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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: New Laser engines. What do you want?
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


14/08/2013 17:30:47

20:1 petrol to oil, which is the same as I use in my two Saito FG-36 petrols. The oil is Horizon Hobby's Evolution EVOX1001Q oil recommended for Saitos, but when my next bottle of that runs out, I'll start using Castrol Power 1 Racing 2T fully synthetic 2-stroke motor bike oil, which is what I'm using in my Wren 44 Gold, and which is more readily available, at Halfords for instance.

14/08/2013 17:08:01

I have a 240v which I've run on petrol, and a 300v for which I've just made the ignition sensor and magnet adaptors to try that one on petrol too.

Here's a video of the 240v in action:


Initially I simply added twin Rcxel ignitions and got the 240v tuned in. I mounted it in a model, but found that when I raised the model's nose the engine just quit. Richening the mixture merely had the engine running rich, and didn't cure the cutting. After much experimentation I ended up with a Cline regulator on each carb, both being fed from one Perry pulse pump working from crankcase pulses. The carbs work well with petrol as can be seen in the video. Revs on an 18x8 APC wide are about 7800 on petrol, and 8300 on glow, so there is a power drop on petrol compared to glow. But boy, does the engine run clean!

On the couple of occasions I've spoken on the phone with Jon at Laser regarding both of my petrol conversions, I'm afraid that he sounded less than enthusiastic about providing petrol-powered Lasers. He did say that he'd run a 150 on petrol and that it ran well, but wouldn't tell me which carb he used, though I believe it was a Walbro.

For a twin, it'd be nice to have only one carb to adjust. One chap on another forum said that he was going to fix up a 300v with the Walbro carb and induction assembly from a Saito FG-57T, which sounded a good idea.

Here are some pics of my petrolised 240v:

i02 ribbed bearing housing.jpg

i04 neat installation.jpg

i08 laser conv twin clines.jpg

Thread: Saito FG-36 four-stroke petrol engine
14/08/2013 16:43:31

I hope that your Saito runs well when you get it going. If not, some of the following might help.

I bought both of my FG-36s secondhand, one NIB, the other used. The chap who sold me the NIB one gave me a list of hints:

Before running the engine, put plenty of oil in each rocker box, and replenish every so often until fully run-in. Otherwise the valves can stick before they’re run-in. I remember that this advice was given by Laser for their engines when I operated them back in the 1990’s, so that didn’t seem an unusual or excessive requirement to me.

The old manual recommends 30:1 petrol-to-oil after running-in on 20:1, but don’t make the change, and carry on using 20:1 ratio for all flying as the lubrication is needed. The engine is so economical the oil bill is affordable.

Use only a 4-cell nicad, or 5v regulated supply as a 5-cell risks burning out the ignition.

The carb is dead easy to prime. You fully close the throttle barrel, and then pull the barrel out sideways and flip the prop over a few times to suck-in. The way I do this is to attach a small tie-wrap to the throttle arm and have the end poking out of the cowl. Pull on the tie-wrap to pull the barrel out for priming

Run a new engine in for an hour on the bench. To do this, leave the low end needle on default but richen the top end so it will only run 4000rpm max for a couple of tanks. Then over the next 2 or 3 tanks lean the top end out until it holds full throttle without fading or missing.

Once you've achieved this you can alter the low end needle (normally by leaning) to achieve good idle, mid-range and transition.

The transition from low to high throttle should be progressive and, you should avoid slamming the throttle open - This tends to cause the motor to suck in too much fuel too quickly and can choke the engine a bit causing it to stutter. It’s worth slowing the throttle servo speed somewhat.

Use the supplied alloy mount in the model, as it acts as a heat-sink.

These engines need to be mounted firmly and not on rubber mounts. If the engine wobbles too much it upsets the carburetion - it's a pumped and regulated diaphragm carb and too much wobbling will upset the regulator. Make sure your test mount is nice and stiff.

I followed that advice and the engine has run well for the past couple of years.

The secondhand engine hadn't had much use and also tuned up nicely. Eventually both engines began to run a little rough, so naturally I began to re-adjust the carbs. WRONG! If the engine was running well the last time out, but then misbehaves on the next occasion, the first thing you should do is to clean the plug, and leave the carb alone!

Both of my engines are mounted inverted in the models, so residual oil can pool inside the plug if the model is stored the right way up. I found this out one day when I removed a spark plug with the model on its wheels. I suspect that this can lead to early carbon build-up on the plug. I now store the Jungmeister inverted, but as the Ultimate hangs the right way up from the garage roof, I rotate the prop so that at least one of the valves is open, in the hope that any residual oil will drain out rather than fouling the plug.

