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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: Gone,but not forgotten kit mfg
30/05/2020 23:04:01

If you had the KeilKraft Handbook in your youth, you probably drooled over their 'Intruder' F3a pattern ship. 72" span for 10cc engines and 'full house' radio... The stuff dreams are made of! That picture in the Handbook was the only sight I had ever had of this mythical beast...

...until now...

That twin exhaust tail looked familiar, although the canopy line has been changed to make it more Curare-ish.

KeilKraft Intruder - F3a Pattern Model

Edited By Robin Colbourne on 30/05/2020 23:04:25

Thread: Wanted: MFA Yamamoto 1600
30/05/2020 21:59:47

Another New Yamamoto on eBay starting at £5: New Yamamoto in Northampton

If you are into these, it would be worth it for a spare fuselage.

The tailplane looks decidedly small and definitely not the original shape

Regarding Andy Stephenson's point about the name; whilst watching Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines for the gazillionth time, I noticed the Japanese competitor's name was Yamamoto. Thanks to Eric Sykes's sabotage to his aeroplane, his final 'arrival' bore a marked similarity to some of those on my original MFA Yamamoto.

ITs a good thing I don't live anywhere near Northampton, otherwise I might be tempted to give homes to some of his other models.

Edited By Robin Colbourne on 30/05/2020 22:03:15

Thread: Glider design - low aspect ratio wing
26/05/2020 23:26:14

Who says Johnny don't soar?*

*Johnny = Jonathon Livingston Seagull

Edited By Robin Colbourne on 26/05/2020 23:27:02

Thread: Boulton & Paul Defiant
26/05/2020 16:36:19
Posted by mal brewer on 26/05/2020 15:57:33:
Posted by Mike T on 26/05/2020 15:51:50:

(and condemned as useless by MvR)


What is , or was , MvR ?


Manfred von Richthofen?

Edited By Robin Colbourne on 26/05/2020 16:36:32

26/05/2020 16:19:20

If the Defiant had been kept solely as a night fighter, it would have been a different story. Accounts of side-on attacks suggest it was very successful in its niche role. It could fly alongside the aircraft to be attacked, match its speed, whilst the Defiant gunner raked it from front to rear.

Earlier in the war, when most of the action was in daylight and the RAF was hard pressed, it was just too tempting to send the Defiants up, despite its advantages and shortcomings being already known by both sides.

'From November 1940, an increasing number of new night fighter squadrons were formed on the Defiant. Units operating the Defiant shot down more enemy aircraft than any other night-fighter during the German ‘Blitz’ on London in the winter of 1940-41.'

Aeroflight - Boulton and Paul Defiant

The knowledge gained on electro-hydraulic gun turrets put the Wolverhampton company in a strong position to work on other aircraft products such as flap tracks, servo valves and actuators. After various changes of ownership through the years, they are now Moog, and make the actuator for the Bell V-280 Valor tiltrotor to turn the rotors from horizontal to vertical.

Edited By Robin Colbourne on 26/05/2020 16:22:41

Thread: Ebay sellers...
22/05/2020 19:16:37
Posted by FlyinBrian on 22/05/2020 18:38:18:

"My first 27MHz Fleet set would blow something inside if you operated it for too long with the aerial down and my model would also usually fall out of the sky if it flew past another 27MHz transmitter."

Ah yes "Flitter Flutter Fleet" Having said that they did become reliable and we had many in my club at the time.

Yes, FlyinBrian, this was a 2+1 Fleet set made in about about 1972 with four wire servos and a centre-tapped three wire DEAC (Nicad), It had a two axis stick, and a thing like a trim lever for the third channel. I bought it from the Fleet Control Systems shop, secondhand, in about 1977. My Futaba FP-T5LK that I bought new, four years later, was like a breath of fresh air, but three times dearer!

The later Fleet Custom 1 and Custom 2 sets, were, to the best of my knowledge, perfectly ok.

22/05/2020 12:34:36
Posted by Rod Parsons 1 on 22/05/2020 11:57:53:


Im finding this thread brilliant entertainment.

I wonder how long some of this stuff stays on sale for? I wonder if they actually con anyone into buying it.

It makes me kind of sad, as many years ago when my Dad first started with RC, he was ruthlessly ripped off with second hand radios and engines ( all of which were faulty). We did persevere and get better kit. Even when an established modeller, I could not get some of our early engine purchases to run.


