Saturday, 31 October 2015

Mount Caburn in a South East wind ?

Hi All,
Well, we decided to try Mount Caburn this afternoon - it was forecast to be SE at 9 - 12 mph and Paul found out that the local paragliders were meeting at Beachy Head, so we were free to try the South East bowl at Caburn.
We met up at 13:00 in the lay-by and then walked up to the summit as usual, except we skirted to the Eastern side of the hill to get the best of any wind.
On the way to the top we felt nothing blowing (except all of us from the climb !) and we desperately hoped there would be some kind of wind at the top - but we were eventually rewarded with a moderate SE breeze which we felt would be good enough for a try.
We all had different models today -

Paul had his Omega with the electric motor,
I had my KA8,
Andrew had his Zagi,
David T had his Radian Pro with electric motor and a flying wing with an electric motor,
Scott had his Vagabond and newly acquired e Hawk (motor disconnected)
Graham U had his Vagabond, Libelle and ever faithful Orange thing with electric motor.

If you detect a theme here, it would be the 'electric motor' theme, it seemed that everyone knew (except me and Andrew) that we would require some kind of backup plan to keep our models in the air....

As it happened, I forgot my wing joiner for the KA8, so that was grounded.

I flew Andrew's repaired Zagi and then handed it to Andrew only to see it crash to the ground - we discovered that the new clevises I had fitted had stripped the thread on the pushrods, so one elevon was out of service. Entirely my fault and I will fix it for next time.

Paul had some great flying from his Omega but it seemed that the electric motor was necessary at times because the lift was questionable.
Graham flew all his models, but primarily the Libelle DLG (with great skill) and the Orange thing with electric motor which was required a number of times to keep airborn.

Scott flew his Vagabond which Paul had trimmed for him and then Paul flew the eHawk just to get it set up correctly.
David got me to fly his new flying wing with electric motor, but after a lot of trimming, battery moving and servo reversing, it just wouldn't fly properly (even with full power), so we need to put a bit more effort into working it out.
I also flew and trimmed David's Radian Pro (with electric motor) and after quite a lot of fiddling and trimming we got it flying really well.
David then took over the controls and had a great time with the Radian. I think David had one of his best flying sessions with us today and I'm really pleased for him.

So to summarise, the lift was minimal, the weather was brilliant and the company was exceptional (as always !)

Thanks guys !!

Max finally goes Solo at Mount Caburn today

Here is Max. He is a rubbish pilot with not a clue how to fly. He is all arms and legs but does have control right and left but doesn't penetrate very well. That's probably why he is so depressed !

2015 Flying Site Guide

I found this 2015 flying site guide on the Southern Hand Gliding website:
I thought it could possible be of Interest and gives a good insight into the flying needs of the other users of the slopes around us.
I found interesting !
Just click on the Flying Site Guide tab to download.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Seagull Pilatus B4 For Sale

SOLD !! - Seagull Pilatus B4 - Ready to go - just bind and fly!!

Completed by Tim to his usual high standards but yet to have its maiden flight yet. I am looking to buy another model so this one is now up for sale.
She has a 3.00m span with spoilers. Should be easy to fly and will look great of the slope.

Wingspan - 118.1.ins (300cm)Wing area - 902.1.sq.ins (58.2dm)
Spoilers / airbrakes fitted
Factory covered with Oracover
Length - 51.6.ins (
Approx flying weight - 5.3-5.7.lbs (2.4-2.6Kg)

Fully kitted out with TowerPro servo's, new 1600mah flight battery and Spektrum AR8000 RX (if required).
Comes nice and compact in its original box which makes it easier to transport and store.

Price for a complete ready to fly (brand new and never flown) scale glider - £280 or less if you don't want the new AR8000 (8 channel) Spektrum receiver then the price would be £230.

I would be happy to test fly it for the new owner or help in any way.

You can contact me on 07834 859018 or email me on

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Algebra Build 8 - Covering!

