Friday, 31 October 2014

Just when you think everything is against you!

Me and Clint struggled through the traffic to get to Newhaven Fort and we arrived twenty minutes late. On arrival there was no parking at the Fort due to a Halloween party with tons of horrible kids with painted faces. Floating above us where loads of Paragliders skimming over the top of the cliff and looked too low to have us and them flying in the same airspace. Rob had been there but decided the whole situation was too stressful and took himself off home. After a quick chat with Tim we decided this was not the place to fly and Tim went off home as well.. We caught up with Graham by phone only to find he had been up on the cliff flying but said it wasn't the best and had wandered back to his car. We all drove along the cliffs to towards Brighton Marina but the wind was too Easterly. We eventually ended up at the back of Ditchling Beacon. Me, Clint and Graham flew the Southerly bowl for a good half an hour to an hour. With two M60's and a Libelle. The M60 without ballast went surprisingly well in what was gentle lift. It wasn't a bad end to a some what frustrating afternoon.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

From Chris on the Isle of Wight

Hi Guys, this is just a short update on what we are doing on the IW at the moment.

Yesterday (Tuesday) was just perfect slope soaring weather, myself Tony and Paul went up to Culver Down in the morning and over to  Stenbury in the afternoon, it was 12mph up to 20 on Stenbury.

Tony had some good fast soaring with his Moth, I went with my Wildthing as my Moth is still on the workbench, Paul's Zagi went well.
I am still trying to get to grips with the Headcam at the moment, the angle being the problem........too much Sky...........too much Ground!!!! but I will improve, I promise haha!

This is a better video! Vagabond/Colley. 28/10/14.

Best viewed in full screen YouTube HD.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Newhaven Sea Cliffs

Here is a compilation of yesterday's flying from the cliffs at Newhaven Fort with Rob & Clint.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Three Amigos - Newhaven Fort

Clint, Rob and I enjoyed a few hours slope soaring up on the cliffs at Newhaven Fort. blowing a good 25mph SW wind which provided strong lift as well as the usual turbulence coming in and pushing out over the cliff edge. M60's proved an excellent choice (again) with them being ballasted they tear through the sky and make light work of the strong winds. Rob flew his Ninja and we all flew my old and dated PSS P-51 Mustang.
Newhaven Cliffs from the air
Rob's Ninja caught from on board the P-51
Smile Guys - On board the M60
Rob & Clint

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Culver Down Cliffs (Eastern Flank)

You will be pleased to know this is my last video from our Isle of Wight expedition yesterday. Here we all flew near the end of Culver Down on the edge od a 600' chalk cliff.

St Catherine's Point - Storming Lift

Here is another video from yesterdays I of W sloping trip. This one features Jack with his Ninja and me flying the M60 fully loaded with brass ballast slugs. I loved this flying site. Strong lift, amazing views and a challenging to fly at. Landing was particularly interesting as the model just fell out of the sky from about 20' high.

On Board Video - Culver Down & St Catherine's Point (Isle of Wight)

Here is the on board HD video taken during our Isle of Wight trip yesterday. The first site is flying at Culver Down (Western end) flying the M60, then off to a slope over looking St Catherine's Point and Lighthouse again flying on board with the M60 and then finally back at Culver Down but this time flying on the Eastern end on the slope.
More 'Helmet Cam' video to follow.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Rain - What Rain!!

Isle of Wight - Sat 18th October 2014
Due to Rob being ill over night meant that both him and Clint couldn't come with me and Jack to the Island. We left with a bright dawn and no rain. On the ferry over there was some rain but on arrival on the Island there was no sign of the forecast heavy rain but just a dull sky and a good wind blowing.
We met up with Chris, Bill, Tony and Paul up at Culver Down for our first flying session on the cliffs. Its not the easiest of places to fly as you have to push way out through the turbulence and find the good lift much further out. We played here for and hour or so and then the guys took me and Jack to have a look at some other flying sites. We pitched up near BlackGang Chine to a site over looking St Catherine's Lighthouse. A steep slope over looking the lighthouse and the sea - WOW !!
What a blow on top. 30 - 40mph I would say and the lift was mega. The M60 fully loaded was screaming around the sky. Here's a picture of Jack, Chris, Bill & Tony up at the top.
From here it was down hill all the way to a beautiful 16th Century pub (Buddle Inn, Niton) for a spot of lunch and some lovely bitter to wash it down with! Then after our break the Intention was to drive down to Freshwater Bay but looking down towards the cliffs in the distance they were covered in Rain and cloud. Back off to Culver Down but this time to the far end where the wind was good, the lift was better and the scenery was wonderful.
Myself and Jack had a great day out on the Island and many thanks to Jack, Chris, Bill and Tony for their help, advice and bloody good company - Cheers guys!!!

