R/C Slope Soaring @ Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia
Welcome to the new location.
Discussion of radio-controlled gliders flown on the slope at Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia. Lawr-Soar started June 14, 2001.
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Last Modified June 16, 2003.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
might be switching to BLOGSPOT (and bailing on eastlink) and put up with a few ads for the free blogspot hosting (after i find a new free ad-driven web hosting server that offers ftp). google hosting doesn't do ftp, and geocities browser based ftp is quite limited, i think.
this message has been brought to you by me.
Friday, May 02, 2008
doo dee doo... i see blogger has nice new features - everything's easier now - cleaned up my links for home and archives etc in template - everything works now. cool.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Mustang Must Fly
(submitted for Mark Jessop)
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Well today was the maden flight of my new P51 mustang and what a great flying day it was. Winds were 25 to 30 knots and didn't let up. The plane flew great and I hardly had to make trim adjustments. First landing with it though was very scary. Didn't come in with enough speed and when I tried to make a correction, it stalled and started to tumble, but with the help of some higher power managed to belly flop it, although quite hard.
Monday, May 23, 2005
Lost at Sea
Saturday, May 21, 2005
The sea was angry that day my friends. Well, not really. The sea was quite flat, and we had a perfectly fine afternoon and evening flying our wings at the beachside hill in very light to light to medium SE and E winds.
Interestingly, I finally put the hill-climb catching technique to good use. I walked down to the point where there is a small, nice clearing on the edge of the SE bluff. Obviously, there's no place to land and only forest behing the clearing. I launched, flew and brought it back for a perfect catch and went back to our normal spot with the plane never having touched the ground.
Unfortunately, while Mark C was flying and preparing for a hill-climb catch, he flew his wing down below and behind a tree. He lost sight of it as it was turning back, stalled a bit, and dropped quite a bit in a turn. By the time he had regained sight of it, I had already seen the splash and yelled, "it's in the water!!" Afterwards, he said thought that it was possible that the battery had died causing the loss of control.
At that point the wind was blowing from a bit to the left of parallel to the beach, but it looked like it would blow the plane onto shore, so at that point the concern was to get the thing out of the salt water ASAP before damage was done to the radio gear. It crosses my mind now that perhaps wiggling the elevons might actually propel an aircraft through the water a little bit, since the wing was floating right side up, but I am forced to conclude that this would have been a pretty lame attempt to get the plane back.
Mark and I took different paths down the bluff to the beach, one path getting me down first and the other path getting Mark a pretty muddy backside. Running along the beach got us close to the plane. By then it had entered a small surf zone which was periodically flipping it upside down, after which it would soon flip back right side up again. We could see that the fins kept yawing the plane so that it pointed into the wind as though in some pathetic attempt to keep flying, but it kept drifting backwards to the west.
We urged the plane in towards shore with each breaking wave, and it was starting to look like it would make it in far enough to become caught in the weeds, so I started to strip down. First go the jacket, sweater, watch, and hat as I anticipated wading out to get it. Unfortunately, as we tracked it along the shore, it seemed that the point was deflecting the wind parallel to shore, and we were quickly running out of point upon which the plane could beach itself. Off went the shirt and pants, so I was down to sneakers and short pants. Everyone knows that alcohol always makes you think more clearly, so having recently consumed a refreshing alcoholic beverage, I started wading into the ocean.
The sea may not have been angry that day may friends, but it was full of weeds, rocks and holy crap it was indeed cold - things that had long ago descended were once again ascending. I went as fast as I could but without a surfboard to lean on, I was tripping on weeds, and slipping on rocks and falling every which way every few feet. If anyone were ever to be seen walking in such a manner on dry land, it would probably have been while leaving on foot after having spent an evening at a drinking establishment.
As always, one finds out only afterwards exactly what bangs and bumps occured during the heat of the moment - in my case it was a banged ankle, knees, a rib and a swollen thumb, all minor. Mark enthusiastically encouraged me on with yells of "no! no! don't do it!" but I made better headway as I got into deeper water which better supported my weight and also better broke my falls. I finally got past the weeds to the drop-off. I was nearly up to my neck in bloody cold water, and I was looking at a plane about 30 feet away that had already drifted past me and was on its way down shore and out to sea having just barely missed the weeds.
It's times like this that newspaper headline banners start going through your head. I noticed that I was a little winded, but not badly considering that I had just ran down a bluff, along the beach, and then slipped and slid out through light surf, weeds and rocks. More importantly, I noticed that I was quite tired especially from the falling down part. Years ago, I saw someone swept out to sea (but dramaticlly rescued) in a wicked current that comes from past the point and then heads straight out to sea in a tidally generated current from the lake just inland. I was in that current almost 20 years ago, and it was strong enough to sweep me away even though I was only in waist-deep water. This time, I didn't know what the tide was doing, but the wind had been blowing more or less parellel to the beach all day, so although the surf was light, there could easily have been a wind-driven rip current. I was picturing getting my foot tangled in weeds, and somewhere in my brain a neuron fired in the right direction and I decided to turn aound. Now that I was completely wet, I used a sort of swimming motion to get back through the weeds and thus avoided further injury. I was quite dejected having come so close.
Back on shore, man, the wind was howling pretty good, and my skin was approximately the shade of the inside of a watermelon, but at least I had not made the headlines. I'm sure that a newspaper article, unless written by an RC enthusiest, would not have emphasized the significance of losing an aircraft, and would perhaps have dimished the event with a headline like:
"Man Drowns Rescuing Toy Airplane - (Halifax, NS) After consuming alcohol, a crazed middle-aged man leaped into frigid waters and was swept out to sea trying to save a radio controlled styrofoam toy airplane that his friend had crashed into the ocean...."
This would made it sound like a foolish decision if I had indeed drowned, and, well, ya, true, but having gotten so close it was utterly demoralizing to have had to turn around without success. I still remember the (true?) story about those people that died somewhere in a village in Africa in a tragedy that started when someone tried to rescue a chicken that fell down a well, and were swept away in a current, and then more people kept drowning trying to rescue the previous person. Sounds silly, but things like that start somehow. I'm still pretty sure that I could have gotten the zagi back, and the zagi would even have made a pretty good flutter board. However, in the end, though not particularly dramatic, I jumped into a frigid ocean for nothing except a mildly interesting story.
P.S. My thumb turned out to be fractured and will take all summer to heal. Although sore, it is at least functional for hammering, chainsawing and flying.
Friday, September 24, 2004
Sunday, Sept. 13, 2004
Steady breezes of 12-15+ knots, warm, sunny.
Mark C, Vic and Carl H were out.
A very busy and entertaining day, so I thought I'd blog it. Tim flew his paraglider and found some good lift and he watched the FAZI zip around from about 50 foot altitude above the crest.
We found some new entertainment by remotely dropping stuff using a simple servo-and-clothes pin device attached to the deck of the FAZI . We remotely released mid-flight a variety of objects - a mini-football, a parachute, a small foam glider. Unexpectedly, releasing an item on top of the wing didn't mean it would be blown back and dropped to the ground. Neither a hard right roll nor rapid up/down elevator did a good job of releasing the payload. Usually, a shallow dive and climb followed by a hard down elevator (negative gee) was required to toss the payload off the wing. It was amazing that the mini-football just kind of sat there, rolling around a little on the deck without falling off. A remotely piloted drone would be the ideal object. remotely piloted drone...gaaghghh... (much homeresque drooling).
We tried catching all of the released objects. The little drone glider was mostly stuck in a right spiral, but was pretty cool when it auto-DSS'ed, penetrated, and glided in for a perfectly level landing right on the path and in the rotor. impossible to catch - it just zipped around unpredictably too much. The mini-football landed on the hill a few times, but was difficult to throw off the deck and the release was so ill-timed that there were no catches. HOWEVER, on the first attempt to give up and down elevator rapidly to release the mini-football to the throngs below (mark and vic) awaiting the opportunity to catch it, the combination of a relatively heavy object wobbling around on the top of the wing and the glider being too close to the rotor resulted in getting caught in the rotor and pile-driving vic with a kamikaze manouevre. To his utter credit, he caught the FAZI, but unfortunately dropped the ball. practice makes perfect?
The coolest object, by far, was the parachute. A couple of drops, after being released out over the water, drifted way back into the field and were caught after long runs by Mark C. Another couple, released out over the water, descended, miraculously leveled out and then even climbed out at the last second to be caught by Vic right at the edge of the bluff. If there was ever a good demonstration of slope soaring and varying lift, that was it. This was a relatively sucky parachute that had quite a sink rate, but we saw that the lift was phenomenal right at the crest. there's a lesson there for you racers...
Of course, we ended the day with a hill-climb-catching session.
p.s. on wed sept 15 2004, i deposited a couple of kleenex tissues in the lake by releasing them at a pretty good altitude in 25-30 mph winds from out over the ocean.
