Sunny September

Well, it started off sunny at least, but the weather forecast was spot on and it got increasingly overcast and windy towards lunchtime as the predicted weather front brought its rain in. It’s a shame I didn’t have the autogyro, as they had just mown the grass, making a lot of opportunities for taking off from the ground. I was close to having it fixed, but just ended up with too much to do for work again.

I thought I was going to be on my own this week, as I had the first flight of my RS352 alone. I’ve changed my charging regime this week, using a new Overlander RC6 charger to store my two sets of 1300 LiPos at 3.84v rather than using my older Hyperion EOS0606i. I still have to use the older charger for my older 1100mAh cells, which have now puffed up very badly and are giving hardly enough power to fly. The change in how I store them is an attempt to prevent the new ones from going the same way, but only time will tell. I would have used the new charger on all four packs, but the two older ones have Hyperion balance connectors, which I can’t connect to the Overlander charger. Anyway, it took a bit longer to charge the good packs from storage to flight charge as I didn’t get time to do it the night before.

After I had my first flight, people started arriving. We had the Fokker DR1 UMX from last week, now repaired. He also brought his son along, plus a Carbon Cub UMX, Corsair, Spacewalker, Striker UMX and a Silverlit helicopter which he gave to me to fix. I flew the DR1 for him while his son was retrieving the car. Considering how windy it now was, plus the fact that it’s basically a box kite that you’re flying, it went really well with its repaired front end. It was wanting to climb badly while having full down elevator applied, so I just flew it with the stick forwards as you tend to use the throttle to control the height with this plane anyway. The landing was absolutely perfect and it just sat there on its wheels looking at me, which was a big relief. It was much too light for the conditions. The F27 Striker was also a bit interesting as I did the launch and there’s not much to hang on to. You can’t bring the power on until it’s released as the prop is at the back, so it only just got away, despite my big push. It was also pitching down badly, so I had to press the trim switch while he continued to fly it. It was extremely agile and positively loved the windy weather though.

We also had two guys with Mavics, one with his wife who also flies it, plus another guy with his wife and two kids plus a Mavic at home. The kids (and dog) loved the aircraft, especially the spacewalker. Then one of the guys from last week arrived carrying a Bixler and drone. His ambition was to learn to fly the Bixler and take it home in one piece, which I think he just about managed. It did take a lot of punishment, though, and I couldn’t work out why it was beeping while it was in the air. It almost sounded like an audible vario, but that would just be stupid? Finally, another father and two sons turned up. The older one had a white foam high wing Cub type trainer, while the other had what looked like a much smaller version of a Bixler, I think with a 27MhZ transmitter? Both actually flew really well, although neither of them was getting the best out of the smaller plane as they kept smashing it into the ground so that the wings kept flying off. With the bigger aircraft, the other guy helped them out as the rudder wasn’t central and various tools were borrowed to make it work. In the end the take-off was perfect and it flew very well in the wind. The only thing that was strange was a tendency for a left to right yawing oscillation under power with the wing tips making small circles in the air. It was most noticeable under full power. Now I’ve had time to think about it, I wonder whether the rudder push rod was bending under flight loads? When he handed the transmitter over to the older kid, he managed to crash it into the ground, but it survived for another flight. I had a sneaky flight with the Carbon Cub while they were doing this. It’s really lovely to fly in these conditions and behaves like an aircraft that’s much bigger. This must be a result of the AS3X system.

Anyway, I lost track of how many flights I had with the RS352, it was either four or five, one of which we were trying to fly in formation with the Corsair. It was a lot of fun not hitting each other, but the two aircraft just have different flying speeds, so it was never convincing. He can also fly for about 2 minutes longer than me.

Then it was time to go home, which was probably a good idea because of how threatening the clouds were now looking. It was getting very black.

The autogyro should be finished by next week as the fin is back on and I’ve straightened the bent motor shaft.

IMG_20170831_213029.jpg

Actually, I might have another go at the shaft because it’s still very slightly bent. Look at the gap between the case in the pictures below:

It’s only fractional, but it might cause vibration problems. The spruce longeron is completely fixed, though, so I just need to cover the tail pieces and re-assemble everything again for the airframe to be complete.

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