Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Thank you Slope Soaring Susex

Thanks to Paul, Ian and all the other guys who made me feel welcome on Saturday and Sunday, flying at Ditchling and Firle.

I'm so glad the weather forecast turned out to be better than was forecast and we did manage to get some pretty good flying in.

I know Paul and Ian are keen to make the trip to S Wales and fly our big air slopes at the Bwlch and so I hope to see some of you there fairly soon.


Monday, 30 May 2016

Rhigos and then The Wrecker

Couldn't resist a quick trip to the Bwlch. Told the family it was a lovely day for a trip into the mountains. Warm and windy here. Went to Rhigos first for an ice cream then said lets going a find where 'Stella' was filmed. Knowing that the road ended up near the Bwlch.
Drove to the top and stopped at a very convienient lay-by right next to the near vertical slope edge. Got out the M60 which I had left on so completely flat. Thankfully the Dragon was with me. Chucked it off into strong lift with awsom thermals. Had 20 mins of fun but looking at the faces still siting in the car I thought it was time to land. Walked across the road and landed on top of a small hill. Looking forward to flying here again tomorrow. 

My first go of a Mouldy!

I think Paul summed up the day in his previous blog well.  A good crowd with some great weather and flying.  Missed Rob S. today though. He's been my mentor since I took up the hobby.  So in some ways I felt I was going along solo today but the guys were, as usual, always helpful and on hand if I needed any support. I brought along my Fusion that I acquired from Rob and the Art Tech Diamond which is a great little sport glider and fly's well in most conditions. 

Started off with the trusty little Diamond.  Launched it and it flew straight out into the horizon which was a big relief.  I soon found my flying fingers after a few weeks out.  It was a bit blustery and so got turbulent at times particularly closer to the hill, so it was bumpy at times for the small Diamond but I was surprised how well it pushed through being such a small light plane.

After gaining confidence again and landing it well I decided to have a go with the Fusion flying wing.  I threw it out and it kept nose diving into the ground.  I played around with the trim a bit but quite frankly it didn't make any difference!  Probably more a case of bad pilot as opposed to bad plane!  Ian A then offered to help me.  After a couple of attempts Ian reset the trim and got it flying, handed over the controls to me and I had some good fun flying it.  It was a bit more stable and smoother than the Diamond.  

The full sized gliders started to whiz past which I got a bit nervous about at first but when a couple went past and I realised they were a little bit higher up I felt ok.

Ian A had his little red bomb plane (which I call it).  I loved watching this whizz across the horizon.

Paul then said later in the session "Andrew you need to move on"  - eh what did he mean I thought??!  Then he said you need to move onto a Mouldy.  Ah I see.  He said "you're ready now to make the next step" A nice thing to hear but equally a bit daunting! Paul then said you can have a go of the Dragon - (Urgh gulp) ok then!  Paul got it up in the air and talked me through some basics and then just handed over the controls! I was now flying my first Mouldy and after a few S turns I started to get the hang of it. Paul then talked me through a loop which I think I carried out successfully.   It was whole different experience soaring higher up through the thermals.  Loved it - thanks Paul!  So I will be on the look out for a small Mouldy very soon.

Sorry to see Roger missed the group and was flying on the otherside.

A great couple of hours flying with a friendly bunch before getting back to DIY and training the new dog!

Sunday, 29 May 2016

A stonking day !!

After my incident yesterday with the cow poo I was hoping for some better luck and thankfully today proved to be as good as yesterday on the flying front and not a cow pat in site, so a good result. A good turn out with Steve, Ian, Graham, Andrew, Tim, Roger and a new guy called Rob. We decided to go a fly the West side of Ditchling but this decision didn't get to Roger who spent two hours on his own soaring the main Ditchling Bowl. Then on his way back to the car park saw our models flying along the ridge and wandered over to join us. Sorry Roger, it wasn't intentional.
We had a vast array of gliders out today from foamy to fancy mouldy's and much in between. everyone seemed to be flying well. Tim had his 2m Blade maidened which went very well and he flew the Wildthing for a while. Ian flew his little German (don't mention the war) ,model up at about 1000' don't ask me how but he did and then when we were being buzzed by the full size the thing turned into an Euro Fighter going supersonic (well I didn't here the sonic boom but plenty of fibreglass cracking) as it came past at warp speed. Graham flre his new big electric thing recently bought from Tim and seemed to spend ages just doing the sort of aerobatics and speeds one shouldn't be doing with a big electric glider but nobody seems to have told Graham that.
Andrew flew his two models very well in the strong and sometimes turbulent conditions but then he turned his hands to my old Dragon Mouldy. The boys a genius! Screaming round the sky with loop after loop and displaying some very good flying skills. Well done Andrew.
Steve (our friend from the other side of the Severn) was on top form and seemed to always be in the air with something. I lent him my very expensive Aresti and he showed me his ability to aerobat. Bloody show off!!
We met a very nice guy called Rob who had brought along a nice big mouldy and a very slick carbon fibre bullet to fly. Fat be it for me to comment on other peoples flying but I was very impressed. Hopefully we will be joined by Rob P again soon.
Have I missed anyone out? No.........
A really good day out on Ditchling with a great bunch of guys!!!!!
On a side note, I'm off to Wales myself in the morning for four days and hope to meet up with Phil at the Bwlch on Tuesday for some flying, so feel free to arrange something between yourselves for tomorrow and the rest of the week.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

A pile of poo........