Saturday, September 04, 2004
Big Blow at Last
Friday, Sept 4, 2004
20 knots increased to 30 knots
Mark C, Vic, Jeremy
We did a fair amount of flying in light to moderate prevailing and seabreeze winds in August, but we never seemed to get that big blow that brings out the best in our heavier gliders and grounds the lighter ones. A low pressure system came from the west and we caught strong SW winds and clear skies ahead of it. Nothing really new happened, but generally it's just nice to be able to do the long, graceful, high speed aerobatics with huge dives and climbs without having to worry about trying to maintain altitude.
We've had lots of fun with target-landing with various gliders under various conditions, but it seemed to be more fun to land as close to the path (short grass) as possible without going over (shuffleboard style), point going to the closest. Winner goes first the next turn. Seems like more fun since a point is always scored.
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Hill-Climbing and DSS-ing - FAZI-tastic!
It's been another mixed bag of this year, but we're getting skunked less often having heavy and light wind gliders, and electrics for calm conditions. Lawrencetown is proving to be the best electric flying site, with a big open field, some slope-assisted lift, and lack of turbulence when the wind is onshore. I'm still a bit gun-shy after trashing the TB-2 and P-51 due to radio glitches, but I plan to fly both this year.
We have a few new flyers with EPP flying-wing Zagi gliders, and I had a go building another flying wing (the FAZI) based on the Zagi/Dazi. I used 2' x 4' sheet of 1/4" fanfold polystyrene to make a 4' wingspan lightweight glider that will fly in about 4 knots of wind and is very aerobatic. The 3-fold hybrid swept/reflex/washout design is impressively stable and responsive. I managed to slope soar it at the East Chezzetcook float-fly along a 5' bank on the lake shore, literally flying off bushes and tufts of grass.
We now have a new diversion besides target landing. Catching your own or someone else's glider has always been a novelty, usually done by slightly overshooting a landing into the wind over the field at the top of the hill. If you simply flew along the ridge in level flight, the glider picks up speed, making it difficult and dangerous to catch. Now, we have the "hill-climb catch" that's performed by descending in a dive quite far down the hill to one side to lose energy by drag, then turning a quick 180 degree turn, and then ascending on a diagonal climb back toward you. If you've chosen your ascent angle properly, the glider keeps climbing and doesn't pick up speed. If timed right, you then burp it up over the crest, and flare/turn into the wind where you can catch it at a very low and safe speed. This will work in a variety of wind conditions, and is fun and challenging. If you climb too fast and fall short, you'll be in a good position to plop it in for a belly landing. If you climb too slow, or come in too fast, just turn back to try it again.
I manged to DSS (Dynamic Slope Soar) with the FAZI. In quite light winds we were flying through the rotor more than usual and having few problems. I flew in a tight level circle around myself control-line style, in and out of the rotor at about 5-10 feet off the ground. The FAZI picked up speed until I was good and dizzy and baled out. I couldn't get the 45 degree loop working like I've see on the videos, but our rotor really isn't very big. However, it was pretty cool doing fast, continuous 360 turns.
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
First day of Slope Soaring for me this year!
Wednesday 5 May, 2004
Sunny and 14 degrees (at least inland it was - more like 7 deg on the coast with a measured windchill of -6 deg!) with a southwest wind blowing at 30 kts!! I took out my Ridge Surfer for 55 minutes of fun flying. I was feeling reasonably comfortable after a few minutes of flying. Enough so that I did a bunch of inverted flying and even tried a couple of outside loops and split-S's. It was a bit turbulent, not to mention chilly, so after some landing practice I called it a day. Feels good to get out on the hill again. Let's hope this turns out to be a better summer for slope soaring than we had last year!!
Thursday, July 24, 2003
Desperate Times, Desperate Measures.
July 24, 2003
i remember summers when we would fly for 5 days in a row, and now we're getting fog for 5 days in a row. that totally sucks. wut up wit dat? there's been decent SW winds lately, but we've been getting more service out of our electric, our gas, and our compressed air models. the gws tiger moth has been a total hoot in calm conditions this year, the gws zero will soon be flying, and the 3 channel aerobatic flotsam has been a success (can't wait to get my thumbs on that one). we've pretty much figured out the design flaws in the zero, and with our mods, we may actually get to fly it this wknd. that little thing's gonna be a rocket.
footnote: apparently it's been 12 long foggy days during which the sun wasn't seen at Lawrencetown.
Friday, June 20, 2003
Thunderbirds are stop.
Tuesday & Wednesday, June 17 & 18, 2003
The "Thunderbird 2" was flying beautifully and showed all indications of being a highly nimble aerobatic glider. The P-51 flew fine also. Both planes experienced radio/servo glitches. I had elevator servo noise on the T2 and complete aileron failure on the P-51. Both planes were slammed into the ground and were saved only by the soft moist soil from recent rains.
I am quitting this stupid hobby and switching to building plastic models to put on my shelf in glass cases.
Tuesday, April 29, 2003
Thunderbirds are go.
Monday, April 28, 2003
The first day of spring; weather-wise that is. I haven't ventured out to the hill this year until today due to an extended winter. Thank god the winter was broken up by a couple of fun sessions out on Porters Lake at Vic's flying electrics, high-starting and even thermalling. Today, Vic brought his Me109 and Mark brought his Ninja, and we spent the afternoon over at the rotor clearing. Both of those guys did lots of zipping around, looping and rolling. That Me109 with the improved tail really flies well, now. Conveniently, my T2 (Thunderbird 2) was ready for it's maiden flight after a year and a half of design and construction - strictly a test flight (since it wasn't painted) to confirm that no further modifications were required.
Mark J did an overhand two-handed throw into 20+ knot winds and it climbed out. Checked the CG - OK. Roll rate was, as expected, moderate - need to increase aileron travel. Other than that, there were no surprises. Penetration was good, altitude was good, it corkscrewed great and looped well considering the 4 lb weight, and it seemed to have good speed in laterally traversing the hill in level flight. Mark remarked that the B.A.P. (T2) looked sluggish, which it did, but I think that can be attributed to it being a B.A.P. I was 100% happy with the flight characteristics regardless of all the unusual characteristics like the forward swept wings, lifting body, and dual fin v-tail with elevated stabilizer to maintain general appearance of a T2. I did a climbing stall, nice and straight recovery. I tried to stall again, but more level, but couldn't get it to stall - it just flew more slowly and climbed out and was blown back over the hill.
In flight above us and to the left it gave a very strange profile as the triangular box tail was seen from a diagonal point of view. I started to zoom around a little bit more - down to the west into a sharply banked turn. Back to the east and up into a pseudo hammerhead. Back towards us and we got a nice front/top/right side view of the T2 as the sun in the west illuminated the top side to provide us with a flattering view of the T2 - just like the CGIs. Now to paint and get ready for Marie's photo shoot.
Also flew the Coyote-80. It's a floater - I'm looking fwd to some light winds. It did ok in the 20+ knots, too. Did a great outside loop-under and lots of corkscrewing into inverted flight. Landing was fun as it came floating in for near zero speed touchdowns.
Thursday, January 09, 2003
July 24, 2003
Marie and I just got back from our trip to sunny and warm Southern California (and yes it was a dramatic shock coming home to a foot of snow!). I did manage to get out flying a few times while there with my quickly completed "California" Kawasaki Ki 61. In addition, I got to see some amazing flying and flying machines and meet some interesting R/C flyers while I was there!
I actually finished the painting of my new Ki 61at my brothers place in Ontario the day before we got on the plane to LA and adding the markings after we got there. This plane is based on my origiinal Ki 61 except that it was redesigned to be transportable and a little lighter. It incorporates a two piece wing (with carbon joiner) and removable tail section. The disassembled plane fits in a regular suitcase in amongst my travel clothes. I also rearranged the radio gear installation in order to do away with the extra nose weight required in the original Ki61. (By the way, thanks again for the servo, Mark!)
The maiden launch occured at Temple Hill in Diamond Bar, CA in about 13 to 15 knots of wind. I was stoked to find that the plane flew away perfectly, requiring only a couple of clicks of trim! I guess I didn't screw too much up - in spite of the rush job to get it done. It flies as well as the original and performs in even lighter winds thanks to the lower wing loading. I had it flying in under 10 knots on one occasion! Marie did the honors of capturing the flight on film.
The highlight of the trip from an R/C perspective had to be meeting and watching the flying of the dedicated crew at Pt Fermin in San Pedro, CA. The style of flying and the type of aircraft these guys build is like nothing I have ever seen on the slope before!! These guys are the ultimate "speed freaks"!
The evolution of their type of flying is for the most part a result of their unique slope. It is a 300 ft vertical cliff down to the sea which is regularly subject to favourable SW to NW winds. The cliff forms a bowl which magnifies even the slightest lift. This together with the exciting launch and landing zone makes for flying which is not for the faint-of-heart! The most amazing thing though is their aircraft. They are almost without exception PSS models - ie scale-like models of powered aircraft. Like what I like to build but with a BIG difference! These things are incredibly heavy!! I couldn't believe it the first time I picked one up - it felt like a brick! And I was told (and later shown) that it could be flow in a 10 knot wind!! And this was one of the lighter ones - they bring out the real heavy metal (100 oz plus) when the wind starts to blow over 15 or 20 knots! These planes reach speeds of nearly 150 mph on a regular basis! Their aircraft are so different and unique that they actually have a name for these exclusive aircraft - "Ferminators"! Their flying is all about energy management and generating speed with low drag, highly loaded designs.
