9th November

After yesterday’s torrential rain, the weather has really improved today. I managed three flights with the RS352 and another with somebody else’s ParkZone Radian. The Radian actually flew twice as there was a problem with what sounded like the motor rubbing on something at full throttle. Despite cutting the power quite early into the first flight, it just did not want to come down. That, coupled with the very weak rudder response made for a very slow, flat, glide back down to earth. We never did find the cause of the problem, despite dismantling the rather interesting ParkZone spinner arrangement. Back in the air again, and the problem re-occurred, so the answer was to avoid full throttle. I also too the opportunity to increase the rudder throw while we were on the ground, so the second flight had much more harmonised controls. This made it very easy to just cruise around the sky using no energy most of the time and occasional bursts of 50% power to get back up. There is a tendency to go very nose up with this aircraft on high throttle, so the climb has to be managed. It’s trimmed to fly perfectly as a pure glider, which is what it does amazingly well.

As for the RS352, I’ve fixed the problem with the prop spinning off centre, which was caused by the plastic prop insert having worn down and no longer being central as it was slightly too big for the adapter. The thread on the prop adapter must have worn the plastic insert to a slightly bigger hole size over the last two years of flying, so it pays to perform some routine maintenance checks occasionally.

Today really was a sunny, clam day, so I took the opportunity to re-trim the RS352 which has been gradually getting further and further out of a neutral time because of all the rough weather I’ve been flying it in recently. After that, it was back to prop hanging, spins, stall turns, cuban eights, rolls and snap rolls as normal.

A lot of other people also turned up today, in particular the guy with the foam board Mustang, F22 and HobbyZone Easy Star II clone. I’ve lost track of all the Easy Star variants, but this one had the smaller solid foam and clear plastic canopy, as it fell off during one of the flights and I had to retrieve it. Later in the morning it was a pleasant surprise to see another chap turn up with his two sons, as the last time I saw them I was trying to help them retrieve a ParkZone Delta Ray from a tree. This time they had a ParkZone Soprt Cub which was flying very well, if a little too fast as it sounded like something was fluttering. When I left they were dismantling the flaps as these had apparently been stuck fast since the last flight. Just to round things off, I finally met the guy I just missed last time with two Cessna like aircraft. The smaller one could have been an FMS Cessna 182, which he didn’t enjoy flying, calling it “nasty” and “twitchy”. It looked OK in the air though, but the take-offs from the ground were a bit hairy. The other aircraft was a bit bigger and might have been a HobbyZone Cessna 182, but I’m not really sure. That one flew for around 20 minutes, which was impressive. Finally, the guy with three pure gliders arrived and set up his bungee, which isn’t something you see much any more I must remember to ask him whether they are own designs as the three all seem to be variations on a theme. Unfortunately, he broke the tail off of the yellow one, but it is repairable. Just to round things off, there was also somebody with a DJI Phantom Quadcopter a long way off who looked like he was trying to fly it into a tree at the edge of the field. I never got to speak to him as he didn’t come over to say hello.

With the post-flight tasks now complete I can start thinking about the RCM&E Atom AutoGyro project again:

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