If the weather forecast had understandably put off a number of our usual rocketeers from attending, the reality for those who actually got there was alas worse still - a blustery wind that could gust up to 18 knots with brief 'lulls' of 9-10 knots.
Most free flight models were being blown back on the ground after getting a few feet high and blown out of the field if they achieved any height at all. Even the 'radio assist' guys were having trouble in these conditions, and several of my usually reliable models, like the Sea Hawk and T-38, 'tent pegged' after a few seconds. The wise kept their models in the box. We were joined by Steve and his son Felix:
Above: Steve, Felix, Chris Richards, Andy Blackwell. Chris made a wonderful flight with his MiG 29; Andy, as despite his 'Prime Pilot' T-shirt, stayed on the ground. Steve and Felix were struggling with old motors, but did launch their Wren and Sharky into the sky.
I managed a few good flights with some of my 'ultra stable' models - the Jetex Wren and Semo Lansen:
and the reliable Draken:
These coped well with the conditions and put in some excellent flights and, thankfully, landed in the field (just!).
I would add that all these models are available as part kits from our store. The L-2 powered semi-scale Draken put in a most realistic performance, but the 'flight of the day' was by Chris Richards' L-3 powered MiG 29:
Above: Chris with his well-campaigned MiG 29.
Chris and Andy also had a play with this 'EPO' (expanded plastic F-22 Raptor:
Above: this RTF Raptor is large and quite light. It glided well, but (I think) the Rapier L-3 needs a down thrust tab to (a) prevent the power loop it did (twice) and (b) to protect the plastic - note the melted area. We think it will fly, and it appears to be pretty well indestructible!.
To sum up: I think we were all pleased to have been there. We had some good flights, but most of those who braved the conditions will, like me, have some repairs to attend to.
Very succinctly put, though from the photo I look like a prime candidate for constipation monthly magazine. I think I tried to hold the smile too long and it dropped off my face, down my leg and across to the hangar.
I think we all knew it would be windy but hoped it would abate... which it didn't. Trouble is I usually get so wrapped up in my own stuff that I miss 90% of what goes on around me. I made a conscious decision to watch all that was happening, be fetchermite and socialise a bit. Lots of wind tossed friends I could talk to at length for a change, lot of dashed models, people chasing wings and plastic bags downwind and actually some quite good flights which I fully appreciated.
If we get the calm day we deserve next year, I'll be showing up with a micromodeldrome Douglas Skyray ducted fan which is nearing completion...roll on.