I spent a lot of time just talking to the guys about design theory and construction techniques. Marie got a load of photos while I was busy soaking up the info and action, which I'm sure you guys will be interested to see. I learned a lot, I must say, and I got the bug to perhaps try some experimentation of my own sometime. I'm sure there are places here that could potentially handle aircraft similar to these - The Cliffs, where Marie and I flew a few times last summer, and Half Island Point come to mind, in fact.
I actually got up the courqage to toss off my Ki 61 at Fernin on New Years Eve, just before sunset, when the wind had dropped off dramatically. Nevertheless, it still could have used a bunch of ballast, but with a lot of down trim dialed-in I managed to fly around until the light got too low. Then came the part I dreaded most, the landing, which consisted in crossing over a four lane highway, over a bunch of towering palm trees, to land in a clear hillside about 150 yards from where I was standing! Flying my "floater" in the fading light, I mis-judged the approach (having based it on the Ferminator style) and ended up drifting across the landing zone and would have hit the bordering fence if I hadn't wisely stuffed the nose down to plant it just short. Minimal damage of cracking the wing dowels loose was a small price for the adrenalin rush of having succesfully flown at Fermin! A pretty good way to close out the year I think!.
Wednesday, August 21, 2002
Wednesday, August 21, 2002
John, Vic, Marie and Mark C showed up for our first try at flying the Minimax 1750 16-footer. The wind disappeared, and we hand-launched it a couple of times and then we tow-launched it several times, with Marie clicking away with her camera, Mark C launching and Vic towing. good job. I've flown a lot of gliders, but this was probably the most challenging to fly! Not for rookies! I was full-sticking it on the rudder. Rather than flying it, it was more like I was giving an opinion on which direction it should go. After floating around like it was helium-filled, it flew into bits of turbulence, and bounced along quite impressively, one of which I guessed to be turbulence from MacDonald House. We increased the rudder travel hoping for some improvement in responsiveness. It seemed to work a bit.
It was finally up long enough for me to adjust the trim and I found I had to give it more and more right trim. On the final flight, I tried to turn right to fly over the NW side of the hill, but the glider kept going straight towards the water, so I turned it left to get it turned around and get it back over the hill and it finally responded. For sure, this glider needs a bigger rudder. I strongly suspect that there are some asymmetries in the leading edges of the wings causing the minimax to yaw and turn left. I can fix that, and hopefully it will improve the performance.
Generally, there seemed to be a lot of yelling of "watch out, watch out!" Great fun. I guess we're used to faster gliders. It was somewhat unneccessary to yell a warning - if you can't get out of the way of this one, a leisurely jog will at least keep you ahead of it! Right from the first hand launch, the minimax was really something to see floating around, a combination of its huge size and actual low speed. I'm looking forward to getting it out in some SW winds to slope soar it. thanks Jacques!
Monday, July 29, 2002
...Ninety-nine, One Hundred.
Sunday, July 28, 2002
Light winds allowed a really nice seabreeze to develope, Jim, John, Vic and Mark all out.
I managed 100 consecutive lefthand corkscrews down at the rotor clearing. At about 4.5 sec each, that's 4.5 x 100 / 60 = about 7.5 minutes of continuous corkscrewing. i never want to do that again.
Thursday, July 25, 2002
Tuesday, July 23, 2002
Haze-Fog threatened, but didn't really interfere in a great flying seession for for vic and I, eventually clearing right up. Winds were pushing 30 knots - landing required that you push, push, push from any altitude. otherwise, things would get scary near the ground with turbulence and reduced air speeds. vic's "ridge surfer" does quite well inverted, something similat to the ninja and coyote, and i'd say it would probably do outside loops, but they'd probably have to be quite large ones.
Monday, July 22, 2002
Minus a Glider
Monday, July 22, 2002
Anyone finding a 2m white glider, please report in! Young Will lost radio contact with his plane which was last seen heading north of the #7 highway, and about NE from our parking lot.
Light winds on a warm Sunday picked up to almost 20 knots which weren't forecast, but a very nice surprise. Vic and John were out. Beautiful seabreeze, huge altitudes.
Today was honkin' winds, man. We didn't actually measure 30 knots, but it must have been gusting near it. Mr. Jessop made an appearance and showed Vic, Marie and I some fancy flying with his new and improved Ninja which I hadn't seen fly since last fall.
Tuesday, July 16, 2002
Beware of the Children...
Last evening was perhaps the first time I can truly say that I was warm on "the hill" without a parka and blanket! Only problem? NO WIND. I'm afraid that Steve and Vic are so tired of putting on frowns, stomping the ground, throwing grass up in the air (only to have it fall on thier heads) and cursing Aeolus (Greek God of the Winds)...they have completely lost their minds.
Right before my eyes - I saw it. These supposedly grown-up "professionals" (as they were lovingly coined in Saint John) regressed into 7 year olds. They suddenly started chucking MY PLANE (so maybe they haven't completely lost thier monds - they didn't use their own planes!!) off the hill and timing each other on how long they could stay in the air before they landed/crashed someplace! This may sound normal enough - but when you do it 30 times in a row while giggling and growing more and more competitive (largely against their own records) - it is really quite amusing for spectators!
The good news? It appears that wind is becoming "optional" at Lawrencetown Hill. The bad news? We need to find one of those big yellow traffic signs "Beware - Children Playing"!!
(please note - the American Princess survived these antics with maybe just a few grass stains! good thing I used those 4 bottles of CA - huh Vic?)
Monday, July 15, 2002
Saturday, 13 July, 2002
Flight of the Pheonix
Mark got his Ninja airborne today for the first time since the fatal crash last fall!!
After a hard days work pulling the engine and tranny out of my 69 LeMans, Mark and I put some last minute preparations into his newly rebuilt fuselage and repaired wing, and rushed out to the hill for the inaugural "flight of the phoenix". The reconstructed Ninja flew beautifully in great test-flight conditions of 20 knot SW winds. Mark plans to do the final finishing and have it looking as good as it flies very soon.
Sunday, July 14, 2002
Throwing Man Off Cliff
Sunday, July 14, 2002
While out flying with Vic and Jim Haliburton, Tim was trying to launch his paraglider. The wind was blowing him and his chute down wind, so Jim and I assisted him by pulling him by the shoulders forward to the edge while he controlled his "flight". Jim was to Tim's right side and I was to Tim's left side. It's an odd sensation to be walking beside someone with your hand on their shoulder when they keep floating off the ground and you have to hold them down. Anyway, it worked well. Will have to recommend the "manual tow" technique to other paragliders.
Tuesday, July 09, 2002
Slope Fun Fly
St. John, New Brunswick
hosted by SJMFC (St. John Model Flying Club), June 29-30, 2002
Hi-start Launches - Everyone had a chance to try hi-starting
Electrified Zagi - This was our first chance to see what electic
Thermalling - Air time was extended by a bit of thermalling as
Target Landing (Home vs Visitors) - Precision landings were demonstrated
Once-in-a-lifetime "jetbow" - A jetliner vapour trail containing
Altitudes were measured at up to 300' using hand-held gauges.
Beach Landing - A flawless beach landing was demonstrated for
Rotor - The rotor at the main launch area wasn't too too bad,
Variety - If variety's the spice of life, then Jim's collection
PSS - The locals seemed to like Vic's PSS (power slope scale)
Paraglider - We watched a young local girl with a parafoil who
The last gasp before we headed home. The locals were wisely enjoying
Thursday, June 27, 2002
Stuck in a Tree
June 21, 2002
Lou Langille was out but couldn't access his f-15 in time to bring it; hopefully he'll have it the next time. John was out with Jim Haliburton whom I hadn't met before. I think he should bring out an aerobatic glider or even convert a powered plane to try at the hill, since it sounds like he also likes to fly low stability "darts".
The wind as measured at our south "rotor" clearing is about a 5-knots less than that measured at our regular "wind-swept" clearing. That explains the great lift obtained on days when the wind appeared to be very light. I guess the steep bluff impedes the flow of air over the crest compared to our regular spot where there is a gentler slope.
Anyway, we had great conditions with all the stunts being performed. I had a good opportunity to put Vic's Kawasaki through its paces and got some great lift and climbed out inverted getting a lot of altitude. It's a light and small glider and I suspect that it will need to be ballisted in strong winds, and indeed may have improved the exit speed for the outside loop-unders. Outside loop-unders require that the glider have good carry-through and momentum (terminology?) ie be heavy, but I could tell that Vic's Kawasaki would have done fine in outside loop-overs, even though I didn't do any with it. Overall, the Kawasaki was highly aerobatic and surprisingly controllable considering its small size.
