Saturday, 31 December 2011

Can you tell what it is yet?

Flap servo out and gears replaced.

That was the easy bit, the rest of the repair will take a bit more effort!!

Skorpion sold

My trusty Skorpion has found a new owner :o/

I learned a lot from my Skorp and flew my first sub-40 with it. I have a new (to me) F3F model and the Skorpion was just not going to get flown so it needed a new home.

Good luck Dave; I'm sure you will love it:o)

Sunday, 18 December 2011

F3F Winter League 2 17 December. Ballageich Hill

After a fall on the ice last week which left me with sore ribs and back I had given up any hope of flying this weekend because the forecast was for north westerly winds which usually means the long walk to West Lomond and I wasn't up to a long walk. However, I wasn’t the only person not fancying the walk and Peter suggested we try Ballageith Hill near Eaglesham. This is a hill Dave Watson, Robert Carson and David Loomes use in nw winds and although it meant a longer drive the prospect of a shorter walk at the other end appealed!

To save on fuel I met up with Peter and we travelled through together; thanks to Peter for once again doing all the driving. We managed to take the wrong turn in Eaglesham and were last to arrive but the rest of the gang gave us a round of applause when we finally got there :o)

I hadn’t anticipated 4 inches of snow on the ground which made the initial steep climb a challenge and I managed to fall on my face but my skiboard bag and contents broke my fall! My poor ribs. Mike was unlucky and also fell but landed on his assembled Extreme and damaged a flap and wing trailing edge and had to go back to the car to get his Ascot. I had a chat to Mike about his Extreme and it will be heading my way soon for repair and a new home.

The walk over the moor was longer than I expected and was made hard going with the snow and the very soggy, boggy moorland but we made it to the slope after about 25 minutes trudging across the moor. The walk back seemed much longer! When we got to the slope the views over the reservoirs towards Glasgow, Campsie Fells, Arran, Firth of Clyde and Ailsa Craig were stunning.

I flew first and after a shaky first round got my Vikos going quite well. Peter was unlucky in round two to have the wind drop completely and he had no choice but to land out. The trudge down the hill and over even soggier moorland looked a challenge.

Despite his new leather cowboy hat Mike never seemed to get in the groove with his Ascot. Ola!!

Dave Kelly's Miraj was going well and it is a pity he had to leave early and didn’t get a proper result. Peter had to switch to his Cyril and Dave Watson and David Loomes also flew Cyrils and they were going well. David Loomes made the same error I did in one round when in better air he pulled too tight and lost all speed in the final turn! A good time ruined!

David had his live results system working and live feed to the internet seemed to work well. Ian Stewart sent me a text just after I landed after rounds 1 and 2 congratulating me on FTD and for having 2000 points. This position did not last once the others flew!

A great day out in nice winter weather.

Thanks again to Peter for doing the driving.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Northern Winter League round 2

The forecast for the second Northern winter league event was very encouraging with a promise of strong westerly winds and sunshine although also a promise of low temperatures.

Peter suggested a later start this month so I had an extra half hour in bed before getting to his house for 4:30 and we headed off to collect Mike on the way. Dave Watson was already in north Yorkshire although Dave was committed to flying his Cyril having left his Vikos wing joiner at home! A quick stop at the Purdy Lodge for an overpriced cup of tea and egg roll sustained us until we got to the baker's shop in Sleights for some pies and cake. We arrived at Horcum just in time to head up the hill to the Levisham slope. The climb certainly put a heat in us!

Although cold initially is soon warmed up a little and turned out to be a pretty good day out. My new Aldi salopettes were very effective in keeping me cozy!

I loaded all the ballast in my Vikos for the first round and I’m sure I changed the amount for all subsequent rounds! Round four I flew with only wing ballast and was back to full load by the final round! I could do with devising a faster way to change ballast.

