Thursday, 16 January 2020

T2HD Hangar

The T2 hangar was an RAF temporary hangar that was intended to be put up quickly as a kit assembly during World War 2 - capable of being dismantles and re-erected elsewhere.  This was the largest of the temporary hangars.  Many of these hangars were reinforced as T2 Heavy Duty hangars to be kept as permanent fixtures on RAF stations.  Two such hangars remain at Llanbedr airport in Wales.
I have just modelled this hangar based on an assembly module - for X-Plane 11 flight simulator.  The bulk of the hangar is made up of such arched structures, each half being identical along the centre line.  This enables the hanger to be assembled to a length that fits the space available.
Once the hangar body is assembled, the doors and door frames are fitted at each end.  The T2HD has twice as many support frames as the standard T2 hangar.
My hangar was built using Google SketchUp as it was a simple angular structure, but it could easily have been built in an industrial standard CAD system program like Blender as shown above.
The hangar sits well in the X-Plane scenery and it shows the doors open, with aircraft and equipment inside the hangar.
At night, the lights are on, so the contents of the hangar can be clearly seen.  I can see a few minor tweaks that are needed before the scenery model is completed, but the basics work well.

This model is the most detailed hangar I have made so far.  Most of my hangars are single skin structures with a simple interior.  This hangar will accommodate aircraft and look good inside.

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Christmas Day 2019

This time of year is all about thought and consideration for others.  With our friends and family mostly living several hours driving away and the weather being wet and windy, we made the decision to spend a restful Christmas day at home.  This is the first day in many when the car remained in the Garage.
First is the morning chores, clearing up and feeding the birds.
Then a seasonal slow breakfast with croissants, jam and coffee.  Check out the days news and do a crossword.
This year we have been frugal with the decorations - a few twinkly lights in the windows, cards from family and friends and a few small simple seasonal decorations as well as a small display of greenery brought in from the garden.
Yesterday I prepared most of the food for dinner, so cooking was a matter of heating or baking everything and making some sauce at the last minute.  Chestnut roast en-croute and baked or steamed seasonal vegetables, stuffing balls and red cabbage - with a small glass of red wine (possibly my first this year)!
An hour or so after the main course, we turned out Rosie's home made pudding.
Coffee and a long and leisurely rest in front of the TV was the order of the afternoon.

The evening fox visits were recorded on out outdoor camera.  The video clips from the evening were a final treat to watch before we retired for the night.

We are looking forward to a long walk when the weather improves a little.

Footnote: The TV adverts this year were excessively about booking holidays, something that is usually done on new Years Day.  I also recieved a very large number of E-Mails about sales and offers on Christmas Day.  Not, to my mind, what the day is about.  All were deleted as a block and not read.  Grumpy old man in charge here......

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Not quite to plan....

Taxiing out to the runway in my Diamond DA62 using the X-Plane 11 flight simulator.  Just waiting for a Cessna 172 to take off ahead of me.  All systems looking good.
 ATC give permission to proceed and  all instruments are reading normal.
  I just watch the Cessna clear the immediate airspace before taxiing out onto the runway.
 Take off and check out the local landmarks to get a visual orientation on the route and then switch on the autopilot to take me to the first waypoint
 The DA62 is a modern twin engined 6 seat aircraft with an impressive array of instruments.  It is a relatively easy aircraft to fly and land, being very pilot friendly.
 At the waypoint  I disengage the autopilot and turn to my airfield approach to fly the aircraft in manually.  BANG!

Fire on engine 1 - smoke and flames - off fuel - off power to that engine, adjust trim nose down, look for a place to land.  Grass pasture ahead to the right, power off, flaps down 1 point, wheels down. MayDay call out.

Align the aircraft to avoid trees and obstacles.  Down with a bumpy landing, fire extinguisher to engine nacelle, OK - this was a good "walk away from the plane" landing.

Now what can I do on the sim with an aircraft in a field, one engine wrecked and not enough power to take off safely in the space available - call the AA?
Just restart the sim at a different location with an aircraft set to no failures.