Keep um coming




Hello Rod,
That's why we are in a much better position these days for finding secondhand equipment. I remember scouring our local newspaper classifieds every week looking for model aircraft engines. I did find a Frog 3.49 diesel once and cycling a 10 mile or so round trip to get it though.

These days with Ebay, Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace, Schpock, BMFA classifieds and this site's own classifieds, we are really spoilt for choice. Even rarities come up relatively frequently, provided you are willing to scour all the vague 'model plane' and rc aircraft' ads to see what they actually have.

Modern radio gear is generally reliable, whereas the early 1970s equipment did need maintenance fairly often. Vibration and crashes took their toll on pre surface-mount components, not to mention the dodgy, castor drenched switches and servos with dirty potentiometers. My first 27MHz Fleet set would blow something inside if you operated it for too long with the aerial down and my model would also usually fall out of the sky if it flew past another 27MHz transmitter.

Secondhand equipment is fine for experienced buyers who know what they are looking at, what the likely cost of spares is and how to fix things; beginners are generally much better off buying new.

Edited By Robin Colbourne on 22/05/2020 12:36:06

Thread: Flair SE5a kit
22/05/2020 00:47:44

Maurice, Another option is to have both an auction and 'Buy it Now'. This costs 50p extra, but on a kit of the value of the Flair SE5a, it is worth it. The 'Buy It Now' option disappears as soon as someone bids, so there is an incentive to someone wanting the model to use that option as soon as possible. On the other hand, if a bidder wants to take a chance at getting it for less than the 'Buy it Now', they can start the bidding. Either way you have a committed buyer.
The only catch is that the 'Buy it Now' price must be at least 40% above the starting bid price.

It is also not unknown for auctions to go up beyond the seller's original 'Buy it Now' price.

As Denis says, use all 12 photos, and make every one of them count (show something the others don't). As well as a photo of the box lid and contents in the box, the opened out plan, instructions and decals' lay the bits out in small groups and take a close-up picture of each so a knowledgable buyer can see that everything is there (this is in addition to you going through the parts list, cross-checking it yourself and telling them that). If you do find any damage, show a picture. Buyers are generally ok knowing there is a torn plan or replacing some wood if they know in advance. They'll be less happy if they thought they were getting a pristine kit and its not.

Its also worth telling the potential buyers how you will be packing the kit to make sure they receive it in the best possible condition (Although Flair are pretty good in this respect, if the original packaging is still there). Explain how you will wrap any loose parts in bubble wrap and tape so they can't move around inside the box wreaking destruction. In addition, state that you will be wrapping the kit box in bubble wrap and wrapping it in another layer of corrugated cardboard. If you were buying a Flair kit as a much wanted present for a loved one, you would be pretty unimpressed if you received the kit box with the courier label just taped on the front.

Good luck!


Edited By Robin Colbourne on 22/05/2020 00:49:32

Thread: What does Homer Simpson say?
21/05/2020 23:11:12
Posted by Geoff Copping on 21/05/2020 09:57:11:

I too will now make a point of keeping them labelled. Thanks for that.

A tip for anyone who keeps servo arms, or any other its for that matter, in those sets of clear plastic drawers. Rather than just writing the name of the item on the label, If you cut out the manufacturer's name, e.g. Futaba, JR, Hitec, from the backing card or box, and use that as the label on the drawer with the respective servo arms in, it makes it a lot easier to spot; particularly if like mine, the drawers keep finding their way back into different drawer compartments.

For any other bits, I draw a picture of the part on the label, or if I have enough of them, stick one on the front of the drawer.

Thread: Personal Injuries.
19/05/2020 17:55:14

John, I hope your son makes as speedy a recovery without any long term complications.

Without wishing to condone the driver's failing to stop, be thankful that the driver returned and faced up to what he had done. People are all different, and panic makes them behave in strange ways.

Shaun's suggestions all sound good. If none of those are applicable, you could try speaking to Cycling UK
which used to be known as the Cycle Touring Club. At least the companies they use should be experienced in dealing with claims by cyclists. Failing that, have a look on a few cycling forums; there is bound to be a thread about good and bad claims lawyers.

Thread: Ebay sellers...
15/05/2020 13:33:50
Posted by Keith Sharples on 15/05/2020 13:08:45:

Why do so many if you on this forum knock ebay sellers. Yes there is some rubbish out there but why knock people for trying to sell it. You make it sound like they are idiots and after all it's the buyer that decides to buy it or not. Also take into account that some of them may well of left the hobby ages ago and not be away of how things and prices have changed. What is rubbish to some is gold to others.

