Sunday, 26 February 2017

A few hours break in the weather

Arrived at Mill Hill today with Will and was greeted with rain and low cloud. So low that you could just make out the bushes just outside the car park area. Spoke to Ian on the phone and he assured me that things would get better and as usual, he was right.
The low cloud lifted and we were greeted with a blustery SW wind which did top about 35mph at times.
Myself and Will were joined by Rob, Ian, Graham, Bob P and his son. With a variety of models. Graham gave us an amazing display on what I thought you couldn't do with a Shadow in what was a blowy day. The landings were Interesting to say the least with most of us experiencing severe sink in front of the fence let alone over the road.
Will flew his new toy again in challenging conditions and again did a really good job.
Myself and Ian played how low to the bottom field could you go. The answer was - Lowwwwwww!
A potential new member joined us and hopefully will be joining us soon - Hi Tony ..........
Rob P managed to re-maiden two nice mouldys and got given some tuition from his son on how to fly the Wildthing. Well done James! #Here's a little video on how to land from Ian. Pity he had forgotten all this as he landed his Star Jet in the field behind on his last flight!

Thursday, 23 February 2017

E-Flite Opterra

Here is my new toy for FPV flying. It wont be with me for another week or so but I am looking forward to trying it out on the slope and our flat field. Just looking into different types of OSD (On Screen Display) as I want either an audio or visual vario to get some idea if the model is in lift or not.
Will hopefully get some pics as the FPV kit is going in (as and when it all arrives).

Saturday, 18 February 2017

A Day of Firsts

It was a day of firsts - Paul's first time FPVing, my first time at Colley Hill and flying the Ascot, and Ian's first time driving round the M25 on the weekend without being paid for it!
It was also the first time that I can remember, at least since October/November last year, flying without a hat, gloves and down jacket - amazing what a difference it makes when you don't have a layer of insulating material between your fingers and the gimbal sticks!

It is a stunning location with an imposing south-facing bowl, which delivered on impressive lift and excellent thermals. These benefits were only countered by the dizzying experience of crossing the M25 on a footbridge suspended above eight lanes of traffic to reach the slope, and the turbulent landing area behind directly behind the main bowl.

We initially set up our gliders on the spur just to the west of the main bowl but quickly moved back round to the main bowl as the lift was stronger - although so too was the turbulence, which made for some challenging landings as the wind continued to pick-up throughout the morning!

Paul and Ian test flew the Ascot, which flew impeccably straight from the launch - a testament to the skill of the guy who sold and set it up for me (thanks mate if you read this!). After taking the controls, I was immediately reassured by it's smooth and stable flight characteristics which inspired complete confidence from the first (nerve-wracking) moments.

After 5-10 minutes getting the feel of it, Ian offered to land it for me and test out the crow configuration set up in landing mode. Ian pulled off an impressive landing in the turbulent conditions. I then took the transmitter back and Ian lobbed it off for me and I started to relax a bit and really enjoy my second flight and am already looking forward to my next one.

After my second attempt to get into mouldies (Ian's Europhia being the first) and over a year off following the birth of my baby daughter, today felt like a real milestone moment. Thanks to everyone at Slope Soaring Sussex for making it possible!

The main bowl at Colley Hill
Setting up on the spur (the main mouldie landing area)
Looking back across the bowl from the main landing area
Me and the Ascot after two fun-filled flights
Ian launching his DLG
A colourful selection of gliders (Mijet, Ascot, ExPro, Shadow x2) 

My first experience with FPV flying

With my micro camera fitted to the Weasel It was an ideal opportunity to give FPV a go up on Colley Hill today. Here is the set up which is fixed using Velcro to the canopy hatch.
Its a tiny camera with a 1s lipo (came off an indoor model) which is located behind the camera and it all sits on a foam block.
Here I am with Graham by my side ready to take over as and when required (which he was).
We first flew the model to check it would fly with the micro camera fixed to the nose. Then I flew the model and others looked through the goggles and then eventually I flew the model FPV on the sticks. It was amazing and I found it a little easier than I had imagined. I need to change the antenna to a mushroom type one as we were getting breaks in the transmission during flight when you went a little way away. It has to be said that the camera TX signal is very weak and hopefully when I get my decent camera's going we will see a marked improvement in quality of signal and video feed.
I am well up for more FPV flying now. Just need to get the buddy box sorted and away we go !!!

Will's New Toy

This little bit of video is off Will's new toy at Colley Hill earlier today. Will is going to put a flying report for us all to hear how it went. Here Ian's on the sticks but Will you did really well today man!

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Omega ~ Progress Report

This is the package of wood etc. I ordered from Slec.

From this I start to build a kit, from which I can subsequently build an aeroplane!
First the ribs; a great way to use up odd scraps of 1/16 inch balsa. Count the ribs carefully off the plan and sandwich the right number between ply templates:
 Then double-check the number before carving and sanding ribs to shape like so:
Here are one wing's worth:
And here are the ribs for both wings bundled up with additional ply root ribs slotted for the wing joiner:

The next job will be making the aluminium/ply/balsa wing joiner...

