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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: Taxes and charges when buying fro the US
09/03/2012 09:08:48
Posted by Lee Smalley on 08/03/2012 16:47:40:
It depends on cost if it's over a certain amount sub 40 quid I think it was, then it's not normally a problem, I purchased a Halloween mask that was 50 something quid by the time I paid tax duty and royal mail handling charge of 20 quid damn mask cost nearly 100 quid, for expensive items it's not worth it

I read recently that the Customs and Excise, in their efforts to raise more revenue, they were dropping the arbitrary level at which they start to charge import duty plus VAT ( on total value incl shipping and duty ) was being lowered from £35 to £18

Thread: 2012 Vintage Mass Build Chat Thread
27/02/2012 09:09:39


both wing tips gave way and the fuz at the wing mount got stretched and broke a few stringers - fairly simple to repair but as the wing covering was over 20 yrs old solartex , it really needed a recover - so I will be stripping the whole plane and covering with doped polyester dress lining - the price of a 10 metre roll of solartex is beyond the pale. Complication with the dope is that the 18" chord 108" span wings are made with 1" thick white foam so I have to ensure the dope doesnt get to the foam - all ribs are capped but........ Several coats of thinned dope sprayed on is the plan ..............

video of early flight back about 1990 can be seen here  -   a bit long but music is nice and there are some nice low passes and overhead figures of 8 showing how slow/tight the Mamselle could fly and turn.  The young men in the background are my son and grandson - about 3 yrs old then and now 24 - how time flies when you are enjoying yourself.

I should still have time to get to the debutante for june


Edited By John Laird on 27/02/2012 09:21:34

Edited By John Laird on 27/02/2012 09:22:42

Thread: Is there a variation in thickness of T pins?
26/02/2012 08:57:54

T-pins come in 3 sizes - which vary in length and diameter. I bought mine a long time ago in the USA and they came in seperate pkges then.

I also use the short pins with large flanged bodies - ideal for pinning down using the flange and not pinning though the wood. got them a long time ago - probabaly at an office supplies shop


Thread: 2012 Vintage Mass Build Chat Thread
26/02/2012 08:51:21

Sorry, David but I may be the last as I postponed my Debutante till I repair and recover my big Mamselle following a cartwheel crash on radio fail after take-off - too hasty a conversion to 2.4 Gembarrassed


Thread: Slicker 50
23/02/2012 09:13:53


shame about that - you made a nice job of the model with that finish - suggest casting around for a simple cabin type model with no hassle to build for those wings - thats what I aim to do with my mallard wings.

Appreciate the offer but I have more bits and pieces ( there's a well known catch phrase ) , kits and plans for must build models that if I did nothing else, I haven't a ghost of a chance to accomplish..........



22/02/2012 12:33:00


how did your model actually fly - did you have the stalling problem??

dont throw model out just yet - at least not the wings.

Assuming you have had the same wind as us down in the south - too bl.... much....

have you tried flying model early morning or evening when wind is less and with just enough power to climb slowly.. that might let you get a feel for the model and how sensitive the elevator is with the rear cg.

my mallard flew very nicely in low wind conditions once trimmed out and left to fly freeflight in a circle to minimize getting into the unstable stall.

its all a challenge

john ( just back from tenerife where the sun shone but the north easterly brought a very cold wind down from the mountain)

11/02/2012 09:45:16
I didn't want to put anyone off - just to warn them. See how your slicker goes and if it behaves like my mallard, try building a small lighter t'plane that will shift the cg forward
10/02/2012 20:17:00
Posted by Jim Carss on 10/02/2012 10:16:12:
When you mention dihedral did you mean Wing incidence, I have the dihedral set as per plan.

dihedral is usually taken as across the wings ( I forget the proper name ) whereas longitudinal dihedral involves wing incidence vs tailplane incidencewith +ve usually the case for stability- ie reduced stalling habits with self correcting built in
from your question, I take it that, in your first post you meant longitudinal dihedral - if so then I believe it should be increased if you shift the CG forward by much.
The competition boys can probably give better advice from their experience but my reading of the pylon,rearward CG and large tailplane design was to obtain maximum lift from all surfaces to extend the glide ( to win competitions ) by rear cg and large lifting t/plane while balancing the glide characteristics with the screaming 10 sec vertical climb for height. The need to keep the t/plane lifting would result in reduced longitudinal dihedral between the wing and the t/plane but this would give reduced stability and if model starts stalling , the stall would get worse. This was resolved by fairly large polyhedral ( across the wing ) and trimming for a fairly tight turn as the model peeled off the climb into glider mode, which also has the effect of keeping the model in thermals ( or downdrafts -which ever they hit - which is why you see comp boys watching their thermal indicators getting ready to launch into lift )
The above is what I learned from flying my RC mallard - any attempt to fly straight needed kid gloves on the elevator to keep speed just right - difficult as not only is the model moving but the air is as well. One of my best flights was during a very calm day ( a rare event ) when i just let the model fly in circles with just the slightest of touch on rudder to keep overhead.
Of course my mallard experience may just be down to my flying ability plus my accuracy of build vs the model design