I had a really good day and although I only finished in 14th place I was quite happy. I cut in round two and flew safe (long) for the rest of the day. Just before the final round I was speaking to Ronnie Lampe and saying I never liked flying last because at the end of the day the last flight of the competition is always rubbish. Ronnie was unconvinced and rightly so because my final flight saw some good air and my Vikos kicked up its heels and I was second in the last round!

A Festive burger at Mickey D’s just north of the Tyne Tunnel kept us sustained and I was home just after 10 and in time for a wee drink with SWMBO. :o)

Thanks once more to Peter for doing all the driving.
Dave took some great pictures.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Practice session East Lomond 1 December

With the next round of the Northern winter league on Saturday I decided that more practice would not be a bad thing especially when the forecast for East Lomond was quite promising.

The wind was blowing well round to the south west with a touch more west than ideal but a good 25mph so pretty good for East Lomond. I had taken my Vikos and it was going well and I intend sticking to it and keeping my Skorp as back-up. Peter joined me just as I was getting ready to launch and we had a good hour on the slope. Peter’s P3 was grooving round the turns as well as ever.

Encouraged by how much ballast Peter had in the P3 I filled up my Vikos completely. I should learn to fly heavy cos it was going really well!!

Some light rain blew through from time to time and the effect of raindrops on my goggles and the low winter sun made turns on the left a wee bit hard to see and rather scarey. I accidentally flew through the sun once which got my attention. I should concentrate on the flying and not gabbing to Peter!! Bishop Hill in the distance was in cloud and occasionally the cloudbase over East Lomond was not much above the slope.

I headed home via work to collect my extra warm winter gear which I keep in my locker. It was really cold today with 3 deg C and ice and frost on the ground up the hill. Can’t imagine Horcum being very warm!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Wednesday 30 November

A week off work decorating was getting to me so I headed up to Kilspindie for a break. The wind was 25mph sw and pretty well straight on the slope. Less windy than forecast but pretty good.

I took my repaired ex Dave Watson Spark out for a test flight and it was going well. A dive test showed a tendency to tuck under but easily manageable and no doubt due to weight added to rear of tailboom where the main repair was. Double layer of 2 oz carbon cloth over an old war wound seems very strong.

New front fuselage keel and glass fibre nose and elevators came from Robert Carson and made the repairs much easier. Thanks Robert. Without those parts my Spark may have been left in the corner of the shed for a while longer!

I spent a bit of time tuning in the butterfly elevator compensation and landings are now less frantic.

I flew the Spark with my Futaba TM8 2.4 GHz transmitter module and FrSky FASST compatible receiver and had no problems with it at all. Oddly when the sun disappeared and the cloud cover rolled it the air got quite thermally and I deliberately flew my Spark way out from the slope and it got high (very!) at times. No probs with range even when I deliberately turned my back on the model and put my body between the tx and model.

One interesting thing I notice with the Spark is the weight of those glassed blue foam wings does mean that rolls are slowish to start and stop compared to a hollow moulded model. The roll rate is fine but it is a wee bit sluggish and feels ever so slightly ponderous at times. Still a good hack model though :o)
Grand day out

Sunday, 20 November 2011

F3F Winter League 1 Sat 19 November

The first F3F Winter was flown in some great weather considering it was the 19th of November. Twelve degrees Centigrade and light southerly winds which increased a little around the middle of the day and saw everyone adding ballast. Times in the early rounds were pedestrian (70 seconds) but steadily decreased as the conditions improved. Peter flew well and won the competition and also had FTD with his P3. Peter is really to grips with his P3 and it looked fast all day. Well done to him :o)

Dave Watson managed to cut four times but still finished in second place.

Mike flew his Ascot to good effect and even hand caught his model when landing towards the end of the day. I took pictures of his model all the way down to land but didn’t realise his intention and missed the catch :o(

I had a rubbish day and never got my Skorpion going and flew consistently long :o(

Better get some sleep before the next competition!

Tea and cake at the Pillars on the way home rounded off a great day out.

