Still Waiting for Winter

Despite being the first day for a while that I’ve felt cold, the weather actually wasn’t too bad this week. Any early fog had lifted, some sunshine had warmed things up a bit and the clouds and wind didn’t appear until later in the morning. It was also quite busy with a large helicopter being flown when I arrived and numerous flights with a very interesting Mustang and F22 made out of foam board. The Mustang had a removable power system, with the motor, prop and ESC coming out through the front, meaning that two different power systems could be tested. Both flew very well, put apparently they’re not waterproof, as the board absorbs moisture. The Advance made a few flights, along with the four flights I had with my RS352. My HubSan quadcopter still isn’t working and dropped from about 3 metres onto the grass, so I didn’t attempt any more flights. In addition to this, some new people had travelled a long way to test a new hex copter, along with another quad they had which had already flown before.

The new hex copter looked rather large and powerful, but didn’t last long before tilting to about 30 degrees and crashing into the ground with the owner running towards it. Luckily this didn’t happen when it was over our heads, but something had obviously gone wrong and he lost control. The other quad faired better, but had a habit of shedding the prop guards, which is rather worrying if you consider what would happen if one of these ended up in the blades in close proximity to people. The flights with this all started off much too close to the pit area, which shows how little awareness some of these multi-rotor fliers have for aviation in general. This is another example of a quad being written off in fairly windy conditions where the operator didn’t have either the understanding or experience to fly it safely.

Having said that, the owner of the Blade 350 was just arriving as I left, presumably with a new body shell. Hopefully his newly repaired quad survived the outing as it was getting a bit windy by this point as the forecast bad weather was moving in. Just before this, though, another flyer who I haven’t seen for some time turned up with his little boy, two gliders and a rocket. The rocket was really good, separating into a section that parachuted down and a helicopter section. We didn’t think the parachute was going to open, but after losing about half its height, we cheered as the canopy unfolded.

As for my own flying, the RS352 wasn’t handling right. It actually felt like the left wing was a bit heavier, as it kept dropping the left wing. Trim wasn’t really fixing it as it was still coming out of manoeuvres requiring corrective action to pick the wing up. Straight and level it would always have a tendency to turn in that way, so I’m going to have to do some more investigation. Also, the motor hasn’t sounded right the last couple of weeks. Looking at the prop adapter, it doesn’t appear to be running straight, but the shaft isn’t bent as it’s still running true, so some further maintenance is in order. I did get some of my flights recorded by the guy with the foam board aircraft using his GoPro camera. For recording his own flights he uses a head mounted Go Pro held on his head with flexible straps. I had thought of trying something similar, but either transmitter mounted or using a baseball cap.

Finally, I’ve bought some new knife blades and started cutting out the parts for the Atom Autogyro. I’ve no idea how I’m going to make the head mechanism yet though.

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