Finally the wind blew and lift was good at the PSSA event on the Lleyn Peninsula over the wekend of the 13th and 14th August 2016. The June event was marred by zero lift, so to be welcome with a Westerly 10 to 20mph smooth sea breeze overlooking Hell’s Mouth was a bonus.
We arrived to sun and a smooth breeze at the telephone box as usual. Phil directed us to Annie’s place which is the best slope with good accessibility. We duly paid our £3 dues – £2 to park and £1 towards the marvellous prizes – wine and the Alan Hulme memorial trophy which was donated by his family in his honour, this being the 30th Anniversary of its foundation in 1986.
It was a good turn out, with people travelling from all over the country and some local Welsh visitors from the Lleyn club.
On the edge I recorded the wind speed at 15mph, which was ideal for most of my PSS models but not all. Over 25 and the Red Arrows Hawk would get a showing. Phil Cooke tried to launch his Tornado but there was not quite enough for it, so, although my twin Tornado was assembled, it stayed on the ground. Steve Mclaren, however, flew his lighter version most effectively.
There were a gaggle of Jet Provosts which seemed to fly at some speed in most conditions, Chris Barlow (black and yellow one), John Hay (traditional red and white), Tom Cooke (silver and yellow), Steve McLaren (red and white), me (orange and silver). The collection was no wonder bearing in mind that it was the model chosen for the Mass Build 2 years ago.
The star model of the event was Andy Meade’s Vulcan which he had bought part built from a deceased modeller. It had flaps, airbrakes, as well as the usual ailerons. It occupied all of his channels and used some complex channel mixing.
It was maiden launched to a round of applause. The camouflage finish stood out nicely against the sky, and the true to scale appearance was most effective. Andy had finished it off to look splendid. You would be hard pressed to detect it from the real thing at a distance. There are, now, of course, a squadron of Vulcans of all shapes and sizes, particularly after Mark Kettle has kitted an EPO version.
Tim Mackey brought along a converted Spitfire of around 6 foot wingspan, which was designed for power use, but instead of a motor had 2 lipos up front, which were used to power the 3 Amp guzzling sound system. Pilots on the ground were seen ducking for cover as noises sounding like the engine, guns, and other miscellaneous noises came out of the fuselage sides. No wonder itwon best flown piston driven aircraft and a bottle of red wine.
In a fit of previousness (new word), I brought along my A4 Skyhawk to try out on a decent slope. My only previous flight was on the Leek slopes when the wind was off the slope. It flew but not effectively. This time I had added one of Andy Meade’s fuel probes, so it was set to go. Andy Meade launched it for me most effectively, into the breeze. It soared away and beat up and down most effectively, and at some pace. I would say it would keep up with the Jet Provosts. The jet outlet painted orange looked effective in the sun, and I was well chuffed with it. I had begun to think it was one of those models that you could only fly in limited conditions but I was wrong. It rolls amazingly well
So imagine my surprise when I won “Best Flown Jet Powered Model” and a bottle of wine. Andy took the Alan Hulme Trophy for best model of the weekend, as well as a signed line drawing with the signatures of the engineers.
Today will not be anything to write home about because the wind is light and variable as we enter a zone of high pressure weather. Good for the beach visitors, but not for us.