Friday, 30 September 2016

Sunday Morning Flying

UPDATE: Wind looks like it's going to be NW now which means Ditchling won't work. Let's change venue to Devils Dyke and hope the early stronger winds keeps some of the paragliders on the deck. Get there early! If anything changes from above then I will edit this post. Keep an eye on the blog........

Looking at the weather for Sunday morning its forecast to be a NNW wind around 10knts and getting lighter as the day progresses. Speaking with Ian we agreed that the West side of Ditchling Beacon could be a good place to fly as it works in a NNW direction.
Because of the wind decreasing throughout the morning and the trouble we sometimes have parking at the Beacon I suggest we meet up around 9.00am and wander through the gate to fly.
Anyone else coming to join us?

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Come along to our first ever social.

Thanks for the positive response regarding an evening get together (social).
I enjoyed my drink and the food at The Ardingly Inn when we went there for our AGM so why don't we meet there again as some of you know where it is.
I propose we meet on Thursday next week (6th October) around 7.00 - 7.30pm. Not too late for food and plenty of time for some healthy banter.
Please let me know in the comments section of this post if you can make it. I can give the pub a heads up on numbers. If this works out then maybe we can make it a regular thing at least through the winter nights.
Here is a link to the location of the pub - The Ardingly Inn Map Address: Street Lane, Ardingly RH17 6UA
Thanks again and I hope to see some of you next Thursday evening.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Fusion is Recovered From Newhaven

Hi All,
I managed to get to Newhaven this morning to retrieve my lost Fusion - well it wasn't 'lost' just hard to get at ! I took some tree-felling rope and some long-handled clippers to help me - plus of course my wife and Edward the dog. We ran the rope down the slope where Ian and I had decided would be a good place and then my wife held onto one end while I shinned down the short steep slope.

Here's a picture my wife took of the rope disappearing over the edge - I was on the other end !

Once I was down, it was easy to traverse the hill after cutting my way through the brambles and low trees. I managed to reach the Fusion after about 30 metres and then it was a clear path back to the rope. Once I got back up I could see that the Fusion was fine, but the battery was flat.
When I got home I replaced the battery and cleaned up the model ready for the next flight !!!!

Sunday, 25 September 2016

How about a social evening?

We have been going for a few years now and meet up on the slopes often but we never have met up for a chin wag over a pint and some food except for our club AGM we had some food and I remember that we all had a pleasant time and at the time we did mention maybe we should do that more often.
Anyone Interested in meeting up one evening for a pie and a pint or a steak and a coke - your choice.
Maybe an ideal opportunity to get together and enjoy some non flying entertainment.
The pub we went to In Ardingly for the AGM was nice but I am open to suggestions. Maybe we could meet up at your local and at some one else's another week / fortnight / month. Car share possibly so others can have a drink.
What do you think guys - any Interest?

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Southerly Cliff Soaring

The day started well with my new car not fitting under the metal height restrictor when you first turn into the road leading up to the Fort. Just for the record the height restriction is just 5' 5'' or 1.8 metres. Scott was also caught out with his van which meant both of us parked near the bottom. Rob came down and gave me a lift back up - Cheers Rob!!
The view as always up on the cliffs was stunning.
Rob flew his Fusion 60'' for the first time. Scott flew his Wildthing. Ian had two models, his Star Jet and his ME 163 Komet and I had the trusty M60. Flying went well with some interesting landings. Here is a video I cobbled together from todays flying.
Unfortunately, Rob lost his Fusion in some deep undergrowth on the side of a steep bank just to the side of the main cliff. The same place Graham U lost his model a few years back. As we are a helpful, do anything for anyone sort of group maybe some of us can help Rob try and get his model back. Will need some rope and sturdy clothing to get through the brambles to the model.
Then it was down the pub for a pint and a sandwich for myself and Ian.
A great mornings flying - thanks guys !!!

Friday, 23 September 2016

Newhaven Tomorrow

Maybe some of you guys haven't flown at Newhaven before, so I thought I might post some of our videos from previous sessions up on the cliffs. The positive points of flying at the cliffs here are many with easy parking at the Fort with a gentle stroll up to where the Coast Guard tower is and a little beyond. You generally don't fly over the sea (unless you push out deliberately) with the beach below so if all went wrong you could end up on the beach below. The landing area isn't too bad but you don't want to stray too far behind. The lift is usually very good and consistent. Not the place to fly big mouldies (unless your name is Ian A) but its a fun place to fly with an amazing view of the harbour and sea.
If you are not sure about flying off cliffs then come along and watch for a bit. Its an experience that's well worth the effort and cliff soaring opens up a host of fantastic flying sites all around the country.
We are meeting at Newhaven Fort car park around 10.00am this Saturday. If you are a bit late and we have gone, walk up the track towards the Coast Guards tower and you should find us.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

A beautiful quiet evening on Wolstonbury Hill

Having completed my house-packing chores for the day, I noticed the wind was from the NE.

