After a couple of year’s absence due to health problems I went flying at the wonderful site allotted to us for free flight at Salisbury Plain.
It was very hot but just bearable, however the small black cloud of mating insects that swarmed around our car, no doubt attracted by the thermals coming off the black paintwork, were a nuisance in the late afternoon. Surprisingly, there were only a few of us there, perhaps the regulars had worn themselves out on the previous couple of days of the holiday! Although it was cold, breezy and misty when we first arrived the mist cleared away and the wind dropped to give us perfect model flying conditions.
The sheet balsa Hunter with T shirt material printed markings and the foam F86 with marker pen décor flew out of their skins on the old green 80mN L1 Rapiers with good climbs and very wide circuits.
They were a delight to watch and a nice welcome back to flying for me, especially as they are old models and that had kept their trim straight out of the box. No trimming needed - very good value for money as it were.
Above: launching the Hunter. I was surprised that this model, and the all foam Sabre had kept their trim.
The Phantom F4 was being a little reluctant this time as a new down thrust tab (needed to replace the broken old one) was far too long and until I slowly trimmed it down the flights ended rather abruptly in the grass rather soon after launching. Eventually I got it right and had better flights with lowish climbs and wide circuits.
Above: launching the hemi-demi-semi-scale F4 Phantom. It needed a powerful L-2 and a thrust tab that was 'just so' (missing in this shot).
A lot of the flights though, started off quite straight, and until the turn finally started to take hold all you saw was a lot of smoke fast going away from you. It is proving to be a ‘draggy’ model and I flew it at first on the shorter running Rapier L2HP’s then changed to L2X’s which seemed more suited to it as they run longer and quieter (less burping!) and the model stayed up longer.
The VC10 and the Bill Dean Vulture were my pals models that I was flying for him, the VC10 was brand new and based on the Vulture design but proved very tricky. I think it needs a new wing with a blunter wing section that matches the Vulture’s, which again prove to be a splendid flyer.
Above: the VC 10 (right) needs a bit of work; the Vulture, a classic Bill Dean design, flew (as they always do) splendidly.
The Vulture was a replacement for one that was lost on Salisbury Plain earlier in 2017. The Rapier is mounted underneath the model which gives a much more consistent flight pattern than the side mounted Jetex 50 of Bill’s design.
The B 47 was out for its first flying session, so I left off the knock off engine pods for simplicity, it was very stable and looked a treat in flight but it must be a little too nose heavy as it tended to descend in the turn once the power built up and ended with the wing parting from the body when it came in hard, no real damage though.
These three were all powered with 140mN Rapier L2’s which were well up to the job. Of course the heat may well affect the Rapier motors , as they all gave plenty of power and lit readily.
If only it was always like this!
I did learn an important lesson on this happy day: don't try to trim three new models all at once! My pal was fetching the models after a flight for me, which allowed me to get the next one ready to go, and then launching once he had returned. Repeat with the next (third) model.
Above: my good friend Pete after a long walk retrieving.
The upshot of this sensible and satisfying procedure was that I then needed to try and remember the flight patterns of all the three models so I could make any adjustments needed.
However, adjusting them for one (or two) flights in arrears was just too much for my ageing brain. Next time I will concentrate on one model at a time until it is sorted. Or not, of course!
Note added by Roger: sounds like you had a really good time Howard - I'm well impressed. How many motors did you burn, Howard, and is Pete still talking to you?
Yes he even drove me home, he's a good chap. I didn't use that many Rapiers this time as I was flying rubber models as well, I used about 20 I think.
The following user(s) said Thank You: nitrocharged, rogersimmonds