Sunday, 22 April 2018

A Good Crowd at Long Man

Hi all,

Had a good blow-out of the cobwebs at Long Man today - only the second time I've been flying this year!

I got up there about 1000, expecting a crowd, only to find I was the first up. 
My trusty Spectre and I had a great first flight - the lift was a little patchy but the odd raggedy thermal was coming through to give me that little bit of height occasionally.

I was soon joined by Lloyd, who'd come over from Essex to fly at Long Man (and we sometimes think it's a long way to drive...) - let's face it, if you live in Essex, being a slope-soaring enthusiast is always going to mean mileage...
He was flying his own-design, scratch-built clone of an Aussie design called Stormchaser - weighing in at only 240 grammes he was a little concerned he might get blown back, but the model is a clean as a whistle and its streamlined shape with few appendages penetrated nicely. It flew very well and  looked impressively smooth. It's quite small and I was concerned it'd be difficult to see, but being black it stood out well against the background and was easily visible at sometimes quite large distances. It's built mainly out of carbon fibre and Lloyd and I had a good chat about building with this material - he's a bit of a dab hand at it as you can see, having vacuum-bagged the wings and fuz himself.

Shortly after Lloyd and I had finished our flights, a couple of guys from London turned up - Michail and Tomas, both hailing originally from Poland but living and working in the big city. 
Tomas had a Zagi and Michail had an Avia 315 and an Art Hobby Lotus 260, both of which were a little light for the conditions, so they moved further down the slope where the wind was lighter, rather than trying to fly from the top, where the increasing breeze was beginning to whip over the summit somewhat! As I was walking back down the hill at around 1230 I saw Michail and Tomas down in the valley, Michail maidening the Avia with a hefty heave and catching a low thermal for a quick flight to about 70ft, before circling slowly and gracefully back down. Nice maiden, Michail.

Shortly after we were joined by Matt (with two 't's), a regular at the slopes this end of the Downs, sporting a rather natty Bill-and-Ben hat and a mini-Weasel donated by a mate.
The weasel flew well despite its diminutive size (as did the Stormchaser, up again) in what was now a good breeze - good enough for yours truly to manage 3 consecutive loops!

I've found with consecutive loops that it seems to help if I release some of the back pressure on the stick as I go over the top, allowing the loop to flatten at the top and allowing a bit of a dive before commencing the next one. Any advice or comments on this much appreciated.

Lastly just before I left we were joined by Mark who's escaped the rogue's gallery because my phone stopped working - but Matt (with two 't's) lent me his camera and has promised to email the mugshot over, so I'll add it later. Being preoccupied with my phone, I forgot to write down details of any of the three models Mark brought with him - sorry Mark, but if you _will_ turn up late....

A great morning's flying, good breeze, good company, a bit of banter and a load of nattering about rc gliders, carbon fibre and Matt (with two 't's)'s hat. 

Cheers for now!


STOP PRESS - pics just in: Mark stalked by Phantom Model Glider Hurler of Bexhill on Sea. 

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Back of Ditchling today - Saturday

Just had a very nice hours flying with Ian using the bowl behind the main Ditchling Beacon ridge. For once the car park wasn't full and the gentle SE breeze was blowing up the slope. I had my Ascott and Ian had his old faithful 'Shadow'. I had left my big thermal soarer at home today and put in the Ascott just incase the wind was slightly stronger than forecast.
The hours soaring was made up of regular thermals and some week ridge but the lift was nearly always there. Thanks Ian for the good company again. Just a pity more club members couldn't have joined us.
I wont be flying tomorrow but I will be attending the 'Glider Day' at the Horsham club next weekend. I do know that Ian, Scott, Graham, Rob and I will all be attending this very good day (if last years event was anything to go by). So why not come along. You don't have to fly you can sit and watch, have a chat and enjoy the delights of our friends at the Horsham club. There will be lots of people on hand to help out, encourage and advice. I had a great time last year and am buzzing about it this year.

Monday, 16 April 2018

Lots of time on the sticks!

