Significant progress made today. The motor mount length was adjusted to allow the propeller driver boss to protrude through the cowl just enough to allow clearance between the cowl and the rear of the prop. Right angle ali brackets fix to the bulkhead with screws, then on the angle face 4mm holes were drilled through the angle piece with captive nuts fitted on the inside of the motor box. Short cap head screws secure the angle pieces to the motor box and disassembly can take place in a couple of minutes.
The repaired cowl fits well although there is limited space inside. A large air hole was cut on the lower face to allow air to cool the electronic speed control unit which looks as if can be fitted to the bottom face of the motor box. Some clearance of the rear motor bulkhead now allows the twin Lipo battery pack to fit nicely within that box with the advantage that it also brings weight well forward to help achieve a good centre of gravity without adding excess lead ballast. The wings are trial fitted and bolt well to the fuselage. The lift struts which are made from flat bar ali have been smoothed, slightly profiled and trial fitted...the profile work stops them looking just like a bit of old and unprepared alloy strip. These details make all the difference to appearance. With the undercarriage, cowl, wings and lift struts fitted, the character of the model starts to take shape. Check weighing with Lipo pack and pre-cut wing coverings placed in the model gives an encouraging 3.5Lb /1.6Kg. Predicted weight with ailerons, flaps, slats and minuscule radio receiver factored on to the above weight indicates a finished weight of 1.9-2Kg. Perfectly acceptable.
The result to date is now rather more encouraging than it was a week ago. The worst of the battle is over and all should now be fairly plain sailing. The cheapo servos are winging their way from China and some matching colour Humbrol enamel is expected tomorrow. I expect to etch prime the cowl and all bare metal parts tomorrow after which top coat painting can begin. Again, that should make a big difference to the look of the model.
Perhaps a slight change in ideas for the finished paint scheme are in mind. Several of these German aircraft were captured at the end of the war and then evaluated to assess performance. The Storch made a fabulous spotter and communications aircraft and as said previously was used by controlling Generals and Officers for reconnaissance over the D-Day period. Both Rommel and Montgomery used this type of aircraft to good effect. The model would make an unusual sight if given RAF colours and invasion identification stripes. Google images may give me a suitable colour scheme for an Allied example.
Hanger appearance is rather cluttered with the fall out of three weeks concerted building. One clearance has taken place but it doesn`t take long to need another one. Models hang off the walls, occupy the garage and the large Extra has taken residence in my Fathers disabled Peugeot. Model making is very addictive and accumulative. My collection is embryonic and not particularly sizable. Others have huge collections which apparently occupy every available square inch of their homes.These things can take up a lot of space. That`s it for tonight.
The Storch continues to progress and the light is seen at the end of the tunnel.
Ailerons, slats and flaps have been covered and await fitting to the wing. Power feed/control cables x 3 in each wing have been super-glued in place along the main spars to give cable support and prevent wire fatigue generated by motor vibration and consequential wire work hardening. All circuitry works as it should. Each service has a colour coded identifier on each connection to ease identification within the fuselage. So three cables come from each wing and initially terminate just inside the fuselage. Three Y-leads continue the circuitry down inside the fuselage and will link onto the radio receiver towards the completion of the model. The model is now being dismantled to allow the wings to be covered and control surfaces to be hinged. The project is now progressing in a controlled and known fashion. Another week or so should see the model complete.
Ailerons, slats and flaps were fitted to the wings over the weekend. Then the troubles started again. The actuator lever horn geometry which links to the power servo units is hopeless. The parts are fitted as per kit instructions and illustrations. The designer has failed in his geometry attempts to get a decent push/pull action between the servo and the horns. Quite useless because the leverage needs to be at around 90 degrees difference. I nearly threw the model in the bin at that point because I also had to significantly modify the profile of the leading edges of the ailerons to allow any upward movement. This meant destroying some of my work and re-building to get over the issue. Not what is wanted or should be found in a production kit. One gets a bit cheesed at discovering issues at every turn. Here is the section from the builders manual which is totally incorrect and impossible to make work. A phone call to Rob Lewis on Hayling Island was helpful. Rob also occasionally builds for DW and has also been sent a Storch for evaluation. However, he is about three weeks behind my build and has only just begun his construction. I explained the issues and Rob looked at the builders manual. A few images were pinged to him. Rob immediately saw the issues and we conclude that I need to obtain alternative horn levers and to mount them differently. "Here we go again", said Rob. "More Chinese model misery in a brown cardboard box"! This type of ongoing nightmare becomes extremely frustrating given enough exposure to it over a short period. I`ve decided I`ll not be building any more DW kits. Its just too much grief and I`ve better things to do than sort out other peoples design cock-ups. So a visit to the Bromley model shop is on the cards where the proprietor is rather good at solving linkage problems. Today, having finished the hinging, I`m standing back from this model. My addled brain needs a rest.
