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Member postings for Gemma Jane

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

Thread: Water slide decals
06/08/2010 22:36:54
My variation is coat with Humbrol Acrylic 135 satin varnish. Thin with water and apply with brush or airbrush. Never had one flake or come off and I like the satin finish.
Thread: motors for GWS P-38 ?
06/08/2010 20:19:19
Best of luck with it John.
Thread: Replica Spitfire I built
05/08/2010 15:04:57
That's a cracking Spitfire Bob, the top pick really needs a double take to differentiate if from full size, just the two bladed prop to give it away. The kit looks pretty straightforward, but your finishing work, wow!
Reading the build blog just reminded me I should stop spending so much time at the computer and go to the shed where I belong.

Edited By Gemma Jane on 05/08/2010 15:21:56

Thread: How many Modellers Are Engineers?
05/08/2010 13:31:17
The 'hands on' issue becomes most apparent when engineering students leave uni.
Suddenly they find that their latest amazing design can't actually be easily manufactured as it's impossible to produce the tooling to do the job. It must bring a few down to earth when they are sent away by a shop floor 'engineer' to have another think about it all when it is they that have the piece of paper that states they are an 'engineer'.
During my uni course there was a one week workshop of using machine tools. Watching a bunch of kids who had never even seen lathes before was pretty entertaining. Had to duck a lot though due to the flying chuck keys.. 
Much the same as I've seen from uni ecologists who can talk all day about 'bio mass' etc and don't see the animal sat by their foot whilst they are talking.. the very species they are there to record! Plenty of knowledge, zero practical field experience.
Fortunately long before I did the 'academic' stuff I was already very hands on having completed a City & Guilds in motorcycle mechanics (they taught me welding.. I love welding!) and being taught many model engineering skills by Dad, including using lathes, soldering and stuff. It's a good balance though I struggle to get my son to see that making things is actually the best way to learn about things, he is now getting the idea.

Edited By Gemma Jane on 05/08/2010 13:41:31

05/08/2010 12:37:53
That's a bit like how do you spot a pilot at a party?
You don't need to they already told you they are a pilot.
Guilty as charged. 
04/08/2010 16:33:23
Yep, Lee I agree with you too that you should be recognised for your abilities not for pieces of paper.
Unfortunately the whole world seems to have moved towards greater specialism and more bits of paper rather than ability.

04/08/2010 16:08:39
Your dead right there Lee.
Fact is I'm not a bad ecological consultant,  I have a reputation in the field for bringing in all my contracts on time. Though as you because I do not hold a relevant degree in the area I do miss out at times. Unfortunately I've not got much good to say about any 'university ecologists' who learnt everything from books rather than years of field study and tend to treat the whole thing as a 'tick box' exercise.
Such is life.

PS I should add I came from a very poor background, both my parents were dead by the time I self funded my access course and degree as a mature student. I made the money riding as motorcycle courier for 9 years in London. Life just got handed on a plate to me lol.

Edited By Gemma Jane on 04/08/2010 16:11:29

04/08/2010 15:48:50
I read this book while at uni
Sir Stanley Hooker had an amazing Engineering career starting out at Rolls-Royce.
He was himself a theoretical mathematician and not from an engineering background at all.
He relates in the book that when war broke out nobody really knew what to do with him so he was sent to RR as the authorities thought he might be of some help.
Having sat for two weeks in an office with nothing to do he took a short walk and wandered into an nearby office. Here a guy was working on drawings for the super charger for the Merlin.
Hooker showed an interest and asked if he could take a copy for study. To his surprise the design was not at all efficient. He re-designed it using his mathematical knowledge and increased the power developed by the Merlin engine at altitude. The spitfire Mk V benefited from the improvements and was a major blow to the Nazi campaign.
To me Sir Stanley Hooker was an excellent engineer even if a self depreciating one, hence the title of the book which is well worth the read. It was I think a clear case of the academic winning over the hands on engineering that RR excelled at and perhaps something of what was to follow regarding academic engineering degrees as opposed to hands on engineering in aircraft design and other areas in future years.
Another engineer worthy of note in the Merlin story is Beatrice Shilling.  I think both help for me to define 'what is an engineer'.
It's not just making something that makes an engineer, it's making something that solves a problem or works better, or people said couldn't be done, that for me defines engineering. Some will say though that it's the engineer that finds the cheapest solution that will be the most successful!
Edit - I should add that the excellent engineers at RR were later to save Sir Stanley Hooker's career, long after he left the company... you'll have to read the book to find out how if you don't already know.

