Bank Holiday Flying

The weather is perfect this bank holiday weekend. It’s 26 degrees in the Sun with no wind. In fact, I was expecting so little wind that I didn’t bother with the autogyro as I didn’t think there was enough to spin the rotors and allow me to do the hand launch trick. It turned out that wind is the one thing you can rely on in this country, as it was a touch more turbulent than the flat calm predicted.

It was just me and my friend with a big thermal glider first thing. We watched a red kite soaring around effortlessly above us and listened for little skylarks calling to each other and doing their characteristic death dive down in to the long grass. After that a lot of drones turned up and it was chaos. Before that, though, there was a new guy with a small foam (<1 metre) thermal soarer type of aircraft. It was one of the cheaper ones as the TX had no rates and we couldn’t turn down the elevator as much as it needed. Being this small, it was more agile than he wanted as a beginner, so he went through a sequence of launching, climbing away, turning the motor off, flying, dropping a wing, panicking not knowing what to do and then hitting the ground quite softly. The front was glued and taped back together when required and off he went again. Possibly I should have flown it for him, but the nose was a bit of a wreck and it looked a handful. His persistence and slow improvement was something to watch as he really wanted to be able to do it for himself. His friend had a drone, which seemed to know how to fly all on its own. This was an F450 with a big black box of electronics that kept it airborne. After that we had two kids with 250 sized FPV drones, an Inspire, the usual guy with his wife and a Mavic and then at the end the two guys with a collection of wings, high wing soarers and helicopter. In addition to this my friend on the bike came over with an aeroplane. I haven’t seen him for ages and he brought a very old high wing white foam cabin model on 27MHz. I think it was a Hobby Zone Mini Super CUB, as the wings were held on with bands and it had been in the garden for 3 years. We didn’t have enough bands, so taped the wings on with white tape and flew it anyway. I absolutely loved it. The only thing was the throttle, which sprung back to the centre position (zero), so all the throttle control was from the centre position to full forwards. Then, every time you let go, the throttle would spring back to zero. Despite this, it felt like I was flying an old fashioned balsa and tissue plane, even if it was foam. I ambled around the sky for a good 10 minutes before making an absolutely perfect landing, running along the wheels to a stop right in front of me.

In addition to the Cub, I got three (maybe four?) flights with the RS352. I can do a really good right spin now, but left spins don’t work nearly as well. In the course of flying, I nearly took out a model helicopter and one of the drones a couple of times. We really need to do something about this as the drones are invisible and have no awareness at all of where they are and who is around them. Also, we nearly got hit by a high wing model as it was being launched. The guy threw it and the model just dropped the right wing a bit and very slowly did a 180 degree turn back towards us, skimmed our heads as we ducked and crashed into the ground. We also had a drone nearly hit someone flying from a chair as the pilot flying FPV didn’t know where he was. Apart from that I got some really good flying in and really loved the opportunity to fly the old fashioned cub.

Finally, another friend turned up just as I was leaving with a brand new foam Corsair. He hadn’t flown it yet and was obviously nervous, but this was the same type as I flew for another guy about a year ago. As I said to him, with the AS3X technology, anybody could fly a warbird and this one was an absolute dream to fly. I saw him with it in the air as I was on my way home, so it went up OK.

That’s all for this week, sorry there are no pictures, but I forgot to take any with all the stuff that was going on. I’m on an enforced rest next week, but might have some interesting news to tell.

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