It was a glorious sunny day that greeted us for the first event of the year over the weekend of 8th and 9th Aprill 2017. For April, the temperature was unusually high. Unfortunately, with nice weather comes a High Pressure zone. Consequently, once again, no wind or at least 6mph forecast.
We all met, as usual at the South West Tank Tracks slope to exchange pleasantries, and catch up on winter projects done or not completed, as the case may be.
The usual crowd were there. Nice to see some new models. Matt Jones brought an enormous P51D Mustang clad in silver blue and yellow, for which hopefully we will see a photo below.
I had missed out on the craze of converting Alpha Jet chuck gliders to RC. There were three which had been fettled over the winter. I was told the chuck glider cost a mere £10. It was then converted to RC by the addition of a light weight battery, a micro Receiver, and some 4 to 6 gram servos used for indoor models.
The models were test glided a distance of about 50 yards, but could not be flown due to the lack of wind, and the direction which was Easterly.
The main crowd stayed at the tank tracks even though the wind was not South Westerly. I noticed Bob Jennings discus launching his Libelle in zero conditions – I must get one.
I decided to take my Easy Glider and venture over to the Llandudno Pier slope above the artificial ski slope. When I arrived the wind was 4 to 6mph – just enough to have a flight without motor assistance lasting half an hour. I landed to text back saying that there was enough wind for light stuff but not PSS models. Only Paul Jubb came across with his lightweight thermal soarer you can see above.
By the time he arrived, the wind had dropped to 1 to 3mph, which meant my Easy Glider couldn’t cope and needed the motor to pull it aloft. Paul’s glider managed to stay up – all credit to him. I was hoping for some thermals but none seemed to be in evidence. The wind was cool and away from the slope there was quite a lot of sink.
None of the others came over. They used the tank tracks site as a flat field site to fly powered gliders and others. When I returned at about 4pm, Simon Cocker was flying his Multiplex Heron just over the heads of various members, such is the skill of his pilotting – something I wouldn’t have trusted to my judgment.
Some of us stayed on the hill till 7pm to make the most of the sun and get burned, but others retired early to choose an outfit (who shall I be this evening?). We had a very pleasant meal in the Cottage Loaf, in Llandudno near to Weatherspoons. If you have never visited Weatherspoons it is the most amazing converted Art Deco cinema, sadly not full of performers and artistes, but rather replete with rather young, inebriated, short skirted youngsters on a night out. We looked suitably out of place, but not because we were wearing skirts. We looked more like over ripe plums that had been left on the tree to ripen a little too long.
Just about to go up the hill on day 2 so more PSS flying we hope and pictures – forecast is 12 to 15mph WSW, so fingers crossed.!!
When I got to the slope, as yesterday, the sun was out, but today, THERE WAS WIND – hurray! Not only was there wind, I recorded the speed at between 25 and 30mph.. Perfect conditions for PSS. I have never seen so many models or people for that matter at one of our events. There must have been over 60 models in the pits area, from Warbirds to Jets to Airliners – yes there really were 2 large polystyrene A 380 Airliners.
I promised you a picture of Matt Jones’s P51D Mustang. Well yes but there were 3 of them – all lined up in a row for someone else to take a lovely picture – so I just sneaked in and took my own – there are no doubt thousands of others all over the internet – but who cares?
There were several A4 Skyhawks from last year’s Mass Build, Jet Provosts from the 2014 Mass Build, in fact at one time there were as many as 15 models in the air at once.
The star of the show, and the model that won 2 prizes at the end of the day for model of the weekend, and best flown jet aircraft, was Dirk Tinck’s Fougar Magister. I didn’t measure the wing span but it must have been at least 2 metres. Dirk had come all the way from Belgium, where, of course, they don’t have hills. He told me that to maiden it he had to travel and hour and a half to Calais. I don’t think I have ever seen a PSS model fly so well. He managed to fly it about 100 metres behind the slope where most models would sink to the floor, and power it straight out over the slope. It was amazing and flew so majestically.
Dirk had made his own moulds for the model which incorporated panel detaling completely in scale. the underneath was decorated in the colours of the Belgium air force, and it blew everyone away. Today he flew it himself and glowed in pride. For its maiden in Calais one of his friends flew it. Most smaller models were affected by turbulence but this huge model was immune to it.
So all in all a very worthy winner in the view of us all.
You can see above that there were not one Magister but three again, Dirk’s is in the middle and is flanked by the Island Models Swastika version of Andy Meade.
At about midday the temperature dropped about 10 degrees celsius, mist blew in, and the air became very heavy. We all donned hats and gloves as though winter had just arrived. Very strange.
So to round the weekend off with a bang we had the bomb dropping competition. Various mdels had been fitted with bombs, A 2 metre square was marked off behind the slope edge and the nearest to the target scored points. This competition will continue all year, and the person with the most points wilil win.
Tim Mackey demonstrated his bomb drop mechanism which was simply a rubber band held in place with a servo arm then released, very simple but very clever.
So what a great weekend all in all it was, and thank the Lord for the wind and lift.
To see the remainder of the pictures, see our album of photos here
To read more about PSS go to the dedicated site www.psssaonline.co.uk