Our flying field is the Former Champaign Municipal Landfill which was operated as a municipal solid waste landfill from approximately 1955 to 1975. As an AMA chartered Club our goal is to provide a forum for club members to exchange ideas and benefit from each others experiences with the hobby of building and the sport of flying radio controlled model aircraft. We are committed to promoting the enjoyment of safe R/C flying in accordance with AMA and Champaign County Radio Control Club rules and guidelines.
Mailing Address Field Location CCRCC 3616 W. Bloomington Rd. P.O. Box 6105 Champaign, Il. Champaign, Il. 61820 61826-6105
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By JShumate in Model Airplane NewsWhen it comes to WW II bombers, the B-17 Flying Fortress is the recognized icon for all heavy bombers This video shows off the giant scale RC “Aluminum Overcast” B-17, piloted by Peter Pfeffer “Peda” Maßstab. The 1/5.6-scale Flying Fortress has a 19 foot wingspan, is 14 feet long and took four years to build.
Over 41 inches tall at the top of the vertical fin, the impressive bomber is built using traditional balsa and plywood construction techniques, has scale retractable landing gear and flaps and weighs in at 187 pounds. Powered by four 42cc gas engines, the radio gear is from Weatronic.
Video courtesy of RC Scale Aircraft.
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By JShumate in Model Airplane NewsThe 345th Bomber Group (BG) was first activated at Columbia Army Air Base, South Carolina, in November 1942 and was christened the “Air Apaches.” As a B-25 bomber group, it was broken into four squadrons: the 498th, known as the “Falcons”; the 499th, “Bats Outa Hell”; the 500th, “Rough Raiders”; and the 501st, the “Black Panthers.” The 345th BG was sent to the Southwest Pacific Theater in 1943 and began flying missions from Port Moresby, New Guinea, and earned the recognition of the first Air Force Combat Group sent to the Pacific in World War II.
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By JShumate in Model Airplane NewsThe method of making a round cowling involves laminating a cylinder from 1/64-inch plywood and capping it with a balsa ring for the leading edge. In the photos that are featured in this article, I show two cowlings that I made this way; one was for an original design and the other was for a stand-off scale model of a Vickers Wellesley single-engine bomber.
The two pieces of 1/4 inch plywood that will form the mandrel are nailed together in the scrap. A compass is used to draw a circle of the desired diameter on the top piece. To make the cylinder part of the cowling, a length of plywood is soaked in water to make it flexible and then wrapped around a mandrel. When the plywood is dry and the mandrel has been removed, the edges are dressed and the balsa ring is glued to one edge. After final shaping, the cowling can be primed and painted to suit.
Step one of the building process is to determine the inside diameter of the plywood cylinder for the desired cowling. I like to laminate four layers of plywood which gives a wall thickness of 1/16 of an inch. Therefore, the I.D. of the cylinder is simply the O.D. of the cowling minus 1/8 of an inch. This dimension will be the O. D. of the mandrel.
Before the mandrel discs are sawn out, a 1/4-inch diameter center hole and five randomly spaced 3/8-inch diameter holes are drilled through the plywood.
The mandrel consists of two discs, made from 1/4-inch plywood, spaced on a 1/4-inch bolt. Cut out two plywood squares, about an inch or so oversize, and nail them together in the scrap. Use a compass to draw a circle of the proper diameter on the top piece of plywood. Drill a 1/4-inch hole in the center for the bolt and several 3/8-inch holes randomly spaced in the circle.These holes will be used to knock out the discs after the cylinder has dried. The plywood will shrink as it dries and then tightly grip the discs. This is the reason for using 1/4-inch plywood for the discs. The small surface area of the disc being in contact with the inside of the cylinder allows it to be knocked out fairly easily. After the bolt is removed, a dowel or screwdriver threaded through the holes in one disc can be used to tap out the other disc. A band saw works well to cut out the discs.
The two mandrel discs along with the 1/4-inch center bolt and spacer washers.
The assembled mandrel. The mandrel discs are spaced so that about 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch of the cowling cylinder projects out beyond the discs on each end.