The X-Plane flight simulator is designed to mimic real flying and there is a built in setting to trigger a failure at preset intervals.  Usually it is just a giro misalignment or a light out, but a major failure does not occur very often.  It comes as a surprise when it happens - glad I knew what to do.
(No repair bills on a simulator.)

Aerobask DA62 - good value sim model - highly recommended.

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Biddulph Grange

 We recently visited Biddulph Grange to the North of Stoke.  This was the only clear day we have had for a while and this was a pleasant break during a shopping trip.  The hall was developed as private accommodation flats, but the grounds and small parts of the building are run by the National Trust.
 The Washingtonia Walk is as good exercise route.  You can walk the length of it and come back through the woodland.
One purpose was to see the Geology Gallery now that the restoration project is coming to an end.  The fossils are now on the wall and most of the stratigraphic rocks are in place - just a few meters of stratigraphy to add near to the door now.
 I particularly like the crinoid bed which is a fine and near perfect reproduction of the original - most of the fossils are resin casts and reproductions as the originals were mostly sold to collectors and museums many years ago.
 The Ichthyosaur fossil is a cast of a specimen which is still held in the hall.  Time to check out the dinosaurs in the coffee room before hitting the shops.
Having arrived home, we had an early visitor.  It is quite rare to see the foxes out in daylight at this time of year, but it was a fine day after a week of rain.

Friday, 1 November 2019

IR wildlife camera

Rosie and I went out yesterday and purchased a Maginon WK4 HDW wildlife camera.  We had talked about doing this with some of the proceeds of the sale of our old car.
This little camera is a battery powered unit with a weatherproof casing.  It can be strapped to a post or a tree or wall mounted and it is activated by movement.
With a little bait and the camera strapped to a convenient tree we set it up and waited to see what turned up in the garden.  The time, date and ambient temperature are logged on each image.  No surprise that we saw foxes on the photos.  The Infra Red really makes their eyes shine out in the dark.

 The settings were adjusted to take one photo and a short video clip at each activation.  This is a typical video result.  Whilst the camera was set, it was activated 32 times in 3 hours.  Some of the clips showed moths and cranefly on and around the lawn.

We were hoping to catch a badger, but no such luck last night.  Perhaps we may be lucky at a future date and in a different location.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

West Virginia Pepperoni Roll

Recently, a flight simulator enthusiast from the US passed me a recipe to try out.  This is based on a bread roll produced by Giuseppe Argiro in his bakery in Fairmont WV in 1927.  It was produced as a lunch for working coal miners and is a well liked US food today.

The basic ingredients are white bread dough with butter rubbed into the flour, enriched with an egg. Pepperoni sliced thinly and grated cheese.  The dough needs to prove for 30 minuted before using it.
The dough is rolled out thinly and egg washed.  Pepperoni slices, then cheese, are layered out across the dough, leaving a thin clear area at the edges.
The ends are turned in, then the parcel is rolled up and sealed with egg wash to prevent any seepage during cooking.
Egg wash the top and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, rest for 20 minutes or so, then bake in an oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes or so, until the bread roll is golden brown.
The smaller rolls only need 15 minutes to bake. Cool before slicing.
The pepperoni will soften during cooking and the oils and spices will diffuse into the bread to enhance its flavour.
Supermarkets often carry a vegetarian pepperoni, but the purist would need to purchase the cured spiced sausage from a reputable butchers to slice as needed.

Friday, 18 October 2019

Deer at rest

 Out for a walk in Derbyshire, we spotted a herd of Fallow Deer.  It is always a joy to see such animals at rest.
 Of course, a big lens and a favourable wind do help to keep the animals calm and unaware of the camera.
 It is always rewarding to be able to photograph from a distance.  These deer are 600 yards away across the River Derwent.  There is no way we were going to be seen as a threat to them.
The bos stag was clearly visible, and alert to any threats from other large stags that may intrude on his territory.