Thursday, 27 December 2012

A christmas blow out

May be it was the mulled wine talking or my sterling duty at the in-laws yesterday but and un-expected off of 'why don't you go flying' had me away and heading for the nearest slope before you could say Rudolf.

45mph winds and sunshine almost made me forget that I was ankle deep in mud but the Willow had 1kg of lead bolted in and she was away!  Necer mind F3F or any other practise, today was a day to enjoy the air and flying.  Launching without hilding your transmitter means you have to trust your model- I do!

  I was joined by Phil taylor and a guy dressed in red who'd done a lot of flying recently- I think we've discovered John Treble's secret!  John had a session with no damage to his Willow and looked to be really enjoying the flying.

 A good session's flying and great to just enjoy the energy and being out!

Monday, 10 December 2012

A new Willow record!

  Just when I thought that willows in the top 2 places in the southern Winter league was a good performance the Bolton Lightening Frank tells me that in some timed F3F practise this weekend the His Willow stopped the clock at 33.28!

  I'm not sure if that counts as an official PB but it's spured me to put up a list of Willow PBs- if You're a Willow pilot with a race PB let me know and I'll start a Willow long room of fame!

Southern Winter league round 2

  Getting up at 4:30 to travel 230miles in order to fly for less than 30 minutes is madness but on Sunday morning I did that and headed off to East Sussex.  You need good company for a trip like that and so I took the dog ad left the missus.

  4 hours later I was arriving at the horseshoe bowl of the Long man and starting the walk along it’s edge to the furthest and highest point to set up the course and race.  Only the local were late and that gave time for the pilots bitten by the F3F bug last time at whitesheet to have a fly and get their bearings.  If the winter leagues are to offer a way into racing then the southern league is definitely doing a good job.

  It was great to see F3F’s golden couple of Martin and Simon at the comp, showing we mortals that the air we were thinking was 46 second air was 41 but you can’t argue with the times.  It was god to see Garry Harrison fly his Rotmilan with an ultra aggressive style that seems to get him a great time or cut but rarely anything in between.

  Despite having to stop because of the sun on base A 8 rounds were flown.
  The Turbulent air was coped with really well by the Willow- particularly John Philips flying his, carving around the turns, particularly base B seemed to be giving the best results but with thermal variation between and during different pilots runs the knack was to know your model and trust it- about right for a Willow!
  Although the golden couple took first and second place in the race I was happy  with my 5th that puts me in second place for the Sounthern winter league just behind John.  A willow 1-2 can’t be bad!
  Thanks to John and the ESSA boys for a great day's racing.

Monday, 3 December 2012

A Portland Thrash

Rather than sandbagging or shovelling snow this weekend it was off to Portland to meet up with Bob and enjoy a day on the cliffs.  With the wind spot on the cliff it was a day for using your lead and enjoying the guaranteed lift.  Although the set up of our Willows is very different both were howling around and as one of us flew the other often found ourselves explaining to passers by that they didn’t have engines. Bob’s Willow was the 2nd one out of the mold and although its had an eventful life it’s a fast one!

  Sea lift it great for practising your racing turns, get it right and your speed builds but get it wrong and you go slow.  But I’m not going to claim I was practising for competitive racing- we were having fun.  It may be because I’ve been flying the willows for a good while now but a model that goes this fast but is this easy to fly – you can’t go wrong.
  Now to go to Eastbourne next weekend or not.....

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

A few words on the Southern Winter league

  A successful weekend of F3F racing! -with both the midlands and southern leagues getting results in.  I was at the Southern league, which just like the midlands showed a determination to run a competition in marginal conditions but most importantly in a very positive and relaxed atmosphere.   With FPV’s being the main model to fly until the merest breeze started at around 11 it wasn’t going to be a record breaking day in the winter sun.

  The only mention of a wind meter all day was a slightly stressed one from Phil Taylor as he stood clutching his Ceres in a dying breeze.  We gave Phil a Break and enjoyed some freshly cooked bacon butties from the Cubitts before going on to complete 4 rounds and took into the cheesecake.