If you remember your high school geometry, the circumference of a circle is π times the diameter of the circle, so the length of the 1/64 plywood strip is π times the diameter times four (the number of plies). For example, the I.D. of the cowling for the original airplane design is 2-5/8 inches, so the length of the plywood strip is 3.14 x 2.625 x 4. This works out to approximately 33 inches. However, this could result in the ends coming out one on top of the other, which might create a bump, so I reduced the length to 31-1/2 inches. The inside length dimension of the cowling is 1-1/2 inches, so the final size of the plywood strip is 1-1/2 inches by 31-1/2 inches.
A soaking basin can be made from four lengths of 2 x 4 and a garbage bag. Arrange the 2 x 4s in a rectangle and press the garbage bag down inside the 2 x 4s to form the basin. Fill with warm water. Place the plywood strip in the water and weight it down with something non-metallic. Let soak about 10 minutes and then turn over. Soak about another 10 minutes.
The 1/64-inch ply strip that will be rolled up to form the cowling. A pair of scissors works well to cut the 1/64-inch plywood.
Prepare the mandrel and glue while the plywood is soaking. Space the discs on the 1/4-inch bolt so that about 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch of the cylinder projects out beyond the plywood discs on each end. Flat washers work well as spacers because you can add or subtract washers to achieve the desired spacing. Pour a little Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Glue into a container and select a medium soft brush for applying the glue to the plywood. While the plywood is soaking, periodically check its flexibility by bending with your fingers. When you feel it is flexible enough to form around the mandrel, remove and pat dry on both sides. Calculate the length [π x d] of plywood that will be in contact with the mandrel discs, and mark on the plywood strip. Brush the glue on the inside of the rest. Start rolling from the non-glue end. Try to roll the cylinder as tightly and as straight as possible. Tightly bind the rolled cylinder with a couple of bands of masking tape. You may wish to recruit an extra pair of hands to help with this.
A large garbage bag is pressed down inside the 2 x 4s to form the soaking basin.
The soaking basin is filled with warm water.
The plywood strip is placed in the basin and held down with something non-metallic. Soaking time is about 15 to 20 minutes. Mandrel, glue, tape and drying towel are ready to go.
Use a damp rag to wipe off any excess glue that squeezes out between the plies. The masking tape won’t stick to the damp plywood, so make a couple of loops around the cylinder and stick the masking tape to itself. Allow to dry thoroughly, preferably overnight. After drying, remove the tape and bolt and tap out the plywood discs. Use a sanding block to dress the edges and to smooth out the exterior joint. Saw out the balsa nose ring and glue it to one edge width full strength Elmer’s. Rough carve to shape with a sharp #11 blade, and finish with a sanding block and sandpaper.
Remove the ply strip from the water and pat dry. Brush the glue on the inside of the plywood. Carefully calculate the starting point for the glue so as not to glue the mandrel to the cylinder.
Roll the cylinder as straight and tight as possible. Wrap with masking tape and set aside to dry.
The Wellesley cowling is a little different in that the exterior is shaped, r ather than flat like the cowling for the original design plane. I glued a layer of 3/16-inch balsa to the outside of the plywood cylinder with the wood grain running across the cylinder. The balsa pieces were formed by soaking in water and taping to a cardboard tube of about the right diameter. After drying, the pieces were trimmed to fit and glued to the cowling with Elmer’s. The final shape was turned on a lathe.
This method of construction would also work for a Townend ring, without the balsa nosepiece, such as on the Boeing P-26. It could also be used for bell-shaped cowlings, like the beautifully tapered cowling on the Hughes H-1.
Part of designing a cowling is working out how the cowling will be mounted to the fuselage. On the original design plane, the fuselage extends forward to the backside of the balsa nose ring. The fuselage and cowling were sized so that the cowling is a nice slip-fit over the front portion of the fuselage. One small wood screw near the bottom rear of the cowling anchors it to the fuselage.
Because of the marked taper on the front of the Wellesley fuselage, a different mounting method had to be designed. A wheel-shaped former, made from 1/8 inch lite-ply with the O.D. the same as the I.D. of the plywood cylinder, is glued to the front of the fuselage. Four small magnets are epoxied to the front of the former. A plywood ring is glued to the inside of the cowling, and the four washers corresponding to the four magnets are epoxied to this ring. The ring is positioned so that the rear edge of the cowling projects 1/16-inch beyond the back of the former. The former also provides the mounting points for the electric motor.
Cowlings made using this method are low in weight and amazingly strong. If you are into building light, a cylinder rolled from two or fewer plies would still have adequate strength with less weight.
