Monday, 30 January 2012

Light winds at Kilspindie

With only light and variable winds for Saturday but WindMap promising an 8mph easterly for Sunday this looked the better day for some sloping. I was up the hill at Kilspindie by 10:30 with my Race M and Longshot and found that the wind was indeed smack on the east slope but just a tad light at around 5mph on my trusty Dwyer wind gauge.
I flew my Longshot and there was enough slope lift to keep it up and I was able to get it to climb to about 30 feet above the slope and throw in a few aerobatics. This is the first time I’ve flown the Longshot from the slope and it is definitely a one speed model because the trim definitely changes as the speed does. Still nice to fly but needs more work on the elevator stick to keep it heading in the chosen direction! I even managed to take some pictures with my phone while I was flying it. A bigger challenge than normal because I had forgotten my neckstap. In the picture of the Longshot the model was much closer than it looks because I was sure it was going to hit me!

The wind picked up to a brisk! 8-10mph and I quickly heaved off the Race M which was soon going well in the light air. A few sorties well out from the slope reassured me that I had fixed the range problem from last week. Removing and cleaning the transmitter aerial did the trick. After about 30 mins the wind gave up and dropped to about 4mph and discretion (fear of landing out) led me to land. Took two attempt to get it down because with no wind the Race M came in faster than I like so I had to go around in the weak air and struggled to get it high enough to land! Concentrated the mind for a minute or two!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Glitchy, Windy Kilspindie

If today’s F3F competition hadn’t been cancelled because of the hill race I suspect we would have struggled in winds above the legal 55mph. I went up to Kilspindie and it was blowing a hoolie when I arrived; probably gusting to 50mph at times. It would have been much more like 70mph on Bishop!

Peter Gunning was there when I arrived and was giving his P3 an airing and it was going really well. You could probably get an F3F course up there but it would be tricky to fly in the strong westerly wind we had today.

I flew my Race M again but immediately had problems with the failsafe kicking in as well as “holds”. Futaba PCM holds the last command for one second before failsafe activates, which on my gliders, pops the crow brakes out. I landed and had a fiddle with the receiver aerial in case it was too tightly taped to the carbon fuselage. It seemed ok at first next flight but after a while it just wasn’t right so I landed and headed home.

When I checked it out at home it turned out that the last section of the transmitter aerial was stuck in the case. Missing 20% of the tx aerial length is likely to be the cause of the problems I was having. I took the aerial out completely and gave it a good clean (it was flithy) and adjustment and it seems fine now but a test flight is needed to convince me it is ok.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Kilspindie 10 Jan

With the end of the annual leave year looming in three weeks and the prospect of losing some holidays I took a half day off work and headed up to Kilspindie for a fly. This hill is only a 15 minute drive from work. I met Ian Stewart and his Strega there, it sounds like Kilspindie is Ian's second home!

There was a steady 30mph wind straight onto the southwest slope and we had some great flights. Ian had his Strega going well and it can really move when full of ballast! Quiet too! I ended up flying my Race M full of ballast and it was zipping around really well. An hour and a half flying in good lift soon blew away the cobwebs! Another bonus it that I still have two more days leave to take before the end of January :o)

I only had my phone so the pictures are not great.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Walk up East Lomond

The last time I flew was the competition at Ballagiech Hill almost a month ago and I had been looking forward to the F3F competition at Hole of Horcum yesterday for ages. The cold I caught last weekend and the resulting lack of sleep from the persistent coughing as soon as I went to bed put paid to that idea! The early start, long drive and standing on a cold hillside may not have been the best option!

It looked promising for today so I headed over to East Lomond for some fresh air and a few flights with my Race M. As I got near the hill I couldn’t see the top for the low cloud.

Being an optimist (idiot!) I climbed up to the slope and hung around in the mist for over an hour before giving up and heading home. Annoying because it was blowing a steady 30mph+ straight on the slope. East Lomond has it’s own weather system!

Interestingly when I was charging up my Race M before I set out my charger put 1700mAh into the “Instants” 2000mAh battery before I aborted the charge and changed over to a much newer and healthier Eneloop battery which only took 170mAh to charge it. Instants heading for the bin!