We are always beholden to the weather at PSS events, such are the vagaries of flying model gliders. When you consider that we need, ideally, 20mph and above to confidently fly Scale Glider Jets, then being fortunate enough to enjoy ideal conditions is a matter of luck. When there are 2 weekend days then the chances are more assured, but even so, the God of the Wind, wherever he lives, plays his part (I say he but it could easily be she?)
This weekend was fortunate in that:-
- The wind blew at between 7 and 20mph
- We were on the Easterly slope where the lift is amazing notwithstanding the wind speed.
- I have now 3 gliders which will fly in reasonable light winds – the Jet Provost, the Vulcan, and the Canberra.
I managed to launch the Canberra into an estimated 10mph wind and see it sail away without any input, as stable as you like. Since there were so few planes in the air, it attracted attention from an assembled audience, which puts some pressure on the pilot. Fortunately, Andy Blackburn’s designs always fly well, in my experience. They are light, but penetrate amazingly. They reasonably fast, but are nonetheless stable.
I had flown the Canberra at Leek, but in less than ideal conditions. This is a model, I would say, for up to 20mph – maybe 25mph at a pinch, but rather like the Vulcan it struggles. If you were able to ballast it, I am sure it would cope manfully with higher wind speeds, but there isn’t anywhere obvious to put the ballast. If you placed it in the hatch underneath the fuselage, its magnet fasteners might come detached in flight. One could, maybe, install a carbon tube in the wing filled with lead, but I prefer to simply swap models for higher wind speeds and I have a profundity of aircraft for such occasions – the Tornado, Alpha Jet, or Hurricane.
I was amazed when the Canberra not only sailed away, but also flew so scale like without much effort from me. Simon Cocker was there. He told me that it was my input that had improved the flight characteristics, but it really wasn’t. Andy recommends mixing in some rudder but not too much. In previous flights I had mixed in too much rudder, and the elevator had been too sensitive but now everything seemed serene.
Phil took some good pictures against an azure blue sky in sun from the rear. He wanted it against the sea which meant flying down below the horizon – scarey in light wind. Nonetheless it confidently rose above the horizon as it hit the lift to our left in the bowl formed by the cliffs. There was one scarey moment when it nearly landed by accident, but apart from that the flight was relaxed and was met with cooing and aahing from other modelers who were encouraged to finish their versions. It was, of course, a free plan in RCM&E. So build one and fly it in the right wind is all I will say.
Sorry for the column inches devoted to my model. There are/were a number of PSS models there
Of interest was the Sabre Jet which appeared nearly finished in prototype. It has an all moving tailplane and a built up wing. It will be the Mass Build for 2020 – exciting times!
Also of interest was a very colourful version of the Fouga Magister in orange and yellow. I didn’t catch what version it was, but will ask today – this is being written after the end of Day 1. Also in attendance was another colourful version of the Aermacchi L339.
Cold it was up the top of the ski slope – but the wind was blowing. The lift was awesome on the Easterly slope. There were some attenders from yesterday and some different models.
Harry Twist flew his Wellington Bomber. It looked good in the air.
Andy Gorham brought his Hurricane up the slope but didn’t want to risk the rotor which built up as the wind moved North East. Most of the day was OK because the wind was directly on the slope and landings safe.
Steve McLaren flew his Hurricane as did Phil Cooke.
Great weekend, so big thanks to Phil for putting in the organisational effort as usual.
Andy’s Gorham’s Hurricane
Difficult to see the speck that is Tim Mackey’s Vulcan
Steven McLaren’s Tornado.
For the rest of the season’s events see the PSSA brand new website