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Repair of crashed model

Fun Flyer-Phil Claridge's 'Victor Meldew'

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Mike Etheridge 108/01/2018 14:28:30
1415 forum posts
391 photos

The plane is a fun fly type much the same in design as the Weston Cougar. In fact I have just phoned Westons for a replacement fuel tank and engine mount for the plane. The plane was given to me some while ago by Phil Claridge together with a damaged 'Super Air' and another unnamed smaller plane all described as 'damaged repairable'. The plane has obviously nosed in as had the Super Air. However it has had plenty of use in the past as some of the balsa (not much) is fuel soaked and will need replacement. I have repaired two Cougars last year and the Super Air previously using very thin ply I bought from Avicraft to support the nose structures. Although the repair is not extensive it might take some while as my garage workshop even with an electric fire running is dammed cold!

I have removed the large rudder and removed the covering to find that the balsa structure has been coated in varnish like glue and will need sanding before re-covering. The fibre hinges had failed and will need replacement and some reinforcement of the structure is needed. The front bulkhead with the engine mount screw fixings is unusual in that there is a slot for the fuel piping etc and not a central hole. I am hoping the Weston engine mount will fit directly to the existing bolts, otherwise I will need to construct a new bulkhead from ply I have not got. i think I will need to construct a cowling cover to fix above the fuel tank but until I know the vertical projection of the tank i will leave this task for now. There are fixings for servos apart from the throttle but the fixings are set well back in the fuselage similar to the Weston Cougar and may mean that to get the C/G right the flight battery may need to be located under the tank ? Other tasks include recovering the fuselage and tailplane, but I could make do with the wing covering. Photos to follow

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Edited By Mike Etheridge 1 on 08/01/2018 14:30:03

Edited By Mike Etheridge 1 on 08/01/2018 14:39:10

Edited By Mike Etheridge 1 on 08/01/2018 14:40:49

Mike Etheridge 111/01/2018 17:39:58
1415 forum posts
391 photos

Some progress made with replacement of front fuselage balsa. Fuselage extended to accommodate Weston Cougar sized tank .The fixing holes of the engine mounts I have including the new Cougar unit, do not line up with the mounting holes on the existing front bulkhead, so some drilling may be necessary, and possibly a new bulkhead constructed. The next exercise will be the gluing of the new ply and balsa parts. I have a choice of engines to consider for the plane such as two Enya SS 30's, a PAW 29 diesel, a Merco 35 and a Merco 29 . I am tempted to use the PAW. just to be different.

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Allan Bennett11/01/2018 20:36:23
1334 forum posts
31 photos

In the picture I see two plywood side pieces, faced on their outsides with balsa. But the balsa extends further forward than the plywood. Will the firewall be attached to the plywood pieces, with excess balsa to be cut off? Or is the balsa the structural element, and the ply pieces are simply to hold it in alignment while you glue it?

With a brand-new front end like that it would be a shame not to make a new firewall. Maybe you can scrounge some suitable ply from a clubmate? Apart from having to drill new holes for the engine mount, and maybe for the fuel tank lines, there may be a problem with the glue if the old one has too much fuel soaked into it.

Mike Etheridge 111/01/2018 23:15:27
1415 forum posts
391 photos

Allan,

Unfortunately I have run out of the very thin ply so I could not make up replacement side pieces for the extended fuselage. The side pieces I have left high and will reduce them once I can locate and fix the tank . Fortunately I do have suitable ply for a new firewall in the blue 'Thin Ply' packet. The plane may have had a top cowling cover fixed with a rubber band as there were short dowels set either side of the cowling but I will look to do something different. What is not evident is the original location for the throttle servo or any snake tube link for the throttle. Phil Claridge who gave me the plane said that he had problems with the throttle linkage which failed on one flight and the plane had to be flown for some considerable time before the engine cut, so I had better get this issue right.I don't think the flight battery will fit beneath the tank so it may have to be fixed to the bulkhead to be fitted behind the wing dowel but obviously clear of the wing.

I have not got a clue of the plane's true identity and it would appear to be made from a plan as some of the balsa parts are marked in pencil.

Edited By Mike Etheridge 1 on 11/01/2018 23:18:17

Tom Sharp 213/01/2018 00:24:46
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2946 forum posts
16 photos

How did the wing survive, if that's it in the background.

Percy Verance13/01/2018 09:02:19
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6637 forum posts
111 photos

Once over I used to fly with a bloke who's models looked like that prior to the maiden flight..........

Mike Etheridge 113/01/2018 11:02:30
1415 forum posts
391 photos

Ha Ha P V ,it does look a bit of a state but that said I do hope to make it look a bit better (Sow's ear >Silk Purse ). However the wings did survive Tom but they look a bit tatty and as you can see have the name Victor Meldrew stuck on them. I think the previous owner Phil Claridge was quite fond of the plane but treated it as a fun machine in all respects. Phil used to comment on this blog but so far has said nothing..

