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Mel's account of the first days of:

Chile Pepper: F2C West of the Andes

Hi David:

First, we acknowledge the interest of all of you. Really, to put the model in flying condition was a hard job. The wood was too dry, many warps, without engine mount and cabin.

The principal problem was that the Nelson engine was too big for the model, so I had to drastically exchange the form of the nacelle. I got some hard aluminium 3/16" sheet. I took some files and my metal saw and began to make the engine mount. After six hours a beautiful engine mount was over my bench. Then, I began to work in the model. Sand paper, cyano, epoxy and too many work hours and the model was ready for the paint.

All that, very urgent because the date of the Rafaela contest came to us very quickly. Well, at last the model was ready to test. Many little problems. The fill valve gave us a great headache. Miguel found the problem. Come back to my home to repair it. Last Saturday we brok in flying the only one carbon old prop . The resin was too dry. I shut off the engine, but the engine ran with only one blade for two laps more. The vibration was TERRIBLE!!

I landed and ran to see the model with Miguel. Two engine mount bolts broken and the other two totally unscrewed. Some damage in the nacelle, so, came back to home again. 11:00 P.M. the model was repaired and I begun to reworked a Master 7 x 6" and a Taipan 7 x 6" props. I cut they to 6 and 1/4" in diameter and thinned the blades. Yesterday we went to the circle again and test the Master reworked. 20,4 second/10 laps! Well, sufficient for us for now. We think that with the appropriate propeller the speed will go up.

Now we'll prepare for the journey (by car). 1,200 miles to Rafaela and to cross the Andes mounting, about 13,000 ft. the heigthest part of the road. The model is too heavy: 480 grams. The Nelson run 19,500 R.P.M. with the Master reworked. Our mission is to learn from the experts in Rafaela. Probably the next year will be really prepared. Thanks again to all who helped us.


Mel and Miguel