I used a sanding block to dress one end of the cylinder flat. To be certain the cylinder stayed round, I glued on the balsa nose ring before removing the mandrel.
Poking out the mandrel discs with a screw driver.
A sharp #11 blade, a sanding block and sandpaper were used to shape the cowling.
The cowling ready for paint.
The finished cowling is a slip fit over the front of the fuselage.
The cowling in place on the front of the fuselage. The battery hatch slips under the rear of the cowling and is held in place with a magnet at the rear of the hatch.
The finished plane ready for its first flight.
The mandrel pieces for the Wellesley cowling.
The assembled mandrel for the Wellesley cowling.
The plywood strip and mandrel for the Wellesley cowling.
Soaking the ply strip for the Wellesley cowling.
Rolling the Wellesley cowling.
The balsa nose ring and the 3/16 inch-thick balsa pieces that will form the outside of the Wellesley cowling. The three balsa pieces were soaked in water and taped to a cardboard tube to form the curved shape.
To be certain the cowling held its round shape, the nose ring and 3/16 inch balsa pieces were glued on before the mandrel was removed.
The cowling was shaped on a lathe using different grades of sandpaper.
The nose of the Wellesley fuselage and the cowling showing the magnet mounting system.
The unfinished Wellesley fuselage with the cowling in place.
Text & photos by Rodney Helgeland
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By JShumate in Model Airplane NewsA great way to add excitement to your RC flights is to add a smoke system. Do a loop or a roll and then add a dense, long-hanging smoke trail and you have an airshow! You can save some bucks by modifying your stock muffler instead of buying a commercial one. Then you can take that money and apply it to the cost of the smoke pump and required hardware. Here’s how I did it with my Zenoah G-20-powered Hangar 9 1/4-scale J-3 Piper Cub.
Before you can make smoke with your new smoke-muffler, you need good quality smoke fluid.
Robart Manufacturing’s Liquid Sky oil is available in 5- and 1-gallon qualities and it provides excellent, long-lasting smoke. Liquid Sky is used by pros and Joes for turbine as well as piston engine-equipped aircraft and is foam safe. Liquid Sky makes very dense smoke and there is also a subtle Root Beer scent to help mask that automotive gasoline smell you get from a great day at the flying field! (www.robart.com)
Step 1: Here’s the stock muffler removed from the engine and cleaned up with some MEK solvent to really degrease it. I used a new single-edged razor blade to remove the old exhaust gasket. Here you can see the new one I will add after the muffler has been modified.Step 2: The plumbing needed is a mix of Tygon gasoline fuel line and heat-resistant silicon tubing that holds up well to the heat of the muffler. To modify the muffler all we need is a large brass tube that fits into the main exhaust pipe to be used as a baffle tube, and a thin brass or copper for the oil preheat and injection tube. I use Du-Bro and K&S tools to cleanly bend the tubing. For the smoke oil tank, I use a sullivan 10-ounce tank set up with a standard two-tube setup. Be sure to use tie wraps to secure your tubing.Step 3: The first thing to do is to cut, bend and prepare the end of the Injector tube. To make a fine atomized spray of oil into the muffler, I use a cutter to snip the end of the copper tube. This seals the end and shapes it so it resembles a fish tail. I then use a thin cut-off disk with my Dremel to nick the middle of the fish tail. This produces an opening about half the area of the stock tubing end. The tube is then bent so it’s long enough to enter the side of the muffler, pass through to the other side, and then bend 180 degrees to re-enter the muffler.Step 4: Drill three holes in the side of the muffler. Depending on your muffler and engine installation, these holes have to be custom laid out. On mine, the single entry hole is on the muffler’s aft side, and the two others are on the front side. Drill the holes slightly larger than your injection tube’s diameter. For my oil-injection tube I drilled three holes then used a rat-tail file to enlarge the holes slightly. Now use a drum-grinding bit with your Dremel and grind away the black finish on the muffler. This will provide a clean surface for the metal epoxy to stick to.Step 5: Here you see the injection tube installed and ready to be sealed with JB Weld metal epoxy. Be sure to clean the injection tube as well as the surface of the muffler. Build up fillets around the tubes/holes areas. Smooth the fillets with a wet finger and then set aside for 24 hours to fully cure.Step 6: To provide a baffle tube, a large brass tube is slipped in to fit into the muffler and the fit should be snug. The tube is longer than the internal tube already in the muffler. Slip it