Dude News Page

Control Line Duo
Go Fast - Turn Left
Sun and Ice
RAFMAA Slope 14
Circles and Slopes
The Sun Came Out
Three Come Along
Winter Solstice
Sheffield Scale Day
Three Go Mad
Circle of Friends
Frost bite
Towards End of Year
New Beginning-G2
A New Year
Bleak Winter
Now We Are Three
Lleyn Fly-In
2.4 or Not
See What Happens
RAFMAA Slope Comp

Wait for Ages and Then Three Comes Along

Times and work have conspired to prevent further expeditions by the NNAWGC for the early part of this year. However we have been lucky to have enjoyed a busy and satisfying May, which I hope will be a prediction of what is to occur during the rest of the year.

Earlier on Colin and I decided that a joint flying break was urgently needed and arrangements were made for a weekend jaunt to the Long Mynd. Accommodation was booked at our usual B&B with us meeting up for an evening meal on Friday 9 May 14. I must admit to arriving slightly earlier than Colin thereby allowing myself time for a quick blast with my Weasel. During this flight I was fortunate to be joined by a Red Kite who was most curious about a multi-coloured interloper and spent 4-5 minutes in formation with it, a brief but very rewarding sight.

Saturday 10 May 14.

Wind 20-25mph SSW. This wind direction is a bit too South for Pole Cott and not enough south for Packetstone indicating that Ashes Hollow would be suitable. However due to nesting birds Ashes Hollow was not available during this time of year, therefore, the best of the bunch was Pole Cott.

The wind was quite gusty with some turbulence requiring the use of good strong weighty models. Break out the Jarts. Also taken was Colin’s new Midge and my small Notus flying wing. The view across the valley was somewhat marred by the presence of several rain showers which could be seen approaching. Nevertheless, flying commenced with the intention of taking shelter during the brief passing showers. Once again the Jarts were a joy to fly being well matched to the conditions. A strange anomaly was noticed in that due to the turbulence, the Jarts would occasionally appear to fly into a hole in the wind and almost free-fall for a couple of seconds with no response from the controls. Luckily this only occurred at height over the valley. Whenever a large patch of rain was observed approaching we either took shelter under our well used tarpaulin or returned to the car for coffee and cake. The rest of the day progressed in much the same fashion until 1600hrs when we retired for beer and medals. Evening entertainment was a very nice dinner with the girls in the Housemen’s restaurant in Church Stretton.

Sunday 11 May 14.

Whilst the wind direction was good at SW the strength was much higher combined with heavy rain to the extent that the tops of the Long Mynd were shrouded in cloud. After much debate and checking of the conditions we admitted defeat and joined the girls for a trip to the National Trust Café at Cardingmills prior to commencing the journey home.

And Now For Something Completely Different

Previously on these news items you may have noticed a brief article concerning the “Circle of Friends” with a picture of (left to right), Paul Blakeborough, Chris Barker and myself. Paul is an occasional soarer whilst Chris being a devoted Control Line flyer, couldn’t fly a radio model if his life depended upon it. By way of diversion Paul and I partake in Control Line team racing, Paul piloting with me pitting. Every year the Barton Model Club hold their annual “Barton Bash” which encompasses every thing circular with the event being held over the weekend of 17-18 May 14. Due to a slight “Blonde moment” Paul had double booked the Saturday with a friends wedding and was unavailable for the day. This required me to team up with Chris for the Saturday. Over the weekend the following events were flown by the three of us.


a.    British Goodyear. Profile models which represent the American pylon racing aircraft. These have 2.5cc diesel engines and have to cover 100/200 laps with a minimum of 3/5 pit stops.

b.    Mini-Goodyear. The same configuration as British Goodyear but with 1.5cc motors. This event is flown over grass as the models have no undercarriage and have to be hand launched.

c.    F2C National. Profile flying wing models. These have 2.5cc diesel motors and are limited to 15cc fuel tanks. Again 100/200 laps with 3/5 pit stops.

d.    Barton B. Semi-scale full fuselage models with an Irvine 25 glow being the only motor allowed. The fuel is limited to 30cc and the models have to cover 70/140 laps with 1-3 pit stops.

e.    Texas Quickie Rat. These are profile models powered by 6.5cc glow motors. Only cross flow porting style motors allowed therefore nearly everybody uses a K&B 40 as they are widely available despite being an elderly motor. This class is real “hairy chest stuff” as they are heavy models circulating at high speed. Nevertheless once experienced the sight and sound of three “roaring 40’s” is not easy to forget.