Keith, don't take this thread too seriously! Most of us wouldn't be looking at eBay if we weren't potential buyers. I, and I'm sure most other contributors, accept that for a multitude of reasons modelling items are often advertised by people with little knowledge of what they are selling. I would much rather have the opportunity to buy a tatty looking model, engine or accessory which has some signicance to me, than have it go to landfill.

It isn't difficult to research on eBay's 'completed items' what a product is worth, assuming the seller can identify it. So when extremely tatty, very incomplete or even perfectly good items get advertised with outrageously high prices, it is bound to raise a chuckle which the finder wants to share.

The professional 'antiques' trade are probably the worst offenders, not only with the ridiculously high 'Buy it Now's, but also their glowing and flowery descriptions with no bearing on reality.

Edited By Robin Colbourne on 15/05/2020 13:35:02

Edited By Robin Colbourne on 15/05/2020 13:40:27

Thread: Balsa cement
15/05/2020 13:06:58

Not having used UHU Hart balsa cement, can someone please confirm, if I take a used tube and position it over a candle, whether or not I will get a jet of flame from the nozzle and the tube bursting open at the other end with a satisfying bang?
Asking for a friend... wink

Thread: Bike Maintenance Stand to Model Stand?
14/05/2020 18:37:00

Grovelling down in the mud or dust to work on models at the field is losing its appeal these days. Having used a bike maintenance stand for the first time a couple of days ago (for its intended purpose), it occurred to me it could easily be adapted to support a model at the right height to work on. A couple of foam lined cradles clamped onto the horizontal tube would give the same sort of thing found on flight boxes, only at a height that would avoid bending or kneeling down. There is also a little tool tray on the vertical post which is handy.

Lidl Bicycle Maintenance Stand

Has anyone got any experience of using one of these for models?Lidl Bike Stand

The stands are pretty stable with the legs spread right out, although if running a large engine or motor, some decent ground anchors would be a useful addition.

Coincidently Lidl are doing them from the 24th of May for £24.99 which makes building something similar from scratch barely worth the effort.

Edited By Robin Colbourne on 14/05/2020 18:40:15

Thread: Flying over private land
14/05/2020 15:30:31

Ralph C, You would be wise to at least try and contact the farmer before flying, and particularly if trying to retrieve your drone. Theft of farm equipment and even livestock is a very big problem, so a drone suddenly appearing out of the blue, flying over their property, could well be regarded as 'casing the joint'.

Generally if you are polite, offer evidence of who you are and where you live and take note of the farmer's concerns, e.g. lambing season, risk of crop damage etc. they are more likely to be ameniable.

I've landed hang gliders on farms on a number of occasions, remember cups of tea and cakes being offered, but no ill feeling or bills for damage. At least I could put it on my shoulder and avoid trampling the crops, whereas an 18 metre sailplane can be more like a huge scythe.

Treat people the way you would like them to treat you, or at least how they are likely to want to be treated.


Thread: Advice on using my old Futaba gear
14/05/2020 14:41:33

Hi David,

The Futaba FP-T5LK was my first 35MHz set, bought in December 1981, when I and the other first year RAE apprentices were taken to the Model Engineer Exhibition at Wembley Conference Centre.

One other thing I can add, is that the plastic moulding around the base of the sticks can crack and then the whole gimbal falls apart. I wasn't aware of the deterioration that Cuban8 describes, but given the possibility of that, it does sound like a more modern set would be a good idea.

If you are not keen on the idea of a programmable transmitter, then Spektrum and others do basic sets with reversing switches and mixers on slide switches.

I wondered if the lack of charging sockets on sets equipped for 4 AA cells is to prevent people trying to charge them with their existing transmitter chargers. I have a FlySky 2.4GHz transmitter (FS-T6) which uses eight AA cells and does have a charging socket; their later four cell FS-i6 does not.

Cheers, Robin

Thread: What model is this
13/05/2020 19:22:51

It looks more Sukhoi 26-ish to me. The ailerons appear to start too far out for an Extra 300, and the canopy bottom rear corner and wing trailing edge alignment looks incorrect. I could of course be completely wrong!