If you remember, after my last field session I said I needed to practice my thermal turns. A wind of 4 - 6 mph from the NE would be perfect, enought lift to get the Algebra airbourne, but not enough breeze to push her backwards over the hill too soon.

I got in some good practice and began to understand the balance between the elevator and rudder, getting some nice turns by the end of the session. I found that I had to watch the angle of bank like a hawk - the more the bank, the more the elevator and the less the rudder.

It was quite a dull evening, but beautifully quiet. Here's a video of the Algebra tooling around - forgive the quality - as I say it was a dull evening and my old iPhone 3 is getting on a bit - plus I was holding the Tx in one hand, flying with that one, and the phone in the other!

However, I thought you might like to see it because it's so quiet, you can hear an airliner coming in over the coast at about 10,000ft! 


Once again, sorry for the quality - first attempt!

Monday, 19 September 2016

Field Gate

Hi All,

I had a text from Roger yesterday asking me why the road gate to our field had been padlocked.
I had no idea, but I said I would check with the field owner.
I have now heard from the owner who said that Louise (the girl who owns the horses) has moved the padlock from the 2nd gate to the road gate , so it will still work as before with the number we supplied to you all by email recently.
I hope this hasn't confused anyone ?
I apologise that I didn't know, but I haven't been to the field for quite a while since my operation.

If anyone has a problem with access please let me know by text and I can sort it out.

Thanks to Roger for highlighting the issue.


Sunday, 18 September 2016

Ian enjoying himself in Wales

Ian is on holiday in South Wales and this morning enjoyed himself flying his heavy mouldy at Rhossili in the Gower.

Friday, 16 September 2016

BMFA National Centre - Update

Hi All,

Please follow the link below to read the latest update on the BMFA National Centre. Looks like progress has been made and a site found......

I don't know if everybody agrees with the setting up of a National Centre, but the BMFA are going ahead anyway..

Also please follow this link to read about the new European Union model flying regulations , seems like we're under threat at the moment !


Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Zulu Finally Airborn

Hi All,
After many months of sitting under the building table the Zulu finally got my attention last week after seeing Paul's Weasel flying and decided I needed a light wind model other than the Libelle. So I turned my hand to the laminate covering and got the Zulu covered in about 2 hours. The laminate is weird stuff and doesn't shrink when you heat it. I didn't get the best finish -- see these pics
But at least it was covered and surprisingly rigid after being done. I replaced that flimsy fin with one made from 5mm Correx and then put it all together with a tiny AR400 rx and a 300 mah  NiMh battery from the Libelle.I then took it to Ditchling Beacon on Monday afternoon and flew it in the Southerly wind from the bowl behind the main hill. It flew very well, straight and true, but was being thrown around a lot, so I landed to wait for a less blustery day.
At least it's finished and I can move on....


Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Welcome to Robert Powell

Hi All,
I would like to let you all know that we have got another new member - his name is Rob Powell and he comes from Cuckfield. Paul has met Rob up on the hills and now Rob has decided to join us. Rob is also a member of the Sussex Radio Flying Club.
I know you will all join me in welcoming Rob to the club...
Rob Stanley

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Sunshine, light winds and a flat field!

A nice morning down at the field today with myself, Graham and Bob P flying various models. Bob started off the flying, trimming his new dlg (sorry, I never remember the names of models).

He very skilfully tree'd it, looking so hard at the model he forgot to look where it was going!

Graham got his very sleek-looking own-design electric soarer in the air smartly and even given the early hour he managed to find a small weak thermal and got away for a good ten minute flight.

I spent quite some time walking up and down the field, sorting out my new bungee. I'd done the joints bvetween secions of silicone tubing as recommended - file a barb into each end of a dowel, insert it in the tube then get a cable tie tighly around it. 

On first stretching, they gave way! So I just tied the various lengths of silicone together and that worked fine.

Once the relative lengths of rubber and fishing line were sorted out, Graham showed his true colours and tirelessly helped me out with several launches. Thanks Graham - it was a hot day and the help was much appreciated.

I still need to practice my thermal turns, but got some good launch practice anyway.

Bob then got his ASW28 out and Graham once again stepped up to the plate to maiden it for him and help trim it out. After several flights and some adjustment, the model went very well.

In the meantime, I had brought the Minimoa along and decided to give it a test glide. This was extremely nerve-warcking as I'd been given the model by a friend on the proviso I got it flying. It's taken me 5 years of on-again/off-again refurbishment, including recovering the wings and empennage, installing spoilers and spending hours on a nice new paint scheme.

The model has always seemed a bit heavy to me and I feared it'd glide like a brick.

In actual fact, that's exactly what it did! With full 'up', it flew pretty-much straight ahead down to the ground with a prodigious sink rate.

But to be fair, i think the cg is a bit too far forward and the tailplane has too much positive incidence as a result of my modifying the attachment system.

One great thing, it went dead straight.

So this evening I've decreased the tailpalne incidence, replaced the battery with a lighter one and increased the elevator throw.

I await a further opportunity to try her again.

