Perfect Weather

Sorry, no pictures this week, but the weather was absolutely perfect for once. It was warm, not too hot, a little wind and some clouds to show up the models, but no rain.

When I arrived this morning there was the UMX SpaceWalker finding a place to land in the long grass and the foam Super Cub. We were soon joined by a DJI Inspire, the clipped wing HobbyKing Easy Star clone with FPV and a home made foam board 3D aerobat. The SpaceWalker needed a little fixing after its untimely arrival in the grass. The motor shaft had been straightened a couple of weeks ago after I bent it and the pin on the end lost. The pin was replaced with some wire, but this had come loose. I never realised this before, but the whole of the top of the fuselage up to the cockpit lifts off to reveal the inner workings. Once this was fixed we sellotaped it back together and went off to fly it again. It’s actually quite hard to fly and I can see why they put the excessive dihedral on it. I found the aircraft was constantly trying to nose up, even with full down trim. I also ended up with over 50% right trim to stop it from circling. The interesting thing is that with the power off it glides beautifully. Put the power on and it’s a different prospect with the plane rocking in a quite animated fashion as it seems to fight the thrust. I just think it’s caused by vibration with a 35g model. We had actually removed the rubber spinner before the flight for that exact reason, so we might have also altered the C of G. Either way, I still had the longest flight I think I’ve ever had with a UMX plane. The conditions were such that I could just about thermal below a rain cloud, which showed the colours of the model up to perfection. When I eventually did land, I still had lots of power left.

After that I managed to get three flights with my RS352 and had a practice at hovering again. It really doesn’t want to hover and I think it’s due to the fact that you just can’t stall it. You have to judge the speed really well, otherwise too slow and it just rocks out of the nose up attitude. I could prop hang, but a 30 degree hover is still elusive. Needs more work.

Finally, I got to launch the yellow and green foam board aircraft on its maiden flight. Well, second flight actually, as the first was just a big left hand spiral into the ground. I did a fairly solid low wing launch from a point under the wing and it went off without any problem. It was a bit of a handful in the air though. The pilot decided to land after a couple of circuits and we decided that the C of G was much too far back. It’s supposed to be a 3D model, but you want it to fly first before you start moving the C of G back. Anyway, somebody lent him a heavier 1500mAh pack and we got the balance forward for another attempt. I launched the same as before and all was good as I turned round to head back to the group, but a thump from behind told me he had hit the ground. The aircraft was fine, but they think it was pilot error and he stalled it. I have no idea what happened as I was facing the wrong way. I had to leave before his next attempt, but he switched to a different motor. I’ve seen this on a lot of foam board models, but the motor is on a square tube which slides inside the fuselage. Changing the motor and electronics is simply a case of sliding it out and sliding a replacement in. It’s all rather neat.

Anyway, that’s it for this week, except to say that I hope the DJI Inspire pilot gets permission to fly around the aircraft at Farnborough.

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