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Member postings for Gordon Whitehead 1

Here is a list of all the postings Gordon Whitehead 1 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: The thread for your subscriber questions and queries **please do not start a new thread**
08/09/2016 19:25:01

Hi All

I've been trying to open the October RCME digital edition, but the magazine viewer comes up black all over with no indication that its loading. Earlier digital editions come up on screen correctly.

I've emailed subscriptions to advise them of the problem, but am wondering if anyone else has been similarly affected.

Kind regards


Thread: Slingsby firefly
03/08/2016 17:25:25

That sounds like the model designed by one of the Gordon Whiteheads. I'm the GW that didn't do that one, but if it's a very old plan, Traplet sent it out with the CG marked in the wrong place.

Traplet used to forward letters of complaint to me from people who tried to fly it with the wrong balance point, despite the fact it wasn't my design. Eventually and after much cajoling from me via letter and phone, Traplet contacted the other GW and got the balance point corrected on the drawing - or at least they told me they had. Regrettably that was very many years ago and I was never informed where the balance point should be anyway. So if it's been built from a recent plan the CG should be OK. But I can't guarantee that. I'd be surprised if anyone at Traplet even remembers the saga, but it's etched on my mind all right!

Hopefully, either the "other" GW or someone who's flown the Traplet plan model successfully will be able to reply and be more helpful than I can.

Kind regards

Gordon Whitehead (not the Firefly designer)

Thread: June RCME
20/05/2016 08:01:47

Hi All

Nicola at Customer Services sent me a nice email to say that the digital only edition is now up and running. I've had a look and so it is.

I thank Nicola for her helpful and polite assistance, and the Online Support Team for their quick remedial action.


13/05/2016 22:36:37

The first line of the Subscriber Area on here is:

Subscribers Extra

As a Digital or Print + Digital Subscriber you have exclusive access to our online archive of back issues.

So the digital only issue appears to still exist.


13/05/2016 22:31:57

Hi Guys,

Hopefully we'll find out what's gone wrong quite soon:

Thanks for your email, a member of our Customer Services team will respond to you as soon as possible.

Our opening hours are Monday-Friday 8.00am-9.30pm, Saturday 8.00am-4.00pm.

It's unimportant to me whether the online issue comes before the paper one or vice versa, but the read-online arrangement I've had until now has been convenient and I don't want to have to clog up my laptop with more downloads.


13/05/2016 20:50:49

Hi Geoff

It looks that way, but evidently isn't so in all parts of the EU. The digi edition is supposed to lead the paper one anyway.


13/05/2016 20:47:35

Thanks Pete

An email is on its way to customer services. Just another irritant in a month replete with 'em smiley

Kind regards


Edited By Gordon Whitehead 1 on 13/05/2016 20:48:11

13/05/2016 20:10:42

Why is the paper edition sitting on the shelf in my local WH Smith, whilst the digital edition is unavailable?

Kind regards


Thread: New Laser engines. What do you want?
23/01/2016 20:12:33

Apparently one cyinder can starve the other of juice, causing the latter to cut.


Thread: Album of Laser Engine Dimensioned Photographs
23/01/2016 20:00:42

On his "What do you want" thread, several people have been asking Jon at Laser Engines for installation diagrams of the engines. The old Laser website has photographs which include the principal dimensions of the engines, and quite some time ago I downloaded these to my laptop for ease of reference when designing my last plane.

With Jon's blessing, I've uploaded all the pics into the following album:

The album's title is Laser Engine Dimensions and the photos are copies of Laser's originals, with the addition of some imperial values because I'm an oldie. The engine title is at the top left corner of each pic. The 80 comes first, followed by its 160v twin, then the 100 and 200v, and so on.

A right click and "save image" as on a pic will upload it to your computer.

The pictures don't print at full size as I didn't get around to making them so. But if you print out a pic, work out the scale factor to make it full size using a ruler and calculator, and then scale up the pic in your computer's graphics program, you'll be able to lay the resultant printed image on your full size plan to see how the engine wiil fit.

