by Bob Jennings
For more pictures, see the Competition Photographs Page
The last line of Keith’s original email for this event went ‘Fingers crossed for fine weather and light winds’. Well, one out of two was pretty good going.
Arriving early afternoon on the Saturday there was already a good selection of scale gliders and their guides present and enjoying the extremely bracing wind and buoyant lift. It was measured gusting up to 28mph with an average of 18. It felt a lot stronger though, whipping over the tussocky grass at the Pool site. Glorious sunshine, bright fluffy cumulus and a deep blue sky provided the perfect backdrop to the days activities. The vast vista of the Cheshire Plain stretching out to the far horizon was breathtaking.
There were glass ships and a few woodies present, with the odd couple of non-scale models tearing up the slope.
The photos and video will give a better impression of the event though the importance of spacial awareness and the risks to personal safety were brought to light with the accidental mishap of a Phase 6 connecting with Simon Cocker’s head in the landing area while he was retrieving a model. Luckily we had a G.P. on hand to administer First-Aid. The shock of the impact toppled him over and the pointed fuselage created a nasty gash, with subsequent bruising on the Sunday. It was also a reminder to have someone with First Aid skills on hand at these events and to scan the landing area before committing to a landing..
The flying conditions were exceptional and the bonk on the bonce didn’t stop Mr C from launch duties. The larger craft really soaked up the conditions, screeching around and tail-chasing in front of and around the back of the slope and carving immense loops toward the hill, up and back out into lift just below cloud base. Many flights were achieved in the blustery conditions and some of the landings were proper greasers. Magical.
The usual banter was flying around too with exchanges of ‘encouragement’ and some tech talk about the latest carbon thingummy-bob and reminiscences of old-style elevon mixing with servos on sliding trays! We had a familiar large PSS B-52 patrolling the slope which I recall first seeing on Bosley Cloud about 16 years ago.
The entertainment was enhanced by a beautifully executed anonymous low-level face- plant, on launch, of a rather large and expensive model. Much credit must be bestowed for the sacrifice of saving the model at the expense of personal ridicule!
Saturday finished with a de-brief with chips and beer at the Lazy Trout. A fab day, wind swept and satisfied.
Sunday was more of the same, though there had already been a mid-air by mid-day with one model pretty much trashed. Again, keeping spacial awareness and having an idea of the proximity of other models and slope etiquette is key.
There were some really well put together models on the slope. The high-end super slippery glass ships were inspiring. An ASG-29S with a pop-up-and-go EDF unit scorched about doing multiple loops at the back of the slope. Simon’s Ventus 2c was handed about again, for a shared stir of the sticks with much approval. A beautifully crafted vintage Slingsby glider in antique covering sat out the conditions, with a lovely sunburst Lo-100 as it was a bit blustery.
Thanks to Bob for the fabulous Video which can be seen here or on You Tube.
I tried not to drool over the gorgeous Salto H-101 V-tail being flown very nicely. As was the Pilatus B4 with its aerobatic agility. Equally well flown were a pair of L-213As, both built-up airframes. One of which was experimentally tested for balance with a large handful of plasticine in front of the tail fin!
I didn’t get a full list of the models present but managed to photograph most of them. I clocked an ageing and well campaigned ASH-26 doing its stuff and I was keen to have a chat with the owner as I have one, ten years old, unflown, needing just a little bit of finishing to get airborne.
As most flying events go, it was inspiring and a great opportunity to pick some clever brains. The height of cleverness in equal proportion to the level of well-crafted banter! Being a recently new LMMGA member, it was great to experience this event with the weather god’s on side. Hopefully I can join in with the large scale fun once my ASH is finished.
A big thanks go out to Bob Jennings for the amazing article and photographs