for the past few months i've been seeing a disturbing situation arise my the club i am in.
No one is showing up at the club field to fly any more.
At first it wasn't so bad, it was nice that i could lay out my glider winch lines and not have to worry about them being in someone's way, My skills have improved greatly because i was out there with no distractions, Just me and the plane, But now it's more than a little depressing to be out there all alone.
I remember how happy and excited i used to feel when i got home from a long afternoon of flying with the guys in the club, It seemed to make the next five days fly by, but this last Sunday i came home and just wanted to go to bed an sleep.
Got a few hours in flying this afternoon after my sons final concert at school and i couldn't ask for better weather. The skies were overcast an gloomy all morning but by 4 pm It's clear blue all the way to the horizon so up goes the Omega 2. The new 30C lipo's makes the climbs have authority now. the grounds all wet so the thermals are very very weak but that is not what i am after today, today is for trimming the plane out in no wind and landing practice. Since i purchased this plane last September i had not caught a Sunday without wind, rain or cold weather.
A quick toss at half throttle has it off an climbing at a gentle 45 or so degrees that takes it up to safe height in a few seconds so i cut the throttle an get to trimming.
3 clicks down in the v-tail and 4 left on the ailerons an shes rock solid level so i fly a few lazy circuits around the field getting a feel for her in calm winds, At about 30 to 40 feet i throw the spurs to her an go full throttle an she accelerates. Within 20 feet it's nose is well past 45 degrees and still rising. i give it a little down elevator to keep it from looping and shes a speck in less than 30 seconds
After playing around at height for a while i bring her back down an get to business. The wind is a light 3 to 5 mph by guess but 90 degrees to the runway
time for a little practice at crosswind landings.
If you have been keeping up with me you know this is my first glider with ailerons and flaps and i am a little...Continue Reading
This weekend the weather was perfect Saturday. I got the the field at about 2pm to find myself alone and 5 to 7 mph winds out of the north, beautiful. I quickly setup my popup awning and get my winch rigged up then get down to putting planes together, I get my Vista and my fling wings taped up and rubber banded on just as Al and Ron show up. Now their gas fliers but their cool with it all.
First up the line is the Vista, Yikes! still acting tail heavy and dancing like a drunk Ballerina, there's something of a thermal there so i go gentle on the sticks an squeeze out an 11 minute flight.before nursing it into a gentle landing.
Next up the line is the Fling and halfway up it's already showing sign of thermals so i go for it an stomp the pedal to the metal an get a little 30 foot zoom at the end. Within 3 full circles shes got a grip on a thermal, another 2 turns and shes accelerating and climbing. within two minutes I'm bailing out of the thermal and heading back up wind at twice the launch height and there it is, another bubble from that first thermal.
Took the spare parts beast out again this morning. I have replaced the 7A hobby batteries with a true car battery and the 30A relay with a proper ford solenoid, HUGE improvement. My tower hobbies Vista and my 2 meter fling both launch with authority, Sure it was a full pedal launch but in more than the mouse fart gusts we were having i might get away with kiting one up.
After about two dozen launches for both my planes and my friends Gentle lady, i noticed the battery was sagging a little so we took a break and gave it a charge with my flying partners generator/battery charger, it's meter said it was at 50% and it took 45 minutes to top it back off, The perfect amount of time for me to have ran to my shop to pick up my Bird of time and us something to eat and drink.
We had been launching with 800 feet between the winch and the turnaround, with line left on the spool so we go an stretch it all out to 1200 feet both ways for the BOT. Let me tell you folks that's a lot of string and with every 10 foot of string i think i'm getting a inch or two of stretch which i suspect my 3 meter Bird of time will need.
So there i stand, plane and radio in hand, chute on hook an a ton of wishful thinking. i've never launched this plane on a winch before, heck i haven't even hand more than two good launches with it on a heavy duty highstart but ta hell with it if it breaks i'll rebuild it so i stomp the pedal and put the winch to humming. As the line starts to build tension i feel it,...Continue Reading
The way I Define a good day
My day today started at about 6AM when i woke up an i was at the field by 7 am. The sun was just starting to peak out from around the treeline as i sat up my canopy and started putting planes together. I knew today was going to be a good thermal day.
I could feel it on my skin already in the form of the blast of dry still air of the nearby farmers field as i sink my first high-start's stake at it's edge. by 7:30 i have both my high-starts rolled out and set out both my 20 foot collapsible poles are ready, their cassette tape streamers both pointing at the dead center of the field. A quick break with first bottle of iced water under my canopy gives me a few minutes to watch heat haze build up the tilled field. I wish i brought out my Bird of time out, it's going to be a wonderful day.
First up the line is my 2 meter fling, Arrow straight and it just floats off the end at the top and it's tail is already popping up and the wings rocking, within half a turn i'm rising so i roll it into the turn and something catches my eye, it's either the big hawk or a small vulture following me up the thermal. After about 2 minutes of turning in my usual lazy circle search pattern to feel out the edges of the thermal the bird has closed the gap to about a hundred foot.
I try my best to keep the distance between my plane and the bird but I'm flying against a pro and the gap is closed in just a few seconds and it's as if it formed up on my wing, matching...Continue Reading