The inspiration, the philosophy, and the story behind the Jart can be found on the Jart World Web page. Well worth a visit!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Journey to JARTdom - Part 1

Planting the seed

“Just look at that! It looks like its screaming fast & that’s when it is just standing still...”

It was another Monday morning way back in early 2006 after another awesome slope weekend at Volksrust. I was looking at the JART World website whilst talking to a good friend over the phone . The seed was planted, the decision made, & I ordered my set of personalized plans from Reed immediately. These arrived promptly the next day with wishes of good luck. Hmm. Little did I know how much those words would be prophetic, as a series of poorly chosen jobs at lousy companies, saw a number of years poured down the drain with no viable returns & completely unnecessary levels of stress. I trust that suppose the old saying; “that which does not kill you makes your stronger”, would hold true.

But that seed had been planted….

During this torrid period, I was also became aware of the “building group” approach to composite RC model construction. The ethos is simple: you build it all yourself, but the support system is awesome: guided by people that have done it all before, using all the proper equipment & techniques! During mid 2007 some of the local flyers started to get JART fever. Talk started emerging in hushed circles about a “new” pointy nose RC slope model that looked fast standing still. Vaguely remembering a plan that I had obtained many lifetimes ago, I wondered if this was the JART they were referring to,…, and sure enough it was. I decided that I had to do something about my building procrastination, even if it was only to prove to myself that I could also build it.

I approached a number of slope flyers & virtually all their comments were the same; “it looks awesome”, “I would love to try”, & “all this composites stuff is way too difficult”. How was I going to do this? Following another awesome slope weekend the concept of the JART & building group merged (probably fueled somewhat by the beers we drank at that late night BBQ). I emailed Reed to get permission for a JART building group, as I strongly believe in the DIY spirit he promotes through the JART. Essentially the “owner still need to obtain their personalized copies of the JART plan, they still build all the model themselves, but (the big BUT), they do so under the guidance of a building group. Using the building group’s fuselage mold, obtain onsite assistance in cutting the foam core wings & stabs, have access the composite materials depot (buy in bulk & save!), and also share the necessary facilities & tools for composite construction. Remember the process is as much about learning to build using composites, as it is about producing a great slope model.

I was immensely pleased when Reed gave the go-ahead for this as I already had a longish list of people who were very interested ion learnign to build with composites, but did not have the need for ther large F3B/J RC gliders typical of these groups. My challenge now lay in the tooling & skilling up for the building group.

I had attended most of the necessary composite workshops, where I had built or assisted building fuselages, bagged & hollow-moulded wings. I built a workshop with express purpose of kitting this for composites. The next step was to get my hands dirty!

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