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Member postings for Mark Powell 2

Here is a list of all the postings Mark Powell 2 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Becoming a qualified commercial pilot.
01/09/2012 20:12:54

You usually have to go, young, to an airline. (I assume you mean an Air Transport licence, not ferrying Jockeys around in a light twin). They like to do their own instruction, or though the large commercial schools under contract, with 'fresh' people.

You CAN get an ATPL yoursef. Cost at least £100,000. But your chances of getting an airline job with it are low. Keeping it 'current' with no such job is difficult.

Thread: Going old school
01/09/2012 20:00:14

fly boy3

Modern versus old. I have thought about this too. But looking at the KK Falcon thread, 90 inches or so span, flies fine on a four stroke 50 or less. Others are similar. Today a lot are designed for build simplicity, by ourselves or the 'Asians'.Straight wings, square tips, etc. And a lot of sheet construction which makes them heavy, and no stronger. Few can be bothered to build up a tailplane. Quick results versus performance. Even the relatively crude and 'budget' late 1940's KK Junior 60 is a revelation.

And a typical modern 'real' light aircraft has an inferior performance to a WW1 SE5. And it is not due to 2 or 4 people rather than one. But that is another issue.

Thread: What's your favourite?
01/09/2012 15:56:33

These WW2 warbirds are funny. I've got a Topflite Spitfire. Very curvy and 'pretty'. Then you put the two big cannons on the wing. Its whole demeanour changes. Aggressive and threatening, not pretty at all. My wife doesn't like it. (She is having counselling.)

Thread: . . . anti social nature of ic activity . . . ?
01/09/2012 15:46:32

Ducati. Yes. 916 was the best bike I every had. Currently a friend is trying to sell me his 8 month old, 7000 mile V8 Maserati. 'Cheap'. His wife wants a bigger house. Makes a lovely noise, its not electric.

Thread: Help! 4 stroke equivalent question
01/09/2012 15:38:14

For a four stroke I go for 50 percent bigger than a two stroke, as a rough rule of thumb. OS every time, other than below. Though as far as I have have seen, OS 'superiority' is not by much.

The 'CD' RCV engines are good, and cowling is easy, on a Spitfire and the like, as they are not as tall as the rest. Sound a bit rattly at tickover. Don't bother with the 'longitudinal' ones.

Thread: Main Spar Design
01/09/2012 15:22:28

Spruce top and bottom, balsa web, vertically grained. Every time. A notched single spar breaks every rule known, regardless of who designed it. .

If you are fussy (and I have done this just now for the first time), taper the spruce spars from root to tip. Ideally the taper should be 'horizontal' (ie: looked at from above it tapers). Most of the work of a spar is done by the outer surface. Use 3/8 X 1/8 laid flat, tapering to (say) 3/16 x 1/8 at the tip rather than a constant 1/4 square. Less fussy, use constant 3/8 x 1/8.

If you are really nuts, taper it as a 'hollow' parabola, but that is going to extremes.

Even with dihedral, build the spar first, including, if there is one, the flat centre section, as one piece. Then build the wings around it. Better and simpler than joining the spar afterwards. you can use accurate scarfe joints easily, for a start. Don't let the cat jump onto the half of the spar that is initially floating in the air.

Thread: Motor Shaft Removal
01/09/2012 11:04:54

I assume you want to turn it round so that you can attach the prop adaptor to the bell rather than the shaft. Some turnigy motors are supplied with such an adapter. But they won't fit anyway. Some of their motors have only two screwq holes on the bell and curved 'non hole' arms so the adapter wobbles about. Been on another thread.

So check that before you bother at all. If that is what you are doing.

Thread: Blue Light BL-3GRC gyro flight stabilisation
01/09/2012 10:10:20

These things might just help with my projected large 4 EDF B2 Bomber, which in the end, though designed, I probably won't make. Expensive and probably fly like a Zagi anyway, if it flies at all.

For 'regular' planes most of the satisfaction is that it is not particularly easy. Takes skill acquired through practice. True of most interests. Other than my projected B2 you won't see me buying one.

You are allowed to have a different opinion smiley

Thread: Motor Shaft Removal
01/09/2012 09:39:55

Blood, sweat, but no tears. A little heat. Put the motor bell resting on a vice jaws with the shaft facing the gap. Tap with a hammer, A metal one, putting wood blocks as a shock absorber spoils the effect, you can file the burrs off later.

