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Member postings for Colin Leighfield

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

Thread: Antonov AN124 Ruslan
24/09/2020 07:47:53

This one is too good to be over! What’s more Depron might not be disappearing completely. Another chapter - - -

Thread: Colinís Spanish Fury
24/09/2020 07:40:40

This is all inspirational and helpful stuff, great to see one in the air and the camouflaged finish looks brilliant. Although there were only three Spanish Furies, it looks as if they weren’t all finished the same, so there’s some choice there. I’ve also noted the experiences with the rigging. The way I’ve done the wings with the panels sliding on c/f tubes makes the centre section very rigid. I intend to see if I can keep the wing bays pre-assembled to minimise the work load at the field and also minimise the need for re-adjustment.

22/09/2020 11:32:09

Thanks chaps, it will be finished. As it’s going to have a painted finish and no shiny silver bits, I’ve decided to take the simple route and cover it in Solartex, which I have enough of. I’ll save my collection of tissue, silk and nylon for other projects.

21/09/2020 20:56:17

This isn’t dead, but in the last three months I’ve done 3,000 happy miles on my new bike and been diverted onto another indoor project which didn’t work out but is at least a good outdoor flyer. (Pilatus PC6 Turbo Porter with 3 position flaps, Depron and Vector Board). At the same time I’ve been busy with continuing work taking 2 or 3 days a week. However I’ve started to sort out the cabane struts and did a trial assembly today before setting the angles of incidence and soldering in the diagonals. Having done that I realised that I hadn’t formed the bend at the top of the 10g wire struts to get the right sit on the join to the spars, see the photo! However I have rectified that and can move on.
My biggest difficulty has been continuing to work for 8 years beyond normal retirement age and the pressure that puts on an otherwise busy life. However I am ending that in October and although retaining a position and some responsibilities will no longer work any regular week-days. In addition I’m replacing my clapped out and cramped 12’x6’ shed with a new one giving me a working space 13’6”x9’. An increase from 72 to over 130sq.ft. That will be a big improvement..
In addition I’m rationalising my motorbikes to change from 1 current and two classic to one of each to reduce my garage time.
Finishing the Fury now takes priority over other model projects. I created extra work for myself by making the wing panels detachable but think it was the right thing to do, but I’ve also retained the detachable centre section feature. b6fde3ce-654c-4b42-9636-a6868263bca3.jpeg

Thread: Jim Davis Lancaster
13/08/2020 22:26:26

Hi Martin. Arthur was I think Chris Robathan’s dad (not Robotham?).Then young Chris was one of the team. The 109 you mention was the one I referred to, which was wrecked at Weston Park when it came in vertically from about 50ft just after take off. I think it was caused by a mix up with transmitters from what Dave has told me.

12/08/2020 21:47:30

Dave told me that a few years ago he got seriously into Wakefield for a few years, he was competing at top level.

I think that all of Jim’s big planes flew with converted chain saw motors. 44cc? There was also a Me109E with one of those that I saw written off at Weston Park shortly after take-off, Dave was flying it. I asked him recently what happened, I think he said it was a transmitter error (got the wrong one?!)

The high wing pre-fabricated model was the Slim Jim, although it was thought of as a trainer, with a 60 up front it was very capable. I had one from around 1979 and it lasted for about twenty years until I scrapped it because it was carrying more than its own weight in soaked-in oil! That was the plane I was flying at Fradley when two RAF Tornados out of Cottesmore flew under it when it was inverted at the top of a loop around 500 ft. Next thing I knew it was reported as a near miss and was investigated by the AAIB. Dave told me that one of his jobs at Jim’s was to build these and also the low wing version, the Low Jim.,

After Jim’s Erdington shop got burned down and he moved into the new place nearer the city centre it never seemed to be the same and didn’t last there very long. I remember seeing the Lancaster up there in the roof. Didn’t someone say that it finished up in the USA? Some may remember that when they did the cross-channel flight with the Spitfire that a young Chris Robathan was one of the team, he is in the cover photograph of the RCME magazine edition when they reported on it. Chris checked me out for my “A” certificate. Sadly he died suddenly quite young some years ago.

