Sunday, 28 February 2016

Early Start - Early Finish on the Beacon

Good to see the Two Ian's, Scott, Les and briefly Rob today. The bitter 25mph + NE wind gave us great lift but also the onset of frostbite !!
As you probably have already read in my previous post I maidened Tim's NCFM Bluto and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. There was plenty of more action with Les flying his mended and modified Cliffwhacker which did show an improvement with the movement (I like that). Ian D was welcomed back into the fold after a long absence and he hadn't lost any of the skills on the sticks. Scott tried and failed to knock the Ninja out of the sky but then I didn't do much better flying around like a crazed guy on the sticks with frozen fingers. No major incidents or accidents and all of us seemed to enjoy ourselves.

NCFM Bluto Maiden Flight

Tim's been feeling a bit under the weather lately but has still found the time to finish a beautiful NCFM Bluto. The Bluto is a 60'' racer made from EPP but this one is covered so well you wouldn't be able to tell. The whole of the trailing edge moves. Ailerons on the outboard section of the wing and between the two fins is the elevator. I thought this would cause me problems when trying to launch but in fact it was a doddle.
As with all Tim's builds this one has been built and covered very well. The launch was easy and the model only need one or two clicks of trim and she was away flying true and with some speed. It only took a few minutes of flying her and I felt completely at home. A little faster than the NCFM M60 that I regularly fly with ballast so this un=ballasted Bluto really has a good turn of speed. She retains her energy well in sharp turns and rolls, loops and fly's inverted with hardly any effort.
The landing wasn't a problem. The model slowed up well for a controlled approach and gentle touch down.
My second flight was just as enjoyable with everything clicking into place. Ballast will make it a rocket ship. On that note..... has anyone got access to a lathe? Tim has the ballast in bar form but needs this machining into 1'' slugs. If you can help then please contact me through this blog or email / phone.
This one gets a 9/10 from me and maybe a 10/10 when fully loaded up with ballast. Well done Tim - good job done!!

Saturday, 27 February 2016

My first trip to Bo Peep

I met up with Jim and Graham up on a very cold Bo Peep this afternoon. Driving up the hill was interesting with a load of nutters speed skate boarding down the main road up the hill. Parked in the car park and its a 10 minute walk to the flying site.
A fairly clear area with gorse on one edge to shelter out of the wind but still a 1000mm high fence in front of you to get over as you glide out into the very strong lift. We think it must have been blowing at least 35mph maybe even a little more. You know when its getting difficult to stand up type of thing.
I flew my fully loaded M60 and then bravely flew my Willow 2, which went very well in the rough conditions.
Jim was getting back in practice with his Spectre but the strong winds together with a downwind dash proved terminal. Bo Peep 1 - Spectre 0.
Graham flew his HB wing that went very well again in a strong blow. Graham then showed me his skill on the sticks flying my M60.
I have to say this was one of the coldest flying trips I have had the pleasure being on. My fingers were stinging and paining when I decided to land the Willow which is a new one for me.
All in all I wasn't massively impressed with Bo Peep, given the 23 mile drive from my house. Ditchling is a lot nearer and just as good but Bo Peep did have a decent landing area behind but today you didn't want to be too far behind the ridge when landing given the strength of the wind.

Bo-Peep to my mind is an excellent site. as Firle Beacon.....!

Saturday (today) Flying

Hi all
Slight change of plan for todays planned flying - Wind now swinging slightly to the NE around mid afternoon, so Graham has suggested we go to Bo Peep and fly. Apparently you can park at the top with plenty of room to land. Wind going to be breezy with a 20 - 30mph NE wind. I have never flown at Bo Peep before so its got to be worth a go. Located about a mile East of Firle Beacon.
Here is a link to where Bo Peep is located: MAP LINK
I am meeting Graham up there at 15.00hrs today at the car park.
Any questions give me a call / text - 07834 859018

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Algebra 3m update - and Wolstonbury delivers again!

Well I just got back from Wolstonbury Hill - I love that place! 

You may have spotted a shout I put up last week, saying I'd maidened that Algebra 3m I built last year. It went very well, but I pranged it a bit on landing - the wind was a bit gusty and blowing 15kts +, with no ailerons, roll control is achieved as a secondary effect of yaw - which means there's a short delay between adding rudder and seeing any roll. The gusty conditions meant that I was unable to lift the wing which dropped and the tip hit the ground.

Now, when I bult the Algebra, Tim Hampshire advised me to add dihedral braces to the outer wing panels rather than the simple glue-joint + linen tape along the bottom. Of course, I ignored this entirely!

To be fair, I really wanted to build the plane as-per plans, to be as original as possible. I think if I had just been flying from a flat field the issue might not have arisen. But flying from the slope, I inevitably dug-in a wingtip and the joint was strained - it didn't break, but definitely deformed!

Solution? I retro-fitted dihedral braces... 

This afternoon I trekked up to Wolsonbury Hill - with a NE'ly forecast at 5 -6 kts I was keen to try the Algebra under conditons to which it was more suited.

The wind was very light indeed and I was quite reticent about throwing the model! However, I eventually plucked up the courage and committed aviation. The model scratched around for a few minutes, neither losing nor gaining height. I used the time to trim the model further and got it flying nicely. The spoilers proved themselves very effective on landing.

