THE VALUE of HOBBIES

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Thomo
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THE VALUE of HOBBIES

Post by Thomo » 03 Aug 2017, 13:56

When in 1947 and in June the summer finally arrived, I was out walking with my Father. Heading West down Greenberfield Lane where the bridge crosses the Stock Beck, We heard a strange noise coming from our right, and went see what the cause was, In the area then known as the “Old Mother Dam” and the field nearby there was a small group of Men who were flying Model Aeroplanes. Already having been introduced to the wonders of “Meccano” I was well and truly enthralled. Over the years that followed, and aided by other enthusiasts, I became totally interested in flight and all that was involved. I became a member of the local Model Aero Flying Club run by the Son of a local Ironmonger, John Pilkington. Gone were the usual comics, Dandy and Beano, which were replaced by “Flight Magazine” and all I wanted to do was to fly. Eventually I was given the chance to do this as a trainee pilot with the RAF, I was the only fourteen years old, what I then required was extra knowledge and undertook a Technical Entrance Course at the local school. During this and fast approaching school leaving age, I was offered an apprenticeship by a local firm of Television Engineers, my Parents were delighted, but I pointed out that this was not what I wished for. Faced with both my Parents and prospective employers in our living room one afternoon, and under pressure, I gave way on the condition that if what was offered did not work out, I would join the RAF. In the following year I was suspected of have developed TB, and although this was not the case, it trashed any dreams of becoming an RAF Pilot, I was offered other employment in that service, but declined. In the mid-1950s, the local Model Aero Club folded, and all members were invited to join the Rolls Royce Model Engineering Club whose Model Aircraft section was in decline and needed a boost, This we all did, and very soon after were invited to go to Avro’s Aerodrome at Woodford in Cheshire to compete in an event. Flying a self-designed and built control line model aircraft, I won the first prize, six flying lessons, and my cup well and truly ran over. I was also extremely lucky that at this time as I also had a motorcycle and getting to Squires Gate near Blackpool was not a problem. Each lesson lasted two hours and took place in an aircraft straight out of Boys own, or Biggles, a De Havilland Tiger Moth. My instructor was an elderly Gentleman who had been in the RFC in WW1. He told me that if he could teach me how to fly this venerable old aeroplane in twelve hours, I may at some future point be able to fly anything. Ever since then I have had a great deal of respect for both he and that Tiger Moth. All that I have now are memories of those wonderful hours, and a very state of the art flight simulator. A local businessman who at the time owned a light aircraft based at Squires Gate, and had heard of my interest took me up for a trip over Barnoldswick, and passed control over to me, he also offer me membership and further training at his club. Sadly as one hours training equated to one weeks wages, it was a nonstarter, and I was shortly about to buy a house!
There is little doubt in my mind that Hobbies can be beneficial throughout life, and can in older years provide something to keep both mind and body stable. I would love to hear about your Hobbies, and what impact they have on you all today.
Thomo. RN Retired, but not regretted!

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chinatyke
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Re: THE VALUE of HOBBIES

Post by chinatyke » 04 Aug 2017, 00:48

What flight sim program do you have? I used to have the Microsoft one and passed many hours "flying" Boeing 737 and 747, both lovely stable aircraft. I couldn't seem to master Airbus landings. Now I've got a faster computer I should get an up to date flight sim program. One of my friends here used to fly (real) Boeing 747s for British Airways. He said it's just the same as the flight sim, hours of tedious monitoring but somehow exciting!

