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(