26 November 2017

Rest in peace Dave Hooker

Dave Hooker was bravely on his way to another of his beloved annual pilgrimage Hermanus Slope Fly events at the tender age of 84 when he died in a motor accident.

Dannis Bird and Dave Greer hooked up again with blast from the past slope flyers Rocky Naidoo and Charles Moller at the Cremation farewell yesterday. The face open casket walk was like a punch to the chest as reality hit hard.

Mark had been taking care of Dave in recent times and had organised Pastor Joe who gave a thought provoking sermon that had a us all going as we stepped up to pay tribute. Charles reminded of Durban's biggest slope event travel to 1989 PE slope Nats, after he had teamed up with Dave on many RC slope and thermal cross country adventures.

Dave was instrumental in starting countless newbie model fliers off into the adventure that is our pastime. Russ has it in mind to do a slope session in memory of Dave and Rob Pirie who also passed away tragically, recently. Simon Pfotenhauer also organised the Hermanus slope event folk to do a special fly bye in memory of Dave.

Dave had quite an extended family but we fliers only really got to know Annie, Mike and Johnny, condolences to all of the family.

Pastor Joe about commence proceedings

The evergreen Charles Moller with Dennis Bird and Barry Lombard in the background

Mark, Pastor Joe and Barry Lombard

17 July 2017

Retro simply the best eighties Karo Ace of Diamonds (Karos)

Went searching for some old Southern Soaring Club Southeaster stuff and realised the stuff lost through a computer change at the time seemed trivial but now quite a biggie..... 
The web site per thumbnail used to be the SSC webs site and location of some history, alas now defunct.
Update: I am indebted to Peter Beretta for this extremely useful ink:
2005 to 2008 copy Southeasters

Russ recently sent me this pic of the Gary Boase refurbished Russ Karos (Karo Ace of Diamonds) that set our Kzn slope world alight in the late eighties and still to me remains the most iconic pure slope soarer of all time. I debated storing on FB for posterity but then decided to keep the filing cabinet blog ticking over with these special pics. 

Gary Boase with the refurbished Russ Karos.

Time warp back to last century and Russ launching the Karos beastie at Key Ridge (Cliffdale), this pic shows the classic lines of the Karo Ace of Diamonds to great effect :-).

04 January 2016

Retro Proton John E Foster solid balsa wing slope glider

Lance recently offered to make a version of his little snapper dapper solid balsa wing twist pitcheron sloper (the blitz'est rat up a drainpipe ever) and I countered by saying I had saved the Proton plan for an eventual project, resized down by a third and to be converted to twist twist (wingeron with all moving tailplane) instead.

At the same time I did a bit of Googling and was disappointed at how this amazing series of slopers was disappearing in to the sands of time, which meant getting back to this online "filing cabinet" to keep the "spirit" alive! I had so much pleasure out of my original Poltergeist converted to low wing and which later sparked nine versions of my own solid balsa wing Bandit, appearing at Springfield in various guises, over time.

Alas I have lost the Poltergeist and Protean plans but still have the original sold balsa wing shaping article, Proton plan and magazine extract of the Super mite, of which a few local versions were built without solid balsa wing, as per link below:

This was the John E Foster solid balsa wing series, as I knew them:

Super mite

Here is a cell shot of the scaled down Proton plan. Lance has a thing about Samurai style wings and internal bellcranks so the final product will be somewhat different but still with enough of the John E Foster fuselage styling left. ;-)

The early stages of Lance's build of one for each of us:

Bare Bones Proton after highly successful late afternoon maiden at Winston Park slope:

I will continue to add bits to this online filing cabinet, from time to time.

Neat explanation on shaping solid balsa wings:
Mark Drela airfoil shaping

Two Oceans slope aerobatics 2016


10 February 2014

Winston Swop Day/ Car Boot Sale

Hey guys - next RC Swop Day/ Car boot sale aeound the corner. 22nd Feb 9am-1pm at Winston Park, (sports Field, not slope). Hosted by The Flying Wombats of Winston - email Eric or myself to book a spot!