Steve, Ian and I had a great day flying today. As agreed we met up on Ditchling Beacon which was very misty after the local thunderstorm earlier but blowing on the hill which meant we didn't need to walk up the side of Wolstonbury. We met up with a few of the Mill Hill gang and enjoyed some good lift and watched the local thunder storms build into huge dark skies with thunder and lightning going of not far away. This was our excuse to make a dash for the pub. Some reasonable food at The Plough but a very nice glass of Harveys and we were off to Firle.
Up on top of Firle we were greeted to a nice breeze and no paragliders or hand gliders. They all seemed to be down at Bo Peep. Lots of space, lots of lift and a few good hours of really good fun.
One of the funniest moments to everyone else but not to me was when I did a superb landing right through the most runniest, stinkiest cow pat that you could ever find. It was everywhere. on me, all over my X-pro - just orible............
Well its meant to be lucky but it stank......................................
I had a really good day as did Steve and Ian. Roll on tomorrow.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Floaters for sale

If anyone is interested I have a few slope / flat field gliders up for sale on the BMFA.......

138'' Electric Multiphase: https://bmfa.org/class1/id/24378 SOLD !!

100'' Cambrian Elan: https://bmfa.org/class1/id/24379

If you're interested feel free to get in touch.


07834 859018

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

For Sale

Howard Metcalfe F-4 Phantom. New in box.

Slope soarer or power




I believe this is a Graupner Cherry.

Plastic fuselage, veneer foam wings and canopy only.


Contact Tim at t.hampshire@tiscali.co.uk

Monday, 23 May 2016

A470 Southern Road Trip

Hello all.
Most of you regulars know or have read something from Steve our buddy from across the Severn Bridge. He is making the trip South this weekend. I'm hoping to get out flying with steve for at least one full day and maybe as we generally fly both days we can make Steve as welcome as ever. Then on the Monday I'm making the return journey to South Wales with a roof box full of models to fly up there. I will put something out later in the week with some more details.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

P-51 Mustang 50" PSS glider

90% finished

Contact Tim at t.hampshire@tiscali.co.uk

Proxima II 2.7m electric glider

Complete with servos,motor and ESC.

A bit rough around the edges, fuselage repaired with bandage.

Needs a little TLC to get it in the air
£30.00 to a good home

Contact Tim at t.hampshire@tiscali.co.uk

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Chilly but well worth the effort.......

Just a small group out today. Ian A, Jim and myself. Blowing around 20-25mph NE wind up on Ditchling Beacon. The car said 7 degrees so add on a good wind chill and it was a wee bit on the chilly side. Ian flew his big mouldy ridiculously well as usual and gave us some nice close up aero's. I would have had some decent video of it if I had remembered to take the lens cover of the Contour Roam camera - Dooohhh!!!!!!
Jim flew his well worn Spectre and after a little coaching and advice from myself and Ian was making good steady progress and I think his best flying to date. Carry on the good work Jim.
I flew my Aresti with just the wing ballast in place which made it cruise around with ease. It's taking some time but I am starting to relax a little with the model and trying to forget the silly money I paid for it. Finally flew the fully loaded M60 from the other side of the fence. Blasting around just above hill top and then going way, way below the hill top for some low level bombing raids. Really felt at home today with the M60 which as always is a pleasure to fly.
Don't forget Tim has a lovely built and nicely flown Moth (a baby M60) for sale at a very reasonable price. Contact him for further details.

Friday, 13 May 2016

PMP Sierra Mk 2 - retro-chic soarer

Nice Mr Stan Yeo of Phoenix Model Products has reintroduced some 'traditional' R/C glider kits for the amusement of old-school balsa bashers like me, so I thought I'd give the Sierra Mk 2 a try. One winter of building later here is the result:

The retro styling is very appealing (if you like that sort of thing).
My significant mods to the kit were split ailerons/flaps (for crow brakes and future tinkering) and band-on wing mounting to allow for my unreliable landings.

It comes as a kit of many parts, which generally go together well, but special care is needed to ensure that the wings turn out flat and true. I managed to warp mine by gluing the supplied servo mounts too firmly onto the wing sheeting.

