Wringing Out The Hobie Hawk/Commentary
Well, after a few white-knuckled flights, I was able to get up to Del Valle Regional Park on an afternoon (after work) where the winds were lesser but there was still ample lift. I managed to make it to the flying site at about 6:00 PM, and I was a bit nervous about bringing out the Hobie Hawk. Instead I spent about 45 minutes flying the Moth in the moderate slope lift. I was just having fun when Lenard started getting cranky, wanting me to launch the Hobie Hawk.
Since Lenard had landed his TG-3, I could tell that he would not again fly until he had gotten his money's worth watching the Hobie fly (or crash)
After setting up, I launched and the plane went out nice and smooth. I flew the Hobie three times for about ten minutes each. On one flight, the lift almost completely disappeared, and I continued to make passes going down all the way, and eventually ditching down near the bottom of the valley. The plane hit kind of hard (we could actually hear it), but I was delighted to see no visible damage when I retrieved it.
As I mentioned in earlier posts, this plane is prone to a bit of successive yawing (waggling) sometimes. Luckily, with these flights, I saw none of this behavior. The plane is a sheer delight to fly and watch. I mentioned to Lenard that even though the Hobie has such a distinctive looking wing (no such full-scale plane likely ever existed), the fuse has sort of a scale look to it. On flyby, it almost looks like a real glider. I always like this characteristic in RC planes.
I was also happy to see that my landings were relatively uneventful, up on the flat area on top. We flew in the site that faces the hills to the West of Del Valle Reservoir, and that site has (IMO) the bast LZ of the four flying sites I've used here. The LS is a fairly flat area about 70 - 100 yards long and about 30 yards wide. It runs parallel to Mines Road. Landing here was a bit dicey in that the plane was moving pretty fast.
I would make a few passes, trying to slow down, and then come in. On one occasion, I made a hard banked turn town at the base leg, to bleed off speed. This helped, btu the plane was still moving so fast, that when I set it down, and one wing panel hit some weeds, the plane did a spectacular flat spin (almost looking like it was caught in a tornado), but luckily settled down harmlessly.
I think I'd feel more comfortable with a bigger LZ, but I might just continue to try making a habit of the pop-and-drop. That worked for me on the previous weekend here at Del Valle.
Photos to follow...
Happy Flying ;-)