John was demonstrating inverted flight and outside loop-unders with one of his aileron thermalling gliders, the "prospector". Fortunately, it is a very strong glider since one of the extended inverted flights ended in the top of a tree in the middle of the woods. Come to think of it and unless I'm mistaken, the landing must have taken some fancy flying since the glider was first inverted and heading north, but then was pointing east and more or less upright at landing. The glider wasn't going to fall out on its own; it was really wedged in up there in a very tall (spruce?) tree. If it had fallen from where it was, there was no way it would have reached the ground. The rescue turned into somewhat of a bucket brigade as the whole thing was disassembled into (9?) pieces at the top and handed/dropped down through small gaps in the branches. How many blasted branches does a tree need anyways!?
Friday, June 21, 2002
Fun With Rotors
June 20, 2002
Finally flying again, just when I was starting to consider taking up a different hobby. The winds never got really strong, but we got enough lift to start doing inverted loops and inverted rolls. Vic's Hurricane really does well in the lighter winds, and does tight loops and nice level rolls. We had the wind streamer set up at the south clearing and it was the longest yet, streaming back from the edge (30 ft?) with the end almost hit us in the face.
Mark C got just a little too close to the strongest part of the rotor. Flying in at high speed low from the east left to right with little altitude at the crest, he may have flown under the ribbon. The SR-7 did (I think) a hard right 90' roll right in front of us, and then a hard righthand turn low in a tight semi-circle around Vic and myself, and ended up going between us and Mark C, downwind low over the field still banked way over when it hit the gound right wing first not far behind us. Rats. Very little damage considering its ground speed, but right off, I can't recall having better grandstand seats for a bona fide and spectacular crash!
Sitting inside the rotor itself, we are mostly out of the wind, so the noises that the gliders make are much more easily heard including the grinding of servo gears and other hisses, whooshes, buzzes and rattles, and this day we heard them all. I started playing around with flying forward (upwind) and low through the rotor. Flying laterally and low parallel to the ridge seems like a bad idea all around, with horrible wind shear(?) near the ridge, and bad turbulence further back. I also did some more loops including a double over the field, but away from the steep part of the hill where the rotor is. Now if I have the guts to put the two together, can I Dynamic Slope Soar (DSS) at our hill??? must remember to put in request for vic to build dss plane...
Tim and Lance came out with their paragliders just as we were leaving, but we couldn't stick around to watch. Tim was one of the guys that we saw launch from the 700' hill at Hidden Falls in Parsborro.
Monday, June 17, 2002
Man, we've been having a crappy summer so far.
Friday, 14 June, 2002
What's with all the cold and rain?
Today was actually nice - got to 20 degrees or so in town (only 12 at the beach). Lawrencetown point was a busy place this evening. Two guys were paragliding (only one successfully) in the light and variable, 9 to 14 kt southwesterly. I flew my Hurricane until the wind backed off then played around with the Foamentor for a bit. A fellow named Kevin who lives on Capri Dr and is an R/C flyer, stopped by to check things out and I convinced him to get his stuff charged up and come out flying some time. John O. and his friend Jim also came by and John flew his orange thermal job (with new Rx batteries). Jim is a power R/C type, but wants to chuck one or two of his planes off the cliff (sans propellors) some time. Talked to him about batteries, etc. He certainly seems to know his stuff.
Wednesday, June 05, 2002
Well, I just couldn’t wait anymore.
Tuesday, 4 June 2002-06-05
My new PSS (power scale slope) model of the Kawasaki Ki-61,'Hien', WWII Japanese Army fighter, has been complete and awaiting its first test flight for over a week. Poor weather and inability to get folks together for the “maiden launch and party” have so far delayed this event. After missing out on a great flying day on Saturday, I couldn’t bear to pass up the perfect conditions today to finally get this war-bird into the air. And besides, it’s my birthday today (...it's my birthday, and I'll fly if I want too...)!
Prior to my assistant, aviatrix extraordiaire, Marie, arriving at Lawrencetown hill, I warmed up with a few flights with the Ridge Surfer and the Hawker Hurricane. Conditions were ideal with clear, sunny skies and steady 20 to 22 knot south-westerlies providing tons of lift. When Marie arrived we did the requisite pre-flight photos and system checks. With all systems a go, Marie did the honours of performing the first launch (which she did, flawlessly I might add!) and the Ki-61 sailed out straight as an arrow, requiring almost no trim adjustments whatsoever. A few turns indicated a responsive and light handling aircraft. A stall check and dive-test followed with perfect response in each case. Airworthiness confirmed, I then began to wring the plane out. The smile on my face must surely have indicated my satisfaction with the flying qualities of my latest design. It proved to be highly manoeuvrable with no apparent vices. With a low wing-loading of only 10 oz/sq ft (weighing 20.5 oz) she was very light on the controls and I believe would benefit from some ballast in any stronger conditions. Marie shot off a complete roll of film to ensure the occasion was documented. After a great flight, I brought the Ki in for a nice landing, and Marie and I celebrated by cracking open a bottle of champagne!
Of course, I would have liked to have had the whole gang there for the occasion, but the successful, private test-flight turned out to be a great birthday present. The "public" maiden-launch and post-flying party will have to wait for another time.
Monday, June 03, 2002
Sunday, 2 June, 2002-06-03
Wind was SSE/10 knots. A far cry from the SW/20G30 kts forecast! Nevertheless, flew the American Princess at Ltown Pt. In the morning with Marie – actually, she did most of the flying. Later, in the afternoon, we went to the Cliffs and I flew the FoaMentor for about an hour. Winds were light (about 9 knots) but there was lots of lift, even a little thermal lift. Managed three decent landings in spite of the rotor's best efforts to trash me. Those belly-slide landings that stop six inches short of the edge of the vertical cliff sure are exciting!
Saturday, 1 June 2002
Lawrencetown, winds SW at 20 kts increasing to at least 30 kts later in the afternoon, warm and sunny - and not a sole around to enjoy them! Figures that everyone has work plans on that day. Steve was tied up with his Co-op work-party and Mark J. was building his deck. I went to help Mark after working on laying laminate floor in my house. Nevertheless I managed to squeeze in about 45 minutes of flying before heading into the city (I just had to get airborne if only for a brief moment). Marie and I got out there when the winds were about 22 knots and I flew the Ridge Surfer for a bit before switching to the Hawker Hurricane. I rolled the Hurri for the first time today! Yee-hooo! That flat bottom wing isn’t too fast, but it sure makes for good lift and it’s very forgiving of mishandling. For the rest of the day it was painfull to watch all those warm southwesterlies go unflown!
Sunday, June 02, 2002
HMMM... JUST CHECKED AND THE ARCHIVES ARE THERE ON THE SERVER, BUT AREN'T LINKED ON THE BLOG PAGE. FUDGE.
IN 'SETTINGS', I'VE INCREASED THE NUMBER OF DAYS OF BLOGS TO DISPLAY TO '999' DAYS - THAT'LL GIVE ME ANOTHER COUPLE YEARS TO PRACRASTINATE FIXING THIS 'TING.
NOTE TO BLOG: THE ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THIS BLOG IS FAST APPROACHING AND I SEE THAT THE ARCHIVE APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN FLUSHED (IS EMPTY), SO I AM BACKING UP THE LAST YEAR'S WORTH OF BLOG TO A SEPARATE PAGE THAT WILL BE LINKED SOMEWHERE ON THE MAIN BLOG PAGE. that is all.
Tuesday, May 28, 2002
Sunday 26 May 2002
Marie and I flew at The Cliffs in the morning. There were steady 10 knot winds from the south with plenty of lift for the FoaMentor. It's a great place to fly but you don't want to land there! The rotor is brutal and every landing is a semi-controlled crash! Thanks to the FoaMentors resiliant foam construction, it always survives to fly again. Marie flew for about half an hour and is doing great.
Later that afternoon the winds picked up to 17 to 19 knots from the south. Marie and I drove to the Point to find John O'Sullivan just wrapping up some flying with his slick, molded-wing glider. Kevin, who I haven't seen since last summer, stopped by to watch for a while (he seems keen to get into slope soaring again, especially since the Shearwater R/C club is temporarily closed down). John came back for one more flight while I got set up. I flew the Hawker Hurricane for the first time in a while and had several great flights. It's no stunning aerobat, by any means, but I get a total thrill just watching it fly!
Tuesday, May 21, 2002
link to: 2002 Fly In
We got to fly in Parrsboro during the the 8th Annual Atlantic Open Fly In of the Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association of Atlantic Canada (HPAAC) ( May 17 - 20, 2002). We were there for Sunday and Monday with various south to west wind conditions and got to see a bit of hang-gliging and a lot of para-gliding. The flow of events were similar to some type of road rally as participants drove back and forth along that coast between six different sites looking fo good conditions. Hidden falls was the most popular spot where we got a ride in a truck up to the top to see some spectacular launches, but it was unsuitable for RC gliding. We explore various sites along the way to Chignecto where all the big gliders ended up, but it was the little gliders (us) that got to fly. The wind was side-on to the hill a bit, but we got some great lift in winds that got very strong. the rotor made our landing a bit more than exciting, but at least something got to fly there. On Monday, we checked out West Bay and got to fly at the Fox River "beach" site where 4 paragliders and one tandem glider got into the air all at once in very little wind along a long ridge on the beach.
