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JShumate

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  1. The Heinkel He 162 Volksjäger (People’s Fighter”), was a single-engine, jet-powered Luftwaffe fighter that saw limited action at the end of World War II. It was designed and built quickly primarily of wood as metals were in very short supply and prioritized for other aircraft. Several Volksjäger (Salamander) jets were captured by allied forces at the end of the war for future study. This impressive RC model though not especially large, is very impressive and it has excellent flight performance. Arnim Morgenweck pilots the 79 inch span He-162 which as a takeoff weight of 46.5 pounds. Powered by a TJ-74 turbine engine, the Salamander was filmed at the Megaflugshow (Mega RC Airshow) in Göttingen, Germany Video courtesy of RC MEDIA WORLD The post Turbine powered He 162 Salamander appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  2. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued the proposed rule for remote identification of drones, which by strict definition include RC model aircraft. We encourage our audience to read the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking now in the Federal Register and share their comments. The following regulations are in the proposed rule and would impact the RC hobby. > It would limit the number of approved flying sites > All flying sites must have internet capability > Requires registration of every aircraft Click here to comment and make your voice heard! The post FAA Proposed Rule for Drones/RC Aircraft appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  3. Let’s face it. If you fly RC airplanes, sooner or later, you’re going to damage your model. Knowing how to deal with common damage inflicted on our models saves you money and extends the life of your plane. So why buy a replacement wing when you can fix it yourself? Here’s our damaged wing. This is much like what would happen if you ran your plane into the safety fence at the flying field. With so many ARFs available on the market today, few modelers are actually building up their models from kits. This has produced a whole generation of excellent flyers who simply don’t have the building skills needed to produce an RC model. Without this experience, trying to repair an ARF can be difficult. The techniques shown here are not limited to ARFs and can be used to fix any model you have. MATERIALS The two most important things for a repair project are good glue and a sharp hobby knife. For most of my repairs, I use Pacer Technology’s Zap medium and thin CA, Zip Kicker and for high-stress areas, 20-minute Z-Poxy epoxy. A sharp hobby saw is perfect for making smooth cross-cuts in wood. When smoothing things out, you’ll need a couple of sanding blocks or bars equipped with medium and fine sandpaper. For removing large amounts of material, a good razor plane is also a good tool to have. 1 The first thing to do is to remove the covering material so you can see exactly what’s b*sted. Be like a doctor and cause no further harm! Don’t just cut deeply into the covering and balsa sheeting. Be careful to cut only through the covering without damaging balsa sheeting. If you do, it can weaken the area around your repair. 2 To remove the sheeting around the damaged area, I used a long sanding bar as a straightedge to guide my hobby knife. The sandpaper prevents it from shifting while cutting the balsa. Once you remove the sheeting, you’ll be able to see if there are any internal parts that need replacement. 3 For this wing repair, we needed to replace the leading edge (LE) and the front portion of the broken rib. 4. Here you see the the repair area has been cleaned up and the replacement LE material and the two notches that will need to be cut to carry the LE past the open area are shown. 5. A razor saw does this job quickly and easily. 6. Here the replacement LE material has been fitted snugly into place. To produce the shape of the rib replacement part, trace an undamaged rib next to the damaged one. Cut the part to shape and then place it against the damaged one. 7. Here you see the rib front and the LE replacement parts all glued into place. Tack glue the parts into place first, then lightly flow thin CA into the cr*cks and seams to make sure everything is secure. 8. Before you can replace the top and bottom wing sheeting, you first have to add doubler str*ps under the edges of the undamaged sheeting so you have som*thing to glue the new sheeting to. You may also need to glue some doublers to the side of the ribs to provide purchase to support the ends of the new replacement sheeting. 9. Here the new sheeting has been glued in place. Before closing up the bottom of the wing, re-glue all of the inside seams to make sure you have strong bond everywhere. 10. Once the wing structure has been closed up, start removing material from the leading edge and then shape and sand everything flush and smooth. A Balsa Razor Plane makes short work removing material from the LE stock. 11. Filling the seams with a lightweight spackling compound is the next step. I use Red Devil “OneTime” filler for this. It is extremely lightweight, dries in 30 minutes and is very easy to sand smooth. (It’s available at the hardware store and home improvement department at Home Depot.) To make the filler easier to apply, use a damp sponge to lightly moisten the wood around the repair. Use a scr*p piece of sheeting and apply the filler like you are frosting a cake. Press it firmly into all the seams and dents and then let dry. 12. Use 220-grit sandpaper and sand everything smooth. If there are any starved areas needing more filler, just repeat the process and sand again until everything is level and smooth. 13. Wipe the dust off the model and get some matching covering material, your covering tools and supplies. For the Hangar 9 Pawnee I used matching UltraCote, (from Horizonhobby.com.) Use some rubbing alcohol to degrease the covering all around your repair. This removes the oily residue from your fingers and fuel residue that will prevent a good bond. 14. First apply the base white color. Cut the white covering about 1-inch larger all around and apply the patch in two pieces starting with the bottom side of the wing. Iron the covering down and smooth out any wrinkles and then apply the top piece. 