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A report from John and photo from Chris:
Guy has put on yet another hugely enjoyable glider thermal comp today, hosted by the Okehampton club at their Exbourne Site. Rob Oats was out early mowing the landing circle and ensuring the weather conditions were just perfect. A light to static warm westerly breeze and fluffy clouds was the order of the day enjoyed by I’m guessing around 13 pilots. I will not go into detail about results, save to say the lift in the early heats made soaring to 1000ft + the norm, but what makes this comp so popular I think is its simplicity, no complicated and nitty gritty rules that would exclude or frighten off prospective competitors. Virtually any model can be used, electric or bungee launch and no worries about controls, just launch, 4 at a time today, stay up for a max of 10mins and land within the radius of a laid out rope..simples.
Having said all that, skill is still required to stay aloft, 10mins does not seem long…wrong! Then a landing near your spot…again, not so easy.
All pilots exhibited a competitive but friendly edge along with the accompanying applause and laughs from the rows of armchair pilots in deckchairs near the flightline.
Unfortunately there is only 1 round left this season on the 24th Sept, so thanks again to Guy and any of his helpers for taking the time and trouble to organise this Glider Comp.
When I hear more details about the next venue I will let you know.
I must say that the results below for DSSC competitors looks impressive. (Robert)
Tim sent me a photo of his recent visit up on Black Hill. “It was taken on Thursday of last week (25th August) by Martin after he had helped me with my first flights with the Xplorer. Tim”
I popped up Little Haldon to check out my e-Duster’s trim this morning after giving the aircraft a MOT / service and checking battery weights that were found to vary by make and by 10 grams difference. The blustery 14mph-22mph wind was coming N.W along the slope. Bouncy at low level for landing but smoother from about 60ft and there appeared to be lots of areas of lift about towards the car park and the main road. The Duster seemed to be flying better and I managed to land fairly close to the cross. However, dogs were out in number and running around so I decided to wait for a calmer day to have a more relaxing experience.
Chris, Martin and I went up L.H today despite the negative forecast for misty rain and a SSW. By the time we arrived it was quite bright, warm with a gentle near westerly breeze. We could see quite heavy rain over the moors that luckily travelled up towards Exeter. Martin found some lift up to about 800 feet. Then the ‘fun’ started. Chris’s first launch resulted in a gearbox failure. Motor noise but no prop rotation so a controlled landing was made to check things out. However, the temptation from Martin saying there is plenty of lift about was too great for Chris who went for an energetic hand launch with no motor as can be seen from the pic below. After some challenging turbulence and sink low down, Chris achieved around 400 ft before lift ran out. And several more successful silent flights followed.
My Duster, that Martin had trimmed some weeks ago behaved quite badly and was very difficult to fly. Martin then had a flight with it and needed maximum up trim and some aileron trim to tame its characteristics. The main conclusion was that a different battery weight was probably moving the CoG forward. So I decided to play safe and check the linkages, batteries etc on return to my workshop. There I found today’s batteries were 10 grams heavier. And the recommended plan CoG was only 25% of the wing cord so a few adjustments are in progress.
Just something for your diary and to look forward to. Our next event at Little Haldon is on Sunday 18th September and will be an Electric Glider event. Let’s hope the weather is kind.
Also the next Exbourne Aero-Tow event is Sunday 11th September. I think that may be in a different field but John will confirm directions.
Our club meetings (I cant bring myself to say winter meetings) at Kingsteignton village hall also resume in September.
Another fine aircraft built by Joe waiting fine weather for a maiden. This Sunderland is from a Tony Nijhuis plan / kit. I would have thought the current weather would be ideal for a float plane.
A package arrived from Sarik yesterday. 3.2 m ASK 11 motor glider. Two sheets of plans and a magazine (qefi?) build article. Chris has also given me a link to download additional photos and build notes. It looks big! So I have measured my build board and phew, it is 3 inches longer than a wing. Should keep me occupied for a while. I may start a build log on SSUK to remind me of the fun and problems solved.
Fingers crossed for some decent flying weather.
And a reminder that our Aero Tow day at Little Haldon is scheduled for 19th June. Steve and Graham are available to tow, so thanks to them both. Again fingers crossed.
We also have an early summer evening meeting at Kingsteignton Village Hall this coming Monday 6th at 7pm. This is due to an unexpected booking for us by the Village Hall. With limited gliding opportunities so far this year this will be a good opportunity to catch up on those winter builds waiting their maiden flight.
I have added a few pics to the Gallery page from today up Little Haldon. Although the breeze was onto the slope, there were few decent thermals about but flying and meeting up was still very enjoyable. 400 to 500 feet was about the limit today. Once Monday’s rain has passed through the rest of the week looks hopeful so Tuesday (fingers crossed) could be another opportunity up the slope.