What else is there to do in your Premier Inn Llandudno Junction Hotel room after sharing a bed with Lenny Henry, with all the line learning that it brings with it – and he snores – than to write up the first day of the PSS fly in up on the Tank Tracks?
I got up early yesterday to get to the site for 9.30 only to find half a dozen cars with models spilling out of them. I was lucky to get a parking spot! Cars continued to arrive all morning meaning that some had a longer walk with their PSS models to display in the chosen hangar (sort of) area – probably a grass standing is a better description – such that by midday it was awash with many different and very impressive selected PSS models.
A4 Skyhawks abounded most of which had been blogged on RCM&E, so it was nice to finally see, stroke, coo, aah, and appreciate them in the flesh. Gossip seemed to focus on “I have only slept for 2 hours in the last 3 weeks”. This made me feel smug as my Skyhawk was finished about a month ago. Still I did not encounter one freyed temper or impatience. The sun was out and it was baking hot.
Sadly, once again, despite a Tuesday forecast of 18mph SW, calm once again prevalied which meant that a lot of chat about models and finishes abounded, but little PSS flying. Wind was 4-6mph and variable from West to North West, so electric models screamed overhead most of the day, which was entertaining certainly.
I have put my photographs on Google here – the photo album plug in for this site no longer works due to Google now forbidding album website embedding which seems somewhat pointless but who am I to argue with Google.
At midday we had a Skyhawk photo session, and individual photo shoots from Phil Cooke who very professionally took notes in a book, but no make-up unfortunately. Bearing in mind the profusion of baggy eyes, it may have been a good idea? Didn’t have my camera at this point so apologies for the lack of photos.
Wind was forecast at 4pm. Someone in Anglesey telephoned to say it was there, so we hung until FINALLY at 6.30pm a nice South Westerley of 17mph blew up, hurray. I had quick flights with the Vulcan and JP.
Great day of chat, banter, and static admiration.
Forecast for Sunday is 18mph SSW – so fingers crossed!!
Some of my own photos are linked here, but thank you to Dave Gilder for some of those shown above, which link to his Facebook page.
Stupidly I stayed up late watching a film about Flight United 93, as it was the anniversary of 9/11 so arrived somewhat bleary eyed – not a patch on those still battling with modelling deadlines. I decided that we could rename the Association PISS (Power Insomniacs Slope Soarers) – Ha!
Amazingly, the car park was packed as early as 9.30am which only goes to show how good the turn out was. I edged my car in and unpacked models for display. As you can see above the Skyhawks were all positioned in a pretty pattern near the edge for viewing, admiration, and rivalry if you were so inclined, which obviously I am not. Some slept in the car, no doubt busily adding finishing touches to the paintwork, in order to gain that extra point!
Credit must go to John Hay, who brought his model builder father along on the Sunday, for editing father’s video of the day so expertly with music from Top Gun and jet noises to boot.
The wind varied between South and SSW all day so, whilst valiant efforts were made to launch from the Tank Track edge, the lift was turbulent, and varied. The slope copes with a Westerley but not any Southerly.
After discussion it was decided to stay put, so I hiked over the top to the most amazing southerly slope with fabulous views overlooking Conway estuary. The lift was booming like an elevator, just right for PSS. I returned for 2 more models. Everyone else followed and had some of the most amazing PSS flying in winds varying from 20 to 30mph – ideal.
Most of the A4 Skyhawks maidened successfully. The heavier ones flew faster than the lighter ones.
Many other PSS models also flew well, so good was the lift. The sun was out all day. The only down side was the 10 minute trek over the mountain, which I did about 4 times.
Eventually, after everyone had flown their socks off, we congregated around the car for the prize giving. There were 3 prizes donated by Traplet Models who produced the plan and the kit of parts for the Skyhawk – Most Innovative (Chris Barlow & below), Best Newcomer, and Best Model which was won by the very well finished and fastest flying Argentinian Air Force example.
Simon Cocker was in attendance so we will probably see a Magazine Write Up. The Newspapers were also there taking photos, mostly of Andy Meade’s amazingly large A10.
Alan Hulme’s daughter turned up with a cake for us all, which was lovely, and saying that this is what her father would have done. I didn’t have the privilege of knowing him, but do not doubt the truth of it. The spirit, which he started, carries on.
A great weekend all in all. Next event in October, will also, no doubt, be popular. Next Mass Build will probably be a Hawker Hurricane in 2018.