27 December 2011

Now listen here, children...... ;-)

Was watching Coach Rudi yesterday at Switchblade, immediately starting practice on the basic loops, rolls and Immelman turns, after maidening the new Cleopatra Fish and the mob having left. 

It then dawned on me that the Durban team was for the fourth year in a row squandering valuable practice time, aided and abetted by those who should know better, old hands Dave and Russ. Certainly no excuse about weather either, probably the best winds in a couple of decades.....

Yes it is a great weekend away in perfect slope conditions with like minded people and results secondary but a bit of encouragement from Adi saw fifteen minutes of practice turn the tricky alternating role from a disaster to something relatively reasonable - it certainly helps ease the stress if you know what to do before the time!

A flu relapse had precluded this week's Jo'burg trip but cabin fever and a rare power failure drove yours truly out the home to seek medicine and plot this simple exercise, to gently prod the folk along.

A half dozen of the most reasonable (personally) option manoeuvres were selected and some manual cut and past saw the mandatory manoeuvres stuck on one A4 page and the "reasonable" options stuck on another A4 page, with the total A3 then shrunk down on to A4 and heat laminated for feathers, per the pics below. The logic for my expert class was to exclude the masochistic four point rolling circle and eight point roll and then work backwards from highest K factor. The reason for putting six options instead of four options on the back page was so that six could be practiced and the final four determined just before the event.

The logic on the extra practice routine was because I had been fortunate at the last minute to be talked out of the simple looking but damn tricky inverted flat eight by Russ and Michel a couple of years ago, as some of the Toss locals showed in running out of down elevator and space!

This same red herring inverted flat eight manoeuvre shows up again in Sportsman where again the newbies might be tempted, so thought it worth doing a similar exercise for the Sportsman class, where I would likely be guiding a couple of folk. The outside stall turn and 3 turn spin joined the inverted flat eight on the scrap heap, along with the below eight K factor too simple and cheap options.

This left seven option manoeuvres to practice with the theory that the more hot stick folk like Dean start with the higher K factor stuff at the bottom and the clubbies like Rudi and Mark aim from the top of the shortened list with lower but still useful K factor stuff. All theory and all are obviously welcome to do their own thing - the sheets will be there if you wish to give it a whirl, though :-)

Rough cut and paste before shrinking

The final product, heat shrunk in A5, mandatory front and option back
 The scan versions here for any folk who may like to do their own printed of same:

TOSS 2012 Dave suggested Sportsman practice

TOSS 2012 Dave Expert class practice

A look at the other freebase half pipe compo suggests it will suffer from the same K factor thing of a couple of years ago, where a very average high K factor score still blitzed a well flown medium K factor. I have not a clue how to approach that event, should be quite a giggle...... ;-)

19 December 2011

The real deal Black Eagle

Simon Nelson and family took these amazing pics at a bird park, whilst on holiday in the Drakensberg, last week:

14 December 2011

Mid week madness!

Springfield may not be a Switchblade or Inanda but it remains a magic after work slope spot - as Grant, Dean, Simon VL, Guy, Morne and Dave found last night. Dean and Simon managed to nail the Coke bottle once each and Grant must be dizzy from all the side to side attacks at same..... ;-)

Just a couple of cell pics, Dean's LED equipped Radian Pro keeping going well in to the darkness!

12 December 2011

Slopers out and about on the weekend

Despite the BBM moans, we are having a pretty good sloping Summer and the mob headed up to Switchblade on Saturday. Newbie Simon Vacy-Lyle was under Ant's wing and Morne had his newly finished Ninja to test fly, then gave friend (also) Simon some flying lessons. The normal suspects Travis, Grant, Luke, Russ, Dean and Rudi were all in attendance and tearing up the mountain as always. Yours truly had a scare again with the bind on Sharkie and opted out thereafter but was kept busy when oldie Dave Hooker and Alfred arrived with Phase 6 and Middle Planes to be wrung out. Guy and Dave Botterill popped in for a short while to take in the action. Most impressive plane for me was Travis's pocket rocket Swift glider - just as kick down fast as the electric version!