Edited By Gemma Jane on 04/08/2010 15:53:12

04/08/2010 15:02:18
I think Steve 'it's those who can do, those who can't teach'. My sister told me that one, she's now a teacher.
04/08/2010 13:25:06
Guess who didn't refresh before posting again. 
04/08/2010 13:24:29
RJ Mitchell, studied both mathematics and engineering at night school Lee. He was though of the old school starting out as a hands on apprentice engineer and working his way up to Chief engineer. I'm not even sure we had aero degrees back then.
You can bet he could have taught the aerodynamics unit of an  aero degree though.
Just take the elliptical wing on the Spitfire. It's a theoretically perfect planform for efficiency... it was no accident.
He knew his stuff well enough. His sense of humour though might be like many people with more weight on their shoulders than most, tainted with a little self irony.
Thread: Editorial input required... Sept 2010
04/08/2010 13:14:32
Don't remind me Shahid, I still have bad dreams about thermodynamics and electronics lectures.
I did though pick a course that had a full aero unit in both the first and second years and was lucky to have an elderly ex industry lecturer who had a great feel for the subject.
It was after the degree that things started to really come together. I found I could just grasp a lot more of what I was reading about aero design. I didn't have time to study at uni my real area of interest whilst doing 7 other subjects at the same time.
Thread: How many Modellers Are Engineers?
04/08/2010 09:33:30
MEng aero
Attracted to modelling because being born 100 years too late I couldn't get what I wanted from industry. Warned by lecturers I was too academic for industry my placement lasted a week. Sat drawing a bolt on CAD for a plane I would probably never see I walked out to become an ecological consultant.
I also have several qualifications in totally practical subjects, such as motorcycle mechanics.
The model side lets me explore a lot. The arrogance, well people who meet me face to face find it hard to believe it's the same person. I'm afraid it is years of the subject rather than my actual personality that comes across. OK it's probably true for example I might of scared my PPL ground school instructor during group lectures and he openly admitted I knew more than him, but then again he also knows me as the nervous student pilot under test who though trying her best was just as human as anyone else and performing poorly due to nerves. I leave the academics well out of the cockpit, it's all about learning a new skill set not theory when flying and I owe what skill I have entirely to the excellence of my instructors not to my previous knowledge.
I think one of the interesting things is what is an Engineer? I remember at uni the guy who fixed the photocopier was banned from calling himself an Engineer. Petty I know but the line .... Iv'e got a Masters in aero probably only means something to those who have gone the academic route in the first place. To many an Engineer is someone who fiddles with aero engines. 
I think in the past aeromodelling would have had a greater bias to the engineering type, but would have also have had it's non-engineering enthusiasts. It use to be that the term model engineer was very common and for sure my Dad was a model engineer. These days the accessibility of models and the ease of getting into the air with pre-built models probably means that a much wider cross-section of people enjoy the hobby. I mean even girls are doing it these days! 
 edited for typo wouldn't instead of would have..

Edited By Gemma Jane on 04/08/2010 09:35:33

Thread: Editorial input required... Sept 2010
04/08/2010 08:27:11
Well caught Shahid.
All the best and keep the articles coming. 

