What a great month April was, not many April showers, an amazing Easter weekend, and loads of flying. The bullocks that joined us in March soon got used to us again and ignored us most of the time but did occasionally wander over and became annoyingly inquisitive. They seemed to have quickly learnt not to touch the fence, even if it was laid down, but they sometimes came right up to the pits area and had to be herded away before they chewed a model or two. I think they just want to be friends and have very little idea of the needs of model fliers! Matt snapped this photo of Captain Slow’s idea of herding them away… It makes me think of John Le Mesurier in Dad’s Army “I say, would you mind awfully popping down to the gate, there’s a good chap”.Can you think of a decent caption for the photo? Answers in the Comments section please, there will be a small prize for the one I like the most. Happily they moved out again at the end of the month so the field will hopefully be bullock free for a few weeks. The patch is in excellent condition and has been mown regularly by the Farts (Friday Afternoon Rural Trimming Society). One Friday afternoon Matt made an appearance and was cajoled into pushing the mower for a few minutes. Such a rare and momentous occasion seemed an unmissable photo opportunity!New member Iven has flown with the Midweekers on many occasions and has been practising hard for his ‘A’ cert.Before taking his certificate he was already on the lookout for a follow-on model that will test his skills a little more than his E-Flite Apprentice. He was very taken with Basher Bob’s Durafly Slow Poke and before you could say ‘PayPal’ one was on its way to him. Iven soon had it assembled and at the patch ready for flight.I test flew Basher’s Slow Poke for him and remember saying “If you can’t land this you can’t land anything”, it was a delight to fly, but Basher has never seemed totally at ease with it, maybe he’s changed some settings since that first flight. He did raise a few eyebrows one day when he announced that he’d had a slow poke in the back of his car…When Iven asked me to maiden his new Slow Poke I was interested to see if it flew as well as I remembered Basher’s had. It did, the model needed no trimming and flew beautifully. Iven had a go with it and coped with no problems at all, I think he’ll enjoy it a lot. The 1200mm wingspan Slow Poke is made of EPO foam and comes as a ‘plug and play’ model, just add your own receiver and battery and off you go. I see that Iven is using one of the new Spektrum receivers that doesn’t have any external aerials. It worked perfectly and not having any aerials to route or worry about damaging must be a plus point. Finally, something I like about Spektrum!The motor is a 3648 700Kv outrunner that swings a 12×8 prop. It has a 40A Aerostar esc and uses a 3 cell 2200mAh lipo. Basher has been flying his on a 4 cell lipo but I really don’t think it needs 4 cells. Having proved the Slow Poke Iven returned to his Apprentice and passed his BMFA ‘A’ cert a couple of weeks later, well done Iven.You may have noticed that Bob has reverted back to Basher having been Bob the Builder for some while now. Bob first became Basher following his involvement in a series of mid-air collisions, none of which were necessarily his fault, but he always seemed to be there. But then things changed, the mid-airs stopped and we rechristened him Bob the Builder…until now. Yes, he’s been at it again! One fine April day I was flying my FPV Sukhoi and both Woody and Basher decided to fly their foamboard jets to give me something to follow. Woody was flying his Sukhoi nice and steadily when Basher’s Mig made a sudden turn and cut right across him, resulting in the a series of prop hacks to the leading edge of his left wing. Both models landed safely and Basher’s was completely unmarked, typical!Both the models were out of sight of my FPV camera at the time so I didn’t see any of the action but Iven happened to be videoing from the ground and caught the action. I’ve included the footage at the end of this month’s video so you can all enjoy it! Strangely, although Woody was the victim of the collision for some reason the incident seemed to upset 1066 much more than Woody and he really laid into poor old Basher.Violence towards OAPs is not something to be encouraged, especially as I’m one of them!
One Sunday morning saw lots of full-size activity around the field. As well as the often seen paragliders up by the masts a few high-tech hang gliders were flying and some overflew the patch at great height. Then, just as we were packing up to leave, four full-size gliders started circling in a thermal right above us. It was a lovely site and as we strained our necks to watch Basher laid on the ground for an easier view… the real reason for the photo above.The gliders were very high and I didn’t manage to get all four in a photo but you can just about see two and a half here. This month’s video includes a snippet of three of the gliders circling upwards in the thermal.
