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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: Electric powered gliders
21/04/2020 13:37:15
Posted by Piers Bowlan on 21/04/2020 11:54:29:

Ken didn't say if it was a thermal or slope soarer but a 60in slope soarer is a nice size.

Piers, Ken did say 'electric', so I made the assumption is the model will be thermal soarer-ish.

Whilst I would agree that a large thermal soarer has its advantages, maybe the idea is something to keep in the car or take on holiday, which would make a removable tail surfaces and the compact size an advantage?

20/04/2020 13:57:50

Ken, about 59 inches would be a good distance wingtip to wingtip... wink

Seriously though, find an existing successful design of the general proportions that you like, e.g. on Outerzone, and use the approximate areas and dimensions. You can change the outlines to give it a unique shape, and scale it up or down, by creating a multiplication factor for each linear dimension. The Goldberg Electra, which in turn is based on their Gentle Lady design, would be a good place to start: Outerzone - Goldberg Electra

If you want a more scientific approach, have a read of Model Aircraft Aerodynamics by Martin Simons.
Radio Control Thermal Soaring by George Stringwell is also very helpful and covers construction techniques as well.

Thread: Wanted: MFA Yamamoto 1600
17/04/2020 17:12:06
Posted by Robert Telford 1 on 16/04/2020 17:12:49:

Thanks for all the responses. Indeed, thats the one i’m looking for. From what i can tell, the fibreglass version originally had a 1.4m span, which was modified at some stage to 1.6m. I guess this was to reduce the wingloading from that porky fuz, hence why I am looking to see if there is a 1.6m span version around.

Robin, that would be great thanks! Please let me know when you have had a chance to check and we can take it from there.

Will do Robert!

I would certainly agree that the original MFA Yamamoto was a very forgiving design and an excellent trainer. I learnt on one powered by a Merco 35, and I subsequently bought another when giving one to one lessons, as it could fly slow enough for older beginners to keep up with. The plan for this one is available on Outerzone, and I'm sure one of the various foam wing cutting companies around the country could produce the wing cores.

MFA Yamamoto Plan - Wooden Fuselage

16/04/2020 13:13:47

Hi Robert,

I'm pretty sure I have an unfinished one of these, but sadly its not where I'm living at the moment. As and when the lockdown allows me to get to it, I will dig it out and see exactly what I have. From recollection it has a yellow fuselage.

To make sure we are talking about the same model, is this the one sold as the 'New Yamamoto'?

Like the one in this link: MFA New Yamamoto

MFA New Yamamoto Kit Box



Thread: RC IC Engines, you've probably never heard of.
16/04/2020 00:09:41


That ASP 40 diesel certainly looks different.   Having got that far with it , I'm surprised they didn't produce more even just as a limited run for collectors?

Re the piped MDS15, the model I remember that used it was, I think, called a Wasp. It was a tiny thing with an all-sheet wing. I saw them fly at the Plumpton show, and they went like rockets. They did a 40 size as well, but the small one was the most impressive.

Here are a few from today's rummage in the roof.  My father, Jim, collected engines for most of his life.  His first engine being a Hallam Nipper he built from castings during the war.  He died last year, so now I'm going to put together a database of what he had (He kept cards with each engine listing what it is and where he bought it, but despite out efforts, didn't ever get the hang of spreadsheets and databases).  A lot of the engines came from shows such as Sandown that we went to together, so have special meaning as I remember him getting them.

His later work, auditing companies for the Ministry of Defence, allowed him to travel home calling in to current and former model shops to see what they had lurking in their dusty drawers.  Often after tea, he would disappear into the basement to strip and clean his latest acquisition.  Usually somewhere between 1am and 2am, he would finish reassembling it and we would hear it being started in the test stand on the bench.  Fortunately our nearest neighbours were quite some way away!

Here we have a Russian 40 (but its not an MDS!), A Kraft 61, A Taipan 15 rear exhaust, a Cipolla Junior 1,5cc with the annular exhaust collector ring (this engine isn't R/C, but they did do them), and a British Powermax Himax 91 four stroke.  The Himax does have the exhaust and carb with it in the box, but I didn't fit them for the photos.

