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Member postings for andy watson

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

Thread: School project.
22/06/2008 00:46:00

I had a look at the plans idea, but decided that to try power- which the kids will love- might be too steep a learning curve.  I also reckoned that by the time I had bought the plans, balsa+ply wood, assorted struts, wheels etc I wouldn't save a lot of money, if any.

Of course, I might be wrong.  I think I will have a go at building off plan, but I think it will be something at home, rather than with the students.

Thread: Hiya
22/06/2008 00:24:00
How patient are you guys?
Thread: School project.
22/06/2008 00:05:00

Can't actually work it out-but the guy selling it is local!!

To be honest it looks pretty uninspiring in the photos, but at worst it will be a tool to help me move onto other things, and I won't be too upset if I dive it into the ground .  I will have a good look at it before I actually hand over the cash.  Of course, once I start it up I might discover I love it. 

 Just out of interest there is the 6EX tx or there is a 7C, which will add a bit of strain to the budget, but is manageable.

In words of about 2 syllables, for someone that hasn't done any flying yet, what extra does the £100 get me for the 7C?  I have read about them both, but some of te comparisons are going above my head at the moment!

21/06/2008 23:11:00

Cheers for that Eric.

 That pretty much makes up my mind that I will get one of the Futaba sets, since it gives me the most flexibility.  Will the 6EX model deal with just about anything I am likely to fly for the forseeable future?

The area surrounding the school is pretty open (fields) on 3 sides, and I don't see that we will ever get to the stage of flying anything remotely acrobatic/fast since each year will mean new (and hence unskilled) students coming through to replace those that hopefully will gain some experience over a few years.  I would think that will act as a limiting factor far more than space.  If we are pushing those boundaries then I am probably giving the students unsuitable projects.  To be honest, the students would probably love some of the small "park flyers" but I want these to have an "awe" value even when displayed in the class room, or in a half built state near a strategic window where the other students can look but not touch .

I have just risked £40 on a 2nd hand trainer off ebay with a 3 channel tx.  Hopefully I can start to have a bash at one of the local clubs soon, whilst I set myself up with something more in keeping with what I want to fly!

21/06/2008 17:49:00

That's fantastic.

I now have a reasonably clear idea about what I need to remember to ask for, and a good feeling that the planes I am interested in, whist not the best as trainers are certainly possible.

 I am lucky in that the school has sports facilities that are up with any other school I have ever visited.  The school field is currently 2 football fields and a full size running track in size, but by the time we have built the kit it should have an extra 2 football fields and a cricket pitch!  I can't see the noise would be too much of an issue, especially given the infrequent nature of the flying we will be doing (it will also be only in the late afternoons).

Having said that, I am only saying IC on the basis that noisy and smelly are actually benefits when dealing wth school children!  Do many people mix and match with some electrical and some IC, or does that involve a lot of redundant equipment? 

Finally (that might be a lie), given your comments on the transmitter, is there one you would recommend?  I am estimating I will be in the £150-£200 price range if I go for the Hannibal kit. (That would allow about £200 for an engine and everything else......hmm, looking tight!!).  I remember my last transmitter was either a mode 2; but when I got out to a club to try my plane the club was on mode 1!  For obvious reasons this limitted my access to people prepared to help me fly it; but the general response was- buy a new transmitter- which to be fair wasn't the most helpful thing I had heard .  Is it possible to buy a transmitter that works in either mode, or do I need to just buy one and live with my choice?  If so which is most common?

 Thanks again


21/06/2008 16:08:00

It may seem an impertinent question, but can you safely fly an r/c model aircraft?

 Ha ha- not impertinent at all!!  And the answer is a resounding NO!!

Of course if I let small things like that stop me then we will never get going, but I do have a plan!  Actually I have 2

Plan 1 is to try find a local club/shop where I might find a willing volunteer to fly the plane for me once in a while.  People do tend to be very forthcoming with help when they learn it's on behalf of the school, and if I could find someone- or a group of someones- to pop up once a month for a couple of hours, then I think that would be fine.  A buddy lead and the kids can see their model flying, and have a go themselves.