Edited By John Laird on 10/02/2012 20:19:40

09/02/2012 19:58:30
I built a Mercury Mallard - ie a competition model similar to the slicker .
It had a rearward CG to give reduced wingloading with the tailplane adding to the lift and improve glider performance.
The design is based on a short highpowered straight up flight for height and then turns into a glider with a fairly tight turn to keep the model in thermals if it hits one.
My mallard did all that OK but of course it drifted downwind, whereupon I applied RC to straighten flight and bring it back upwind. Now the rear CG comes in to play and the model goes into very bad stalling only cured by application of massive down and loss of height.
From this I learned that for reasonably stable RC, I needed to bring CG forward from the 85% rear position and this was only achievable by extending the nose substantially and also reducing tailplane size,
Re dihedral - i think the model will need it all if you stick with the current design.
Of course - it may just have been me and not the model ???
Thread: Hand launching heavy models
08/02/2012 12:04:49
Posted by Martin Harris on 08/02/2012 11:33:56:
Being a lazy so and so, I've never understood the desire to run off into wind, unbalance yourself at the critical moment as you lurch to a virtual stop and throw the model at whatever angle it slips out of your hand while concentrating on keeping your balance...
Far better, IMHO, to take up a firm stance use the arm muscles of the throwing arm to impart velocity and direction after rehearsing the throw, and use the other hand to steady things as appropriate.

Martin is dead on on this - I have seen most people run to launch their model and actually stop before they throw

Thread: RCM&E index
08/02/2012 08:56:34
Posted by David Ashby - RCME Admin on 07/02/2012 14:23:49:
Thanks all, appreciate the feedback.
We usually get someone to go through the mags each year and produce a word doc, I hadn't thought about one large database. Food for thought.
while you are chewing on the food for thought, a database iseasier to keep up to date month by month rather than leave it to an annual basis when it becomes a substantial task
just my tuppence worth

07/02/2012 13:06:18
Posted by Allan Bowker on 07/02/2012 12:22:32:
I have used it a few times, although I did wish that it was all together in one database instead of having to search through each year.
Allan's concept is definitely a must in this age of communication and internet.
it then becomes an ongoing database which should easily be kept bang up to date each month - or is this too much to ask for ?
it will save me time scanning and computer filing the odd items I might need in the future but never seems to cover the actual items I end up needing
so save the money from compiling a yearly index and go for an online database instead, please
Thread: Matador
28/01/2012 21:29:20
thanks for the comments on the eaglet - it can be seen flying here
You can also see me having a break sitting in the tailend of my car with the Eaglet,Southerner and Majestic Major in front. On Miks videos listed at the utube's website, there are also videos of the southerner and majestic major with mood music to match.
I have a small stock of modelspan (?) light and heavy weight tissue accumulated a long time ago and used sparingly to eke it out.
John Hook at stocks tissue which I would think is OK as he supplies to the vintage/freeflight fraternity. There is also another supplier for the same group but I dont recall the name as I get most of my "old" model supplies from John who flies at the same field as I do. Try a google on freeflight and see what comes up.
The purple tissue trim on the mamselle was wrapping tissue - it was the right colour but absolutely horrible to put on as the dope did not soak in to the tissue - I had to dope the main surface first and lay the tissue on then dope over to seal and even then it still peels off.
The Mercury Mallard goes back a long way - not too successful for RC as it is designed for contest and at end of power climb would transfer into fairly tight circle ( to keep in thermals ) and that was OK but any attempt to fly straight into wind to keep it overhead immediately translated into severe stalling. CG was about 85% back from L/edge as designed. Plans can be got from Colin Smith ( Phil's son ) who will scale up/down as req'd ( mines was 150% of original.)  Out of date list of plans here with Colin's email address
The original 48" span Mallard was designed for 1.8 to 2.9 ccs with the 2.49 elfin quoted - so you can see it was contest powered for its size.
The rudderbug was ( note past tense   really nice to fly. Its on my todo list as well as i still have the flying surfaces - just need a fus -