Well it's been a while since my last installment.

I have the plane covered now.

One thing I learned -  covering your pride and joy does not hide imperfections, it highlights them! I'm really wishing I'd spent more time sanding and finishing before starting the covering process. Ah well - never been a great one for finishing things off...

I had covered the fuse and tail earlier on in the build process. This entailed cutting out shapes to the rough size  and ironing on. I did top, bottom, left and right sides for the fuse - got a bit fiddly and i really should get sharper scissors!
The blue Solarfilm was part of the job-lot of stuff I got off Paul - not saying it's old or anything....
Fuse and tail covered.
Having learned a bit from the fuselage covering, I decided to get a bit more technical with the wings - I measured the panels to be cut, allowing for overlaps where necessary (the instructions that came with the solarfilm were very useful!), and cut these out on the workbench, rather than trying to use scissors round the edge of the piece after the event. this worked much better.

Cutting out the panel: 
The panel in place:
Cutting accurately made it easier to line up the change in colour between the blue and white:
When applying large panels to a solid surface like a veneered wing (rather than an open framework like a built-up wing), the instructions suggest starting from the centre and working out towards the edges. However this didn't work when needing a straight edge for the change in colour. So I did it like this - I tacked the covering at each end, then in the centre, along the line of the join. Then I tacked it again at intervals along the line, relying on the heat of the iron to get rid of wrinkles. Then I smoothed the covering in a 'starburst' pattern towards the leading edge of the wing. Worked a treat!

You really have to trust the heat of the iron to shrink the covering and get rid of wrinkles - I gradually increased the heat till i got the right results! 
One thing I changed, wast to make a cover for the iron - I'd lost the cotton one that came with it when it was new, so I decided to make a new one;
This allowed much higher heat without the iron 'catching' on the plastic of the covering.

The Algebra is almost finished! I need to re-install the radio gear, make the forward hatch, fit the rudder control cables and fit the tow-hook. Not long now!

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Thanks Andrew !

Here is a video clip that Andrew took on his mobile yesterday capturing one of my better landing up on Mount Caburn yesterday.
By the way. Andrew's flying was very Impressive for a newbie. Seems to have mastered the basics very quickly. Another promising pilot of the future to join our growing ranks.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Mount Caburn

Hi All,
Paul, Andrew and I met at the base of Mount Caburn this morning at 09:00 and made our way up to the top for some hopefully good SSW winds.
In fact the wind was very strong and reliable - pretty constant, so the lift was great.
I took the Moth and newly-covered Ninja, Paul had his Valenta Dragon and Traceur and Andrew brought his Zagi.
I flew the Moth and the lift was brilliant, constant and very reliable - even a long way out.
We then got Andrew's Zagi into the air, but he flew a little too far to the left (East) and lost the lift. The Zagi went into a freefall and landed nose down in a very steep bowl.
In fact we think it landed much nearer , but the sheep picked it up and moved it just to annoy us !!!
After we found the Zagi, I let Andrew fly the trusty Ninja which he did for a long time, doing extremely well for such a twitchy model and only his 4th or 5th flight !
I too had a lot of flights on my Ninja and really enjoyed getting the old model back into the air.

Paul flew his Dragon (brilliantly) and carved up the sky and local bird population with it screaming past at high speed. Paul let me have a long go of it (not my first go of this lovely model) and I loved it.

We were then joined by Scott who brought a little foam flying wing and his Vagabond (which he didn't fly because it was too windy).
Scott also flew Paul's Dragon and I could see that he loved it as much as I did - takes some bottle to fly someone else's mouldie !

At one point I asked Paul to give us a masterclass in crow braking and landing - which he then did very well - over and over and over - most impressive - but he IS THE CLUB CHAIRMAN after all !!!!
Make sure you watch the video in HD for best viewing quality..........

We all had a lot of flying and a lot of fun.

