23 December 2009

Ze Ultimate parkie aileron trainer?

Mark picked up this little gem parkie, called "Rainbow" from Fun Fly for a measly R260. It was covered in clear wrap so he replaced with iron on covering and passed to Paul. Paul then bolted the little cheapie Witblitz suppo motor (nogal), cheapie green 800mah pack and two strips of sticky lead to balance, it has a very short nose obviously originally intended for something far more gufty. After a couple of sorting sessions, Paul is now happily trundling around at telephone height on half throttle. The craft is absolutely viceless and will not stall despite the neutral elevator trim - it happily hangs on the prop at 60 degree nose up angle and simply will not bite. Much can be attributed to the friendly fat wing section but we are still at a complete loss to explain the lack of stall, it just mushes and refuses to drop a wing - magic for novice aileron flying.
Mark's E 2M RE now with a commercial pylon and some colour trim, all ready for some Drakensberg flying. Also tested fine and looking forward to the sms when it achieves its first 20 minutes thermal flight in the Drakensberg. These pre work 6:00am flight test sessions go so damn quick and it is suddenly 7:45am and time for work!

21 December 2009

Breakfast run - pylon mount E 2M RE

The mgasa chat on a RE 2 metre postals for 2010, maybe (just maybe) bolstered with launch height limit e power, plus the need for Drakensberg holiday play plane, sparked Mark Phillips to cobble this interesting looking 2 metre together.
A Baker Rascal fuselage mated to a Baker Impulse(?) two metre wing provided the base for a completely home brew pylon fashioned out of foam, resin and glass cloth. Power was provided from an ancient Dualsky 400 brushless and a Rhino 1250 pack from a Witblitz racer.
To say this writer was somewhat dubious pre the sunrise launch would be an understatement....... Even the builder was moved to say a test was a must before applying the cosmetic finishes to the model.
Ir was decided to hand launch to trim and the plane flew out of launcher Mark's hand true as a die and kept going and kept more going, so the throttle was tickled on and eventually opened wide open in to a true off the drawing board first flight. The Dualsky 400 easily prodded the plane up to a thumb suck "launch" height in well under 30 seconds, much to the pilot's surprise.
The plane flew amazingly well and covered sky most efficiently. There was an ever so slight initial nose down pitch if the throttle was poked open, probably a nice feature from a launch stability aspect.
Landing revealed that thread lock was a needed as the motor mounting screws were coming loose - unfortunately something that could not be resolved on the field and the day was called after a couple more test flights.
I had always regarded pylon mount as iffy but this result on a real cheapie power option really impressed and is an obvious improvement on nose mounts for spot landings - definite food for thought.....

18 December 2009

Winston turns it on - 16 December - Russ's perspective

There are some days when you make the right call, and yesterday was one of those days. On the way to Gromor, a call to Dave prompted a diversion to Winston Park and maiden the Toksix. What waited for us could never have been pre-empted. Booming lift to the heavens saw a call to a sickly Mark who promptly arrived, with better half Claire in the navigators seat, (a trip to the Pot and Kettle for a woman is never to be sneezed at, no doubt the budget took a dent). Mark thoroughly enjoyed his session with the Hooker Mid phase although a superb landing by Dave, with a fluttering fin trying to convert itself to a v-tail due to partially coming loose.

By his own admission, Dave acknowledged that we don't use these occasions when the wind comes through. Dave certainly enjoyed getting back to flying the cross tail Prodij, and a twiddle on the sticks left me wondering if I shouldn't be getting one of those for the Toss event.

With my new project Toksix, I was apprehensive to say the least, for me personally Winston has always been a venue with the most difficult landing zone, I have broken my Toko's there, too many times to mention. The raw balsa fuz of the Toksix was sure to go home in pieces, but the fear was taken away with two perfect touchdowns. Now to glass the 200gram structure and paint in time for the Toss event.

The best was saved for last as a magnificent Black eagle cruised up the hill from low on the left, being bugged by the ever present yellow billed kites, I was a bit slow in getting my camera, but its wingspan was easily as big as Dave's Prodij.

What an enjoyable couple of hours with friends and my daughter Kelly even enjoying the peace of this truly remarkable piece of hill.

Till next time, I am in the workshop building Phase Six fuzzes for two of my mates!!!!