09 May 2013

Two Oceans PSS 2013

So far, Rudi and Dave are in to attend this excellent event flown off Chapman's Peak, to date. Full info at this link below:

06 February 2013

Full trailing edge mix with the DX7

According to this excellent UK forum post, just by picking the correct two of the six free mixers, one is able to program to Spektrum Dx7 for crow (butterfly), full trailing edge aileron and full trailing edge camber for a four servo wing utilizing a 6 channel receiver:

Four servo wing full trailing edge mix for Dx7 
Detail re use of P Mix 5 and 6 for Dx7 trailing edge mix

Just in case the forum link should die at some stage, some extracts of this useful chat are pasted below, with appreciation to the modelflying UK forum:

Spektrum DX7 Program For Four Servo Wing
Gives flaps linked to ailerons for increased roll rate, ailerons linked to flaps for full wing camber, and crow braking (using the throttle stick) with elevator compensation.
This program is based upon setting the ailerons as flaperons
The instructions are for a 6 channel receiver.
If using a 7 channel receiver you can substitute Aux2 for GEAR which then leaves the GEAR channel free.
Please note that the programmable mix numbers used MUST be exactly as stated, as 5 and 6 give a different effect to 1,2,3, and 4
Enable flaperon mixing
Right aileron to AIL channel
Left aileron to AUX1 channel
Disable gear switch by setting gear servo travel to 0%,0%
Right flap to GEAR channel
Left flap to THROTTLE channel
Set up PMIX5 as THROTTLE master to GEAR slave with setting of 100%,100%
This links both flaps together.
Crow braking
PMIX1 throttle master to elevator slave for crow braking elevator down compensation.
Rates are top 0%, bottom – whatever you need for your required down elevator compensation.
Offset value +100%. This sets the “mid point” of the throttle to stick full up and crow is activated by pulling the throttle stick down.
PMIX2 throttle master to flap slave. As the ailerons are set up as flaperons, the flap channel controls the ailerons as flaps. This gives both ailerons up movement for crow braking.
The throttle stick drives the left flap directly and as the flaps are linked by PMIX5, both flaps will move when the throttle stick is moved.
Full wing camber
The ailerons are set up as flapperons – use the flap system setting for the correct amount of camber and reflex, operated by the 3 postion flap switch.
Set the aileron travel first.
PMIX3 flap master to throttle slave this is the flap movement for camber and reflex.
As the flaps are linked by PMIX5, both of them will move.
Flaps moving with ailerons
PMIX4 aileron master to gear slave – moves right flap with ailerons.
PMIX6 aileron master to throttle slave – moves left flap with ailerons.

Had a bit of luck - well a lot of luck really- in setting up my Typhoon slope soarer in that I managed to achieve crow breaking, ailerons moving with flaps for full wing camber, and flaps moving with ailerons for increased roll rate.

There was one  puzzling thing which worked very much to my advantage so today I "borrowed" the receiver and battery from my Fusion and investigated.

Programmable mixes 5 and 6 are different to 1, 2, 3 & 4 in that the trim levers will adjust both the master and slave servos. 
There is another benefit of this feature.

With a mix set up on either 5 or 6, and a further mix on 1, 2 , 3 or 4 set up with the master of the first mix as slave, then both master and slave of the first mix are activated by the second mix. 

As an example, the flaps of my slope soarer are set up on the throttle and gear channels with p-mix 5 linking them together (throttle master and gear slave)  so that both flaps move from the throttle stick.

The ailerons are set up as flaperons so that they work off the three position flap switch to alter wing camber.

I have p-mix 2 with flap master to  throttle slave which links the ailerons (working as flaperons on flap channel) to flaps (on throttle and gear channels) to give full wing camber.

 Because the throttle and gear are linked on p-mix 5, and p-mix 2 has the throttle (p-mix 5 master) as slave, both flaps move together.

I originally discovered this by pure accident and it saved me a very valuable p-mix.

It only works if the first p-mix is on 5 or 6 and the second p-mix is on 1, 2, 3 or 4.

18 January 2013

It is fate, September Fate

This just had to prompt a these days rare blog post for me. Some may recall the post below and Vic Schroeder kindly following up the the much needed information regarding "Lowrider", including a copy magazine lead, which culminated in me sourcing the magazine and plan for a one day scale to RC project...... To me this is the ultimate beauty in aircraft, no matter if originally penned as a free flight model.

Now, consider that this was penned in 1987 by the designer as a free flight cartoon scale version of the Loving WR1 racer, below, heavily influenced by the Peter Fonda movie "lowrider". The magazine plan article is a joy to read never mind anything else.....

The Loving has indeed been scaled to RC flight but it is Lowrider I one day wanted to catch the essence of, so you can imagine my gob is well and truly smacked to find out full size beat me to it, two and a half decades later!

 This aerie, September Fate, is just crying out for someone to model it!

Couple of update links for the RC model version:

IC RC pylon:
scroll down basinrace blog for IC RC pylon September Fate

EF1 RC Pylon:
Design and build of EF1 RC pylon September-Fate

08 January 2013

Mike Gundry 1963 - 2012

The priest did quite a superb job of weaving his sermon in to the wonders of thermal soaring at the Kzn commemorative service, yesterday. The biggest impact for me was just how incredibly brave Mike had been during his decade long battle with cancer, even undertaking marriage to Ruth recently.

