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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: Wanted: MFA Yamamoto 1600
02/05/2020 16:05:41

Hi Robert,

If I am not mistaken, this is a New Yamamoto. MFA New Yamamoto on Ebay - 2 May 2020

I can't tell which size it is, but you could always message the seller. If you are not in a desparate hurry, it would be worth asking if he would hang on to it for you to collect once the lockdown is over.

Cheers, Robin

Thread: First "Drone" deliveries next week
27/04/2020 17:17:41
Posted by Kim Taylor on 27/04/2020 14:47:04:
Posted by Robin Colbourne on 27/04/2020 13:50:12:

The route is pretty safe as both Lee on Solent and the destination are both by the sea, with little or no overflying of people or property.

Where is the UAV going to land on the IOW though?

It can't be at the hospital site, as that is in a built up area (and certainly not "by the sea", so I'm guessing it'd be at Sandown, which is a half hour drive away from Newport. To my mind, this would be a more useful trial if they were using some kind of rotary wing UAV with capability of using the heli pad at the hospital - what they're doing here could easily be done using a conventional 'plane or microlight type.


Kim, I did wonder the same thing. The press release said Binstead, so having a quick look, the best site for least overflight of the island would be the field on the coast between Quarr Abbey and Binstead. There are other larger fields slightly inland from this though.

possible uav landing field - binstead isle of wight.jpg

With regard to the type of 'drone' they are using, they are trialling what they already have.  A multi-rotor drone carrying 100kg would be very unlikely to get permission to fly over built up areas and land at the hospital without a great deal of prior testing.

The 'carrying urgent medical supplies' may be a bit of a publicity stunt, but the current situation with little to get in the way in the air or on the sea does open up the opportunity to do the trial, carrying a typical payload, close to home, in a relatively safe manner.

I say good luck to them.  If they manage to make two round trips on the same day, I personally would deem the trial a success.

Edited By Robin Colbourne on 27/04/2020 17:41:35

Thread: Registration marks query
27/04/2020 17:06:12
Posted by flight1 on 27/04/2020 15:19:03:

and the ones that this is ment to stop won't have a number on their drones anyway as they are ignorant of sensibilties required for safe and considerate flying

You know that, I know that, the BMFA know that, in fact the CAA almost certainly know that. However, when some government minister asks the CAA what they have done to stop illegal drone use, they will be able to tell him or her, "They all have to be registered now" and hope the minister goes away before they think to ask another more probing question. What's more, Top Neddy* has created an opening for another Bottom Neddy*, complete with funding (by you and me) to expand their empire.

Strangely enough, the multi-rotor drones flying drugs into our prisons on a daily basis appear to be exempt from the numbering requirement...

*Term used by Roger Bacon of Flight International for civil servants and the like.

27/04/2020 14:49:01
Posted by Bell Ringer on 27/04/2020 14:05:00:

The problem there Robin, is that you'd need to cross it out and write a new number on next year. We will be issued a different number each year I think.

The sheer lunacy of all this is hard to fathom. Rather than a new and separate registration scheme, why didn't the powers that be simply make membership of one of the national bodies compulsory. Then we'd all be registered anyway.

That still won't do anything to stop those flying whom are blissfully ignorant of the existence of the national bodies.

Edited By Bell Ringer on 27/04/2020 14:07:41

Bell Ringer, If we just had to write our BMFA numbers on our aircraft, the CAA would struggle to justify how to extract £9.50 from each of us!

Seriously though, a lot of modellers already have their BMFA number on competition models, plus models do get bought and sold. A number which is updated each year, maybe, in the CAA's eyes a bit like the car tax discs we had until recently. It is a number unique to the CAA, independent of the BMFA, BARCS, LMA and drone operator organisations numbering, so shouldn't be confused with any numbering they have given you.

27/04/2020 13:56:11

The CAA operator number is the one asked for and the one I used. I just wrote it on the underside of my Irvine X-It with a ball point pen, whilst reading the number straight off the email on the screen; ensuring the letters were large enough to be legal.

The number was still there and equally legible at the end of the day.

Carrying a copy of the email sounds like a wise move.

Thread: First "Drone" deliveries next week
27/04/2020 13:50:12

Any project of this needs to be built up slowly in small achievable steps.

The beauty of this task this UAV is going to do fills a need (relatively fast delivery of medical products). The route is pretty safe as both Lee on Solent and the destination are both by the sea, with little or no overflying of people or property. The Solent probably has less private boats on it now, in benign weather conditions, than at any time since the war.

Another advantage is that the trial location is pretty much on the team's doorstep. Having been involved in UAV and other flight trials in the UK and abroad, I know from bitter experience that this saves a massive amount of time and resources. Having your workshops close at hand for repairs and modifications also increases the likelihood of success many fold.

A short flight time means that the team could potentially be doing several flight cycles a day, so they will rapidly find out what the weak points are of their airframes, equipment, communications and planning.

I very much doubt the long term aim is to use this aircraft for deliveries in first world countries. The same sort of delivery over, say 100 to 200 miles in third world countries could be a lifesaver.

Thread: Electric powered gliders
22/04/2020 20:41:09

Piers, Mike Bromfield and Guy Gratton did some research into the significantly different number of accidents between Cessna 150s and 152s. The conclusion was that the lighter stick forces on the C150 caused pilots to stall the aircraft when distracted by navigating and such like. A considerable number of these accidents occurred on early solo cross countries. Cessna 150/152 stick force & accident comparison

With regard to redundancy on an all flying tail, having a bellcrank pushed at each end by a separate actuator allows partial control if one or the other fails. Clearly this isn't as failsafe as separate elevators in addition to an all moving tailplane, as if the tailplane pivot seizes or just won't move, your options are very limited (e.g. Sioux City DC-10).

Another reason for the all flying tailplane is to make minor trim changes at transonic (cruise) speeds.

21/04/2020 22:09:16

Quite a few full-size sailplanes use all moving tails. The Schempp-Hirth Standard Cirrus and Nimbus designs are probably the best known. They are also well known for inexperienced pilots getting into PIOs (Pilot Induced Oscillations). One was even written off by a pilot getting into a PIO on the take off run!

The Morane L' Parasol' also had all flying tail surfaces. This is what Cecil Lewis had to say about it in 'Sagittarius Rising':

"I had a look over her, and the more I saw of her the less I liked her. It was certainly not love at first sight . . . the elevator was as sensitive as a gold balance; the least movement stood you on your head or on your tail. You couldn't leave the machine to its own devices for a moment . . . the Morane really was a death trap . . . Subsequently I flew every machine used by the Air Force during the war. They were all child's play after the Morane . . . but I did come to love the Morane as I loved no other aeroplane."

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.

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