A very satisfied sloper

17 December 2009

Project X "Toksix" takes to the air

The 16th provided sunny and windy conditions that derailed a visit to the Gromor fly-in but provided perfect conditions for a mid morning visit to Winston Park for the bare bones maiden of the Russ Conradt developed and built "Toksix".
The second shot captures the launch a fraction of a second after leaving Russ's hand. The Winston Park site still a magic local venue and the conditions were perfect. The aim was for an ideal blend of wing performance and fuselage aerobatic shape and the combination proved flawless with Russ now moving to the fuselage glassing final stage.

A pat on the back for those working out how the name evolved. ;-)

It was also the first perfect occasion for Dave at last getting quality time on the Prodij and benefiting from some trim advice from Russ. Well worth the wind burnt face the day after!
We were joined by Umdloti Electron's Mark and Clair Phillips and Mark had the best ever session on his "Hooker" Phase. The final pic of Mark revelling in the perfect conditions.

KZN heli day at Durban Model Centre's Valley Club

There is hope for Natal fever ridden Kzn after all. Youngster Will Cranmer put a lot of graft in organising the Durban Model Centre Helicopter fly in at the Valley club.

Much hard work had been put in to the manicured grass field, complete with peg frequency control and neat litter bins.

09h00 Saturday and the car park surprisingly full already, given the threatening weather. The pilots gathered together and Will gave a most competent briefing, with string emphasis on the safey element. The out of otown vehicle registrations included Howick and Newcastle.

This pair of natty electrics caught my eye and gave an excellent display, to complement the larger gas 3D versions that were mind boggling!

Some of the pit area, a gazebo is the answer for the expensive kit.

All areas neatly sign posted in the beautiful setting.

The only heli exception was Michel Leusch's awesome Sukhoi. Probably not too far from the heli concept as is spent 98% of the flight hanging on the prop!

The Sukhoi pulling away from the dam, moments after splashing the water with the rudder.

Post flight chat.

Yup, you even knew where the port a loo was.
Full credit to Will for initiating the event, which will surely lead to other local events of a similar type.

24 November 2009

E Correx

Spotted Andrew doing some after work parkie flying on the way home and had a gander at the these interesting Correx home builds. Reminded just good low wing racer style craft look in the air and flew really sweetly. What was most interesting was that Andrew uses the Turnigy cheapie as opposed to our Suppo motors - the propeller bolting up against a really, really, beefy support and pretty much obviates bent shafts after prop smacks. The two tone colour schemes also magic for sundowner flying.

22 November 2009

Sy 1's "I used to be confused but now not so sure..."

No sooner had yours truly whined about the rain when the summer slope winds snuck up on us. An sms from Russ had Pete, Paul, Mark and Dave up at Springfield for the first Summer session on Saturday. Honestly thought the blow would flatten out the lift but conditions were excellent. Russ tested out a new Lazer Kiss for Pete Milne, after tearing up the hill with the Hotrod Toko.
Paul and Mark had their first slope run with the team buddy cord on Mark's Middle Phase.

Russ saved the best for last. A Toko wing on a Pete Milne Kiss fuselage. Looks the real deal for aerobatics without the T tail squirrel rolls and the longer moment length seemed to stabilise the axial rolls as well. The quickie cell pic does it no justice.

So inspired was Dave that he grimed off the plastic slope planes for the first time in ages (since Toss January?) and cycled up for Sunday. The view from the office suggested a Southeaster, which is generally brief before swing toward either of the two prevailing directions. The ships started to tweak slightly toward the NE and hesitation set in. A lunch time sms failed to "Russel" up any support and being loath to visit Derek's Dale alone, more hesitation set in. The SE seemed to settle in, if anything, so it was gamble on the Bluff for the SE but Murphy's Law it had swung SW but the time of arrival at the Bluff. Some frantic calls to Brian Duckitt saw a now 4:30pm arrival at Winston Park. Bill, Mike, Jonathan and Springfield legend Lynn Bowen had all enjoyed some pleasant flying and it was magic to derust with the Le Coquillaj after a long lay off from the Winston slope. Jonathan holding Le Coq with ever cheerful Lynn seated. Must have been a fairly long derust cause the left shoulder was kinda tweaked after, from holding the tranny!

20 November 2009

Desperate measures

Kzn'ers are going through the normal phase of indifferent flying weather at time of the year. The little electron clan has been fairly lucky at the Saturday sunrise sessions but little else, otherwise. It was thus with some surprise to be heading to work at 6:00am in the damp and dreary morn after a rainy couple of days, to spy this enterprising fella bungee shooting a Zagi off the beach! Obviously very keen cause the shortish bungee, affixed at the outlet pipe, was only tossing the model up max ten metres, if that. A quick roll or suchlike and back to launcher for the next launch trudge. Time was pressing so it was a quick snap and on to work without chatting. The cell pic blows up badly but one can just make out the outline of the Zagi in his grip, a nano second before launch.