The Cape link is worth a mention for the present NvS slope combatants. Mike scooped the South African F3B thermal soaring title down in Cape Town in 1981, as a teenager, nogal. Mike also went to the F3B thermal soaring world championship and it is commendable that he did both with his OWN designs and OWN builds, the Witblitz glider going on to be a local Kzn legend. Probably a gross generalisation from my side but it was pretty close to three decades before Kzn folk Messrs Russ Conradt and Michel Leusch got to scoop some silverware off the Cape Peninsula, again! 

On a lighter note, it was not a small shock to see "young" Ron Uken reading one of Mike's eulogies from Mike's sister, having last have seen Ron with a shock of blonde hair - he now having joined the ranks of us grey haired ole geezers (sorry Ron ;-) 

12 November 2012

Not sure if everyone who reads this blog goes on the ECSS Facebook site, so here is a pic of yesterdays flying at switchblade....

03 September 2012

Davie Hooker fly and braai at Ziggynanda

BBM and Facebook have tended to supersede the blog because of the immediacy of reporting but this was special exception for us. Dave heads in to hospital today for some major surgery and asked his mate Alfred for a special day's flying on Saturday, ahead of the op. Of course, like the advert says, Alfred talked to his mates and they talked to their mates and we ended up with a good mob up Ziggynanda on Saturday afternoon. 

Messages had been coming from far and wide, starting with Simon, Wessie and Bruce in the Cape, through to Shaun in Pretoria, Rob Rowe in KZN and this final very special one for Dave, from Mike Abramson:

Hi Dave, Russ, Rob, Old friends
Brings back many fond memories 
many, many hours building - late at night in his garage
sunburst solarfilm - he is the master
my first bad finger cut with a scalple, & he cyno'd it shut
remember Oros, the sagitta eaters, middle phase 1.5, etc etc
and of course, his dry humour
Please pass our best wishes to Dave Hooker. 
Mike & Julie

What follows is a rogues gallery of those enjoyed some magic sloping and chatting to ole Dave.

More from Russ regarding the Dave Hooker Fly and Braai:

What promised to be a great day, delivered 100%,  despite cool cloudy conditions, there was more than enough lift available for the die hards, who made the trip to Hooker's, Fly and Braai!

Dave H was in his element! He sat on the tailgate of Alfred's bakkie and flew his beloved Radian Pro, for what seemed ages. Man if Dave couldn’t break the wings on Saturday, they bent, flexed and I swear he nearly got the wing tips to touch! Lots of excitement was provided by all, from re-maidens that went all wrong, tx being "launched", and Sd'ing, landing out, landing down and breakages.

It really was nice to see Grant, Paul Boswara, and Brad Conlon again, and I am sure with what they saw, it is only a matter of time before they arrive at Winston with something to fly. Paul's questions along the lines of, "this 2.4 thingy, is it ok and how do I make a Shongololo strong and ballast it", proves that once a Sloper, always a sloper!

Stan was dying to maiden his Minivec, but had his fair share of drama, and sanity prevailed while trying to get the range sorted. With all his walking and range checking, I joked that with Futaba, you "walk less and Fly more".

Dave, what can I say except, till you have flown a Flight Pro Swift, you are losing out! The orange bullet tore up the sky like it had a rocket up its “ask your mother for sixpence”. I said Dave wasn't going to be able to wipe that smile off his face for a week. He also proved that Swifts really don't need guidance when landing! And they survive and come back unscathed. Rumour has it that Dave went to church twice on Sunday!

Dean have great fun with his Swift and Luna, another Flight Pro model which has huge potential. He also has a winch that has my right arm, 8 inches longer than my left after launching myself of the side of ZN. The amount of kak down the front of the slope is amazing, makes Springfield look like a Hospital Theatre!

Luke impressed no end with the Rare Bear, which should be renamed Barney in its purple drab, man it goes like stink, his Radiant was impressive to say the least, and a serious contender in Open at the end of the month. The Nelson clan arrived and both Sy and Ry put the Weaver through its paces showing that it has some serious aerobatic ability. Mark had his Minivec up and showed a lot more confidence compared to when he flew it at the Toss event in January.  

We rounded off the day with a Braai and I can assure you, there was a lot of chatting, all good, and all too soon, it was time to head on home.

Dave Hooker is a legend, we are hoping for the best, one thing is for certain, he will be in good hands at Albert Luthuli.

Dave had a very negative outlook last time we were at ZN, but after Saturday, and seeing how much he is loved by all, should give him the strength to fight back, and get out on the hill soon.
Till then, Mr H, hang in there, we are counting on you.

