Newsletter Issue 8 – December 2014

Blackburn Flyers Newsletter

Issue 8 –  December 2014

Enthusiasm for the centenary model project has exceeded expectations by a wild margin, with slight panic creeping in that we have set a level of anticipation that this has to be delivered! Volunteers from across the site/company have joined  bringing a vast knowledge and experience (and opinions) to the team. Four companies from within the Humber Enterprise Park have also offered their support to the Project bringing their expertise/skills to the table.

Exercising some democracy, and to spread the blame, we’ve decided to use the ‘Wisdom of the Crowd Principal’ where decisions are made taking the collective opinion. To give the idea an airing the method was exercised to find a suitable name for the team. A list of names were compiled by and voted for. The result? We’re now the ‘Blackburn Flyers’.

Having established our democratic credentials, and with no sense of irony, Mat, Pat and Richard recently met to discuss the ‘1416’ model as the project has been launched without settling the actual scale! Pat came up with some practical considerations; not least transport and storage. So after a brief foray into the car park scale has been (scientifically) determined by the door size of a conveniently parked Volkswagen Crafter van and some sketches of how the model would breakdown for transport and storage.

It is proposed to break the model down into 4 modules:

  • Outer wings, upper and lower connected. Port and Starboard. Obviously.
  • Rear fuselage and tailplane.
  • Forward fuselage, engine nacelles and floats.

Each of these modules will completely separate, no hinging of wings or fuselage. So mechanical and electrical disconnects will have to be designed, ideally the rigging will automatically ‘tension’ on assembly.  The latter module has the largest cross section so defines size, at ¼ scale it will  go through the van doors and offers the possibility of bringing the mass below 80kg which makes certification less onerous.

Having settled (?) the scale methods of construction were also discussed. Again, practicality and certification issues were identified as the driver. CFC spars, 3d printing etc. are technically attractive but the certifying body will be more familiar with conventional construction techniques. So it’s basically it’s wood for wings and fuselage with metal fittings at joints. Floats will probably be ‘cladded’ foam.

One potential deviation from the prototype may be the facility to take off and land from grass. Large models have to be initially flown by an experienced examiner and first flight from water may be a step too risky (and wet, and cold). So somehow wheels will have to be considered, either ‘role change’ or hidden in the floats.

Next steps would be to develop the overall design (how many ribs, air foil section, target mass, etc.), develop the assembly joints (possibly with a local model to test the rigging tensioning mechanisms) and the Control Systems schematic. And most importantly expand the decision making, task allocation, etc. out to the broader team including Supercraft and Cablescan.

 Collaboration with Site tenants

Meeting called on 4th December 2014 to brief other site tenants on project status and open up discussions on participation. Heritage centre selected as venue so we could talk around the 1909 replica to get a feel for construction techniques/scale of operations.

Gave a progress report to Richard and Peter and explained that project was adequately funded so we were looking for practical assistance suggestions.

Attendees were Richard, Mat, Peter (Site), Richard(Cable Scan), Paul(Heritage) but Owen sent his apologies.

Major points:

Cablescan’s expertise is in wiring (obviously) so it was agreed that they would handle the airframe wiring with the following notes:

  • BAE would develop wiring schematic to meet LMA rules.
  • BAE would furnish the ‘BOF’ (batteries, servos, receivers, etc)
  • Cable scan will manufacture the wiring.
  • If possible this will be used as a training exercise for apprentices. Cablescan to advise if any tailoring needed to make into ‘formal’ training module which would be accommodated as far as possible.

Build/storage space:

Peter agreed to discuss with new site owner, confident that we would get support. After discussion of options agreed that the hush house on the apron may be best option:

  • Large enough, with large doors.
  • On Brough site but outside BAE boundary so all partners can access without going through BAE security
  • Can’t be guaranteed that well have usage through to 2016 but there are no immediate plans for this building
  • Has power
  • Doesn’t have heating.

Unfortunately Owen couldn’t make meeting but we will arrange to discuss Supercraft participation ASAP.

Mike and Jon from RexRob Engineering has joined the team on 9th Dec 2014.

 Progress Meetings

Progress meeting held on 10th December 2014 in 88G2 at Brough.  The following points were discussed.

  • We need to ensure that the Aircraft is registered via LMA. Pat to check his registrations online and confirm
  • Building 109 (the old Aerolab) is occupied by RexRob Engineering and they want to be involved with the Project and willing to donate Space and milling fabrications if required.
  • News letter was submitted late and we didn’t appear in Dec edition of Hawk Transformation. The same progress text will be submitted for Jan and Kris is going to create the Progress report and TV slide in the new year.
  • CPC card is issued which put more pressure on creating the 2014 shopping list.
  • 2014 shopping list were discussed and it was agreed to order the following items if it falls below £2250 (10% handling charge with Brammers)
    1. 1 170cc engine + exhaust
    2. FrSky Transmitter with 4 receivers
    3. 25kg servos (higher voltage)
    4. Batteries
    5. Cameras
    6. Analogue Video transmitter
    7. Receiver and monitor
    8. VR headset
    9. Raspbury Pi and Arduinos
  • Plans need to get firmed up as the Flight trials are in September 2015.