Monday, 29 September 2014

Digging it on East Lomond!

The promise of a brisk south westerly wind saw me heading over to East Lomond on Saturday to meet up with Dave and Peter. Dave was planning to fly his new Pitbull for the first time and it looked like a perfect day as I drove up the access road. Bright and quite sunny too. When I reached the car park there were so many cars already there I struggled to find a parking space! I did manage to get a reasonable space when a car left but when I got out of the car I was amazed to see a fairly large group of people standing on top of the hill and right next to where we fly. Dave was already in the car park and was as perplexed as I was. A bit of questioning of people already there revealed there was an archaeological dig going on under the management of the Living Lomonds project. Flying from our usual spot was just not going to happen today. Peter arrived shortly afterwards and we thought we should be okay flying from the shoulder of the hill just short of the fence and gate.

The wind was a bit crossed when we got there but Peter soon had his model in the air and proved it was flyable although not ideal. I headed up to the dig (Mr Nosey) and spoke to the very helpful Sarah and was reassured to hear that they were only going to be there for another week and should be gone before out next scheduled competition on 11 October. The actual project looks interesting and is basically trying to involve the local community in local archaeology. Quite fascinating to think that in Iron Age times people lived their lives on our slopes!

I got back to Dave and Peter just as Dave’s Pitbull was launched for the first time. It looked very smooth and lovely. Quick too.
Dave's Pitbull gets away for the first time.
On my second flight the wind straightened up and my Precision was soon going really well. Yippee! Unfortunately the crossed conditions returned so we gave up. Peter and I nipped over to check out a low coastal slope at Buckhaven. The slope looks promising but a bit daunting for the first time. The actual slope consists of a strip of huge bolders which have been put there to prevent coastal erosion. There is nowhere to land out other than the sea so I would want to try the slope with a foamy for the first time. Next timeJ

Sunday morning saw me up Pole Hill with my Stinger. The wind was still south westerly and increased from about 15mph when I first arrived to 30mph+ when I left. This gave me a good chance to try different amounts of ballast.

The Stinger goes really well and maintains speed in the turn. It seems odd on the climb-out because it needs flap to gain height without a lot of back stick although once the nose goes down without flap and it gets up to speed it is off!
Home in time for a late lunch followed by some family time :-)  


Monday, 15 September 2014

A grand day out on Kilspindie. Sunday 14 Sept

The promise of dry weather and a light easterly made Kilspindie the destination today. Having seen the forecast I had emailed Dave and Peter on Friday suggesting a Sunday fly and Dave was already there and walking up the hill when I arrived.

Dave sorting the ballast in his Stinger
When I got to the top Dave was flying his Stinger in the light easterly which was pretty well straight on the slope. Dave’s Stinger looked very smooth and swift. I quickly put my own Stinger together and heaved it off shortly after Dave had landed. My Stinger coped pretty well with the light lift (no ballast) and was going well although it was quite a contrast to the last session on West Lomond which was in stonking air!

Peter joined us shortly afterwards and he seemed to bring improving conditions with him because the lift started to build. Peter is still dialling in his new Jedi and at one point tried flying with much less snap-flap than he had been using which appeared to transform the Jedi in the turns! Yippee!!

Peter's Jedi is too fast for my point and press camera!
After a few flights with my Stinger I switched to my Precision and was immediately impressed by how well it was going, apparently much swifter than the Stinger. However, a change back to the Stinger with some ballast added showed it was the lift that had improved a lot and the Stinger was looking fast too. I had increased the aileron throw since last week by 20% and was much happier with the roll rate. Big smiles!!

Stinger and Pike Precision

The final flights of the day were in really good air and were most enjoyable. Dave had brought along his Cyril and it got some stick time too as did Peter’s FS3.
It turned out to be a very enjoyable afternoon.

Flying done I headed back to my mother-in-law’s for Sunday dinner and steak pie. A grand day out!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Stinger maiden on West Lomond

It all turned out a bit rushed but I was finally able to get my Stinger in the air on Sunday morning. It meant the two and a quarter mile hike to the North West slope at West Lomond but when I got there the wind was blowing about 30mph straight on the slope. Ideal for a maiden flight!

Landed after first flight.
A range test followed by a final check that all the waggly bits moved in the correct direction and the addition of about 320g of ballast saw the Stinger committed to the air. Not one click of trim was needed and it flew very nicely. EM seems to suit it well and turns can be tight without losing speed. The roll rate is a little bit slow for me so some tweaks needed there but the rest seems pretty close. Axial rolls and hands off inverted. Cool. Dive test showed no tendency to recover so cg must be close. Crow brake mixing seemed good too and landing was easy enough with the powerful braking action. More ballast was added to bring it up to 570g and the Stinger was off again. A lack of time means that I will have to explore ballast limits at a later date but is goes very well even when light. I would fly my Pike with at least 1200g in similar conditions but the Pike does carry ballast well. The concensus on the Stinger seems to be to keep it lighter.

Dashed home well pleased.
This marker stone is next to the path and well known

I spotted this less weathered marker stone is hiding in a boundary wall.
"Found in many places over the Lomond Hills these stones are boundary markers from when the land in the Lomonds was taken away from the commoners and divided up amongst the local Land owners. This happened after an Act of Parliament in 1815 and the name of the Kings Commissioner who oversaw the process was Sir William Rae hence WR 1818"

Monday, 1 September 2014

Scottish Slope National Championship

Saturday was foamie day and we headed for Bishop to find a healthy 30+mph wind blowing almost straight on the slope.

It was great to have a foamie race with a reasonable number of people in excellent conditions. There was very little difference in speed between the various models (Bluto, Gulp, Odyssey, Reaper and “Dysentery” etc) and accurate and consistent flying was required. My Reaper likes the big wind conditions and I was more than pleased to finish 4th equal with Richard. Richard won the fly-off with me but it was pretty close!
All the races were exciting and lots of banter and leg-pulling made for a brilliant day.

Sunday was F3F day on East Lomond and I was completely taken aback to be runner up and get FTD.
Jedi away

Greg's Freestyler on the course as Mike's Precision waits to launch

I was really lucky to only get one round of rubbish air and my Precision seems to revel in medium to light wind conditions. Ewan seemed to get the opposite with only one round of decent air!
No Jacket!

Which way is north?
A brilliant weekend of racing.