I am still trying my best to take this project seriously but feel slightly embarrassed when I look at other projects that are on the go on this forum such as the RM Trainer and the Middle Phase 2

The latest is that I have started the gluing operation and need to construct the new front bulkhead. It may not be critical but I feel I need to identify a thrust line for the plane so that I can locate the engine bearers and the tank location. If the thrust line is through the middle of the wing then the tank could poke out the top of the fuselage so there may not have been a cowling top and the tank could have been held in place with a rubber band strung between two short dowels set in the cowling sides? Fortunately the bit of ply I have for the front bulkhead fits a treat already. From an engine selection point of view to keep under 82 DB I think I would need to use an Enya SS 30 with a decent silencer or the PAW ? The poor silencers on the Merco 29 and 35 would probably exclude them

Today's pictures:

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Edited By Mike Etheridge 1 on 13/01/2018 11:17:17

Tom Sharp 213/01/2018 15:26:27
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2946 forum posts
16 photos

At least no one will nick it and put it on E-bay

Percy Verance13/01/2018 17:04:14
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6637 forum posts
111 photos

Fin area looks to be a bit lacking Mike. You could well find it dutch rolls or fishtails a bit........

Ron Gray13/01/2018 17:15:10
887 forum posts
231 photos

Not too sure I’d trust just the one rubber band on the wing though 😛

Mike Etheridge 114/01/2018 09:19:12
1415 forum posts
391 photos

At this stage of the repair Ron an extra band or two would be stretching things a bit too far!. And Percy that's all the fin you get the rest is just rudder. I have bought worse planes on Ebay but any bids for the plane will be considered, it's only had two careful owners to date and has a low mileage !

Tom Sharp 214/01/2018 16:27:44
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2946 forum posts
16 photos

Two careful owners and the rest didn't give a damn

cymaz14/01/2018 17:38:06
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7635 forum posts
981 photos

I bow down to your tenacity Mike smiley. Keep on with the repairs

Ron Gray14/01/2018 18:02:17
887 forum posts
231 photos

Very low mileage Mike, hence the damage 🤩

Jonathan M14/01/2018 19:09:36
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470 forum posts
258 photos
Posted by Mike Etheridge 1 on 13/01/2018 11:02:30:

I am still trying my best to take this project seriously but feel slightly embarrassed when I look at other projects that are on the go on this forum such as the RM Trainer and the Middle Phase 2

Mike, its looking great! You're doing just the right job for a refurb of well-hacked old hack and making excellent progress to boot.

I certainly wouldn't compare your efforts to that of myself on the MP2, which - even before I got this particularly rough cold which has put a stop to all activity for a week - had been proceeding at an overly-careful and inexperienced snail's pace!

Jon

Martin McIntosh14/01/2018 19:21:05
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2454 forum posts
941 photos

mossie 168.jpg

And you thought you had repair problems. That used to be a Mosquito.

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And will be again.

cymaz14/01/2018 19:25:34
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7635 forum posts
981 photos

Real battle pateena. Great effort...

Mike Etheridge 114/01/2018 19:55:16
1415 forum posts
391 photos

Good effort Martin , don't forget to let us see the the finished repair. What caused the crash of the Mossie ?

Odd that I was walking towards the slope at Collie Hill about a year ago and having crossed the bridge over the M25 there on the ground was half a tail- plane from an Airfix Mosquito. It had been airbrush painted, and I assume dropped by an aeromodeller that flies models and makes the plastic variety for display ?.--Anyone lost it ?

I should get some more repair work done next week but we are having a water tank replaced which has already caused mayhem in our loft where the planes are kept.

Martin McIntosh14/01/2018 20:13:38
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2454 forum posts
941 photos

Hi Mike, it was caused by an ESC failing at the moment of take off. Look up `Mossie` on the forum for further info.

If you thought that the fus. was bad you should have seen the nacelles. Will probably post more pics before I go much further with it.

Mike Etheridge 116/01/2018 14:49:25
1415 forum posts
391 photos

I need to get an Enya SS 30 and the PAW 29 from the storage box and try both on the selection of engine mounts to identify the best arrangement . The engine mount(s) selected needs to be angled such that the exhaust extracts beneath the fuselage.as is the case with the Weston Cougar. As I have two Cougar sized tanks, I can set one up for glow fuel and the other for diesel fuel. The latter will need a rubber internal fuel feed tube within the tank rather than the normal soft plastic tube which suffers with diesel fuel.

As the engine exhaust arrangement determines the location of the engine on the front bulkhead it would seem my earlier thoughts about mounting the engine and tank on the plane's thrust line are somewhat undermined ?.

It's going to be very cold in the garage / workshop so progress will be limited.

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