15. Once the white has been applied, cut to shape and apply the trim color and overlap all the seams by about an inch. Be sure to seal all the edges down securely and, while you are at it, check all the other edges and covering seams on the wing and seal them down as well with your hot iron. That’s it! Don’t look now, but your wing panel is ready for flight again! If you kept everything neat, your repair will be hard to see. To see my video showing this repair, follow this link. http://www.modelairplanenews.com/blog/2014/06/20/wing-repair-for-built-up-airplanes-video-from-the-workbench/ Tips & Tools For good repairs (and building for that matter,) you need to have the proper tools. Here are some of the ones I used for this repair. Sharp razor saws are the tools of choice when cutting thick stock and for cross grain straight cuts. Sandpaper and sanding bars. You can’t have enough. I have long and short ones and I like the aluminum ones from Great Planes with stick-on sandpaper str*ps. My favorite tool of all is the Razor Plane. There are several available and I like this one from Master Airscr*w. It is designed to used common hardware store razor blades. It is made of composite plastic and They last for years and years. So that’s it. Go build or repair som*thing and get back in the air! The post Wing Repairs for Built-up Airplanes appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  4. When operating RC airplanes, properly balanced propellers are very important. Having a balanced prop helps prevent excessive vibration which can cause electrical connections to loosen, fuel in your gas tank to foam up, and can even cause structural damage. Balancing your propeller helps avoid all these problems and it is very easy to do by following this two-step procedure. 1. To balance blades, place the mounted prop on the balancer with the blades in a horizontal position. Remove material from the heavy side (the side that falls when placed horizontally), or add to the lighter side until prop stays in a balanced horizontal position. 2. To balance the prop hub, place the mounted prop on the balancer in a vertical position. Remove material from the heavy side (side that falls when placed vertically) or add to the lighter side until prop stays in a balanced vertical position. Tips for Removing or Adding Weight To remove material from wood or plastic props, scr*pe or sand material from the backside of the blade. To add material use drops of CA glue, epoxy or “dope” (wood props). Also, light coats of these adhesives work as well. That’s it. Balancing a propeller is very easy and it pays big dividends by making your model last longer and operate more smoothly. Safety note: Don’t try to repair a broken or badly cr*cked propeller. The post Easy Tips for Balancing Propellers appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  5. We’ve all heard the horror stories about charging lithium packs catching on fire, and the best insurance is to always use a container. The newest in the proven Bat Safe lineup of charging containers is the $39.99 Mini, a 6.5 x 3.9 x 1.9-inch double- walled, insulated steel box with a flame arrestor. Intended for use with up to a 2C, 3S 2200mAh battery, the Mini weighs 1.6 pounds empty. It’s easy to use and comes with a carrying handle and a removable charger stand. bat-safe.com The post Bat Safe Mini appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
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    Fox Valley Aero Club 15th Annual Radio Control Swap Meet Saturday, February 15, 2020 Swap open from 9:00am to 1:00pm. Table set-up at 8:00am. Foamy and Light Electric Indoor Flying from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Admission $5 per person, kids under 12 free. Kane County Fairgrounds 525 Randall Rd. St. Charles, IL 60174 Click the following link for details: file_b5017b51-12b0-4d51-93ba-6243f52b3d45.pdf Click the following link for a mail in table registration form: file_416f8b86-2122-47ca-899b-15acbf7ad0dc.pdf Click the following link for online table registration: www.foxvalleyaeroswap.com
  7. This info provided from @DIrwin with PDF download >> Basic Gas Engine Tuning.pdf VERY IMPORTANT! Read each step and follow exactly and move the sticks exactly as I indicate, there is no slow stick movement when checking the H and L needles. Since both needles work together, slowly throttling up or down will tell you very little when doing your base needle settings. Don't omit any steps and don't do any steps out of order and IT WILL WORK, follow each step and do exactly as described: Before starting the tuning process you will need to: - Tune the engine when it is warm, and double check the tune after your first flight. Start the engine and run it for a good few minutes with varied throttle and some full throttle run ups to get it nice and warm. - If you have not done so, adjust the servo travel for a consistent low idle, does not need to be perfect as long as it is as low as it will reliably run for at least 10 seconds or so. You can not properly tune the low needle if it is too high! Once you are done with tuning and after your first flight you will want to double check your low idle and high idle settings. - For smaller engines set the low as low as it will reliably run and you can adjust after tuning. You will NOT use a high idle setting during tuning as you cannot tell exactly where the low needle is on a high idle. A good low idle should stand still on the ground while idling. An idle up should just make the plane want to roll on the ground. Now that you have that set up, lets proceed with tuning: – If you have not done so already, look in the owner’s manual for your engine and set your needles according to the settings suggested by the manufacturer. These are always a suggested starting point, your tune should end up close but will most likely be different slightly. Keep in mind on a new engine you will need to re-tune after a couple gallons as the engine breaks in. You can tell this because the