  Often light conditions can lead to some great racing- you know that your opponents can get that nightmare run or you get a fast flight quite easily.  Reliability and predictability was the key and the Willow just fits that description perfectly.  Half the field had them for the race!  One thing that did let me down for the last time were my MKS ds188 servos in the front of the Willow, half way round the final round I suddenly had down elevator on one side of the V tail.  I’ve just heard too many stories about these now and they’re all coming out (of course I can’t justify that statement scientifically but they’re coming out).   I've had my savox servos on order from sloperacer for 2 weeks nnow so shouldn't bbe long!

  F3F is clearly not only about sub 40 runs on epic hills, maximising what you have, making the turns count and not cutting are all just as important in all air.  John Bennett keeps forgetting that he hasn’t raced much lately and did all 3 of these things well all day to take the win just ahead of John Philips- both flying Willows.

  The next Southern league race is at Eastbourne in December- everyone is welcome to fly! I might just have to go!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

A forest of Willows take to the winter leagues!

The southern winter league has started with a fantastic day at whhitesheet.  With 7 out of the 16 pilots starting with Willows 4 out of the top 6 pilots in the end had willows.  My round 1 win had me started off well but I was over taken by fellow willow pilots John Bennett and John Philips.

More words later but here are some pictures.

Joe Cubitt flew and Cded the race

Home made refreshments- you can't beat this F3F lark!

Love can be hard in competition!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Southern Winter league round 1

Entry is now open for the southern winter league round 1 at whitesheet on the 11th.  Nows your chance to get a day's flying  and racing in a friendly atmosphere.  This year's Southern league will be putting it's top pilots to the champion of champions.

Entry will be £5 on the day but please can you send your entry to with name, model and 2 frequencies (unless you're on 2.4 gigs)

I'll post the entry list as we go on the winter league page here.

see you all there


Friday, 19 October 2012

just had to put this video up

Thanks to bobbyr and the slopejunkie boys

looks like a great day days flying!

The strongest Glider just got stronger!

I've just opened the new box of willows- and these are the best yet.  yes the finish is better, yes the colours are excellent- including the new yellow scheme but the f3f lay up of these models makes them even stronger.  We've extended the carbon across the top of the wing from the D box.  Stiffer and stronger thann the already excellent D box version.

  The joiners that have just arrived are also solid carbon.  These models are ready for the winter leagues and the fastest air you can find!

  Even better- the new lay up is the same price as the D box lay up! 

  I'll get the pictures posted when I'm back from a break with the family.


Monday, 15 October 2012

A little teaser

I couldn't help help myself...

I'm working on getting a smaller sports model built, in europe this time.
- as always it's slow old process but here's the evidence of some progress!  When more happens I'm sure to let you know.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Not quite Rugen

  Well you can’t help but be inspired by the live (yep LIVE) TV coverage of the F3F world championships in Rugen.  My own tabulator (or Wiz cliff) may be about 15 meters high but it’s also only 15 minutes from home.  I love the focused lift band and it does give me chance to try those turns.

  It has to be a Willow for me of course but with the carving style of the Willow even I can get it moving on the slope and hit enough turn properly to build the speed up.  I’ve only had an hour’s flying since the welsh open but with a hill like this and a belly full of lead it certainly focuses the mind!
  Now not coming last in the winter leagues

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Cold but fast winds!

  I’ll be pulling the winter league scores together here again this year and showing those people in line for the champion of champions race.  It’ll be a willowing winter again for me! 
These are the dates that I have.  I'll put them on their own page through the winter.  It will be good to see see everyone and get some good flying.

Sat 17th Nov
Sat 15th Dec
Sat 19th Jan
Sat 16th Feb
Sat 16th Mar
10 November
8 December
12 January (clash with HOH)
9 February
9 March
South of England
11 November- Whitesheet
9th December- Eastbourne
January 13thFebruary 10th
3th Nov 2012
1st Dec 2012
5th Jan 2013
2nd Feb 2013
2nd Mar 2013
Reserve Dates
16th Feb 2013
16th Mar 2013

18th November 2012
16th December 2012
20th January 2013
17th February 2013
17th March 2013
Don't forget!

Monday, 17 September 2012

day 3- The End!

  A wet and claggy time on Mickies only allowed us to get 1 more round in one day 3 and so didn't give me thhe 17 rounds I think I needed to make up the ground on the winners.

  My 1 flight showed me just how fast the willow can go- after 5 legs of struggling the lift came though and in the space of 25yards she took off and my speed doubled!  Hold it together and finish the round fast.