As a CAD user myself for designing my own model plans, I'm under no illusion as to how time-consuming it can be to produce an accurate and detailed drawing. So I'm hoping that this album will tide everyone over until Jon has time to divert his energies from full time engine design, manufacture, testing, sales and repair, answering email requests, procurement of raw materials, plus all the other primary tasks of a busy engineering business, to producing definitive Laser Engine drawings.




Edited By Gordon Whitehead 1 on 23/01/2016 20:05:16

Edited By Gordon Whitehead 1 on 23/01/2016 20:06:15

Thread: New Laser engines. What do you want?
03/01/2016 13:58:17

Hi Percy

The example I showed above is just the basic logo on the Laser engines website. By coincidence I was also thinking that it'd be nice if there was a Union Jack in there somewhere. Your suggestion sounds perfect yes


30/12/2015 18:52:23

All these super technical ideas are great, but something that's missing from the Laser line-up at present, Jon, is a set of Laser logo decals in various sizes to stick on my planes, Tx carry case , model box etc.


laser logo.jpg

Happy New Year to all at Laser Engines!


Thread: Tiger Moth C of G
03/12/2015 18:29:16

Hi Guys

I remember that the late great Peter Russell once wrote in his RCME S&L column that the CG on a full size Tiger Moth is at the position of the front cockpit compass. That might well be within the range mentioned above by Gary.


Edited By Gordon Whitehead 1 on 03/12/2015 18:29:48

Thread: New Laser engines. What do you want?
26/11/2015 15:05:57
Posted by kevin b on 24/11/2015 20:36:34:

If he doesn't I will take it out of your way. wink 2

Sorry Kevin - it's coming back home yes


24/11/2015 18:56:35

I think the 240v in this video looks dead cool with its black anodizing.

Apparently this was an experiment and I was lucky that at the time I ordered my 240v, Jon had enough parts lying around to make mine the same. It looks gorgeous inside a radial cowl, and apart from Jon's 240 in the video is probably unique.

I wonder if there's any enthusiasm amongst Laser lovers for this variation to be an option on a new engine (at extra cost as necessary)? Just a thought smiley


Thread: Ashbourne Scale Day
15/10/2015 15:59:46

Hi Guys

Fixed the jet, and took pics of the Tiggie control system. It's sport scale so not an exact replica.

1. Showing link from central aileron servo to aileron pushrod emulating full size setup.

a - rudder bar 01.jpg

2. What's under the hatch. Elevator servo top, aileron servo middle, rudder servo bottom of pic, linked to rudder bar.

a - rudder bar 02.jpg

3. Angled shot showing ail servo and rudder beam mount.

a - rudder bar 03.jpg

4. "L" section plastic fairing over rudder bar end as on real one.

a - rudder bar 04.jpg

5. Rudder cable guide. Nylon-covered fishing trace passes through PTFE tube which is CA'd into bracket, otherwise nylon outer wears off the cable.

a - rudder bar 05.jpg

6. Where all those darned cable go! Best to install the elevator cables before covering so that you can work out where they'll exit through the fabric covering, but just bend ends through ferrules and don't crimp. Then detach cables from elevator end and tuck inside fuz, cover, and then re-attach cables and crimp.

a - rudder bar 06.jpg

7. Cable exits stiffened with G10 "eyelets" to keep them neat.

a - rudder bar 07.jpg

8. Elevator cable guide bracket with PTFE tube protector. The tube is that which comes with Zap CA.

a - rudder bar 08.jpg

9. I thought I'd also show the elevator cable idler bar and 180deg crank operated from elevator servo. The carbon tube and horn are slotted where they intersect, and a small rectangle of tufnol inserted as a key to prevent rotation, before epoxying the joint. Servo pushrod and single-ended crank on right of pic, elevator crank in middle with up and down elevator wires at opposite ends. The crank is installed before covering.

a - rudder bar 09.jpg

Ref the jet, the Hawk's original turbine went for servicing recently, so I'd replaced it with one which had been happily flying in another model. But I but didn't swap over the fuel control solenoid valves from the other model to the Hawk. As the replacement engine was known to be working, and as I thought all solenoid valves would be the same (they look identical), I didn't bother doing a run-up through lack of time. At Ashbourne, I discovered that not all solenoid valves are the same. It transpired that the solenoids in the Hawk were of too low a resistance to work with the replacement engine's Fadec which tried to draw too much current, and declared an "overload" and switched itself off. When I replaced the low-resistance valves with the ones that should have been used, all came right and the jet is ready to fly again with its current engine.