engine will begin to run noticeably richer on the low end. Generally you can’t tell much difference on the high end after break in but always check it as well. - Tune low needle first. Now run the engine up to clean it out with a couple full throttle run ups and then go to to low idle. Listen to the engine how long does it take to start to "load up" or start to slow down in RPM? If it is rough right away you are likely way to rich. Remember, on gas carbs adjustments are VERY small, like the width of a screwdriver blade or 1/16th of a turn or less. Making large adjustments can make you go from rich to lean and then you’ll be chasing your tail from there out. Small adjustments, and sneak up on it. A good "safe" tuning on the low needle you should be able to clean it out with some run ups, return to idle and it should have a nice steady low idle for at least 15-20 seconds before it starts to load up. If it does this it is still just a "touch" rich but will not die on you and it will run nice and smooth. - How Low should react. Now that you have it running, clean out the engine and let it go to idle. Let it sit for 10 seconds or so and then slam the throttle to full, not slow, nail it!! Listen to what it does. If it dies or almost dies, you are too lean. If it stumbles and works it's way up (may see smoke in exhaust) you are rich. As tuned in number 5 above it should run up quickly with very little or no noticeable stumble. Check this several times before proceeding to the H needle. - Now tune the High needle. There are several ways to do this with RPM but the simplest way for a safe needle setting is this. With the engine warm and the low needle tuned run the engine up to full throttle for about 5 seconds. Now chop it in one quick motion to low. Listen to what it does then. If it returns to a steady idle, you are very close, you may possibly a touch lean. If the idle goes way low and works it's way up to a steady idle you are too rich (engine has residual fuel from the top). If it stays at a high idle and then slows down you are too lean (engine got hot at the top). If it dies you are either way too rich or way too lean. With the H at 1.5 you should not be too lean. - How should the High react. Ideally you will have at least some residual when quickly chopping from H to L. So in other words from a 5 second full run up and chopping to low the RPM should just barely dip, and then return to your normal low idle. That’s nearly a perfect H tune that allows some residual fuel for high speed downwind passes and down-lines when the RPM’s will pick up. - When H is set return and double check the L and then double check the H. Then it's time for a flight. Listen to the engine carefully for all of the noted symptoms while you are flying. One engine test I do in-flight is for the H needle. Get the engine nice and hot, maybe a high speed pass or something. Now do a full throttle straight up line. Listen! Engine should be smooth and steady until you can't go higher. If it starts to sag at all, land immediately and richen the H needle just a tad and try it again. NOTE: This fade can also be caused from overheating not tuning related so make sure your engine is properly baffled if you now the tuning is correct. There you go, pretty simple and really only takes a few minutes once you get it down.
  8. I look forward to seeing it in the air
  9. JShumate

    Social Meeting

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    Social Meeting at the CCRCC Airfield - 7:00PM
  10. JShumate

    Business Meeting

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    CCRCC Business Meeting at CCRCC Flying Field- 7:00PM
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    Social Meeting at Huber's - 7:00PM
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    Social Meeting at Huber's - 7:00PM
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    Social Meeting at Huber's - 7:00PM
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    Social Meeting at Huber's - 7:00PM
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    CCRCC Business Meeting at Lucille's (Frasca Field)- 7:00PM
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    CCRCC Business Meeting at Lucille's (Frasca Field)- 7:00PM
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    CCRCC Business Meeting at Lucille's (Frasca Field)- 7:00PM
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    CCRCC Business Meeting at Lucille's (Frasca Field)- 7:00PM
  19. As if flying giant scale warbirds like the Top Flight giant scale P-51D Mustang isn’t exciting enough all but itself, some guys who attend large national and regional warbird meets are always looking for a little som*thing extra. Recently, at the Warbirds over the Rockies event, Rich Uravitch caught a sight that surely got everyone’s attention. Here’s his field report. Featured Photograph courtesy of Ken Isaac (RCKen) “Since the WOTR is a flying event, I expected some polished, stand-out performances and I wasn’t disappointed. Some of the nicest, most consistent RC formation flying I’ve seen lately came from Model Airplane News contributor and owner of Best Pilots, Lyle Vasser and his buddy and wingman, Steve Forrest flying a pair of Top Flight giant scale Mustangs. They’ve been doing this for a number of years, mostly at meets and shows west of the Mississippi. They are really good and impressive to watch. This isn’t two guys just flying similar models in the same chunk of sky, they really do join up, matching speed and altitude throughout their routine. As many of you who have tried it already know, it ain’t easy and takes lots of practice. They seem to have pretty much nailed it. Maybe they’ll make their way East so the other half of the country can appreciate their skills! And of course, these amazing Mustangs also have the ultimate detail inside the c*ckpits–Best Pilot figures at the controls! Post photos by John Dussold The post RC Warbird Formation Flying appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  20. There’s giant scale, then there’s GIANT SCALE, and when an scale RC airplane gets close to 20 feet in span, we’re in a new category of BIG. The post appeared first on .
