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Member postings for Guy Pickett-Jones

Here is a list of all the postings Guy Pickett-Jones has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Balsa bashing
29/07/2016 23:06:05

Hi Richard,

Many thanks for the comments - Think Brian is being a bit optimistic!!! I think 2018 might be a bit more realistic for the first of the batch surprise But as I'm sure we all do things will often take longer than planned....

Final balance of CoG now done - had to add 90g - 100g up front so overall weight is at about 3.2kg

Guess the next thing to do is fly it!!!

Thanks also to everyone else for the encouragement - hope folk have enjoyed the build threads overall!


28/07/2016 23:00:31

Well 99.9% done!!! A few quick photo's before the Sun went down!

Engine install finished today so basically all done just some final tweaking before a test flight!

Need to finalise the CofG - might need a bit of weight up front.

As it stands though currently weighing in at 3.1kg

More detailed 'review' will follow


finished yak 1.jpg

finished yak 3.jpg

finished yak 2.jpg

26/07/2016 09:26:31

Let there be light!

Not great photos but hopefully good enough to see that the lights are now installed and working. Going back to very early post on this thread although there were many variations of the Yak, the Yak 3 that I have gone with did only appear to have the three navigation light as I have installed.

lights 1.jpg

lights 2.jpg

So yesterdays work was making the lighting harness & installing the lights, connecting the rudder and elevator control surfaces and fixing in place the battery packs. 4 cell NiCad pack for the receiver and one 620mAh 3S lipo for the Lights. Then installing the receiver and starting to connect everything up.

Next two main stages - Install the servos in the wings, reinstall the flaps & landing gear and connect up all control surfaces.

Second is to do the final installation of the Engine.


25/07/2016 13:38:04

Having set myself a target of having it done for our Clubs Gala on the 17th July I can confirm that this wasn’t achieved L but I had made significant progress and hopefully not too far off now J

Well the below photo is of the Yak with the Brown Paper covering finished. Once done, and due to various factors including going to B&Q, Screwfix and Tool Station in one evening I finally got some sanding sealer and used this to seal the brown paper covering – again a light coat and all went fine.


Due to rushing to meet said deadline I didn’t take photos progressing the painting, which became quite stressful at times including a compressor break down and different shades of paint which were supposedly the same…. The difference between Aerosol and Tin I guess…….. Anyway lessons learnt and the end result is below!


All major parts are now painted and the whole plane has had a coating of fuel proofing. Overall I’m quite pleased with the results knowing that some parts were rushed so could have been better. The only bit that didn’t quite work was the group of 15 Red stars – these had been printed on clear water transfer / sticker paper. I’d hoped the fuel proofer would have blended the surrounding clear part of the sticker into the final finish but unfortunately you can still see the rectangular edges of the sticker. The other larger stars were printed on to similar water transfer paper but white hence being able to get the white outline.

The number 12 and front art work were hand painted with the aid of masking. With some free hand painting of the sword.

It is now a case of final assembly.

13/07/2016 13:36:11

Well since around Friday / Saturday if I haven’t been at work or sleeping I have been working on the YAK.

So a quick update on progress to date.

Filler was applied around the servo boxes and on the flaps to level out to the wing surfaces. The fairings were also glued in place. Time wise I haven’t gone for the more scale approach at the front of the fairing like Brian had but am quite happy with how mine have turned out.


The whole wing was sanded to shape and the fairing at the rear of the wing on the fuselage side built up to give a nice blended look to the fairings.


As I had left the ailerons attached I predrill the holes for the hinges and to aid this made up a small jig to ensure (theoretically) the holes would be at the right angle and position, I did a couple of trial pieces and the plan seems to work! The jig itself was made from some carbon tube (ID of 3mm) sandwiched between to pieces of balsa at a 45degree angle. With ‘lining up’ marks on the outside it held the drill at the correct angle and position – this is for the Robart pin type hinge.




Once the holes were drilled into the main wing and aileron, the aileron was then cut free from the wing itself. Again no photo currently but the ailerons then had balsa caps added at each end, and an angle cut on the leading edge to allow for downward movement.

I made some formers for the canopy just to push it out slightly wider to get good fit onto the fuselage.


Then hard points to screw the canopy to were glued in place – waiting to be sanded down.


Brown Paper Covering! Well as indicated in previous posts this was new to me and have to say having given it a go I’m very pleased with the results so far following Richard’s advice. Below is the fuselage already for a postage stamp!


The wing has now also been covered and the next stage is the light doping before moving on to the painting itself.

13/07/2016 08:58:20
Thanks Richard, I was sat outside Halfords last night just about to get some primer a d just did a check that was what you had used a d realised I'd 'missed' the dope stage!!! Just in time though!!
12/07/2016 17:33:16
Hi Richard, once covered in the brown paper is the coat of dope needed? Wasn't sure reading again if it was the thinning down with thinner that wasn't critical or the whole step? Cheers Guy
Thread: Brushless Swap for a Brushed 540 Motor
21/06/2016 15:23:55

I think I might have to accept that I am gong to have to do some mods to the front!