During this time the wind had swung 180 degrees so I spent 20 minutes setting up the bungee in the other direction. This gliding lark keeps you fit!

Graham had sorted Bob's ASW nicely by now but I wanted to try some solo launches and declined his offer of further help. I tried a low-power launch, handling the bungee and the glider on my own. It went very well and I'm keen to try further solo launches, with more tension.

But by that time, it was home-we-go for all so we packed up and headed out.

Nice flying with you guys, Graham - you were a star! Thanks for the help and advice.

As a post-script, I felt i knew Bob's face from somewhere, but couldn't place him. Turns out he works at one of the companies i was delivering to when I was working for Johnson's Apparelmaster - as soon as he said it I thought "oh yeeeess! i recognise you now!" funny how you don't recognise someone when you see them out of context!

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Vagabond at Wolstonbury Hill. 10/10/15.

Just come across this vid, nothing special but it does feature Marc landing at the end, wonder how is getting on haven`t seen him for ages!

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Ridge Ryder flying near Oxted quarry. 7/9/16

The conditions were very similar to those Paul described for his and Rob`s session at DB`s SE slope. I did consider the Libelle but decided on giving the RR a chance, didn`t it do well!!

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Andrew and Bob flying at Beeding Hill.

Ditchling Beacon - South Bowl Soaring

Met up with Rob and Jim up on Ditchling Beacon around Midday today (Wednesday) to see if the rarely used SE facing bowl behind the main ridge would be working.
The weather was lovely with a rich blue sky and a warm 10mph SE breeze. Rob flew his Dream-Flight Libelle DLG and flew my Blaster 2 DLG and my Dream-Flight Weasel. Jim brought along his new Elf DLG but unfortunately technical issues kept Jim on the ground.
The bowl is shallow with lots of bushes and bends through South to virtually an Easterly direction. The lift can be variable but produces some good thermals. We have found the more you move around the bowl (to the West) the better the lift gets but this puts you behind some lower level trees / bushes which produce some hideous sink as you will see from my video. Once you push on past the bushes the lift improves and smoothes out.
The good news is that Rob is back to his 'full of life' self. He flew really well given that the lift was variable at times and turbulent behind the trees. I had a real hard time when trying to land the Blaster as I just couldn't get out of the lift and the landing flap just kept the model stationary but didn't help the model sink to the ground.
We did get to see and fly near two beautiful Buzzards which were calling and chasing each other around the sky. 
Make sure you watch the video to the end. When we were trying to fly together and float in the lift the models touched and Rob's Libelle lost its canopy as well as his battery. The model amazingly landed well without any damage.
Cheers Rob enjoyed the company!

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

DLG Soaring on Ashdown Forest

Driving over the forest on the way back from Tunbridge Wells and I happen to have my Blaster 2 DLG in the back of the car. Been meaning to try this one large shallow bowl for ages and wasn't sure if it was going to produce any lift. Chucked it off and the first flight was around 10 minutes. The second one was longer with slope lift just enough to stay airbourne and the odd thermal to boost you up to a reasonable height.
Need to try the larger mouldy next time if I'm brave enough but the landing area is a little small with trees and sheep everywhere. Maybe just stick with the DLG's. Video filmed with my phone using my left hand and flying and holding the TX with the right hand. 

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Skycruise video

4th Sept on Beeding Hill

Hi All,
Today Andrew and I went to Beeding Bowl at 09:00. We had spent quite some time yesterday setting up Andrew's models on his new Dx9, so today was the day to check out the programming, mixing, etc.. which Andrew worked out.
We took my Moth and Ninja and Andrew's Sky Cruise and Diamond. They all flew very well despite the conditions being blustery and the lift working near to the hill, but not so good further out.
Andrew set up the Sky Cruise with the video only to find that he'd left the SD card at home !!! Anyway the model flew well and the new flap programming proved very helpful. After 30 minutes we were joined by Bob P who had his new Scooter (from T9 Hobbies) and Wildthing. I had a fly of the Scooter and found it very good to fly and great at manoeuvring, it looped and rolled easily.
I flew my Ninja and Moth (not both at once !) and they both had the same issue with not enough lift further out from the hill, so I flew them close-up and had a great time.
A little later we were joined by Graham Triker who had his Orange Thing , Proxima 2 and Stork. Luckily Graham also had an SD card, so Andrew managed to get about 20 minutes of video from the Sky Cruise , but the flight ended with a stall and a nose-dive which will make great video !! (Sorry Andrew).
Graham was doing great things with his moulded gliders , flying way out and also behind the hill over the carpark and beyond. Bob tried that too with his Wildthing and landed in the trees in the carpark. We all chipped in and managed to find it. No damage and it flew again.
Andrew and I left at 11:15 but Bob and Graham stayed on. I hope all went well after we left ?

Altogether a great morning with some brilliant flying and the usual bout of retrieving models from difficult places - I really enjoyed myself, thanks to all who came...

Andrew will upload some of his marathon video (including the nose-dive I hope), a bit later today.