  21. Frank Tiano has just informed us that TOP GUN will add a new class, initially for 2020, for “Electric Ducted Fan” (EDF) models. Foam Type. Half the normal entry fee for Top Gun applies. The EDF Class will be open to ANY Top Gun participant regardless of how many classes they are already flying in, AND is open to anyone else who feels qualified to fly at the event. We will allow as many entries as we can fit. Therefore, we must adhere to a “first come first serve” basis. At the moment it appears that the number of participants can be between 20 and 24. I strongly suggest when you send in your Entry Form, you use a credit card for payment. We will only process those who are accepted into the class. If you prefer a check, we will only deposit it if the paperwork has arrived before we have to close off the class . Here are the Rules. (If we modify, all participants will be notified) FOAMIE EDF RULES: Two Classes, “Stock” and “Modified” Model must be a commercially available product. Aircraft must be a scale EDF Warbird model of a full sized, manned, jet powered aircraft. Model’s entire airframe must be constructed of molded foam, (Foamies) Both EDF Foamie Classes are limited to a minimum fan diameter of 70mm and maximum of 105mm. “Stock” means Box Stock “Airframes”, entrants may only alter or change the markings and may weather the surface finish. NO other changes may be made to the Factory Color Scheme or Outline. What IS Allowed: Beefed up Landing Gear, Larger Batteries, Different or modified fan unit / electronics. MODIFIED: Entrants in the “Modified” class may NOT modify the outline of the model as released by the manufacturer. However, any aspect of the surface finish may be revised beyond the original factory finish. This includes overall color and markings, plus the addition of external surface details such as Antennae, Auxiliary Fuel Tanks, Ordinance, Lighting systems, Afterburner, Sound Systems, c*ckpit/Pilot detail, Panel Lines and Weathering. To qualify for “Modified” status, (Up to 25 Static Points are awarded) the entrant must offer one color photograph or color print (Hard Copy Only) doc*menting the full-scale aircraft. (Digital screen doc*mentation is not acceptable). A Data Sheet will be provided for each entrant to fill out. Modified models will be lined up for “Concours” Judging during the Lunch Break Wednesday EDF Flight Schedule: Models will fly a total of 3 or 4 rounds: One round each day on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoon, immediately following completion of the Pro-Am flight rounds. If the schedule is light enough, we may be able to have a 4th round on Sat*rday and Sunday for some percentage of each EDF class. If only 3 rounds are flown, the Awards will be given out at the Sat*rday night Dinner. If 4 flights are flown, we will do the awards on Sunday with the other classes. A maximum flight score of 100 points will be awarded for each flight. Pilots in both categories have the option of flying with or without Auxiliary Fuel Tanks or Ordinance. All maneuvers other than Takeoff, Traffic Pattern and Landing, may be completed in any order preferred. There are 4 Mandatory and 3 Optional maneuvers, plus a “Realism” score. The pilot may string together as many as 3 maneuvers in any way he prefers; for example, 1 Roll followed by a ½ Cuban 8 followed by a Loop, OR, Straight Flight, followed by ½ Cuban 8 followed by 1 Roll etc. Maneuvers should be centered on the Flight Judges UNLESS the positioning is called in advance. For example, the pilot may call a Roll starting in front of the judges and completed while flying away from them, to facilitate entering another maneuver offset to the left or right. FLIGHT SCHEDULE (Maneuvers other than #8-10 may be done in ANY order, after Takeoff Take Off on runway centerline Fast Fly-By (Clean/Cruise) Slow Fly-By (d*rty-Slow) Optional Maneuver Optional Maneuver Optional Maneuver Traffic Pattern Landing on runway centerline Overall Flight Realism Ten point bonus to make scoring program work! Refer to the “Flight Rules” section of the official Top Gun Rule book for a detailed description of each of the maneuvers listed, including reasons for point deductions. (Top Gun 2020 Rule Book is online at www.franktiano.com) The post New EDF Class at Top Gun appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  22. First Flight Dec. 14, 1984, the X-29 advanced technology demonstrator aircraft banks over desert terrain near NASA Dryden. (Credits: NASA Photo) Two X-29 aircraft, featuring one of the more unusual designs in aviation history, were flown at NASA Ames-Dryden Flight Research Facility (now Armstrong Flight Research Center) at Edwards Air Force Base, California. The demonstrators investigated advanced concepts and technologies during a multi-phased program conducted from 1984 to 1992. The program provided an engineering database that is available for the design and development of future aircraft. The aircraft’s forward-swept wings were mounted well back on the fuselage, while its canards (horizontal stabilizers to control pitch) were in front of the wings instead of on the tail. The complex geometries of the wings and canards combined to provide exceptional maneuverability, supersonic performance and a light structure. Air moving over the forward-swept wings tended to flow inward toward the root of the wing instead of outward toward the wing tip as occurs on an aft-swept wing. This reverse airflow kept the wing tips and their ailerons from stalling at high angles of attack (direction of the fuselage relative to the air flow). The fighter-size X-29 also explored the use of advanced composites in aircraft construction; variable camber wing surfaces; the unique forward-swept wing and its thin supercritical airfoil; strake fl*ps; close-coupled canards; and a computerized fly-by-wire flight control system to maintain control of the otherwise unstable aircraft. Research results showed that the configuration of forward-swept wings, coupled with movable canards, gave pilots excellent control response at up to 45 degrees angle of attack, higher than comparable fighter aircraft. During its flight history, X-29s were flown on 422 research missions. Aircraft No. 1 flew 242 in the Phase 1 portion of the program; 120 flights were flown by aircraft No. 2 in Phase 2; and 60 flights were completed in a follow-on “vortex control” phase. Background Before World War II, some gliders with forward-swept wings existed, and the NACA (the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory (now Langley Research Center) in Hampton, v*rginia, performed wind-tunnel studies on the concept in 1931. Germany developed a jet-powered aircraft with forward-swept wings, the Junkers Ju 287, during the war. The concept, however, was not successful because the technology and materials did not exist to construct the wing rigid enough to overcome bending and twisting forces without making the aircraft too heavy. Hamburger Flugzuebau designed and built the Hansa Jet HFB-320 in the early 1960s; the aircraft first flew in 1964. The company built 45 HFB-320s, the only certified civilian business jet to use a forward-swept-wing. The introduction of composite materials in the 1970s opened a new field of aircraft construction, making it possible to design rugged airframes and structures stronger than those made of conventional materials, yet lightweight and able to withstand tremendous aerodynamic forces. The X-29’s thin supercritical wing was of composite construction. State-of-the-art composites permit aeroelastic tailoring, which allows the wing some bending but limits twisting and eliminates structural divergence within the flight envelope (deformation of the wing or breaking off in flight). In 1977, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory (now the Air Force Research Laboratory or AFRL) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, issued proposals for a research aircraft designed to explore the forward-swept wing concept. The aircraft was also intended to validate studies that predicted better control and lift qualities in extreme maneuvers and possibly reduce aerodynamic drag, as well as fly more efficiently at cruise speeds. The Grumman Corporation was chosen in December 1981 to receive an $87 million contract to build two X-29 aircraft. They were to become the first new X-series aircraft in more than a decade. First flight of the No. 1 X-29 was Dec. 14, 1984, while the No. 2 aircraft first flew on May 23, 1989. Both first flights were from NASA Ames-Dryden Flight Research Facility. Flight Control System The flight control surfaces on the X-29 were the forward-mounted canards, which shared the lifting load with the wings and provided primary pitch control. The wing flaperons (combination fl*ps and ailerons) were used to change wing camber and function as ailerons for roll control when used asymmetrically. In addition, the strake fl*ps on each side of the rudder augmented the canards with pitch control. The control surfaces were linked electronically to a triple-redundant digital fly-by-wire flight control system that provided an artificial stability. The particular forward-swept wing, close-coupled canard design used on the X-29 was highly unstable. The X-29 flight control system compensated for this instability by sensing flight conditions such as attitude and speed and through computer processing, continually adjusted the control surfaces with up to 40 commands each second. Conventionally configured aircraft achieved stability by balancing lift loads on the wing with opposing downward loads on the tail at the cost of drag. The X-29 avoided this drag penalty through its relaxed static stability. Each of the three digital flight control computers had an a*alog backup. If one of the digital computers failed, the remaining two took over. If two of the digital computers failed, the flight control system switched to the a*alog mode. If one of the a*alog computers failed, the two remaining a*alog computers took over. The risk of total systems failure in the X-29 was equivalent to the risk of mechanical failure in a conventional system. The post X-29 Advanced Technology Demonstrator appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  23. Hands down, one of our all time favorite fighter jet, the F-14 Tomcat was made famous by the movie Top Gun. Grumman’s twin-engine fighter was carrier based and had a variable geometry (swing wing) design. This impressive RC turbine powered 1/7-scale Tomcat flew at the popular Best in the West Jet Rally in b*ttonwillow, CA. With the wings extended, the F-14 has excellent flight control and allows the model to takeoff and land as slower speeds. With the wing swept all the way back, the speed is impressive while still providing good pitch and roll control. As the video shows, the Tomcat is an amazing jet on the flightline and in the air! Video courtesyof The RC Geek The post RC F-14 Tomcat Sweep-wing Jet appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  24. We’ve received several emails asking about covering scale models. While I was building my the 1/4-scale Sopwith Camel project, I wrote this post that goes into detail about what required. Your response was impressive and many of you asked about Scale Stits Fabric and Poly Tak adhesive, from F&M Enterprises. So, I broke out the video camera in the workshop and I made this 2-part How To Video presentation. Included are all the steps and techniques I used to cover one of the ailerons highlighting several useful tips and tricks. Personally, I think it is very easy and the polyester fabric and the heat activated adhesive used to attach the cloth to the wood structure are simple to apply. Here ya go. Enjoy Sitis Lite and the Poly Fiber covering system is designed to work together to produce an easy to apply and durable fabric covered finish. The most important things for a great finish a clean work surface and sharp X-Acto blades. See the How To videos below. Video How To Part 1. Video How To Part 2 Editor’s Note: MEK is no longer available so an acceptable replacement is Acetone solvent. The post Video How To: Fabric Covering RC Planes appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  25. War was coming to the ocean called “Pacific.” Imperial Japan, in need of oil to feed its growing ambition, squirmed under the stricture of an American embargo (implemented because of Japan’s aggression toward China). Japan would not be denied its self-proclaimed destiny, so Tokyo’s warlords cast covetous eyes southward to the petroleum-rich Dutch East Indies, ripe for the plucking. The Pacific was to be “their” ocean, and the only major obstacle was the U.S. Pacific Fleet based in Hawaii. The focus of the two-year-old war in Europe was about to swing dramatically to what would soon be the world’s largest theater of operations. To U.S. servicemen in 1941, Hawaii was a tropical paradise and a “dream” duty station. Army air and ground forces enjoyed a pleasant tour of duty; after all, the only potential enemy was 3,400 miles