That whole area is utterly spectacular for this kind of activity and visually stunning with cliffs, hills and ridges, and camping and hiking all over the place and views of Blomiden and Cape Split just a few kilometers across the basin. it's a place where you can't help but stay busy.
Wednesday, May 08, 2002
hmm... can a volleyball net be set up as a "safety net" for landing in a turbulent landing zone? set it up loosely to collapse a fair amount on impact, and then fly downwind into the net which would be set up just back a bit from the edge. even if it's not a good idea, it sounds like it would be a fun thing to do anyway.
Saturday 4 May 2002 - West at 30 to 40 knots
An exciting flying day! The wind was howling. It started out at about 30 kts and gradually worked its way up to 35 gusting at times to 40 kts!! Steve and Mark C. were there first and were having a great time in the awesome lift conditions. Today was the first day this year that we could fly without gloves! The temperature on the hill was an amazing 12.5 degrees! You have to love those west winds, even if it does mean flying on the right side of the slope.
I arrived later with the Ridge Surfer and Messerschmidt Bf 109 in tow. I had to work hard to keep my planes from getting blown back over the hill but had some fun and excitement in the high lift. I had, just that morning, completed the work to correct the incidence angle in the Bf 109. I had unknowingly built in a ridiculously large positive incidence angle (approx 7 deg) which made the plane very difficult to fly. I re-worked the tail seat to make the angle now +1/2 deg. I asked Steve to conduct the first flight, given this new work and the crazy wind conditions. I added a slab of lead sheet to the underside of the wing for ballast. It few great and Steve seemed to be enjoying the plane - looping and rolling with abandon! I had a go at it later and had a good flight! I was too chicken to loop it today but was rolling it all over the place. The 109 has once again become one of my favourites. I had to blast off early to get things ready for Marie's bowling birthday party.
Sunday 5 May, 2002 – South at 15 diminishing to 9 kts
Another beautiful spring day! Marie and I have discovered a new flying site just a few minutes down the coast from Lawrencetown Pt. Actually Steve thinks that he and Mark may have been there and possibly flown many years ago. In any case it offers some interesting possibilities. Marie and I flew there this morning on a light to moderate south wind. The beauty of the place is the nearly vertical cliffs which turn any wind into pure vertical lift while protecting the pilot from the cold winds. In fact, just a couple of feet back from the cliff edge there is no wind at all! It almost feels like flat land thermal soaring, but there is a wack of lift!
We first flew Marie’s “American Princess” HLG at the very tip of Half Island Pt. The lift was great. The hazard came during the landings which were hazardous due to the turbulence behind the cliff. On the first landing I was getting bounced around and ending up having to overshoot off the west side of the point – in the zero lift area! I attempted to zoom the glider back up over the edge of the cliff before it got blown back even further, but came short a few feet and it impacted the side of the cliff and bounced and slid all the way to the rocks on the bottom. After climbing down the east side of the point and walking around to the west side, I found the glider intact with only some scratches and a few small perforations of the covering. I flew it again and had a nice relaxing flight in the good lift conditions. As I was flying, I happened to look down at the Hitec transmitter and barely noticed a flashing red light on the tx charge status indicators! In the glare of the sun it was nearly impossible to see the status lights and I had been flying for some time with a nearly dead transmitter! I immediately turned the AP in for an emergency no-delay landing. Unfortunately, I encountered the same turbulent rotor at the back of the hill and did not have the time to finesse a better landing approach. The turbulence caught the glider just before touchdown and the impact caused the front former to break out. Minor damage, I suppose, compared to the consequences of radio failure in flight!
We then walked back to the “Cliffs” where the car was parked and flew the FoaMentor for quite some time. The Cliffs face due south and provide at least twice the width of flying area as Lawrencetown! The lift is great and extends a great distance out to sea. The real beauty of the spot is the protection from wind. It was absolutely calm just two feet back from the edge of the cliff! What a treat it was to sit (lie in Marie’s case) on the hood of my car with my shirt off (Marie kept her’s on – darn it) in total comfort while flying in great lift! There has to be down –side, right. Well it was the landing again - lack of much landing area and some bad turbulence behind the hill. I need to get up there with my tractor to clear out a good runway! Marie did some great flying today. Initially she flew on the trainer radio but this turned out to be less than ideal. It was impossible to properly trim the a/c on the trainer so the instructional value went out the window. We finally ditched the “baby” trainer (as Marie calls it) and she flew it alone on the regular transmitter! She had mastered gentle turns and started working on steep turns and eventually did a loop all on her own! She even got into a bit of trouble and worked her way out of it. Good job, Marie! My landings, except one, tended to end up in the chest high bushes or in the bog. The FoaMentor just didn’t have the control authority to overcome the turbulence.
We then met Steve at Lawrencetown, where we positioned ourselves out of the wind on the east side of the hill, which was a lot more comfortable given the 4 degree temps off the water. The wind had lightened off to about 10 kts, but we nevertheless were able fly Steve’s Coyote and my Ridge Surfer and FoaMentor in the light lift. All in all, though not nearly as exciting as the previous day, it was a beautiful day of flying on the coast.
The only down side came when Marie’s purse was stolen from her car while parked at the hill parking lot! I guess this serves as a warning to all of us to keep our cars locked and valuables with us or at least out of site! Also, it would be good to keep vigilant and have an eye for people hanging around the parking lot. Over the last couple of years there have been a rash of thefts at Lawrencetown beach – particularly of surfer’s cars. Looks like none of us is immune!
Tuesday, May 07, 2002
There seems to be an unusual number of good flying days this spring. We've been out eight times already. MC is flying his new SR-7.
On one of those days, a powered parafoil flew over with two people onboard and swooped down to wave to us. impressive climb rate. v cool.
Monday, October 08, 2001
Saturday - 30-40 knots SW, occasional showers
A very exciting day. My Coyote got its tail broken when I laid my planes on the ground and the wind grabbed it (my fault). I smashed up my SR-7 when I was flying inverted and had a lapse of concentration (my fault). They're both fixable. Jessy and Vic each had their own traumas, also. Kel brought out his 6' parafoil kite and we all tried it. In those winds, it was amazing how much lift and speed it developed. The thing must have been hitting 100 mph. very cool.
Sunday - a NW forecast turned into light SW and then SW 30 knots seabreeze. amazing.
Luckily, I had to go to Lawr to get my SR-7 canopy and decided to take the Coyote. Vic was flying his styro plane but eventually got blown from the sky.
Friday, October 05, 2001
Friday - 20-25 knots. borrriiinnng. July in October.
Oh, what pretty things we build
And merrily fly around!
Why must we throw them off a cliff
And smash into the ground?
Was out on the Slope on Sunday last (30 Sept.) winds were light and just enough to maintain height with my Flashback. This was a fine way to finish the weekend after flying in a free-flight Rubber powered contest at Lantz earlier in the day. It's fun to watch those models climb and soar in thermals. Conditions were such that models were landing within 100 ft after 2 minute + flights. You gotta try it. We have also resumed weekly model building clases for kids at Ian Forsyth School on Monday nights.
Suposed to get gusts of SW 80 kph tomorrow - should make for some interesting flying
Thursday, October 04, 2001
Thursday - 25 to 30 knots all afternoon, woo hoo, yee ha.
Vic had his first chance to fly in sustained 25+ knot winds and he likes it. Both his Messerschmidt and Ridge Surfer flew very well in very strong winds. I managed my first left and right handed inverted corkscrews and inverted level axial rolls.
Tuesday, October 02, 2001
Monday - blowin' like stink, 20-27 knots SW prevailing with a dash of seabreeze (?) You never know what's gonna come out of the blue - warm weather and honkin winds (which I don't think were forecast untill today) and we were flying all afternoon (Jessy, Kevin, Vic and me, 3:00 - 7:00) which was the first time for me in over three weeks.
A slight frequency boo-boo occured today resulting in some unseen impact damage which was the cause of catastrophic in-flight structural failure during a loop. A plunge straight down to the rocks was followed by a stampede down the hill to pick up the pieces. I think some of the debris remained attached to the fuselage and acted like a parachute, so there probably wasn't much damage from the impact on the rocks.
Kevin tried out his new rudder plane with stubby wings which flew fine. I fulfilled my summer-long dream of an inverted launch. The forecast now says SW increasing to strong over the next couple of days, so there should be a bit more flying before winter hits.
Wednesday, September 26, 2001
too late - the "Braswell drop like a lead brick" maneuver is hereby, under our vague nomenclature, the term to be applied to any similar set of circumstances.
Monday, September 24, 2001
An update from the Princess of the Hill!
Hi Everyone! Thought I would fill you in on my glider construction exploits. Wing one...finally near completion. Wing two...well...technical difficulties...ended up with ribs in 3 pieces...fingers glued together...and a near fatal cut from my exacto knife! (even if Vic did have to squint and say "where" when I showed him!) Anyway - think my initiation should be complete now (Steve??) - there was blood! I hope to finish wing 2 tonight...and then look at the directions for the fuselage.
