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Author Topic: James may's toy stories  (Read 2303 times)
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prid
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« on: December 23, 2012, 05:40:56 PM »

Hi all

Did any one else see this tonight :-). The program was about free the flight model plane, he and his team went on to build a free flight glider to fly 22 miles over the Bristol channel. Smiley Wink Cheesy Grin Smiley Smiley


Prid
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Ian Melville
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2012, 06:10:25 PM »

It was quite a good program, however is guided by GPS and autopilot, 'free flight'?

I also grated with me that he kept calling it a toy Roll Eyes Darn expensive toy
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prid
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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2012, 06:17:53 PM »

It was quite a good program, however is guided by GPS and autopilot, 'free flight'?

I also grated with me that he kept calling it a toy Roll Eyes Darn expensive toy


I to was thinking the same about the autopilot, would this class it as free flight? 


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Russ Lister
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« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2012, 07:25:01 PM »

I enjoyed it too .... the 'toy' thing did bug me a bit, but then the series is called 'Toy Stories' so I suppose that's the reason?

It was pushing it calling it free flight, but it did look nice flying 'on it's own'.

Over the years I have heard stories of models travelling great distances ... I suppose none of those were verifiable as records though?
I think Applehoney has mentioned at least one before, as well as people like J O'D when talking in the field.

It would be nice to beat it with a 'true' free flight model.
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Andrew Darby
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« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2012, 07:33:02 PM »

It was a good programme, although it wasn't really free flight was it?

I suppose he's been where we all have been, I mean he mentioned as a kid spending all that time building with balsa and tissue for it just to crash!  He's probably built more than one KK kit!

I went to Liverpool uni a couple of years back for work and remembered the programme they did about meccano, and asked about and saw the meccano bridge they built, but according to the technicians as soon as the camera's went off so did the students!

West Wings got some free advertising though!

Andrew
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« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2012, 08:23:41 PM »

Hi,
Have not seen this but I can tell you that according to the FAI regss anything with a closed loop guidence system is not free flight. If you have a system that senses environment and or location and then tell the aircraft what to based on the info. it is a closed loop. Their toy was a UAV not a ff airplane (which would have been much more challenging.....too challenging really  Grin)
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applehoney
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« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2012, 08:50:13 PM »

The Bristol Channel is 22 miles across  ?
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slipstick
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« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2012, 04:33:12 AM »

Not really, but then neither Ilfracombe, where they started or Lundy, where they landed, are exactly IN the Bristol Channel Wink.

They did say at one point that the plane had been classified as a "Drone", which I took to mean UAV rather than real FF model, but the program was still entertaining. I enjoyed the very British insanity of choosing a plane for a record attempt because "it looks proper, like the ones I built as a kid".

Steve
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BEAR
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« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2012, 04:34:30 AM »

I did'nt think it was free flight either was good to see though  Cool
Applehoney they were going to fly it from a point in devon too wales but the weather was poo and it only went two miles becouse they could'nt get the lift heli too 8000ft the next day the weather was perfect but the wind had shifted so they launch from 10 000ft and flew out to an island off the coast.
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If you cant take a joke dont do free flight.
lincoln
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« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2012, 04:42:23 AM »

There's a guy who hangs out at our field now and then. He told me a story about flying a solar steered gas model across one of the Great Lakes. There was some object that cast a shade and if the sun was on one side, there would be a signal one way, and vice versa. I forget what kind of solar sensitive element, probably not a solar cell, as this was apparently a long time ago. The guy had a picture too, as I recall. Unfortunately, he has a touch of Alzheimers so its hard to know just how much of the story to believe. He sounds like an honest guy, though, and didn't seem all that incoherent, yet.  He even told me about the Alzheimers.
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RobinB
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« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2012, 05:54:29 AM »

I noticed that when they tested the release rig, using the earlier model, that it was brought back using RC.
The guy with the transmitter was in shot.

When the sucessful flight of the later model landed on Lundy the on-board pictures showed the rudder moving in a way
that seemed more radio than gps-guided. Also, the same guy with the transmitter was right there.

Hmmmm....anyway, it was nice to see a model-size glider flying that high and far.

The question of what degree of communication is allowed before a model ceases to be free-flight is already
the subject of some discussion these days, and will, I suspect, continue to be so for quite a while.
(Probably until we're all so old that we stop banning radio / gps assist, and start demanding it )

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« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2012, 06:45:59 AM »

The earlier model WAS radio controlled, they did some test flights off a (rather flat) hill  to test the glider before they realised id was inadequate and built a better one, so when they tested the 'drop rig' they used the R/C model. The guy with the TX on Lindy was almost certainly the guy who had the 'Abort' facility that was mentioned earlier in the film.
 The 'TOY' reference griped me a fair bit too, but it was a good programme none the less.Smiley
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PeeTee
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« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2012, 06:52:51 AM »

I suspected it might be like this, but it was certainly entertaining. After all, would you watch Top Gear for a serious discussion on motor cars  Grin Grin
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Yak 52
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« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2012, 06:59:11 AM »

I thought it was nice to see some coverage of 'real' modelling (ie building) and some healthy disdain for ARTFs  Grin Although I am not a big fan of James May's haphazard style he seems to have some principles. Can't help feeling that someone organized and informed could do better. NACA 4412 is now a low drag optimized glider airfoil apparently  Roll Eyes

Good to see models on telly though - and an attempt to describe the poetry of free flight Smiley


Not sure if this can be seen outside the UK but here it is on the iplayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01pmbmx/James_Mays_Toy_Stories_Flight_Club/
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Laurence Marks
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« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2012, 10:47:06 AM »

Just watched it - thanks for the link..