I took some mediocre pictures which can be seen here.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Kilspindie. Low cloud.

The wind direction looked changeable all day Saturday so I put off going out flying until today. An easterly was forecast with mist first thing but clearing mid morning. Well, the wind direction was correct with 15-20mph easterly straight on the slope but the visibility was hopeless and never got better than 20 metres horizontally and 10 metres vertically. That is the slope edge in the above photograph looking south along the edge.

Being an eternal optimist I took my Skorpion up to the east slope but it hid in the bag all day and could not be coaxed out. My Weasel Evo got some airtime though and I had fun keeping it in sight. I flew several flights but they were limited to scooting back and forward low along the slope edge and turning before I lost sight of it. There was enough visibility to squeeze in a roll before a turn was required. Trying two consecutive rolls was nearly my undoing when it got to the point where I could barely see it! Loops saw it disappear at the top before diving out of the low cloud again. Had an interesting flight when practicing low inverted and the fin fell off and blew back behind the slope and took a few minutes to find. The Weasel flies ok in level flight without a fin but a more than 30 deg bank sees it heading for the deck sideways. Managed to land it ok though:o)

Mad, quite mad!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Saturday 5 Nov. Northern Winter League 1

The forecast for the first Northern Winter League F3F event at the Hole of Horcum had looked dodgy all week but things were looking more promising by Friday until early evening when it looked less encouraging. Jon Edison sent out a cautious “On” email suggesting it may not be wise for competitors to travel a long way in case the competition didn’t happen. I called Peter and after thinking about it for a while Peter thought it worth the journey and with Mike equally keen the three of us agreed to give it a go.

I was at Peter’s house for 4am and we headed off to collect Mike on the way. Yawn!

A stop at Purdy Lodge for breakfast (egg roll for me) and we arrived at Horcum to see low cloud and poor visibility. Oh oh! Richard Bago and Paul Middleton were confident that it would clear. After half an hour of chat and banter the weather indeed seemed to be improving and we all headed for the trudge to the north-west slope. Course set-up, more banter, and the locals were proved correct and we were able to fly. We had to stop for 15 minutes after the first round when the low cloud made a re-appearance but after that we flew another uninterrupted 8 rounds.

The wind was blowing about 20-25mph, crossed from the right, and lift was very variable. Getting ten laps of good air required some luck. Skill helped too and the best guys were very lucky as usual and finished at the top!

Peter was flying his Predator 3 and coped with the conditions very well finishing in fourth position. The rarity of the P3 caused much interest and discussion. The unusual colour scheme received many words of approval. I thought the predominantly white model stood out exceptionaly well in the misty low cloud. NOT!

Mike left his Ascot in the car and only flew his Extreme and finished in eighth position. I finished in eleventh, I never managed to get my Vikos below 50 seconds all day:(

Interesting to see three Skopions being flown today, finishing second, sixth and ninth.. Next time I may try mine!

Mark Redsell flew his Freestyler 3 consistently quickly all day and was a convincing winner.

Paul Garnett had his hastily put together “bitsa” Skorpion going well too after his return from foreign climes and took second place. Paul got some fantastic air at one point and it looked like a very fast time til he cut! His Skorpion was ballistic!

Paul Middleton flew his Vikos very accurately and ended up in third place

Full results:-

1 Mark Redsell
2 Paul Garnett
3 Paul Middleton
4 Peter Gunning
5 Keith Wood
6 Paul Foster
7 Richard Bago
8 Mike MacCracken
9 Dave Wright
10 Ronnie Lampe
11 George Young
12 Jon Edison
13 Mark Treble
14 Egon Lewin

Thanks to Jon and his helpers for a great day out.

Scores and write up should be available on NYMRSC website.

Scottish Winter League starts in two weeks. Yippee

Monday, 31 October 2011

East Lomond. Skorpion gets an airing.