Nonetheless - I have persevered - after a short hiatus...and still have hopes that I will finish in November. So with parkas, earmuffs and hopefully not snow shovels....I expect you all to be present for the maiden voyage of the "American Princess". I will just be thrilled if it is actually airborne (more than the short drop down the cliff!) I'm counting on YOU Steve! If anybody can make it fly - you're the man! I really don't wish to have a new maneuver named for me...the "Braswell drop like a lead brick" maneuver...no thanks!
I have been resisting showing my handi-work to any of you experts (particularly Mr. Perfection-Ruzgys) as all of a sudden...the male advantage is becoming clearer and clearer. While you were all building model cars and tree forts...I was combing Barbie's hair and making cookies in my Easy Bake Oven! Needless to say - this exercise has taught me some patience and provided SOME modest appreciation for the male species....and their apparent innate ability to build stuff.
All the best to you all. I'll be away until mid-October...but will hopefully catch a few more "air shows" (this season) upon my return!
Monday, September 10, 2001
20 knots prevailing.
High humidity, medium lift. Jessy and I got in some more flying after the fantastic flying on the wknd. A couple more guys showed up with para-gliders, but we had to leave while they were waiting for the wind to calm down a bit, (Thomas from Germany who now lives here and his friend from England). I showed Jessy the outside loop over - he'll have to sleep on it before trying that one. His Ninja seems too light to do the vertical snap rolls - I tried it with his plane and the wing won't stall like the Coyote or SR-7. That's about it for today.
Sunday, September 09, 2001
15-25 knots prevailing Sat., 15-20 knots smooth SW prevailing Sunday.
Jessy, Vic, John and me. Quite variable, but beautiful lift today (as good as any seabreeze) provided opportunities for everybody to fly all their planes. A huge amount of people/tourists populated the hill this wknd. We all ooohed and ahhed as Dave Evans demonstrated his high performance para-glider with ideal conditions, showing us how he can land either up top or on the beach. Quote-of-the-day: "I don't usually land on my ass." Quite impressive manoeuvreability.
We had some opportunities to do some formation flying with the Snowbirds. Jessy plowed on to knock off a few more stunts; outside looping, downwind loops, and more. Vic did some more rolling today, as did John. Man, that plane of John's is fast. I managed my first inverted corkscrew and I did something new that I don't have a name for - let's call it a vertical double snap roll which looks like the plane is getting closer to actually tumbling.
Saturday, September 08, 2001
Found out the cause of my Minitwist crash on Monday. I had blamed a bad battery connection on the receiver. When setting up my Flashback last night I could get no response. I tried a second receiver and again no response. Turned out to be a transmitter problem. The plug in RF module on the Futaba Receiver has long pins and these can become detached inside the transmitter. All five pins solder joints had broken(but intermittently connecting) joints. Five minutes with a soldering iron fixed the problem. Next step was to change receivers to the one I had smucked in the Minitwist. Again no response. Turned out I had blown the crystal in the crash.Everything's fine now and the wind is supposed to be on track for the weekend.
Monday, September 03, 2001
15, up to 20 knot SW prevailing 3:00 to 7:30.
Lovely prevailing wind all p.m. John, Jessy, Vic out. Jessy's revamped Ninja flew great. Vic's new yardsale 'Reedom' glider flew with an odd blend of speed, drag, good lift, responsiveness and sluggishness. Winds didn't pick up as forecast, so I didn't get to fly the SR-7 (again). John's poor plane lost radio contact, but made heavy contact with the rocks below. He recovered most of the pieces and is looking forward to some time in his workshop. Marie showed determination despite mounting winds and managed some quality air-miles. Ancient slope-soaring proverb: Don't judge the instructor until after having had instructed!
Jessy and I tried some tentative tandem flying in the wake of the Crazy Marks' Dual Destruction Manoeuvre. We did some dual loops, tandem R/L rolls and dual R/L corkscrews giving a nice mirror image effect. I was ready to bolt at the first sign of trouble. I managed a perfect loop-to-landing Jessop Manoeuvre after lots of practice and invented the Ryan Manoeuvre with Vic as a witness - corkscrew to landing. Try that one, Jessy.
Saturday, September 01, 2001
I just purchased some bulsa and will begin building new fuselage today. (:
Friday, August 31, 2001
Crash #1 (Itchy and Steve years ago):
Catastrophic midair collision,
Caused massive Coyote division,
As the pieces rained down,
We watched with a frown,
A' wishin' instead we'd gone fishin'.
Crash #2 (Itchy and jessy today):
Oh, brave men doing tandem flying,
To watch, was quite awe-inspiring.
They looped from the blue.
Crossed and crashed, did the two,
But courageously smiling, not crying.
15-20 knot SW prevailing 1:00 to 6:30 and still blowing when we left. One little 7 year old kid summed it up best when many words have failed: "Oh my god!... holy shit!" regarding his first viewing of a glider doing high speed passes and rolls.
Vic, Itchy and Jessy were all out for the afternoon. Itchy spotted a whale which was the first we have ever seen at Lawrencetown and Vic thought was a humpback. It leapt out out of the water and made a huge splash. V. cool. I flew the delta wing today as did everybody else, even Vic. On one of my landings, I brought the thing straight down on top of Vic's head and landed it in his lap. Nice catch. What can I say - he was looking a little too comfortable stretched out in his lawn chair. Well, the Crazy Marks went a little overboard today. Though they thrilled us as usual with synchronized looping, the cross-overs were a bit alarming. After they knocked each other's tails off, Vic attended to Jessy's crash recovery site while I rushed to help recover Itchy's debris. I assured Itchy that Jessy would at least be pacified in that he gave as good as he got. To borrow an extreme skiing term: "yardsale!". Limerick pending as is the cause of the crash, hee hee. Add to our mottos: it's fun only until someone gets hurt.
Thursday, August 30, 2001
14-18 knot SW seabreeze 4:00 to 6:30 still blowing when I left. Vic came out and flew the Me109 in fairly light winds (which is hard to do) and made a nice landing. He also flew the RS which got lots of lift and got chased around by a large hawk or falcon which did lots of swooping at his plane but always pulled up short of making contact. Jessy arrived and did his usual fancy flying. I flew the coyote and got chased by a small hawk. Imagine - a sparrow hawk chasing a coyote.
Wednesday, August 29, 2001
Posted on behalf of Vic (Steve does his landings...I do his "postings"! geez!)...
What an awesome flying day it was! The weather was perfect: sunny and warm with winds ranging from 15 to just over 20 knots non-stop from 1:00 to 7:30 pm! Adding to that was a great bunch of dedicated slope aviators (and friends): Flying at the hill today were Steve Ryan, Mark Jessop, Mark Cunningham, John O’Sullivan and myself. The hill was also graced by the presence of the incumbent (or a least self-proclaimed) Princess of the Hill, Marie Braswell who conveyed her blessings on all flights to ensure an accident-free (relatively) day of flying. She also treated everyone to celebratory ice-cream – thanks Marie! Just a note to all that Marie is currently in the midst of building her first glider (a 55” hand launched glider (HLG)) and hopes to be flying at the slope in the near future – yes, that’s right – a GIRL r/c pilot!! She has threatened to kick boy-pilot butt when she gets out there. Look out guys! My friend and fellow surfer, Ron Williams and family hung out for a while to take in some of the flying as well. Ron’s hoping to get into slope flying and is working again on his partially-built Gentle Lady after a ten year hiatus!
There was, I’m sure, a pretty much record-breaking number of aircraft at the hill today, of which nearly all flew at one time or another. Steve had his Coyote and SR-7. Mark J. flew his Ninja. Mark C. had his Coyote. John brought a standard class polyhedral ship, a v-tailed slope racer type, and a truly unique, tiny (approx 1 foot span) delta awaiting the procurement of a Rx battery small enough to fit in the craft yet able to power it. I brought my old 2 metre glider, the Me 109 and Hawker Hurricane PSS (power scale slope) gliders and my new own-design 60” aileron ship, the “Ridge Surfer”.
It was certainly an exciting day for me, as I was able to test-fly two brand new aircraft in the same flying session. The 53” span, foam and packing-tape Hurricane flew well and looked pretty cool in the air, but was a real handful. It was fairly unstable laterally due to the low, flat wing and high CG - what a rush! My hands were shaking during and after the first flight. Thanks to Steve for wringing the plane out for me (he seemed to enjoy it) and conducting the flawless landings (which are beyond my capabilities for the time being). My other inaugural flight was with my Ridge Surfer (foam-core/fiberglass wing with a balsa, ply and fiberglass fuse) which was, on the other hand, a dream to fly! Fast but stable and smooth. I even felt confident enough to try some big loops with it. Once again Steve took the controls to feel her out and give his appraisal on the flying qualities (which seemed to be quite positive) as well as to do the landing. So much for building the Hurricane as an aileron trainer for the Ridge Surfer – it’s turning out to be the other way around!
The Mark and Mark Precision Formation Air Display was a blast to observe today as usual! The boys were thrilling the masses with their formation antics on the slope, pulling off death-defying loops and other, as yet, un-named maneuvers. It seems as though the boys can’t wait till they build combat planes to try their hand at aerial warfare! Jess and Itchy ran into each other twice and were darned close on several other occasions and had the spectators in stitches. Luckily, no aircraft were downed and they both survived to fly another time.