Jim Davies did a lot for radio control flying and Dave did a brilliant job of the show flying with those big and successful scale models, quite astonishing to us in those days.

12/08/2020 15:35:38

Dave Wright, who did a lot of the show flying for Jim, is still flying with SCRCAC. Since 1970 I have owned a Frog Jackdaw that was given to me by a friend at work who said that it had originally belonged to Dave. A while ago I mentioned it to him and he said that he had originally built and flown one and eventually sold it on. Last year I decided to get it going again, did some minor repair work, fitted new radio and servos as well as a new Enya SS30. It flew straight away perfectly, a bit twitchy on take-off but it’s a really good plane, surprisingly quick and quite aerobatic on rudder and elevator. I reintroduced Dave to it, he hadn’t seen it for probably fifty years and he flew it again. It was a great experience to see the master flying a plane that he reckons he built in 1964, 56 years ago. It has some aged related “patina” that I don’t intend to change, it’s still a top-notch plane to fly. Here’s Dave reunited with an old pal. d3c7ebdd-8a6e-4142-b490-6ee82a7dac1b.jpeg

Thread: Colinís Spanish Fury
05/08/2020 19:48:26

Thank you Eric and Danny. I’m sure it will be ok and I think mounting the battery that way will be an advantage.
I’m working on the centre section now. Although I’m working to the plan and it will be detachable, it will normally left in place and rigged because the wing panels are detachable.

04/08/2020 19:13:43

You are right Eric. It goes right back to the beginning when I worked off the motor specification suggested by Danny and this turned up, correct specification in terms of all the key numbers, but longer. I decided to use it anyway and to keep everything else correct is the reason why the battery box is angled instead of horizontal, to compensate for the longer motor. It should be fine, in fact I prefer the battery set that way.

04/08/2020 11:31:29

I decided to make a 5mm ply engine plate and then build on to that a box made from hard 5 mm balsa with the grain longitudinal. Although it is glued to the ply plate in front of F1, the security is provided by the 4.5mm engine bolts going all the way through that plate and nuts Loctited in place. The whole thing is in compression and should be ok.f6c2cc74-1665-4208-a755-681fd3ec79d6.jpeg

01/08/2020 19:57:53

After flogging a semi-deceased horse in the shape of a Pilatus Porter for too long, I’m back on the Fury. There is a bit of hangar rash on the fuselage, not much. As the wings are built and the undercarriage is in place, I want to sort out the motor mount next. I thought about using studding but looking at Martyn’s approach have decided to do something similar. As I’ve built it with the centre sections fixed and the wings sliding onto carbon fibre tubes, I need to think about the differences that will make to the strut detail. I’m hoping to be able to fit the wings as pre-assembled bays.

Thread: S1581 Hawker Nimrod MkI
18/06/2020 19:59:45

You should bring the Hurricane as well. A couple of photos of them together for the Camm connection would be good. They’re different scales so you’d need to position them to offset that, but that would be a challenge for you as a photographer. .

18/06/2020 19:16:37

Danny, I can’t imagine anybody daring to chuck you out, I’ll bring my Kalashnikov just in case. Otherwise if you wear a grey wig and look incredibly vacant they’ll think you’re me. At least until they see the model, when they’ll know it couldn’t possibly be!

18/06/2020 17:48:40

It looks wonderful Danny, as I knew it would.

Thread: Glider design - low aspect ratio wing
27/05/2020 09:54:14

This is the one I used to drool over as a kid, a long time ago! 103” span, aspect ratio 6:1. A legendary glider as they used to be, a proper “floater”! Designed by Dick Twomey and published by APS. Now in Outerzone.6d94fc5b-f64d-4779-a50d-58ef0e842c0a.jpeg

26/05/2020 22:35:50

I never said they were Richard. Of course Hawks and Vultures spend huge amounts of time soaring. However you suggested that gulls and albatrosses don’t. That is not correct, that’s all and the albatross is known as the best soaring bird in the world, able to travel 10,000 miles in one flight. Look it up.