Russ Conradt

Russ suckering us all good with the hand launch transmitter ;-)

East Coast slopers just chilling and chatting, Mark Phillips with Dave Hooker, sitting on the afore-mentioned tailgate.

Russ's view of the East Coast Rockers :-)

Most of the mob who braved the chilly afternoon.

Men of the hour, Dave Hooker and good friend Alfred
Dave Hooker and young Jade Persson, son of Frank.

Rudi Smook and Mig - thanks for the shelter Rudi!

Mark Phillips and Dean Halley.

Lionel Smith and Rudi

Saudi Arabia's Johan de Lange and classic Ellipse 1, down from Pietermaritzburg.

Adriaan, also down from Pietermaritzburg.

Sean Oellermann.

Dave's legendary "Sagitta Eater"!

Dean Halley and Luke Johnson.

Fearless ECSS leader and braai man Russ Conradt, a fraction before he terrified most of us by hurling the dummy transmitter instead of the JW60!

Luke Johnson, Paul Boswarva and Brad Conlon.

Stan Haussman and Mark Phillips.

Stan with with the as yet un-maidened Minivec.
Paul Young, Russ Conradt and Glen Pyle - special thanks to Paul and Glen for making the trip.

02 May 2012

Retro slopers

This past Sunday 22 April 2012, the weather looked favourable for sloping at my local slope Winston Park. I duly loaded the car and headed off, making a detour past Dudley’s workshop for help in getting my Zally ready for flight. When I arrived at the slope there were already guys flying, with more joining us as the morning turned into afternoon. There were some new faces on the slope, as well as some seasoned veterans, including both Daves (Greer & Hooker). Both these gents influenced my flying in my bm days (before marriage) in Pietermaritzburg, as well as others such as the late Pete Milne, Russ Conradt and Tex Impey. Back then I was only flying rudder/elevator models and it was only after a 20 year hiatus that I went onto aileron models (about 5 years ago). Needless to say, I had missed out on a whole two decades of “new” models which were no doubt cutting edge in their day, but are tame by today’s composite creations and modern airfoils. I’m not sure of the vintage of the Middle Phase glider, but I never had the pleasure of flying one back in my bm days, so it was with great excitement that I inherited one from Dave Hooker a while back. This one was an experiment by Dave who put Wortmann tips on it and changed the airfoil (or so he thinks) and had served its purpose and was going to be binned. A few servos and some epoxy later and it was ready for its maiden flight, which almost ended in disaster as there was very little up elevator and she just kept on going down. Having safely landed back on top (well done Arthur) it was discovered that the main wing incidence was way out and the elevator hinges needed replacing. This was duly done a while back and she was one of the planes I took with me on Sunday. I had by now also wiped her off my transmitter to make space for my Sungazer scale models which will see some Volksrust air this coming weekend.

Dave Hooker seated while I launch his Radian – his faithful dog Shasha watches with interest.

Dave Greer (left) and myself enjoying some stick time at Winston Park on Sunday.

Then along comes Shaun, a sloper whom I only recently met, who duly produces a stunning Middle Phase in a natural wood finish, which he prepares to launch.

Of course, this motivates me to pull mine out of the car, delete another model off my transmitter, and re-program my Middle Phase back in. A quick charge of the batteries, and we are ready for a re-maiden launch, this time without my test pilot Arthur for assistance. I even asked the photographer not to take shots of the launch, as it could quite easily end in disaster and tears – of course he didn’t listen. Thanks to (another)Dave (Claxton) for the superb photographs used in this blog. So here we go……..

Off she went like a homesick angel – once my nerves had calmed I got down to wringing her out, and she performed flawlessly (in a retro kind of way) Speaking to Dave, my benefactor, afterwards he mentioned that in his opinion, the original kitted model flew the best of the lot, despite his many experiments with airfoil selection, tips, wingspan and planform. But I’m happy with my under achiever – here she is in a dive – Wortmann tip clearly visible

Chatting to Shaun he tells me he bought two planes off Percy, another seasoned modeler, who was downscaling - the Middle Phase and a Gnot. I too had one of those (Gnot) which I loved flying, but which I swopped for a Fox aerobatic glider - which I have yet to complete. Maybe one day Shaun and I can fly our Middle Phase’s in formation, and if I can get my Gnot back, fly those together as well. All in all, a successful day at the slope with a great bunch of guys. I think if the rain hadn’t made its appearance at about 4pm, we would have flown until it got dark.

Perhaps we will see more of the old school slopers appearing as the price of composite models increases and more seasoned slopers start cleaning out their hangars.

I hope so………………

Some more shots courtesy of Dave, showing the clean lines of Shaun’s Middle Phase.