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KiwiKid's blog
Posted by KiwiKid | Apr 02, 2012 @ 07:15 AM | 7,267 Views
When I want to escape the madding crowds (or at least the ones in my house), but don't have much time, I like to head to the parks and fly some of my electric and glider models. Several of the parks have small ridges that can allow a soaring fix (of sorts) which is fun. I have also been having fun ridge soaring at a local subdivision. The earthworks have been finished for some time now and I suppose the builders will start moving in one day soon. Meantime, it is a neat place to fly.

Suburban Soaring in Hamilton, NZ (5 min 38 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Mar 10, 2012 @ 12:59 PM | 7,030 Views
One aspect I love about our hobby is slope soaring. It gets you out of the house and out to the beach or wide open spaces. I have also met some great people and formed long friendships through the hobby. I was just thinking the other day how fortunate I was and recalled a neat song by Louis Armstrong that always lifted my spirits. Had a bit of a look into my hard drive and threw a few pics together to make a vid to go along with his great lyrics.

What a Wonderful World (2 min 19 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Jan 31, 2012 @ 11:04 PM | 7,243 Views
Some pics of my 14 year old Cobra in ridge soaring mode.
Posted by KiwiKid | Jan 31, 2012 @ 03:13 PM | 7,733 Views
Been having a lot of fun lately with my new model - a Fouga Magister built from plans.

Here's a vid:

PSS Fouga Magister (2 min 53 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Dec 29, 2011 @ 09:12 PM | 6,684 Views
Thought I better get one last blog in before the year runs out. Went out to the beach on Xmas eve and had a magic afternoon flying a bunch of models and strapped my HD keychain camera on the Cobra F3B glider and went for a bit of a cruise along the ridge line.

Cobra F3B glider ridge soaring at Raglan, NZ (5 min 51 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | May 10, 2011 @ 09:18 AM | 6,887 Views
This ridge soaring glider just turned 12 years old. That's 275 in human years

It's a scratch build that was originally intended for bungee launched thermal soaring. I still ping it up on a bungee now and then, but she's carrying a few repairs from her long life and needs to hook a strong thermal to stay up. Here's a vid ridge soaring in around 15 kts.

"The Sting" ridge soaring glider (2 min 25 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Apr 25, 2011 @ 06:58 PM | 7,126 Views
I managed to get my mits on a Durafly Spit recently, like the ones HobbyKing sells, and did a PSS ridge soaring glider conversion on it involving alot of strengthening, a repaint and cockpit detailing. Had no idea how it would go, but was pleasantly surprised at how well it flies. Heres a vid of the maiden in around 10kts with no ballast. She should honk along ballasted up.

PSS Spitfire (2 min 54 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Apr 10, 2011 @ 11:39 PM | 7,135 Views
I have four Strykers that are designed to fulfill different roles:

This one was primarily designed for indoor flying, but is alot of fun to fly outside in confined areas.

Indoor Stryker (1 min 51 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Mar 25, 2011 @ 11:33 PM | 7,146 Views
Took my park flyer Elegance glider out to the beach the other day to see how it went as a ridge soarer - pretty freaking great actually. Wind was only 3-5 kts which was enough to keep it up and it was good to have the motor on board for back up. This model will fly in quite high winds so has a good flight envelope.

Elegance ridge soaring glider (4 min 1 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Mar 22, 2011 @ 09:08 PM | 6,586 Views
My BoT in ridge soaring mode at Raglan beach, New Zealand.

Bird of Time ridge soaring (2 min 40 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Mar 02, 2011 @ 09:21 PM | 6,792 Views
Short vid of my 3.1m Calypso Cobra ridge soaring glider flying at Raglan beach, New Zealand.

Calypso Cobra ridge soaring glider (2 min 55 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Feb 25, 2011 @ 09:35 PM | 6,250 Views
This is my Horten Parabola flying wing that is one of my favourite models. I have a fairly light outrunner set up in it so it is quiet enough for parkflying and is capable of thermalling too. I managed to source a pusher folding prop for it and have a lot of fun ridge soaring it.

The model is actually a Sif designed by the great Jupp Wimmer in Germany. Pic of him below with some of his followers. Also in that pic is a microlight version of the Sif. He has designed a whole range of models based on the crescent wing format.

