Please feel free to post something and photos about what you are doing in the club or where you have been flying. Please choose at least 1 category, E.g. Activities for your post to help others find it.
I have posted a couple of pictures onto our home page from Chris who reported a quite pleasant day with gentle winds & a blue sky.
BTW, this Saturday is looking like another potential day.
We had a good turnout yesterday, 2nd Jan, at Little Haldon for the first outing of 2023. The weather was bright, very calm and sunny which kept any chill at bay. Flying was near continuous for several hours although thermals were practically non existent and even buzzards were seen flapping to keep airborne. Of course the sun was low so our gliders avoided the SSW to keep out of the sun (in my case – tried to avoid flying into the sun). Still, all aircraft have made it back safely to their hangers. The day and gathering provided an ideal opportunity to carry out Dave Malin’s wishes for his ashes to be scattered where he enjoyed flying. Whilst John Harvey scattered Dave’s ashes amongst the gorse and heather, Martin made a low fly pass with his glider. Although there are some photos of the occasion, we will not post any on social media unless Dave’s family give consent.
Happy birthday yesterday to John although unfortunately he forgot to bring cakes or any leftover Xmas fair.
There are some incredible graphics on this YouTube clip by Major Tom. Take a flight on BA from Boston to London.
A flying report from John>
Hi Chaps, Chris and I had a great session at BH today. The last mile to Black Hill on the back road was a little icy in parts but plenty of dry road to slow down on. However it was cold, something like -2 out of the wind, but this was more than compensated for by the stunning landscape and full sun. We did go equipped however with good windproof and warm gear, I had a skiing onesie, my go to when the arctic chill kicks in, under which was a vest, thick shirt, jumper and body warmer. Then there is the woolly hat and full face scarf and gloves. Attending to the call of nature was never going to be easy! We took the less demanding and skiddy route up the hill to the NW to avoid an accident before we even got up to the top. Quite a few walkers and dogs about enjoying the surroundings but not an issue.
I took my Sharp Wind and Chris had a Super Starlight, both pure gliders. Flying was a joy although the lift would not have taken you to the moon, staying up and high was never an issue. The issue was the clear blue sky, you certainly needed to concentrate or lose sight. Landing at times was a little turbulent but nevertheless uneventful. Come lunchtime the wind was weakening but made no difference to the lift. I have to say had the wind been stronger the wind chill would have been unpleasant. Flying times were limited to about 15 mins to allow thawing out of the stick fingers, thank heavens for the thermos of coffee! Funnily enough we had another visitation by an extremely low heli (private) as we did recently at LH by 2 Merlins. It appeared to land near Lustleigh then return later.
Our day ended circa 2.30…brilliant! 😀❄🛩
(The Dartmoor temperature chart from Thursday was kindly provided by Tim, and was obtained from Dartcom at https://www.dartcom.co.uk/weather )
I have added a few photos to our gallery from yesterday when Martin and John had a few practice glider-tow flights from the newly strimmed strip thanks to the efforts of Martin. Although the length of the strips are shorter there was sufficient room for take off and landing. There is further commentary in the Gallery.
A report from John and photo from Chris:
Guy has put on yet another hugely enjoyable glider thermal comp today, hosted by the Okehampton club at their Exbourne Site. Rob Oats was out early mowing the landing circle and ensuring the weather conditions were just perfect. A light to static warm westerly breeze and fluffy clouds was the order of the day enjoyed by I’m guessing around 13 pilots. I will not go into detail about results, save to say the lift in the early heats made soaring to 1000ft + the norm, but what makes this comp so popular I think is its simplicity, no complicated and nitty gritty rules that would exclude or frighten off prospective competitors. Virtually any model can be used, electric or bungee launch and no worries about controls, just launch, 4 at a time today, stay up for a max of 10mins and land within the radius of a laid out rope..simples.
Having said all that, skill is still required to stay aloft, 10mins does not seem long…wrong! Then a landing near your spot…again, not so easy.
All pilots exhibited a competitive but friendly edge along with the accompanying applause and laughs from the rows of armchair pilots in deckchairs near the flightline.
Unfortunately there is only 1 round left this season on the 24th Sept, so thanks again to Guy and any of his helpers for taking the time and trouble to organise this Glider Comp.
When I hear more details about the next venue I will let you know.
I must say that the results below for DSSC competitors looks impressive. (Robert)
Tim sent me a photo of his recent visit up on Black Hill. “It was taken on Thursday of last week (25th August) by Martin after he had helped me with my first flights with the Xplorer. Tim”
I popped up Little Haldon to check out my e-Duster’s trim this morning after giving the aircraft a MOT / service and checking battery weights that were found to vary by make and by 10 grams difference. The blustery 14mph-22mph wind was coming N.W along the slope. Bouncy at low level for landing but smoother from about 60ft and there appeared to be lots of areas of lift about towards the car park and the main road. The Duster seemed to be flying better and I managed to land fairly close to the cross. However, dogs were out in number and running around so I decided to wait for a calmer day to have a more relaxing experience.
Chris, Martin and I went up L.H today despite the negative forecast for misty rain and a SSW. By the time we arrived it was quite bright, warm with a gentle near westerly breeze. We could see quite heavy rain over the moors that luckily travelled up towards Exeter. Martin found some lift up to about 800 feet. Then the ‘fun’ started. Chris’s first launch resulted in a gearbox failure. Motor noise but no prop rotation so a controlled landing was made to check things out. However, the temptation from Martin saying there is plenty of lift about was too great for Chris who went for an energetic hand launch with no motor as can be seen from the pic below. After some challenging turbulence and sink low down, Chris achieved around 400 ft before lift ran out. And several more successful silent flights followed.
My Duster, that Martin had trimmed some weeks ago behaved quite badly and was very difficult to fly. Martin then had a flight with it and needed maximum up trim and some aileron trim to tame its characteristics. The main conclusion was that a different battery weight was probably moving the CoG forward. So I decided to play safe and check the linkages, batteries etc on return to my workshop. There I found today’s batteries were 10 grams heavier. And the recommended plan CoG was only 25% of the wing cord so a few adjustments are in progress.
Just something for your diary and to look forward to. Our next event at Little Haldon is on Sunday 18th September and will be an Electric Glider event. Let’s hope the weather is kind.
Also the next Exbourne Aero-Tow event is Sunday 11th September. I think that may be in a different field but John will confirm directions.
Our club meetings (I cant bring myself to say winter meetings) at Kingsteignton village hall also resume in September.