Edited By Colin Leighfield on 26/05/2020 22:36:18

26/05/2020 20:27:33

Don’t tell the gulls in Calpe, Spain, where we are frequently, that they don’t soar. For some reason on every day in late afternoon they congregate in large numbers flying in circles above the bay and fly upwards. They arrive close to the slopes of the 332 metre high “Penon de Ifach” , a huge rock that protrudes into the sea for about half a kilometre. They seem then to be using rising air currents to continue to circle until they are above the peak, in old money more than a thousand feet up. They don’t stop there, although some seem to progressively hold altitude at different levels and circle until eventually at probably around 1,300 ft there is just one and at that point they scatter and disperse in all directions. It’s an astonishing sight that I have been observing for many years, aometimes from the top of the Penon. Besides that they frequently use air currents to soar for prolonged periods over the bay. It’s clearly not related to feeding because they do that at sea level. Also albatrosses most definitely soar, they spend huge periods, days and weeks, in the air, almost certainly sleeping on the wing. Probably the best soarers of all birds. Low aspect ratio wings such as seen on the famous “Leprechaun” glider definitely are good for floating, but when it comes to maximum soaring efficiency the top sailplane designers of the world certainly don’t consider low aspect ratios as even starting to compete. Gulls and related birds are among the best soarers in the bird kingdom.


Edited By Colin Leighfield on 26/05/2020 20:29:33

Thread: Boulton & Paul Defiant
26/05/2020 18:18:03

The Brisfit isn’t a great comparison because it had a forward firing gun and it’s initial fighter attack would be conventional from the rear. The two flexible guns behind then gave enormous opportunity to do a lot more damage on the way through as well as nailing any fighter that came from behind. It’s also true that although less maneouvrable than the German single seaters it was faster than most of them. It was a superior fighting platform, the Defiant definitely wasn’t because it was too slow and couldn’t fire forwards except at an upward angle of 10 degrees.

Thread: S1581 Hawker Nimrod MkI
26/05/2020 12:08:56

I’ve probably said it before but dad used to tell me about his visits to Hendon pre-war and the RAF aerobatic displays with the Fury and later the Gauntlet. He loved them both but in his opinion the Gauntlet was the best. Reading the experiences of pilots who flew the Fury, Gauntlet and Gladiator, what comes out is that the best flyer of the lot was the Gauntlet. Although the Gladiator was really a developed Gauntlet and had a better performance, I imagine that the extra weight including that of four guns might have taken away some of the edge in handling finesse.
Camm didn’t originate the idea that kicked off the lineage of Hart and Fury biplanes. They arose from a request from the RAF that didn’t want to be dependent on Fairey and the American Curtiss engine after the Fox had proved so superior to anything else in service at the time. They approached Rolls Royce to match the engine that had enabled the fine lines of the Fox and that originated the Kestrel. The Kestrel enabled Hawker to maximise the aerodynamic advantage from that low frontal area engine in the Hornet/Fury and the Hart series of two seaters, all of which served so well for so many years. Really, when you look back on it, Fairey had a raw deal out of it because Hawker got most of the benefit from ideas that they instigated, those being derived from the success of the Curtiss racing seaplanes with their own V-12 engine. If you follow that through, you can see that the Hurricane had a relationship with the Schneider Trophy as well as the Spitfire, but it’s not recognised. The Fury was the finest of its time, but probably not the finest of the lot. There is still one Gauntlet flying in the world, in Finland. It has been re-engined with an Alvis Leonides I think, so looks slightly different. Even though, wouldn’t it be fantastic to see it fly! I don’t think there are any other survivors, sadly.

25/05/2020 00:30:49

I’m determined to finish the PC6 indoor project, then I’ll clear the bench and get on with the Fury.

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