Lots of video to follow but it will take me a day to load it all up.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Not long now.......

This Saturday the famous four will be once again off to sample the delights of the Isle of Wight and its many cliff top slope soaring sites. Here are two videos that was taken in May and I know most of you have seen them but I loved the day, so here it is again, sorry!!
We will be meeting up with Chris, Bill and hopefully some others for some more white cliffs adrenalin.
Wind currently looks good with a forecast of 18 - 28mph S wind with overcast skies and the chance of showers but we all know that can and probably will change.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Tim's Traceur maiden's in very light conditions.

Here is a video from yesterday's flying at Seaford Beach. Tim's new Modelbau Traceur Ultrabatic glider had its maiden flight. It flew very well in marginal lift with just a 5 - 6 mph wind up against a 15ft high sea wall. Tim said it cost just £75 Including the delivery to the UK from Maodellbau Joost in Germany.

Light Weights at Seaford Beach

Rob, Graham, Tim and I met up at Newhaven Fort to be greeted by rain and a weak Westerly wind. We gave up on flying the S-SW cliffs and headed to Seaford beach. On arrival there we were greeted by heavy rain but this soon blew through.
The wind that should have been 15mph was ay best 7mph but more like 5mph. Out came Graham's Libelle and my Vagabond. Graham showed us how it should be done and very slowly the wind increased hugely by a few mile an hour. Here was our first flights captured on video.
Rob flew my Vagabond for a bit and then Tim rigged his newly built Traceur. It weighs the same as a Vagabond and looks very much the same so in theory it should fly in the same very light lift as the Vagabond. Well, after a little Incident with the elevator being reversed and me not noticing it, I launched the Traceur into the 5 - 7mph light breeze. The sea wall produced enough lift to keep her up - Just!!. She flew very well. Maybe a little more twitchy than the Vagabond but gained more in the small band of lift than the Vagabond. Look forward to flying it in much better lift.
Rob rigged his Vagabond and we flew it for a few minutes and trimmed it out to fly in the light conditions and landed it on the beach below.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Tim's newly built Moudelbau Traceur EPP slope soarer

Here is the latest model to come off the Tim Hampshire production line. A very smart and elegant Tracuer EPP from Modelbau Joost of Germany. Carved from EPP foam and covered with laminate plastic it looks like strong competition to the Vagabond. I think it will stand up to a lot more punishment than the Vagabond but still only comes in at 600grms.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Devils Dyke with a clearing weather front.

Earlier on in the day I was sitting at home in the pouring rain in front of the computer and looking at XC Weather it showed the weather front would have cleared by 4.00pm. I met Rob and Adam up in the Devils Dyke car park at 3.30pm to be greeted with rain and low cloud giving zero visibility. As I was driving up to the Dyke you could see the back edge of the weather front with blue sky behind it. Within ten minutes the cloud was breaking and looking a whole lot better with a decent NW wind blowing.

Cloud base continued to be low for a while with cloud drifting up the slope making visibility a bit tricky at first but with good lift. I flew my M60 ballasted up to the gills, Rob flew his Ninja and Adam was flying his Apache (very well). The weather continued to improve and it ended up to be an afternoon of spectacular views and some decent flying.
I'm not usually a big fan of Devils Dyke but there was no sign of paragliders or hand gliders and a distinct lack or people and dogs which meant we could fly more over on the main bowl. I don't suppose that will happen like that ever again.
I think the moral of the story is don't be put off - take a risk, go and see what conditions are like and you might be treated to some unexpected flying where others have not bothered. Here endith this weeks sermon!