Posts Tagged ‘C/L stunt’

“DO” Get All Knotted Up!

February 17, 2010

Recent questions in a control line forum have revolved around the use of  a  type of mono-filament fishing line as control line leads for 1/2A planes. Known by names such as “Spiderwire” and others, the line was specifically designed for its high strength/diameter ratio and low stretch characteristics to “feel” the fish better. This makes it a perfect fit for our smaller planes and a vast improvement over .008 steel line right?

Well, maybe.

The truth is, as every fisherman knows, the total strength of a line is not only in the material itself, but in the knot that holds it to something, in the case of a fisherman, the hook and then (hopefully) a picture moment. In our case it may be the sudden shock of a plane gone slack at the top and then suddenly taking back that slack with a scary “pop”! Three bad things can happen if you try to use regular mono fishing line, the  last two involving the subject of this article:

  • “Boing-Blap” – the plane uses that stretch to play rubber band with the poor fellow at the handle and rendering the event to an accident involving “PIO” (Pilot Induced Oscillation)
  • “ZipThud” – the effect of an inappropriate knot for the line untying itself.
  • “Plink-Thump” – the plane separates and goes ballistic, in missile speak, “unguided” because the line broke at the knot.

The use of modern non-stretch lines take out these problems provided the right knot is used. If you have any doubts about the suitability of these lines for our use, consider that modern fishing tackle is among the most highly engineered areas of technology and the knots developed for “terminal tackle” are just as important as the motor on that $50,000 bass boat.

These should work out just fine. Obviously, replace your connector clips for the fish hook.

Another tip: Paint your connectors to match those of the “up” leadout on your plane. Sounds simple, but I’ve lost a couple to mismatched connections. This is particularly helpful when a “friend” is assisting you to ready for a flight.

Try these knots with a simple test. Drop a weight that is twice what your plane weighs from about 3 feet with the line and knot of your choice. That should boost your confidence factor.

The knots and instructions on this page are from Bill Herzog’s great book, Tying Strong Fishing Knots, published by Frank Amato Publications.

Improved clinch knot
Undoubtedly the most familiar and most often used knot by anglers. Being quick and easy to tie are the main reasons behind its popularity. When tied perfectly the clinch retains 85 to 90 percent of line strength. It can be used with lines testing from 2 to 60 pounds. When using monos heavier than 15 pound test, you only need 3 or 4 turns rather than the standard 6 to 7.
improved clinch knot step 1 Step 1: Insert 4 to 6 inches of line end through the hook eye, making 6 to 7 wraps around the standing part of the leader/line. Insert the line end through the small loop near the eye, then bring it back through larger loop.
improved clinch knot step 2 Step 2: Pull on both the swivel/hook/lure and standing line in even opposite directions until knot draws tightly against hook eye. Trim tag end.

Double loop clinch knot (Trilene knot)
Called Trilene knot because it was developed by the staff of Berkley Company for specific use with their Trilene brand of monofilament. The double loop clinch works just as well with other brands. It takes a bit longer to tie that the original clinch. When properly tied it retains 95 percent of line strength.
double loop clinch knot step 1 Step 1: Insert line end through hook/lure eye twice, leaving 4 to 5 inches of tag end to work with.
double loop clinch knot step 2 Step 2: Repeat steps for clinch knot.
double loop clinch knot step 3 Step 3: Pull evenly on standing line and hook/lure/swivel, being careful not to allow double line to cross over itself. Overlapping lines are self-cutting and severely weaken knots. Trim tag end.

Double improved clinch (Rivers Inlet knot)
I was first exposed to this knot during a trip to British Columbia’s famed Rivers Inlet, home each summer to some of the largest, most powerful Chinook salmon. Guides explained that they needed a knot to turn 70 pound fish without fear of line failure. The Rivers Inlet knot is one of the strongest and is fairly easy to tie. When tied properly it retains 100 percent of original line strength and may be a hair stronger than the standing line itself. It is an excellent light line knot, but may be used with lines testing up to 40 pounds.
double improved clinch rivers inlet knot step 1 Step 1: Take 8 to 10 inches of leader/standing line and double it back, creating a double line. Pass the loop through the hook eye/swivel/lure 4 to 5 inches.
double improved clinch rivers inlet knot step 2 Step 2: Make 4 wraps back up the leader/standing line. Three wraps is plenty when using over 20 pound test, however, making less than 4 wraps will not securely hold the knot and more than 4 wraps causes the wraps to bunch up and overlap themselves.
double improved clinch rivers inlet knot step 3 Step 3: Pull evenly and firmly on the loop, tag end and standing line simultaneously, being careful not to let wraps or the double line bunch up or cross over themselves.
double improved clinch rivers inlet knot step 4 Step 4: Trim all three ends.