Basher also had a go at taking out my Sukhoi with his own Sukhoi on one of my FPV flights, it’s in the video…Dougal and I continued with our FPV learning and we’ve progressed with our flying. Dougal did the first low level pass through the Harper’s Oak group of trees one Friday afternoon when I wasn’t present so I was forced to copy it the following Sunday morning! We also both made some more FPV purchases. Dougal had been using some cheap Crazepony box goggles that performed reasonably well but they weren’t as clear as the not quite so cheap Cyclops box goggles that I have, so when he spotted some second-hand Aomway goggles for sale Dougal snapped them up.The Aomways are not box goggles so are smaller and lighter to wear and have a much better resolution but even second-hand cost four times as much as the Crazepony ones. And they still look almost as stupid!Not sure who that bald bloke is! My Cyclops goggles are big and cumbersome but have a good picture quality and the only complaint I have with them is the low quality recordings of the built-in DVR (video recorder). Dougal spotted an FPV transmitter that has a built-in DVR on the Banggood website for around £15 so I ordered one to try. As the recorder is on the tx rather than the rx in the goggles there is no signal break-up that might occur on the downlink and the video quality is much better than the one built into the goggles.The recorders save the videos to micro SD cards, either in the goggles or on the tx depending on which type you are using. Dougal then realised that his video quality wasn’t as good as mine and that could only be down to his cheap camera. I’m using a Foxeer Predator Mini V2 camera that cost about £32 from HobbyKing but Dougal was using a very cheap camera he bought some while ago. So he’s now bought a Foxeer Monster Mini Pro V3 from HobbyKing that cost around £18 and has similar specs to mine but with slightly fewer features. He’s mounted it on his Tomahawk flying wing on a small servo so he can look from side to side using the rudder control.Its early days but the video quality is definitely much better than with his previous camera and the swivel mount is also looking worthwhile. Captain Slow is also now getting into FPV and has ordered the same goggles and tx as me and the V3 version of the Foxeer Predator Mini camera. He’s not certain which plane he’ll fit the gear to yet but his Multiplex Twinstar is looking like an obvious choice.
Gentleman Jim hasn’t managed to get to the field much recently but he did bring along a very pretty little Freewing Space Walker to fly a couple of times in April. Jim bought it on a whim while browsing in Modellbau UK at Medstead.Its 1120mm span and weighs just 850g so probably not a model for a windy day but it does fly very nicely. The EPO model comes complete with four 9g servos, a 3130 1200kV motor, a 30A esc, and a 10×6 propeller. It requires a 3 cell lipo in the 1600- 2200mAh range and a receiver of your choice but is otherwise complete. It was a bit blustery on the day of its first flight so the Space Walker got chucked around a bit but it flew well anyway. The weather was much calmer for its second outing and it was much more pleasant to fly, I think Jim will enjoy this one.
Ok, now for some amazing news, you’d better be sitting down for this one: Captain Slow has finished his Zagi!It only took him five months to complete the ‘buy today, fly tomorrow’ model, incredible! After much deliberation about the choice of motor and how to hold the Zagi to launch it Captain Slow settled on a Pelikan 2200kV inrunner motor and fitted a small balsa block as a launching hold under the nose. As the original was designed for a small brushed ‘can’ motor and relatively heavy nicad battery Captain Slow found that the brushless inrunner motor at the back and much lighter lipo battery at the front meant a lot of lead was required to achieve the correct centre of gravity. You can see some of the weights along the leading edge in the photo.But although the Zagi felt very heavy it flew extremely well and the extra weight didn’t seem to bother it at all. Captain Slow wanted it as a windy weather model anyway so the extra weight is probably not a bad thing.After only a couple of flights the motor started making an odd noise and when he landed it Captain Slow’s finger discovered that the motor was hot, sizzlingly hot in fact! The rear bearing had come loose and the motor was totally ruined. I remembered I had a similar size inrunner at home so donated it to the worthy cause and, although the 3900kV is really much too high (it’s really an EDF motor) it fitted ok and with a 4.5×4.1 prop it does the job perfectly. The Pelikan motor was using a 6×4 prop but that pulled more than 60A with the new motor. The Zagi flies much better than expected, it’s aerobatic and despite the weight it glides very well. It was almost worth the wait…
Following on from his TSR2 success last month Dwayne Pipe has continued to make a few changes and improvements to the model and it is now flying very well indeed. It still needs a good heave when launched but it goes away well now and it both looks and sounds great in the air.I believe Dwayne will be telling us all about the model at the next Official meeting on 16th May.
Video time now which this month includes contributions from Dougal and Captain Slow:Please watch the video full screen, it’s so much better with small models flying around. If the video won’t play for you click HERE
Before I went to the airfield today I said to the wife “I am just going to polish the wings and clean the screen”
“You’re going flying, aren’t you” she moaned. “No I am just going to clean the plane” I promised.
I got to the airfield and did my cleaning jobs on the aircraft. On the way home driving through the village I came across a pretty young woman in distress with a punctured wheel on her bicycle.
“Can I help you” I asked. “Please could you give me a lift to my hotel at the end of the village?”
I placed her bicycle in my boot and drove to the hotel. She was very grateful and invited me in for a coffee. One thing led to another and a jolly good time was had.
I drove home and was greeted by the wife saying “What time do you call this, you’ve been flying haven’t you”
“No, I went to the airfield, and cleaned the aircraft. On the way home I met a woman in distress took her back to her hotel and made mad passionate love to her.”
“You’re such a swine” she said “You promised me you wouldn’t go flying.”