Rod asked about the progress on the big Extra exhaust system. Right, it is now paid for and in the post. Another £220 taken from the Jaguar tyre fund and now in someone else's pocket. That will teach me to build such a big model. Just Engines pinged this image to me prior to payment. The parts look well made and I`m assure the unit is crammed with baffles and other noise reducing paraphernalia. So two outlets from the two pot engine feeding into the exhaust can with one central outlet pipe swept back to deflect messy two stroke exhaust residue. Pipes have been left long to allow me to cut down to the required lengths. Two blanking cap screws are fitted to the exhaust down-pipes to permit a smoke system installation at a later date. The smoke injectors can be fitted in place of the cap screws when required. Lets get the thing flying properly to begin with!
So I have a very pretty little Storch model but one that is beset with problems. I think I need to stand back from this model for a few hours and regain some enthusiasm for it. The makers have scored big black with this model. What makes it worse is that it is a direct copy of an American Maxford kit design but in the copying, the whole project has gone pear shaped. DW need to do much better than this if they are hopeful of running with the best other alternative kits on the market. Regrettably, I`ve now had enough of the brand. Never again!!
I lose it when a bag of salted nuts tears open the wrong way showering carpet with contents
(due to packers using oriented poly-prop but orientation going vertical down the packet instead of horizontal across)
So, mein Storch vorsteuerung for you zee var ist over, ja?
Current: '03 Strange Rover L322
In trim shop for total refurb: '73 Owen Sedanca 4.2L
Stalled in storage '61 Mark IX with 4.2L
So back to the house after that to check on my parents before shooting off the the model shop at Bromley. A good result because Rob, the owner of the shop had turfed out his box of secondhand 0.61 two stroke motors before my arrival and come up with a real jewel of a piece. Wrapped up in a twenty one year old copy of "The Sun", was an Irvine 0.72 unit in seemingly un-run condition. My interest peaked. Effectively this was a slightly bored out, "special", small run of engines made by the late Ron Irvine to satisfy a trade request for a bigger capacity engine within a standard capacity and sized crank-case. Rob said this example was an un-used spare left over from his days of sponsored show display flying. I was certainly well chuffed to find such a gem and it is seen here now fitted to the scratch built Ultra Stick fuselage. That is another one ready to take to the skies this coming season. There is no evidence to suggest the motor has been fitted to a model previously or having been run. There are no witness marks from bolts being fitted in the mounting holes. There is no carbon burning or combustion by-product evident within the cylinder, on the piston or in the exhaust ports. Fitted with a propeller, the compression was exceptional and it flipped over with resounding pops. No issue with that. I was more than happy to give Rob £50 for this almost unique engine and in absolutely pristine condition to boot.
Physically of the same dimensions as the couple of old clapped out Irvine 0.61 motors I have in pieces pending the possibility of fitting new piston rings and or liners, this lovely 0.72 unit just adds some very useful extra urge without additional weight penalty to my scratch built and cloned 60" Ultra Stick fuselage. The motor also came with an original fit "quiet" Irvine silencer so that was an added bonus. This wonderful find has saved me the nause of attempting to find a good, used and high compression used motor on eBay. After one bad experience recently, I became acutely aware of how difficult it is to source a good unit at a distance via eBay or other internet source. Sellers are not always that honest when it comes to a true condition description. In this respect, "buyer beware" really does apply.