As for flight performance, I reckon its aerobatic potential far exceeds my current piloting ability. But so far I've managed four landings without major incident beyond pulling the rudder hinges out of the fin - I think a little rudder trimming or sub-fin extension is called for.

On the theme of RC Model Birds

On the theme of RC model birds, and I have seen a few of them around, even a Pterdactyl.

Well a couple of years ago I was flying at Fochriw in S Wales when I was joined by Ron Broughton, the designer and builder of many EPP60 racing machines, who had brought with him a foamy bird of prey. This looked so realistic in the air that a Red Kite took an interest, and then a bit of a dislike to it and made a few lunges at it. Here's the video.

John's maiden with his Bob Hoey Seagull

Here is some video from John's (fantasticmrfox on the shoutbox) flights with his very impressive scale Seagull model up at Wolstonbury Hill yesterday. The model looks stunning John!!
John, if you want we can add you as an author to this blog then you can post video etc as and when you want. Drop me an email: paul.hampshire@shelf-space.co.uk

Saturday, 7 May 2016

First flying session this year at the clubs field.

A good turn out today for our first real visit to our club field this year. Ian, Graham, Tim, Scott, Jim and of course, me!

Today started of warm and what seemed like an Easterly breeze, Not much direct sunshine but hazy skies that gave us some thermals to try and stay up in. Out came the large moudlies with Ian and his heavy moldy, Graham with his new Shadow and me with my Xperience Pro. We made some adjustments the heavy duty bungee and decided to give it a go. I failed to find any lift from a fairly low launch. Ian on the other hand had a failed launch no more than 26m up but still managed to find the lift and climb away for a fairly respectable 15 min flight. My second flight off the bungee went well with a 72m launch (Spektrum telemetry telling me the height) and I found lift. Climbing through 95m then everything went dead. Completely lost all control. The glider thankfully continued to gently circle until control was resumed. What a horrible feeling that was having no control. Anyway got it down safely and thought it was best not to fly anymore. Graham was making light work of his bungee launches with good height and mostly boom into thermals and away. I have to apologise to Jim for busting his motor glider. Powered up, Jim launched away and it went straight into the deck. Sorry Jim......
Then out came the DLG's. These are just the best fun. After about 50 launches (that's why I have a sore shoulder) both Ian and I managed to thermal away with a rapid climb up to about 300 - 400ft. At one point we had three DLG's floating around. I flew my new Blaster 2 which I just love, even though the launches seem nearly vertical and my battered out old Libelle.
The field condition was good. Solid ground but be aware that there is no lock on the first gate (going into the field with the ponies) but there is a padlock on the other gate. There were lots of walkers plodding through but many stopped and looked.
What a great asset we have in the field lets make the most of what we have got.
I have a little video but not much you will be pleased to here!!

I don't want to seem bolshie but...

Re. the post on 3rd April concerning the assistant ranger talking to some of our flyers about fulmars. 

I've been meaning to do some research on this but only just got round to it.

Up to the turn of the century, fulmar populations in the UK were expanding and had done so quite rapidly for the majority of the latter half of the century. There has been a, less dramatic, decline in numbers since the turn of the century but this is attributed mainly to the decline in the fishing industry. Fulmar populations had increased so much because of the availability of an easy food source in the shape of fish offal thrown overboard by fishing boats. The fulmar population decline is also attributed to ecological changes which have affected a natural food source, sandeels.

The most spectacular growth in the fulmar population was from the 1970s to the millennium and the decline has occurred since then. Since RC flying has been taking place at Newhaven Cliffs at least from the '70s, during the explosive population growth, it seems clear our activities have little if any effect on the birds. There's simply no evidence for it.

As flyers, we all love the privilege of being in such a beautiful natural setting and enjoying nature while we enjoy our hobby. I'm sure all of us would be happy to keep clear of an area if it were shown that we were causing harm. However, this just seems like someone in authority who doesn't necessarily know what they're talking about.

While we don't want to aggravate the authorities, we also don't want to be chucked off a long-used flying site by someone who is potentially misusing their authority.

When I was in Micriolighting, a local strip wanted to formalise their already habitual use of their site by getting planning permission to continue current use levels. Objectors suddenly came out of the woodwork. One big objection was from a nearby stables who said the microlights would adversely affect the breeding of the horses. The BMAA were able to show studies confirming that where other fields were close to studs no effect had been observed on the breeding or indeed the horses' wellbeing.

My personal view is that we should continue to use Newhaven Cliffs and contact the BMFA about the approach from the ranger. Flying sites are under threat all over the country and I'm not sure we should accept limitations on our use if no clear case is shown that we cause harm.

Please see DEFRA's Joint Nature Conservancy Committee report on fulmars at...


... for the info summarised above. 

Again, don't want to be bloshie but slow erosion of our right to fly is a real danger... 