One other question which was knocking about whilst looking for motors was:

If a motors spec stated suitable for say 3s to 4s lipos, would there be any harm in running it on 2s? I can fully understand that running over the recommend lipos will cause problems but under powering - obviously your not going to get the same rpm etc based on the KV values, but would you be doing any harm?

Thread: Balsa bashing
20/06/2016 23:01:12

Well with one eye on the Le Mans. F1 and British touring cars over the weekend I have made some good progress on the Yak. Going on the sentiment that a picture says a 1000 words some lovely pictures of progress to date.

The first few show the progression of the retract install. Took some time but overall it all went fairly smoothly but, partly due to using Oleo’s instead of Piano Wire for the legs the Oleos will protrude above the bottom wing surface. I think this is also due to the forward rake as well as when in the wheel wells the wheels do twist forward into the shallow part of the front of the wing. Brian has also had the same outcome and his flies absolutely fine so I’m not concerned!







The mounting bolts/posts for the main wing are now all in place and the balsa blocks behind the fire wall have now been glued in place and basic shaping of the front has started. It’s starting to look like a plane!



At this point the major ‘mechanical’ parts have now been done. The next steps is to start doing some serious sanding, especially on the main wing. I will also be fibre-glassing the bottoms of the wheel wells as all foam to the skin has been removed, and will do the same in the servo pockets to add back some strength. At the same time I will put the fibreglass band around the central wing joint.

Hopefully not too far off………………………

Thread: Brushless Swap for a Brushed 540 Motor
20/06/2016 21:40:15

Hi Piers There’s a saying in there somewhere – you get what you pay for I have so far gone through two additional motors date. The original 540 motor that came with the glider had one of the brush mounts break, so a replacement was purchased. I then tried the 540 Tuned motor but this, for some reason the overheated and burnt out…

Again in hindsight the combined cost to date and I’d been close to the 4-Max motor!! Oh well!

Hi Pat, I have seen the motors you mention but size is an issue. As the below photos show the front of the glider is bored out to take a 540 motor exactly at a diameter of 36mm.



Again this goes back to the need for a direct replacement. The motor is fully enclosed, which could be an overheating issue with the tuned motor?? but the set up and build is exactly as the original plans stated – not that I personally built this model as I picked it up second hand. Again the original power came from a 7.2V Nicad pack with the 540 motor on a simple switch, hence going with the 2S Lipo set-up. The idea of using the Lipos was to help reduce weight.

The original props are still being used, although I have tried others but the climb out on the 540 motor just seems very sluggish and in a bit of a breeze you’re almost stationary!

Again as mentioned I don’t really want to make major changes to the front as it suddenly becomes a much bigger job. The glider flies nicely as is, once at height and is good for a gentle fly about.


Edited By Guy Pickett-Jones on 20/06/2016 21:41:20

Thread: Balsa bashing
18/06/2016 19:08:29

Thanks Richard,

I might give this a go.


Thread: Brushless Swap for a Brushed 540 Motor
18/06/2016 19:03:10

Thanks Piers,

Yes I have used 4-Max before and have seen their 540 size Inrunner. Initially was a bit more expensive than I'd planned for and was recommend for 3S or 4S Lipos - ideally want to keep my set-up at 2S as these are the packs I have for the glider - it might be what I have to go with though in the end!

It's one of these back-burner project if you know what I mean so want to keep it simple and cheap!! Too many other projects on the go as it is!!!


18/06/2016 15:45:24

Afternoon All,

Any suggestions / advice for a 'direct swap' for a brushed 540 Motor for something Brushless?

Bit of background - The Motor is for a Precedent Electra Fly Glider. The main issue is that the motor fits into a pre cut 'hole' the same diameter of the 540 motor so size is crucial as I don't really want to start making changes to the motor area.

Ideally it would be good if it could be a Inrunner - not asking for much I know.

Main reason for the change is the standard 540 Motor just doesn't have the power to get any sort of decent climb rate.

I have tried a Tamiya tuned motor which just overheated - probably due to being fully enclosed?

Current battery setup is a 2S Lipo.

Thanks for any advice,


Thread: Balsa bashing
18/06/2016 15:23:53

Hi Richard,

Only just heard about covering in Brown Paper technique - could you, (or anyone) give some advice? Benefits etc?

Also would this be suitable for an IC powered model - Still not sure which way to go covering wise with mine.



12/06/2016 23:28:01

Hi Andy, Sure Brian will be able to give you a full break down of the electric set-up in his Yak. All the other Yak's in the club build are going IC I believe.

Back on the Yak myself now after having a break to do a re-build on one of my gliders!

Quick update on progress today - The new stage was to look at the retracts - so progress to day was starting to put the mounting plates in. With some careful marking out the areas were cut out and using the hot wire process the foam removed. As indicated in the plans the target was to get as much forward rake as possible - this hopefully has been achieved In doing this the retract units might need to be packed out as the units are quite deep and with the rake angle some 'potential' depth in the wing has been lost. I don't see this as an issue.

Some Oleos have been ordered and once they arrive I'll will plan out the exact position of the wheels. I know not everyone has but I do intend to make use of the vac-formed wheel well liners that came with the kit. I will however be using a 75mm wheel and not the 85mm as indicated on the plans.