Next on the counter went the Fiesler Storch together with its tale of woe. Rob immediately saw the control surface problems and advised completely and radically changing control linkage application. I`ll have to cut into the ailerons and flaps and modify the control horn situation. That done, both the flaps and ailerons might stand some small chance of working correctly. Lets hope this sorts this problem out once and for all and that it can be quickly finished got flying. Rob also advised dispensing with powered operational slats on the leading edges of the wings and fixing them in a suitable position that would just help generate some small amount of extra lift potential but without the extra mechanical complication of two more powered surfaces. Some experimentation will need to be conducted before finally deciding how much slat deployment suits the flying characteristic best and Robs` suggestion is a sound one.
A trip outside to the Peugeot Teppee had Rob examining the aileron linkages on the big Extra which had concerned me a little. The Extra has taken root in the Peugeot as I`m now running out of physical space in the hangar. With a heads up given by one of the Croydon members recently, Rob also agreed that the 2mm diameter push rods fitted were undersized and could deflect given high load. Robs` shop stock provided replacement up-sized 3mm push rods and connectors at minimal cost together with a bag full of typical consumable nuts, bolts and washers.Returning home again, I found the Just Engines exhaust system for the Extra had arrived. Very nicely made, link pipes deliberately left over length to permit precise trimming to suit model dimensions, it looks just the business. Making a loud noise whilst blowing down an inlet pipe and blocking the other pipe up by covering with a finger, the muffler certainly quietened my own human noise. That augers well for the exhaust but in the meantime, it remains to be fitted. More on that once installed.
Before leaving for Guildford, I`d swapped cars around outside the house in order to extract the Peugeot from the garage. The Jag got parked at the bottom of the drive with its key left on the hall table in case anyone needed it moved in my absence. Returning from Bromley, I put the Peugeot back in the garage, pulled all my odds and sods out of it and closed the garage down. Having had something to eat, I thought I should recover the Jag from the road and put it back in its usual place on the drive. I went to the bottom of the drive and intending to use the second key.....but no Jag. Gawn! Where the heck was it? I`m sure I left it there this morning..... Returning to the hall table, no primary key either. Father can no longer drive and we have managed to get my Mother to give up driving, so not them. Asking the operative question about the key and the Jag had my ninety year old Father say he had loaned it to one of my nephews to go to the local shop to get some milk..... but he couldn`t remember which nephew it was! That was four hours earlier and the car hadn`t come back! Five phone calls later, I tracked the car down to my youngest nephew who having driven it once when I was in no condition to drive it myself after a family party, had now seemingly taken a shine to the thing. "Bring it back immediately and with petrol in it" I told the little blighter under threat of informing his Mother (my sister). The car returned ten minutes later with more petrol in it than I`d left in it!!! A full and frank exchange of words followed. At least its still in one piece and seemingly non the worse from being requisitioned by a little sod with a lead right foot. That is the last time I leave the Jag key on the hall table!
Calm has descended again in the hanger. One new motor sourced, an exhaust system delivered, the Storch issues reduced and an XJR recovered to safety!
I bolted the wings from the kit built Ultra Stick onto the scratch built clone fuselage now fitted with the cracking little Irvine 0.72cubic inch/12cc glow motor bought yesterday. Its weight is about 0.2Lb heavier than the electric original kit. That matters little. A receiver borrowed from the Fokker DV11 awaits fitting. Centre of Gravity is just for once, slightly nose heavy. I`ll probably add a couple of pieces of self adhesive lead ballast to the tail just to shift the C of G slightly aft and make for a more responsive model. I could do with a second wing to share between the clone and the original kit Ultra Stick. Building a second one is un-economic in time. Hanger 9 are sending spare components to their German depot by ship to Hamburg hopefully by the second week in March. Presently no one has a spare wing in stock in Europe. My alternative solution for a second wing is to buy another complete kit for £206 and press that wing into service between the two (one and a half really) Ultra Sticks now in my collection. The other wing, standing vertically to the side of the image is off the larger 80" Ultra Stick which I built last year but because of its 33% additional size, cannot fit its smaller 60" brothers. When the spare components shipment from Hanger 9 arrives in Germany then a spare wing could be added to the third fuselage. In the meantime, I could build up the full kit fuselage with my spare large 1.08 motor as a fast version of this model type. Then for a while, I`d have two and a half Ultra Sticks ie three working fuselages and two wings! I`ve ordered another pile of cheap Chinese metal geared servos for this next Ultra Stick extravaganza. Less than £3 each and they work well.
