Friday, October 18, 2013

About this Blog

About one and a half years ago at the age of 59, I retired from work in the Audio Visual industry. I found myself with a great amount of free time available. There is no doubt that no mater how well you saved or planed for your retirement that your life must continue and if you are fit and healthy you must find the things to do to keep yourself busy.

Since I was a small boy and throughout my career I always flew and built RC model aircraft. The main building material way back then was mainly wood or because of weight considerations balsa wood. About 10 years ago my good friend Evan Shaw introduced my to the more recent and modern way of building RC aircraft using composite materials and techniques.

What I like about this way of building is that you do not need any really fancy tooling to start with and that you can, with patience and lots of LTC (tender loving care) turn out gleaming moulds that you can produce more than just one item with reasonable quality, accuracy, strength and durability.

                    Rob  polishing the  the Tsotsi Mylar skins before spray painting.
                                    ( photo taken in my  home workshop)

So the intention of this blog is to promote the models that I can produce and at the same time show the way I do it in building groups. I do not claim it to be my ideas or that it is the only way or the best way to do it. If the airframe can withstand the stresses of flight and landing and you can go home with your plane in one piece and ready for another day of flying you have achieved your goal.

The Gliders that I will be building now is the well known 2m Tsotsi , Thulane and Zagi.
Please note that although the Tsotsi design was based on a Gentle Lady, it was designed by Evan Shaw and he has given me the go head to produce and sell these gliders.

                            The 2 Meter Tsotsi's at a recent GEMS fly-day.

Brief history of the 2m Tsotsi.

This Cinderella of the sky is celebrating it centenary year this year (2003-2013 )

As I mention previously, ever since I was young, I build and flew RC models. There was a time that I stopped the activity for a while. It was only in  the year 2000 that I came back more seriously after  a co-worker asked me to help him get started with RC modelling. It was at this time that I got back in touch with Evan, who was now staying in Ladybrand in the Eastern Free State and still flying RC gliders and was experimenting with white foam core wings bagged with brown paper covering and fitted to a gentle lady fuselage.

In 2003 Evan moved back to the Johannesburg and settled on a plot in Oaktree Krugersdorp on the West Rand. Here Evan had a big barn that he turned into a workshop for building Model Aircraft. This meant that I frequently went to visit him as he was also fortunate to have a flying field 500 meter from where he stayed and flew our models over weekends.

It was at this time that I saw on one of his shelf's a beautifully finished fuselage. He told me  that it was the plug for what was to become the fuselage of a Tsotsi that is still in use today. A few months later Evan finished the Tsotsi mould and he started a building groups over weekends turning out Tsotsi's.

Evan had by now also perfected the bagging of the wings  (using  a glass cloth layup over white polystyrene foam cores) and I was  privileged to fly the very first Tsotsi as a complete unit as we know it today. I flew countless flights with this model and was lucky not to have one serious crash (after training many new pilots) with it and the airframe is still intact after 10 years and if I have to fly it again I am sure that It will fly as good as when we first build it.

               Piet and the very first completed Tsotsi ( photo taken in 2003) By Evan Shaw.

                            Happy owners with their Tsotsi gliders

                                   My 2.5 meter Tsotsi captured in flight at the BERG Club flying field.
Should you have any questions about the 2 meter Tsotsi or how to build or obtain one you are welcome to e-mail me at

In the next Blog Posts I will place more pictures and photos of the building and construction of the gliders mentioned.

No comments:

Post a Comment