It was too hot again, but I wanted to fly the autogyro because this is the weekend a year ago when it flew for the first time. You can see just how hot it’s been the last few weeks from the picture above. The grass is dead and the ground is completely dried up and cracking. Anyway, as it happened there wasn’t enough wind to spin the autogyro’s rotors, so I didn’t risk a flight, although it was right on the cusp of being possible. I elected to take the safe option and go home with it in one piece rather than risk a flight. This time out I’ve removed the two washers behind the motor mount giving it left thrust and changed to give me one washer of down thrust instead. That’s washers top and bottom on the right side moved to left and right on the top. This is in response to the fact that I ended up with full left aileron trim and full down elevator trim last time it flew. Unfortunately, I never got to test the change, so it’ll have to wait until next time.
Back to today’s flying and there was already a guy flying a foam Cessna type trainer when I got there, plus the guy with the DJI Phantom from the other week and somebody else who brought a Hobbyzone UMX Corsair up on his electric bike. My first flight of the day was with his Corsair, but, launching left handed, my first throw went straight into the ground. I’m obviously getting too relaxed about flying these UMX aircraft, as they normally fly perfectly straight from my hand. I got the owner to throw it for me on the next launch, with almost exactly the same result. This aircraft has AS3X, so it’s supposed to be able to fly itself. The third flight worked out better and I got it into the air, but it was a wild little beast. There was much too much aileron movement – I knew that from before the first launch, but it was adjusted down mechanically as far as it would go and there was no way of changing it on the very basic transmitter. I found that I could fly it around, just coaxing it with the ailerons, but too much aileron input caused the nose to drop and it headed downwards fast. In getting used to flying it around, I tried to add a click of down elevator, then another, before the wing dropped again and I stuffed it into the long grass. There was no damage because of the cushioning effect of the long grass I was flying over, but I was a bit worried about finding it again, so didn’t take my eyes off of the point in the grass. It was easy to find in the end, nose down in the long grass with the dark blue tail sticking up in the air, not even having made it all the way down to the ground. It was just stuck in the top of the grass. We didn’t fly it again after that, but I would like to get it sorted out properly because the F4U Corsair looks absolutely fantastic in the air.
After that I had four flights with my RS352, plus a bit of messing around with the Autogyro when the wind looked like it was getting up. It was just teasing me, though, because as soon as I had the autogyro set up and ready to fly, the wind dropped to nothing. When I flew the RS352, the wind would get back up. I decided it wasn’t an autogyro friendly day, but then the RS352 wasn’t going all that well either. I don’t know whether the heat was causing a lot of turbulence, but they were odd flying conditions for what you would expect to be flat, calm.
We had one success story of the day, where the Italian guy who saw the previous flight of the Autogyro a few weeks ago managed to find his lost drone out in the long grass. I hate losing aircraft like that, so it was really good to see him get it back. All in all it was a very quiet day, with just the couple who fly the Mavic turning up near the end. They were the only ones left when I had to call it a day.