Some vid will be forthcoming .................

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Hello from the IW.

Hi guys.

We had a good afternoons flying yesterday up at St.Boniface Down IW yesterday, the wind was about 8-12mph and square on the face of the down, I have been experimenting with a Modius cam, trying to get the best position as I like to show the Aileron working, as well as the lovely Island Scenery, I was showing a little too much wing in the first part of the vid I think, Tony, Bill and Paul also had some good flying.

Watch the vid in HD if poss


Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Gentle winds today so the Libelle was given another airing...

Ditchling Beacon this morning was grey and uninspiring so had a quick flight and moved onto Firle Beacon, haven`t been there for more than three decades and had forgotten what an amazing site it is! So spent two and a half hours flying three gliders this is the DLG Libelle thermal soarer pootling around...

Monday, 19 October 2015

Welcome Andrew Ledger

Hi All,
I would like you all to welcome our latest recruit - Andrew Ledger.
I number of you met Andrew on Saturday and saw him flying the Zagi (pretty well in fact for a complete newcomer). Well, Andrew has decided to join up and he will be seen on the slopes with us starting this weekend , weather permitting.

Andrew is also thinking about taking over the Zagi for himself and getting a Spektrum tx so we can all help him during this learning process.

So please all join me in welcoming Andrew to the club.

Rob Stanley
Hon. Sec. Hon. Treasurer

Saturday, 17 October 2015

The North Wind Doth Blow ..........

Hi All,
Today we decided to meet up at Ditchling Beacon at 14:00 , the forecast was for Northerly at 25 mph, so a good blow !
I picked up our newest recruit - Andrew Ledger on the way and we arrived at just before 14:00 to meet our next newest recruit - Ian Ashdown in the car park at the Beacon.
We decided not to wait for anyone else and started across the road to fly our stuff.....
Ian A had his SAS Star Jet (I think) and I took a number of models including the little Moth which flew very well.
Both Ian and I had a good time and were then joined by Jim who had Will's old Spectre and his own Middle Phase.
Then Paul arrived with his Willow and Les arrived with his Cliff Whacker.
The wind, being in the North was very strong and the lift was working way out in to horizon - I could fly out almost until I lost sight of the Moth, quite amazing.
Most importantly, I introduced Andrew to the Zagi , which he crashed first time, then didn't crash for at least 20 seconds, then flew for 3 or 4 minutes, then flew for 15 minutes with great control.
Jim had a coming together with the ground and the Spectre is now needing a little TLC.
Ian flew the Star Jet and his little Komet brilliantly.
Paul put us all to shame with the Willow which is smooth, fast and very impressive in Paul's expert hands.
Paul then flew Jim's Middle Phase and it performed extremely well.
Les had some brilliant landings with his Cliff Whacker and at one point we all clapped because his landing was so good - at this point Les stopped !!!

After 1.5 hours we all decided that it was too cold to carry on, so we all left for the comfort of home - I really enjoyed today and especially, I enjoyed helping Andrew to learn the basics on the Zagi.

Thanks to all who came along.


Thursday, 15 October 2015

End of our first year - time to think about next year

Hi All,

This month we celebrate the end of our first year as a BMFA club (and in fact as a club !).

I would like to thank you all for your overwhelming support and dedication to the cause of slope soaring and to the club which Paul and I hoped would do well.

This is the time of year when we need to think about renewing our BMFA membership and I have sent you all an email asking you to let me know what you want to do for next year's BMFA membership.

So far I have received quite a lot of replies, but I need to hear from everyone I emailed before Monday 26th Oct so that I can start the process of renewing the club's affiliation and your membership of BMFA (if you decide to come through us).

So please give it some thought, check your email and please let me know asap what you decide to do.

Finally, I would like to personally thank all of you who come along to our flying sessions and join in with the blog and shout box, we need all of you and really appreciate your input.

