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