The forecast for Sunday was for bright skies and 15mph south westerly winds but as I suspected it didn’t look quite that promising as I drove through rain showers to get there. The sky was heavily overcast but a good wind was blowing so I took my Skorpion up to the slope. The wind was about 30mph rising to 40 at times and cocked slightly off to the south but with the air temperature in the car park about 14 deg C it was quite pleasant considering it is the end of October. It did stay dry when I was there.

I lobbed the Skorp off with 60% ballast and it was going pretty well but it went even better with all the ballast in and lots of reflex and snap flap! I think I got spooked by Ian’s Skorp disappearing down the back of East Lomond last week and had fun landing because I would not fly far enough back from the slope edge on approach! Even with full crow the Skorp was still licking along in the lift!

I have convinced myself that although the Vikos is nicer to fly than the Skorpion, the latter is faster. I spent some time trying to learn to fly using “energy management” and I have got the hang of that now!! Ha ha!! I wish!!
Horcum next week with any luck.

Saturday, 29 October 2011


Hoping to take my Skorpion out flying sometime soon I was giving it a check over and found one tailplane half a bit loose. Removing that tailplane half I discovered the 5mm carbon joiner was one I had replaced last year and it was a bit of a sloppy fit. Hmm…? I dug into my stock of 5mm carbon rod and discovered that all 5mm carbon isn’t all exactly the same diameter! A new joiner was quickly fashioned and ready to fit. I accidentally dropped a tailplane incidence pin inside the rear of the fuselage. A good shake saw it on the carpet along with this legless stowaway!

Monday, 24 October 2011

Scottish National F3F Championship. Day Three

Saturday 22 October saw us back up on East Lomond for the last day of the three day Scottish National Championships. The original two day event lost a day to the weather and, because not everyone could make the replacement day, three events would be flown with the best two days counting towards the championships. From the forecast I was expecting similar conditions to last week’s windy day but with some sunshine. What we got was winds right up near the maximum 55 mph and heavy overcast. The direction pretty well due south which meant the course was well to the left on the slope with the A base being down the hill about 50 metres from the fence and right next to the path.

Ian Stewart had a test fly and allowed his Skorpion to drift a bit too far back behind the A base and the poor Skorpion was caught in the accelerated air in the compression area above the path and was blown back down the hill behind the slope. Kevin and Ian set out on a rescue mission and the poor Skorp was retrieved after a search. The model wasn’t as badly damaged as it could have been and repairs should be straightforward. Some wing delamination and broken nose and sheath.
Some thought about landing was going to be required and the best “approach” seemed to be to fly in from the right in front of the slope with the brakes out and aim to drift back a little to end up setting down in the area normally used as the pits! Best to be committed though and keep the speed up/ No drifting back allowed!!

We flew two rounds per launch with a fly-through in between and managed to fly 14 rounds before we had had enough!

Peter flew his new Predator 3 which looked good in the heavy conditions but had a “moment” when a flap stuck down during a fly-through and he had to land down the front of the slope edge! No damage though but Peter switched back to his old faithful Cyril for the rest of the day.

Craig flew several rounds with his EMP Banshee foamy model before switching to his Spark; the Spark seemed much more at home in the heavy winds.
Mike stuck to flying his Extreme all day and was rewarded with a third position. Well done that chap!

Kevin flew his Pike Precision and it went well all day until an unexplained crash at speed on the slope edge. The Precision looked badly damaged with one wing root particularly badly smashed. With most models carrying as much ballast as possible any sudden stop was going to cause trouble.

Ian Simpson managed to join us to give his Big Bird an airing and it went very well.
I stuck with my fully ballasted Vikos but never felt it was on the pace all day. I had a full load of 750g of brass and tungsten and I’m thinking it just can’t carry enough weight.

Although the downhill course seems a little odd the lift seemed better than the usual East Lomond slope we use so maybe the wind coming from the south is better not having come from Bishop Hill first!