I walked a little further round the bowl and tried again. This time the breeze picked up slightly and the model was away! It climbed slowly and steadily to about 300ft, seemingly on the top of the wave of lift over the hill. There it stayed for the next 55 minutes! 

It was utterly peaceful up there today - the breeze was almost non-existent, the skylarks were trilling. I could hear the sheep baa-ing in the valley below, the occasional moo from the cattle.

Absolutely idyllic. The Algebra 3m really showed it can climb in the slightest lift... an epic afternoon and the ideal way to relax after an 0400 start and driving in London all day!

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Just looked at the weather for the weekend !!

Hi all.
Just been looking at the long range from the Met Office forecast for this coming weekend and (fingers crossed) we may have two flyable days !!!
Saturday currently indicating a ENE wind (Wolstonbury Hill) and Sunday a good NNE - NE blow.
We all had such a good time up at Ditchling Beacon the other week, we could be in for a repeat hopefully.
I'm not sure about Saturday as I might have to work but If Sunday goes to plan then I will be up for some mega soaring on the Beacon. If you can make Saturday then why not give Wolstonbury a go. I always enjoy flying up there!
Anyway keep the blog posted if you decide to go flying. Either give a shout out or leave a message at the bottom of this post and I will keep everyone updated with who's flying where and when.
Hope to see as many of you as possible over the weekend.
07834 859018

Friday, 19 February 2016

Weekend 20th 21st February

Hi All,
This weekend is forecasting WSW winds to gale force and more.
Paul H is away and I (Rob) am unwell, so we are not planning any flying.
With a WSW wind, there aren't many places that will work, possibly Mt Caburn or at a pinch Mill Hill, but it will be up to you if you decide to go and brave the fierce winds.
Might be a weekend for building or repairing (which is what I'm going to do!)

Flying Rights on Ashdown Forest - Update

Please note that flying gliders on Ashdown Forest is subject to a lot of conditions and the details for 2016 can be found here on the SE Area BMFA site -

Rob Stanley

Sunday, 14 February 2016

What do you do when you have forgotten the flowers, card and chocolates - go flying !!

Well what a turn out we had this morning up on Ditchling Beacon !
Rob, Andrew, Dave, Les, Scott, Ian, Roger and me braved the minus wind chill to enjoy a good few hours sloping and joking and dodging the dog poo. You flew till you couldn't feel your fingers and then tried to do a decent landing which some people managed and others didn't. I managed to get some good video both on board the Dragon and using the faithful old head cam.
Les changed to profile of his beloved Cliffwhacker to such an extent its now called a Cliffwonker. Andrew flew very well with Rob's Ninja especially when I was trying to chase him about the sky. Graham had his little HobbyKing Ridge Ryder wing that flew surprisingly well given the lightness of it but at least it floated well when it landed just into the pond behind the hill. Ian showed me how it should be done when he flew my M60 and then the Dragon. So stop it Ian - its not big and its not clever, bloody show off!! Scott was sporting a lovely new piece of cam-cordery on his head. The latest Gopro from which I hope he got some decent video. He also flew his trusty Wildthing, but left the Cliffwacker on the ground. Rob spent most of his time either providing support or guidance to others or playing with his canine friends. So who haven't I been rude or derogatory about in this report? Sorry Roger, just didn't see enough of your flying to warrant any flack. I hope your fine lady didn't get too cold?
A huge thank you to all who made the effort and I hope the frost bite gets better soon.........
PS. Did anyone find a lovely woollen flat cap up on the hill. I lost my cap and I'm offering a reward of 30 used poo bags to whom ever finds it !!!!!


Thursday, 11 February 2016

Anyone Fancy Some Flying ??

Update Friday AM: Wind now showing a good NE wind,, so Ditchling Beacon it is. The parking is not the best later on in the day there so I was aiming for a 9.00am start. If the wind stays as forecast it will be a good day. Keep checking the blog for any changes.

Looking ahead to the weekend weather, it currently looks rubbish for Saturday but not to shabby for Sunday. Don't hold me to this but the BBC weather is showing 12  - 15mph NNW wind which we can use to go flying.
We have a few choices which vary from Itford's N bowl, Ditchling Beacon, Wolstonbury or possibly further afield to Harting plus others.......
Let me know if you are up for some sloping on Sunday and I will firm up on a location in the next few days. I will probably aim to get out early (ish) on Sunday morning.
07834 859018 /

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Ridge Ryder at Itford Hill. 7/2/16

This is the HobbyKing cheap as chips Ridge Ryder flying in blustery wind with a fair amount of southerly component. The model comes with 2 metal geared servos already connected so only needs addition of rx. and batt., I`m using the latest Lemon full range 6channel featherweight receiver with an 850 2cell lipo with 3amp Ubec.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Welcome to Stephen Pemberton

Hi All,
I would like you all to join me in welcoming our newest member - Stephen Pemberton, from Eastbourne. Stephen already has experience of RC flying but wants to now move into gliders.
I have not yet met Stephen but we have spoken on the phone and he is coming to our AGM on 5th March, so we can all meet him then (if not before).

In the meantime, please join me in welcoming Stephen to our club....

Best regards
Rob Stanley