01 November 2009

The new buddy cord in operation

The lads invested in a team buddy cord to counter the hassles of different modes and avoid the snatch the box syndrome. Only taken Dave about 35 years to get one and an instant success for Paul and Mark!
There had been mutterings about the frustrations of scale slope flying if the wind does not play ball so Mark went one step better and converted a cheapie Chinese soarer (secured off the excellent Berg blog, by the way) to Eflite 480 power. The craft is pretty light and performance surprisingly robust from this excellent value motor. Mark took Russ's advice and tweaked the dihedral to 2 degrees each side. Looks dead right in the air and flies magic.

26 October 2009

Local PSS legend visits Umdloti Electrons

We were privileged to have 86 years young Pete Milne join us at Umdloti Electrons Saturday morning. Definitely a die hard modeller and did not hesitate when Russ offered to collect him at 05h20!
Just how early is evident from the slightly foggy but perfect for e flying conditions.
The Cub had been rustled together from cheapie bits to illustrate that parkie flying can be enjoyed on a shoe string - the Cub tootling along fine on the EMax two hundred buck cheapie motor from Denkit, along with ex Witblitz 1300ma lipo and the surprisingly good ex Skylark Chinese radio. Before long, uncle Pete was plotting how to electrify his PSS Cub.

Thanks to Russ for snapping the pics.

01 September 2009


I had been intrigued by the pre-promo of the excellent SABC TV2 "Shoreline" weekly series but only actually caught up with the series after it had already ventured down the west coast and was (fortunately) at the TOSS Red Hill venue at Simonstown - which gave that venue an added interest after our slope event back in January.

Been following it up the east coast, in awe at some of the lesser known stunning slope soaring possible spots, but equally engrossed in all aspects of this absorbing local series. There is just so much we do not know about our homeland.....

Kudus to SABC for a magic production, wow. Try catch the last episode or so, if you can, Monday evenings.

My first experiences with the Parkshark had been diluted with the iffy power of two cells and an ever present coastal breeze. Saturday and Monday yielded un-commonly eerie still conditions and the Park Shark proved an absolute delight with three cell power. Even swerved off at sundown for a quick fly then also could not resist another floodlight flight after Shoreline last night.

Really impressed with parkie plank concept but less so with foam so next step is a slightly stretched one of these little Frazzle beasties:


Spring has arrived, yippie.....!!!!



04 August 2009

Dis 'n dat

Those looking for an economical one off trophy, instead of the flaky and expensive gold plastics need look no further than these natty personalised clocks dreamed up by Dieter Schauerte of the Natal Radio Drivers Association. A damn nice award for just under R50 a pop. Will have pride of place on the trophy shelf, the box just to stop it rolling around at present.

Been scouring the net for something new to give the kind of zing experienced from the Velocity 2 and up popped Russ Conradt with these stunning glassed and pre-painted wings from Craig Baker at Cloudbase Composites - Russ's Blue and white beaut at left:


Complete with sharkie tips and motor pod, it would be criminal to gouge holes in the glass finish for the gear and bright spark Mark Phillips came up with the idea of fitting the Velocity deck and canopy on to a home shaped foam base and nose cone and thus hold the gear on top (not inside ;-).

Mark holding Dave's Igazi (now christened Vigazi ;-) to illustrate the amazingly perfect fit of the Velocity deck - an order has already been dispatched for three such decks and time will show the success of these super fast moldie wings, reputed to have all the zap of the Roullete with less of the terror!

11 July 2009

Sunrise Parkies

The sun peaking over the background and Paul in full swing with his brand new Dx6i.
The morning fly over, including the maiden of Mark's dinky little Tensor, flew a treat.