Peter sent out an email which I have copied onto the results page. Well done to Peter, Kevin and Mike on their placings today and congratulations to Peter on winning the Scottish National Championship.

It is interesting to note that 14 events were scheduled for the Summer season and 6 were flown but 3 of these were extra days added to replace days lost to the weather.

Winter league next so better look out the thermals. Oh look here they are! I have been wearing them all “Summer”!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

East Lomond F3F

An extra F3F competition which I believe will form part of a three day Scottish National Championships.

The wind was blowing SSW so the course was set-up well round to the left of the slope at East Lomond. The wind was forcast to be 15mph but was in fact more than double this at around 30-40mph. At this wind strength East Lomond is not the best. Overcast skies saw little thermal activity and the gusty air proved quite challenging and I never really got my Vikos going well. The wind strength increased throughout the day and the last rounds were flown in 50+mph.

The decision was made to aim for 10 rounds with one fly-through and that is what happened.

Mike won the first round with his Extreme and was third in the second round which was won by Dave Watson and his Cyril. David Loomes was second in both of these rounds flying his Cyril. Ian Stewart was third in round one with his Skorpion and Mike third in round two.

Round three was won by Dave with Ron in second place with his bitsa Viking and David finished in third place. Ron took round four with Mike as runner-up and Ian third.

Dave took round five with me in second place and David in third. Round six saw Ron in top spot followed by David Loomes and Dave in third place.

Round seven was again won by Dave followed by Robert Carson with his Sting and I managed third in this round. Round eight saw David in first place closely followed by Mike and Dave.

Round nine was won by yours truly with Ron in second place followed by Mike. The last round was taken by Dave followed by Mike and me in third.

Final result:
1 Dave Watson Cyril
2 Mike McCracken Extreme
3 David Loomes Cyril
4 Ron Russell Viking
5 George Young Vikos
6 Ian Stewart Skorpion
7 Robert Carson Sting
8 Martin Gibbs Viking

Well done to Dave Watson whose Cyril looked fast all day. Dave also had the FTD of 44.5.

Looking at my own scores on the spreadsheet showed them improve as I increased ballast towards the final rounds where I ended up with full ballast and maximum reflex. I should learn to fly heavy! I suspect my Skorpion would have been better on the day but I have been concentrating on only flying the one model.

Towards the end of the competition the landing zone became a little tricky with some turbulent air tossing planes around near the ground. I managed to damage a flap wiper but application of some Beli-Zel superglue soon had it sorted.

As Ron was flying through between rounds nine and ten he flew too low and accidentally hit the slope with his Viking which stopped rather suddenly. His fuselage ballast didn’t stop quite so quickly and took out and elevator servo leading to a zero score in round ten. Getting the nose cone off to examine the damage proved a challenge because the ballast was well rammed into the radio area and trying to exit through the glass-fibre!

Another competition scheduled for next week and this will be the last of the summer season. Summer 2011? Huh!!

Monday, 10 October 2011

No flying :o(

A holiday last weekend meant no flying although I wish I had chucked a foamie in the car because the wind looked spot on the Levisham slope when we stopped for a look on the way home from York on Monday.

Forecast for this Saturday was pretty poor with light winds and variable directions forecast so the F3F event was cancelled. Sunday was dismal to start with but brightened up later and a good westerly meant Bishop should have been good but I didn’t have time to make the trip/climb. Not having my own car is a drag! I must try Peter’s westerly slope near Lindores sometime. The low westerly slope next to the car park at Craigmead would be worth a try; works fine in light winds with a foamy and DLG. Easy access and only a few minutes from the car park.

Made up a spare Eneloop rx battery for my Vikos and did a bit more to the repair of my Spark. No flying though :o(

Monday, 26 September 2011

East Lomond F3F

10 rounds of F3F on East Lomond in +25mph, no rain and the sun came out in the afternoon. Days like this help to make up for all those other ones in rubbish weather!