The Extra is back in the hanger having had its custom built exhaust fitted. With inlet and exhaust pipes cut down in length to fit the model, the complete exhaust weighs an additional half pound. I`ve not check weighed or adjusted the C of G yet but I expect this model to weigh at least 16Lb. It is a brute to say the least and will require the use of the Riddlesdown site and its large flying field. Just one minor issue has presented itself. The exhaust down-pipes have a stud welded into each pipe to permit future use of a display smoke system. Unfortunately, JE made both pipes with the stud fittings on the same side. Being a flat twin motor, this puts one stud towards the cylinder head of one pot and the other towards the crankshaft. The studs are fitted with 4mm cap screws as temporary blanks until smoke injectors are fitted.
Annoyingly, one of the cap screw heads fouls the throttle linkage slightly necessitating the fitting of a lower profile domed screw to ease the clearance issue. Only at idle setting now does the carburetor throttle arm now just fractionally make a rubbing contact with the domed screw. Thanks to David Randall for suggesting that a grub screw might eradicate the problem as a temporary measure. JE, the exhaust makers now know of this little issue and have suggested that at a later date, they have the offending down pipe returned for a small modification. That seems fair enough and I`m not unhappy with that. Prototype work often results in modifications to projects being required. Now I have to get this Extra into a suitable condition to be taken to the Croydon flying field to set up the engine and perform noise tests. That site is as previously discussed is unsuitable for flying this large and heavy model. If I can get the noise down to 82dB at the Croydon field, then there is little reason why the model can`t be taken down to the Riddlesdown Club site near Edenbridge for test flights. So far, so good then with the Extra. It is nearly ready to roll.
I`ve one small additional mod to make to the Extra. One of the Croydon members noticed the relatively small 2mm OD aileron push rods when I took the model to the last Club night. He recommended replacing those rods with 3mm wire to stop any possibility of rod deflection under load. I have the up-rate rods to hand so these are the next items to be fixed.
The Extra is a big bruiser. It now tips the scales at 17.1Lb or 7.78Kg. It is a heavy old lump and with my shot up back and sciatica, I find it an effort to move it around between the hanger(conservatory), through the small workshop and into the garage. The fuselage alone weighs 13.7Lbs and that is right on my lifting limit for pain. I don`t think I shall ever be building such a heavy model again. This one hurts me! I`m due for a back operation at Guys Hospital on my next birthday, this coming 7th March. I have to catch the train to London Bridge to be at Guys by 07.30am to have a somewhat curious electronic nerve stimulator implanted in my lower lumbar region in the hope of reducing pain cause by serious lumbar herniation and collapse. If the procedure works even slightly, I shall be as happy as Larry and will have become a cyboid. That will make me a cousin to Dr Who`s cyber men! Perhaps then I shall be able to do an increased amount of field work, ie more model flying and see a return to JEC shows and events. That would be very welcome. Fingers crossed.
The two 60" Ultra Sticks in the hanger now have a third brother on the way. Ordered this morning, this identical Ultra Stick is due to receive a spare 1.08 (17cc) two stroke motor presently held in my stock. That will make a very useful addition to the Ultra Stick collection. I`ll be able to choose between the slow electric version, the medium speed 0.72 unit or the perhaps faster rather over powered 1.08 version. A spare wing has been ear-marked at the stockist for the 0.72 clone and arrival for that spare part at the UK depot is said to be mid March.