Leave it to Jessy, the perpetual instigator, to come up with this one! I was minding my own business (and sweating bullets) flying my Hurricane when he casually suggests that it would be cool to have the Me 109 flying at the same time – a kind-of Battle of Britain re-enactment, so-to-speak. I acquiesced, and Steve launched the 109 to tool around with the Hurricane. I did look pretty cool – that is, it would have – if I had a spare milli-second to look away from my plane. Before I knew what was going on, the sky suddenly exploded with airplanes when the co-conspirators Mark and Mark launched their machines to create a 4 plane free-for-all in the skies over Lawrencetown! All went well, with no kills recorded.
Mark J. is having a blast learning new aerobatics with his Ninja and is continually improving himself as an r/c pilot. Steve was quite pleased with a full day’s flying, having had stick time on three of my aircraft in addition to his own.
Just about everybody had at least a minor mishap, but two at the end of the day’s flying unfortunately resulted in some damage. Jessy pranged his Ninja on the very last landing and damaged the wing at the hold-down bolt. I was attempting a landing approach with my Ridge Surfer, which was going well until it suddenly stopped responding to my inputs and spiraled into the ground from about 40 ft. It landed fairly flat, but cracked the fuse aft of the wing (nothing that can’t be fixed). The worst part was not knowing the cause of the mishap! Oh well.
All in all it was a pretty epic day of flying which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
I am very honoured to be the first female of your "NON Club" (right Mark J?) I very much enjoyed the "airshow" on Sunday - though I think most of you need some work on your spectator appreciation skills (was I the only one cheering & clapping?!) Perhaps once I too join the ranks of you"seasoned aviators"...I will become less excited over the syncronized loops and "jessop maneuvers"! As the "Princess of the Hill", I promise to bring the positive aspects of my gender to the r/c world (you know...cheering, ice-cream & cute friends as spectators), but promise not to plant a flower garden or set up a powder room on the hill anytime soon!
For those of you who don't know, I am stranded out in the middle of nowhere here in Cornwallis (at the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre). I've kept my secret night-time activity (of building my glider, of course!) strictly confidential as I can't deal with the scrutiny of the militant "Old Boys Club" which exists here. Monday, while walking to my office across the field in which I will fly my glider - one of the maintenance staff yells out to me "Hey!!! You should hurry and build that glider so you can get it out on days like this!" Needless to say, he had been in my suite earlier - and invited the entire maintenance crew in to examine my handy work! I know have great respect and awe from many of the men here. The pressure is on now that you all know...and they know! This started out as a way to impress Vic that girls too can be mechanically inclined....it has turned out to be perhaps one of the biggest challenges of my life! I'm a bit stuck at present with regard to my construction (thanks Vic for picking out the model with the dihedral wing challenge! Think you are trying to set me up for failure!! Never...."The American Princess" will not only fly circles around "The Hurricane"....but scare it from the sky!!)
The photos I took on Sunday turned out brilliantly. I've emailed several to Steve who will hopefully put them on the website soon. Look forward to watching you all fly again soon - and reading your log. Happy Flying!
Sunday, August 26, 2001
20 knot SW prevailing all day. A huge turnout (for us at least) - 5 people with 11 gliders - John, Steve, Vic, Jessy, Itchy, plus lots of spectators. Marie was particularly attentive in anticipation of her first launch somewhere down the road, and she made considerable progress in gaining the goodwill of the people experienced in building and repairing gliders with a much-appreciated and enjoyed round of ice cream.
Everbody crashed. I tried suicide by glider but ducked and got out of the way of the Coyote. Itchy did his crash Bugs Bunny style - boi-oi-oi-oi-oing sticking straight out of the ground. Vic flew his Hawker Hurricane and Ridge Surfer for the first time - it turns out that the Ridge Surfer is the easiest to fly out of all his new planes. John showed us his 13 inch delta wing which needs a battery pack. I gotta see that thing fly. I found the piece of Jessy's canopy that broke off at some point - payback for him finding my wingtip.
The crazy Marks were doing lots of formation flying with only a couple of incidences of contact which were substantial enough to be audible. Lots of their loops were nicely synchronized. After watching them, I was too chicken to join in with those daring young men. They did launch while Vic and I were flying his WWII planes, so we ended up with 4 planes in the air at once giving us visions of the Battle of Britain.
Today was too much fun and too entertaining and all further flying is cancelled for the remainder of the summer.
Saturday, August 25, 2001
Beautiful 24 knot SW seabreeze picked up this pm for the Coyote and Vic's Mess 109. Vic did a nice duck 'n cover manoeuvre i.e. he flew straight at us while we were ducking and covering. Actually, I think I invented a new karate stance in anticipation of the impending impact. We discussed the possibility of his glider being able to break ribs.
Friday, August 24, 2001
Just got back from flying at the M. Sullivan Memorial Park in North Halifax in strong, turbulent, northerly winds. Met Itchy up there and flew the Coyote, getting some altitude in thermals under convective low clouds. Trimming the plane wasn't an issue - had to constantly fly the thing. Got enough altitude to get in a couple double loops. Mark took a couple of videos with the digital camera - stay tuned. This hill is neither for the faint of heart nor the inexperienced nor myself if I had any sense at all. I'll put it this way - Itchy won't fly there.
Wednesday, August 22, 2001
Sunday August 18th (15-20)
Well today was the “Crazy Marks” day. Mark Cunningham and myself were the only ones on the hill. What a beautiful day and perfect flying conditions. We flew solo for a while when I decided to take a chance and share the sky with Mark.
After a while I suggest to Mark we do a tandem loop. Well next thing you know we are doing tandem loops left and right. What a ball but scary at the same time. Vic arrived at the hill while we were doing this, he said he could see the tandem flying from the beach and was wondering who it was.
I will certainly be doing them again and hopefully we can get Steve to join us as a trio if he has the nerve, it is very close flying.
oh yes and I plan on building a Messerschmidt this winter to do combat flying next year.
Tuesday, August 21, 2001
On Friday, there were 20-30 knot winds, but they were marred by intermediate turbulence. Outside looping seems to be the measure of conditions these days. I'm going to have to keep dreaming up new aerobatics - I have to keep ahead of Itchy and Jessy who seem to be knocking off many of my old stunts at an alarming rate. Vic is flying one-stick now with his Messerschmidt. I flew it on Friday and with the high wing loading, the thing flies like a rocket plane but easily stalls at medium speeds during tight loops and will probably do high-speed stalls. I can't say I've ever stalled in a loop like that before. Solution: make big loops. I didn't think much about scaled aircraft before, but it turns out that it is pretty cool watching a WWII airplane buzzing around. By late afternoon, we weren't getting much lift despite strong winds. It was turbulent, but it was also high tide, so maybe we weren't getting the thermals we're used to from the shore below. Oh yeah, Vic finally landed his Messerschmidt - on the center line in the road that is, and the person that drove by managed not to run over it. Indesructible it may be, but everything's relative.
Sunday, August 12, 2001
Some very sad news, we've lost one of our flyers - Jeff Cunningham died at 43 years old on Saturday, August 11 from injuries sustained in a fire on Saturday, August 4. He was Mark Cunningham's older brother and the three of us learned to fly together. Jeff bought a glider twelve years ago and I might not have started flying if not for him. He was the first to build an SR-7 and was in the process of fixing it up. While he hasn't been flying much lately, he still loved discussing flying and telling the stories, along with fishing, boomerangs, pool and water rockets. He was a very good friend of mine and Mark Jessop's, as well as many others, some of which we'll have to have out to the hill to see what all the hubbub was about.
Saturday, August 11, 2001
25-30 knots SW gusting to 35 knots.
Extreme humidity in the form of heavy haze produced low lift conditions despite honkin' winds. The SR7 got tossed around in very turbulent winds. Jessy's Ninja performed very well in the strong prevailing winds. Vic's Messerschmidt (sp?) debut was spectacular and we look forward to more flights in more favorable conditions. You would think that one stick would be easier than two - oh well. It's amazing how just a 2D silhouette in fog gives enough feedback to keep control of a plane. That's when theoretical flying occurs - the plane should be doing such-and-such, so I'll do this so that the plane will do that.
Friday, August 03, 2001
Back temporarily from 2 months drilling project at Tangier (the real one near Sheet Harbour) - 24 hours a day 7 days a week, so apart from some calm weather electric park flier stuff have been quiet. (did get a Sat. afternoon two weeks ago at Lawrencetown with my Minitwist- also picked up a honey!). Hope to get out this weekend - let me know If you are going out.
25 knots SW, diminishing throughout the afternoon.
Awesome lift for the SR-7 when I got there, diminished to Coyote type winds and then nearly calm. Heard a couple booms of thunder, then the towering cumulus moved out to the coast threatening a thunder storm and Kevin ran for cover while I stayed to tempt lightning. All this seemed to disrupt the SW wind.
Thursday, August 02, 2001
10-15 knots SW, then 5 knots SW, then 20-25 knots SW.