Well the forecast was spot on for the weekend just gone.
Myself, Steve, Ian and Scott flew both Saturday and we were joined by Graham on Sunday morning.
Saturday AM we travelled down to Eastbourne. We were greeted with a stronger wind than anticipated but fog below our feet but occasionally the fog moved up the slope and engulfed us but soon retreated to allow us to fly the light weight gliders. The lift was soft but with the right model it was flyable.  I enjoyed a paraglider flying directly in front of me about 50ft above the slope, so I couldn't actually see my model for a split second. Don't they understand they should not fly near us, over us or between us and our models? Steve shouted at the guy and he buggered off back down the slope. He did come over to us and apologise and said he did see my model but that didn't help me out.
Then after some food we made our way to Ashdown Forest. Myself and Ian started with our DLG's and Steve flew his powered glider. The DLG's bot got away in the blustery conditions The South Easterly wind was just on the strong side now, so Ian and I got our large thermal machines (Nan Expro & Nan Shadow) and off we walked the edge of the very gentle slope. Both of these gliders are over 3.5m span but with no motor and a good chuck Ian threw his Shadow off by hand and on many occasions he managed to climb away from 8 - 10' above the ground and into orbit. Total respect to Ian!. I failed on every occasion to get away with my Expro and I was going to break it if I carried on lobbing this heavy model in to the sky and trying to turn slow and low, so gave up and got out my Fireblade V2 DLG again. We played around with them for a while and all felt happy with the flying and off to the pub.
Sunday morning I picked Steve up and met up with Ian up at Colley Hill (Reigate). The wind was blowing but the fog (low cloud) was drifting up over the hill and we couldn't make out much below our feet. This cleared and the landscape below us opened up rapidly so flying commenced. Steve with his Genesis Wing and his Pheonix model, Ian with his M60 and me with my Merlow and my Ascott.
The wind moved slightly so we had to relocate along the bowl. Here is were we met up with Graham with his Shadow. The things Graham does with his Shadow is amazing. His glider spends more time inverted than the right way up. Good to see you Graham!
Then Scott turned up late for the party as Ian had already packed up and gone. Scott flew his Wild Thing and his Weasel.  Which was the perfect choice then as the wind eased and the lift softened.
We were joined by Derek and a few other locals but the slope wasn't busy.
The landings were interesting. The light wind and relatively small landing area made things very interesting. It took me a few times to get the landing right. Having to move myself along the slope to come in from another direction and over tree's.
I had a great time over the weekend and really appreciated the few guys who came out flying with Steve. Plenty of flying achieved but yet another weekend that proved you really do need a good selection of models that work over a variety of wind conditions.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Our Weekend Safari

Hi all

My mate Steve from Wales will be with us over the weekend and as is the normal (as per most of my trips to Wales lately) the weather is not playing ball. Light winds are forecast and from the South.

From chatting with Ian we have tried to formulate a plan for flying this weekend but as usual, things could well change.

Saturday Morning.
Meeting up with Steve around 9.00ish.
Drive down to Eastbourne (as the wind is forecast to be SE - S) wind light. Here you can soar the slope in front of the sea (not over the sea) or wander around the corner in the big bowl (which is Southerly). Easy parking just behind the slope with smooth lift off the slope. Could be paragliders and the landing can be a little tight but there will be plenty of us about to land your model for you.

Pub Lunch

Saturday Afternoon.
Hoping for some sunshine. With the light winds and wet ground, we are aiming to head off towards the Ashdown Forest for some DLG / Electric thermal soaring. The forest offers drier ground than most places and together with the gentle slope we should be able to pick off some thermals.

Sunday Morning.
I'm not sure of Steve's plans for Sunday but I hope to meet up with Steve and go and fly up at Colley Hill (near Reigate) which is a Southerly (SSE/S/SSW) slope with a fantastic view back over the Wield. A lovely slope and worth a visit. landing a little tight with tree's behind but usually offers good lift). Car park nearby and a little level walk to the slope.

Not planning any flying (as yet) for Sunday PM as I'm not sure of Steve's plans PM as he has a long trek home afterwards.

I know we will be visiting some sites that many of you haven't flown at before but don't let this put you off. Every site if flyable and if you are not sure with your landings we are always there to help.

Come along, meet Steve and enjoy some well needed stick time.

If you plan to come along, please let me know (text me, email me or leave a message below or leave me a shout) and then if our plans change I can let you know any change of plan if needed.

07834 859018