08 July 2009

Sharks in the park

It is time for a new foamie for Monday evenings and the buzz from the Velocity prompted a search for something similar but parkie depron through the current issue of RCM&E. The Parkshark jumped at me and an email to helpful June @ Weston UK revealed local supplier Aerial Concepts who winged off a kit in short time.
It was decided to go with the sans motor kit as Dennis at Denkit had been charming me on the cheapie E Max brushless motors. The 480 equivalent had been ample to drive the Mark/Terry 400 Sukhoi so some homework on the spec sheets Dennis kindly faxed to me revealed a theoretically 50% more powerful yet 3 grams lighter than spec motor, incorporating a prop saver as standard.
Building with the UHU glue supplied by Andre Killian proved of the more pleasant exercises in years, certainly a must for my future depron planes. The ultra simple plane clipped together neatly without any alignment hassles at all. A bit of undue haste in unsuccessfully gluing the motor backplate to the motor bracket meant a 24 hour delay for the maiden and I am indebted to Russ Conradt for sorting that one for me.
Whilst aware that the 160 gram model only needed 200 gram thrust against the 300 grams thrust Emax, the little green helicopter 2 cell pack from Denkit last used 3 years ago, was likely to provide much strangle at only 10c rate for the 800 mah.....
The pair of GWS Pico servos were used with "lang tande" for the elevons as one was badly out of sinch with the other and multi neutrals all over the place - years of thermal soaring had meant yours truly is pretty anal about that issue with parkies and sub micros. To be fair one servo was fine and the other dud but the only spare was already glued in for the rudder.
Darkness comes early in Sharkie land at this time of the year so the pack was actually plugged together under car head lights for the maiden. The plane launched without a hitch and whilst the inconsistent servos were noticeable at changing speed, the benign characteristics of the delta made the whole thing a cinch to deal with than the average tailplane equipped flat plate foamy. The LED light the from the little 2.4g receiver and the large white surface also made it dead easy to track in the darkness. Most of the flying was at shade over half throttle so two cells is ample to drive the Parkshark.

The Parkie Sharkie was quickly landed and zapped off to a little local night beach spot I have had my eye on for some time. There is a constant light land/sea breeze but the Sharkie handled it with aplomb. Rolls were fine but loops needed practice as they tended to tighten up throughout the loop, probably not a bad thing. Little pylon race runs at two foot, Witblitz racing style, were the most rewarding. Was not long and the friendly family of Abigail, Mark and Luke turned up to ooh and aah over the Skarkie after landing. The only complaint was they could not hear the little Sharkie at all, exactly what I had hoped to achieve after the Velocity howler! Charging the pack revealed that the two ample flights had drawn 610ma so the the 2 cell 800 pack ideal for the job. Roll on Monday evenings......

Spittie over Skye - stunning pic to click on

Dear Paul,
Yes, there are a few PSS fans in my club who'd like a Sea Fury as well :-) Great looking model and site.While we have little in Scotland to rival the superb SA soaring sites (and photos), a friend of mine took his PSS Spitfire to the west coast earlier this year in the vain hope of flyable weather in April. The God of Slope Flight granted him one day, which produced one of the best in-flight backdrop pics I've seen for a while. He's about 650' above loch level, not far from the Isle of Skye at Lochcarron. Says it wasn't an easy hike laden with everything, but the views alone were worth the pain!Apologies to dial-up fans for the image being a whisker bigger than normal, but I'm sure it was Dave Greer who mentioned that 30" monitors are entry level in SA these days.... :-)Thanks for the link.
John Barnes
Paul Young wrote:
Iz wantz a sea fury!!!!....... One day .....

On 07 Jul 2009, at 16:34, "Dave Greer" <
Dave.Greer@monteaglegroup.com> wrote:
Always nice to revisit the blogs over coffee, have a squiz at the Sea Fury wow.....

06 July 2009

Dawn patrol at parkies

Kobus paid us his first dawn patrol visit with the red baron Mini Stick this past Saturday, here taking off in to the blue yonder - nice flyer!
The 6:30 am winter dawn patrol has become the favourite time of play for this scribe and we were treated to Russ's little Tensor bipe trailing crepe streamers. Given that the foamie bipe is not much heavier than the streamers, there a little initial concern but the combination worked a treat in the crisp, clear and still morning. The pics not cropped, so as to show the early morning beauty and trendy streamers.

02 June 2009

Learning Lesson from the Legends

It is my norm to report on the positives of an event as a form of encouragement and I was brought to earth with a bump when Christo asked me why the results were so poor. Jawellnofine, I guess it is also important to explain some of the tribulations that Russ hinted at - although more from my own personal perspective.

1. Have your equipment ready.

The parcel post let me down badly and the battery packs and spare props for Russ and I are still on the water. We chased our tails on charging all day and round one was the only one with a fully charged pack for me. Makes the wussies with kits who did not rock up look clever but we are at least over the pain of the first event. John and Pete had this aspect nailed and were enjoying much success with the 1300 cheapie packs from Hi Model, by the way.

