Tuesday, 25 November 2014

East Lomond Sunday 23 Nov

Last weekend was a washout due to the poor (wet) weather and when Peter sent out an email suggesting we have a fly on East Lomond on Sunday I was more than keen! The forecast was for wsw winds about 10-15mph and dry with sunshine which is pretty much what we got. Not bad for the end of November.

When I arrived late Sunday morning Dave and Ewan were already there and flying. I quickly put together my Stinger and launched off into the 10-15mph wind. Dave and Ewan confirmed that the wind had been crossed from the west but it was slowly straightening up. My Stinger was going quite well but felt light with the 415g I had in the fuselage. I landed and put two lead bars in the rear joiner compartment which took the weight up so 900g. Much better but never felt heavy apart from when first launched.

Dave's Pitbull takes to the air

Launched and looking for the epic lift!!
Peter soon joined us and his Baudi Jedi was looking as fast as ever. Apart from my Samba Models Pike Precision it was almost a Baudis Models only day! Ewan was flying his Cyril and Dave his Pitbull. Baudis models are becoming very popular in the UK.

We were eventually joined by some of the local lads with foamies etc and were subsequently joined by several paragliders. We had had a pretty good fly so decided we deserved a coffee/tea and cake in the Pillars of Hercules hippy café. A fine end to a good flying session.

Monday, 10 November 2014

F3F 2014-15 Winter league Round 1.

The forecast for the 1st round of the winter league was for light ssw winds swinging s-sse by early afternoon which is pretty much what happened.

Dave's Pitbull looking for lunch!
We got going reasonably quickly and managed to squeeze in 6 rounds before the wind swung off the hill.

I flew my Precision but struggled to get used to the offset course. With a ssw wind blowing we had to set up the course well over to the left and I could not get to grips with the turn on the right-hand base and flew long that end. Really long!! I was getting a little better by the last round and a few more rounds may have pulled up my score but on the other hand, maybe not! We stopped for lunch after round 6 and watched the wind continue to swing until it was parallel to the slope so we headed off to the Pillars of Hercules for hot drinks and cakes! Perfect!

Winter Light

Sunday morning was really still but the forecast suggested a light sw wind so I headed up to Dodd Hill with my Longshot. There was a barely detectable movement of air on the sw slope and all I managed was to get a few passes along the slope before landing. One or two thermal bumps but nothing to get any real height under the wings. After countless launches I finally managed to knock the tailplane off on landing and headed back home for a late lunch.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Hole of Horcum. Winter League 1

Winter leagues already?

The first event of the 2014-15 Northern F3F Winter League took place at the Hole of Horcum on Saturday. Despite a later departure of 04:30 Peter got us there bang on time at 9 am. Dave arrived immediately after us having been right behind us from where he stayed in Middlesbrough on Saturday night.
After a brief discussion in the car park about the south-west wind swinging south-south-west later in the day Jon had us all head for Levisham with the likelihood of having to relocate to the south bowl after lunch which is indeed what happened.
The lift on Levisham was very variable but we flew four rounds (enough to call it a comp if we couldn’t get going on the south  bowl) before we headed back to the Saltergate car park where we met up earlier. The south bowl was working well when we got there.
Ronnie getting ready to lauch a Strega
Jon's Needle getting heaved off
Needle launched
Dave Watson flew his new Pitbull and it was going well and looked like it has great potential. Dave was flying immediately after me in the flying order so I didn’t get much chance to watch him fly. Peter flew his Jedi and it really does seem to suit his flying style. Fast!! Peter had a really bad cut on the south bowl (Dave may have a video of this to torture Peter with!) which cost him valuable time. Peter also fell foul to a buzzing error on a very fast run and was understandably a bit miffed!

South Bowl action
I flew my Pike Precision which was going quite well until round 6. Round 5 went very well and I got a reasonable 42.60 (fifth place in the round) and was looking forward to a few more good times in the steady wind but it wasn’t to be. After launch in round 6 I was immediately thinking all was not well and that I was in some horrible variable sinky air; pumping was not going well. As soon as I flew the model on course and banked for turn one I knew something was seriously amiss with the model. I aborted the round and flew off the course to attempt a landing. The model was rolling ok to the right but very sluggish and wallowy to the right and I suspected I had lost an aileron servo. Several attempts at landing revealed issues with the left flap too. Landing my Precision with 1.3kg of ballast, no brake on the left wing and poor aileron response certainly concentrated my mind! I did discover F3F models don’t side-slip very well! I eventually got it down in one piece (about a third flap, full left aileron and rudder and full down were required; juggling the descent rate with the one remaining flap adjusting the aileron and rudder accordingly). Phew!

The cause? The Multiplex greenie plug (non-too expertly) glued into the wing-root by me had come adrift and pushed inside the wing. The model flew fine the previous flight but the landing must have dislodged the dodgy connection. I was happy to still have an intact model.
I had stupidly left my reserve model in Peter’s car and with only one more round to go I gave up at this point. In fact another two rounds were flown and the last one was in the fading light.
Flying by moonlight!
A great start to the winter leagues.