Saturday, 26 December 2020

What a year!

 Driving up to the slope for a Boxing Day morning thrash, you can't avoid the reflections on 2020.  Just heading out at all on Boxing Day made me realise how much more motivated I am to fly at the moment.  Being part of the Harrier's development has certainly re-ignited my passion for flying.


The tail is one of the most obvious places where the Harrier has developed compared to previous models.  Both enclosed horns but also the thick wing section that delivers powerful and positive control.

  Around 6 months after I started to fly my first Pike WR I realised that it had been the only model I had flown- simply because in just about every condition I flew in, it was my best model.  The Harrier feels like it has repeated this process 20 years later.  I don't think I can remember the last time I flew my Willow SOR, Opus XL or trusty Merlin (watch out for a few models for sale)


 The Harrier has achieved its design goal of being fast and the most fun to fly of any model I can remember. 

  More time on the slopes has been a great opportunity to chat with some old friends and make new ones- in 2020 that's not a bad achievement!

  No company today but my first mission was to maiden the combination of the first prototype wings and a production fuselage and tail.  These are getting less and less eventful as my settings become more set.  With a good (cold) breeze blowing she had 600g of ballast in to start with, this soon felt light but it was fun to see the different turn styles that work with a lighter model- you never know when you might get a thermal come through on a light wind comp day.

  Each flight was always longer than planned- I was just having too much fun, either playing with racing turns or just throwing her about and trying to bend those wings at the bottom of dives.    I'm not sure what the near future holds for racing, after 20 years of racing I have to admit to having twitchy fingers in wanting to get a few races done and see what the Harrier can do for a race rusty me!

  The Harrier has not come close to biting or flicking. Leaving the hill I had that happy feeling again you get from a really good session.  I can't wait for 2021 to come and get things going again. 

Tuesday, 22 December 2020

A happy Christmas!

 

After a year like no other, I thought this picture summed things up


Hope to see many of you on the slopes next year!


Monday, 21 December 2020

Such a good day out!

 

  Amidst a weekend of mad news it was great to get out and have a few hours on the Slope.  It looked like I wasn’t the only one who thought the same thing, it’s been a long time since I saw so many sports flyers in the Summer, never mind a chilly December day, the size of the pits made social distancing easy and the cold wind made face coverings very welcome.

  I was continue to take 2 Harriers to the hill and end up only flying 1.  Flying the Harrier almost exclusively since June has made me very familiar with and confident in the Harrier.  We did have a go at a video of my flying (in what turned out to be the worst lift of the day)- Not quite the standard of those lovely vids from the US and Europe that I seem to spend my time watching.

  A race season is probably the only way to tell just how fast the Harrier is compared to the other models available.  When the lift comes through she certainly takes off!  It’s a shame and frustration that races are not possible right now but compared to not being able to fly I’ll take it.  It does mean that I have a set of ‘sports’ settings on the Harrier, with bigger throws. I still can’t up-set her.

  Ignoring the range of Baudis Beauties and the always impressive Shinto, it was genuinely great to see the number of built, rather than assembled models.  It’s been a long time since I’ve seen to many Chris Foss kits- proof that a model design does not stop flying well just because it is older.

  I also got the chance to see the new Jim Hammond 2.5m model (sorry no pic).  An interesting design concept of ‘thin and pointy’ from fuselage to wing.   The owner was certainly happy with the built quality, which had been flick tested into the hill the last time out.  Perhaps I am just used to bigger heavier models but it did feel light, despite this it covers a good amount of sky.  The slightly nervous owner was keeping the turns wide and sweeping this time out.

  It could have been the car heater but I have a huge smile on my face all the way home.






Monday, 14 December 2020

First production Harrier Arrives

   Piggy backing on an order of my own, I was able to have my first sight of a production Harrier.  Boxed up really nicely and arriving in 9 days after shipping through Fed Ex. 

  At the time of writing,the Fed ex price of a delivery to the UK is around 170USD. 

 The import cost came to just £28 to clear the box.  Bringing the total cost of the model to less than 600gbp to the door. I can't think of better value available. 



  The Harrier was very nicely packaged.- Much neater that my garage at the moment!

  The finish, weight and quality of the model felt excellent.  I was able to drop the model off to a very happy flyer on my next day out to Whitesheet.

  A cold day on the hill but with my own Harrier feeling more and more familiar it was nice to carve it around in different feeling air.  


Monday, 7 December 2020

Fun flying and a fun day

 

  Even in the cold you can’t beat going getting out and enjoying flying, take you best friend too!  Perhaps not the most focussed of days when I think I am supposed to be learning how to up-turn but it was time I got to grips with my spare harrier with the Glass wings.

  After flying the Harrier for so much of the summer, my numb thumbs still felt in control with the set up making it easy to crank around.

  Just good fun for a day.  Things got better when my figures were defrosted enough to pick up a progress picture on the new Falcon.  That’s a nice shaped tail and is a great indication of the quality of production!









Friday, 20 November 2020

More wintery fun

   A fun morning playing with the Harrier while exercising.  A cold wind and I was determined to practise EM up-turns.  It's something I've threatened to do for a long time. Nordic, reversals, bank and yank I've played with them all but it felt like quite a plunge to pull up into a turn.

  Give it a go, the kick and pace out of the urn is amazing! I know that most of the better pilots have been using this for years but this old dog takes time to learn new tricks.

  My confidence in the Harrier now means that it wasn't until after one particularly fast run that I realised I'd failed to even flex the model, never mind bend or break it.  I do like the Harrier's roll rate- especially when I've got it pointed towards me 3/4 inverted and coming fast!

  I can't remember the last time I got back from any slope buzzing this much.  Now to be able to do it consistently or when there's a buzzer:-)







Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Steady progress on the new molds

   The cold weather is slowing down the preparation of the new molds.  With a project like this, its better to make it right than make it quick.

  I can't wait to get my hands on the new toy and my first full production Harrier too.  I could have a building fest over Christmas.