  Huge credit has to go to Jack cubbit, who showed his willow'who was boss' the whipped it arounnd the course in 42 seconds and cement his top 20 place as well as close in on John Philips.

  Some more getting wet was followed by Dave Wright of T9 winning the Willow (I know) and an early finish after Martin Newman was declared the winner and Adam Richardson the best team willow pilot in 9th.

  Pictures when I down load them.  But after speaking with AJ over the weekend the Winter leaguer Champion of Champions race will be in Wales March 30/31st.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

day 2

Another quick up-date after yesterday's 3 60 second times had me down in 39th the wind being back on ickies westerly hill but the wind more square to the hill at lest gave me the chance to redeme myself.  I think i did and scraped up a few places.

  The willows have carved up the air superbly well for all the pilots using them- I think 7 pilots ot of 42 are willowing.  Jack cubbit is getting bored of 43 second times and john philips has performed his usual agressive style with the Willow.

15-20 mph of cold wind today has made 6 rounds a long old day.  There have been a good sprinkling of sub 40's but these have been spread around the 'usual suspects' so its hard to say who is up there- I think knewt is delivering ther goods.

  what as day!

Friday, 14 September 2012

welsh open day 1

Just about to hit the pub after a long old day on Mckies west slope but a few words.  A dry day that saw 5 rounds completed in very variable conditions.  The wind was off to the north most of the day and as it swung about the air changed from 36 second air to Steffan to 69 second trying to keep up air.  You have to love Uk f3f don't you!

  on my willow's first good day out it just never let me down and in the hhands of ohn philips 'd say it's in the top 10 at the end of the day.  Ballast carrying capacity and ability was a key side to the successful models.

  I think Martin is in the lead but lets see what comes out later this evening

Monday, 10 September 2012

Carbon spares

A very quick plug that I've got

2mm carbon push rods
carbon sock/tow

Spare.  if anyone would like me to bring some to the Welsh Open (or any race i'll be at in the winter) just ddrop me a line.

Maiden with the Co-pilot

  I really have to get myself more proepared for the Welsh open next year.  By sticking with the Willow and keeping the missus happy Sunday morning found me with Emma in the rucksac and Willow under my are heading up to beer head for a test flight.

  With 10mph winds I launched to a response of happy giggle and gurgles (not all from me).  It was very soon that the giggles and smiles were mine as I was reminded just how much fun Willows are to fly.  I know I should have the hang of the set up and flying these models by now but when 1 goes that well you just have to love it.

I think Emma was impressed too:-)

bring on the Welsh Open!


Monday, 3 September 2012

UK F3F team

It looks like the guys who are going to the F3F World championships are training- together!

So if you want to be just like Martin, Simon and Mark (including make up tips)-


just about there!

Not bad, after 4 nights the new Willow is ready to test for the Welsh open- I'm starting to see why I rarely place vaery well at the race but at least I have a Willow replacing a Willow!

Now to get a pass and goo wind to test fly


Wednesday, 29 August 2012

A dash to the welsh open

After my radio horrors at SlopeGlide a few weeks ago the call went to my friend and manufacturing partner to put an extra model in the latest shipment for me- it's just arrived.

As it's pooring with rain I've not been able to have too much of a fondle in my works car park but the quality has stepped up that bit again- stiffer, lighter smoother (all withhout any scales but they're feeling great.  I love the 2 piece tail models- It's a very biased view but they have 'the look'.

  I've already got he wiring loom made and inner nose cut so 2 weekends and a few evening's building to go before the race so that team Willow can have some more Willows- some year I'll be ready for the race with an old model!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

slightly off the subject

You know sometimes something comes along quite unepectedly?

Well, thanks to knowing Milan the Extreme's manufacturer and his late father I've ended up with a Yellow and blue Extreme.  I've decided to sell the model for £745

I have to emphasise that this is not going to be come a distributor web site but just some times these things fall in to your lap.

drop me a line

Monday, 6 August 2012

So what have we learnt at the weekend?