Nit pick all you like... But

1. Rtf's got the press they deserve
2. May managed to get over the amazing feeling you occasionally get from this hobby of ours..
3. And speaking as somebody who depends on being able to employ young and enthusiastic engineers (and believe me it isn't easy) anything like this is really welcome if it encourages kids into engineering.

Laurence
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Woodster
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« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2012, 11:39:26 AM »

Not seen it yet as it clashed with a couple of other progs last night. Will watch it on catch up and report back ... Grin
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Yak 52
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« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2012, 11:44:46 AM »

Feel I ought to clarify this:
Can't help feeling that someone organized and informed could do better.

I meant better at the FF distance record.

Over all it was fair/good modelling and pretty good telly  Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2012, 01:32:49 PM »

Quote
Can't help feeling that someone organized and informed could do better. NACA 4412 is now a low drag optimized glider airfoil apparently 

Are you pushing for a cameo part in 'The Big Bang Theory' Jon?  Wink Very 'Sheldonesque' ... love it  Grin
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« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2012, 01:40:38 PM »

You make some good points there Laurence ... overall I think the program will fire enthusiasm in some that we might not have reached ourselves.
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Yak 52
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« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2012, 01:48:37 PM »

Are you pushing for a cameo part in 'The Big Bang Theory' Jon?  Wink Very 'Sheldonesque' ... love it  Grin

I'm workin on it!  Grin Grin But I'm afraid I might be Wolowitz in reality.
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« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2012, 02:11:09 PM »

I'll only accept that if you can convince me that you have given no time to what would have been a more suitable airfoil  Grin

BTW ... I was only one step behind, but I didn't quite grasp the NACA number when shown  Roll Eyes
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Andrew Darby
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« Reply #21 on: December 24, 2012, 02:17:38 PM »

And speaking as somebody who depends on being able to employ young and enthusiastic engineers (and believe me it isn't easy) anything like this is really welcome if it encourages kids into engineering.

Too true Laurence, we also struggle to find young engineers and people that are good with their hands, this sort of thing can only help.

Andrew
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« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2012, 04:14:07 PM »

I'll only accept that if you can convince me that you have given no time to what would have been a more suitable airfoil  Grin

Er...  Lips sealed Roll Eyes
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« Reply #23 on: December 24, 2012, 04:45:31 PM »

Laurence wrote
Quote
speaking as somebody who depends on being able to employ young and enthusiastic engineers

Young, Laurence, young? coming from a youngster like you, they must be in short trousers!

Peter
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lincoln
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« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2012, 11:11:46 PM »

That glider is pretty big. The Reynolds number is quite high. According to http://airfoiltools.com/compare/index, the drag is almost identical to the Clark Y, the AG38, and the AG35 at a Reynolds number of 200,000 and a Cl of 0.6 or 0.7. There may be something better but I doubt it would work given a dozen students working on it in a hurry. If you found an obsessive craftsman with a long sanding block and a lot of time, or a wing made in a fancy mold, I'm sure he could do much better. but it wasn't necessary. Of course, if there was any headwind you'd want to fly at a lower Cl (i.e. faster) than that. On the other hand, your chances of making it would be best (given adequate structural strength) if you loaded up the glider with extra lead to make it faster against headwinds and have a slightly flatter glide angle that goes with the higher Reynolds number. An optimized glider will not be a scale model of a Swallow in any case. He could probably have saved lots of money and time, and have better performance by buying a fancy moldie like a Supra or an Explorer.  But that would be less fun.

I'm kind of surprised he felt it necessary to use a helicopter. It's much cheaper to use light planes, and if they're light an slow enough you don't need some fancy crate to protect them. Or, given some sharp eyed RC pilots, RC aerotow might have worked.

I think the mission could have succeeded even if they just used magnetic steering and the model's inherent stability. I bet on a calm day you could fly that far with a regular f1e model and no electronics at all:
http://diydrones.ning.com/video/f1e-class-slope-soaring?commentId=705844%3AComment%3A615646&xg_source=activity
Warning: the film editor has the patiance of a housefly and it cuts away all the time. There's a whole flight starting around 4 minutes, but that's because it goes to the DT at, I dunno, 30 or 40 seconds.

I haven't watched the whole May video yet. That link doesn't work in the USA, it seems, but this one does:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xw66wd_new-james-may-s-toy-stories-flight-club_shortfilms#.UNkfCKzheSp
I thought it was nice to see some coverage of 'real' modelling (ie building) and some healthy disdain for ARTFs  Grin Although I am not a big fan of James May's haphazard style he seems to have some principles. Can't help feeling that someone organized and informed could do better. NACA 4412 is now a low drag optimized glider airfoil apparently  Roll Eyes

Good to see models on telly though - and an attempt to describe the poetry of free flight Smiley


Not sure if this can be seen outside the UK but here it is on the iplayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01pmbmx/James_Mays_Toy_Stories_Flight_Club/
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