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Thomo
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Re: THE VALUE of HOBBIES

Post by Thomo » 04 Aug 2017, 11:21

Hi, and thanks for your response. What I have is a compound setup coupled to a very fast PC, this enables graphics to work to the max. The basics are FSX Gold edition plus acceleration pack, FS9 and Combat FS3. The controls are Saitek pro, yoke and quadrants, Saitek stick, this can be used on its own for earlier and combat aircraft, or as a sidestick, also the keyboard can be used as per modern flight systems. I also have a large selection of add-on aircraft ie. the VC10 and Avro Shackleton plus a range of Lancaster's, Spitfires and hurricanes courtesy of Real Flight simulations. There are many add-ons available many of which are freeware. Replacement engine sound and on board communication activity all add to realism. Some of the graphics have also been replaced by more accurate versions. Manchester airport is a good example, the original layouts for this have been superseded, as is the case for other airports, new buildings, runways etc. can be added, in short it is possible to constantly update even the most basic of Flight Simulators without any great expense. The only other real life aircraft that I flown apart from the Tiger Moth was a Cessna 197. I love the vintage aircraft scenarios as I have also flown in a DeHaviland Puss Moth, two DH Dragon Rapides, a VC10 and an assortment of other light aircraft. When, and if I have nothing else to do, I am looking forward to some more flight simming.
Thomo. RN Retired, but not regretted!

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chinatyke
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Re: THE VALUE of HOBBIES

Post by chinatyke » 04 Aug 2017, 12:51

Thanks. I'll add investigate flight sim to my To Do List. I have a Saitek Joystick with throttle control.

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Thomo
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Re: THE VALUE of HOBBIES

Post by Thomo » 05 Aug 2017, 13:48

Chinatyke, which FS system do have? For many years now and since the arrival of FSX, it appears that FS9 is still by far the most popular version. The basic graphics in FSX are better than FS9, but there are more good quality add-ons for the latter.
Thomo. RN Retired, but not regretted!

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chinatyke
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Re: THE VALUE of HOBBIES

Post by chinatyke » 06 Aug 2017, 05:28

I have a set of 4 cd's, FS9, but it's ages since I used them, more than 8 years! The problem I have is that my external dvd drive won't connect to my new laptop. I'm tempted to just purchase a new flight sim prog and download it from the internet.

I also liked to "fly" the single engine Cessna, dead easy, and the small Robinson helicopter but that was difficult. Occasionally I got it to go where I wanted it to be.

It was just fun, nothing serious.

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Tizer
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Re: THE VALUE of HOBBIES

Post by Tizer » 06 Aug 2017, 08:44

I was surprised when I attended a model aircraft flying display and saw them flying helicopters upside down! How can they do that?

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Thomo
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Re: THE VALUE of HOBBIES

Post by Thomo » 06 Aug 2017, 11:51

Two very interesting replies there. First, Chinatyke, if you are using a laptop, your ability to use a comprehensive Flight Simulator is just a tad restricted. With FS9 you are required to insert disc 4 to use the system, there is a way around this, but it needs an add-on. With the basic FSX, once it is loaded, there is no requirement for the disc to be used. Microsoft have been developing a new system for quite a while now, supposed to be the best yet, this is still not available. Tizer. That is a good question. It was always accepted that the design and construction of a model aircraft needs to be more precise than a full scale counterpart, if it is to perform well, this given that there is nobody on board to make fine adjustments. In regard to helicopters, there are very few that are truly aerobatic, the "Apache" Attack Helicopter being probably the best example. In an helicopter, the fixed wings of other aircraft are replaced by a rotating version mounted on top, the weight of the aircraft being suspended below, the amount of lift is achieved by altering the angle of attack of the rotor blades, direction flight is achieved by adjusting the entire rotor head in relation to the datum of the aircraft, tilt forward, sideways or backwards, the small propeller unit at the rear of the aircraft is to counteract any tendency of aircraft rotation. The main difference between a model and the full size equivalent is the sheer weight of the aircraft itself. In the case of the full sized aircraft, even with the rotor blades set at the appropriate angle, inversion is simply not possible, as the aircraft would impact and fall. In a model this is less likely to occur, but I would not recommend trying it without a fair degree of altitude. When I worked in Aerospace, one of my tasks was machining the rotor heads for Westland Sea king Helicopters, each was extremely heavy, and there are five on each rotor assembly of that helicopter, turn one those upside down, and the rotor blades would come off!
Thomo. RN Retired, but not regretted!

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