Palomar knot
Almost as simple to tie as the clinch knot, the Palomar is one of the basics. When tied well it retains 95 percent of line strength. While not popular for parger lures with multiple trebles (due to having to pass the lure through a loop when tying), the Palomar is easily tied with small lures, flies, and swivels.
palomar knot step 1 Step 1: Double 6 to 8 inches of standing line and run it through the hook eye/swivel/lure.
palomar knot step 2 Step 2: Bring the loop back and make one overhand knot around the standing line and the tag end. Make sure you leave a large enough loop for the lure/swivel and hook to pass through.
palomar knot step 3 Step 3: After hook/lure/swivel has cleared loop, hold onto the tag end and standing line in one hand and pull slowly until loop passes. Continue steady pulling until loop closes tightly and trim. The Palomar is one of the most versatile monofilament knots.

This plane will be in the air in just a few weeks with the line and knots as described here.

Almost There!

Please Leave your comments!

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Knock the dust off!

February 15, 2010

In keeping with the last few nostalgia posts, I want to put these advertisements from 1955 out there for appreciation before I turn my own writing along a slightly different line. (My brother is not going to be pleased) so check out the category Buster and Bo later while I revisit the days of our youth. Don’t fret, there will be much more here in the future, especially with your help.

Link to Link

February 8, 2010

These are a few aviation modeling links that I use quite often and I’ll add to them as I revisit this post. Bear in mind that My interests in model aviation are primarily based around Control-Line and some Free Flight scale. I am purely into the sport side and I’m a firm believer in fun flys and the weekends when the guys get together at the local schoolyard or empty parking lot/airplane eater.

Part of getting back into the hobby is trying to reconnect with former flying friends or make new ones. So here goes:

  • Who knows anything of the group that meets (met) in Rolling Meadows, Il, off Golf road in the Ned Brown Preserve? They called themselves “The Circle Burners” but I can find no reference to them. One of those fine fellows even sold me a war-weary Ringmaster minus engine (I had a Fox 35) for $5. New Silkspan, a little dope, an open cockpit with headrest and the “Sheriff Woody” head from a McDonalds toy for a pilot had me back in the circle again. Woody did NOT like inverted landings.
  • I have a great flying site picked out at the former Ft Devens in Ayer, MA on the rail line between Boston and Fitchburg. If I could get some interest, I’m sure we’d be able to use it anytime we like. There is no traffic, the adjacent ball fields are hardly used and there are no residential houses within “bothersome noise” distance. If there are any circle-turners out there, or you know some, get in touch.
  • Finally, there were three of us in the mid’70 when gas cost 27 cents a gallon who met in Euless, Texas. If you are out there, write.

I believe in networking, so I’m sure that something will come of this post.

Now for the “other” links. I know that you probably have seen these, but I believe in mutual exchange, so check them out and comment and if it fits this blog, I’ll add it here!

A few general notes about “forums” that I hope the moderators will appreciate:

  • Read and abide by the forum bylaws/rules
  • Leave the egos at home, I’m one of the worst offenders of this. On the other hand, post your latest hit/miss. We all enjoy the pleasures and feel the pain.
  • Pictures, pictures, pictures! We all want to see the projects that are depriving you of a family life, income and time otherwise spent profitably. Make sure you get those photos of you, the project in it’s construction and your friends before you launch the pride of your efforts. If you can, post them here as well as in the forums. Get your friends in them too, just let me know in the captions who the guy is giving you rabbit ears behind your back or the one helping you wrap a greasy rag around the finger that the .35 Fox bit when it snapped back on ya!
  • Try to stay on topic, but do not be afraid to start a new one or ask where your post could be better addressed. (Again, this is one of the places where I don’t always follow my own advice.)

Now then, on to the links. The first batch are generally non-commercial and provide a huge wealth of experience and knowledge. Be sure to follow the links included there and bookmark those that are important to you. My biggest mistake is forgetting to mark them, thinking I’ll just backtrack later. It’s much easier to tag them on the spot than it is to resort to memory. Especially if your memory is as fragile as mine; just about the same as fresh wet silkspan in the claws of the cat.

Mostly Commercial (but always useful) Links:

But First…

My own personal viewpoint regarding commercially available kits.

I am unabashedly “Old School” when it comes to the hobby. Granted, we can no longer expect to purchase a Cox .049 BabyBee for $3.50 and the associated Baby Ringmaster for $2.50 so I can’t grouse about what the market is willing to bear in that respect. But I do take exception to the idea of paying more than $3.00 for a simple rubber/stick/sheet wing toy when, even at inflated hobby /craft shop balsa prices I can launch the same thing from my own hand for half that. Heck, I might even find a youngster to teach the skill to. Imagine where that might lead!

I remember when I was about ten years old not being able to afford even the ten cent chuck glider (the ice cream cone won out on that decision) but I “did” know how to trace the profile of an airplane on cardboard that my grandmother kept for me from her days at the department store where she worked. I’d cut slots for the wings and tail surfaces and tape a couple of nails for nose weight.

Scale it up, use sheet balsa and hang an Ebay .049 on it and you have a plane that serves well as a trainer for 1/3 the cost of a dealer-supplied kit. Folks…it’s just that simple.