Russian 40 Left Side (not MDS)Kraft 61 (Right Side)Taipan 15 Rear Exhaust.jpgCipolla JuniorPowermax Himax 91

There are a lot of other less common engines, but it will take a while to find them, so watch this space!

Edited By Robin Colbourne on 16/04/2020 00:56:45

15/04/2020 23:37:31
Posted by Barrie Lever on 15/04/2020 21:05:59:
Posted by Peter Christy on 15/04/2020 19:04:58:

My first MicroMold Lark flew with a Veco 19!





At around that time I seem to have memories of seeing a chap flying a heli with power by a Cox 049, his name might have been Peter Valentine, do you remember that?


Barrie, I remember seeing Peter Valentine's 049 helicopter in RCM&E in 1976.  The helicopter was an amazing achievement for the time. I think Peter was also an Air Cadet Gliding instructor too.

Here you are:  Peter Valentine's Mayfly 3 049 powered Helicopter in 1976

Edited By Robin Colbourne on 15/04/2020 23:59:36

Edited By Robin Colbourne on 16/04/2020 00:03:54

15/04/2020 11:34:51

I'm really enjoying this thread!

14/04/2020 19:03:16
Posted by Paul Marsh on 14/04/2020 18:58:23:

No, might as well do all engines. see how many types there are. Still got some more but that's it for today, but some more weird ones to follow.

Oh dear. In that case Paul, I'm going to have to go up in the roof and rummage through a few boxes...

14/04/2020 18:43:54

How about Master Engines from Russia? Master Motors - Russia

Meteor Engines in 40 & 60 sizes from her in the UK in the mid to late 1970s

Ueda Engines from Japan in the 1960s and 70s

Phil Kraft, the R/C manufacturer and designer of the Super-Fli, Bar-Fli and Ugly Stick in the USA did his own Kraft 61.

I assume we are only doing two stroke glow engines, otherwise the list starts getting quite long with the various four strokes from Magnum (UK), Powermax, Kalt, Kavan and so on; not to mention all the two stroke weedwacker and chainsaw petrol engine conversions (Quadra, Tartan, Fox (from Italy) US Engines etc.).

14/04/2020 16:58:46

Moving away from the Chinese and Taiwanese engines, how about these three from Italy?

Cipolla - various sizes in the 1970s & 80s, they still making model car engines by the looks of it.

Kosmik sold by Micromold (as far as I can recall).

Como - Como was initially a Super Tigre engine built for control line aerobatics (stunt) but then sold with an R/C carb. Unusally for a stunt engine it had Schneurle porting.

Thread: Anyone use these?
14/04/2020 16:51:20

As the arms can't snap off them (because there aren't any), the next weakest link in the chain is the servo gears. Its easier to change a servo arm than rebuild a servo.

Thread: RC IC Engines, you've probably never heard of.
14/04/2020 16:44:18

Presumably some of these are out of the same Chinese or other Far-Eastern factory, and 'Badge Engineered' to suit the distributor.
As I understand it SC, ASP and Magnum were all from the same source, Sanye. SC were sold via Perkins to the UK and Commonwealth countries, ASP were initially sold by Indy R/C in the USA and later by Horizon.

Other 'makes' you could include are:

Bluebird, distributed by MFA

Flash or FLH (around the time Thunder Tiger first arrived on these shores)


J'EN - Just Engines 'own brand'

Were Mutunuc ever get sold in the UK officially? The ones I have were £20 in a plastic bag 'pig in a poke' from SMC at Sandown.

Thread: What Traders are still offering Mail Order? Services?
07/04/2020 13:45:28
Posted by Steven Webb (Steve Webb Models) on 07/04/2020 12:54:32:

Lovely memories Peter. If I could have got the prop and wing fixing that would have done me. I used to replace wings and rubber on later models. I’ve had over a minute modded.

HI Steve, I'm not sure if you are pllaning to build a Sleek Streak, or are reminiscing. If planning to build, SAMS Models are listing a Sleek Streak-type prop unit, and according to their Facebook post of a fortnight ago, they were endeavouring to stay open for mail order.