Best regards
Rob Stanley  Hon Sec / Hon Treasurer

Algebra Build 6.5 - Joining the wings.

Well, I got so carried away with test-rigging the plane I forgot to tell you about joining the wings.

In actual fact, this turned out to be one of the easiest things.

Firstly, I tested my joining rig. This consisted of a block at the end of the wingtip to get the correct dihedral, and a lot of tape to hold the two parts of the wing in line. Having pre-sanded the ends of the wing panels to 4 degrees each, joining them at 8 degrees would give me a nice tignt join.

It really turned out to be quite simple. I taped across at right angles to the join on the underside of the wing, stretching the tape slightly to hold the two pieces together tightly. Then I mixed up about 4 inches of 5 minute epoxy (4 inches of glue and 4 inches of hardener). I squiggled that into the open joint using a coffee mixer from the machine at the garage, then blocked up the wingtip, using weights on the join to hold it square and flat.

If you didn't know, ordinary vinegar is a fantastic fluid for cleaning up epoxy! It has the added bonus of making your pride and joy smell like fish and chips...

Once joined, a tape is glued along the bottom using white wood glue

Once the white glue was dry, the excess tape was trimmed off and sanded to a nice edge.

That was it, the wings were joined!

Now for the covering... 


Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Welcome Ian Ashdown

Hi All,
We would like to welcome Ian Ashdown as our newest member.
Ian has flown with us quite a number of times in the past - if you remember, Ian flies that tiny red  Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet -

It never looks like it will fly, but defies all logic and sense by flying in all conditions and very well indeed.
Ian is most welcome and I know you will all make him feel welcome in the future.


Monday, 12 October 2015

Wave flying to the edge of space

Some off you have heard me spouting on about 'Wave' and how gliders all over the world use Wave to climb to amazing heights just using the power of the wind. I found this image and thought it explained the concept well and I hoped it might be of Interest to a few of you............
The highest a glider has climbed in Wave this year in the UK was 20,804 from a gliding site in Scotland. The highest altitude ever climbed to in a glider was 50,727 feet (15,460 metres) on August 29th 2006 flying a modified DG500 (they called it the Perlan 1) and was flown by the late Steve Fossett and Einar Enevoldson. The project was sponsored by Airbus and a new project is underway called the Perlan 11. If you are Interested here is a link to the Perlan Website. They want to soar a glider up to the edge of space - some 90,000ft ASL in a specialised pressurised glider designed just for this project.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

More on topic than the last post...

Just to get back to the point, I couldn't resist showing you this photo, which shows the size comparison between the Algebra and my much-loved Stargazer and Spectre

I'm sooooo excited about this plane - can't wait to get it finished!

Alternative Aviation...

Not exactly to do with slope soaring, but some of you may be interested in the kind of aviation I was enjoying this afternoon...

I went and saw my old mate Gray - who has a Boeing 737 simulator cockpit in his garage!

His sim is a generic 737 cockpit, running Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 and allowing use of most of the functions of the real thing.

Of course, we spent nearly 3 hours just getting it going today - Gray having decided to upgrade his nav/Comms computer, lol!

However, once we got it going, we flew from Gatwick to Jersey, with the additional challenge of online Air Traffic Contol while on the ground and leaving Gatwick airspace.

All in all a very enjoyable afternoon - I hope to visit him again soon. 

As I said, not exactly "on topic", so I won't clutter these pages with simming posts - by all means get in touch if you're interested.


Oh what a beautiful morning !!

Rob, Scott, Will and I met up at the crack of dawn (well 8.30) and made our way up to the top of Wolstenbury Hill. A little misty but what a lovely view.....
I flew my Willow 2 in week lift conditions and Rob finally maidened his Mini Blade, which went very well in the conditions. Will flew his Tracuer and Scott his Vagabond. A little later Les joined us with his Cliffwacker which was displaying a new Cabriolet look (without its hatch). It was only going to be a very quick visit for me today but a good hour flying is much better than nothing at all.
Me and the Willow 2. A little too light conditions early on for her to really rip up the skies, more like a gentle amble!

