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Old Sep 05, 2012, 07:43 AM
ETS....Energy retention system
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gold coast australia
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Very cool Alex....
Alway great to fly a new site , looks like it works..
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Old Sep 05, 2012, 03:43 PM
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heading out the door now to go again
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 05:05 AM
ETS....Energy retention system
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gold coast australia
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opc orn:: popcorn:opco rn: opcorn:
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 05:54 AM
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Christchurch, New Zealand
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Check speed thread.

I am SUPER knackered! Two days, 1000kms more hill climbing and 4WDing than I care to do for a long time from now.

I will report as I recuperate. AND SLEEP!
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 07:08 AM
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Christchurch, New Zealand
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Well in short, this tells a bit.

Three different ridges

Google Earth pin site, NW-WNW wind 45-60mph models flown: Jazz 149, Scratcho 222

Upper level, WNW Winds 55-75mph. Wind dropped to 30-40mph once D60 was launched, then changed to North. Models flown: Scratcho 267, D60 256mph

Lower Level, N wind, winds not measured, models flown: Scratcho 188, D60 267

A teaser video. Have a LOT of footage:

Scratcho 267mph (1 min 37 sec)
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 07:27 AM
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Christchurch, New Zealand
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Map of the sites
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 05:43 PM
AvB
Wind, hill, ... I'm keen ...
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Australia, QLD, Woody Point
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Firstly very hearty congratulations to Alex for blowing the Scratcho airframe record away, but more so for doing such a determined and exhausting job of pioneering the amazing Tekapo site. The site is … well … incredible. After hearing all about it, I don’t think Alex is exaggerating when he calls it “NZ’s Weldon”. The day was getting away before they tried flying at the upper site where the conditions were perfect. The Scratcho did 188mph on the first lap. If he’d had a serious DS ship up there at that time, he would have blown 400 easy.

Alex is such a nice guy … I missed a bunch of texts and emails late yesterday saying “phone me in the next 10 mins, or first thing tomorrow”. We finally made contact at 10pm his time. He told me he had some bad news, so I was apprehensive, then he told me he was sorry he’d blown the Scratcho record! I was hooting and leaping around with joy, just so darn happy for the whole fun thing. He hadn’t wanted to post the report till he’d told me personally!

Alex had been gently probing me for a Scratcho for a while, for himself, and more recently for his new DS recruit Andrew Palmer. But it was just talk. Only a week ago today, I realized my friend Bernd was heading over to Christchurch for a work trip. After a flurry of messages, Bernd had agreed to be the courier, I offered 2 Scratchos for sale (the original vac bagged one and my old Ampreg wing one) and the deal was struck. Close to midnight at Christchurch airport on Monday night Alex took a big parcel out of Bernd’s hands. A day later, Andrew P and Alex flew the vac bagged one and loved it, but no DS.

Next day was the first trip to Tekapo, when they couldn’t drive up and had to walk an hour to check out the site for the first time, and they only had foamies. The next day (yesterday), with not much sleep and another 500k drive in a borrowed 4WD, they finally drove to the top with all the gear and flew at the most “obvious spot” … it was good but not great. Scratcho did 222mph. Only later they explored the ridge to the north, with sensational results. Wind speed hovering around 70mph, the Scratcho went out first. Alex flew it for only 3 minutes, got 267 but much faster laps were missed. Then finally he got his D60 out, fully ballasted, just as the wind dropped. He said the D60 tracked so smoothly and although the power had dropped heaps, it was beautiful smooth conditions like Weldon glassing off.

Alex made many references to the similarities to Weldon … the steepness and shape of the slope, and even a “radar rock” in a similar position. He was rapt to find that the landing area is excellent. The lower site was more rocky, but the upper site has a area with thick soft deep moss under clean laminar air – very forgiving to land in. Not as easy as Weldon, but close, and no scratches on the paint!

A few details about the Scratcho that Alex flew. I have only ever made 3 Ampreg F230-filled wings. The first (glass skins) is owned by Rhys, the second (carbon skins) is the one Alex now has, and the 3rd one is the really heavy one I made this year and took to the US, but it’s hardly been flown.

Some of the tech specs of Alex’s plane that make it so fast:
  • The wing has terribly deep fabric print pinholing all through the paint. Looks like a rotten old canvas tent. Totally crappy paintjob.
  • No wipers.
  • No servo covers.
  • Servos are cheap Bluebird 555’s and BMS-385 D-Max, with soft plastic arms and a bit of slop.

Alex flew it without the ballast (350gm). I think it weighs around 2.1kg without ballast. Wing weighs around 1.5kg I think.

The Scratcho’s span is 160cm. Foil is HN-1038. Wingtips are square ends, not elliptical or even radiussed.

I love the Scratcho. It’s the best all-round performer, versatile plane I know. It seems to work great whether you make them really light, or heavy. Flying in light breezes and thermals, or in 70mph. It’s a privilege to have such a great flyer as Alex take one of them and DS it in one of the best DS sites in the world. I just wonder what it would do if we got him a nice one … !
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 06:36 PM
DS= -$ & :-)
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Byron Bay, Australia
Joined Feb 2006
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Far out you must be stoked Alex! Nice work and it seems you have found your Weldon. That wind was rediculous and the LZ looked acceptable too. Nice flying to get the Scratcho so fast. So much potential with all those ridges and most seem to have tracks along them. It didn't seem to be cloaked in cloud like some of your other sites too.

Congrats to Andrew, what an excellent model!!

Eric
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Last edited by Ezza; Sep 06, 2012 at 06:44 PM.
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 09:05 PM
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Christchurch, New Zealand
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Some photos
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 09:49 PM
AvB
Wind, hill, ... I'm keen ...
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Australia, QLD, Woody Point
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Now you can see what I mean about wing surface and the paint job!!!

Oh man, Alex that ridge is just something else. Seriously, are you sure you didn't just photoshop that??? It just looks way too good to be real.

Alex was showing me on Google Earth that from the frontside, it drops down to flat farmland for quite away, then Lake Tekapo, then more flat land and it's something like 40km to the next ridge in the upwind direction. That's why he called it NZ Weldon. Perfect for letting the wind clean up before it hits the ridge. I think the DS part of the ridge is around 1000m altitude.
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 11:43 PM
Time to burn up some wind yo!
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Palmwoods, QLD, Australia
Joined Jan 2009
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holy moly good work guys, can't believe the trusty old bagged scratcho speed, and the site looks wicked,

cant wait to see more of tekapo!
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Old Sep 07, 2012, 12:59 AM
Arrarrar!
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Australia, NSW, Wagga Wagga
Joined Jan 2010
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Thanks for letting us in on some of your speed secrets Andrew- I'll be sure to pinch some of your ideas for my next scorcher! You've got me pumped again to get a scorcher over to Alex
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Old Sep 07, 2012, 04:53 AM
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Christchurch, New Zealand
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First video of day 1:

Tekapo DS day 1 (6 min 44 sec)
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Old Sep 07, 2012, 06:07 AM
AvB
Wind, hill, ... I'm keen ...
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Australia, QLD, Woody Point
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Nice one Alex. Wow it looks far rockier than I expected. Amazing to see Andrew P launching and flying the vac bagged Scratcho. It looks so familiar! And the hovering in the laminar air ... my 11yr old daughter Julia was watching and said "That's awesome! That's so cooool!"

How far was the walk from the car?
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Old Sep 07, 2012, 06:44 AM
ETS....Energy retention system
timbuck's Avatar
gold coast australia
Joined Aug 2008
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+1.. Laminar air was nice to see . Heavy plane will be fine.
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