  After coming home with a slightly soggy smile across my face I remembered how much I love 2 day races and full weekends on a slope (ahh do you remember the days of 60inch on the Saturday and F3F on the Sunday).  Huge thanks to Martin and AJ for getting the comp going and keeping us all under some control.
  SlopeGlide really showed me that you have to practise and fly new ways to keep up with those big boys but the variability of the back of the Wrecker means that you’re always in with a chance of a good time or a land out.  With 5 pilots bringing Willows to the comp I was really pleased to see them go and felt much happier when one of those lads got a good time rather than me.
Mike Evans did promise me if I wore gloves then launching his Alliaj wouldn't leave a rash

  Class will out and after 2 more rounds on Sunday and Joel West took the competition- congratulations!  But it’s the joy of British F3F that you always feel in with a shout of winning a round.
  The 2 biggest things I learnt this weekend is that being outside in a torrential thunder and lightening storm is very scary- Especially being sat under an umbrella (Lightening conductor) trying to work out if you can use Mike Shelim as an insulator around the umbrella’s metal pole.
  Most importantly is that the aerial of a multiplex evo pro transmitter can become unscrewed inside the case and cost you 2 models before you realise this.  Go and check yours- Now!  But you should have a Wizard compact in the car for such traumas, as there’s no other model that can bring a smile to your face quite like a Compact.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

slopeglide's gone wrong

A full day on the slope, I'm justy off the pub for a drink after an eventful day.  I have to admit that the only time that I got good aor was round 12 and the 4 months since my lasty race showed- even with a 150m course the Willow was fast enough to compensate for me.

  Jack cubbit has moved in land and Frank has had some un with his willow. 

Poor air was put into place as my last flight in round 5 proved to be the last flight of my willow.  After the aero comp slipped away as the wind eased away I drove to Mickies for a con fidence boosting flight with the spare.  And within 30 seconds my radio problem was revieled as the transmitter- No more willows- but thanks to dave wright for scrambling down for it.

3 range tested and a 2.4module taken out, cleaned and put back in my radio has me looking at my beloved Compact thinking- should I?

Well it's on charge so lets see how I feel in the morning.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Willows are child's play

An afternoon of thermalling in Devon withh the Co-pilot and after watching his dad playing with a Willow it was time to let Ben have a go.

Not quite launching yet but told you these models are easy to fly

Monday, 23 July 2012

smoking can be good for you

I'm not sure if this shot reminds me of the opening to Lift ticket, is a good way of checking the flow of air over a Willow or is just plain fun but I'm going to Lundy next year!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Some very variable air

  Sometimes a flying session really reminds you of why we do this sport.  Sunshine and moderate winds (combined with the missus being away) had me leaving work early with my Willows in the car. Both my Willows are 2 piece tail versions now, and I've had a great time recently flying them on the cliffs but today was my first chance to fly on an inland slope and pick up some thermals.

  I remember getting my first moldie and discovering it's versatility- it's a light day so I'll fly it, it's a big day so I'll fly it.  Today I the air was very very variable and I found my Willows flying in booming air one minute  (where I had speed flap settings and was still going up) and then the lift would 'stop'.  When the lift did turn off I know you have to go looking for lift and the Willow really did this well.

 The Willow's efficient wing meant I was happy I could get to the next patch of lift and sure enough a wing would lift to show I'd brushed against a thermal.  The fact that I'm confident the Willow doesn't bite back meant I could focus on centering on the lift and getting away.

  The Willow's efficiency and forgiving handling really reminded me of those first moldie flights.  As well as making sure the Willows are ready for Slopeglide in a couple of weeks- yep I still love flying this model.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

big day in Cornwall

  I'm starting to think of St Agnes head as one of my local slopes!  Arrangments were made to meet up with Roger and the lead loaded in the car.  After a great evening this week in light air on my local 'Wiz Cliff' the new 2 piece tail Willow felt pretty set up so it was time fobr a big hill on a good day.  For some reason Taking the Air one out always generates some good winds and St Agnes Head in 30-45mph winds is a big day.

  After Roger had thrashed his Caldera and I had given my Compact some air it was time for the Willow to get a good testing.

  80% ballast seemed like a good start point and the Willow just ate up the sky.  Yep I'm biased and should be able to fly the Willow but it's just so easy to fly smooth and fast!

Roger was ripping up the sky with his Elita (we were both flying at about 3.5kg) and really enjoying himself.  Scram had taken out his flying fish but his cross tail Compact looked to be calling him when I left!

  I can't wait for the next race now!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

more electric details

 After the news about our electric Willow I’ve been asked for some more details-
To start with where the servos and receiver are fixed- so here are a couple of detailed pictures of this. 