At the end of the weekend competition which was blessed with some of the best flying weather for a good long time we were tired and sunburnt with the pungent smell of fuel detectable a good 300 metres down wind of us. But we were happy in that between us we have achieved a first placing and numerous seconds and thirds.

BMFA Free Flight Nats

Fast forward now to the BMFA Free Flight Nationals held over the weekend of 24-26 May 14 at RAF Barkston Heath. Due to the absence of the Officer in charge of Model Flying, RAF Cranwell I was asked to carry out the role of the RAF Liaison Officer between RAF Cranwell and the BMFA for the duration of the event. No problem as I was going there any way. The Free Flight Nats encompasses every thing that mainly flys without radio control. I say mainly as some use a radio control triggered de-thermaliser to prevent the model disappearing for good. During this event there are a couple of side shows in that the Space Modellers and the vintage control liners both avail themselves of the opportunity to run events. Both Paul and I attended on the Sunday and Monday, the Saturday was washed out due to the rain and wind. I flew in the vintage stunt event whilst Paul flew his beautiful free flight models. I achieved a fourth in the vintage stunt, not enough practice as I found the bright but windy conditions somewhat trying.

On the Monday the day started with light rain which cleared up to leave an overcast sky with an almost dead flat calm. This was great as I had two new control line models to fly. In the picture these are the red and white model called a Tombola and the blue model should need no description. These are both own designs which have been produced at the request of a small kitting concern. The Tombola flew great being designed as a possible trainer with stunt capabilities. The flights included all the basic stunt manoeuvres and whilst Paul flew it he declined any thing other than straight and level due to flying over concrete. I then test flew the Bearcat and as they say a funny thing happened on the way to the theatre. The Bearcat has been designed as a semi-scale stunter and I think looks good (biased of course). However the engine installed is an OS 25FP which as the day of the test flight approached I thought would be rather underpowered. The Bearcat was a little lively so after a few laps I commenced a loop the idea being that if the model did not possess enough urge to complete the loop I could always continue into inverted flight and recover back to normal flight. In the first stage of the loop it was clear the power available was insufficient to gain enough height to fully complete the loop but upon levelling into inverted flight the engine threw the propeller and spinner before commencing a shaft run. I then had to land the inverted model on the concrete, and then run to it and stand on the propeller driver of the engine to stop it. The model suffered from the inverted three point landing, cowl, canopy and fin which will require some TLC. Later inspection revealed that the engine was OK with some loss of performance.


Later that day the rain started to return, therefore we made for home and of course the weather cleared to a lovely warm evening. As an aside it was noted that the usual adverse comments experienced in previous years concerning the use of RAF Barkston Heath in respect of the weather conditions were somewhat lacking this year. Nothing to do with the fact that the MOD has effectively pulled the plug upon the future use of Barkston as a model flying venue. Suddenly it is now viewed as a valuable asset. Further proof if any is needed that unless the BMFA and we as model flyers wake up to the fact that we need to obtain and purchase suitable flying sites then the days of the current good facilities that we enjoy are strictly numbered. It is a particular “hobby horse” of mine that we have enjoyed such good cheap facilities for so long that we regard it as normal. It is of little use claiming as most clubs and organisations tend to do, that we cannot afford the cost of purchasing our own fields. In the last few years the number of available airfields has plummeted and with the financial constraints being imposed across the public sector, airfields will only become fewer and much more expensive.

Neil T


[Home] [Control Line Duo] [Go Fast - Turn Left] [Sun and Ice] [RAFMAA Slope 14] [Circles and Slopes] [The Sun Came Out] [Three Come Along] [Winter Solstice] [Sheffield Scale Day] [Aerotowing] [Three Go Mad] [Circle of Friends] [Frost bite] [Towards End of Year] [Rhossili] [New Beginning-G2] [A New Year] [Bleak Winter] [Now We Are Three] [Lleyn Fly-In] [Parlick] [2.4 or Not] [See What Happens] [RAFMAA Slope Comp]