FWIW I measured the resistances of my 3 pairs of solenoid valves. One set was 38 ohms, a second set was 28 ohms, and the "offending" set was 16 ohms. The 16 ohm valves were from a gas-start setup and worked properly with their gas-start ecu. But having upgraded to kero start, the kero Fadecs use higher-resistance solenoid valves. Fortunately, provided I use these low-resistance valves only to work the kero plug, with a low-resistance valve in the main fuel supply line, the Kero Fadec will work OK and save me lots of ££££'s.


Edited By Gordon Whitehead 1 on 15/10/2015 16:09:04

14/10/2015 21:09:18

A big well done and thanks to Chris, Ian and the Ashbourne club for hosting a really enjoyable day’s flying for everyone. This was my first attendance at the event, having only recently moved into the area. A highlight for me was meeting Alex Whittaker, Danny Fenton and Tim Hooper whose writings keep us all well-informed and inspired by their skills and techniques.

Thanks also to Danny and Lindsay for the ace pics of the Jungmeister and Tiggie. The latter is now around 14 years old and on its 3rd motor, 5th battery chemistry (nicad, nimh, saphion, A123 and lipo) and second latex pilot as the original one crumbled. Only the Schulze esc and well-worn airframe are original as the tyre wear and crazed paintwork show, but folks seemed to like its aged appearance, which I’m afraid embarrasses me somewhat as I never seem able to get around to sprucing it up.

Like everyone else the Tiggie, Jungie and I are definitely looking forward to next year’s fly-in with enthusiasm!



Thread: Laser 180 Petrol
06/08/2015 22:11:48
Posted by Donald Fry on 05/08/2015 20:57:50:

Is this the God Whitehead speaking, requesting service from the Titan, Harper, or have a got the wrong bloke.

@ Donald and Percy:

I'm more the old white-haired dog these days I'm afraid smiley I did have a really enjoyable time designing and writing back in the day, and hope you enjoyed my efforts.

@ Artto:

Hi Artto, good to hear from you too. I received both engines back from Morris a couple of months ago but have only today found time to start testing. Rather than go off-topic on Jon's thread I'll report back on my RCMF thread in due course.

Cheers for now,


05/08/2015 20:48:42
Posted by Jon Harper on 26/05/2015 08:47:30:

Hi Matty

The master plan was to have the engine ready in febuary but that went a bit pear shaped for reasons external to the company.

<snip> I would like to see the engine available before the end of the summer.

Hi Jon

Summer ended a couple of months ago wink

Have you any more news on the release of the 180 petrol?

Kind regards, Gordon

Thread: Very happy Laser owner
15/08/2013 12:26:18

I should have added that I replaced the original small fuel nipples with longer ones which support the Cline regs better. The Clines wobbled about on the tiny Laser nipples, and I suspect that air would leak past the joint and cause erratic running. The Cline has to be mounted via the fuel line as close as possible to the carb. Otherwise, bubbles form in the fuel leaving the Cline, and these upset running. Keeping the fuel line to minimal length stops the bubbles from growing big enough to affect running. The Cline regulator is just like the regulator inside a Walbro. With the regulator inside the Walbro, the fuel passage between reg and carb throat is almost zero length, thereby obviating any bubbles forming at all.

i06 laser conv nipples.jpg

The right-angled nipple lets the Clines mount symmetrically

i07 laser conv nipples mounted.jpg

i08 laser conv twin clines.jpg

I also modified the needles for a gentler taper to ease carb tuning. The original needles only permit a very small rotation between too rich and too lean. I drilled through the needle thimbles and fitted home-made needles made from 1.5mm piano wire, secured by the existing grub screw. The pic shows before and after.

i09  Needle taper before and after.jpg


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