to the west. In 1940, the Pacific Fleet had moved to Pearl Harbor from San Diego despite the objections of Adm. J.O. Richardson, “CinCPac,” who felt that basing the fleet in Hawaii was no more a deterrent to Japanese aggression than leaving it by the mainland; furthermore, it made a tempting target. His objections were overridden by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who replaced him with Adm. Husband E. Kimmel. His Army counterpart, Gen. Walter Short, had no more influence than Kimmel on Roosevelt’s decision. Meanwhile, the Army, Navy and Marine airmen on Oahu basked in the joy of flying in a pleasant climate, even amid growing concern about Tokyo’s actions in China. Many of the fliers at Hickam, Pearl and Ewa (“Evva”) would later clash with Axis aircraft in other sorties around the globe. Lt. Francis S. Gabreski, currently America’s highest-scoring living ace, remembered duty in Hawaii as “wonderful.” He said, “Unless you had the duty that day, you flew from eight a.m. to noon or so, maybe did some paperwork then had the rest of the day for surfing, fishing, or chasing girls.” “Gabby” Gabreski met his future wife in Hawaii, eventually trading his P-36s and P-40s for P-47s in England. Status of forces On the morning of December 7, 1941, the U.S. Army Air Force had about 230 aircraft in Hawaii; the Navy and Marines had about 170, plus 70 to 80 each on the aircraft carriers USS Lexington (CV-2) and Enterprise (CV-6). Lex was delivering Marine scout-bombers to Midway, 1,100 miles northwest of Honolulu. “The Big E” was en route home to Pearl Harbor, having delivered Marine fighters to Wake Island. The Army had 45 bombers in Hawaii, though 33 were obsolete Douglas B-18s, barely capable of 200mph. A dozen B-17D Flying Fortresses represented the USAAF’s best striking arm, with excellent range and payload and a 25,000-foot capability. At that early time, however, it had not yet been realized how ineffective high-altitude bombers would be against moving ships. More promising were 13 Douglas A-20 attack bombers, later demonstrably effective in the Southwest Pacific. Defending Hawaiian skies were 152 “pursuit ships” of various numbers and performance. The largest contingent was 99 Curtiss P-40B and C Tomahawks, with decent armament and speeds approaching 350mph. First delivered early in 1941, they were the most modern fighters available. Dating from 1938 was the Curtiss company’s earlier entry, the radial-engine P-36A. Though claiming a 310mph top speed, the 39 fighters with Pratt & Whitney R-1830s lacked the altitude performance of the -40s and packed a less lethal punch. Owing to export contracts for Britain, France and other nations, however, Curtiss was unable to deliver enough P-40s to its own country, so the second-line -36 soldiered on. Some squadrons flew both types interchangeably. The P-36 may have been lacking in speed and firepower, but it was two-and-a-half laps ahead of the petite Boeing P-26. Fourteen of the fixed-gear, braced monoplane fighters remained in Hawaiian squadrons, and though the “Peashooters” had been considered hot ships in 1934, they were now more than 100mph slower than the opposition—fit only for proficiency flying. The other USAAF aircraft on hand represented a variety of obsolete observation and liaison types. By far the most significant naval aircraft in Hawaii was Consolidated’s long-lived PBY flying boat. Newly named “Catalina,” the big twin-engine patrol plane equipped two air wings with a total of 69 aircraft. They were based at Kaneohe Naval Air Station on the east coast of Oahu and were largely responsible for long-range patrol of Hawaiian waters. However, the Pacific Fleet commander, Adm. Kimmel, realized that he had too few PBYs to provide adequate coverage of all the approaches to the Hawaiian Islands. America was heavily committed to the ill-named “Neutrality Patrol” covering the Atlantic, where American-flown PBYs had been involved in destroying the German battleship Bismarck seven months before. The Navy service wing at Kaneohe owned nearly 40 utility and scout-observation Grumman, Beech and Sikorsky types. There was also a small fleet-aircraft pool with 21 replacement fighters and dive bombers. Marine Air Group Two, based at Ewa, comprised two scout-bomber squadrons with 29 Douglas SBDs and Vought SB2Us, a fighter squadron with 11 Grumman F4Fs and a utility squadron with eight “cats and dogs.” Naval aviation’s offensive arm was built around its three aircraft carriers. As noted, Lexington and Enterprise were ferrying Marine planes to Midway and Wake, while the Saratoga (CV-3) was loading more leatherneck fighters in San Diego. Each flattop had nearly identical air groups, nominally flying 36 SBDs, 18 fighters (Saratoga had Brewster F2As) and 18 Douglas TBD torped* planes. One of the luckiest breaks in American history was that all three PacFleet carriers were out of port on December 7. Because so many battleships were destroyed or damaged during the attack, and because submarines were largely irrelevant owing to the scandalous failure of their torped*es (a problem that persisted for nearly two years), carrier aviation became America’s only way to conduct a war in the Pacific. Japan’s Sunday punch In contrast to the rather anemic American forces, the Japanese Navy committed itself wholeheartedly to the Hawaii operation: all six fleet carriers, embarking 427 aircraft plus cruiser-based floatplanes for reconnaissance. The carrier air groups owned 144 Nakajima B5N torped* planes, 138 Aichi D3A dive bombers and 138 Mitsubishi A6M fighters, arguably flown by the most experienced naval aviators on earth. Certainly, they had a high degree of competence, having trained relentlessly over the previous several months. The effort that went into the aerial torped*es alone was significant. Pearl Harbor was shallow—only 40 feet deep in places—and the challenge was to get torped*es to level off before they plunged into the muddy bottom. After the British Navy’s air attack on Taranto Harbor in November 1940, the Japanese naval attaché examined the damage done to Italian battleships (U.S. intelligence was aware of this) and concluded that it was possible to make torped*es run shallow enough. Fitting large wooden fins to the torped*es’ aft ends proved to be workable; otherwise, Oper-ation Hawaii probably would not have been executed. The Japanese navy’s standard torped* plane was the Nakajima B5N, which entered service in 1937— the same year as America’s ill-fated Douglas TBD. Reasonably fast and