Also, if you *do* have to have that out-of-production $70.00 “RingMaster”, at least get paper copies of the important parts (ribs, wingtips, fuselage bulkheads, etc) made and give them away… that’s right make them a present to anyone willing to pay copy and postage fees. Don’t gouge – this is a hobby, remember. We’re friends here. (Fast Combat guys excepted). You’ll never get rich trying to go commercial, never mind breaking copyright rules in some cases.

This is a great time for control line and all the other relatively inexpensive modeling types to be brought back. The real masters of our craft are still around and the satisfaction of building and flying in the “old school” way is very fulfilling.

OK, I’m off the soapbox now. Remember, comments and criticisms are welcome! Back to the links…

  • National Balsa There are several balsa suppliers and judging which is for you is personal preference. Some folks want to pick each hardness, weight and grain themselves while I take the notion that there will always be good runs of material for the non-competitor with scrap left over for other projects. National Balsa is located right here in my own state so I can place an order and talk to someone on the phone if I have specific needs.
  • Brodak Manufacturing Over ten years supplying control-line flyers with more goodies each years has put this company, based out of Charmichaels Pennsylvania, at the top of nearly every link-list around so it’s no wonder that it is here along with:
  • Sig Manufacturing Along with Brodak above, Sig provides both kits, parts and accessories for control line and free flight activities.
  • Guillows You might be hard-pressed to find anyone who has not had a Guillow’s product at one time or another. As I mentioned, I had the chuck glider and the 15 and 25 cent rubber-powered Piggly-Wiggly toy rack specials. My first full-fuselage plane was their 500 series F6F Hellcat. Not knowing anything about “dope”, I used about twenty of the wee small bottles of Pactra model car enamel. Sure looked war weary in dark blue metal flake! The company has made great strides in recent times with new product lines, including spare parts. I have an FW-190 ready for a build and I’m impressed with the quality of the die-cutting and the obvious changes in the plastic parts. Check out the history page!
  • Dumas Products In with excellent scale rubber planes in a variety of scales, some convertible to electric, this company has also been around quite awhile. The good looks come at a hefty price, though. Laser cut parts make the build relatively easier, but remember my thoughts above on “Old School” modeling.
  • Windy Utinoski A great modeler and a wonderful site. Read and learn. This is way beyond my capability for now, but it’s purely inspirational. There is also a section on electric flight which I have not had the chance to look at yet.

If It Looks Right…

February 7, 2010

…It must fly right… right?

I’m betting on it with this plane, Coquette. In a previous post, I mentioned that I had purchased a copy of a model magazine (American Aircraft Modeler) from Ebay for the month I was born, September, 1955. I had no idea that I was going to find a true treasure inside since I had in fact bought the thing based on its cover alone (popular wisdom notwithstanding).

I don’t have a large vehicle to transport some of the larger models; in fact I don’t have a vehicle at all yet (that’s a later post). In keeping with budgets and practicality, I have decided to downsize my ambitions while keeping enough benefit of scale to be buildable, flyable and, just in case my piloting capabilities are a bit rusty, durable. Originally, I considered the range of .19 to .29 as a maximum powerplant spread, but then I dropped back to my first “big” engine, the Fox .15 hauling a Midwest ME-109 around the circle with enthusiasm! That plane served me quite well until I literally took a “pylon cut” during the balloon bust competition at a local contest near Dallas, tearing the outboard wing to shreds. (As a side note — my spirits were dashed looking at the wreckage and I considered giving up U/C until Al Rabe showed up at that same contest to show off his gorgeous Sea Fury and restored my faith in the hobby. Thanks Al!)

As you can see, I still love that plane and I went on a buying spree for .15’s with the idea of designing and building that scale because of its portablity and good performance on lines of a decent length. I learned to fly the pattern with that plane/engine combination. And that’s why I have a new one ready for a build.

Two New .15's (there are three more used ones)

I think I can go better, though and go even smaller, so when I had a chance at an Enya 0.10, I took it; the intended airframe was a Sig Spitfire. Once I saw the Spit kit, however, I realized that it would likely be underpowered so I contemplated a full design effort from scratch,something with a built up fuselage and stunt-capable.

Then the magazine showed up. This is where I’m going to let the attached pictures sell the plane for itself. As far as I can tell, this would be a great first plane for someone who wants:

  • engine larger than 1/2A
  • built up fuselage
  • traditional building process and simplicity
  • good “eye candy” appeal
  • performance and practicality

Take a look at this one and hit the building boards. I don’t expect to be the first one to get this in the air, but I bet you I may be the first to have full size plans copied. This design just begs to be modified with possible linked flaps and fuselage profile changes, but I think you’ll agree that overall, It Just Looks Right!

Pretty Li'l Thing, Yes?

(click on the images a couple of times to bring them full size)

Kinda' Catches the Eye...

1955 was a "Sterling" Year!

As a final thought, those of you looking to convert fuel to electric might find this a good project! Have fun and comment!

Write me: jt_benham@hotmail.com