Edited By John Laird on 28/01/2012 21:31:18

28/01/2012 14:08:34
I forgor to insert the motor mount picture of the Eaglet - so here it is now

Thread: Covering prices
28/01/2012 13:27:08
Posted by Alan 4 on 27/01/2012 23:09:28:
i think ypu all need to discover dope, nylon, and a little bit of messy fun, i used to get my nylon from dressmakers, gallon of dope from h marcel guest, cheap thinners, i could cover ten models for cheap money, all you have to do then is paint, lost arts, i can see them coming back
I agree with Alan. While solartex is probably the best material to work with for the larger model, it is heavy and very expensive. I have gone to doped polyester dress lining which at about £2 per running metre and 40 or 60" wide as both inexpensive, strong and a shade ighter than solartex. Moreover, there are plenty of colours and patterns to choose from - altho you might get some funny looks being the only bloke amongst females in the dress shop - on the orther hand you never know your luck
Dope and thinners from the likes of flitehook are not too expensive.
The dress lining is put on as tight as possible as there is only a little heat shrink left in it. Stuck on with balsaloc,you can pull it tight with heat on the balsaloc allowing you to pull tight. 2 to 3 coats of 40/60 shrinking dope/thinners gets the material drum tight. Any slackness will pull to one corner, so dope towards a corner which will not be too visible. Use the solarfilm iron to shrink any wrinkles that might develope if material not tight enough to start with. Beware too much heat will take the colour out of the material.
See my albums for examples. The wing pics in the Mamselle album is lilac colored with purple tissue trim - as befits a lady. No wrinkles and gives a nice drumming for those wanting to practise their drum rolls.
The 72" southerner has been covered in dress lining which had a sheen on it , the yellow staying quite strong with just enough translucency (?) to show up the framework as befits vintage models.
The round fuselage was covered with just 2 pieces of material applied from 1/4" top spine to bottom spine. The orange tissue trim hides the material join nicely. Limited longeron area to balsaloc the material to reduced the ability to pull material really tight. 3 coats of 60/40 dope/thinners applied lengthways from top to bottom left one wrinkle on one side at the bottom, most of which came out with heat.
I almost forgot, doped finish is fine with electric models, for glow engines, fuelproofing is needed
Thread: Matador
27/01/2012 11:17:49
Posted by Steve Hargreaves on 27/01/2012 10:21:33:
Be wary of getting into the more power equals more weight which needs more power spiral....."add lightness" should always be your mantra in aviation...especially for these vintage might find that your Matty flys better at 120 watts with a 1300 Lipo than at 140watts on a 4 oz heavier 2200.....
Steve is bang on in adding " lightness" - I saved 2 ozs in 20 ozs by changing motor and ESC to lighter less powerful ones after I maidened the scaled up Eaglet (48") and decided it was a bit heavy and didnt need all the power. Fortunately I had anticipated this and made provision for changing out the motor - see pic which actually shows the initial motor and esc, both of which have been changed to less powerful/weighty versions. You can also see slot to slide in the motor mount.
Thread: Vintage Roll Call for Greenacres
10/01/2012 20:23:14
Thanks for info Andy,
John Hook flies at our local field at Beaulieu
10/01/2012 15:36:33
you must have a ben buckle kit speccing 3" wheels - I have an original Mercury Matador plan and it specifies 2" wheels.
have you tried white polyspan with thin dope and tissue trim - strong and light. see pics of my Eaglet in my photo album for an example
Thread: Vintage aero-tow combo.
07/01/2012 11:10:30
Posted by David Davis Telemaster Sales UK on 07/01/2012 07:15:49:
Mercury Marauder.
I found it on the Replikit website. I believe that they are not trading any more but you should be able to get a plan from somewhere.
Colin Smith is carrying on Phil's plan service and Mercury plans were listed among them. They also included formers and rib patterns where these were not on original plan.
He will also scale up and down if req'd.
Colin has an email address but I cannot pin it down so here is his mobile - evenings only - 07747722724.

Edited By John Laird on 07/01/2012 11:11:27

Thread: Carbon rod problems?
04/01/2012 14:52:25
. I use slightly epoxied bent threaded control rods pushed inside small dia tube rather than rod - just as stiff and strong , and then when epoxy cured I use thin CA on end of rods to avoid splitting. the ca soaks into the fibres and glues them together
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