Funny Old Weather

There was a forecast of sunshine and 8mph winds this morning, but it seemed more like a 15mph wind sneaked in when nobody was looking. It was an odd sort of day where, one minute the Sun is burning you through the back of your shirt, then great big black clouds came over looking threatening. It never actually rained, but the occasionally overcast conditions and breeze made for a cool respite from the relentless heat.

The first flight I had this morning was with a Radian electric glider, which the owner also flew himself on a couple of occasions during that one flight. There were already two people there when I arrived, one flying an Inspire while the other was watching the FPV from under a cover. There was also another guy with what looked like a Mavic drone flying from about 20 metres away, not wanting to be friends with us. Later in the day we also had one of those moments when you say, “if we’re all here, who’s that flying a drone above us?”, then realised that there was a guy standing at the very edge of the field with a transmitter. In addition to the two anti-socials, we also had two regulars with a Nieuport biplane, Ripmax Transition VTOL and a small quadcopter.

In addition to the Radian and 5 flights with my RS352, I also tried out some FPV with my 3D printed micro quadcopter. This was a bit of a last minute addition to the kit this morning, as I just threw all the bits into my bag as I was leaving, but it was certainly worth it. I’m not a big fan of FPV, but it was quite fun to fly the 45g quadcopter in circles around where we were standing. Looking back at myself through the eyes of the aircraft nearly made me fall over, but you soon get the hang of it. Judging speed, distance and height is very difficult because of the camera’s field of view. You always look like you’re doing about Mach one over the grass because you’ve suddenly been shrunk down to the size of a bird. I still think doing slow, lazy aerobatics with the RS352 is a lot more fun, but I’ll give the quadcopter another go in its natural habitat – indoors around the furniture.

All in all, it was quite a good flying session this morning. I would have been annoyed at not being able to get the autogyro ready to test fly if it hadn’t been for the wind. The forecast was perfect for a test flight, then a rather hectic week at work took its toll and I couldn’t get the aircraft ready in time, then the conditions turned out to be rather less than perfect. Having spent so long building it, there’s no point in rushing into a test flight in the wrong weather conditions. During the week, I discovered that it’s actually a lot harder to get the blades to attach to the head than I realised. I’m also going to have to do some further reading about the various “shims” people have added to get the blades at the right alpha to generate lift. Then I need almost dead calm conditions to do some runs up and down the runway. Anyway, I’m off to do some reading about autogyros and I might even try and write a simulator to practise flying one – that’s something I’ve never seen. Here’s to next week’s weather and an easy week at work.

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