David McCormick of Dave’s R/C Electronics has released SafeStart a small, easy-to-install device that is designed to prevent the accidental start of an electric model’s motor.
The device connects between the ESC and the receiver’s throttle channel, and prevents any throttle output to the ESC until the device is armed. Simply plug one lead into the receiver’s throttle channel and the other lead into the ESC. The receiver lead is clearly marked for easy identification. SafeStart works with brushed and brushless ESCs and motors.
Activate by pressing and holding the push-button switch for three seconds. Once activated, the SafeStart LEDs turn from red to green and the device instantly sends the radio’s throttle inputs to the ESC, providing full control of the motor.
If your transmitter’s throttle stick is not in the off position, the orange LED in the push-button switch will rapidly blink. When the throttle stick is moved to the off position, the LED will turn solid red indicating that it is in safe mode.
In flight, SafeStart monitors the throttle channel for a valid signal. In the event that the transmitter signal is lost—as happens if you forget and turn your transmitter off before the flight battery has been disconnected—SafeStart instantly sends a signal to the ESC to shut off the motor.
The LED push button provides a user-friendly indicator providing the current mode of operation at a glance and easy arming and disarming with the push of a button.
We haven’t tested the SafeSmart on an airplane, we did watch a demonstration of the device at the Toledo R/C Expo and all of the features worked as advertised. The SmartSafe sells for $35 and can be purchased directly from Dave’s R/C Electronics.
Dave’s R/C Electronics: 11382 BackValley Road; Soddy Daisy TN 37379; Tel.: (423) 544-1657; website: www.davesrce.com
Blue Max Airmen Volume 4
The Blue Max Airmen is a series of books that share the story of the German airmen awarded the Pour le Mérite during World War I. Each recipient is provided a comprehensive, well-illustrated biography, together with photos of the aircraft they flew, followed by details of service including other medals awarded. Color profiles of the aircraft are provided both for the interest of enthusiasts and as references for modelers.
The airmen are profiled in the order in which they were awarded the Pour le Mérite. At this time, four Blue Max Airmen volumes have been released covering 13 pilots.
Volume 4 features Rudolf Berthold, Gustav Leffers, Albert Dossenbach, and Hans Berr respectively. This volume includes 140 photographs, six of them in color, and 14 color profiles of aircraft flown by these aviators in its 112 pages.
Rudolf Berthold is provided the most page space of the four aces represented in the book, likely because his aerial victories eclipse the other three, even with their kills combined.
The stories of Leffers, Dossenbach, and Berr are also well documented and all three ultimately perished during the war. A chilling quote by Albert Dossenbach provided a glimpse of the toll the war had taken on each pilot.
“Every one of us has to go sooner or later. We scouting pilots are all doomed to death. I’d only like to know who will be the next of us.” It was his firm conviction that “everyone who has to stick it out here must die.
Dossenbach, an ace with 15 aerial victories, leaped from his burning Fokker and fell to his death within weeks of making those chilling remarks.
Aeronaut Books and author Lance J. Bronnenkant have certainly done the research and we are rewarded with a wealth of information that is logically laid out and can be quickly referenced.
Each aviator’s life is profiled under headings such as “The Man” and “The Aircraft” with a wealth of photos of man and machine complementing the text. Color profiles provide even more insight into the canvas war machines and the insignia that adorned the aces’ aircraft.
Every ace’s profile contains a brief overview of his military service with significant dates, service units, and awards in chronological order. The profile closes with a Victory List that documents the date, enemy aircraft downed, and details on the location, unit, and crew where applicable.
The book concludes with a complete list of all aviators to be awarded the Blue Max, errata and addenda for previous volumes, and an index.
The Blue Max Airmen Volume 4 is an excellent book for readers looking to learn more about the most celebrated German aces of World War I and their aircraft. Scale modelers should also find the book to be a good resource for documentation purposes.
All of the volumes in the series can be purchased directly from Aeronaut Books or online through Amazon.
Aeronaut Books: 82936 Plymouth Drive; Indio CA 92203; Tel.: (408) 398-1980; website: www.aeronautbooks.com
Anzani “Y” Engine Kit
We’re always on the lookout for new kits to build and we’ve found one that’s small enough that you might miss it if you blink.
This “dummy” engine kit is a faithful reproduction of the Anzani “Y” engine produced by Alessandro Anzani between 1905 and 1915. The three-cylinder engines powered a number of aircraft, including the Blériot XI and the Eastbourne Monoplane.
Retro RC’s version is a 1/12-scale kit containing more than 170 pieces made from laser-cut wood, aluminum, steel rod, and plastic tubing. Don’t let that number fool you. The bulk of the engine actually goes together quite quickly because the cylinder heads are easily assembled by stacking the numbered parts.
After the crankcase and cylinders are assembled, a more delicate touch is needed to cut and attach the pushrods, rocker arms, and crankcase nuts. Provisions are included to wind the rocker-arm springs which may sound daunting, but they actually are easy to wind from soft copper wire.
When completely assembled and painted, this tiny dummy motor looks realistic. It makes a great addition to any vintage 1/12-scale model needing a dummy engine (either for scale appearance and/or for nose weight). The crankcase is designed with a hollow interior allowing it to slide over and conceal a number of small brushless motors.
It also makes a great display model for your desk or mantle. Included in the kit is a laser-cut engine stand, which nicely shows off your finished Anzani engine.
The Anzani “Y” Engine Kit is available from Retro RC and sells for $39.98. Note: the propeller shown is not included.
Retro RC: Box 193, Keego Harbor MI 48320; Tel.: (248) 212-9666; website: www.retrorc.us.com