Saint Louis Blues

St Louis.  The Warps Gnome in aeromodelling and general aviation.  Named after Louis Bleriot, whose aircraft were controlled in the rolling plane by wing warping. Related to the Verucca Gnome (qv “Hogfather” by Terry Pratchett)


St Louis’ main delight (other than deliberately reversing servo direction in model aircraft) is the misnaming of aircraft and aeronautical terms, such as this example from the Radio Times for the week beginning 24 April 2007...

In the next example, the Warps Gnome arranged for the gentleman in the foreground (believed to be Harry Hawker’s dad) to stand right in front of the section of fuselage of the Sopwith Tabloid Prototype (on tour in Australia) where the elevator control wires emerge, thus concealing the possibility that this small section may have been left uncovered for ease of access; a modfication that has hitherto been unrecorded.


And finally we have an example where the Warps Gnome has intentionally moved the Centre of Gravity of the Sopwith Tabloid to the rear of its intended position, with the usual unfortunate results.

And now a word from Trevor, illustrating perfectly that there is no such thing as a “new” thing to go wrong. St Louis has it covered!

Hello All,

With the arrival of the canopy (for his Westland Welkin) from Vortex Vacforms this morning, I felt it was now time to press on and complete this project. This afternoon I mowed the grass and took the model out for a range test, intending then to do some extended taxi trials to see how the motors and ESCs coped with their unventilated environment.

Unfortunately the range test was a total failure. This was not entirely unexpected since these are the HiModel ESCs which failed to deliver in the Rapide. However, I had hoped that, paired with the HiModel motors that they were originally sold with, they might fare better.

Matters were made worse by the fact that, as the model glitched, one u/c leg collapsed. I dashed over to the model and picked up the wingtip but the leg didn't extend and there were strange noises coming from somewhere. I unplugged everything and brought it indoors for a postmortem.

At this point, I was convinced that something mechanical had failed, probably in the servo. Since there is now no access to these, this was a fairly gloomy outlook. However, when I re-connected the battery, the leg came down and locked normally. I surmise that, as the servo struggled in vain to jack up the model, it must have drawn so much current that the BEC shut down straightaway. This would account for why the leg didn't extend when I lifted the wing. I guess the weird noise I heard was the ESC trying to tell me what was wrong.

Anyway, I now have to work out what to do. Three possibilities occur to me - in increasing order of likely success, time delay and cost:

i) Try a separate receiver battery.
ii) Buy two more HobbyWing ESCs
iii) Wait for the Multiplex 2.4GHz module

What does the panel think?


And my reply:

Fellow sufferers,

It is a well-known fact (but I have cleverly kept this from Trevor) that the Welkin is a "difficult" subject. This is not because it is flawed aerodynamically, but because the God of Small Glitches (Pratchett readers will know that you only have to murmer "Oh God, a glitch" for a small God to appear out of nowhere) and St Louis Blues (see http://sopwithmike.mudefordsc.org/html/st_louis.html) ensure that whenever it is modelled, soemthing major goes wrong. Look at the record: the full-size was a disaster, there has never been a published plan, of my own 3 attempts to get one to fly, the only successes were a 12" span chuck glider and a Depron profile model for Pico Z gear. Hardly a good advertisement for the type.

Trevor has merely run into the Small God of Glitches (Westland Welkin Parish). I'm surprised it's taken this long, myself.

By the way, did the canopy fit?


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