Dude News Page
|Winter Solstice (2013)
In The Bleak Mid Winter, Part Two.
|In what appears to have been only a
short time ago, Colin and I decided to brave the elements and snatch a
few worthy airborne moments in the depths of winter and so arranged to
venture forth during the fleeting hours of daylight that is the Winter
Solstice. Upon reflection that event was two years ago, Dec 2011. So
with aging and fading memories we decided to repeat the experience and
obtain a slope soaring fix during this years Winter Solstice and decided
to fly from Parlick, namely Colinís virtual back garden.
Friday 20 Dec 13.
With the wind forecast to be about 20mph from the SSW and occasional
showers, the decision was made to only take those models that could
handle a ďbit of a blowĒ. Therefore, between us we loaded up with two
Jarts, two Dudes and a recent newcomer, a Midge. Taking these and the
associated equipment we set off up onto Parlick Fell. At this point I
should mention that whilst I remain reasonably active, my general
fitness is somewhat woefully lacking when compared to Colinís. This will
go someway towards explaining the pictures that Colin (I thought he was
my friend), managed to shoot of me nearing the end of the hike; if I
canít carry everything thing in one go, it stays in the car.
A quick cup of coffee and showing no detrimental effect from the hike up
the hill, saw us flying sheltering from the wind behind the dry stone
wall, Colin flying his Midge and me, my Dude. It quickly became apparent
that the wind was backing towards the South so we had to relocate to the
more Southern and exposed face of the hill. Although we did find an old
peat cutting in which to partially shelter from the cold wind. Colin
handed me his camera and subsequently launched his Midge.
the Midge is Colinís latest model creation which is based upon the
dimensions of a Gnott, (a far distant magazine free plan) and the
outline of a P51 Mustang of which several liberties have been taken; the
idea was that I could video the flight. However, due to a little finger
trouble with the camera, Colin handed me the transmitter whilst he
carried out the filming. I had been wanting for a little while to get my
thumbs on this model, so I proceeded to position the model as favourably
as possible for the camera. After a little while Colin saw through the
subterfuge and claimed the model back whilst I filmed it. Being his
model, Colin was able to be slightly more adventurous than me (never
good to crash a friends model) right up to the point of a low four point
roll which saw the wingtip brush through the grass and abruptly cease
flying. Testament to the good design and Colinís building skills, the
damage was limited to a broken Carbon wing joiner and slightly split
wing root trailing edges Ė just a flesh wound!
then concentrated upon flying our Dudes and Jart models which do come
alive in a good wind. Unfortunately after a while, the wind started to
drop and whilst flying was still possible, the performance edge of these
models was slightly blunted. Anyone who has a Jart can explain the
difference between high and low wind flying. Nevertheless the flying was
good with the added spice of having to land on the front of the slope
still in lift. A few showers passed which we sat out with coffee and
sandwich breaks until around 1400hrs, when a large weather front could
be seen coming in from the direction of Blackpool so we cut and ran
making it down the hill with just enough time to put the models away
before the weather hit us.
|Saturday 21 Dec 13. (Winter
much the same weather forecast as the previous day with the wind
slightly more to the South, we once again had a walk to the top of
Parlick. This time. no welcome arrival photos - shame as I was getting
used to the slog, having paced myself better this time. The previous
night had seen us repairing the Midge, so this was first away with me
launching the Dude soon after. The wind speed and lift was good and
consequently, within a short while the Jarts were once again prepared
and unleashed, (Cry havoc and all that).
lift and hills are what the Jarts are at home with, they cover large
amounts of sky at a fair lick and perform impressively large manoeuvres
with a scorching roll rate. These abilities coupled with stunning looks
and presentation, certainly reward all the time and effort that went
into the production of the Fuselage mould. The only ďfly in the
ointmentĒ was that the sun was very low in the sky and just to the left
of centre requiring a high level of anticipation in order to steer the
Jarts around the large parts of sky that they tend to consume. At
various times throughout the morning the Jarts were replaced by our
Dudes each requiring a good standard in order to land safely upon the
face of the hill.
Shortly after a lunch break and a short rain shower we noticed that the
wind had veered slightly to the West, therefore, we upped sticks and
moved around the hill back to the dry stone wall. Unfortunately, upon
our arrival the wind started to drop so Colin took the opportunity to
reprogram his TX as some of the preset flap mixing on his Midge had
disappeared. More flying ensured with the Midge for an extra photo shoot
and again I was given the controls so Colin could get additional video
footage after which, given that the wind had moved back to Southerly
again we decided to call it a day. Well, the sun was getting much lower
in the sky and the light was fading, so we departed down the hill to
return to Colinís for beer and medals.
Sunday 22 Dec 13.
Wind South West and steady at about 30-35mph; again, a short drive to
Parlick, where in the history of the NNAWGC, the unthinkable happened.
Upon our arrival the wind was very high and this coupled with an icy
cold temperature made me think. A brief moment of reflection resulted in
me asking myself are the conditions really worth it. I voiced my
concerns to Colin who was already donning multiple layers of clothing
and his hat. But the good mate that he is, albeit rather shocked, he
supported my decision to cancel the flying. So there it is, itís
Official, I wimped out, beaten by the conditions. We returned to Colinís
where the available time was spent designing a NNAWGC logo. To be fair,
Colin spent the time designing, I fell asleep and dreamed of summertime.
So once again we ventured forth into unfavourable seasonal conditions to
get some stick time and in the end mainly won. We flew, we blew the dust
out of our lungs and enjoyed good companionship and departed at the end
of the weekend recharged with new ideas for the workshop. To this end my
thanks to Colin and Jules for looking after us so well.
To the unknown B*****d who during Saturday night smashed the rear light
cluster of my vehicle and didnít stop while I was parked outside Colinís
house, may his nether regions be infested with fleas and may his arms be
too short to be able to scratch.