building and flying model aircraft

Flying Rags

This year at Oily Hand on Saturday lunchtime we will be having an Oily Hand Rag Mass Launch. We have done this many years ago at Oily Hand, so we thought it is time for another go. Check out the ‘how to’ below and get your Rag sorted.

This one can be attributed to Ken Willard from his 1985 book ‘8 Easy Projects for 1/2A Engines’.

Here is a copy that explains all about it. A Google search will find you more info on Ken and his flying shop rag.

At Oily Hand we do it a little differently

Here’s how

Firstly it is important not to block the air inlet in the back plate, making some sort of mount for the engine necessary. You could do as Mr Willard did with a block of wood, but thin ply might be a better way. The Oily Hand way is to use aluminium sheet and aluminium wire. Check out these photos of the classic Oily hand Rag set up. It probably makes sense to mount the engine in the centre of the rag. That’s what the cross is for. There is no need to cut the hole in the centre of the aluminium mount plate, mine just happened to have one. Poke the wires through the rag and mount holes and simply bend them over to hold the whole shebang together.

The size of the rag or rags and whether streamers and weights are required is open to interpretation and experimentation. And that is only where the fun begins. The placement of the pickup requires experimentation. From memory having it sit to one side, or the other, rather than at the bottom works best. Whatever, it is best to block one of the filler openings to stop fuel being lost to centrifugal force. Then you need to establish a needle setting as the mixture changes once the rag is launched. A richer setting will be needed.

It is not as challenging as it sounds, good luck and good fun.

The launch technique can be seen in these videos. Yep – the exhaust can scorch the pinkies.