Autumnal Sunshine

It was quite a pleasant morning this week, despite a big black cloud making an appearance around 11 o’clock. Once that had gone it was back to warm and sunny.

It was really busy this week as there was one guy half way across the field flying a Phantom when I got there, plus another drone flier in the middle. As I was walking across, I did say to him that he could hang out with us in the middle, but he didn’t seem interested. After that we had the red UMX Taylorcraft arrive by bike, newly fixed from the time he took it out in the bag without any protection and broke it. My first two flights of the day were with this Ares Taylorcraft, which needed progressively more left rudder added as the flight went on. The power system was also a bit of an issue, but those 1 cell LiPos are always a bit variable. The aircraft is rudder/elevator only and I think the crease in the rudder was causing the control problems. It was perfectly flyable, but initially wanted to keep turning right. Left trim counteracted this, but if you slowed it right down, it would start turning right more as the speed decreased. On the second flight, the rudder had been straightened a bit more, so the trim was completely off again. It’s not all that agile anyway, so left and right trim changes aren’t that big a deal, but I did feel as though I was trimming a free flight model, given that it was sunny with very little wind.

After that, we had another guy with a Mavic and a 250 size racing drone. Then two people with the Skysurfer that I flew the other week and a new Blaze high wing “warmliner” type of aircraft. The Skysurfer had a bit of an adventure, hitting the ground hard on the first hand launch, but then climbing away safely. Later on, we all heard the thump as it hit the ground hard on landing, but it was still OK, so they obviously build those things of strong stuff. The next pair to arrive had a small helicopter, a drone and a Bixler, which is another Syksurfer clone. The Mavic had fun chasing the Bixler around for a while. Finally, just as I was leaving we had the guy who usually flies the Stryker F27, but this time he had a Rare Bear Reno racer Bearcat foam model. I never got to see it fly as I was out of time by then.

As for me, I had three flights of the RS352. That was two good flights with the new(ish) LiPo packs, then I was about to launch on flight three – and by this I mean actually going through the motion of pushing it forwards into the air – when the revs started to drop off. I think this older LiPo pack has either had it completely, or it just hadn’t charged properly. Either way, both of these older packs are badly puffed up. Flight number three was with the second of these older packs, which was more or less OK, apart from not having as much power as normal. The flight lasted 6 minutes exactly, at which point the BEC cut and I landed. Normally I would land before that point, but obviously the capacity is a bit down on normal. My charging regime for this week is to store the LiPos at 3.83v during the week, take them up to 4.0v on Saturday evening and then fully charge right before flying on the Sunday. This seemed to work a lot better than fully charging on Saturday as I had a lot more power available.

There was no autogyro this week, as the forecast was for almost no wind and I’ve still got to make some modifications to the rotor blades to try and increase the lift before I take it out again. Hopefully I’ll get the time to do some testing this week, but, as ever, work keeps getting in the way.

One final strange thing happened this week. There was a black van turned up, like a black transit, but probably a people carrier taxi type of thing? Then, at about 200m distance, it looked like they were getting a whole load of bubble wrap out of the sliding door on the side. As this came towards us, the bubble wrap was actually a bride in a white wedding dress with the rest of the wedding party. I don’t know whether it was a real wedding or a photo-shoot, but they wanted to photograph the bride and groom next to some deer. That’s never happened before.

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