armed with the world’s finest aerial torped*, the Type 97 Carrier Attack Aircraft (later called “Kate” by the allies) represented a lethal threat against enemy ships. It also proved effective as a high-level bomber and performed well in both roles on December 7. The counterpart of the Douglas Dauntless was the Aichi D3A, the Type 99 carrier bomber (aka “Val”). Despite its spatted, fixed landing gear, the Aichi demonstrated excellent stability and, therefore, accuracy in addition to a decent top speed—nearly 250mph. The crews assigned to Operation Hawaii drilled incessantly before deploying, both against stationary and moving targets. Toward the end, they frequently recorded hit rates upward of 50 percent on maneuvering ships. The Japanese Imperial Navy possessed an air-superiority design unlike any other in the world in the Mitsubishi A6M Type 0 fighter. Fast, long-range, agile and well-armed with cannon and machine guns, it was flown by competent, aggressive pilots, including combat veterans with kills over China. All three Japanese carrier planes became first to last warriors, flying from 1941 through 1945. In contrast, most of their American rivals were largely replaced by newer, more capable planes before 1945. The notable exceptions were the Flying Fortress, Catalina and Wildcat. Japan’s newly created First Air Fleet was easily the most powerful naval aviation force in existence. Six fast carriers were specially trained and equipped for the Hawaii operation, with adequate escorts and tankers to support a prolonged sweep of the largest ocean on Earth. org*nized into three divisions with two flattops each, the Carrier Striking Force (Kido Butai) was led by Vice Adm. Chuichi Nagumo, an experienced surface officer. He commanded Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, Hiryu, Shokaku and Zuikaku. His lack of aviation expertise was more than offset by his excellent staff, including two of Japan’s ablest airmen and planners: Cmdrs. Minoru Genda and Mitsuo Fuchida. The latter would lead the first of two waves against Hawaii with a total of more than 300 planes. Kido Butai departed Japanese waters on November 26, steaming the northerly route where weather was thick and shipping rare. Though U.S. intelligence picked up radio signals indicating that the carriers were out and headed east, the information was never used; nor did the decrypts of Japanese diplomatic codes clearly show that only Pearl Harbor had been divided into targeting grids. Arriving at his launch point some 200 miles north of Oahu, Nagumo ensured that his aircrews were carefully briefed to recognize specific targets. At 0600 on December 7, the first 183 planes were launched in only 15 minutes—an accomplishment in itself—and deployed off the northern tip of Oahu at 0740. Ten minutes later, the fighters and dive bombers turned inland and aimed at Army air bases at Hickam and Wheeler fields plus the Naval air stations at Ford Island in Pearl Harbor and beautiful Kaneohe Bay on the east coast. Bellows Field, the Army facility south of Kaneohe, was mostly ignored, as it was known to be the home of an observation squadron. Meanwhile, the Nakajima level and torped* bombers skirted the southwest coast, arriving above the harbor at 0755. They overflew the Marine Corps base at Ewa, which Zeros strafed with eerie efficiency. By then, of course, the surprise was complete, despite the fact that a destroyer had sunk a midg*t submarine an hour previously and because of the fact that the huge formation detected by radar north of Oahu was deemed to be a dozen B-17s arriving from California. “Don’t shoot!” Vice Adm. William F. Halsey, commanding the Enterprise task force, had placed his ships on a war footing in November. Taking no chances, he had launched 18 Dauntlesses southwest of Kaula Island toward Pearl Harbor that morning. The SBDs found nothing remarkable between their carrier and the shore, but they flew directly into the Sunday surprise. The first “the Big E” knew of Pearl’s peril was a frantic radio call from a young Dauntless pilot: “This is an American plane! Don’t shoot!” Over the next half hour or so, Japanese planes shot down five SBDs while American gunners downed a sixth. Three pilots and two radiomen were killed, and three more fliers were wounded. It only got worse. After the carrier launched a futile search-strike that evening, the Wildcat escorts were diverted to Ford Island. In yet another snafu, gunners on the ground assumed that any airborne planes were hostile. Three F4F pilots were killed by “friendly fire.” The Big E’s revenge would be deferred for six months, but the debt was repaid with compound interest at Midway. Nowhere was the efficiency of Japanese bombing and strafing more evident than Kaneohe. Of the 36 Catalina flying boats based there, 27 were destroyed, and six were damaged. Only three escaped enemy attention; they were on scheduled patrol missions. Some of the best flying of the entire attack was by the Nakajima B5Ns that skimmed the waters of Pearl Harbor to deliver their Type 95 aerial torped*es against “Battleship Row.” The pilots had only seconds to descend to drop altitude, pick their aim points, release and pull out. The outboard ships took a succession of hits from the powerfully efficient torped*es: West v*rginia (BB-48) and Oklahoma (BB-37) were sunk at their moorings. Arizona (BB-39) took an armor-piercing bomb that detonated a magazine and exploded, taking more than 1,100 men with her—half the American fatalities on that day. The two inboard battlewagons—Maryland (BB-46) and Tennessee (BB-43)—sustained relatively light damage and were under way again in weeks. Nevada (BB-36), the only battleship to work up steam, became an immediate target as she headed for the harbor mouth. Bombers and torped* planes jumped her as she pushed along at 10 knots, and her captain wisely beached the behemoth off Hospital Point rather than risk its sinking and blocking the channel. Two other battlewagons were also hit: California (BB-44), moored alone off Ford Island, was sunk but eventually refloated; Pennsylvania (BB-39) was damaged in dry dock. The old Utah (AV-16) was destroyed on the opposite side of Ford Island, but fortuitously, she absorbed Japanese ordnance that would have been better expended elsewhere: she was the Pacific Fleet’s training target vessel. Antiaircraft efforts Legends arose from the smoke and twisted wreckage in the harbor and onshore that day. Popular music contributed to the mood with the jaunty