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Round the pole

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gary davies-jones28/11/2009 21:09:50
89 forum posts
Hi folks,
As a civilian instructor I have recently been given the task of resurecting the "round the pole" flying group at my ATC squadron. To this end i am in the process of placing a very large order of poles, kits, transformers etc from Ballard's, who seem to be the only UK supplier of RTP "stuff."
On the face of it RTP looks to be a fairly simple discipline in which to achieve resonable results without the......errrrrrrr........unschedualed arrivals and so on associated with RC.
Now this is probably (in fact almost certainly) my innocence/ignorance of the subject, so my question is this.
Has anyone got any experience of, advice on, or general comments about RTP flying ?
Many thanks
00128/11/2009 21:27:09
2212 forum posts
1 photos
Used to do this at my old club in the Winter. Great fun, I do not see any real problem except that you might have to set a time limit for each flyer. Its addictive. If I remember correctly, the only competition we did was spot landing, a variation could be carrier deck landing.
It is a good idea, I think, to encourage the members to design and build their own aircraft.
For example I built a swing-wing fighter based on the Tornado, quite a challenge to make the wings sweep back at higher speeds by centrifugal force.
Dave Bran28/11/2009 21:56:01
1896 forum posts
5 photos
Now that's timing.......................
I have NO experience at all of RTP, but the Headmaster of the school I run a twice weekly RC Club inside is gifting all his old stuff in the next week or so for me to revive, so we might have something in common shortly................................
Where are Ballards........................??
Simon Chaddock29/11/2009 00:02:12
5692 forum posts
3026 photos
Actually my Avtar is a RTP model!

As RTP is relatively cheap to do it can be a wonderful learning ground for "own design" for the less experienced builder and simply good fun for everybody else.
I have flown RTP on and off for the last 40 years and its relatively gentle indoor flight allowed me to indulge my passion for scale models, many so delicate that they could not really be flown any other way, particularly as I used the power lines as the elevator control lines as well.
Yes this does make the centre pole a bit more complicated but it is really impressive doing a slow approach and beautiful 3 point landings.
This Fairy Gannet is based on the Keil Kraft rubber powered kit and with a slow, nose high approach can pick up an arrester wire and come to rest in a couple of feet, real deck landing.
Multi engine is quite possible.
It looks impressive in the air.
This yellow job has full span flaps and carries a house brick (or rather a very light tissue/balsa replica!) and drops it in flight out of the back door, all operated by a third motor and another power line. 
Of course these models are the result of many years of trail and error but like everybody else I started with simple ones and found it fascinating.
Please feel free to PM me if you want any further info.

David Ashby - Moderator29/11/2009 06:19:40
10988 forum posts
1714 photos
614 articles
They're nice Simon
I helped the local Air Scouts do RTP a few years ago and it's a good indoor flying activity which allows the cadets/scouts to build models that they can fly and with much less risk of damage. Suprisingly satisfying and enjoyable.
Dave - Ballards is a model shop in Tunbridge Wells. They're the plastic kit, Hornby type of shop, no R/C but they've done RTP stuff for years. Here's the link.
Simon Chaddock29/11/2009 15:11:53
5692 forum posts
3026 photos
Just had a look through the Ballards web site. There is even a ducted fan unit!
Of course there is nothing new under the sun, here is a RTP Vampire flying at the Model Engineer Exhibition in 1946. My Dad actually saw it fly.