into place, bottom it out and then mark the length. Use a K&S Tubing cutter and cut it to length.Step 7: To get the length of the internal tube, I used a bent piece of wire or welding rod. Slide it into the muffler, slip it over the end of the internal tube and with your thumbnail, use the wire as a depth gauge and transfer the length to the brass tube. The area at the end of the brass tube will be the baffle section and will need to have several holes drilled into it! Drill several holes in the end and then sand smooth. Slip the baffle tube into the muffler until it bottoms out and is flush with the exhaust pipe. Drill a hole and secure the brass tube in place with a pan-head sheet metal screw. Step 8: To route your smoke lines into the cabin area, drill a hole in the firewall and slide a stiff wire into the hole. Guide the wire until it enters the cabin and then attach your smoke line to the wire and pull it into place. At the end of the smoke line, install a 1-inch-long piece of glow fuel silicon tubing with a short length of aluminum tube. Silicon holds up to heat much better than Tygon gas tubing. Connect the silicon tubing to the oil injection tube and bolt the muffler back into place on the engine. Reinstall the engine cowl. Notice that I had to grind away a little bit of the cowl to clear the injection tube.Step 9: Now it’s time to install the plumbing, tank, pump and a way to meter the smoke oil flow. I made a removable tray to secure all the hardware. Velcro holds the tray in place, double-sided tape attaches the tank to the tray, and some foam padding protects the pump and motor from vibration.Step 10: I use a fuel filters for a clean oil flow, a check valve to prevent muffler pressure from pushing oil back into the pump tubing, and most importantly, a remote needle valve assembly to regulate the oil flow. If you don’t meter the flow properly, the oil can cool off the muffler and reduce the amount of smoke it generates. This is much better than using a clamp on the oil tubing. I used a needle-valve assembly from an old O.S. .61 engine. It works great!Step 11: Smoke oil pumps are available from several sources. Two that I have used are the TME (requires 12V battery) and the Don Harris pump, which can be powered simply by plugging it into the receiver. There are others as well from Sullivan and from Slimline Products. A bit of advice here is before you install the pumps and attach the plumbing, be sure to check which pump fitting is the “IN” and which is the “OUT.” This will save a lot of grief if you were to go ahead and install everything and then find out something is hooked up backwards.Step 12: Here’s the finished installation in my Hangar 9 Piper Cub. Notice that I use a lot of cable ties to keep the plumbing neat and prevent it from moving around. I used a T-fitting to fill and empty the smoke tank and placed it between the pump and the tank. Note the positions of the needle valve assembly and the check valve. Be sure to place the needle valve in a convenient place to make it easy to adjust. In this installation, I run the vent tube out along the filler line. This automatically allows the overflow to spill out away from the model while filling the tank. For tighter installation, use separate Fuel Dots to fill and empty your smoke system.Step 13: Check out the smoke density! This is what it looks like with the oil flow almost completely shut down (only one turn open). This setting gives a lot of “smoke-on time” and the 10-ounce tank lasts more than 10 minutes. The system works great and when you switch the smoke off, it takes about 5 to 7 seconds for the smoke to stop completely. SMOKE ON!
THE THREE STEPS FOR GOOD SMOKE ARE:
Heat equals smoke! Whenever possible, preheat your smoke fluid before it is injected into your muffler. Using a simple pressure fitting to inject the fluid is not a good setup.
Regulate your smoke fluid flow. Too much smoke oil is worse than too little. Excessive oil cools the muffler, which reduces the amount of smoke it generates and shortens smoke-on time by burning up the fluid faster than is needed.
Do not switch the smoke pump on when you engine is at low throttle or at idle. You can cause the engine to drown on the unburned oil which increases back pressure. A good idea is to mix the smoke switch with your throttle channel and set the on position to anything over half throttle.
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18 December 2018 01:00 AM Until 02:00 AM
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Indoor flying at the armory.
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15 January 2019 01:00 AM Until 02:00 AM
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CCRCC Business Meeting at Lucille's (Frasca Field)- 7:00PM
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Our field is located at 3616 W. Bloomington Rd, Champaign Illinois 61820