This is destined to be the first day of the Scottish National F3F Championship with the second half hopefully next Saturday.

I started well and won the first round and went on to win 2 others! One of my most successful days ever but the competition was so close that consistency paid off and Peter went on to win. In my last round I got some great air and annoyingly cut the B base and made a poor recovery which didn’t help! I had been threatening to cut that base all day! Peter’s write up and final positions are on the Results page.

After the event was complete Peter flew his lovely new P3. Noice!!

No camera pictures from me today only a few from my phone. Camera got wet last week in Wales but finally dried out now.

Second half next week but I won’t make it :o(

Dagenham Dustbin still dead :o( :o(

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Welsh Open 2011

Thursday morning saw me at Peter’s house loading our stuff into his car before setting off about 10:30 to collect Mike for the journey down to the Bwlch and the Welsh Open. Twenty minutes later we were heading back to Peter’s to pick up the bag containing his clothes and chargers! We took time when we got to Mike’s to drool over his recently aquired large Ventus spotted hiding in the back of his garage before heading for the M74. A stop for a burger to sustain us and we were off. We had an appointment for a curry in the Ashoka in Bridgend later on.

Friday morning started damp with showers and a good south westerly wind so we ended up on Mickey’s slope and the start of the competition. I have to confess to being a wee bit nervous before my first flight but was more than chuffed with a 39.xx which is only my third sub-40. Well pleased I was! The majority of times were in the low 40s and mid 30s. Fast!!

We were plagued by frequent heavy showers all day but the proximity of the cars meant we had somewhere to hide from the rain.

Our poor models had to lie there and get soaked!

Just before I was due to fly in round two, I spotted a problem with an elevator servo and had to switch to my Skorpion. AJ was kind enough to let me squeeze in a “re-fly” later in the round. The rain started during my flight but I declined the offer of a second re-fly which AJ reckoned was a mistake. I think he may well have been right!

The weather meant that only one round was completed and just over half of the second before flying was abandoned for the day. Back in the New Inn for a quick change of elevator servo (I had a spare with me) and my Vikos was ready to go again. Rich Bago had more servos with him and I was able to obtain another spare.

The Ashoka was pretty busy all evening so we had to find another curry house to squeeze in the 14 hungry fliers. Two curries in two days. Wow!!

Saturday saw us on the west slope at Mickey’s in similar (less than perfect) weather and no cars to escape to. The first big shower got Mike and I really soaked, Peter had managed to find shelter under the Sportsbrella of the Yorkshire contingent. Guess where Mike and I went when the next shower hit? I’m sure the three of us spent half the day having philosophical discussions with Jon, Keith and Richard as the heavy rain lashed the Sportsbrella. We were more than grateful for their hospitality!
Round two from Friday was completed and round three flown with several interruptions for the heavy showers of rain and hail. The Norwegians sat out these deluges stoically hiding behind large cape/groundsheets.

Mike provided some entertainment for Peter and me during round four by almost cutting on legs 3 and 5 and then having a huge cut on leg 7. However, if you are not cutting you are not trying!!

A heavy rain shower before I flew in round four seemed to remove most of the lift and I put in a dismal 60.xx time although not as bad as Jon Eddison who got some very poor air indeed. Full ballast and no wind is not a good situation to be in! That would be our discard round sorted then! About 10 pilots got caught in this crap air before it picked up again. I wasn’t keen on the walk up the hill to the landing area and as the day progressed and more pilots and more rain fell and the path became quite muddy and slippery and the climb up to the landing area became a trial!

Just before Joel West launched my Vikos in round five I spotted that one flap was a bit slow and checking things after I landed showed the battery had almost died. Gulp!! Lucky that didn’t happen in the air. Also lucky that I had a spare in the correct configuration for the Vikos all charged up and ready to go.

The weather closed in during round five and we spent the last hour hiding from the rain until a halt was called to let us all get our more than soggy gear stowed in the cars and heading back for a well deserved hot shower before making our way to the Welsh Open Banquet. Mike and I were inspired by the Norwegian guys at our table and we are planning to organise our own F3F training camp!!