Edited By Robin Colbourne on 13/05/2020 19:23:08

Thread: Ebay sellers...
13/05/2020 14:12:40

That Gladiator does have a serious amount of weathering; it makes the Grumman Duck in 'Murphy's War' look like a Concours entrant!

Here's my latest eBay find: MDS 40 - 'For Parts or Not Working'

I'm usually a sucker for MDS waifs and strays (read 'masochist'!), but this one is even a bit far gone for me.

Given that I recently picked up an unflown Phoenix Classic 40 trainer complete with airborne Futaba R/C and the same model of MDS40 for £20; which makes a 'pony' for that pile of aluminium oxide a tad on the steep side.

By the way, I neglected to mention that the Phoenix trainer had been in a shed, and still has evidence (a branch with leaves) where a bramble had grown through the wing... I might just cover that rib bay with clear film and leave the bramble in place...

Thread: Plans for Bowman 110 ins Sailman
12/05/2020 00:33:32

What was that thing Donald Rumsfeld said about the supposed 'Weapons of Mass Destruction'?

"...there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don't know we don't know."

Bill, applying this to your Simple Sailman, there will be parts you can readily identify, e.g. fuselage sides and wing ribs, if they are pre-cut; so take all those bits out and put them on one side. Now you know what bits you have, and what bits are still required. You know what has to be made, so this has to come from what is left. If you go by what is most likely and number each piece with possible options, you should be able to get most of the way.

Here is picture of a Simple Sailman, albeit electrified, courtesy of the Christchurch and District Model Flying Club website, so it gives an idea what size and shape the parts should be, and the relative proportions.

Bowmans Simple Sailman

Most models follow similar construction methods, i.e. 'D' box wing with top & bottom spars, leading edge, trailing edge, dihedral braces and tip blocks. Fuselage with sheet sides, top & bottom, maybe doublers on the sides at the nose and below the wing plus three formers (nose, wing l/e & wing t/e), tail surfaces could be either sheet, built up or a combination of both.

If the parts are all cut to size, you're laughing; if some have to be cut to size you will have to make some estimates from the picture. The chap who posted the above picture is still listed in the club's current committee, so you could always send a message via the club to see if he would be willing to offer any guidance on mystery parts.

Whilst a plan would be a great help, there is a good chance you could build it without.

Cheers, Robin

Thread: CAP1915 UK Drone Corridors - Future impact on model flying?
09/05/2020 02:00:48

CAP1915 describes trial drone corridors for COVID 19 medical deliveries. These beg a few questions:

  • Will approval of these corridors be continued after we are allowed to fly again?
  • Will the restart of model flying be delayed to allow the drone flights to continue for longer?
  • What height will they be flying at?
  • Will model flyers be expected to check NOTAMs to ensure their intended flying site isn't on the drone's route?

Edited By Robin Colbourne on 09/05/2020 02:01:53

Thread: Smoking....
06/05/2020 02:40:36

In-cowl airflow and cooling is something like 25% science and 75% art. The science is:to have rounded edges to any air inlets (look at the inlet to a ducted fan), duct the air so it can only pass through the motor, to have an air outlet 4 times the area of the inlet, and lastly to experiment to ensure this outlet is not in a high pressure zone on the airframe, otherwise the cooling air cannot escape. An angled 'gill' in front of the outlet may be necessary to make a low pressure zone behind it.

The art comes from appreciating that every installation is different. It is not uncommon for the air to actually travel forward through the prop nearest the spinner when ground running, this can be demonstrated with smoke tests (not the sort the OP did...) .

Full-size aircraft designers go to a lot of effort with baffles to make sure that the air if forced past the cooling fins and out of the cowl to ensure the heat the engine generates is reliably transferred into the airflow. Aircraft such as the Vought Corsair had very noticable adjustable gills on the back of the cowling to allow greater airflow out of the cowling at low speeds.

Its also worth bearing in mind that if you switch off your motor in the air, the speed of the cooling airflow is going to be the gliding speed of the model, do the same on the ground and its zero. This can be demonstrated by the fact that on a full-size installation, if the throttle is suddenly closed in the air, the cylinder head temperature will drop quickly (shock cooling), whereas on the ground it will rise for a while.

Going back to the model, unless it is very draggy, the power to maintain straight and level flight is minimal and the prop is only having to accelerate the air just enough to maintain level flight, whereas on the ground to achieve that same RPM, the propeller is accelerating the air from zero to that same speed.

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