It's important to know that both needles interact with each other, eg adjusting the low end needle will affect the top end. It's worth noting that the needle settings quoted in the FG-36 manual are a good starting point (high end needle 2.1/4 turns open, low end 4.1/4 turns open).

Edited By Gordon Whitehead 1 on 14/08/2013 16:44:51

14/08/2013 14:49:20

I'm running mine on an APC 18x8 wide blade which it turns at around 7700rpm on the ground. This figure is nowhere near that claimed by Saito. The standard narrow-blade APC turns rather faster.

That being said, I have two FG-36s, both perform very well, and I like them a lot. One is in a 17lb o/d 27.5% Jungmeister and the other powers a Great Planes Ultimate 160, which weighs about 15lb. Both planes perform the full range of conventional aerobatics with plenty of power, but no 3-D at those weights (and I can't 3-D anyway).

Have you got one?

Thread: The Biplane Thread
07/08/2013 14:51:48
Posted by Concorde Speedbird on 06/08/2013 14:29:23:

That is brilliant, what a superb model.



Thanks! That’s what I thought when she first stood on her wheels in the garden, and for the first 20 flights or so. Then my inexperience with big model operation hit me big time! I’d purposely built the model STRONG to absorb the Saito’s vibration, but had not reckoned on the bracing wires and elevator pushrods resonating!

On about the 20th landing I noticed that the wires were vibrating horribly at engine tick-over, and examination of the clevises I’d used revealed significant wear on the pins, whilst the holes in the brass securing lugs had all ovalled. These clevises came from the Flair 1/4 scale Tiger Moth flat wire bracing kit, and I’m left wondering how guys flying that model combat clevis wear.



I drilled out the lugs and modified the clevises into screw-up clamps to stop them vibrating.



That worked, but then the rotten wet weather made the piano wire bracing rust! So I decided to use the Flair flat wire and ferrules, along with home-made fork ends based on the Dubro rod ends.



These work well, but then the brass tubing cabane struts began to crack with the vibration.


So I replaced the cabanes with stainless steel ones, and at the same time replaced all the brass sheet bracing lugs with stainless steel sheet ones. I chose stainless as it’s rustproof.


Meanwhile, vibration of the carbon tube elevator pushrods caused the Robart horns to wear, despite the pushrods being well supported in their middle.



To cure this problem I glued the pushrods firmly to the fuz structure, lined them with nylon Bowden cable outer, and made new pushrods from piano wire.



The final anti-resonance measure I took was to make up interplane bracing anti-vibe rods in semi-scale fashion.


Combatting the vibration and resonance has been a long haul, not helped by the past two years’ wet weather preventing flight testing. But at last the Jungie is fully vibe-proofed.

Whilst struggling with the problem, I bought a Great Planes Ultimate 160 ARTF to see how that model coped with Saito 36FG vibration. The answer is that the Ulti barely registers any vibration, suggeting that the Saito doesn’t vibrate much at all! The Ultimate has no bracing wires, and the elevator servos are only about 6in from their surfaces. So there’s no resonance, and clearly it was resonance along with my choice of the wrong materials for wires and pushrods that was cause of my probs with the Jungie.

I’m pleased to be able to say that I’m now back to agreeing with your comment about the plane!

Kind regards


07/08/2013 14:36:38
Posted by mal brewer on 06/08/2013 15:03:25:

Hello Gordon,

I don't know if you remember,but many years ago,when you wrote a scale column in,I think, Radio Modeller,I sent you a picture of my Krier Kraft,built to 1/4 scale,based on the Don Stothers plan.You sent me a very interesting letter by return,explaining your model and its data.All this was pre-computer days,to give some idea,probably early '80's?Any way,there are a couple of pictures of this model on an earlier date in this thread(page 5).I have almost completed another Krier Kraft to 1/4 scale,based on your plan,so hopefully it will be a little more to scale than the earlier model.Incidentally,ther are also a couple of pictures of this model somewhere on this thread(page 8).It is now covered,and awaiting paint.Hopefully,it will be ready soon,as I am now working on this model once again,after a bit of distraction with other models and classic cars.....................regards,Mal.

Edited By mal brewer on 06/08/2013 15:09:01

Hello Mal.

It's great to hear from you again. I read all the posts on this thread before posting my pics, and I did read your post about your lovely new Krier back there. Also, now you mention it I do remember you sending me a pic and description of your earlier model for the column, thanks. I looked back and found your details in the July 1991 column. I chuckled when I read that you were then in the Cheshire Falcons club, as we’re trying to sell our house to move to Cheshire to be close to our daughter who lives there. We’re looking in Sandbach, so we may bump into each other eventually if you still live in the Wirral area. Glad to see that you’re still a Krier Kraft fan. I bent mine badly when I tried to fly it with the ailerons reversed because the pre-computer Tx was set up for a different model. Thank goodness for Spektrum’s “Model Match” these days!

