Where Did the Sunshine Go?

I got up this morning and it was bright and sunny. When I got to the flying field, though, it was overcast, windy and cold. I don’t know what happened, but everybody else who arrived had the same experience. The weather just sort of changed between the car park and the field.

It was a very busy morning with the helicopter guy there practising when I arrived. He looked like he was trimming a new setup as he was very deliberately going part way through a manoeuvre, then stopping and trying the other way around.

Then I had a visit from a swan who flew around the field and then flew back in the direction he came from. After that there was a father and two sons who had a foam Piper Cub aircraft. I’m not sure who made it as there weren’t any markings, but it went surprisingly well in the, now extremely gusty, conditions. Both the dad and the older boy had a go at flying, with the boy really throwing it around the sky. He managed to hit the dustbin with the prop at one point, but it kept flying, only to be stopped on a later flight when he did a half loop to inverted and then pulled back instead of pushing down and slammed it straight into the ground inverted. I’m impressed that a small foam Cub could fly in that wind, especially rolling and flying inverted on just rudder and elevator. They’re now looking for a first aileron model to improve their skills on.

After that, the EFlite Advance arrived and the guy whose Hurricane I flew a few months ago with an electric balsa glider called a “Faze”. This was covered in black and red film and flew very well. He’s now looking at a Fokker DR1, so that should be interesting. Also, I think it was the guy who had a DJI Mavic in a backpack a few weeks ago with his son (plus Syma drone) and a friend who he was teaching to fly with a buddy box. They had the Hobby King Bixler (Easy Star clone) and a very boxy looking aircraft which he had started building in the year 2000. Apparently, the SIG elastic bands which held the wing on were authentic 17 year old ones, but had been stored in a box and were fine to use. This wasn’t its first flight, but the first one of the day was just as I had to leave, although it seemed to be buzzing around the field at a rate of knots. Also flying at some speed was the Stryker, back after not being around for a few weeks.

My flying this week was slightly curtailed by my LiPo situation. The first flight didn’t feel like all the power was there. This was with the newer (1 year old) 1100mAh Hyperion EX G3 cells. These are 3S 45C cells, so I should be nowhere near their limits with my RS352, and yet both packs have puffed up and seem to be on their way out. In contrast, the older (4 years or more) CX G3 1300mAh cells have puffed less and lasted better. Both now have two cells where the voltage isn’t holding up, but still fly better than the newer ones. So, the first flight was not much over 3 minutes, then the second one on the other pack of new cells had a lot more power and lasted 6 minutes. The flight with the first older pack, after charging to bring the two duff cells up to voltage, had the most power and was around 6 minutes again. I never got a fourth flight as I ran out of time before the two duff cells on the final pack got over 4.0 volts (I got them up to about 4.15 on the other pack before aborting the charge and trying them out in the air).

As for the flying with the RS352, I’m still trimming it with the new servos, so just a few cuban 8s, loops, rolls, flick rolls, stall turns and spins. The conditions weren’t really up to much more than just trying to stay in the sky. The conclusion is that I need new cells, so I’m off to do some shopping.

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