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.