Best regards


06/08/2013 14:29:02

And here are a couple of oldies which I made years ago.  I'm still a great fan of Harold Krier's planes smile d and there used to be a decent amount of info on the web about him, but it's all gone.


The 55in span Krier Kraft N5400E had a ST .90 for power. It only weighed about 7lb so was well over-powered, and was the first plane I had that would do a knife-edge loop.

The 47in span Krier Great Lakes had an Enya .46 4-stroke for power and was also a lovely little flier.

Both are now long gone, and I'm thinking of making one or both again, at 55in or so span, for 6S electric power.

Edited By Gordon Whitehead 1 on 06/08/2013 14:31:50

06/08/2013 14:24:22

Some pics of my most recent bipe. It's my second Jungmeister, and this one is about 2 years old. It's built to a scale of 27.5%, making it 71.5in span and construction is all wood, including the balsa cowl. It weighs in at around 17lb, and power is a Saito 36FG petrol turning an 18x8 APC-W. It flies and aerobats very realistically.jungie 1.jpg

It looks and sounds great in the air.

jungie 2.jpg

The Saito is quite well hidden inside the cowl.

jungie 3.jpg

The wire bracing is functional and the wings detach as pairs. The u/c is sprung in scale fashion. Covering is polyester Solarfilm trimmed with Solartrim, and the cowl is painted with white and yellow Solarlac, the red stripes being Solartrim again.

Thread: Can not access Subscriber Only content
06/08/2013 13:37:38

Thanks David.

I'm just awaiting my avatar pic to show up now wink


06/08/2013 11:08:34

Hi Pete

I must have made a typo (one of my many frequent ones I'm afraid) and failed to check the message properly as the 10-digit number in my post above is the one in my details. The archive is working properly now despite supposedly being down for hardware update!

I'm new to this forum and am having some difficulty navigating round it at present (but I'll get better at it), so I apologise for not seeing your reply mentioned above.

All seems to be working at present, however, and I can now catch up with finishing reading the last two issues!

Thanks to all who have fixed the problem and i hope the hardware maintenance goes smoothly smiley

BTW, when I signed up for the £19.99 offer I think I remember seeing that the price would rise the following year. Quite honestly I'd rather have the software version as modern paper mags are huge and have to be thrown away within a year to free up space. I've just given away about 30 years of scale mags which were rarely being researched, and were simply cluttering up bookcases. So I've given away much valuable info. However, with access to a free software archive, back number info will always be available.

i note that ADH digital back numbers are charged for, so a big thumbs up for RCME!


06/08/2013 08:12:31

Funny. I just clicked on the "Magazines" button at the top of the page Martin linked to and it worked. There's this message:

" Service Update: We apologise, but the Digital Issues system will be unavailable for several hours during 8/9th August due to essential hardware maintenance work.

Please choose a title: "

It looks as if some progress is about to be made!


05/08/2013 22:31:59

Well the whole thing looks as if its not being managed very well. Click on the Digital Editions pic at top right of this page. There's an immediate self-contradiction on the top left of the resulting page.

Under the "Subscribers Extra" heading, it says that if you'r a digital or print +digital subscriber, then you have exclusive access to the online archive of back-issues.

Below that, under the "Online Archive" heading, it says that the online archive of RCME is available exclusively to print and print+digital subscribers.

Both can't be correct.


05/08/2013 22:11:04

I'm a digital subscriber, my subscriber number is a 10-digit one, and my subscription doesn't expire until 30/11/2013. I haven't been able to access the RCME digital archive content for two months and raised the problem in another thread earlier this evening.

It seems to me that the confusion has been caused by the initiation of the Pocketmags option. Who provides the digital issues now? RCME or Pocketmags? I tried using my RCME subs details on the pocketmags website and got nowhere - as I expected. I received an email asking me for my original invoice. What invoice?

I'm relieved to find that others are having the same problem as me. If enough complain, maybe something will get done about it.


Thread: How do digital subscribers access the RCME digital archive?
05/08/2013 19:44:54

Further to my previous email, I've just read the last email from Mytimemedia which announced digital apps. I hadn't paid much attention to it as I don't have an iphone and don't want to read mags on my mobile anyway. However, buried in there was a reference to downloading digital editions from Pocketmags onto a PC.

Hooray, I thought. So I registered with Pocketmags, entered my subscription number, clicked the Activate Subscription button ..... and received a bright red message telling me that my subscription is not active.

I've been trying for a couple of hours to sort this out and am giving up as I want to do something productive instead.

So now it's over to you guys to sort this out for me, please.

I look forward to someone telling me that my subscription, which expires in November, is not only active, but provides info on how to access the archive.

Kind regards


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