This third Stick is my "R" version conceived as the air-born rocket and manic aerobatic air-frame. Everything has been maxed out. An inverted (to keep the weight down low), over-sized, near new 1.06/17cc two stroke glow motor nailed on the front, metal geared actuation servos tail mounted to off set the heavier nose weight of the big engine, and increased fuel tank capacity. Had I not had to hack into the fuselage with a saw and knife to remove the top fuel tank access panel to squeeze the large fuel tank into place, this model would have been constructed in little more than ten hours. The modification, re-fixing the ply panel to the model, making good and applying a small amount of re-covering on the frontal area of the fuselage added about another six hours to the job. The re-work is invisible and it is almost impossible to see where I have been into the model. No problem. I`ve time on my hands to get the details right. The kit genuine landing gear complete with wheel spats found its way onto the clone to finish that model off and that model is now ready to be flown with one of the two available genuine kit wings. A replacement landing gear parts kit is expected from the USA shortly but in the meantime, this third model wears the temporary scrap box sourced under-carriage worn for a while by the clone fitted with the conventionally mounted smart and visually attractive red cylinder headed 0.72cu in/12cc engine seen in the images. The replacement landing gear when fitted to the third model will bring all three models to near identical condition although a third wing would be desirable to have. I`ve not yet scratch built or obtained a spare original wing from the kit makers to allow the clone to have its own wing! All wings will fit all three models just by connecting the servo control wires to the receiver in the fuselage and bolting the wing in place. True series part interchangeability at its best.
So things are looking encouraging for the coming flying season with the right choice of core models specifically obtained as the sledge hammer needed to crack this particular nut. The plan has come to fruition with the three Ultra Sticks forming the core of my training program leading towards gaining the two desirable flying certificates confirming personal flying abilities. Having those tickets opens a few doors when it comes to using third party flying sites. The Ultra Stick obsession is by no means finished. There is still the larger 80" scratch built air-frame here in the hangar to commission and fly. The urge is also there to build yet another small Stick but with one major change. I tripped over some internet banter detailing conversions that other modellers had made to the Ultra Stick concept, namely that of converting the design to a low wing version. This can be achieved by simply flipping a fuselage upside down, mounting the fin on the top of the model and the wing "below" the upturned fuselage. The wing section has a symmetrical profile so it will fit the fuselage " the wrong way up" without any modification being needed. The wing would require some small but radical surgery to accept the landing gear within the wing structure and it would have to be cut in half at the centre and modified to allow about three degrees of dihedral angle to be applied.
In converting to low wing configuration, the standard Ultra Stick wing one piece main spar would have to be cut in half and ply wing joiners inserted to rejoin the spars once dihedral has been added. Dihedral is needed to retain Ultra Stick gentle disposition which would erode if the wing were left totally flat and devoid of dihedral as the in the standard high wing model. The dihedral is required on a low wing derivative to eradicate adverse yaw, in other words, indeed almost control surface action reversal which is known to occur due to major aero-dynamic changes. This image of a very sweet looking conversion to low wing is very appealing. The builder has in my opinion made a very nice job of it. I would be leaving a standard Ultra Stick colour scheme in place and I think a "double take" would result looking at the three standard high wing Ultra Sticks if a similarly coloured low winger were placed along side. Initially, I think I would certainly find the visual change somewhat disconcerting! Preparation for doing such a conversion has been started. Sucker that I am for suitable parts, I found another Irvine 0.72 engine on eBay with a local seller local from whom I have previously purchased a few servos. Living only three miles distant, the chap has gear for disposal on behalf of a friend who has given up modelling. This particular engine has been used but has good compression which is the first thing I look for if buying a pre-used engine. The red cylinder head anodisation has decayed somewhat and the silencer has been a bit knocked about. That said, those defects are relatively unimportant as I could easily get a replacement cylinder head and also a new muffler. As it stands the engine is in good overall condition and is quite usable if a bit scruffy. Along side the pristine example I bought a couple of weeks ago, one can see the effects of previous use. The condition reflected the price I paid and if this engine runs well, I may well decide to replace the cylinder head. There would then be little to tell visually between my new and un-used engine and this particular example. So where are we now. Two radio receiver battery packs have been ordered locally this morning and they should be with me by Saturday. I`m still awaiting a delivery from China of more electric servos due to running out of stock. These were ordered three weeks ago. I think these must be coming on the slow boat....I need four of those servos immediately to fit to the new 1.08 powered Ultra Stick wing but in the meantime, it could fly with the one wing I have here. I now need to return to the troubles Storch build. China have mailed acknowledging my many concerns with the build. They are presently re-working the design following my critique on the build to date.
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