Monday, 28 October 2013

Hole of Horcum last BMFA Summer F3F League

The cancellation of an earlier scheduled event meant a reserve date for the BMFA F3F league was added to the calendar for Sunday 27 October.

With the clocks going back an hour on Saturday night  I had to give some thought to setting my alarm correctly to wake me at 3 am to get me to Peter’s for 3.45 and the trip to the Hole of Horcum picking Mike up on the way. Bonkers, clearly bonkers.

We made good time and arrived in plenty of time for the 8:30 gathering. After some faffing around discussing slopes and wind direction we three Scots headed over to the South Bowl before the wind changed direction and we got going before 10. Just! Quite big winds saw the switched on guys get their models really shifting using much pumping and EM style turns. 

Peter getting his Stinger ready
I put all the ballast (over 1.5 kg) in and the Pike Precision it went really well in the bumpy air particularly in the first two rounds. The wind direction began to swing more to the south west and became more crossed but still flyable. However after a stoppage and a wait to see if the wind direction would change it was decided to call it a day at round 4.
Peter about to launch Mike's Precision
I had great day out in excellent company and I was more than happy with the way my model went although my course flying needs to sharpen up! My landings too because I let my model get blown waaaayy back on one approach and only just avoided landing down the back of the slope which it exactly what happened to Keith Woods and he is a local!! Did I mention it was windy?

Peter and Mike finished well up the field, 4th and 5th respectively and well done to them both. I could have gone better but that is usual for me!! It was great to catch-up with the Horcum regulars and the usual witty banter!

The early finish saw us head to Whitby for fish and chips. Braw!!! (I won’t mention the stop in Berwick for coffee/tea and a snack where one of our crew had a burger and a McFlurry!!)

Thanks once again to Peter for doing all the driving and for providing some completely unintended hilarity when we drove through a huge puddle in the car park at the Forth Bridge. 

Oh, well. It is the start of the winter league on Saturday. Brrrrr....

A cracking F3F weekend.

Our local competition (the last of the summer 2013 league) on Saturday gave me a chance to try my Pike Precision out in competition for the first time and it went really well. I just need to fly it better. A LOT better!! The wind was well round to the south and blowing about 15mph and with no sunshine it was pretty cold.

Mike getting ready to launch Euan's Cyril
Interesting sky. Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Crags in Edinburgh in the distance.



I flew the Precision with just over a kilo of ballast in the wing and it never felt heavy. I was a bit apprehensive in a couple of rounds when the wind dropped quite low but the model kept going well so I was more than pleased.

My Pike Precision in the pits

Unfortunately Dave Watson and Robert Carson couldn’t make it along so we had a fairly small field. I hope they are both up for the start of the winter league which begins in two weeks Brrrr… 

Monday, 21 October 2013

Thermals in the Mist

Saturday was a washout but the Met Office were suggesting Sunday morning would be dry with light winds on the east slope at Kilspindie and so it was. Peter had been planning to head to Eastbourne for a BMFA league event but it was cancelled so we were able to meet up and equipped with a DLG and F3F model each we headed over to the slope. When we got there we found low cloud forming on the slope edge and blowing back over the hill. Moist air condensing in the compression area?

Peter keeping a close eye on his Blaster DLG
We flew our DLGs for a while and they were scooting back and forward close to the slope very well. The cloud tended to thicken at times and we had to keep the models close but it would then blow through and almost clear. It was apparent that overhead and out in front were clear, just the slope and top of the hill in cloud.

We put our F3F models together anticipating it would clear enough to let us have a fly and so it did.  

Peter about to launch his FS4

FS4 in action
Peter had brought along his recently acquired FS4 and it looks very nice in its blue colour scheme; very different from his usual choice. The model certainly looked fast and smooth in the air.

I flew my Pike Precision and it was going well and I am more than happy with the settings Pierre Rondel sent me.
It was interesting to see that occasionally when the wind rose and the lift picked up and the models were fair belting along the slope edge the cloud also seemed to thicken. Almost like Thermals in the Mist!! The reverse of this phenomena almost caught Peter out when the wind died, the cloud disappeared and the lift died completely and it looked like his FS4 was heading for a landout at the bottom of the hill. However over the to the left of the slope, where there was still some cloud, there was still some lift and the FS4 was soon high enough for a hasty landing on top. Good save, phewJ

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Pike Precision maiden

After 3 months on the bench my repaired Pike Precision is in the air!

The north-east wind almost tempted me to walk to the slope half-way to West Lomond but I chickened out having never flown there in good air so I pitched up at Putrid Hill on the north side of East Lomond. There is a reasonable area to land with not much rotor. 

At the last minute I had pulled the magnetic switch out of the model yesterday and went for plugging the battery straight into the receiver. I remembered the unexplained crash that had befallen this model in the hands of it's previous owner and that magic switch troubled me! What a woose!! When I was getting ready to fly I discovered the model completely dead. After a much fiddling, cursing etc followed by a cup of tea I spotted the cause. Remember:- Battery wiring only works if Red goes to Red and Black goes to Black. Muppet!!

All setup with Pierre Rondel's settings it flew great. No aileron trim needed just a couple of clicks of down. The first flight without ballast in the 15-20mph wind saw the model tossed around in the bumpy air so I landed and added 520 grams to the wings and it still felt a bit light. Quick though!! EM and reversals both working well. Happy? Absolutely delighted!! Better think about how to paint it now without making it looking worse!!

Landed after first flight. Nice.
Yes, it is a small grainy picture but I took it while I was flying the model on it's third flight of the day. Lucky it is easy to fly!
I was joined early on by Mike who I met briefly at the last comp and he flew his Blaze and a bitza F3F type mouldie. Nice to see a new face.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

F3F Reserve date East Lomond 5 Oct

We had the first competition on East Lomond for a long time and I had a great day out. With Peter away for the weekend we had to cope on our own and by putting our heads together we managed. Just!

Distant Firth of Forth, Bass Rock and Berwick Law in the early morning light. 

Thank goodness we didn't climb up Bishop Hill!

Dave Watson caught me crowing through with my Ascot.

Dave Watson caught Mike's Precision diving down on the slope.

Craig's Skorpion showing a few war wounds in another of Dave's pictures

My Ascot shows it's bottom in another of Dave's pictures

 A great day out despite the small turnout and I was pleased with the way my Ascot went. If I could fly consistently it would help!

We had an interesting first at lunchtime when a family group arrived to watch us fly. They had been up the top of the hill to scatter their husband/father/grandfather’s ashes into the wind. A lifetime model glider pilot put to rest in his favourite place. Some of the family had come from Hong Kong and were keen to have a fly of the Zagis they had brought along which they did as we had a lunch break. Touching.

 Lunchtime photo