Monday, 9 April 2018

Champ of Champs, Take one, April 2018

Meteorology.

It seemed as accurate as Astrology last week with no-one having a single clue what the weather was actually doing, let alone what it was going to do in advance!

We had 2 days of below legal wind. You could't predict that for Wales in April, ever.

Day one saw us complete 3/4 of a round and I had my first competitive run in well over 2 years. A false start to begin with as I didn't get buzzed off-course and then on the re-flight I managed to hit the bases pretty flush to record the second fastest time of the people that flew, only being beaten by Joel. I was well pleased with that and also very pleased with how the Pike Precision performed in the very marginal conditions.

Mark Passingham was the lucky one to get to fly as the wind stopped so he had the most exciting flight of the day as his Freestyler tried t o get a closer look at the roadworks below. He managed to coax it back to the landing area safely.

Day two had a promising forecast giving us NE from 5 to 10 MPH for the majority of the day. Those wind speed never materialised and we had a lovely day sitting around chatting and sports flying (very sedentary SPORTS.... ) in the very light wind which was becoming increasingly thermic with the associated good and BAAAAD lift. 

Greg Dakin treated us to his maiden flight of the Redshift. 
It seemed to go quite well, especially once the ailerons were plugged in... Andy Burgoyne took a couple of FacebookLive videos which I'm sure you'll be able to find on Facebook. 

Here are a few photos from the day, including the maiden.
















It is a real shame that the Welsh weather is trying to beat us every time we want to compete. We'll get a real comp in soon enough.

I really enjoyed catching up with all the blokes who came along and it was great to meet a few new faces too!


Tuesday, 27 March 2018

A bit of Sloping today, left me with a big cheesy grin.

Had a half-day today and the forecast said WNW....
It had said NW for the last couple of days and the actual wind had been smack on West so I took a gamble (I needed the walk) and yomped from the IceCream carpark to the Westerly slope of Mickeys at the Bwlch. It's such a nice walk 😎.

It wasn't directly on the slope, but it was great to get some cross-wind practice for a bit and when the thermals came square through...... so much speed!

I had a play with CG's today. I discovered that the Needle is 'flyable' with a very rearward CG (107 ish) , however it is VERY uncomfortable. Whisper quiet but sooo twitchy with very savage reactions to changes in the air, which tend to happen nearer the ground...

I popped a little more lead in the nose of the Precision after a very squirrelly flight which made her fly like a pussycat. probably shifted the CG to 104-ish. I'll measure them both when I've got them where I like them.

It is so nice to be flying two very fast planes 😋

The wind did square to the slope just before I was leaving, but it chilled substantially and I had to feed the fur-babies. They were rocking.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Weather, repairs and Big F3F events

We've had some interesting weather lately and after thawing out since Sunday, today I've managed to get the needle structurally repaired again. The resin is currently going off and I'll crack it open in 24 hours or so.
Hopefully this time I'll leave enough material on the fuz and it won't snap again. Landing sideways was never going to help though....
I'm also going to have to have a think about relief of the wing skins and wipers. Probably tape will solve that one.

I have a free weekend and there are two winter league competitions in the UK this weekend. The Midlands one is on Saturday and I'd like to apologise to the regular blokes as I have entered and the weather doesn't look good. The Southern one is on Sunday and the weather looks pretty poor for that one too. I'm yet to enter that one, but I'd love to.

I've also entered the North of England Open in June and the Welsh Open in September. I imagine those two will be my only big events for the year.

I've been looking at foamies lately as I need a couple for teaching the kids to fly. Adam is keen. Mia probably won't, but that is OK! Just a couple of delta wings like the good old Zagi or X-it will do nicely. It might be a bit of a pipe-dream, but I'd love to be able to spend time with the kids on the slopes. Especially now that they are able to deal with the cold better.

I also pulled out the Wasabi to have a look as I had some spare resin in a pot going to waste. I had completely forgotten that I had started the repairs on her. She'll be galavanting about on the slopes soon! She will always look like a battered bird, but she knows I still care ;-)


Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Lovely light lift practice.

Popped up to the Bwlch with Rachel and the 2 dogs today as it was a lovely afternoon and took the Precision along too.

We wandered out to the Crest even though I could have flown the Wrecker and Rachel and the boys kept walking as I set up the Precision for some practice and more fine-tuning. I don't have an anemometer so wasn't able to measure the wind speed but it changed over the hour from being able to pump and gain a hundred feet or so height to having to manage all my available energy to perform a decent run that would have been around 50odd seconds.
I'll be interested to see how she (and I) goes in stronger lift, but it felt pretty promising.

After a good hour of flight time in fading lift I feel much more comfortable flying again although I couldn't tell which style was working best in the light conditions. Obviously she was holding more speed managing the energy, but she was travelling a long way. I feel like banking and gently yanking had the best times in the light conditions. When the conditions were better earlier on I felt like reversals were working the best. I also imagine that if I had the comfort I developed by the end of my session at the start, my EM effort might have paid dividends.

I was getting pretty chilly by now and was also expecting to see Rachel on her way back along the top. The mobile signal is much better up there now and after a quick phone call IU found out that she had walked a massive circuit all the way along the top, then below the front of the Crest, back up the top and was almost back at the car!! Good walking!

Needle repairs haven't started yet. I'll get on it soon ;-)

See you on a slope soon!

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Maiden done!

I popped up to the IceCream slope after a 2pm finish at work today for the test flights of the Needle124 and Pike Precision.
The conditions were lovely, cold, but lovely.
Precision was first to go and I launched her empty into a decent blow. I had nothing to worry about except my own ability! She was really a pussycat.
A bit of larking about, some setting of elevator compensation, snapflap and aileron differential and it was landing time. Easy as pie!

The needle was next. It was a very short flight. 2 things wrong were a very rearward CoG and I'd forgotten to reduce the elevator travel.
I did manage to get it down in one piece, although the fuselage piece was a bit broken....
So back to the Pike and I popped a few hundred grams of ballast in her. The conditions were weakening but she didn't let that worry her at all.

Another 15 minutes or so of hooning around, trying to improve the set up and came away after another fine landing with a few things to think about.

I struggled getting my hands comfortable on the transmitter. I've modified a transmitter tray to fit inside my old Transmitt. I took to the tray with a hacksaw tonight and it is a massive improvement! Comfy again!

I didn't feel like I was getting the desired effect of adjusting the Differential in the Ailerons so I'll reduce the amount of coupled aileron and hopefully reduce the tendency to fly behind me.

The elevator throw was too great so I didn't feel like I was adjusting the snapflap effectively.

I feel really really positive about this plane!!

I do also love the Needle124 and after a quick repair to the Fuz and sorting the CoG back into the early 90's, she'll be right as rain again.

It was awesome to be back on the slopes! So happy!

Saturday, 10 February 2018

I'm READY!!!!

The Needle is completely ready! All painted, fettled control suraces,  set up on the taranis and ballast sorted. I like having a twitchy plane and have set the CG at 105. I've organised my ballast so that when my steel joiner is in, I remove some weight from near the nose. The weight is in for the carbon joiner. The rear ballast compartment is the only one that doesn't shift the CG too savagely.

The Precision is all as ready as the Needle except for paint.

I'm very exciTed to get out and set them up properly for me on a slope. The weather needs to play ball at the right time now. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Precision and Needle are almost ready to go!!

So excited about getting out on the slopes this year!
Probably won't be competing much, still not a great deal of time to spare.