Edited By Simon Chaddock on 29/11/2009 15:14:04

gary davies-jones29/11/2009 16:52:14
89 forum posts
Hi Simon,
impressive selection of models, I hope you don't mind me copying them to show "my" cadets.
Thanks for posting the link David, saves me the job.
To Simon, I have found Dave ballard very helpful in advising us what to order and, what we didn't really need.
If there are no objections.................anyone?.................... I think I'll get the cadets to create thier own identity on here, and blog our triumphs, achievments and setbacks with plenty of photos etc.
Finally Gary, this school is not by any chance in Norwich is it?
kc29/11/2009 17:30:33
6427 forum posts
173 photos
Before you spend loads of money on RTP, are you sure this will interest youth who are used to seeing & running RC cars etc . Tiny RC planes and helicopters are even demonstrated in shopping centres and bought by anyone, so RTP might seem a bit poor by comparison.   Just a thought!
Simon Chaddock29/11/2009 18:04:57
5692 forum posts
3026 photos
You are very welcome to use the pics and I have quite a few more, as well as other RTP models.
I for one will be most interested to hear of their exploits and will gladly exchange info with them via this site.
RTP a bit poor? Possibly, but to those that are interested there is nothing quite like seeing your own creation take to the air.
gary davies-jones29/11/2009 18:59:20
89 forum posts
Hi kc,
Know where your comming from, BUT! we already have a stock of such models, including fixed wing and heli's for indoor, as well as a foamy 4 channel trainer, and a 30 size heli, and all thier related Tx Rx kit, starters, chargers and so on.
Last time a cadet/instructor flew anything (an indoor heli) it got expensive in tems of repairs to said whirlybird. Thus the Officer Comanding has decided that we should therefore build up to these mor advanced (lethal) models slowly.  Now to that end I am currently learning to fly fixed wing RC myself, and evetually hope to get to grips with heli's.
Our eventual aim (although the cadts don't know it yet) is to build up to all forms of RC flying by tying up with a local club. Assuming we can find one who are willing to help train a dozen or so kids at a time.
gary davies-jones29/11/2009 19:05:18
89 forum posts
Hi Simon,
Thanks for that. I'll see what I can do about getting one of the cadets to create a user ident on Tuesday evening (squadron nights being Tuesday & Friday).
Oh and with reference to my last post,  the instructor was not me!
Mike Rolls30/11/2009 05:37:26
500 forum posts
22 photos
If you can still get the dual head set-up that can be fun. At Three Kings years ago the juniors loved that set up for combat - cheapest possible models of about 12" span or less, try and chew up the other a/c with the propor just knock it down. A spot of cyano and the loser would be airborn again in minutes. Carrier deck was fun as well.
gary davies-jones30/11/2009 09:31:41
89 forum posts
Hi Mike,
We've ordered two twin poles and transformers for just that purpose. It appeals to the destructive nature of the kids, especially the boys..................well instructors......................well me.
Andy Gates03/12/2009 20:19:21
639 forum posts
20 photos
I was a ATC cadet once and enjoyed many sessions of destruction with round the pole aircraft. It is huge fun and dovetails in nicely with the "Principles of Flight (Gliding)" course.
I went through the ATC system, up to Staff Cadet and a Fight Sergent before I was deemed too old so I became a Civillian Instructor.
2 plane flying was quite normal.
We also flew many different styles, from the thin stick and tissue lightweight floaters, the balsa profile series up to scale WWII fighters built fully sheeted that were hellishly quick.
We had a few issues which I will pass on.
Make sure the power supply has a stabilised voltage or 2 separate power systems so that when flying 2 planes a sudden drop in power on one plane does not affect the power available to the other.
Props always caused us issues, either coming off the motor, loosing blades or being way too heavy. I would imagine most of these issues have now been addressed.
Connectors for the power to and from the flying wires had a habit of melting under the abuse they got from 2-3 hours of continuous flying in one evening. Again I would imagine this issue has been addressed if not take modern R/C principles with you.
We had a wooden box made so the pole was mounted about 4 feet above the ground which helped our planes fly off a rough wooden slatted drill hall floor.
I wish you the best of luck.
If I can help in any way just shout.
gary davies-jones03/12/2009 21:36:32
89 forum posts
Thanks Andy,
We may well take you up on that offer.
We have ordered two of Ballard's top of the range transformers, so I hope they are as you describe (they should for the price). I will keep an eye on the connectors, and if they look at all "squashy" I'll replace them with something really heavey duty.
We're very lucky to be located in the T.A. centre in Swansea, and it has a lovely smooth gym floor we can fly off.
Keep an eye out in this thread for the squadrons user identity if your interested. We'll be blogging our efforts with loads of pics, and I hope some vids.
Many thanks
Gary (C.I. Davies-Jones 215 City of Swansea Squadron).
Andy Gates03/12/2009 23:17:05
639 forum posts
20 photos
Those transformers are far beefier than the ones we used, as is the current version of the pole so you should have no problems there.
Our pole was a weak plastic which bent quite a bit with the strain of retaining 2 relatively fast flying models.
All our planes were modified to use the 4554 motors and flew on 3-4 meter wires.
The connectors do appear to be the same as the ones we used so watch for them softening with prolonged use.
Hope you all have fun.
Ex C.I. Gates 1334 Manningtree Squadron
Dave Bran04/12/2009 20:25:01
1896 forum posts
5 photos
Posted by David Ashby - RCME Administrator on 29/11/2009 06:19:40:

Dave - Ballards is a model shop in Tunbridge Wells. They're the plastic kit, Hornby type of shop, no R/C but they've done RTP stuff for years. Here's the link.
 Thanks David..................
 Thinks.................. 2212-6 brushless, 6x4, 30A Supply..........................
                            Combat anybody???.......................... 
I'm still waiting for the bundle of old stuff................................
Jono10/08/2010 22:16:03
10 forum posts
Bit of a thread resurrection here, but any joy with the RTP at the Sqn?
We're about to restage the Battle of Britain using ours (all good clean fun, but I might have to swing the results if history is about to be changed) as part of  our Inter-Flight Competition.
The main thing I find with this kit is to have a tube of glue and a soldering iron on standby!
Erfolg11/08/2010 18:42:26
11714 forum posts
1309 photos
Our club had a Jetex speed model flying around the pole, at club night. No electrical power required, quite fast to, while it lasted.
All this happened quite recently, well 20 years ago.
i12fly11/08/2010 19:07:22
632 forum posts
22 photos
RTP is fun. did a bit several years ago. One thing to watch though is for shorts on the laquered wire, particularly where you add the 'strain relief' as it gets hotter at that point. Maybe the new transformers are short circuit proof? If not make sure you have a fuse in line. I have an old Keil Kraft dual output transformer, they had a reputation for burning out, but mine is OK as I always used a fuse. Yes I blew the fuse several times. Think I'll dig it out and have a go again. I made up a head to operate elevator but it was only marginally effective as the model wasn't really light enough to control well. My dad flew RTP in the fifties, with models about 2 foot span with rubber power -they went like bats out of hell. He also designed elevator control, which was good for landings.

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