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RAFMAA Slope Comp

Lleyn Peninsular 23-25 Sep 11 Bring and Fly.

Once a year the Lleyn model club stage an event titled the Lleyn bring and fly. This is staged power wise on their club site and glider wise on the many available coastal slope sites. For those who have never experienced soaring on coast the initial launch can be somewhat daunting as you are in effect pushing out over water. Some sites have the luxury of a beach to land out upon if necessary, whereas some do not. However, the quality of lift is superb being smooth and turbulence free usually extending out to sea far beyond that of inland sites. The wind direction being southerly, the slope site in use was Cim Farm.

This site has a road and farm track leading right to the very edge enabling you to fly everything you brought with you as there is not the requirement to carry them long distances from the car to the site. On arrival, the wind was quite strong with an overcast sky and once again the Jarts and the Dudes featured with the smooth and strong lift enabling some towering “half pipe” displays. For the uninitiated these are linked left and right stall turns which result in each successive leg becoming higher and faster. As the morning wore on the wind declined which enabled us to break out the lighter models. Colin aired his Smart (recycled Blaster wings on a small Jart fuselage) and I took the opportunity to fly my own design Solage, a low winged V tail soarer. This has just been kitted by a UK manufacturer and I had a couple of kits in the car. One was destined for Colin and the other was given to Steve Dorling in order that a kit review could be arranged in AMI. Steve was given the opportunity to fly my version and despite normally flying Mode 1 to my Mode 2 managed to fly it very well. Watch the magazine for further news upon its progress.

As the wind dropped so the clouds cleared and the sun shone down and a rare requirement for suntan lotion emerged. Whilst the sun is always welcome, due to the southerly aspect of the site we were having to look into it. This had the effect of making photography quite hard for us. Fickle lot that we are, we always find some fault with the weather. Thus the flying continued with an average of six models being in the air at one time (not all ours!).

Colin took advantage of these excellent conditions to thrust Eeyore (Pilot) blinking in the strong sunshine in his Pilatus B4. Needless to say the model and pilot performed faultlessly being ideally suited to these conditions. Such was the quality of the flying that we forgot about the little notice on one of the farm gates that it would be locked at 1800hrs. This, when brought to our attention, resulted in a mad scramble to land, pack up the models and depart thus avoiding any impromptu camping and night flying sessions. Time to meet up with the ladies at the B&B, rescue the credit cards, and enjoy a night out in Abersoch.

The next day dawned bright and very breezy which was a welcome change to the howling wind and rain that had occurred during the night. As the wind was again southerly we returned to Cim farm. Due to the increase in wind speed the lift was fantastic. However, this brought to problem of wind rotor in the landing area. Rotor can best be described as the wind attempting to curl back upon itself. Therefore, you either had to land further back than normal or land very close to the slope front. Colin was the first to discover these requirements when upon carrying out the approach technique which was perfectly alright the previous day found that his Smart ran out of airspeed, altitude and ideas all at the same time (no damage though). This time on the slope we had been joined by another slope columnist namely Andy Ellison from RCM&E. Andy took a shine to the Dude models that we had and seemed to be particularly taken with Colin’s Smart. Much taking of photos and recording of details following so again look out for appearances in the magazines.

Once we had struggled to deflate our egos and put them back into the car I remembered that I had a new model to test fly. This was a small flying wing which I had brought via the internet some time ago as a fuselage and foam wing core kit. Originally called the Caravello this name was just too big for the small wing and so I renamed it the “Notus”. This is ancient Greek for the south wind which I took as a good omen on this particular site. The first flight was a complete non event. Whilst some fettling will be required it nevertheless was a very well behaved model and did everything that this type of layout was supposed to do.

Eeyore and his Pilatus B4 were primed for flight but it was revealed that during the night some gremlins had managed to creep into the wing servo electronics and the model was left for another day. Close inspection of all the servos and wiring loom will probably bear evidential traces of hay or fodder because Eeyore seems to have a curious look of contentment upon his face.

Do you believe in divine judgement? Both Colin and I in the mid afternoon decided that a session of refined mayhem was required and the Wannabee’s were thrown off for some close formation and tail chasing. The Wannabee is a low wing 60” epp model which was kitted by Stan Yeo of PMP as a model for the then new epp pylon racing event. Sadly this model is no longer available, because it is really a great flier; however, back to the divine judgement. Whilst enjoying ourselves I noted some very ominous clouds in the distance and we took the precaution of landing and putting away all the other various models of the day. This completed, we resumed with the Wannabee’s. Shortly after, whilst both engaging in a fast pass left to right followed by a close formation left turn away from the hill we came together with a loud clap and both spun into the hillside. The Gods had decided that we had exceeded our allotted share of the fun and taking heed put the sorry looking remains into the car immediately prior to the Rain and the wash cycle for which Wales is justly famous. Both Wannabee’s will be repaired in very short order as with epp the damage very rarely is as bad than it initially appears. Thus ended what was by all accounts, a thoroughly enjoyable weekend and both Colin and I would like to thank the members of the Lleyn Model club for staging what is truly a great weekend.

The Dudes that build will be back next year with hopefully more scale models, own designs and other members of the Ninety Nine Acre Wood Gliding Club (NNAWGC).


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