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How many Modellers Are Engineers?

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Reno Racer04/08/2010 12:06:27
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I suspect they are out of stock; I don't think they are due to hit the shops (certainly in the UK, just yet).

I have ordered a mechanical set from uni-tracts for my BT 68" BF109E, that I plan to build this winter. Seem good and with a good strong servo (either their own electrical actuator or the Mick Reeves one) should be very reliable. Opted not to bother with air; I've experienced too much faffing previously.

The HH ones look good, but the uni tracts look 'properly engineered', there made of aluminium for  a start and probably over engineered for the job of landing a 9lb warbird. Just my kind of engineering. Rock on Brunel!

Reno Racer04/08/2010 12:09:57
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Just had a thought,

Have you tried searching a robot shop, they might have hydraulic pumps that provide the right pressure.

Reno Racer04/08/2010 12:23:19
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Just to add, just received the unitracts mechanical retracts and oleos for the 109. My GOD, these are excellent pieces of engineering, almost too good to put in the airframe.


A.A. Barry04/08/2010 12:32:56
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THx Acker, I will have a look
Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator04/08/2010 12:37:17
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Returning to the thread!
 
Yes I am a aero=modelling engineer! I find the two do go together. In my experiencenearly everyone in this hobby is an engineer in at least one sense - i.e. you really have to have an active engaged interest in technical stuff to want t do it! (Alternatively to gave the patience to make it work!!!)
 
For myself; first degree in Mech&Aero, then a PhD in modelling - no not balsa! it was all about computer simulation of very high speed lightly roller bearings on gas turine mainshafts. I'm a Chartered Engineer through the I MechE and Chartered IT Professional through the BCS. These days I'm Professor of Engineering Science at a NW University and lead a research Institute there dealing mainly with computer vision and optical measurement issues for industry. I've worked both the aerospace and nuclear industries and with around 30years experience I think I can claim not to be one of AAB's "current crop"!
 
BEB
Lee Smalley04/08/2010 12:47:32
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i do not have an eng degree, my children saw to that i have an NVQ level 1 2 and 3 in electronic engineering and then i spent 5 years being taught by the best damn instrument technician i have ever met i have now over 15 years experience as calibration engineer and i am a damned good one i do not need letters after my name to feel like an engineer, indeed some of the people professing to be engineers with letters after their name were some of the worst excuses for an engineer i have ever met!!!
 some of us were never fortunate enough to go to university, you have to take each (engineer as they come)
Reno Racer04/08/2010 12:51:09
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Thanks BEB, thought we might wonder off down a rabbit hole on this thread.

That's what I thought, irrespective of professional status( I was only bullied into it by my work insisting I was a CEng for my current position), that all modellers were in some way technically minded.

I wonder, .......... I think its my technical interest that attracted me to Jets, then aerobatic planes and finally through to Plan builds - the miniature engineering detail of the airframe and component parts. Of course that,  and flying!

Lee Smalley04/08/2010 12:57:51
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the famous RJ Mitchell never had an engineering degree from what i can remember and he seemed to know what he was doing
Tim Hooper04/08/2010 13:01:09
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Under adult supervision, I can change a tap washer.  Does that count for anything?
 
tim
Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator04/08/2010 13:19:25
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Mitchell studied at night school for the exams of the RAeroSoc - becoming a chartered member and then a Fellow.
 
But I agree whole heartedly with your basic point Lee. I've meet some very talented engineers with degrees and I've meet equally talented ones without. On the other hand I've met some right duffers on both sides as well! But personally I believe the best engineers are those with good grasp of the theoretical concepts allied to a sound practical training. These have the best of both worlds. I was luckly enough to start my career as an apprentice tool maker, progress to the drawing office, then go to university sponsored by my company. Sadly this route isn't so easy (or available) these days and I feel that is to the disadvantage of many talented young people and UK engineering. Like Medicine,Engineering is as much an art as a science - theory without practical skill and skill without in depth conceptual understanding are both limiting to at least some degree.
 
BEB 
Gemma Jane04/08/2010 13:24:29
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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.
 
 
 
Gemma Jane04/08/2010 13:25:06
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Guess who didn't refresh before posting again. 
Reno Racer04/08/2010 13:35:26
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Well said Gemma and BEB, reagrding RJ Mitchell. You both bet me to it.

I do agree Lee that many Engineers might not be good Technicians, but that's not the point, they are Engineers not Technicians, although I do agree with BEB, that the better Engineers are those that have either been Mechanics, Technicians or whatever (either, what the Eng Council call 'the Mature Route', or those that have worked up through the Engineering ranks),  or those  that fully understand their trade. Some Engineers might be bad Technician/Mechanics, but it with be more difficult for a good Technician/Mechanic to be an Engineer. 

As part of my training, I had to take night classes in mechanical engineering, from fitter onwards, then Degree, then 10 years experience as an Engineer before the UK Engineering Council would award me my CEng status. That is a difficult I route and I bet many of the Engineers you speak of may not have the 'right' letters after their name.

I think much of the emotion involved in these discussion is based on the general UK population misunderstanding of what an Engineer is.

Anyway, without continuing this here, we might want to start a new thread, so that we can continue with the original question about Engineering and modelling.

Edited By Ackers on 04/08/2010 13:37:02

A.A. Barry04/08/2010 13:36:52
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Tim H, I loved your comment 
Steve Hargreaves - Moderator04/08/2010 14:47:11
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Are carpenters classed as engineers I wonder....after all our models are often made of wood!!!!
 
I wonder if the quality of the engineer is proportional to how self deprecating they are.....Tim H talks about being able to change a tap washer with help but produces some beautiful models (Wasp, Pix-E & many others I'm sure...) 
 
Whats the old saying..."......those who can, do. Those who can't talk about it..."...or something like that !!!
Gemma Jane04/08/2010 15:02:18
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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.
 
 
Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator04/08/2010 15:06:49
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...and those that can't teach, teach teachers!
 
BEB
Gemma Jane04/08/2010 15:48:50
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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

Lee Smalley04/08/2010 15:53:17
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there is no register of an engineering degree in his name, but the point i was making that just because you have letters after your name is no reflection on your abilities in the field, i never had the oportunity for futher education and my companies would never fund such a thing (typical in these days) and i have been over looked for jobs i knew i could do (and so did they) because of some letters, people should not get all high and mighty because they have the degrees, you will tend to find the only difference between me and you is luck and oportunties that have fortunately come your way, i once saved Jaguar car over 2 million a year after explaining why they had thier fuel  flow metering systems were incorectly installed, not bad for an unqualified time served engineer
Gemma Jane04/08/2010 16:08:39
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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

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