Saturday, November 01, 2014

Large Model Association 2014

Off to Gaydon last weekend where the builders of huge model aircraft were showing the results of their labours.

While I still don't have any idea what makes someone get up in the morning and decide that their life won't be complete without building a half sized Gypsy Moth, I can still appreciate the workmanship. It's also ineteresting to see what the trade has on offer. Last year I funded the cost of my entry with a review of a laser-cut servo mount...

3D printed pilots

Anyway, one of the highlights was the selection of 3D printet pilots from RealModelPilots. These look amazing and can be sculpted (in CAD) so you can fly your own aeroplane. From a practical point of view, since they are printed in ABS, the models are tough but very light.

If you are willing to sacrifice strength for weight, rather than a honeycombe interiror, you can have your miniture hollow. I had a look and to be honest, the hollow versions is pretty strong so I can't see why you'd add extra internal structure. If you need that strngth to survive a crash landing, a damaged pilot is likely to be the least of your worries.

Under constructionElsewhere, I was chatting to a man building a 1/3 scale South America plane. He showed a material made by sandwiching balsa sheet either side of a hard, but light, solid foam sourced from the Formula 1 world.

Tests for the CAA (big models have to be certified) have proved it's strong enough for construction of flying items and I wondered if it would work for baseboards. Strength looks fine but I suspect the cost might rule it out.

All-in-all, very interesting as usual. I've come away with some interesting goodies, including a new (to me) material I'm very excitied about and will devote a blog post to in a few days.

In the meantime, go look at the gallery on Flickr.

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