All in all a pleasant afternoon was had by all. The six pack of beer award goes the Dean for the first of the newbie wing fliers to achieve a "reverse Sutherland" (half outside loop coming downwind - close to the pilot's nose!) and was wise enough to keep the outside half loop smooth and large with no flicking - well done Dean, name the beer brand!

Sunday saw yours truly headed for Kingsburgh in pleasant e-fly weather conditions to take in the last chance practice ahead of the TOSS event in January. May make no difference to the TOSS result but been great fun doing the learning curve and was chuffed to crack the sixties in terms of percent result, The determined Simon Vacy Lyle found his way down there just in time for the final flights of the experts and was quite taken with the power flying.

This Dean pic says it all, "there is nothing like standing on Switchblade (or Inanda ;-) and slope flying!"

Luke's new speed freak plane just launched, Grant Dean and Russ looking on.

Morne teaching helicopter friend Simon the joy of slope soaring!

Simon and Morne display Morne's kit built Ninja after successful maiden flight -worth all the hard work!

Luke "play DS'ing" as the mist close in and we all head home.

Could not resist adding the Kingsburgh sea view pics from Colin Addis - oh for some Kzn on the coast slope sites! 

Complete change of pace for this Springfielder, flying the pattern league round at Kingsburgh for some TOSS practice.

Another special reminder from Colin of the magic day and how photographs fib - could slope a Gentle Lady though ;-)
Pattern Day Results
Dec 11th 2011
At Kingsburgh Model Aircraft Club

The next event is pattern coaching by Ivan Olivier at the Howick field on Jan 7th and 8th. The next Pattern round is on Jan 22nd at the Valley club.

Des Cooper, Bruce Clark, Ian Morris

Av of best 2
Steven v Niekerk
Dave Greer
Colin Addis
Gijs Wijgers
Stan Hausmann
Lionel Smith
Mark Savage
Arthur Eggar
Jason Barker
75,5 P
76,8 P
69,4  F
Neil Allen
64,5 P
63,2 P
66,1 P
John Dorse
59,4 P
64,9 P
64,1 P

This was our first look at the Kingsburgh club's new field at Umkomaas, which has only been in use for four months. With a brilliant view from the top of a hill overlooking the sea and the village, and good facilities, it was very successful. The pattern line we set up was not parallel to any runway or other feature, and some pilots struggled to find the correct box to fly in. The runways also required accurate flying to land on, which kept people on their toes.

Despite gloomy forecasts from Windguru of rain and wind, just the same as at our previous event, we had a stunningly good sunny day with gentle breezes. Some modellers said that it was the first time in months that they had seen their plane against a blue background.

Thank you to our two regular judges Des and Bruce, with Ian Morris joining them, for a sterling bit of work.

In Sportsman Speedy van Niekerk got his act together for rounds 2 and 3 to end up on top, with Dave Greer proving that flying slope soarers does make you a better pilot. Colin and Gijs put in a solid performance. Stan left his large plane in the car, and flew a small one instead. Lionel Smith of control line fame entered Novice, as he had not tried pattern before. When he saw that he was the only entrant he bravely went for the much more difficult Sportsman class instead, and flew well when he worked out what to do.

Mark and Arthur did good flights in the Masters class, particularly when Arthur got to grips with the flightline.

Jason gave us a good display of what the patterns should look like. I flew my ex John Brink "Superman" with Plettenberg power, and enjoyed its smoothness. John Dorse had a big shake up during the week when a battery pack burned out while flying. He landed his Wind110 quickly enough to save the model when he saw a sudden heavy smoke trail.

Neil Allen


Having now enjoyed a few of the pattern leagues in the second half of the year, only armed with a R1275 Diamante, R300 Dualsky 900 watt motor, cheapie ESC and a single 3300ma Hyperion battery, I can attest to just how much fun can be enjoyed in the Sportsman class, for very little cost. Gys Wygers has had similar reward from a Big Stick and Colin Addis from a scratch built Neil Allen design, not to forget Stan's Big Beast. Go on give it a tonk, you may surprise yourself and have just as much fun! Cheers Dave.