Horten Parabola (1 min 58 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Feb 14, 2011 @ 08:07 PM | 6,120 Views
Vid of my Canterbury Sailplanes Arrow ridge soaring glider masquerading as a Pfeil rocket powered point of defence fighter for the Luftwaffe in 1946. Wind speed in the vid was only around 10kts - with ballast the Arrow will fly in up to 30kts.

Luft '46 Pfeil (2 min 31 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Dec 21, 2010 @ 08:25 PM | 6,285 Views
Another ridge soaring vid - this time my Reaper (Moth/M 60 clone) flying at Ruapuke beach, New Zealand.

Reaper ridge soaring glider (1 min 41 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Dec 17, 2010 @ 03:31 PM | 5,472 Views
Vid I made of a couple of flying buddies ridge soaring their RCRCM Typhoon and Strega gliders at Ruapuke beach, New Zealand

RCRCM Typhoon (3 min 22 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Dec 15, 2010 @ 10:55 PM | 5,356 Views
Short vid of my friends JART flying in light winds at Ruapuke beach , New Zealand:

Jart ridge soaring. (2 min 2 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Nov 08, 2010 @ 05:41 AM | 6,649 Views
As mentioned in an earlier entry, I have recently got a Bird of Time operational and have been assembling an Elegance powered glider to complement it. I was rather impressed with the quality of the kit, accessories and instruction manual. The model was designed as a thermal glider, but I wanted to primarily use it as a warm liner and ridge soarer so it was time to pep this baby up (insert Tim the Tool Man laugh).

Main mods made were:
- cf strip glued to the bottom of the horizontal stab;
- sheeted the inside of the rear fuse with 1/8th balsa;
- inserted a 5mm square cf tube through the wing with 3mm c/f rods on the ends as the wing tips have dihederal. Servo wires encased in straws Ė see pic below;
- the stock wire and snake operating the elevator through a near 90 degree bend was an accident waiting to happen, so I replaced it with a small DLG servo positioned at the top of the vertical stabiliser, activating the elevator with a direct push rod; and
- fibreglassed the inside of the front section of the nose.

Power comes from a Mega 22/20/4 inrunner, with Hyperion 50 amp esc and 2500mAh 3 cell lipo generating around 300 watts.

Just finished it last night and did the maiden flight today. Flew great and I had a really enjoyable session. I was surprised how well it thermalled given the extra weight added by the strenghening undertaken.

Just to add to the pucker factor I shot this vid of the maiden flights.

Elegance powered glider (2 min 57 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Oct 29, 2010 @ 04:28 PM | 5,079 Views
Just a little vid I put together of my GWS TA-4K Sykhawk and scratch built Su-27 cruising around down at my local park.

Skyhawk and Flanker park flying (3 min 42 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Oct 26, 2010 @ 04:50 PM | 5,244 Views
Well work, wind, weather and wherewithal finally came together today and I was able to maiden the BoT. All went well, trim was almost spot on with just a smidgen more lead needed in the nose as it was slightly tail heavy - just fixed it with downtrim for the maiden flights.

Managed to squirt off a bit of vid - just cruising around getting the feel for it and practising some landings. She has a very good sink rate and is quite impressive on low passes. With only R/E control and a 3M wingspan you have to think ahead a few seconds, although having the twirly thing on the front makes the response pretty quick when you need it due to the increased airflow over the tail feathers which comes in handy for ridge soaring landings.

All in all, well chuffed and looking forward to some summer fun.

Electric Bird of Time (4 min 11 sec)

Posted by KiwiKid | Oct 11, 2010 @ 11:50 PM | 4,949 Views
I have always had a hankering for a BoT as three of my flying buddies have them (two gliders and one powered) and they are great gliders.They are quite hard to come by in NZ as they are mainly built from kits or plans and you either have to go through all that drama or manage to snag a second hand one.

Finally managed to secure a second hand one that had been made from plans. Itís a motorised version, which is what I had been looking for, and required very little work to knock it into shape. My contribution was:
- a redesign of the electrical and ventilation system.
- white trim on the horizontal stab and blue on the bottom of the main wing with a racing stripe on the fuse
- BoT decal on the starboard wing, still deciding if I will do anything with the port wing.
- fibreglassed the inside of the forward fuse and fitted a cf strip to the all flying tail (she will be used for ridge soaring as well as thermalling)
- new securing method for main hatch.
- new prop and spinner

The BoT is no hotliner, but is a great thermaller and I am looking forward to some relaxing cruising around on calmish days and ridge soaring in lightish winds.

Anyway, hereís some pics of her RTF. Off to buy a white hat