden lawn, a big mistake I was to find out later. Over the next few weeks Bob tried everything he knew to sort out the M D S but still it would not run properly, on the point of giving up I was told that if I shortened the silencer by taking out the chrome centre ring and fit a #5 glow plug the engine should run fine, as the extra long silencer stops the motor from scavenging what ever that means. Bob carried out the mods., and now the engine runs like a dream, but only on the bench as yet. Lessons learned so far. (1) Always take an expert with you to the model shop when buying your first engine and model. (Two) Never ever run your engine on the lawn as my grass now looks like a green and brown patch work quilt where the hot exhaust seems to burn the grass. There seems to be no known cure for this, and my wife was not impressed and forbade me to run model engines within 1 mile from the house. Next time… Up and away.

Part 3 Up And Away

Standing in the pit area with the Tutor 40 ready to go, or so I thought, I was introduced to Trevor Holmes who would be my instructor, “Instructor? why would I need an instructor, it’s only a model after all, anyone can fly one of these things, or so the man in the shop had said, just start it up and it will fly itself.”
“Right” said Trevor, “lets give it the once over.” Every part of the plane was checked, servos, radio, engine, everything. With Bob Huggett and Trevor mumbling away to each other about this and that, Bob at last said, “lets put the wings on and check the controls.” With the wings on and looking great in the mid January sun Trevor said, “I’m not flying it with those wing bands.” “But these are the bands supplied in the kit they must be O K.” but no the bands had to be changed. Luckily for me Bob had a set in his flight box witch he kindly gave me (Thanks Bob). The controls were duly checked but the ailerons and rudder were found to be in reverse, It’s a good job I had not tried to fly it by myself for the first time. “OK” said Trevor, “start her up,” please start, I said to myself, tx and rx switched on, glow start on, the engine turned over with the starter, Nothing! all three of us tried to start the thing for about 5 minutes but with no success, “I take it you put fuel in the tank” Bob said. That’s it, no fuel. I had forgotten to put fuel in, I felt myself go red, shall I put some in now I stammered? that might help said Trevor. I felt a right twit. With the fuel in the tank the engine started instantly and a range check was carried out successfully and we were ready to go. Trevor picked up the transmitter, me the plane and we walked to the edge of the patch. Why had Trevor not given me the transmitter? Obviously he had lost faith in me after the fuel thing. I was asked to face the model into the wind which was quite strong that day, the controls were checked again, this time with the engine running. “Ok, lets go” Trevor said and across the grass it went and up in to the freezing winter sky. I’m sure that I could have done that I thought, the model climbed to a safe height and Trevor said he would now trim it for safe flight. It was a great feeling seeing my model fly for the first time. After a few minutes the throttle was eased back and the plane seemed to be flying so slowly that I thought it might fall out of the sky. “Ok what I want you to do now is fly along the top of that hedge over there, do a nice smooth left turn and fly back over the patch, like this”.. and proceeded to fly the circuit. Have you got that? Yes I said, easy I thought. Right you have control as from now, and handed me the tx, as soon as I had control the speed of the model seemed to treble. I was aware of Trevor saying something about doing a nice gentle… that’s as far as he got as for some reason my left turn ended up as a almost upside down right handed spin .The tx disappeared from my fear frozen hands and my model was saved. “What happened?” Trevor said with a grin on his face. I don’t know was the reply. Ok, lets try again. The model was saved about ten times in this first lesson, this was not going to be as easy as I had first thought as for some strange reason I could not seem to turn left and some of my right turns were amazing to say the least. The game of pass the parcel with the tx went on for some time until Trevor said “Ok, I’m going to land now.” and he did a perfect touchdown on the patch. I was asked if I had enjoyed my first lesson, yes I had very much but I but I think it’s going to be a very long time before I fly solo.

Lessons learned

1. Don’t ever try to fly for the first time on your own, you won’t last five minutes
2. Make sure that you have fuel in the tank, it won’t fly without it.

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