It was bright and sunny with no appreciable wind today and it wasn’t even all that cold with the sun out. It was also a very busy morning with one very early flier who forgot to put his clocks back. He had a Multiplex Extra 300, plus there was a dad with two small kids both flying a Piper Cub type trainer. I don’t know what they were flying exactly, but it was a white foam high wing type. I think the younger of the two children was about 7, which surprised a lot of people when they saw the little guy standing there with the transmitter and the aircraft whizzing around the sky. I managed to get 3 flights with my RS352, which felt really smooth and controlled compared to the windy and blustery conditions which I’ve been flying it in recently. It really flew like it was on rails. Anyway, in addition to that, I had another flight with the Dynam Hurricane from a couple of weeks ago, plus a brand new Hobbyzone UMX Corsair which I helped carry across the field along with his UMX Beast which I’ve flown before. He had got a train, then a taxi before walking across the field as his electric bike was broken.
Going back to the Hurricane though, it’s not having a very good life at the moment. Out of three flights, two have ended in crashes, including my one today. I was rather annoyed about this as I had managed to land it without any problems on the first flight without the aid of flaps. This time the owner had added the flaps as it was coming in very fast without them. Take off was no problem, I brought up the wheels, flew around for a bit, tested the flaps and familiarised myself with how everything responded. The flaps deploy to a huge angle at 100%, so I was a bit worried about the pitch moment and drag. The don’t make as much difference as you would expect, though, so you could fly around quite happily with 100% flap dropped and a bit of extra power without any huge pitch changes. It was the extra drag which caught me out on the landing though. I wanted to make sure I had plenty of power, so I did a square circuit with 50% flap down to about 20 feet along the runway, then climbed out and repeated the circuit for the landing. Everything was fine until I cut the power right back about 5 feet above the ground and it was like hitting a wall of air. The aircraft just stopped, dropped to the ground and bounced on its legs, turning over and landing upside down in the grass. There was no speed in the impact, so all I did was bend a retract leg slightly and loosen the other retract at the base. It was a bit embarrassing though, although the owner of the aircraft was very happy to have it back in one piece. Next time I will make sure I fly it right down to the ground as it doesn’t glide very well with flaps (air brakes) deployed.
The first flight of the Corsair was a lot easier, although the ailerons could do with being reduced a bit. Also, I think it’s the shape of the cranked wing in the air, but I found it difficult to judge the angle of bank at first. It took me a while to get used to the shape of it in the air. This one got back in one piece though.
Just to round off the day, the guy with the FlyBaby and Cessna was also there and two others turned up just as we were leaving. I think they had a mini Stryker or a Multiplex Funjet (small flying wing, foam, pusher prop), which they were having problems getting to work. The transmitter was a Turnigy type which I’ve not seen before and they couldn’t get the elevons to work correctly. We had to leave them to it as it was time to go home.