Monday, 30 April 2012

F3F Practice Day

With the BMFA F3F competition scheduled for the Hole of Horcum cancelled Peter organised a practice day for anyone who could make it. Six of us turned up at Kilspindie and had a great day. Peter, Mike Dave, Robert and Craig.

I arrived early so I could try my Reaper foamie because it must be a year since it flew. A last minute decision on Saturday afternoon saw the 35mHz pulled out from the wing and an Orange FASST compatible stuffed into the space. Radio and model were going well considering the receiver is nestling against carbon wing spars, alloy spar joiner and carbon fuselage longeron and the antenna are just taped flat on the top of the wing.

Everyone had the chance to have a fly before the F3F “competition” started. I am glad we don’t do two fly-throughs in competitions because my first three rounds were flown in awful air. Like flying through treacle!! Others flew in nice thermally stuff!!

Peter flew his new Needle and it looked fast and smooth particularly considering how much ballast the Needle carries!

Mike had his recently acquired Fossa flying well and looking fast and agile.

Dave’s Cyril was looking fast and when it got some good air it was off like a rocket and keeps up the momentum very well.

Robert is getting to grips with his very swift P3 which seems to have a natural pace and turns well.

Craig is getting the hang of his Skorpion and the practice day would be a real benefit to him getting used to the course. Sport flying is fun but here is no substitute for flying the course.

I flew my Vikos. Slowly:(

A leisurely pace, breaks for lunch and much banter left us all with smiles on our faces!! We should do this more often.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Early Sunday morning fly

Frustrated after the weather stopped us having a competition or any proper flying yesterday I was up at the crack of dawn this morning and heading for the North side of East Lomond. My absolute least favourite slope. None of the forecast sunshine and a really light east was blowing about 5-8 mph but my Race M was heaved off and it was soon scraping around in the light lift. The lift was really light but I managed to keep it above the horizon most of the time and flew some slow F3F laps and the Race M was going well since the recent rewiring of the loom in the fuselage. A working back-up model again. Phew! I flew six flights and caught a thermal on flight five and specked out way out over the valley and Falkland village and flew around nicely for nearly and hour. Flight six lasted about 5 minutes and I landed out but only down on the large grassy area below the slope and not down in the valley 500 feet below!! The wind had dropped way completely by 11 o'clock and I headed home for breakfast/lunch!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Saturday morning walk.

A good North-North East wind was forecast and not fancying the back of East Lomond I headed for Craigmead car park and a walk along to the slope on the way to West Lomond. Craigen Gaw? 40 minutes later when I got to the slope the aileron servo in the right wing of my Race M was in the huff and not playing. Bollocks! The group of Air Cadets who came over to watch were dead impressed!! A spare model would have been handy.

Back home the wing wiring seemed fine but I had to take the aileron servo out to confirm that! The fuselage wiring seemed odd with my test meter showing some strange readings. Pulled the entire fuselage wiring out and replaced with new wire and greenies. Oddly, the left wing wiring showed signs of damage like it had been nipped about halfway along.

All working hunky dory now!!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Extreme update

Today was the first time I have had a proper look at the damaged right wing. The tip half isn't too bad but the root to end of the flap section is well mashed. The main spar is repairable but the drag spar is toast. The section of TE that carries the flap hinge has pulled away from the drag spar for the entire length of the flap. Also the top surface which extends back from the drag spar is also delaminated so the whole TE aft of the drag spar is floating. Of course the wiring loom has ripped the bottom skin away from the spar for over a foot.

Conclusion? It is probably beyond repairing to a reasonable standard.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

F3F Summer League 1 East Lomond

The forecast wind direction looked uncertain all week but on Friday evening Windmap was promising light south-westerlies which would strengthen as the day progressed and a bright day with sunny spells. The wind forecast was fairly accurate but we never saw the sun all day. Light rain was falling when I first arrived but being early my Longshot got some airtime as I waited for the rest to arrive.

Peter had called a 10:30 start and when everyone arrived the hill was in cloud and looked set for the day but by 12 the low cloud lifted and we headed up to the slope. The late start was a good call and we flew eight rounds before the approaching rain had us hastily packing up and heading for the cars! Still a pretty good start to the summer season and maybe next time we can have some summer weather. It was cold on the slope all day!