Finally, another photo of the Fulmar:

Friday, 6 May 2016

Flat field flying tomorrow

Hi all
Looking at the weekend forecast the weather looks settled, warm with a steady SE / SSE flow. Both days are offering light winds and some sunshine on Saturday but with more sun on Sunday. I have family duties on Sunday so I only have Saturday to take advantage of the weekend weather.
Its been month and months since I last flew down at the field and given the fact I have my big new mouldy and a new DLG to maiden it seems right to use our club field for the first time this year on Saturday.
I have bungee's and Robs winch (much check the battery!!) and of course a good right arm for the DLG throwing.
Currently the Met Office are showing broken cloud from 10.00am for at least a couple of hours so there's the time frame.
Meet up in the field (that's working on the premise we can get across to the field in a car) and then to enjoy some flat field flying.
I'm hoping I wont be on my own guys............

PS. Have you seen Graham's video below of his new Shadow mouldy? Well its worth a watch. Tim has just one Nan Shadow mouldy left for sale. First up with the cash secures! Contact Tim for more details or leave him a message on the shout box.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Maiden flight of the Nan Shadow.

Having acquired this lovely F3J glider, all 3.6+ metres, off Tim on tuesday lunch time I was raring to try it out! So come the evening a short trip to a local field I occasionally use, for a couple test glides. Perfect hardly a breath wind. Not too hard a throw, the nose dipped a little I levelled it  about a foot from the ground, it just went on and on! Seemingly.Brilliant. Tried another, exactly the same so  slightly nose heavy, ideal for a maiden.

Perfect conditions today lightish winds SSE, so off to Colley Hill and to to fly from Saddle Knob which is west of the usual flying area, with its better landing area.

The video shows parts of both flights and yes a few grams will be removed from the nose before next airing. Apart from a few clicks of up trim, some down was programmed in for crow.

Think I`m going to like this machine!

Monday, 2 May 2016

One more chance for the Minimoa...

Another very enjoyable session at Ditchling Beacon on Saturday. Myself, Rob, Paul and Ian L.

It was a beautiful morning with plenty of sunshine and great views across the valley and high wealds. We brought with us a variety of models that all flew well in the wind and thermals.  Some obviously a lot better than others!

Paul's flying was really impressive with some amazingly smooth landings.  See his blog post for details on the glider.  Ian had a Spectre and Rob had a Jart. Both seemed to have fun with their models.  I brought my Minimoa along again as I thought with the larger wingspan it might catch the thermals better in the light winds.

It was no problem flying it and it had plenty of lift.  I like the shape in the sky as it looks a bit like a seagull.  The problem was landing it!  I am still learning the landings and think I am making slight improvements each time but this thing just didn't want to come down!  Both Paul and Rob even said it was tricky.  Think they were being polite and what they really meant was, it is a pile of crap!  I was going to resign it to a cheap eBay listing but decided to save it for the field or give it a try when there is more of a blow.  So it will get a 2nd chance but that's it!  If it blows its 2nd chance then it will be stripped of gear and the foam chopped up and used for packaging!

Ian had an unfortunate incident with his Spectre and had to recover it from the hill which was quite steep down. We were all getting a bit concerned when he didn't show after a couple of calls, then we saw him stick his head out from a tree which was a sense of relief.

Clare came and met us with Dexter Dobermann and entertained Rob with his Frisbee on the way back to the car.

All in all a good morning with great company. 

Here's a picture of Ian emerging from the undergrowth with his Spectre intact !!

Sunday, 1 May 2016

A lovely walk, and a little flying!

Well I decided not to bother with the Cularis this morning and set off at 0650 for Itford.

Got there at around 0730 and up to the top for about 0800.

Not a breath of wind - even the Algebra wouldn't fly in this! However, after some thought, I remembered a little passage fro 'Slope Soaring' by Dave Hughes, something about if you have a 'mighty heave' you can still do a quick circuit.

I assembled the Algebra and thought on.

I decided to give it a try - gave the Algiebra an almighty chuck and gained about 30ft altitude. A quick circuit and I landed not 10 metres from myself. "That was fun", I thought, and had another go.

I spent a happy half-hour doing these mini-flights, if you've never done it, I recommend it - very good practice for accurate landings and conserving height.

After a while the wind popped up at about 3 kts from the WSW, amazingly, a little lift was to be had here and there and I managed to keep Algy up for a couple of minutes on occasion.

The wind gradually went further South and so no slope lift was available, but small weak thermals popped off occasionally and I managed to stretch a couple of flights. I got up to nearly 50ft on one occasion!

The thermal were very weak and small, keeping the Algy up was not really possible - hampered in part by the weakness of the thermals, but mainly I think by my lack of skill in exploiting the lift.

All in all a pleasant morning. I learnt a bit more about the Algy and had a beatiful walk into the bargain!