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A New Beginning
At the end of the last report from the Ninety Nine Acre Wood Gliding Club (NNAWGC), mention was made of a joint project that was currently underway between Colin and myself. A few tantalising clues were dangled to hopefully whet a few appetites in that it was of unusual layout, scale and would be a whole new beginning. On the 18 Aug 12 the result of our combined labours took to the air for the first time. The design is a scale Genesis 2 and is principally a flying wing.

Flying wings are renowned for their sensitively in the pitch axis and in this layout the designer has included a very small all flying tailplane or more correctly a stabiliser to overcome this characteristic. If you follow the thread from the Slope dudes home page you will find a blog (CWs Blog Genesis), which covers the entire project from inception to first flight. The original plan was for each of us to build one for the Leek and Moorland Scale weekend, mid August, but due to circumstances only mine was ready in time. Even this was in doubt until the last day as problems arose with both the spoilers and the wing retention system. The spoilers needed to be stripped and reworked to ensure reliability and the retention system was changed due to problems encountered on other models using this system.

Notwithstanding these problems, on the 18 Aug 12, Colin and I stood on the hillside in a 15mph wind and prepared to hurl the first result of our labours into the ether. As an own design, so many little doubts could nag at the soul. Was the C of G position correct on the triple tapered forward swept wing? Was the wing / stabiliser incidence correct? So many different methods of calculation had been exercised over the preceding six weeks. Indeed, a recent communication from an owner of a full size Genesis in the States who contact Colin through the BAESMAC website blog, resulted in confirmation of the C of G position on the full size aircraft. Application of the scaling factor suggested that Colin had essentially got the calculations correct. The first flight would reveal the actual fact.

For the Launch, Colin was taking no chances and had equipped himself with a latex glove so as to ensure that his hand would not slip on the wide fuselage. I imagined that the glove would also prove useful should my bicycle clips fail. Colin then took a few steps forward and pushed the Genesis into the air. Initially the model started to climb steeply and was checked by a command of down elevator. A few brief wobbles up and down followed, the elevator was sensitive and the preset dual rates were selected which evened things out somewhat and it pushed out over the valley. During the first flight I took the opportunity to dive check the Genesis to confirm the setting of the C of G which indicated a slight nose heaviness. Also, the stall was checked at height and found to be very benign with no wing drop. The wing washout calculations seemed to be correct. I then proceeded to explore its flight responses and position it so as to allow Colin to take a few photos before commencing the one manoeuvre you cannot avoid, the landing. Like all first flight landings, the height and speed were erring upon the side of caution, which required a couple of trial approaches. The spoilers tended to raise the nose requiring quick work on the elevator and eventually a rather slow cross wind landing occurred. All was well and a sigh of relief all round. And for the record, the bicycle clips were not required! Time to break out the coffee and the Crimbles.

After suitable refreshment, I tweaked the control mixes; down elevator mixing with the spoilers and reduction of the overall movement of the all moving tailplane.

The second flight was then commenced during which a few fast passes along the slope were carried out with the accompaniment of various degrees of whistling. The second landing was approached with more confidence than the first and resulted in a corker of a landing right on the chosen spot. This marked the end of the testing session for the day as I had to be home in time for tea and medals.

What were my thoughts on not only the day but the build over the last eight months?

These days it is so easy just to pay the price and equip yourself with the most fantastic and complete moulded scale glider whose flying qualities are usually superb. However, I cannot even begin to describe the thrill and satisfaction you experience for the successful first flight something that you have designed and built. (Probably not as good as your first wedding night but certainly better than the second.) There in the air in front of you is something that you have crafted from a selection of basic materials into an elegant flying machine soaring with grace and beauty. These are feelings and emotions you can never experience with an ARTF model. Next in the pipeline is a rest and a chance to catch up with routine maintenance before settling down with Colin for a chat over the next project.


Neil Tricker

 

Related Articles:

Colin's Genesis Blog  - which captures the project from concept through to the aircraft and first flights

"Three Go Mad in Shropshire"  - Both G2s Flown from the Long Mynd - Colin's had a surprise in stall..

 


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