SAMS Models - Propellers

Thread: Round The Pole Tipo Bipe
06/04/2020 15:24:05

Julian, the secret to success with RTP seems to be going to geared motors. Fortunately the large numbers of small drones and electric helicopters mean that the parts are much more readily available.

Chris Freeman's approach of using a brushless motor and a motor trimmer is another way of being able to turn a large prop. With the availablity of small LiPo batteries, micro R/C etc, there is a lot to be said for his approach of having the entire powertrain in the model. It also means that you have a model, which with the addition of pitch and roll control, that you can use without the pole, once everyone is allowed out again.

06/04/2020 15:13:35

Hi Digger,

I have no personal experience of the Sterling P-61, however the plan is here to download on Outerzone, so you can judge the feasibility yourself before splashing out on the kit. Sterling P-61 Black Widow

As considerable rework of the wings would be required to fit ailerons, you could go for twisting/pitching outer wing panels along the lines of the KeilKraft Invader glider conversion in this months RCM&E. This would also save having to do an elevator linkage.

Thread: North Pacific gliders
03/04/2020 18:50:54

Barrie, I do have one, although have yet to assemble it. I would love a copy of the wing clip file and a sample when convenient.

Maybe a prop hub on which blades laminated from PET (Lemonade bottles) would be achievable? I've often thought a scaled up Sleek Streak for either rubber or a small electric motor and some 1.7 gram servos would be fun.

Thread: Benefits of the lockdown
03/04/2020 17:21:00

None of the usual PC rubbish dominating the news.

'Celebrities' only getting a mention if they succumb.

No former Prince Harry + irritating wife.

Cleaner air outside.

Possibility of getting some models repaired.

Slight possibility of getting 'wish list' models built

Jokes, cartoons and memes of a standard not seen since the horsemeat scandal.

Cars getting some of the home servicing I've been meaning to do for a while.

Shaun, shame on me, I had to look up 'Ochroma Pyramidale'! There could be a surge in cases of 'Balsadustosis' too, which wouldn't be good.

Thread: North Pacific gliders
03/04/2020 16:57:40

Hi Barrie,

A great thread! Only last night I was wondering if it would be possible to 3D print a North Pacific wing joiner, I then woke up this morning to find you had already done it. Very impressive! That piece of plastic is responsible for many small, and not so small, boys and girls learning about varying the centre of gravity position, the effects of changing angle of incidence and what different sizes and shapes of wings might do.

The Astro Gnat was the one of which we had most.The Skeeter was probably the highest performance model with its large prop and lack of draggy and heavy undercarriage. The Sleek Streak was good although a bit dear for meagre pocket money.

We flew Sleek Streaks in a duration competition in the assembly hall (canteen) at work in the 1980s. Times of around 20 seconds were achievable under the 18 foot ceiling. Someone was heard to comment, 'I never knew North Pacific used such high quality competition balsa and rubber in their models', so the winner may not have been quite what it claimed to be!

A bit of North Pacific history here:North Pacific Model Aircraft

There is a some more info here, including a contribution by Nancy Cleveland, daughter of Charles H Cleveland, one of the North Pacific founders North Pacific Models

Thread: Vic smeed Paageboy
03/04/2020 16:28:38

There's a history of the PAA Load class competitions here: PAA Load history and rules

PAA stands for Pan American Airways, the competition sponsor. The objective of the competition was to carry a payload representing one or two passengers, depending on the class, A or B. The 'passengers' had to be visible from the front and sides, so the models tended to have glazxed cockpits.

KeilKraft even kitted a PAA Load model, the Halo. KeilKraft Halo, PAA Load class model for 1cc engines

Thread: MFA Skyhawk by Model Flight Accessories
03/04/2020 00:49:39

Alan, you will need to remind me what the Sperber looks like. My gut feeling says T-Tail and about 100" span but I could be way out.

Here's a Spearfish lurking under some fairly dodgy looking additional superstructure, and a rather inflated price (They normally seem to sell for £70 to £100 looking at completed items). MFA Spearfish

Edited By Robin Colbourne on 03/04/2020 01:07:56

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