I just managed to launch the Coyote before the wind dropped to almost calm at about 3:00pm, but the plane went up and up to about 200'. It seemed to be catching a thermal from the shore below. (The sun @ SW,3:00 pm) + (5 knots SW) + (low tide) = thermalling. We can't normally launch in these conditions, so maybe we should be using a high-start. The thermal goes up nice and high, but if you try one loop it takes a couple of minutes to get back up to 200'. No fear, the wind finally picked up to almost SR-7 standards and I was back to slope soaring - inside, outside, upwind and downwind loops, non-stop corkscrewing, etc. A Sea King flew by about a quarter mile out to sea while the SR-7 was in the air. Shortly, the SR-7 and I experienced some mild turbulance right in the middle of a tight righthanded corkscrew when the rotor wash was blown downwind towards the hill.
Monday, July 30, 2001
15-22 knots pure seabreeze on Monday.
There's nothing like a pure, dry smooth seabreeze. It always seems like too much lift for the conditions.
Sunday, July 29, 2001
15-25 knots pure seabreeze on Sunday.
I started doing outside loops by simply flying level and pushing forward on the stick (outside loop-under). They never could do them with early biplanes (I think) and this is the way that the first outside loops were done when they first started flying mono-wing planes (I think) (see "The Great Waldo Pepper"). It actually requires less number of stick controls than an inside loop-over and way easier than an outside loop-over.
Itchy see, Itchy do: Itchy sees an outside loop-under and decides 30 seconds into his first flight to try one. Man, break a sweat first or something. He liked them so much that I think he did more of them today than I did. Jessy see, Jessy do: loops, barrel rolls, snap rolls, corkscrews and inverted flight. No Fear. I saw Vic's Hawker Hurricane: that plane's gonna look pretty friggin' cool flying around the hill. It's still amazing: how many other things does a person spend as much time and money on and then want to throw off a cliff? (Other people don't count.)
Wednesday, July 25, 2001
Man, Kevin calls me to go out to the hill 'cause he says there's a good wind and what's he get for his trouble: I fly my plane, then I launch his plane in light winds so that I could get it trimmed for him, and I crash it into the hill 'cause the plane wasn't trimmed and the wind was too light and I stalled it in a turn. Crap. Oh well, no damage. Sorry, Kevin. Karma: afterwards, I went and got bonked really good on the head by a surfboard (self-inflicted). That'll fix me, but it won't stop me from going again and maybe getting bonked on the head again.
Tuesday, July 24, 2001
I found Itchy's hat while looking for my wingtip. Jessy found my wingtip. Now Jessy has to lose something so that Itchy can find it.
I flew 5 planes today - a new record I think. Kevin solo'd and did great. Jessy demonstrated rolls with his increased aileron travel and performed inverted flight. Tom came out to photographically document the afternoon and was suitably impressed with high-performance slope-soaring. I flew the 18" wingspan, 300 gram F-16 styrofoam plane. It performs full rolls in about 1/4 of a second. Kevin's plane has been downgraded from a heart attack to a murmur. The F-16 surpasses a heart attack - more like a seizure or as Kevin said "It flies like a piece of tissue paper" as a retort to my calling his plane a heart attack. Our new non-club mantra: "Almost anything will fly".
Monday, July 23, 2001
Monday July 23rd 20-30 knots again
Well, all I can say about today is WOW. It had to be one of the better days of slope soaring I have had in a long time. Did rolls and some inverted flying for the first time (short inverted flying) with my new Ninja and managed to struggle with one of Steve’s concoctions and crash it into the cliff nose first. It was quite funny actually.
Sunday, July 22, 2001
20-30 knots, 1:00pm-6:30pm, no time to feed the birds.
I did an outside loop today (SR-7): half-roll into inverted flight, inverted dive, push push push all the way through the loop until inverted again, and then half-roll out. It was only the second in my life, but I now shall be doing lots more having learned an easier way to do them, with a side-on view so the dive and climb angles are easier to see. I also did some loop-unders for the first time (as opposed to loop-overs). That's a half-roll into the wind, followed by an inverted dive and pull pull pull for a full inside loop, then exiting the loop inverted at the top and finally a half-roll out. Pretty cool-looking.
The 3 Markateers showed up, each trying new things with their planes, too. Mark A was doing his first loops (he needs a nickname - Bulldog?). Jessy was doing lots of loops and a bit of inverted flight (with the wind) and a few rolls. Itchy was doing nice big corkscrews, and even started attempting (keyword: attempting) outside loops. One of Itchy's students flew over at low altitude in a Cessna and had a close look at his performance.
Poor Vic couldn't be there because he had to participate in the airshow in Dayton, Ohio, home of Wright-Patterson AFB. (http://www.airshowdayton.com/) Apparently, he was part of the only Canadian contingent at the airshow. Yes, we do have a military.
I broke a wingtip off my SR-7 somewhere. Everybody keep your eyes open for it. It's a white winglet somewhere within 100 feet of our clearing. Damn, that's only about 20000 square feet.
Monday, July 16, 2001
took a hike out to the hill at Pensey Head (Cow Bay) Sunday, just south from the playground. A nice wide hill for about ESE winds. About half as high as Lawrencetown and with easy landing in field at top.
There was finally a true sea-breeze today with a nice row of cumulus building inland. Very smooth and dry, 12 knots at 3:00pm building to 20-25 knots by 5:00pm. What happened to all the sea-breezes this spring? Too much SW prevailing probably. Flew coyote and sr-7, and even the aileron styro glider when the wind died about 6:30. Whitey and Dirty Bird dropped in and sat about six feet away from me begging for food, even though I had none. Dirty Bird (probably the male), even though he is younger, does look bigger than Whitey. He kept a couple of steps further away than Whitey, but got closer than I've seen him.
Saturday, July 14, 2001
took a hike up to Gaetz Head (Seaforth). It' a really nice hill for east winds - about as high as Lawrencetown. Landing zone is for intermediate and advanced flyers - nice high grass field, no forest, only alders.
Three Rookies on the Hill
Vic seems to be flying his glider more recklessly in preparation for his first aileron glider, with increased low-level and high-speed flying. I think he'll find it easier flying an aileron glider now, since it will respond better to his input and do what he wants. Vic has progressed to instructor status as he let Ron fly his rudder job using the trainer cord attached.
Kevin brought out his pattern plane converted to a glider. His test pilot got the thing launched and trimmed, and then of course made sure it would loop and roll properly, after which Kevin went home to dress properly for the weather conditions. Upon his return, he flew a couple of times (leashed via trainer cord) and endured several incidents in which control was taken away, one of which involved a forced landing. After all that he seemed to get his flying legs back. I found trainer cord flying pretty hard on the nerves. That little plane is a heart attack to start with.
Marc A. flew several flights with his ASK-21. It's quite an impressive high aspect wing ratio glider, and slippery, too. It seemed to have good speed and roll rate for its wingspan. Marc had little trouble flying around and was soon trying lots of high-speed, low-level flying. The landings were, well, a hike away. Circling to land is ok for low wind days but generally is more difficult than simply zigzagging or just flying backwards.
It's somewhat nostalgic to see rookies taking their first crack at slope soaring. I went to the school of hard knocks with alumnists Jeff and his brother Mark where their were no instructors except for the visually-impaired leading the blind. I remember not knowing how to do things, but only vaguely remember what it was like. When I start to tell rookies about things they need to know, I wonder if I'll ever stop talking. It seems so easy now (but fun). I seem get an inkling of the difficulty of learning to fly only when I'm trying some new manoeuvre. I've had the experience of the plane tumbling inverted and flying downwind straight at me many times, where I don't know whether to push or pull on the stick, shit a brick, or drop the radio and run like hell. I've seen just about every possible orientation of the plane and can usually fly out of it. Getting into trouble is an invaluable learning tool, but guys, for the sake of sanity, coronary health and plane integrity, I'd suggest doing it at a decent altitude.
I've put my radio channel (16) in my lawr-soar team profile under organization (edit your blog | team | edit profile) - it might be a good idea to use it as a frequency board just in case.
Thursday, July 12, 2001
I flew today for all af 10 minutes! The wind had come up from the south at about 15 to 17 knots and the thick fog which had been there all day suddenly backed off to sea. My friend Ron Williams who is in the process of building a Gentle Lady 2 metre glider was keen to have a go at flying my 2 metre job with a trainer-radio. No sooner did we get to the hill, than the fog started to roll back in and the visibility was dropping quickly. Ron got to try the sticks for a couple of minutes, but before loosing all visual reference with my plane I brought it in for a full-stop. This has not been a good week for flying!
Saturday, July 07, 2001
a little bit wobbly writing this after the party, but 'tis my duty to report that the debut of Mark J's Ninja was a success as he flew it in a manner that he had been trying to make his Old Plane fly (may it fly again, RIP). Vic was utterly attentive during Mark's inaugural session, asking many pertinent queries regarding the experience of flying an aileron glider unsupervised and with total freedom for the first time after having previously flown only a rudder type plane. 'Though loops and lots of zooming around were done, Mark had a hankerin' to start doing rolls. Oh well, next time. Tweak that thing first.