Monday, 7 June 2021

Weekend at the nationals

 Racing on Micky's is something I've not enjoyed for a long time and racing in the sunshine on Micky's feels like such a rare thing.  Combined with catching up with some old friends and life was good!  There was enough of a breeze that you were unlikely to land out but the warm sunshine generated a regular cycle of ballistic thermals and sticky sink, perhaps my first flight summed this up, a 68 run followed by such an epic thermal whilst I was going to land that my Harrier was climbing with the CROW out.

  For the last year I have been loving flying my Harrier and that's meant a lot of air time.  Until you're up against the clock and other models on the same slope you're never quite sure just how quick the model is.  After Saturday's racing I feel that we have proved what we already knew- if you have the lift you will go fast, if not you won't.  Having flown the Harrier for a good number of hours I felt prepared to react to lift coming and going during a run and reacting to this.  It became clear that those other pilots flying 1 model were generally in a similar position.

  Those switching models in order to try and attract a thermal seemed to do less well.  I was really pleased with the rounds where the Harrier ended up in 2nd/3rd and 5th position but just about all the runs felt settled and straight.  The Harrier was just easy to fly.  I think my 1 cut may have cost me a top 6 place but the Harrier turned really well.

  Pete Gunning was simply fastest and smoothest all weekend- you can't fault him.

  The other models on show that caught my eye for some very different reasons were the Shinto- a beautiful elliptical plan form and John Philip's Impulse 2- the sheer simplicity of the planform and tail remined my of my own models and it's can't half go!

  A great weekend, I can look forward to the next one confident that the Harrier can mix it with those more expensive models.

Monday, 31 May 2021

Sun burn tingling from a great day's flying

 Days when sunshine and breeze combine on the Bwlch don't come along very often but when they do- make the most of them.  The confidence I have in the Harrier is such a bonus and meant that I was happy to have her over 4.2kg for all of the day.  The variation in the trough out the day kept on increasing but the joy of sport flying rather than racing is that you can hang around waiting for that thermal to come through- and when it did- wow!

  This only increased, with everyone else dropping ballast down steadily I kept gambling.  Only the thermal flap kept the Harrier going until that last thermal but it wasn't half worth it!  Now for landing, light to no wind and over 4kg of model- she's going to keep on coming.  With nothing more than some mud to wipe off I was getting less nervous about the landings.

  A great day with excellent company, if only the races were like this.

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Blasting the crest

 A race weekend on the crest!  Pitty the race was scheduled for whitesheet. 

First flight blasting the Harrier round, now relax

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Time to go heavy!

   After a few trips flying my Falcons I decided it was time to get the Harrier out and load in the Tungsten.  Whitesheet is a great place to fly and chat with some good friends but it can be baffling to fly there.

  The wind was strong enough to see foamies being blown behind the hill and I wanted to play with the Harrier ballasted up to over 4kg.  From Pitbulls, Freestylers to Harriers when the air cycled through as poor we carved around and covered the air at a good pace.

  But when the thermals came on and the air got as good as it looked- wow!  Up turns, reversals huge open loops you can do them all faster and bigger than I've done in a while.  Not a day for setting up but having a huge smile on your face when the lift did come through.  When you're heading back without a scratch with a model you have such confidence in, you have to love it!

Monday, 17 May 2021

You Know you're obsessed when...

    Yep the weather has been wet but when you have a new model like the Falcon it seems perfectly sane to sit in the car during the rain and dash out during the odd glimpse of sun shine.

  Even slope dog kept looking at me in a confused way but I loved the afternoon's flying.  From scratching around to the tail picking up and scooting round, a good moldie is the best model for those conditions too.

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

A morning by the sea

   Weather and opportunity came together today and I was away to Beer Head cliff. This can be an amazing site, 400ft vertical cliff but a smooth air landing area with grass trimmed by the local sheep. 

  I've had a couple of light air outings with the Falcon lately but nothing to test the settings. I've become comfortable with a Cg of 95mm and around 5mm elevator.  I have 2 settings for snap flap 4mm and 2mm. Each one has the snap coming in much later in the stick, this provides some exponential in the elevator effect. 

   Flying the falcon is much more of an adrenaline buzz than the Harrier. With more snap the Falcon certainly bounces rather than carves the turns. I must be getting used to the settings because it feels equally fast with each setting- for sports flying without a clock. 

  Flying today the Falcon felt on rails, smooth air gave me the chance to fly to play with different turns. I had 900g ballast in again today. It's resistance to being up-set reminds me of the old wiz, but the Harrier just feels more slippery and responsive, a little like the first Freestyler I flew.

  I've long given up worrying about the Falcon or Harrier bending in the air, these are strong excellent models and giving me so much fun. Time to put number 2 together I'll publish some build notes as I go.  Safe to say model 2 slipped together with no sanding.

Monday, 26 April 2021

An Epic day on the crest

 When you approach the Bwlch there's always a nagging thought about the trip home.  You could be buzzing after an epic day or reflecting on the work you'll have to fix the bag of bits you have in the boot.

  After the conditions I have flown the Harrier in over the last 12 months I knew the model wasn't going to be the problem but there's always my thumbs to deal with.

  The Harrier was the first to go, once you get her away from the edge the lift was smooth and simply epic.  In these conditions it's easy to go fast, different turns and the distance from the compression just allows you to change from very fast to scary fast.

  It was soon the Falcon's turn, with just 2 flights in very light conditions it is testament that a good moldie just seems to be the best model for today's conditions in just about all conditions I want to fly in. I only ballasted here up to 3.2kg for the first flight, I think maidening your own design should be a 'golden maiden'?

  Thanks to the lads filming the flight to show just how turbulent the conditions were on the edge but she was away.  Despite my thumbs the Falcon handled the conditions wonderfully.  Covering the sky at a pace, I turned the rates down for this high speed flight but the Falcon was still very responsive.  I was pleased with the Falcon in light air but in this air she's amazing. 

  With later harrier flights I finally remembered the up turns I've been trying to learn and this picked the pace up again.  With some timing gear I am confident that mine would not have been the only PB to tumble.  One thing that was apparent with all the models there was just how little the models flex in flight.  My memories of the Bwlch and Crest are of flexing wing tips as the models corner (probably at much lighter weights than we flew) but this has gone.

  The Harrier and Falcon very much held their own in this group of models and I'm a happy flyer for it!