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Member postings for John Laird

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

Thread: Looking for a cowl for my Carl Goldberg Super Chipmunk.
30/08/2019 09:10:14


I have an unused goldberg cowl for the chipmunk.- still in the raw white as delivered.

bought it for my chipmunk which had an involuntary roll into the deck when some decorative film came loose and blanked the aileron. I had a saito 90 in it - flew great - i used to just fly it to height then dive with engine on idle and listen to the whistle of the prop/plane as it passed by - a great sound.

If you want it, message me


Thread: Forum members' new models: Let's see them.
17/08/2019 20:44:02

My Vagabond Senior is based on Bill Winter's 75" span Vagabond 1949 plan and his redesign for RC in 1981. It is scaled up by 50% to 112” span. Powered by a 500W brushless motor and 5000 4 cell Lipo.

The cerise red chiffon doped over mylar film turned out nicer than I thought it would.

The videos shows the maiden flights of both the 75" and the 112" span models. The wind and ground turbulence was higher than I would normally fly vintage in but I needed a proving flight before going to a flyin.

Photos show the breakdown for transport and storage. Carbon rods are used as joiners for the wings and to the fuselage. The white model is my 100" span Cumulus by Ben Shershaw.


vagabond snr (4).jpg

vagabond snr at tarrant hinton.jpg

vagabonds (9).jpg

Build thread for the Vagabonds is here


Youtube videos are here. Mick Butler took the videos and more of his vintage videos can be viewed thru the links.



Thread: Ink Jet Printing
12/06/2019 08:52:57

I used to tape a piece of transparent solarfilm to a sheet of A4 STICKY SIDE facing the printer.

I would then print a MIRROR image of the "decal" onto the sticky side.

When applied to the plane's wing surface, the printing is now protected from rain/fuel etc. and of course is the right way up.

You do have to be careful and get the taping smooth to ensure it doesnt snag in the printer.

Thread: Balsa usa eaa biplane
09/06/2019 20:36:12


your in luck as I have the complete kit - need to unearth it from my store and scan the instructions.

will try and get to it monday. If you email me direct thru the forum, I can send the scans back to you.


Thread: Vintage airframe coverings.
02/04/2019 11:27:04

vagabond finished march 2017 (8).jpgvagabond overhead snapshot.jpgGeorge Stringwell ( Sundancer) has written some guidelines on tissue over mylar in the RCgroups vintage forum.

Dope is used as the adhesive. Most models flown at vintage flyins in this country are covered with tissue or tissue lookalikes such polyspan. My Debutantes have been covered with tissue/mylar. My Vagabond is covered with doped Chiffon over Mylar. The chiffon provides the colour and the mylar reduces the dope needed to fill the weave. Both contribute to tightening and the strength. Buildlog of the Vagabond with more photos are in RCgroups here


debutante maiden flight day 5 jul 2013 (6).jpg

Thread: Majestic Major (electric) build.
09/12/2018 14:45:18

Several Majestic Major Videos here including this electric one


Thread: Solartex alternative?
18/11/2018 11:42:32
Posted by Don Fry on 17/11/2018 18:42:23:

John, the gold original IMPEX, or the silver thinner version. Seems to be two products. And what's it like, water based or petroleum smelly?


I use the gold original - not tried the thinner version. No smell.


that looks like its the same but the impex has a convenient spout for controlling the amount used

17/11/2018 18:07:59

I have been using polyester dress lining ( about £2 /running meter either 1 or 1.5 M wide.) using Impex Hi tack glue as an alternative to balsaloc. Comes in £3 handy squeeze bottle with a thin spout. Apply a thin trail and smooth flat with fingers and let dry. position lining over and use covering iron to activate glue, stretching at same time. Not as easy as solartex but miles cheaper and plenty of colours/designs from dress material shops.

google impex hi tack for online availabilty but may also be available at local dress materials shops.

Finished with 2/3 coats 50/50 dope/thinners for electric models - glows need fuel proofing.

Depending on size of model I have also used doped chiffon over mylar - both applied with impex, giving a very light but strong almost translucent covering for vintage look. The mylar reduces the amount of dope needed and also provides an airtight covering. See my 72" span Vagabond as an example





Edited By John Laird on 17/11/2018 18:08:53

Thread: carbon fibre push rods
01/11/2018 09:35:13
Posted by Ron Gray on 01/11/2018 07:12:28:

I use these **LINK**

How do you fix these to carbon rods??