GuyLanding Grear Start

Edited By Guy Pickett-Jones on 12/06/2016 23:29:51

Edited By Guy Pickett-Jones on 12/06/2016 23:30:34

Edited By Guy Pickett-Jones on 12/06/2016 23:31:06

28/04/2016 08:37:25

Hi Simon,

Can't really add much to Jon's comments in terms of what to do, plus this will be my first time installing retracts as well!

The retract units I'm using are the larger version that match the ply plates with the kit (off a model shop on ebay) they have a 5mm pin - went for these as I am planning to use HK oleo's which mostly seem to have 5mm pins themselves.

I have made wire legs in the past and yes bending the 4mm piano wire is not easy especially putting a coil in it - lucky at that time I had access to a workshop and actually made a bending tool to do the job!


25/04/2016 13:42:25

Yes planning on bringing mine down - hope everyone from the build group will bring theirs as well - will be good to see all of them together!

25/04/2016 13:01:34

Thanks for the comments Richard - Has been an enjoyable build to date.

Lights looking good Jon!

Expecting the Maiden very soon Brian

No Pictures but my wings have now be joined which means I can start looking at installing the retracts. Steady progress but really want to try and get this finished in the next few weeks as other projects are starting to back up!!!

18/04/2016 00:15:25

Looking very good Brian – As Jon says should be ready for the Clubs Concourse do you think? Spurred on by your comments about if it’s not done by then it won’t be done until August I am now concerned about the speed of my build!!! Also going back to Jon’s comments about these were meant to be a quick and fun build so I have now started to think about the finishing and covering of mine – and which way to go keeping time in mind. Having seen Graham’s being covered in Solar Film (or whichever exact make it was!) I am now thinking of maybe going this route. Graham’s was looking good, even though when I saw it last it wasn’t fully completed.

Although Jon liked the Camo version my initial paint scheme choice (below) could be done quite easily I believe using solar film, with the addition of decals etc for the details. (Brian I have ordered some of that decal paper you had to have a play with but the version you can print on an Inkjet then seal with a laminator)

the sword.jpg

Anyway progress today:

I wanted to get the cowling fitted so I could start to sand and shape the fuselage.

Firstly cut the Cowling to the correct size.

I then produced a (hard) balsa insert that fits into the cowl to maintain its shape at the base. On to this I glued the mounting blocks for the screws to fit the cowl to.


Using Brian’s trick I mixed up a small amount of epoxy and micro balloons to fill any gaps between the mounting blocks and cowl so I would get a nice, flush and secure fit.


The Cowl fixing plate was the glued to the fire wall.


Again taking notes from Brian’s build I drilled and countersunk the screw points on the mounting blocks. Gentle heating the screw heads I then tighten the countersunk screws in place forming the plastic cowl into the countersink holes giving a nice flush finish to the cowling without splitting the plastic of the cowl itself – all went well!


During the process I also had to cut an opening of for the head of the engine.


Fuselage is starting to look good now – starting to look like a real plane!!!

Next step if to join the wings together and fit them to the fuselage.

12/04/2016 17:43:12

Progress on the wings is going well.

The flaps themselves started out with two thicknesses of 1/16th balsa sheets glued together cross-grained. I used standard ‘white’ wood glue, which in hindsight might not have been the best choice (?) as they didn’t come out perfectly flat even after being under weight.

Not to worry too much as I had anticipated that I would need to add some strengthening anyway.

To stiffen the flaps I used 3 x 0.5mm carbon strip inserted vertically along the length. Three slots were cut into the flap and the carbon glued into place with cyno whilst the flaps were held flat. This worked nicely giving me two nice and flat flaps with added strength!



Hinged into place I have managed to keep the hinges themselves flush with the wing surface. Next was to create the bottom surface of the flap aperture. This was done by cutting a piece of Pro Skin to size. Next mixing 30min epoxy with a good amount of micro balloons this was poured into the aperture and then the Pro Skin placed on top. The flaps were then gently ‘closed’ and any excess ‘filler’ mix which squeezed out was carefully removed. The flaps themselves where covered in cling film to also ensure they didn’t end up being glued in place! Carefully adding some extra filler I have end up with a nice flat bottom surface within the aperture at the perfect depth to house the flaps.



The flaps themselves will need a bit of fine sanding at the out-board end, and a light skim of filler then sanding at the in-board end to get them to the profile of the wing. Overall very pleased with how everything went.

Moving onto the Ailerons. I decided to have a go at gluing the balsa strips that will form the hinge points for the ailerons in situ. The idea is to help keep the profile of the wing intact. The first step was to mark out and cut a slot into the wings for the two balsa strips. The two balsa strips were then glued in place, making sure that the two strips themselves weren’t glued together!



The Leading Edge balsa strips have also been glued on. The next step is to cut and shape the balsa strips to match the wing profile.


This seems to have worked well and I am now considering gluing the wing tips in place whilst keeping the ailerons still attached to the main wing. Then final sanding and shaping of the wings can take place before the ailerons are finally cut way from the main wing.

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