This meeting was a couple of weeks ago, and, just like May, we had some very agreeable flying conditions. Winds were much kinder than forecast (only picking up to 10-12 mph after 3.30 on the Sunday) and temperatures most pleasant and generally cloudy. In short: near perfect for an old codger like me. As a result, I did much flying - over 30 Jetex flights and as many Rapier sorties and as a result, took no photos at all.
We all had a good time - Andy Blackwell flew his DH 108 and Alpha Jet with great aplomb. John Holman gave his new Shooting Star its maiden flight, and I trimmed out my two Gripens as well as the Shooting Star. My three T-38 Talons went particularly well in the calm upper air and the smaller F-100 looked great, powered by a few of my last L-1 motors.
So I came home fairly well bushed, and have only now gathered a few photos and reflections together.
First, here is John's new 'Gort' Spaceship:
this flew well - drifting around with a Jetex 50B and much more potently with the power of a Jetex 50C. There really is a difference in the thrust these motors produce, and even in the thrusts different batches of Sebel pellets can give.
It is possible to match the thrust of a motor with a model - my new Shooting Star was twitchy with Sebel pellets from the later plastic boxes, but was better behaved with the lighter-hued pellets from a Sebel tin. These burn less fiercely; even so, I would hesitate to put them in a Jetex 50B. John inadvertently did the 'experiment' with the result you see below:
Above: do not try this at home! Sebel pellets should not be put in a 50B or a ribbed Jetex 50.
The 'message to take home here, one that is quite important if you are flying 'genuine Jetex', which we all will be, if we don't get ant new Rapiers soon!) is that old Jetex pellets do vary a lot - look at the colour - and it is possible, with care, to match the thrust to a model.
We do this with Rapiers, of course, and it is a good idea to arrive at the flying field with L-2 LT, L-2 X (medium power) and the powerful L-2 '120/140' mN motors. Only Andy's little T-38 relishes any and all motors he shoves up its jet pipe!
Andy took a video of an early trimming flight (I was using a 50B with ICI fuel), here is the link:
Later flights were better, and I shall add a thrust tab and wing washout to (I hope!) improve directional stability.
The power of a new Jetex 50C and Sebel pellets caught John's new Panther out: it alas looped, 'landed' on the skew and (typically) broke off the wing. John says it is easily repaired and will try it with a less powerful motor nest time)!
Rapiers too, can degrade with age - giving a lot less thrust than when new. Chris Richards had some great flights with his Jetex Wren with a batch of very old (green cased) L-2s. Wrens are usually powered, you will remember, with an L-1.
Above: Chris Richards (and his good lady) on the Sunday. Chris, as well as the Wren, flew his Flitzer, which made some great sorties on old Rapiers. (photo by Andy).
Above: another Andy photo. Me in typical pose: in my own little bubble and concentrating on the next flight. The Viper you can see made some very amusing flights; The T-38 Talons went well, and the blue and yellow Gripen was getting there (it was quite tricky to trim) when the wind was getting up on the Sunday and I decided to call it a day.
Above: trimming out the Gripen. I had to correct a persistent left turn, and the model proved quite sensitive to the elevons .... here's to next time!