Peter had repaired the flap pushrods on his P3 and flew convincingly quickly all day making the best of the lift available and took top position by a convincing margin.

Mike had brought his recently acquired Fosa with him and despite the model needing further dialling in it was looking quick and agile although the roll looked odd but I’m sure a tweak will fix it.

Dave had his Kyril going well but was unlucky with the air more than once and this pulled his scores down and Mike pipped him for second place.

Ian Stewart’s Skorpion was one of three on the slope and it did well with the natural pace of the model coming to the fore in the conditions.

Dave Kelly flew his Skorpion and his times dropped steadily throughout the day as he got used to the course length and after beating the model’s previous owner in the last two rounds made the previous owner of the Skorp begin to regret selling the model!!

Craig Maxwell flew the third Skorpion on the day and he also improved his lap times as he got used to flying the course.

My Vikos went well but I need to tighten up my turns. A lot!!

With a number of the regulars missing today it promised some larger fields later in the year. There are several new models due to appear this year too. We also have a round of the BMFA league later in the year with several competitors from south of the border keen to make the trip so it looks like a busy summer ahead. Yippee!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Winter League Champ of Champs

This year’s Winter League Champions of Champions race was to be held over 31 March - 1 April at the Hole of Horcum which meant a much shorter trip than last year’s jaunt to South Wales to sit about on a hillside in flat calm conditions for two days!

I met up with Peter at 04:15 on Saturday morning for the trip to Horcum; the early start does mean the traffic is light. Dave Watson and Robert Carson had travelled down on the Friday so had a much more leisurely start!

Unlike 2011 this year’s race was flyable on both days although conditions were pretty challenging. After 10 days of lovely Spring-like weather Saturday started damp with a cold northerly wing blowing. Rain blew through from time to time resulting in a few stoppages and the extremely changeable conditions were a trail. Fortunately Dave had brought his Sportbrella so we could all huddle behind it out of the cold and the rain.

During the eight rounds that were flown on the first day a few fliers were lucky enough to get some reasonable air but the majority struggled to fly in any good air at all. I think I had about 6 laps in one round which were quite good but the rest of the time I was rubbish. None of the Scottish contingent got much in the way of great air but Peter soldiered on doing his best with the conditions although cutting in three rounds must have hurt his scores somewhat :o(

Peter had managed to book us into the White Swann in Pickering and the room was very nice although it looked like an explosion in a toy aeroplane factory once we had distributed several damp airframes around the room to dry out. We had to have a fondle and stroke at Peter’s new Needle too! Noice!!
A couple of beers in the bar and we headed for Spice 4 U to meet-up with some of the other guys for a great curry and a blether!! When I got back to the hotel I’m sure I was asleep within a minute of my head hitting the pillow!!

After a hearty breakfast it was off to Levisham and a climb to the slope the locals always moan about but us hardy northerners take in our stride!! Softies!! After hanging around for ages as the wind swung from the south to the desired west and picked up strength and we got started. Peter got some great air and looked like day two would be better for him but unfortunately when it got to my turn (no10) the wind swung more than 45deg off the slope and dropped away. Mark Redsell who was 9th man was waiting for a reflight because of the changed conditions but after much discussion the round was abandoned and Peter’s good round was lost :o(

We move a little further north and hung around for a while before trekking along the ridge to the hill the last winter league event was held and finally got underway but 12:30. More shockingly bad air at times although Robert Carson hit it lucky and had a great round with his P3 as did Paul Garnett with his blisteringly fast Toxic. Only three more rounds were flown and Jon Thornton came out as the winner, Martin Newham was runner up and Paul Garnett in third. AJ won the Willow in the raffle at the end of the day.

Full results etc will be available on the NYMRSC website.

Peter flew his P3 all day Saturday but had to switch to his Cyril on Sunday because the P3 flap pushrods needed some attetion in the workshop. Dave flew his Cyril although a bit of a hiatus in the first round saw a frenzy of activity to fix a displaced Multplex Greenie in the left wing all in time for a reflight at the end of the round. Robert flew his new P3 which continues to impress. I flew my Vikos although a wingtip had to be taped up prior to a wee repair required before the next outing.

Thanks to Jon Eddison and his band of helpers for a great weekend.
Thanks again to Peter Gunning for doing all the driving and putting up with me prattling on more or less all the time we were in the car! If nobody else speaks, George will!!