Cheers, Russell H

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

First Person View (FPV) Slope Soaring

I've had a desire to try out FPV (First Person View) for ages now. The idea of seeing your flying live and from an aerial perspective is fascinating to me.
So when I was scanning the HobbyKing site and I saw a FPV docking station for my RunCam 2 this got me thinking about FPV again. This little docking station carries everything you need (except the little lipo) to transmit a live video feed back to the pilot. Spoke to Jack who gave me some advice and I pressed the 'Buy Now' button. Not bad I though for £25.

Now to the receiving end of the FPV system. I spent a lot of time looking at goggles and head worn screens and the many types and prices where staggering. One of the very popular manufactures of FPV goggles seems to be Fatshark. Well these guys have joined forces with Spektrum to create a system that gives you a half decent set of Fatshark goggles and a mini camera that is the size of a Spektrum RX but carries a reasonable camera and TX aerial to transmit back to the goggles. The camera also can be controlled by your head movements through the goggles. Which means you can move your head which will in turn move the camera and then the view you see.
The google and camera set can be purchased for £199 delivered free from Kings Lynn Models. Click Here to find out more about the goggles and camera.
It must be said that I am a complete novice / beginner when it comes to FPV so these are the basic facts that I have picked up from reading online and the advice from Jack.
So after looking for ages I decided that I needed to start cheap and confirm that I could actually fly FPV first before sinking a whole lot of money into this concept.
So here's what I bought.

Quantum Cyclops FPV Goggles from HobbyKing.
Here's the blurb:
Quanum FPV heralds in the new age of lightweight plug & play style FPV headsets packed with more features than its closest competitors. Introducing the Quanum Cyclops FPV Goggle.
Lightweight and super comfortable the Quanum Cyclops is one of the best FPV Goggles on the market today using a rear mounted battery pouch for optimum weight distribution and soft sponge rubber facial foam lined with smooth sweatband material for maximum comfort. The one piece molded plastic shell design even allows for those that need to wear glasses during FPV flying.
The 5”, 800 X 480 non blue screen monitor and integrated 40 Channel Raceband compatible receiver maximizes the users immersive FPV experience.
A true Plug and Play solution that is compatible with Jack, XT60 or even 9 Volt style battery plugs can be used with 7.4 to 12.6 Volt power inputs.
No need to be “One Eyed” about your next FPV Goggle purchase the Quanum Cyclops is the natural progression, just power it Up, Autoscan to your FPV Channel and your flying, Boom Done!

With the battery and a new mushroom aerial (don't ask!) delivered for £50.

So what am I going to do with this very basic FPV set up, well I want to try FPV slope soaring (what else?) and I am hoping to site the camera and small lipo on my Ninja flying wing. The wing is very stable and I have previously had my Contour Roam video camera fitted to the wing and it proved to be a real success. Well lets give it a try and see how it goes. There may be a little wait as the RunCam docking station is coming from China on a slow delivery (too tight to pay for a quick delivery).

Then if this goes well I am very Interested in this.
This is the new E-Flite Opterra 2m flying wing. Click here for more details
So what do you think, any interest to you?

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Ditchling Beacon in the snow.

Well you probably saw the snow falling but nothing stops the terrible trio from hitting the slops. Will wanted to try out his new toy but the weather wasn't having any of it! Me and Ian flew our M60's in the snow and clag. Just lucky they were both brightly coloured.

Here's a short video. Nice duo landing at the end.
Then down the pub for a pint of Harvey's and a sausage sandwich next to the roaring fire. Cheers guys........

Friday, 10 February 2017

Runcam 2 Full HD Camera - HK Flash Sale

I use this camera to get some great onboard and helmet cam footage. These camera provide full HD video and pictures. You can use the phone app and link it direct to your phone screen.

Image result for runcam 2
Down to a bargain price of just £59.69 plus carriage here in the UK from Hobby King.

Here is the link to the HK website

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Black Spektrum DX7 transmitter for sale

Black Spektrum DX7 transmitter - mode 2 in excellent condition.
Comes with 2s lipo battery - gives much longer life than standard NiMh batteries.
Charger and neck strap.
SD card
£100.00 for Tx. alone
or £110.00 with ally case.

Contact Tim at

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Ditchling Beacon 5th Feb

Hi All,
This morning Scott, Bob P and I met at the Beacon car park in the swirling mists. The wind was pretty raw and blowing straight from the NE allowing us to fly from just the other side of the road.

Scott brought his Wildthing, Bob had his Wildthing and Middle Phase and I had the Moth.
But nobody brought a camera, so there's no pictures I'm afraid. Anyway you all know what we look like !
We all flew quite a lot in the very strong but blustery wind. The lift was good a little way out from the hill, but very blustery near the hill and for landing. We all spent the time doing circuits and practising our landings which all went very well in the conditions.
Bob then tried his Middle Phase with some spoileron setup but that left him with too little aileron authority, so it landed a bit heavily, but all OK thanks to rubber band wing and tail surface fixings.

We spent just about 2 hours up there before Scott and I decided it was too cold to continue, but Bob decided to stay on - he was using his transmitter mitt.
At the car park we met two of the Mill Hill regulars who were just setting up their mouldies for flying. I don't know if they joined Bob or not.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Ascot Short F3F/F3B

A few pics of the new toy. Now set up on the DX8 and awaiting its first outing!