Only Me

I thought the weather forecast was for heavy rain to clear early on, leaving a dry day with 10mph winds. When I looked out of the window this morning, the anemometer on the house over the back was spinning like a crazy thing. It was just as windy as last week and bright and sunny with it. Obviously the gale force wind had blown all the clouds away, leaving a clear blue sky and 25 degree sunshine. This is precisely my least favourite type of weather, because it looks like a nice day to go flying, but you know you shouldn’t.

I went flying anyway, working on the basis that the wind would decrease throughout the morning. It didn’t, so all of the four flights that I had with the RS352 were a bit hairy. When I tried any sort of aerobatics containing a vertical manoeuvre, the aircraft got blown about 10 metres towards me. In the end I decided to try and solve the problem I’ve always had with this aircraft, where outside loops go completely screwy. I know, trimming an aircraft in 20mph winds isn’t recommended, but I tried a couple of clicks of left rudder to see if it helped straighten the loops. From inverted, it makes no difference, but from the right way up, I think it does help leave the nose pointing in the entry direction on exit. I’ll have to work on this when there’s no wind, but I noticed that my current trim has the ailerons almost exactly level with a small amount of right rudder. It does seem to have a much more central trim than before, which might be due to the motor change a while back. Swapping out all the servos at Christmas must have had an effect too, but you wouldn’t expect the control surfaces to be in a different position, just the servos in a different position to achieve the same control deflection. Whatever the reason, I now seem to have a more balanced trim than before. So, why does it roll horribly on the initial quarter of an outside loop? I need to investigate this a bit more.

Anyway, I had an interesting conversation with the man who collects the dustbins, as it turns out that he used to fly here many years ago too. I thought I was going to be on my own for the whole morning as nobody else was stupid enough to fly in the windy conditions. Then, right at the end, a guy with a camera came over and sat on the bench. It was only after talking to him for a while that I realised the rucksack he was carrying was the DJI Mavic one. Sure enough, he had a Mavic in it, but initially didn’t fancy flying it in the wind. I had to leave before seeing it fly, but I’m fairly sure he got it into the air, so it wasn’t only me flying this week.

On a drone related note, I also got my 3D printed micro FPV drone to fly during the week. I managed to get the FPV power lead soldered on and gave it a go in the house. This is using the F3 EVO Brushed controller and my Futaba transmitter, so it’s much more professional kit than the HubSan’s we’ve been flying. Even so, it was very hard to achieve a stable hover, although I could fly it up and down the hallway and through the doorways quite easily. More practice is needed I think.

Finally, the ATOM Autogyro is almost flight ready. All it needs is a final control check, some bolts for the blades, keepers tightened up on the head and a way of holding the canopy in place. I’m thinking tape for the canopy and everything else is just tightening things up. I had wondered whether this week would be a good week for a test flight, but I’m glad I rejected that idea. What I need now are clam conditions so I can run it up and down the runway to get the head sorted out before committing to the air for the first time.

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