Sunday morning saw us sitting in Peter's car at the road junction by the ice cream van watching the rain falling. And falling... And falling….

After lunchtime it was looking like that would be it for the day but around 2:30 it stopped raining and Rich Bago had had enough sitting around and headed for the Ice Cream slope for a fly and was soon giving his Alliaj big licks. Assuming Rich knew something the rest of us didn’t most of us followed him out to the slope and arrived just as the rain returned. More time under the Sportsbrella followed! However, we did manage to complete round five and fly round six. I didn’t think my 44.xx was much good but others were slower than me because they were unlucky and caught out by the most variable air of the whole competition and I raised my 40th position to 39th.

The lift on Friday and Saturday was fairly consistent (apart from the bad spell I got caught up in round three) but the air on Sunday was definitely variable. In the final round not only did Peter have to fly in indifferent air the sun came out and was hanging right over the climb-out area dazzling any pilot trying to fly there. The pilot who flew just before Peter stuffed his Alliaj when he lost sight of it in the sun.
The standard of flying was excellent and you needed to consistently be getting mid to low 30 times to feature in the top 10. I didn’t envy the organiser’s task of trying to keep everyone happy in the changeable weather conditions. As is normal, the lift was variable but generally not as bad as it could have been. With a field of over 50 pilots and numerous stops for rain only 5 rounds were completed. It was great to see the many different styles of flying.

At the end of the competition, and to save him lugging it all the way back to Norway, Bjorn Tore Hagen was kind enough to give me his camping chair. Thanks Bjorn :o)

The results are on F3F groups and Kevin Newtons's website (knewt) has pictures and more information.

Congratulations to Joel West for a well deserved win. Congratulations should also go to everyone who competed and stuck it out to the end!

Note. If you are ever in Wales and trying to get money from a cash machine, when the machine asks if you want instructions in English or Welsh, don't click Welsh! Prat!
Also, keep an eye open for Welsh beaver! Quite common I believe :o)

Monday, 12 September 2011

Sunday 11 September East Lomond

Keen to try my Vikos and Skorpion before the Welsh Open next week I went up to East Lomond first thing. The forecast was for southerly winds and rain by late morning.

The wind was blowing a fraction west of south which meant flying about as far south on the slope as possible. It was blowing a steady 45 mph but rising to over 50 at times and the lift was very good; about the best I have flown in on this slope. Not stonking but not too far away!! Landings were a bit wild crabbing in along the slope from the north end and letting the model drift back before dropping the brakes and trying to lose enough speed to put it down. Gently!!

The last time I flew my Vikos I broke a tail joiner and the replacement I made was working fine. The one I broke was a 6mm carbon tube with a carbon rod glued inside so I’m hoping my solid 6mm carbon rod replacement will be stronger.

The Vikos will be going to Wales but can’t decide between my speedy Skorp or trusty Race M.

I had about an hour and a half flying before the predicted rain arrived but I had my models back in their bags and was just heading down the slope before the heavy shower hit. Three local lads arrived with Zagis etc but I left them to it and to the rain!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

On my own for the weekend and hoped for great flying every day but today started with heavy rain which eventually eased after lunch and looked like it would brighten up so I took my Race M and Alula up so Kilspindie.

Got there to discover low cloud and fine drizzle. It brightened up after a while and I was able to fly from the east slope with my Alula in the very light wind. A lot of low cloud kept blowing through and my Race M stayed hiding in it’s bag.

I had to move to the south corner when the wind swung and I had another half hour with my Alula before the rain returned and drove me back to the car. No Indian summer yet then!

South wind forecast for Sunday with rain by late morning. Hmmm….

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Discus dancing

I had planned to go to East Lomond this morning but the forecast 8-12mph winds didn’t materialise so I made the shorter trip to Kilspindie where I met up with Ian Stewart. Another optimist!

