Sunday, 23 February 2014

Astronomy Matters

I've been toying with the idea of acquiring a reflector telescope for quite a few years and so I finally took the plunge and bought a Celestron 130SLT telescope.   I am definitely an absolute beginner, so this is a useful device as it has fully computerized Altazimuth mount and a finderscope to help with alignment and location of objects.

The computer allows uses three bright celestial objects to determine the telescope's alignment.   One can then select an object out of a 4000 item database and the telescope will move and align itself to the object and also slowly track it.   The telescope can also identify objects in the sky too. 

So far I have been observing the clouds on Jupiter and the four Galilean moons, some easy to find binary stars and a couple of nebulae.   I also acquired a moon filter so I can observe the full moon in detail as this telescope can gather 345 times as much light as the human eye.

I'm very pleased with this piece of kit and I'm now looking to purchase a 2 x magnification Barlow lens to aid viewing.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Bird Dog covered and ready for flying

I've now covered the Bird Dog and it's almost ready to fly.  I've omitted the oleo and wing struts as these only get knocked off with heavy landings.  I just need to put on the cockpit windscreen and add in the rubber.  As it stands, the plane balances correctly and I just needed a little tweak to the tail plane to bend out a slight upward warp that occurred during the doping process.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Bird-Dog build now complete!

After a week of cutting, gluing and sanding I completed the construction phase of the Guillow's Bird-Dog.  This 18" wing span monoplane is a relatively easy build.  I added some of my own small modifications, such as some wing strengtheners and gussets as well as hand carved balsa nose as the vacuum formed plastic version was rather flimsy.  Instead of using card for the fillets around the cabin I used 1/32" balsa sheet.   The next task is to cover it with tissue..

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Free flight rubber powered scale plane

I thought it was timely to have another go at a free flight rubber powered scale aircraft.   I've been looking at the range of scale aircraft from Gillows for quite a while, however, I've been reluctant to purchase  any of these as I'm not familiar with the kits and I try purchase UK products rather than imported kits where possible.  However, this weekend I took the plunge and purchased a Gillow's 1/24 scale "Bird Dog".

This has an 18" wing span and is relatively easy starter scale kit.  The balsa quality is reasonable and my only complaint about the kit is that the instructions are printed on the reverse of the plans which makes construction a little tricky at times (unless one has a photographic memory!).

So far so good, I've got the initial construction completed on the fuselage (apart from the final sanding and finishing).  If I can get some time this week I will attempt to build the wings and tail.