Thread: Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies.
01/09/2012 09:29:54

Failure of the carbon fan on the RB211 bankrupted Rolls Royce. Had to be saved by the Ted Heath government. The subsequent delays designing a metal fan resulted in the market failure of the Tristar. The Douglas DC-10, the most badly designed and dangerous airliner ever, took the market.

Thread: BAe Hawk
01/09/2012 09:24:35

The Schubeler Hawk. Beautiful but rather expensive. Needs a really top 90mm EDF.

Thread: . . . anti social nature of ic activity . . . ?
01/09/2012 09:12:21

Bars, smoking, 'judging each other', move with the times? 'The times' are often inflicted on us by a small minority who think they know what is best for everyone else.

We had been trout fishing. Went to a pub which served food. We talked about our fishing. A coiuple sat at a nearby table said it was cruel. They were eating haddock!

On another thread about a cheap radio. It's illegal!!!, they  cry. Wonder how many of them exceeded the speed limit on their way to the field?

Don't judge. It's a hobby.

Edited By Mark Powell 2 on 01/09/2012 09:16:59

Edited By Mark Powell 2 on 01/09/2012 09:22:09

Thread: Model Finishing Question
01/09/2012 09:03:13

Care with car sprays over 'varnish'. the car spray can attack many varnishes, causing them to 'crackle' and/or lift.

You have used sanding sealer. That is fine, I would follow up with a couple of coats of clear dope, the non-shrinking variey if you can find it, but any clear dope will do. Gently rub down, DRY, not wet, and then the car spray.

Thread: . . . anti social nature of ic activity . . . ?
01/09/2012 00:16:37

Martin's view is similar to mine. I use both for whatever circumstances suit the plane. Just changed my mind on my new Junior 60. Bought the electric BB kit version, but a day later I bought an OS 30 four stroke for it.

Alan mentioned that mowers are the 'norm' Can't argue with that. We accept some noises rather than others. I prefer Bach to Pink Floyd. Lots of these fast pusher electrics make a noise that I don't like. So what?

That is precisely why the 'authorities', for all purposes, not just models, measure the entire human hearing range with a sound meter. The area under the curve, not any particular frequency spikes, is whar is measured. That way it is 'fair' and our personal likes and dislikes, or any 'norms' (what others do) don't come into it. Lots of people don't like the sound of small motorbikes. But they are quieter than most cars, much of which is wind and tyre noise. The 'area under the curve' of these small bikes is less than that of a car. So they are, in fact, quieter. Exactly as our IC planes.

But I don't want us all to turn into smug Toyota Prius owners.

Thread: Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies.
31/08/2012 23:18:40


We have a lot of aircaft history around here. When the Supermarine factory at Southampton was bombed nearly flat early in WW2 the design office was moved to a purpose built building at Hursley Park. IBM, who purchased the site from Vickers in 1959 still use it as a drawing office. CAD now of course, and not aircraft related, though a lot of work on the Apollo missions.

Alliot Verdon Roe lived in the outskirts of Southampton for some time. His house is now a restaurant, The Windhover (local name for a kestrel). No mention of him at all.

Sopwith lived on the Romsey to Stockbridge road. Bowden, whose Bowden cables first use was in WW1 biplanes, lived on the same road. The Fairey family still lives on the Bossington Estate, off this road. Stockbridge to Longparish, where Hawker lived. Another Hawker has a memorial in Longparish church, the first pilot to be killed in WW1 (or so I have been told, not seen it myself).

Hubert Broad, for many years chief test pilot of De Havilland, lived at Southampton, as did the guy (forget his name , Henshaw?) who is well known for his Percival Mew Gull flights.

Facing the Solent, on the Isle of Wight, was Saunders Roe, who built the Princess. The Solent merges with Southampton Water, which is the estuary of the River Test  (and the River Itchen). All the Romsey/Stockbridge/Longstock guys I mentioned are on this river. So am I often, fishing!

The Jetex factory (they also owned Frog) was at Totton, where I live. Between Southampton and Romsey. Furniture works now.

The one-time chairman of Supermarine, who started as an apprentice, initially lodged at my grandparents, who ran a boarding house near the Supermarine works.

The Phaltz biplane used in the film 'The Blue Max' was built at Southampton (Phaltz Flugwerk, Southampton am Itchen) by John Isaacs, well known for the Isaacs Fury. He taught me at tle local Tech.