It was flat calm with hardly any wind at all so we amused ourselves by flying discus launch models. Like me, Ian had brought his Alula and I had also brought my Longshot.

With Ian’s help we got my Longshot flying much more smoothly than I had it set up; Turned out I had way too much elevator dialled in. We spent a while having turns each with it and were rewarded by the odd thermal which prolonged the flights. The Longshot had an issue with the rear wing mounting bolt needing replaced so we resorted to flying our Alulas. I won't mention the Longshot canopy making a bid for freedom after one of Ian's ballistic launches! We had great fun launching our Alulas simultaneously and seeing who could keep their model in the air longest. No score was kept after the first few flights but I have no doubt Ian came out on top.

On my way home I could see the wind finally picking up from the south west. Typical!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Another one bites the dust!

The Scottish National F3F championships were scheduled for this weekend but the weather beat us once again. Disappointing because we had the potential for a large turnout. Yet another competition lost to the weather with seven cancellations and only three results. No discards then unless we get more events run?

Today was dismal until early afternoon when it did eventually brighten up and the breeze picked up. Been working all day so I'm hoping for a sport fly tomorrow although winds look light.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Pole Hill Sunday 21 August

It was still good weather on Sunday although the wind was forecast more WSW so with my wife on a shopping trip to Glasgow I headed up to Pole Hill with my Race M. The wind was pretty much straight on the slope and blowing a good 20-25 MPH rising to 30 by lunchtime and my Race M was loving it. So was I. It is ages since I flew my Race M and I’m thinking it may well be a better back-up model than my Skorpion.

The good thing about Pole Hill is that as the wind rises the lift just gets better. Not something that normally happens on East Lomond. My plan to be home and working for 1 o’clock didn’t happen because I was having too much fun!! My Weasel got an airing too but the big air encouraged me to fly my Race M.

F3F East Lomond 20 August

After a string of cancelled F3F races nature finally relented and the weather was favourable for a competition in East Lomond. The wind was blowing SSW and after the course was set up and a test flight made we moved the course a bit more to the south. After round two the wind had swung a bit further south which entailed yet another moving of the course. Apart from that the wind blew fairly steadily about 20-25 mph with conditions at their best early afternoon.

Peter Gunning showed everyone a clean pair of heels and took round one with his Cyril. Dave Watson retaliated by taking round two and giving a hint to the final result. Ian Stewart flew his Strega and took round three and Mike McCracken won round four with his Extreme. Ron won round five with his bitsa Viking and David Loomes won round six convincingly with his Kyril. Ian switched to his Skorpion and won round seven and I fluked it and won round eight with my Vikos. Ian Stewart took round nine and Martin Gibbs took the last round with his Viking.

I completely messed up my landing after round ten and watched my poor Vikos get caught by a gust and slowly flip upside down breaking a tailplane joiner when it hit the ground. I wasn’t the only one having problems landing because something weird happed to one of Ron’s and we were all getting ready to run at one point but control was regained a successful landing made although not quite where it was originally intended to be!

Dave Watson had a great round 2 and held the fastest time for several rounds before David Loomes wrested it from him in round 6. Then in round 8 some jammy beggar (me!) got some great air and managed to hold it together to take FTD. Not sure how that happened because it didn’t feel that fast although it was nice and smooth air.
Looking at the results spreadsheet although Ian Stewart took three rounds and everyone else won one round, Dave Watson’s consistent flying saw him win the competition although it was always going to be close between him and Peter Gunning with the lead passing back and forward a few times. The scores were pretty close between Ron, Ian and David and also between Mike and me.
It was good to see some of the regulars again because it is ages since we flew a competition, the last one that ran was in June. This was only the third competition run this year because we have lost six F3F competitions and one aerobatics so far. Great to get some proper flying in at last though.
I hope we get some good weather again in a fortnight for the Scottish National Championships.