Plan 2 is that it will take the students a disproportionately long amount of time to build the plane compared to, for example, myself building it at home.  Although they will be able to build the seperate sections simultaneously they will only have an hour or 2 a week.  If I buy a cheap trainer I can fit the schools radio gear into it and join a local club to learn to fly myself.  I figure I will probably get close to a year before our plane is ready for it's public outing!

 The end result will hopefully be a combination of both 1&2.

 You are correct in the plane being most likely to be flown in the school grounds- the logistics of taking students to a club would probably put an undue strain on the club concerned, and it would be far less safe taking a dozen students into an active club environment than a school with a single plane (and maybe a guest plane).  Although it is well down the line, I would think that the school insurance would cover us- because this is an official school activity.  As opposed to me just grabbing a plane and trying to fly it.  I do think it would be prudent for me to acquire personal insurance as well, but once all the requisite risk assessments and permission forms have been done we should be fine.  I am a science teacher, so I am quite used to having to satisfy over cautious health and safety bods to try make things a bit more interesting.  I do think I am going into this with my eyes open as to most of the big difficulties I am likely to face.  I might not know the answers yet, but I have a reasonable idea of the questions!!

21/06/2008 15:48:00

Cheers for that Ernie!

 What you have suggested is pretty much what I did before, and I spent most of last night mooching round the net, and I have to be honest and say the Flair kits are still the ones I like best.  I have been surprised not to get a load of people telling me to buy an RTF "proper" trainer, but as you have realised I need a lot more than just the most efficient way to learn to fly.  

 I understand that bigger models are easier to fly than smaller ones, so does that mean the Hannibal would be better to learn on than a Magnitilla or the smaller Attica- the budget can take it (I think!).  Which of the other Flair kits (or similar by other manufacturers) would make a trainer type model?

I think the shopping list will be much longer than you suggest though!  At the moment we have no equipment at all.  By the time we have finished with all those little bits and pieces that you never think about, I doubt there will be much, if any, of the £500 left!

Thread: The June Grand Prize Draw
21/06/2008 01:31:00
1st time lucky?
Thread: School project.
20/06/2008 23:51:00

The school is in Oldham, but I am in Rossendale.

 I really can't compromise on the kit- I would probably change to (non RC) free flight gliders instead.  The students will not get enough flying time to justify spending the money, but modelling time is easier to arrange. 

I prefer, but for no good reason, an IC set up.  This is nothing to do with modelling/flying reasons- simply a petrol engine will have more impact when fired up!  Things like that are important to students!  On a purely personal level given a completely free choice I think I would go for something that resembles a WWI type of plane- partly for the aesthetics, but also because they are easy to understand from a theory of flying point of view.  Everything in this paragraph is 100% negotiable!

20/06/2008 23:12:00

Hi, and thanks in advance for any help.

 I am a teacher in lancashire, and I have managed to secure some funding for a group of students to buy a radio control plane.  I realise that the best advice to get started is to buy a trainer and head off to the local club, but because I am doing this with students I need to approach it slightly differently.

    The first problem I am running into is a choice of plane.  It MUST be a kit, as I want the students to understand how planes work as much as anything.  Also building the plane adds a lot of longevity to the project.  It would probably be about right to think of this as a modelling club whose models fly, rather than the other way round.  The plane must look good when finished, and preferably be as big as possible- size does matter when you are a child! So style is as important as the flying characteristics.

 I have built a Flair Magnetilla a few years ago which I built at home for a similar idea, and that seemed ideal, but I am keen to look at alternatives rather than buy the same again.

My second problem is that when I built a couple of planes before the kit was in the region of £50-100, but from that day on I was never out of the model shop buying "bits"!  For this project I have a fairly healthy budget of £500, but I need to buy everything in one go- anything I forget will end up coming out of my pocket!  Would anyone be kind enough to provide a definitive shopping list- at the moment I don't have a tube of glue to my name (The Magnetilla got destroyed- not by a crash, but a very irate ex-girlfriend).  This list should, where possible, be "future proof"- eg I would rather spend a bit more money on a transmitter that would be able to be reused on more complex models later, as that is easier to explain to my Head than needing a new one.

 Thanks again


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