The Electric Willow will be in it’s customer’s hands by the end of this week- so keep an eye out for news on it’s flight performance.

Of course the model uses the same wings as the glider version- so if you fancy an electric hot liner at a budget and you have a Willow already you can have the best of both worlds

Monday, 18 June 2012

we've gone electric!

The first Willow electric is about finished and it looks like it's going to be a belter.  A 5S 2700mah power pack driving a B50 8L fits comfortably and delivers 500W per Kilo.  The final model has come out at 2.9kg.  With the willow wings the strongest I've come across they're taylor made for the job.

The only extra part needed is a motor mount as the internal servo tray and inner nose are reversed and slot together perfectly.

The Willow has established itself as the best value F3F model out there but now it's got to be the best 3m hot liner out there now.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

A great day and a race

Yep I forgot my camera but a great day's flying at whitesheet.  It was great to have some time just flying and a few tweaks.

  Its the first time i've been able to compare the Willow against other F3F models in light and moderate conditions.  I know the Willow flys fantastically well in big air but I was really suprised how well she flew.  The thermal variantion is always a huge factor at whitesheet but I have no doubt the Willow was up with the pace- smooth and very eficient- making up for my over ballasting and distraction from running the comp.

Pics from slopejunkies and a great day.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Shhh- don't tell the missus I drove back

  I couldn’t quite believe it myself either but after driving back from Cornwall with a car full of kids/missus/nappies yesterday I was heading back to Aggies for a morning’s Northerly flying.  The sun was out, the skies blue (ish) and a light breeze coming up the cliff face.  It was great to see Roger and a smattering of other local flyers- this is as friendly a flying site as I can remember.  I know this is the Willow blog but the first job of the day was to launch Rogers 2.5m(guess) Blanic ,  A jog to make sure there were no obvious pitch issues and she was away. I have an increasing itch to scratch when it comes to a heavy composite scalie and seeing this one really got me thinking.

  Time for some set up and fun flying with my new Willow.  Light silky smooth air is great for some set up and confidence building flying but mainly it’s a great thing to be doing in a stunning location.  Subsequent flights had me putting more ballast in the Willow- and then leaving it in as the air got lighter.  I have this Willow set up with quite a bit of diff and it really worked well to get the nose coming down around the turns and keep the momentum going.

  After a few more flights I remembered that last time I was up I’d forgotten to let Roger get his thumbs on a Willow and so I heaved off my main Willow and handed over the controls.  The most nerve wracking part for me was having to launch and fly without a neck strap- has to be a vote of confidence on the pilot and model!

  It’s always great to see such a wide range of models on a slope and enjoy some light hearted modelling banter.  Thanks for making me feel so welcome lads!

Friday, 1 June 2012

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Supporting Team GB

F3F this time.  It's good to be able to help out and support the lads heading off to Germany.

  It's now official the prizes for the team GB raffle are:

a Willow- you have to support them with the best stuff don't you

4 (I think) MKS servos

A Multiplex Cularis

Tickets are £5 a strip and can be bought through this blog or soon through the T9 web site.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Fun Morning at Aggies.

  A Sunday morning pass and forecasted northerly winds had my car full of Willows and heading for Aggie(St Agnes head to you) to meet up with  F3F mate Roger and some fun.  The winds were light at the start and so I left it to Roger to test the air with his Baboon’s arse.  It’s didn’t take long before I had the Willow going (sorry I forgot to hand the transmitter over Roger- next time). 

  After the usual amount of head scratching and discussion on Snapflap and the like that’s inevitable when you meet up with a fellow moldie flyer we’d decided that – that “do what you like and enjoy it” was the answer just as more pilots started to arrive.  It’s great that the Slope can accommodate such a variety of models, from foamie powered gliders to scale and F3X toys, all with good humour and all the time in the world.

  After chatting to a couple of the foamie flyers after they had been surprised at the weight of my  Willow and Rogers’s baboons arse still flying in some light sea lift I offered to launch a 4m Condor semi-scale model- big heavy toy that but it was flown beautifully and ate up the sky.

  The Willow, as ever, took the light lift wonderfully well and a couple of flights with my re-maidened racer just felt on rails.  I just love having that confidence from knowing the model will fly in just about anything and won’t bite.  Roger and his Caldera could be one to beat in the next race or 2!

  No Pictures of the Willow but a few snaps of a great morning- I’ll be back for more.