TOPIC: Middle Wallop June 2015
Middle Wallop June 2015 3 years 4 months ago #443
I received this report from uber-Jetexman Howard Metcalfe:
"Roger Simmonds and I met up at Middle Wallop on Sunday June 14. I thought the outlook for the day was worse than forecast -- not only was the wind sock at 45 degrees (a sure sign that the wind was 8 mph or above) but also the grass was very long. Finding our small models after a long downwind walk might well prove difficult and time consuming. Despite the wide open spaces at M/W airfield, there seemed to be a lot more turbulence than usual, another hazard for our small models.
But nothing daunted Roger had a go at launching his Rapier L1-powered Jetex Wren, craftily waiting for some ‘good’ air to come through; it climbed as if in an elevator to great height, cruising away at 90 degrees to the wind as if there was no wind or turbulence at all. The Wren has a very good glide giving Roger a long walk and a bit of search before he came back triumphant.
He followed up by lighting up the Rapier L2 in his Jetex Sharky, to be rewarded again with a lovely long and steady flight, though not quite so high, proving once again that these old easily built designs are superbly reliable models capable of a great performance. They are very well suited for beginners wanting to gain experience with Rapiers. [both the Wren and Sharky are available on Jetex.org]
Making the best of the morning before it became really choppy, Roger then flew two old favourites, the Keil Kraft MiG 15:
and Aerographics Bell X-1.
Both performed well with long shallow climbs to height on their L2’s, entailing long walks. .
Having psyched myself to deal with the turbulent breeze and the potential of losing a model, I too joined the fray, and I'm very glad I did because our fast flying little blighters mostly ignored the conditions and often turned in rewarding flights.
For the record, I did have several not so good flights thanks to duff launches or models still out of trim, and sometimes it took two or three attempts before getting the trim and launch just right. After much tweaking and cursing they finally all did their stuff.
First up was the DH Comet with a Rapier L2LT which gave the Comet a wide turning long cruise, but with only a tiny down thrust tab it looped at the end of the power run -- fun but not very ladylike or passenger friendly!
Next was the Vickers Valiant bomber:
With an L2LT, flights started with a shallow climb followed with a wide right hand cruising circuit then a left turning glide. Nice.
Then I flew an old favourite, the record-breaking Supermarine Swift. This is quite a large model and definitely needs more power than the L2-LT I first tried it with. Eventually, after trying both catapult and hand launching, and with an L2-HP, I got it circling round over my head, which was a delight because it has one of the most exciting plan form shapes out there.
The recent L2HP motors are quite powerful but the runtime is rather short, another 10 seconds power run and the flights would have been to die for!
The next two models hadn’t been flown for some while as the last time out they proved troublesome. The Viggen is mostly made of Depron with some strategic areas of balsa. It is quite draggy and needs an L2HP, but it is an intriguing shape in the sky.
And the MiG 29:
My MiG 29 is currently stripped back to bare balsa with some negative incidence added to the t/p as previously the set up was 0-0 as per the Aeromodeller plan. On an L2HP the flight was again a bit short but quite spectacular with a fast curving climb and an attempted to loop at the end of the run due to the complete absence of a down thrust tab. Oops I’ll have to sort that for next time! But the highlight of the day was when it did a low pass after recovering from an attempted loop just as Peter Smart’s very large rubber powered [!] four engined Tupolev Tu-95 Bear came to rest in the grass - you could easily have thought the MiG 29 pilot was doing a victory salute!"
Not Pete's magnificent rubber powered model - this is put in to show what it looks like. And yes, it does fly!
Thank you Howard. It was a pity not more people were flying 'Jetex/Rapier'. Several flyers told us they did 'in the old days' ... let's hope Howard's and my endeavours will inspire them to revisit the joys of their youth. The long grass was very tiring, and you had to track your model with an eagle eye to see where it landed, but this area is a haven for Skylarks, butterflies and wild flowers, so it does have its compensations.
Howard ends his report: "It will be lovely if the grass is cut before we are due there again as it will be so much less tiring, or am I getting old and fussy? Roll on next time."
I'm not sure when the next M/W meeting is, but for me the next flying event is at Old Warden, 25/26 July. See you there!
Last Edit: by ahmetcalfe. Reason: Text revision
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