Sunday, 29 May 2011

Sunday 29 May 2011 Kilspindie

I was actually up here yesterday but never got a chance to try because I left my transmitter at home. The upside is that I saved myself a walk and a soaking and the wind was way too far west- west-north-west in any case. The downside is that I am a complete muppet!

Today the wind direction was still a bit cocked off to the right but quite flyable. It was quite a fresh wind though, a steady 50 mph gusting to 65. A hoolie again!! Launching needed a degree of determination and I had a job standing up!

I flew my fully ballasted Reaper foamie and it was ballistic. I also flew my ex Dave Watson Spark and it was going well too. No ballast so a bit of a handful after launch but great once it was out from the edge. Going better than the last time since I now have the aileron differential the correct way round! It turns really well.

I had a couple of good flights with the Spark and decided to land and fit my mini video camera. As the Spark got down to about a metre from the ground it suddenly dived for a nice springy patch of heather and hit it with a loud crack! The “crack” sound was the fuselage snapping just in front of the tailplane. Unfortunately the Spark bounced off the heather and back into the air with the nose at about 30 degrees up and no elevator control. No rudder either of course. It climbed to about 5 metres and disappeared over the back of the hill! The last sight I had of it in the air was the underside plan view with the tailplane dangling loose!

Well, the wings are more or less intact but the fuselage in 4 pieces and there is a big crease in one tailplane half and the elevators are still up there somewhere. No sign of them even a long way downwind! My poor Spark. Bugger!

I’m sure I can repair it ok although it will be balsa elevators and not glassed blue foam!

My Skorpion could not be persuaded out of it’s bag. It had had enough of big winds last week at Horcum so we slunk off home to hide!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Sunday 22 May 2011 Hole of Horcum

Round three of the BMFA F3F summer tempted 4 of us to make the journey down to the North York Moors. Dave travelled on Friday and only had about an hour to drive to get there. I was up at 3:15 to meet up with Peter at 4 and collected Mike as we passed the Forth Bridge.

A quick stop at Purdey Lodge saw us get to Horcum just before 9. The wind direction had us head for Levisham; the first time I had flown on that slope. I have been to Horcum often to discover no wind but today was the opposite. At one point Dave’s windmeter showed I had been flying in 87 mph winds. I could hardly stand up on the edge! Some heavy showers of rain and hail blew through but it brightened up as the day progressed.

Unfortunately Dave damaged his Vikos quite badly when it spun in on the landing approach. The fuselage took the brunt of the damage and a replacement is on the cards. Dave switched to his Race M for the rest of the day. I was showing Dave the carbon fuselage on my Vikos (unlikes Dave's which is glass) and noticed that the servo tray was loose. I had to switch to my Skorpion for the rest of the day but it didn't make much difference to my pedestrian performance. Mike tried his Extreme and Ascot and settled on the Extreme for the last few rounds. Peter flew his very quick Cyril and finished up in third place. Well done Peter.

The report of the event is here. A memorable day although exhausting putting up with the stong winds. The strong winds and nasty rotor meant landing well back from the slope and carrying the fully ballasted models back from landing zone was hard work in the stormy conditions!

Fish and chips in Whiby on the way home completed our adventure on a challenging day. Thanks to Peter for once again doing all the driving.

Not a bad view to enjoy some haddock and chips with!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

F3F Kilspindie 7 May 2011

Finally an F3F competition although it looked unlikely more than once. The forecast showed overnight rain clearing first thing but it was pouring when I first got up out of bed. Ron sent a text calling the competition off and then had second thoughts and suggested we meet up in any case and hope it cleared.

When I got to Kilspindie at 10 there was low cloud down on the hill but the rain had stopped. Ron, Mike, Dave and Robert were already there and we were soon joined by Ian Stewart and Peter. The cloud eventually cleared so we headed up the hill and set-up the course only to discover we didn’t have the battery for the timer. Oh well, sport flying only then! Ron had a problem with his Strega when the right aileron started fluttering and the left one seemed to want to join in! The resulting crash could have been much worse with most damage being to the front of the fuselage.

I had a stopwatch with me and the course was up so Ron set himself up in the middle and we flew 10 rounds of F3F (old style with flagmen, caller and stopwatch). Quite difficult to fly well because although the caller lets the pilot know when to turn you really need to watch for the flag drop to avoid any delay.

Dave and flew his Vikos although he switched to his Race M for the last 4 rounds. Both models were going well. Mike flew his Extreme and Ascot: the latter seemed to be faster and maintain speed better. Robert flew his swift Strega and it went well despite more than his fair share of mundane air. Peter flew his Alliaj and it was going very well and carved some nice fast laps.

Ian’s Ceres was as fast as ever and looked good with a new red fuselage. Ian got some good thermally air at one point and the Ceres picked up speed really well. I got some great air in one round and it was fair shifting until I cut in turn 7. Muppet!

Good to get a completion in at last; the first one in Scotland since last October.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

St Cyrus

After spotting a thread on RCMF about flying from the cliffs at St Cyrus I had wee forum discussion with the original poster Roy Garden about how to get to the slope. On my way back from Aberdeen I made a small detour and found the slope right next to a car park. A 50 metre walk to the launch point. By coincidence Roy was already there with his Mini Vector. It so happened that my Weasel Evo was lurking in the car boot together with my transmitter. Lucky eh? 2 minutes later my Weasel was lapping up the silky smooth lift coming up the 40 metre high cliffs. I really wish I had taken my Race M. Next time maybe.

Had a chat to Roy for a while and he showed me the preferred landing area for mouldies (well back from the slope and not on the edge where I dumped my Weasel!) A really pleasant late afternoon but I had to head home all too soon. About 40 minutes from my house to launch point which is about the fastest I can get to any slope! A great site well worth looking out for. There are even benches for weary glider fliers to rest on.

Very poor picture from mobile phone but you can just make out Roy and his Mini Vector:-