06 December, 2012

Keep Calm and...

Keep Calm and Carry On continues to be a popular slogan with unlimited variations but I wanted one related to flying so I decided to do my own.

Some of the "Keep Calm" range
Well quite a few actually because I think that many model & full size pilots would like the same sort of thing too and I've ended up making up a quite large range of T shirts, hoodies, jackets, mugs and other accessories that I'm sure will be suitable. 

There's lots of women flying these days and so I haven't forgotten to include them. Just in time for Christmas of course!

Not just Tee Shirts!

I took the opportunity to use some of the aeroplane graphics I created to make up some other very nice products too.

All of these items are available in my online shop IPJ Aeroshirts

09 November, 2012

Magazine Journalist?

No I don't really think so but a review I have made of the Hitec Eclipse7 Pro transmitter has been published in the November 2012 RCM&E (Radio Control Models & Electronics) magazine; that's RC Model Aeroplane in North America.
The old QPCM at the back, the new Pro at the front

My first Hitec transmitter was an Eclipse 7 QPCM purchased back in 2006. Now we have the Eclipse 7 Pro and as I was one of the first in the UK to buy one of these I offered to write a review.

It wasn't easy because these devices  have a lot of features these days and I had a lot to say about it. One of the latest features in the RC world is telemetry which has so many uses ranging from GPS information to more vital details such as engine temperature and fuel/battery levels. To complicate matters even more the telemetry can be displayed in various ways: a digital readout on the transmitter, a display on a computer and even overlaid on Google Earth.

Laptop Display
Squeezing the review into just 6000 words was quite a challenge. I enjoyed the experience and may write something again but I don't think I will be making a habit of it.

Incidently if you have one of these transmitters the upgrade to V1.13(0) software for HPP-22 programmer allows model memory saving and loading, Eclipse7 Pro firmware upgrading (V1.03(0) available at the time of writing) and also updating of the built in 2.4Ghz spectra module.

Overlaid on Google Earth
If you want to know more about RCM&E then click here

22 October, 2012

Bye Bye Olympus OM 35mm SLR Equipment

Its been hard trying part with my 35mm SLR and it's associated lenses etc. but the time has now come.

First to go is this 50mm Zuiko Lens
Looking adoringly at my much loved old equipment, like my Olympus OM20, it's hard to part with it and a less sentimental look at the facts was needed:
  • It's about three years since I last used up an old out of date roll of film.
  • I'm not likely to have a roll of film to hand should I decide use it one day and would have to go out and buy one.
  • Economics don't add up.
  • I can get better results with my Olympus E420 - and I can know that's the case before I leave the scene of the photograph.
  • Saving it all for it's future high antique value will be a long wait.
  • 35mm cameras are still in use so I might as well get what I can for it and let someone that will enjoy it do so.
  • Finally, really, am I ever going to use it all again?
It's the last point that does it. There is no likelihood of me using 35mm camera equipment again and as I said in opening, the time has come.

So up for sale first is my standard 50mm Zuiko lens. No doubt I will be disappointed with the auction price it goes for but fixing it at a value that it is actually worth is unlikely to gain a sale at all.

27 September, 2012

Middlewich Wartime Weekend 21st-23rd September

MK356 provided a thrilling flypast
I was again invited to make a static display of model aircraft as examples of aeroplanes that had featured in the 1st and 2nd world wars. Only problem was that I didn't have suitable aeroplanes.

Thankfully fellow SCRCS members were willing to lend some models, help with the delivery, help with the setting up and generally lend a hand. As a result we had 7 aircraft on display for which I prepared information sheets about the real aircraft and also a few notes about the models.

The models displayed were:
Model Display
  • Supermarine Spitfires (2)
  • Messerschmitt bf109 (2)
  • Piper L4 Grasshopper
  • North American P47 Thunderbolt
  • Royal Aircraft Factory SE5a
This was a Middlewich Heritage Event with re-enactments, exhibitions, displays, activities and entertainment, flight simulator, spitfire static display, military vehicles, stalls and even a flypast by Battle of Britain Memerial Flight Spitfire MK356.

14 September, 2012

New DH 100 Vampire and Slope Soarer

As I'm not buying anymore new aeroplanes this year, here's a couple I have just,  ahem, acquired, oops!

First there's the ducted fan Durafly Vampire. This is made of foam, is lithium polymer battery powered, looks good and sounds good too. There have been some problems with the booms flexing which I have re-enforced with carbon fibre and two of the retractable undercarriage units have packed up which the supplier had agreed to replace. Those issues aside it flies well for an electric "foamie" and I can see it being a lot of fun.

A rather more serious aeroplane the second one. This one I bought second hand and at the time of writing I have yet to fly it. This is a slope soarer of uncertain design but very similar to a Chris Foss Phase 6. I need to fit a receiver and battery, then check the control movements and centre of gravity before venturing out but those matters are straightforward and I'll soon have them done.