tune, “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition,” a statement attributed to the chaplain of one ship as he encouraged the antiaircraft gunners blasting away at enemy aircraft. Ashore, the mood was decidedly less festive. Under peacetime regulations, live ammunition could not be issued without written authorization from a commissioned officer. At Army posts such as Fort Shafter and Schofield Barracks, soldiers clamored for machine-gun and antiaircraft ammunition that remained locked in storage. Career noncoms—the “lifers” often disliked by rookies and draftees—reportedly declined to issue ammo, even with bombing and strafing in progress. Yet common sense more often ruled, and Japanese aircrews remarked on the speed and ferocity of AA fire. The Pacific Fleet report stated that some ships opened fire within two minutes of the attack; most did so within seven minutes. The Navy alone fired 4,620 three- to five-inch shells and 276,000 rounds from automatic weapons. The most common antiaircraft weapon was the three-inch gun, firing a shell with a fuse that detonated a bursting charge. Sixteen were in place to defend the harbor, plus those aboard ship, and photos show the sky pockmarked with black flak bursts. A few Japanese planes were downed by heavy flak, but a confidential report later admitted that many of the 68 civilian deaths were caused by falling shell splinters. A variety of automatic weapons was employed both afloat and ashore. Probably the most effective was the Browning .50-caliber machine gun—a 1918 design with a cooling water j*cket around the barrel. Mounted on a pedestal with sights high over the bore, the .50s put out a sustained rate of fire that could knock down a single-engine aircraft. One of 15 Navy Medals of Honor that day went to a .50-caliber gunner, Chief John Finn of Kaneohe Naval Air Station, who remained at his gun despite multiple wounds. Another Navy machine gunner was Mess Attendant Doris “Dorsey” Miller, the West v*rginia’s heavyweight boxing champ. Though not trained in gunnery, he proved his fighting spirit aboard a sinking ship as well as in the ring. Elsewhere, infantry weapons such as .30-caliber tripod-mounted machine guns and automatic rifles also came into play. Interceptors aloft Few USAAF fighters got off the ground that morning: 14 P-36 and 11 P-40 sorties were logged, mostly from the 46th and 47th Pursuit Squadrons. The P-40 pilots claimed six shootdowns; the P-36s four more. At least one P-36 fell to U.S. gunfire over Schofield Barracks. Two second lieutenants from the 47th Pursuit became famous for their efforts. Kenneth M. Taylor and George S. Welch had barely returned from an all-night poker game and were badly in need of rest when the Japanese arrived. Still partly dressed in civilian clothes, they drove to the alert str*p at Haleiwa, scrambled into their P-40s and took off. In a 30-minute fight, they intercepted enemy aircraft near Ewa and shot down four. They claimed to have hit dive bombers, but they probably bagged level bombers. Low on ammunition, they landed to rearm and were back in the air in barely 15 minutes. Later, over the north shore, they chased more bandits; Taylor was wounded, while Welch claimed a fighter and a dive bomber. Legend has it that “Wheaties” Welch and Ken Taylor were nominated for the Medal of Honor but were awarded Distinguished Service Crosses because they had taken off without authorization. True or not, no Army men were given the MOH for that day, although 15 Navy officers, noncoms and sailors were recognized with the nation’s highest award. The second wave One hour behind the first wave were 168 more planes from Kido Butai. By now, there was no need for stealth: they crossed the coast heading directly for Pearl, though more fighters turned to port to keep the pressure on Kaneohe and starboard to “cap” Wheeler. Other Zeros pressed southward for Hickam and Ford Island. The dive bombers attacked Pearl Harbor from the northeast while the level bombers overflew the southeast of Oahu, passing south of Honolulu and turning west for Hickam and Ford and east for Kaneohe. The second wave met far heavier opposition than the first and sustained greater casualties. Twenty of the 168 (12 percent) were lost, compared with nine of the first 183 (five percent). AA and flak took a toll on the survivors, however; a surprising 74 planes returned to their carriers bearing battle damage. By the time the last raiders regrouped over Ewa and turned their black noses north, 90 minutes had elapsed. In exchange for 29 aircraft and five midg*t submarines with their crews, Imperial Japan had crippled the United States’ Pacific Fleet. More than 2,400 Americans were dead or dying; nearly 1,200 were wounded. Eighteen ships were destroyed or damaged, though some later returned to service in the Atlantic and Pacific. The total Army, Navy and Marine aircraft losses were 347 destroyed or damaged. However, Nagumo’s failure to launch a third strike—especially to destroy the Pacific Fleet’s vulnerable oil reserves—proved to have strategic consequences. A terrible resolve It would take time and effort, but America’s materiel losses were redressed by an awesome industrial effort on the mainland. Meanwhile, Army and Navy hatcheries turned out tens of thousands of fledgling airmen and the skilled artisans to support them, train them and put them over Japanese targets. On the 50th anniversary of the attack, Zenji Abe, one of the Imperial Navy’s best dive-bomber pilots, visited Pearl Harbor. “What I think now is why we had to attack,” he said. “Why could we not seek the natural resources that we needed by peaceful measures? If there had not been Pearl Harbor, the unhappiness of mankind could have been limited to much less.” He thought a moment, then added, “As a soldier of the foremost line, I regret it very much.” Another attitude was expressed by Zero pilot Takeshi Maeda, who insisted: “We don’t have to apologize because we did it by order.” However, like most Japanese veterans, he said that his comrades were told that notification had been given to America moments before the attack. That was the intention, but the Japanese embassy in Washington was painfully slow in decoding Tokyo’s message, and that resulted in the appearance of a sneak attack that outraged America and, in Adm. Yamamoto’s words, “… awakened a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.” The post Remembering Pearl Harbor appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
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