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Member postings for Robin Colbourne

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

Thread: Will old electric motors ever have the fascination that IC engines do?
26/10/2020 23:42:50

Wow! It looks like I set the cat amongst the pigeons. Thanks for all the replies everyone.

The consensus is pretty much as I expected, 'engines have soul' and we have a passion for them that never will be to the same extent for an electric motor. It would probably be fair to say we all remember and have fonder memories of our first engine than our first electric motor, even if we did have numerous fuel-filled cuts on our fingers by the time we got the little, errr, 'thing' started. The fact that in many cases it wasn't instant gratification, meant the first successful run meant so much more.

25/10/2020 23:01:39

There's a certain fascination in turning a diesel or glow engine over in your hand, or even starting it, if its got a tank.

IC engines appeal to all the senses:

  • The texture of castings and smooth polished surfaces.
  • Reflections and rainbow patterns as light diffracts off the machined face of the exhaust port.
  • Aromas of fuel, burnt castor and, for the compression screw twiddlers, ether.
  • Sound of an under-compressed diesel jumping between two and four stroke or a glow motor coming on song as you wind the needle one more click.
  • Taste, err, well, who hasn't siphoned fuel or inadvertently sprayed it in their face?

Can electric motors, ESCs and batteries ever offer the same sort of appeal?


  • the Graupner Speed 400 or 600 ever be discussed with the same affection as a Mills 75 or 1.3?
  • there be an Oliver Tiger of the wiggly amp brigade?
  • 'brushed motor only' events ever be a thing at Old Warden?
  • rumours of a genuine, still-functioning pack of Sanyo SCR nicads spread like wildfire?

Thread: Ebay sellers...
25/10/2020 11:36:37
Posted by Doc Marten on 24/10/2020 16:55:26:

Where's the other half?

If he's hung on to stuff like that, she probably left him a long time ago! wink

I wondered if the Hurricane fuselage might be the Bowman's of Ipswich 50" one. Maybe a pre-production test piece?

Thread: Modern domestic heating thermostats
23/10/2020 10:57:13

There seems to be a generation of designers who forget that some things need to be operated quickly by someone with no prior knowledge.

My neighbour had a Peugeot 2008 on Motability which I would drive for them sometimes. All manner of tasks are done via a touch screen, so its virtually impossible to jump in and use everything without spending hours reading the handbook. Woe betide anyone who ends up with one as a hire car!

Thread: Bullet and or Tornado Plans
23/10/2020 00:57:38

Is this a Tornado? Crescent Tornado? in Boston, Lincolnshire

and another, probably sold by now but still listed:  Tornado in London

Edited By Robin Colbourne on 23/10/2020 01:00:49

Thread: Fairey Gannet
23/10/2020 00:45:48

I was chatting to a family friend, Joan, who like my mother, worked at RAE Farnborough in the early 1950s. She was very keen on aircraft, and took any opportunity to get flights in aircraft being tested. She described going in a twin engined, three seat aeroplane with contra-rotating props, so I'm pretty sure it was a Gannet (she couldn't remember the name).
As part of the flight test the pilot shut down one of the engines, to practice the in-flight re-starting procedure. He then had a great deal of difficulty re-starting it. After about half an hour he managed to get it going and they returned to Farnborough and landed.
Having parked up the aircraft, the pilot and his observer got out and went off for lunch. At this point Joan, seated in the rearmost cockpit, also tried to get out but found her canopy wouldn't open. Eventually the ground crew turned up, and even they struggled to get to get the canopy open, so it was another thirty minutes before they finally freed her.

Thread: Looking for a Flair SE5a Kit
22/10/2020 22:07:34

If anyone wants a Mannock, there's an unflown one here DB Mannock

Thread: WW1 canvas stiching.
21/10/2020 10:44:43

Maybe you need to be searching for 'simulating fuselage lacing'.  Stitching is on ribs to stop the fabric being sucked off them due to aerodynamic lift, whereas the fuselage is likely to have lacing like a very long shoelace with eyelets, so the covering can be removed, either as a whole or in places, for maintenance.

Somewhere I read an article about recreating the lacing. I'm sure it involved putting two rows of pins in, threading an appropriate size piece of thread around them, then doping it onto the covering.

This article has some useful information and diagrams, although the lacing cord on the SE5a pictured looks a bit hairy to me.  Fuselage Lacing Article


Edited By Robin Colbourne on 21/10/2020 11:03:03

Thread: Model suggestions?
21/10/2020 10:24:33
Posted by Matt Carlton on 20/10/2020 23:33:21:

How about a Mascot from DB Sport & Scale?

Or a Fiesta 4 from Pegasus Models?

Enjoyable builds and possibly a bit more suited to average weather conditions.

If anyone's after a DB Mascot Kit, there's one here: DB Mascot Kit in Gillingham, Kent

Thread: Flair ATS Kite MK4
20/10/2020 18:19:17

When doing the wing bandage its well worth having a hot air gun or your wife's least favourite hair dryer handy. A bit of warmth on the epoxy will wet it into the bandage, avoid trapped air and smooth the surface out. You don't need to get it really hot; if you do that, the epoxy will bubble and that will make things worse.

The talk is of bandage, however a lot of modellers use either glass cloth or 2" or wider glass fibre tape like this: Glass fibre Tape

I had a secondhand MFA Yamamoto which had the glass fibre and resin extending out about 4" onto each wing. It did add some weight, but it stopped any chance of the the wing bands digging into the leading and trailing edges.

Edited By Robin Colbourne on 20/10/2020 18:19:28

Thread: Ebay sellers...
19/10/2020 21:05:48

Its got a pod and boom so its got to be an R/C Helicopter...