02 August, 2012

Rhyl Aerotow 29th July 2012. My first and survived it (almost) intact.

Aerotowing a glider aloft, not easy but great fun.
"Wild Goose" gets a tow
Once again the weather wasn't very kind but all the same the event went ahead in between the showers. At 2 metres wingspan it might seem that my DG1000 was quite large but it was one of the smallest and lightest gliders to take part on quite a breezy day.

After a few words of advice from the tow aeroplane pilot the first was flight passed without any problems. Naturally I didn't let the glider go too high before going for the release and a glide back to the strip. Yes my first ever aerotow passed without incident.

The 2nd & 3rd attempts were less successful with the glider rolling over to be inverted without getting more than a foot off the ground - losing a wing tip and cracked a motor door in the process. So I took off both motor doors off and taped up the wing tip for the 4th attempt, this time with the help of Tim Mackey holding my glider aloft to ensure it got away with the wings level and it worked. A good long flight in some thermals. The 5th attempt was equally good so I was beginning to get pretty confident and was keen to make more of the day.
Some of the gliders being prepared for flight.

For the 6th attempt I'd spotted some lovely blue sky in the distance and waited for it to come over and up I went, higher than in the previous flights and released the tow line. No problem except that as I did so my glider left the cloudy background and into the blue.... somewhere. It just seemed to melt into the blue. I rolled the wings and got sight of it and headed back under a patch of cloud and that was fine but it did present a heart in mouth moment. Well it was still quite breezy and the cloud soon disappeared and the glider very nearly did too. I was wearing high viz specs but it was still a problem. Anyway I rolled it on it's side again and being able to see the shape of the glider it was safe to push the nose down and get some height off. The rest of the flight was fine

So 4/6 attempts had me airborne and the only real drama was that last flight when my expected good visibility under the blue sky proved to be quite the opposite.

Brighter skies later on set a pretty scene
Thanks to Rhyl and District Model Flying Club for hosting this event.

05 July, 2012

RCM&E Greenacres Fly-In 23rd-24th June 2012

 (Photo from modelflying website - click here for more)

Despite some problems I did get to fly at Greenacres where I also met up with some familiar faces as well as meeting new friends. 

Things didn't quite go to plan for me for this event. I wasn't too well and this years disappointing weather didn't help either so it had actually looked like I wasn't going to go. The rescue came in the shape of my friend Martyn Kinder, in the black cap in this photo, when he offered me a spare seat in his car for the Sunday. It was obviously going to be too windy for the SE5a and with car space being somewhat limited anyway I decided to take my trusty old Vampire.

Well a cross wind and heavy showers made it tricky to get flights in but both Martyn and I did so. I broke a prop in one landing but I had a spare so no problem there and I finished the day with 4 flights completed. Martyn had brought his Astro Hogs with him and joined in his first ever Fly-in of this type having taken the trouble to get his "A" certificate just before event.

I left my electrics box open in the rain and that ruined my power panel which was something of blow (literally) and I subsequently took out a subscription to the RCM&E magazine which was running a well timed gift for doing so... bet you've guessed it, yes a power panel!

It was great to meet up with friends I had met the previous year, others that I knew only by name from the www.modelflying.co.uk website forum and others that I met this year for the first time. It was good to see the T shirts were a success too.

So despite everything it actually turned out to be a pretty good day.

Lots more can be found out about the event at:

04 April, 2012

EU E-Privacy Directive keeping me busy

I've been pretty busy over recent months and will be for sometime to come reviewing my customers websites for compliance with the European Union E-Privacy Directive.

The EU E-Privacy Directive has been referred to by a number of other names, not all of them pleasant but one of the best known is the "EU Cookie Law". The introduction of this directive is why you may have noticed more and more websites asking for permission to use cookies.

As of May 26 2012, any website available to European visitors must comply with the EU E-Privacy Directive. This very much criticised piece of legislation is going to be something of a nuisance to many website owners and developers but fortunately the impact on my pevisoulsy developed websites is going to be quite small. All the same the extra work is going to be something of a distraction

27 March, 2012

Getting Ready For The RCM&E Greenacres Fly-In

The Greenacres Fly-in is on 23rd-24th June this year and having enjoyed it last year, I'm planning on going again.

Some of the Aircraft I will taking to Greenacres this year.
Subject to aircraft serviceability (;¬) I will be taking the old faithful SE5a, the recently refurbed Fizza, Vampire, Hawk & Flying Aces Sportster. Apart from the SE5a all the aircraft I'm taking have been plans in RCM&E magazine which seems appropriate for the occasion. 

None of these aircraft like the wind very much and though I have flown the SE5a in quite merciless winds I'm really hoping for calm conditions.