Monday, 16 September 2019

A great morning floating around up on Itford's North bowl

Yesterday morning John, Scotty, Robin and (new member) Gino made the climb up to the Northern bowl at Itford. The wind was very light but the slope was bathed in warm September sun light and it was a real pleasure just to be 'chillin' on the slope.
John brought along his new DLG which went very well. It has a fantastic colour scheme that makes it very visible to see in the air. Robin had his mini DLG as well as his Alula. Robin is getting loads of flying with his mini DLG and it was flying well for him.
Scotty had his vintage 'Cloud Rider' and his Ahi. Both Scotty and I enjoyed flying his vintage rudder / elevator glider but you really should wipe that dust off the wings Scotty!
I flew just one model, my big old Sapphire. Its' second outing since it's build and this flight was going to be in thermals rather than slope lift. The Sapphire really impressed me with its ability to float around on minimal lift. It may be slow to turn but boy can it float!
Here is a video showing the Sapphire doing what it does well.
As I mentioned above, we have a new member in Gino. Unfortunately, Gino has had rather light conditions on the two times he has joined us up on the slope. I don't think it will be long before he gets to enjoy a good blow and some cold fingers.

Monday, 9 September 2019

Peter Goldsmith Sapphire Maiden at Firle Beacon

Sorry it's been a while since I last posted on our great blog. I have been building a Peter Goldsmith Sapphire for a few months now and as you may have seem I had various issues with the kit along the way but with the help from RC Europe and Peter himself I finally got it built and maidened yesterday at Firle Beacon.
The model is very light as it has a basic balsa skeletal framework. The rudder / elevator controls and the big dihedral wing makes it a stable flier.
It was a little windier than I would have chosen but the Sapphire glider dealt with the bumps and knocks very well. I did find the lack of build instructions and guidance a big issue but it did make me have to find solutions to problems that will stand me in good stead for other builds.
 To see the complete Sapphire Build - CLICK HERE

Monday, 22 July 2019

The most epic days flying in The Gower

During my weeks holiday in Wales last week, I was fortunate to go flying on a few occasions.
The first time was flying at Ian's house with his Blaster 3.5 DLG. Ian had recently had his paddock cut and the grass being bailed for hay. This area lends itself perfectly for some DLG soaring. It was great fun flying there and early on was very easy to get away. Ian's dog loved chasing his model as long as you got there before the dog.
Our second meet was up on 'The Bwlch' with Ian and Nick. The wind was very light but on Ian's advice I left my light wind soarer in the car and dragged the Ascot and my big Carbonara up to Mickeys. It was a real challenge to stay airborne with virtually no slope lift but with soft thermals drifting through.
The real fun was when we met up at Rhossili in a good Westerly breeze. It was blowing around 30mph with a cloudless blue sky. It's a bit of a trek up onto the top especially when you have your hands full with an M60, Valenta Carbonara and a TX box.
The lift was stonking! Silky smooth and awesome.
Ian had a good selection of models which included his Jedi, M60 and his Jart. Nick brought along his brand new Graecalis ready for its maiden.
Nick started of the flying session not with his model but strapped into a tandem hang glider. He disappeared for about an hour while me and Ian flew our big mouldies and raced our M60's.
After a few hours of maximum fun and enjoyment it was time for me to walk back down to meet my family patiently waiting at the café near the car park.
Nick was maidening his Greacalis when unfortunately he had a midair with a foamy Blaze. The foamy was destroyed but Nicks new glider was badly damaged.
If anyone is visiting South Wales and specifically the Gower then don't miss an opportunity to go flying at Rhossili. In my opinion this slope is the best in the UK!

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Warden Park Academy 'Enrichment' Days 8 - 9 Jul 19

Following  the  successful  enrichment  day at Warden Park Academy in Cuckfield in 2018 by BMFA SE Chairman Stuart Willis, Rob S and Graham U  we were asked to run the same course this year but because of the demand from the students it had to be split over 2 days with approximately 20 per day.  With the number last year at 19 it was quite hard work keeping control of the groups so we decided that we needed another BMFA member to help us out this year, so Rob enlisted the help of Scott.

 We started the first day with 4 BMFA members, 1 teacher and a classroom assistant and 22 students and the second day was 4 BMFA members, 1 teacher and a one-to-one helper for one of the students plus 13 other students.

The agenda for this year was much as last time, the idea was to build and fly the BMFA Dart – one per student. Stuart Willis opened the day by explaining what we were going to do and then he went on to explain the functions of the BMFA and the basic different types of aircraft we fly. We had examples of different models on display for the students to see including a large IC plane, an EDF jet, an electric heli, a couple of multirotors and a glider. Stuart also explained about the different types of power source and passed round some electric motors for the class to see. He reminded the class that a rubber band was also a motor and that’s what we would be using on the day for the BMFA Darts. Following on Stuart explained the health and safety aspects especially with respect to the scalpels and the glue plus there was a short video about the origins of aircraft.

We then each took a group of 4 or 5 students and started on the Darts, with only a 20 minute break during the morning, by 12:00 they were pretty much all complete except for the props and rubber motors. During the lunch break we checked every model and made sure everything was ready for flying in the afternoon. After their lunch, the students put on the props and rubber motors and we were ready.

Stuart had made a modification to the Darts for this year, by 3D printing a wing support for the leading edge. This gave much better gluing capability for the dihedral and great support for the wing during flight, whereby we had far fewer wings folding up during flight than last year.

The flying was organized into small groups test gliding indoors to sort out their trim and C of G, followed by outdoor flying for the rest of the afternoon on the playing fields.  Every model was a success in that it flew well and the students were all very happy that their efforts had resulted in such a great little model.

At the end of the flying the students were shown another video and then took part in a short ‘quiz’ based on what they should have learned during the day. Finally Stuart gave out 3 certificates to the students we considered had made the most of the opportunity during the day with the ‘gold’ certificate also receiving a VMC Pilot kit to build.

Rob Stanley