Thread: Flair ATS Kite MK4
18/10/2020 13:35:00

Hi Robert,
Thank you for the history of the various Kites. I had forgotten all about the about the Supersport, and don't remember the MiniSport at all. I remember a chap, John Green, being involved in ATS in the early days, I suspect he sold or stepped down from the business around 2003.

I did go down to ATS sometime earlier than this, for a meeting with John and a flight, with a view to becoming an instructor for them. The Kite was in use at the time, and I recall discussing the design and construction. It certainly seemed well thought out for its job, as an all-weather trainer, designed to take the rough and tumble of ab-initio instruction.

Quite by chance I spotted another Flair Kite on eBay; electric this time, hiding behind a particularly vague title:

Electric Flair Kite in Chalfont St. Giles

Is it my imagination, or does that LiPo look a bit puffy?  Perhaps if he had tried it with the prop on the right way round he wouldn't be selling it? surprise


Edited By Robin Colbourne on 18/10/2020 13:36:47

Thread: Ask..Peter Miller
17/10/2020 14:27:38
Posted by Peter Miller on 17/08/2020 08:37:06:

He is highly amused because people turn up there with state of the art high aspect ratio sailplanes, attempt to fly them, say "There is no lift!" and go home while the EE stays up for ages on a gnats belch of lift.

This proves my reasoning that all the big soarers such as vultures, eagles, condors etc have low aspect ratio wings.

Peter, I've just found this thread, so apologies for bringing up your post from August. The difference between wing planforms is about optimisation for best minimum sink and best glide ratio. Sea birds tend to do a lot of dynamic soaring, soaring waves etc., so they are primarily interested in glide angle for getting places with minimum effort, whereas the vultures, eagles and condors are thermal soarers which tend to stay in one thermal until they have plenty of height to move to another, so wing area is what matters to them.

Full-size sailplanes have evolved over the years from virtually downwind-only machines with limited penetration to the 60:1 glide angle machines of today which fly triangles and speed tasks, so they sacrifice thermalling performance for speed and range. Usually older gliders will be top of the stack on a marginal day as they can turn tighter and climb faster.

Thread: Flair ATS Kite MK4
17/10/2020 14:05:59

Basil, I'm glad you were able to get hold of another Kite. Do let us know what the kit is like when you get it and tell us about the build.

Out of interest, does anyone know the differences between the Kites from the various manufacturers, i.e. ATS, JBA and Flair? Plus did Flair make four different marks of Kite themselves?

Thread: Contrails
15/10/2020 18:22:22
Posted by fly boy3 on 15/10/2020 17:28:15:

Today I saw odd shaped (to me) contrails. Beautiful blue sky with contrails at a perfect 90 degrees shape. Wondered what sort of info was recieved by pilot to achieve such a drastic looking change of direction ? Or is this quite normal.

Edited By fly boy3 on 15/10/2020 17:29:34

More like a lack of information. Neither saw the other one coming!

Thread: Ebay sellers...
15/10/2020 13:10:02
Posted by Peter Miller on 15/10/2020 09:12:22:
Posted by EarlyBird on 15/10/2020 09:07:44:

Snakes surprise

So they are I must go to the opticians as I thought they were wing bands holding the tail plane on.

Just as an aside am I correct in calling it a tail plane?


Usually it is tailplane unless you are American in whih case it is "stabiliser 2 or "Stab"

Peter, From what I've seen, the Americans generally call the tailplane the horizontal stabilizer, and the fin the vertical stabilizer. Maybe this stems from Orville and Wilbur knowing they needed them, but not being decided on where to put them.

Edited By Robin Colbourne on 15/10/2020 13:10:27

Thread: Unfairly vilified engines.
15/10/2020 13:00:54
Posted by extra slim on 15/10/2020 11:41:58:

when chatting engines with club members here in the north.. my favourite phrase is "wouldnt pull the skin off a rice pudding".. any others you guys hear?

"It glides well when the engine stops, doesn't it?"

Thread: Ebay sellers...
14/10/2020 11:24:49
Posted by Stuart Quinn-Harvie 1 on 14/10/2020 10:32:48:

Here's my current favourite:

Retracts AND a fixed undercart. You know, for rough strips. Obviously, as it says, a hurricane. Or a warbird. One of those.

Looks like a Flair Harvard wing and else.

( I know the seller clearly isn't a modeller, but I take my chuckles where I find them )

All terrain warbird

surprise Great find Stuart. I thought I had seen everything in R/C modelling. A high wing Harvard with fixed gear plus retracts still in place though. I think you've got a winner there!

Edited By Robin Colbourne on 14/10/2020 11:25:12

14/10/2020 01:32:55
Posted by Matt Carlton on 13/10/2020 21:54:24:

This one intrigued me:

Very aerobatic!

Not least because the seller promises "what you see is what you get". I'm assuming that includes the cat.

Edited By Matt Carlton on 13/10/2020 22:00:26

Matt, It'll be the cat that's aerobatic. I could hold our cat upside down by the legs about 12" above the bed. When I dropped it, it would still land on its feet. Even my Ripmax Ultimate Slim doesn't roll that fast!

Yes, the cat did take a dim view of this. No, I don't do things like that any more.

Thread: Unfairly vilified engines.
14/10/2020 01:23:09

An Indian Mills .75 my Dad bought new wouldn't turn over properly as the conrod would hit the bottom of the crankcase.

On the other hand, I've got an Indian Mills 1.3. Clearly it managed to slip through quality control; they let a good one out! I can start it in my hand and it will take a 72" scaled up Vic Smeed 'Madcap' up high on an 11x4" prop at some very low RPM.

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