For some time I have been using carbon tubes - approx 1/8" dia - the inside dia is just over the standard quicklink

threaded rods dia..

I roughen and then bend the rod slightly to give a friction fit inside tube and then run cyano down inside once I have length right.

I fly vintage and load on rods not great so strength of joint more than adequate

Thread: Binding two transmitters
16/07/2018 13:33:06

My spectrum dx6 will bind more than one model to one memory but there is no chance of me inadvertantly flying 2 models at same time as I only ever have one battery in one model at any one time.

leaving a battery in a model not flying is an unsafe practise.

15/07/2018 09:47:26

As I understand 2.4 and binding, you can only bind 1 Tx to a Rx but you can bind more than 1 Rx/plane to a memory point on a Tx. The latter is particularly useful for older Tx's where there were only a few memories available - 10 on my spectrum. You do have to adjust plane trims so that Tx trims are same for both planes

Thread: fav model of all time
29/06/2018 20:28:12

For me, it has got to be Vic Smead's Mamselle - a 38" freeflighter from 1965. In addition to building ( and still flying it) in 1972, I have built 3 off 72" and one 108" versions - the latter suffering a fatal landing-spiralling in about 3 weeks ago - jury still out on cause. The solartex covering came in handy keeping the bits in one ready made bag

Can be seen here flying in 1990


Edited By John Laird on 29/06/2018 20:31:59

Thread: An alternative to Balsaloc
28/05/2018 20:26:49

I have been using Impex Hi tack as a substitute for balsaloc. Easier to apply with the thin spout on the bottle- smear down flat with wet finger and leave to dry. Then apply covering and apply tacking iron to activate glue as you would with an adhesive backed covering. cost is £3/bottle but lasts longer than balsaloc as easier to apply.

Thread: Best Plane You Have Owned
19/02/2018 12:07:24

Cannot make my mind up between my almost 30 yr old scaled up Mamselle by Vic Smeed or my new year old Vagabond by Bill Winter. Both fly a treat. See for yourself

Mamselle at

Vagabond at

Edited By John Laird on 19/02/2018 12:09:37

Edited By John Laird on 19/02/2018 12:13:53

Thread: Model ID help please
29/05/2017 20:16:35

It looks like a david boddington bistormer with the cabane redesigned - the bistormer was 72" span and i think was for a 60 2 stroke. I flew mine on a 60 2 stroke Merco which was a bit sedate when it came to aerobatics.


Edited By John Laird on 29/05/2017 20:17:44

Edited By John Laird on 29/05/2017 20:18:08

Thread: Fly with the music
11/02/2017 10:26:03

on the otherhand , you can have videos of model flying with some nice background music



Thread: Removing solar trim
28/10/2016 10:53:50

I used to clean my solarfilm models every once in a while with thinners . Did not harm the film but it just might loosen up tthe adhesive on the trim to enable it to pull off. It should also clean up any colour left. WD40 might also do the same.

Thread: Carbon pushrods
18/03/2016 17:38:14

I bought those carbon rods some time ago but havent used them yet as they are a bit big for my type model.

I use ordinary carbon tubes approx 1/8 dia - the inside dia is very close to the threaded wires for quick links.

I bend the wire just enough to give interference fit and then when I have right length sticking out, I wick cyano down wire into tube. As stated above, the cyano penetrates carbon and gives a good joint. I roughen wire slightly to give cyano a better key. Not pulled one out yet. !/8 rod will bend slightly on longer lengths - so need bracing along its length - usually a piece of balsa glued across fuz every 5 or 6" is sufficient.


Thread: Southerner 60 scaled to 72
27/02/2016 08:51:58
Posted by Ray Cockburn 1 on 25/02/2016 13:39:23:

Is the Southerner suitable for electric flight and if so what size motor and battery/ thank you

Hello Ray,

my build log details info re motor etc - 350 W for my 72" version. Rob's 250 W motor sounds about right for the 60"

Note that I lengthened the nose and the battery is immediately below it,to get CG forward for reasonable RC flying and give me more control particularly for tip stalling. The polyhedral might be more forgiving on that.

I would also agree with KC's recommendation to build a simpler more robust model as a starter and can highly recommend the majestic major or the smaller junior 60. The video of my MM will give you an idea of what it looks like and how it flies. link here .

For vintage enthusiasts, Mick's videos have a good selection






Thread: Which kind of models can be flown at your site?
14/12/2015 09:05:29

our site allows anything up to 7.5 kg weight limit except turbine jets - in event of crash, fire risk in forest not acceptable

so cannot vote

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