Got the europhia home!

Almost bigger than my garden!

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Algebra Build 7 - finishing the fuse and test-rig...

So, having built the fuselage it's time to start fitting the wings.

When I built the fuse sides,  part of the process was to drill small, 1/16", pilot holes for the wing joiner dowels. These dowels are very thick piano wire, bent to the required dihedral angle (seen here already installed in the covered fuse)
Once the fuse has been assembled, these holes must be opened out to accept the dowels. I first drilled out to a slightly smaller diameter than the dowels, then used a small file to gradually adjust them to suit.
Inevitably, there were some inaccuracies and the incidence of the two wings did not quite match up. So I marked the required adjustments and filed accordingly
Eventually I was satisfied and of course I absolutely _had_ to do a test rig...
Cor... big innit!?

So, the main parts of the aircraft are finished, and the test rig has gone well - now for covering. More soon :-)

Another great day at Wolstonbury Hill

Hi all,

Sorry no photos - I was too busy flying!

We had a great session today at Wolstonbury. When I arrived, Jim, John and Graham were already there, but not in the air. If you know Wolstonbury then you'll know that the first part of the bowl is very sheltered if there's a lot of East in the wind.

As I walked up, it seemed dead calm, and with everyone's gliders on the ground I was thinking  the wind was not present. It was very misty as well and gave the impression of a windless, misty day.

As it was, the sheltered section of Wolstonbury tricked me - there was plenty of wind and it was just coincidence everyone was on the ground at the same time.

Jim had his trusty 'Whisper' polyhedral model, a bit light for the conditons and struggling to penetrate. John was flying his Phoenix to great effect, alternating with a nice little flying wing - sorry John I didn't get the name.

Graham had several models - the Hacker Vagabond is the only one whose name I remember!

I really must take a notebook if I'm going to blog regularly. 

John's flying wing was showing some nasty tendencies to 'tuck' in turns - John said the c of g was a bit too far forward. I don't know a great deal about flying wings, but I've heard that the c of g position is absolutely critical. John made some adjustments, bringing the c of g back towards the recommended position and the model seemed to go a lot better - anyone able to comment more on this?
Jim's Middle Phase went a lot better today, now the battery is back in its proper home! He's thinking of building another wing for it, with a little more dihedral, after having a go on the Stargazer. Jim had some really good flights, cruising back and forth along the slope, practicing the art of letting the wind drift the model back towards the slope, rather than the dreaded 'slopewards turn'! He made some good 'saves' today - good one Jim!

Graham had some excellent flights, the Vagabond's elevator travel was quite a surprise for me! It moves to nearly 90 degrees! Some very interesting manouevres ensued...

Graham also pointed out that Jim's Middle Phase had a lot of aileron differential - just not the right way round! The ailerons were going down a lot further than they were going up, whereas they should go up a lot further than they go down.

While flying the Middle Phase I hadn't noticed any marked adverse yaw, but then I'm not really that experienced - Graham's call was a great one and I'm sure it'll help with the Middle Phase's handling.

We were joined mid-session by Marc with his 60" Wild Thing. This wing looked super in the air and flew very well in the variable conditions. Marc was joking that he was happy when he landed the model the right way up, but he produced a lot of great landings actually!

A little later in the session, some paragliders appeared on the more Easterly part of the hill - there really wasn't much lift there today so we were all a bit surprised when one of them (bravely I thought) launched. A slow and steady decline followed, with a long walk back up the hill. They paraglider guys tried a few times more but with little success - I considered going over and inviting them to fly on the same part of the hill as us, but was unsure of the protocol.