03/08/2010 19:08:39
David it could be worse, you could have had me for tailwheel difference training, now that would be really looking into the face of fear, having a gall bladder popped out pales in comparison.
I wish you a speedy recovery.
I've learnt myself that information that is technically correct is not necessarily of any use to a wider audience. Such is life. 
"Naturally the stall speed over a wing largely remains the same for a given AoA regardless of what orientation the wind has to the wing" - hmmm I could have a field day, but in the interests of the moderators and regular posters sanity all I can say is yes what an interesting article.

Edited By Gemma Jane on 03/08/2010 19:09:19

Thread: The "p" factor
30/07/2010 22:48:54
My problem with these pictures Doug is that the plane is usually moving. In which case are we just seeing the path of the prop tips prescribed in the shedding vortex sheet as the plane moves forward rather than an impression of the flow?
Thread: E flite 65 in sea fury
30/07/2010 12:57:57
Hi Phil,
There are c of g marks on the upper wing just inboard of the small blisters to indicate whre to put your fingers..
Manual says balance inverted, level or slightly  nose down. I found my worked best a little nose down. 

Edited By Gemma Jane on 30/07/2010 13:10:49

Thread: The "p" factor
30/07/2010 11:56:04
You shouldn't feel guilty Simon,  forums, good for having a chat, good for getting some quick advice and sharing experiences, good for showing your latest build, good for getting some help when considering purchasing, good for making contacts..
..very bad for discussing the finer points of 3 dimensional turbulent flow fields!
Aerodynamics is a subject best understood by the maths, it's not perfect maths but it beats not having anything to go on as the Wright brothers found. Equations also take up a lot less space and convey far more information than hundreds of words trying to explain topics which can very easily get very complicated.
Unfortunately the whole P-Factor vs helical flow thing was started by a pilot. People naturally assume pilots understand aerodynamics. Afraid not, aerodynamicists understand aerodynamics, well most of it any way. Not sure airline pilots get much time for studying the finer points of fluid dynamics when at 30,000', but I've certainly heard some pretty big misconceptions from professional pilots regarding the subject. That's not to say they are any lesser a good pilot though nor that some pilots didn't do their aeronautics degree and have a much better grasp of the topics. The fact is you don't need to understand it to fly models or full size. Though for me understanding how things fly has always been just another pleasure I get from aeroplanes.
Attempting to put these subjects into words, very long posts, very bad tempers and very little of the feel of the subject actually gets expressed. I suspect most people switch off by the second line of most of the posts and who can blame them!
It might just be with this topic the 'sticking' point is the pictures illustrating helical flow suggest  a laminar flow field from the prop. A prop blade may be seen as a rotating wing, the flow is turbulent, smoke can't follow the flow field or reveal the momentum interaction between the particles.. it will just look like smoke! It's a shame we can't use smoke to reveal the turbulent flow fields around a plane, if we could half the subject would be done and dusted and my fingers wouldn't get so tired of typing.
Smoke is only any good for studying perfectly laminar flow guys, so I hope you keep on discussing this topic, but I don't think a picture of an aircraft trailing smoke is going to help much.
What you need to start looking into is the Navier-Stokes equations and evaluation of momentum in 3 dimensional flow fields.. the answers to this one are there. 
Thread: Aerodynamics - who needs it?
29/07/2010 14:55:35
I don't believe in Butterflies, current aerodynamic theory is inadequate for evaluating large-amplitude flapping in low aspect ratio wings, so if I see one, I just look away.
Thread: The "p" factor
28/07/2010 23:02:36
I would like to openly apologise for my tone in previous posts.
Unfortunately it can be too easy for me to get too involved in the 'argument' and forget it is another person that I'm addressing.
I don't like it when it happens to me on forums, so I've no excuse for doing it myself.
As is often the way the heat of the moment can lead to a press of the 'Add Posting' button when one should really have perhaps considered if the post was appropriate. Certainly reading back through a previous post I clearly went well over the mark.
Again I'm sorry for that, trust me the subject of aerodynamics has caused me untold grief on forums in the past. Perhaps I should consider it like religion and politics and just let people discuss their opinions on the subject whilst keeping mine to myself. 
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