2. Check your equipment.

Launched my plane for the round zero race and it was all over the place like a bucking bronco. Blamed Russ's pap lackies but only after round one did I realise that the tailplane was floating up and down, quietly tearing away from the fuselage sides because I had used my favourite wood white glue in preference those recommended by all - and also not covered the fuselage with Solarfilm as recommended by Andre Killian. Potentially lethal and rattled me so badly that I managed to launch with no ailerons at all (plugged in backwards) for round two - instant throwaway and testament to the sweet handling of the Witblitz that it survived without a scratch. I suspect John could have added a lap or two to his result if the 35 meg plane was also not coughing and spluttering at the far pylons, thanks to the cheapie esc - he is now looking at 2.4G with more interest.

3. Trim for smoothness.

The start of round three was spent re-trimming for the secured elevator and realising the Pete was right in that I still had way, way too much movement (who wrote 8mm in the destructions.....? ;-) and the already halved throw was halved again for round four where the old killer instinct started coming back about half way through the race - what a rush.

4. Read the rules and pay attention at briefing.

Yours truly spent the whole day aligning with the left hand pylon for the start, as opposed to the correct mid point, so every race was play catch up. So doff but when you're rattled......

5. Listen to your caller.

Adrian Baker was patience and calmness personified and it all came together when I started listening to him. The final Velocity dice tween Russ and I was where I started to follow Adrian's guidance implicitly, what a difference!

6. Above all - practice in a range of winds.

We routinely do our electric flying at 6:30 in the morning and are heading for breakfast when the wind arrives. The edges of Gromor drop away and there was a reasonable breeze which provided some fun turbulence - the breeze eventually switching to our backs with the result that my caller had to keep encouraging me to drift the plane back to the field!

The upshot of all this is I popped out to our local field in perfect conditions at sunset on Monday after work, to try the now secured tail, teeny pitch movements and refreshed pack. Wow, what an improvement and the plane was just so much faster and sweeter without the little pitches and glitches on elevator. I have to concur with Russ that the props also seem to have more bite at sea level and our next event down this way will likely show a marked improvement.


As a total aside, I thought it worth explaining my respect for the Pylon legends. More than a couple of decades ago, I was on holiday in Cape town and visited the power Nats being hosted there. The wind and weather was so seriously foul that I viewed the pylon racing from inside my car. The well supported pylon racing was carnage all over but there was one lone plane circulating the pylons like clockwork in all classes - no flashy moves and certainly not the fastest straight line speed. That day a certain Mr John Dorse aced the pylon Nats and I was awed.

Some years later, still way back as I was even still on mode 2, and Pete Sherliker offered me a flight on his Quickie 500 at Cato Ridge and I was blown away - like a knife through butter, this plane just flew on rails. Should have learnt the pylon trimming lesson then and got involved but at very long last I am enjoying competing against these guys. No prima dona personalities and attitudes - just help, advice, encouragement and buckets of enthusiasm.

I can only thank them and Russ for getting us on to this fascinating journey.....

Pete, Gail and John with the well prepped Witblitzes.

01 June 2009

More pics from the DMAC Gromor Pylon / Witblitz day 31 May

Gail setting up race control at the magic Gromor field.
Look carefully at the packet wording - John Dorse came armed with a whole brood of his moldie Witblitzes..... ;-)

The glider guider verses pylon legend squad of John, Dave, Pete and Russ. Pete's balsa versions were immaculate but look carefully at John's with foam ribs inside molded glass sheeting, along with the natty little glass fuselage - neat!

The mob, including the pylon lads. Kevin, Clive, Wayne, John, Dave Pete and Russ.

Wayne firing up his quickie - had a leery moment at pylon 1 when one half the V tail folded but kept his head, shut the motor and binned it well away from the field.

Gail Dorse ran it all in a most pleasant and enjoyable manner.

No kidding about John being armed with brood of Witblitzes, see the simple but neat glass fuselages.

John Dorse with Tim Potter - Tim giving it all the thumbs up.

Kevin firing up his Quickie for a race.

The scenic DMAC Gromor field is the ideal setting for Witblitz pylon racing.

DMAC Chairman, Clive Gager with his Quickie - has a Witblitz in the box and has threatened to take us on at a future date. No good in the box Clive - and rev up yer mate Rob Roe, as well!