Sunday, 31 March 2013

Good Friday on Kilspindie

With winter dragging on into spring and no sign of big changes in the weather anytime soon a bunch of us rocked up to Kilspindie on Good Friday for a fly. Dave and Robert had already setup base-camp when I arrived and I headed up the hill to join them. To make the conditions even more interesting on my way up I stuck my right foot deep into a pool of smelly muddy water hiding under the snow. Very pleasant. Not! Yuk!!

A quick "Happy New Year" to Dave and Robert and despite the light snow and the threat of more to come imminently I flew my recently repaired Ascot and it went well in the lightish winds with 400 grams of ballast. Great to see it in the air again and I will get it painted now. Eventually! I had to land after 15 minutes because the snow was starting to build-up on my glasses. That is a new one on me!

Peter turned up not long after me closely followed by Ian Stewart and Ali. A great turn-out for a weekday! We could have had an F3F race!

I took a few pictures and if you look carefully those short white streaks are slow flakes!

Dave at Kilspindie base-camp getting his Cyril ready.

Peter launches his FS3

Model too fast for me to catch both pilot and model in shot! 

Looks like snow on the way!

Peter flew his FS3 and Stinger, Dave his Needle and Cyril, Robert his P3, Ali his Race M and Ian has his Tragi and his Skorpion.

The first F3F race of the summer league is scheduled for next week. I hope we get some warmer weather.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

F3F Winter League 5. NOT!

The forecast last night looked like we would get a few rounds in before the rain arrived at lunchtime so Peter called the competition on.

A nice frosty start to the day looked promising but the drive through didn't look so good with rain all the way and when I followed Peter into the car park at Craigmead it was snowing. Sam and Ian turned up and we stood around in the increasingly heavy snow before I chickened out and headed home before the roads got too bad. As soon as we got down the hill it turned back to rain.

Only one race back in November out of a possible five. I think I have only been out about twice over the winter and I broke a model on it's maiden flight on the last outing. Train-set required?
No pictures today cos we have all seen snow before!!

I really hope we get some better weather for the summer league or I will be taking up indoor flying. Or buying that train-set!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Bishop Hill and Ascot Maiden

I was all set for getting up at 3:30 am for the trip down to the Hole of Horcum but the forecast for light and variable winds meant Jon called the competition off on Friday evening. As an alternative Peter suggested climbing up the front of Bishop Hill because light westerly winds were forecast. I wasn’t too enthusiast at the time but by morning I had sent a text to Peter and headed for Kinnesswood and the long climb.

I arrived before Peter and he can just be seen walking up from the bottom.

I had switched models, left my Extreme at home, and had taken my unflown Ascot. This would also be the first time I had flown an F3F model on 2.4gHz. After a good range test and countless “final” checks of the controls and that they were moving in the correct direct the Ascot took to the air and flew really well. Very smooth in the light wind although a little up trim was needed for level flight. Turns nicely. Peter arrived at this moment and conformed it was looking good. I put it down to his fitting out of the Ascot!!

The first landing was very smooth and I put in the wing ballast for the next flight. The wing ballast moves the cg back a little and I was able to take the up trim out. A dive test showed no tendency to pull out or tuck-under so the cg must be close. Excellent.

Peter had brought his Stinger and it was going like stink and carving nice smooth, tight and fast turns. Peter’s Stinger always looks smooth and in the bright sunshine it looked a picture as he kept one eye on all the paragliders and fullsize gliders flying along the slope. One fullsize glider seemed determined to claim “his” bit of air and was often weaving in and out of the pillowcases!

Busy up here.

Stinger too fast for me to catch with my wee camera!

Paragliders turning away and giving us room

On my third flight with the Ascot the wind suddenly swung at right angles from the north and was blowing along the slope. The air was now very bumpy and sinky so I pushed out from the slope to wait for the wind to come back on the slope. It didn’t! Peter suggested I head the model over to the north end of the hill hoping to find some lift and I was already heading the Ascot in that direction. Nothing, only BIG sink and it fell out of the air right on top of a wire fence. “Oh bother!” The wire had cut into the leading edge of one wing in two places and taken a notch out of the flap on the other wing and knocked the flap servo loose. The leading edge damage is a pain but repairable and structure should be sound. The aileron neutral position on that wing has move so will need investigation but it could have been much worse. Still hacked off though!

After I had retrieved the model Peter pointed out how many of the paragliders were now landed out at the bottom of the hill and the fullsize were back down at the airfield so I wasn’t the only one caught out.

The wind stayed blowing from the north so we heading back to the cars passing several paraglider pilots trudging up the hill.

Apart from the damage to the Ascot it was well worth the big climb and my Alula wasn’t needed.