Edited By Mark Powell 2 on 31/08/2012 23:20:27

Edited By Mark Powell 2 on 31/08/2012 23:27:06

Edited By Mark Powell 2 on 31/08/2012 23:33:58

Thread: What's your favourite?
31/08/2012 22:10:42

In order:

Comet DH88 racer

ME262 The most elegant of jets. Similar configuration to the DH88.

Douglas D-558 Skyrocket

Spitfire  But a bit common.

Hawker Tempest - the inline engine one that looks like a Typhoon

Focke-Wulf 190

Made them all. The Skyrocket was a 'Jetex' Tailored kit.

Edited By Mark Powell 2 on 31/08/2012 22:15:26

Edited By Mark Powell 2 on 31/08/2012 22:18:00

Thread: . . . anti social nature of ic activity . . . ?
31/08/2012 22:01:16

I use both..

'They' can make as much noise as they want. So can you, provided your noise-making equipment is the same as theirs.

My next door neighbour is a petrol-powered garden (and other) machinery fanatic, he has every noisy machine you can think of and some you probably can't.

I started an OS 91 four stroke once. Quieter than any machine he's got. He complained. I didn't say anything.

Now, every time him and his wife try to have a quiet snooze outside I find that the lawn needs mowing with my ancient petrol mower. My model engines need far more 'checking' than they used to.

All the time. A model engine is quieter than a car . Stand by a fast road on a calm day and you will agree, just one car will convince you. Sound level meters agree. Little of it is engine noise, but it is there. But 'we' all make that noise so it is OK.

Our flying site is a mile and a half from the nearest habitation. Several complaints, all from a 'famous' television 'celebrity' who lives two miles away. The people in the nearer houses all say they have never heard anything at all. Nor can the district council. There is a fairly busy road bertween us and the houses.

Thread: Jet! When Britain Ruled the Skies.
31/08/2012 11:05:52


Lancaster assembly? You are older than I thought smiley

We (Follands, Hamble, Hampshire) were definitely a 'tin shed' outfit. The Folland Gnat trainer, used by the Red Arrows. We carted them to Chilbolton, forty miles away, grass field, no hard runway, for testing. Folland designed the SE5. Also we made the Supermarine Scimitar. Chilbolton too. Preliminary ground testing was at Hursley Park, near Winchester, Later IBM, where I worked. The first Supermarine Spiteful (Spitfire successor, wings later used on the Jet 'Attacker', that's why it had a tailwheel undercarriage), was built at a car dealers at Chandlers Ford, also near Hursley.

The first Valiant, made at Weybridge, was carted to a nearby grass field for its first flight too. But all ours Gnats went to the grass field.

Bit of a 'cottage industry', despite its size..

Thread: Cut-off voltage
31/08/2012 10:44:36

A variable cut off has its uses, as Pete B says. Good on powered gliders. (Multiplex are keen on them). You can stay up for ages, even give the occasional spurt of power, after the cutoff has happened once, if you have a 'high' setting. Done it often myself.

Thread: Steve Webb ... slightly miffed!
31/08/2012 10:05:42

Ok, it's Spire Models on the outskirts of Salisbury. Don't use it often, only if I fancy a pint at the 'Cuckoo' on my way back.

40 pence a mile. That's only for the company car brigade claiming these ficticious costs to avoid paying tax. A real car costs much the same except for fuel, whether you use it or not. Don't want a 'lot' of sheet balsa, just the one piece, and I want it today, not next mother's day. Waiting for its glue to dry now. Cant do that if it arrives tomorrow. Thoght I had some, but didn't.

But regarding the LMS, I agree with much of what you say, pimple factory yoofs and all. Impulse buying? For me that is part of the fun. Don't do 'organised',.Been there, done that, for too many years. Good at it too.

My waiting comment is mainly about staying in for it, or get a note though the door that I have to drive twenty miles to some overpriced cowboy delivery firms depot. And they are cowboys, a post here quoting £340 to £2500 for the same boxes to the same place proves that.

Each to their own, but they do have their uses, some of them almost 'essential', and it is 'use them or lose them' as others have said.

Edited By Mark Powell 2 on 31/08/2012 10:07:38

Edited By Mark Powell 2 on 31/08/2012 10:17:55

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