For those of you who have noticed the previous exploits of this little
band of gliding enthusiasts and have expressed an interest here is the
latest episode of fun in the fresh air and the wind. The breaking news
is that the group has expanded as on our last weekend we were joined by
Lee Wilson that well known ex member of the Marham Modelling Mafia (MMM).
Accordingly Lee has been bestowed with probationary membership which
will be confirmed upon production of a scale glider equipped with a
suitable pilot. However enough of these ramblings how was the flying.
Colin and I had decided that we should attempt to squeeze in a last
weekend of comfortable flying before the weather turned. Not that we
donít fly in the winter but itís nice to enjoy flying without the
thermal layers and gloves impeding the TX sticks. We therefore agreed
that the weekend of the 5-6 Nov looked favourable and made the decision
to meet once again at Colinís house (the best and cheapest B&B in
Lancashire). Also present was Lee and his good lady Sally. This was very
good news for the shopkeepers in the local area as it meant that the
retail therapy group had increased by 50%.
Saturday dawned bright with a medium frost and a very light Northerly
wind so the three of us made our farewells to the credit cards and set
out towards Jeffery Hill. This was a new hill for both Lee and I but was
well known to Colin. It is located just past the town of Longridge and
will take winds of NE to NW.(OS Map 102 Grid Ref: SD5625 4285 -for
further information on this and other local gliding slope sites visit
the BAESMAC web page (http://www.baesmac.co.uk/club_news/index.htm) The
best bit is that there is a road to the top.
Upon our arrival due to the very light wind we all initially took what
suitable light models that we had and made our base upon a pleasant
grass clearing amongst the heather. Unfortunately the weather whilst
light for us was ideal for the Para-gliders who descended in large
numbers. No problem, the air is free to all and providing a good lookout
is kept by all concerned we can all play with our toys safely.
There is a saying that states ďIf you canít beat them join themĒ. To
this end Colin produced his secret weapon, namely a two metre model para-glider
complete with a two channel radio and Goofy as the pilot. Initially
Goofy wasnít having any of this and resisted all attempts to leave the
ground. Mind you I donít think that I would be that keen either with two
large servos stuffed up my backside. However, Colin persevered and after
a great deal of re-rigging and adjustment Goofy was coaxed into the air
for some short flights. These could be best described as a work in
progress and with better conditions I feel be a success. Watch this
space for further news.
The morning conditions were very light, my Mini Milan was flown, as was
Colinís. Lee was venturing far and wide with his Topp Modelle Diva. This
is a very pretty and capable model, Lee is after all the RAFMAA Thermal
Champ with this model, and incidentally the Thermal event was run
despite what the AGM minutes might say. For those who have not come
across the Topp Modelle brand check out their internet site as they have
a vast range of models available. Whilst you are at it, also check out
the Rippin modellbau website. As the day wore on, the wind and lift
improved enough to enable the scale models, my SHK and Colinís Pilatus
to move some air under their wings. Mention must also be made of Colinís
latest foamy, a Weasel from Dream Flight these are brilliant fun being
manufactured from moulded foam requiring little more than a couple of
hours work to assemble. Thus the day continued until the sun burst into
the gap between the low cloud and the horizon signalling the end of
another day. As the wind had also dropped we departed back to Colinís
for tea and medals.
Sunday again commenced like the previous day bright and frosty but with
even lighter winds. Lee and Sally had departed the previous evening upon
family visiting duties leaving Colin and I to enjoy another day on
Jeffery Hill. Upon our arrival smoke from the still glowing bonfires was
rising vertically into a clear cloudless sky. Nice for all kinds of
model flying except of course slope soaring. Still working on the
understanding that a bad dayís model flying is better than a good day at
work we again assembled our lightest models and went and sat down on the
hill. Colin had brought a new model for its first taste of the air, this
was a Thermo Speedy brought from Hong Kong a few months back. We both
ordered one hoping to save on the postage and with me being the slower
(building wise) I had yet to commence mine therefore I was very
interested to see how she flew. Due to the lack of wind initial flights
consisted of a powerful launch with a brief excursion along the ridge
followed by a quick landing either on the top or just below it. It is
testament to the good manners of this model that never once did it
object to this form of christening and flew with good grace and ease.
This model comes fully built requiring just basic gluing and
construction skills and to my mind would make an excellent base for a
one model competition event for the RAFMAA. You will need very small
radio gear as the fuselage whilst being a lovely shape is somewhat
anorexic. These are available from ďR2Hobbies.comĒ. Contact either Colin
or myself for further details. Such was the lack of wind that for most
of the day the quick chuck, fly and land was the format for the day. At
one point whilst Colin was distracted by a passing walker who seems
interested in what we were doing and was taking the time to explain to
him the benefits of the hobby/sport I noticed a slight smell of smoke.
This to me meant that the also non-existent wind that had been drifting
along the ridge was now drifting straight onto the hill. Therefore I
threw off the Mini Milan and enjoyed a very enjoyable flight of about
ten minutes. This was the highlight of the day after which we finally
took the hint and packed up.
Despite this the whole weekend was thoroughly enjoyable and an excellent
opportunity to clear some of the balsa dust from our lungs and will be
repeated again in the very near future. The next few lines are I admit a
shameless plug. Over the last year I have been flying a neat low wing
slope soarer which has received many favourable comments on both its
looks and performance. After many delays and false starts the design has
finally been kitted. There are photos of it flying during our last
outing to the Lleyn Peninsular Bring and Fly. It is available from CM
Manufacturing at firstname.lastname@example.org for the price of £59.95p.
Included in this price is a £5.00p donation to the Hospice in Lincoln
which cared for Mike Goldby during his final last months.
Meanwhile the adventures and challenges continue to gather mainly I
admit in the list of creations waiting to see daylight from the
workshop. To this end both Colin and I are willing to pen articles on
construction techniques should there be a demand. Please feel free to
contact me at RAF Digby, Ext 7223 with any such requests.
Neil Tricker & Colin Waite