I had my Stargazer and the ever dependable Spectre flying wing. The Stargazer went very well and once the wind increased I switched over to the Spectre. I had over 2 hours on the sticks today, an indication of how nice the conditions were. When I'd been in the air for quite some time, Graham gently asked me "how big is the battery in that?". It made me think - I'd never flown the Spectre for so long. Nice one Graham - a very diplomatic way of reminding me I might be getting low... I haven't charged her up again yet, but it'll be interesting to see how much she takes.

A great day's flying again :-) Thanks to all the other pilots for some sociable aviation!

A Good Slope Session

Hi Guys

We had some  lovely club flying this afternoon with Solent Heights, and for the guys that came over to the island earlier in the year,  it was the slope on the way up to Stenbury Down on the left hand side facing East.
We could have done with slightly stronger wind as it turned out to be a lot lower than the forecast had suggested, no change there!!!

The wind was also fairly marginal for most of the time and  direction was all over the place,  but all in all we had some good flying, you will see Tony flying his carbon Wing, this wing has been designed and built by himself and is still in the development stage, in stronger winds it is extremely fast as it is such a clean section there or not even any surface control rods or horns showing they are all concealed within the wing, he has made a lovely job of it.

Happy Flying


News from the IW>

Hi Guys
At last I have got my M60 ready to fly, it has surprised me just how much work was in it, I have added a lot of carbon and Glass reinforcement so I am hoping that it should survive some heavy impacts, as you can see from the photos that I have posted, I have finished it in the same colours as my moth, I have found that this colour combination does stand out well.

Myself Bill and Tony now have got set up with some head cameras, so should be posting some video soon of our flying here on the island.

Tony has been flying  his carbon wing of his own design and build, and to say that it is fast is an understatement, should be getting some photos and videos posted soon.

Happy Flying

Chris ( Isle of Wight

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Thanks to you all !!

Our blog has been going for two years now. Its in fact our Birthday - So 'Happy Birthday' blog. We have also hit the 100'000 page views milestone plus we are nearly up to 500 posts, so there's something to celebrate.
Thanks very much to Rob, Graham, Roger, Will, Scott, Steve H (South Wales), Chris (I of W) and Dave for helping me keep the blog going and by sharing there experiences and wisdom with us all.
Thank you to all our readers with out whom we wouldn't have a blog.
We have come a long way in two years and I have made many new great friends along the way and have thoroughly enjoyed the flying as well as the company!
Long may it continue.................

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Wolstonbury Hill. 2/10/15

Met John and Allen who had successfully recovered his lost glider. John is shown in the first video flying his Hobbyking Phoenix. I`ve kept the clips fairly short as they do get a bit samey! Better get a new glider to was good to meet you John!

Dear Santa........

Dear Santa,
I thought I would get my letter in early this year, as I know you are very busy on November & December making present for all the good boys and girls out there around the world. I have tried my best to be a good and honest boy this year but you know how difficult life can be these days what with Rob's constant moaning about poor build quality of models he buys, Les, going on about how Mill Hill works in every wind direction and don't get me started on Will...................
Well I've bitten my tongue all year (and it bloody hurts now!) so, can I have a new model for Christmas, please?
I would love a brand new Tangent Alpina 4001 complete with decent servo's, battery and 7 channel Spektrum RX. It must have wing bags and be ready to fly but that's it! Nothing else, no socks, soap on a rope and deffinately no Brut after shave (Splash it all over!). Now, is that too much to ask for?
Here is a little video of the glider I would very much like wrapped up and be under my Christmas tree on the big day..............
Thank you taking the time to listen to my humble request Santa.
Bye for now.
Paul (aged 48 and 3/4's)

Some cracking video.......

Found these on YouTube & thought you guys might enjoy them, given our lack of wind!
Now then !! Any one up for a Autumn day trip to the Isle of White?

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Yet Another Update to the Zulu Build log

Hi all,
I decided to spray the top of the Zulu today with the blue spray , but see my log entry (on the left) for the result -
Very frustrating and disappointing !