Saturday, 23 November 2013

Humphrey Head

Tried out a new coastal slope, Humphrey Head. Was a bit of a scramble to climb up the 100ft limestone cliff, but with a Westerly gusting to 26 mph the conditions provided consistent lift. I flew my M60 rather than a mouldy for a change and it went very well with full ballast. The coastal air felt slower and 'Sticky' compared to the inland slopes I normally fly but where there were no thermals there was also no sink or turbulence. Landing was a little awkward as there is a fence and a gate that you have to climb over to get to the landing zone or you could just land at distance from the gate. You just had to watch out for a couple of bushes and some piles of rocks. With a more expensive mouldy you could always open the gate so you could pick your spot to land.

Humphrey Head from Tom Foreman on Vimeo.

Monday, 11 November 2013


Some nice video's from Rick Chen of the 2013 F3F World Cup race this year, Mr O won going very fast with his Needle 100.

Lungpan - South of the Taiwan from Rick Chen on Vimeo.

F3F WORLD Cup Taipei 2013 "Impossible speed" from Rick Chen on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Northern F3F Winter League Dates at the Hole of Horcum

Dates are up on NYMRSC for this years winter league, see you there!

Dates for 2013 / 2014
2nd Nov 2013
7th Dec 2013
4th Jan 2014
1st Feb 2014
1st Mar 2014

Reserve Dates
15th Feb 2014
15th Mar 2014
The reserve dates apply after the loss of 2 or more scheduled events.
NB 'loss' means the event was cancelled or failed to complete.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Welsh Open 2013 F3F

Well this years Welsh Open was a bit of a disappointment with only three rounds flown on the first day in very light winds and then no more flying for the other two days. What can you say, after the fantastic BMFA Nationals a few months ago in Wales I guess it was too much to expect another fantastic competition but that's F3F for you, oh well, roll on the Northern Winter League....

Welsh Open 2013 from Tom Foreman on Vimeo.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Xenon Re-maiden

Managed to grab a few hours up Parlick today to re-maiden the Xenon after I had a Hyperion aileron servo fail on me a couple of months ago. Had decided to replace both aileron servo's with trusty Futaba 3150's so had  quite a bit of work to do to remove the old servo's and then fit the new ones, but its done now.

A good North Westerly 15mph wind put me on my favourite North West bowl, I put 1200g of ballast in her and chucked her off, immediately she started going down and she needed a fair amount of up elevator trim to get her flying level, a few clicks of right aileron trim got her flying true. I then started to EM her but she was struggling to pull the left hand turn, I had to be very gentle with the elevator after the turn is initiated with the rudder. She kept dropping out of the sky instead of pinging out of the turn. At first I thought it was me, as cross tails are a little different to vee tails, you have to bank them over with the rudder first then pull hard around the turn with the elevator (a bit like DSing). But it soon became apparent I had over ballasted her, so a quick landing and I dropped her to 600g, put things right, and she was soon pinging out of the turns and ripping up the sky in convincing manner.

After I got bored of EM practise I checked out whether the new Futaba 3150 servo's were any different from the Hyperion DS095 they had replaced by doing some reversal turns, but they seemed just the same. Roll rate is a bit slower than the Cyril or the Stinger and she doesn't grip in the turns as well either so you can't bang her round that quick, a grippy model she isn't. Still the cross tail means she is more stable and tracks really well, I managed to do some very nice reversal turns parallel to the slope much tidier than when I was at the Scottish Nationals with the Stinger a few weeks ago.

Anyway with the skies starting to get crowded with paragliders and full size gliders I called it a day and packed up to get home and back to the build table. At the moment I am in the middle of fixing my Cyril from a big crash earlier in the year and I also smashed the Stinger up in Scotland. However a big shout goes out to Vaclav at VV models who has managed to make me a new pair of tails and wing joiner in record time, fantastic service! So with a bit of luck I'll have the Stinger back together in time for the Welsh Open next weekend, oh well, better get back to the build table and do some more fixing!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Big Lift Day - Parlick

Westerly winds drove me to Parlick's North West bowl, love flying this site, always plenty of lift and rotor free landings. Wind was blowing hard, 30 - 40 mph, tossed the Stinger off with 1.5 Kg ballast and found the air rough on the right hand turn and ballistic on the left, as expected the wind was a bit crossed, but the bowl does straighten it up a little, great for practising difficult conditions. A high long turn was needed on the bumpy right hand turn to cut through the rough air, where as a strong pull on the left hand turn resulted in a satisfying slingshot out of the turn. With practice you could harness the momentum out of the left hand turn and then smoothly manage the right hand turn to maintain the speed.

Every now and again a thermal would come through and straighten up the lift making things ballistic, the Stinger sure shifts in good air, frighteningly quick, takes a lot of concentration and eventually I had to bail out for a rest! Landing was easy enough, not much crow required in the big blow to drop it down at my feet. I then filled her up to the max with 1.7 Kg of ballast and found she had slowed down a little and was harder to get on step, too heavy.

Next up was the Artist, she doesn't really have enough ballast for these sort of conditions but she made a good go at it, although she got tossed around a lot more than the Stinger, its fun to fly other models. Landing was 'interesting' as she didn't want to come down, but eventually she was down in one piece, the wind was getting stronger.

I had another look at the slope and decided I was in the wrong place, my right hand turn was over a great big hole in the side of the slope, so I moved position further to the left where the slope was steeper. I left the Stinger full as the wind was blowing stronger and with the increased lift the climb out was much better and as I came on course she turned perfectly into the right hand turn as if on rails. Perfect 30 second air, very smooth and consistent. I could only manage 10 mins or so as the speed was blowing my mind and I kept imagining that I wouldn't be surprised it it suddenly blew up, but no need to worry, the Stinger seems pretty strong with hardly a hint of flex in the wings.

However the landing was a nightmare as the lift was too strong, in the end I had to force it down under crow with lots of down elevator, I had that horrible moment when you suddenly realise the model is aiming for your head before she came down heavily in front of me. Fortunately I had taped the nose on and she seemed none the worse for her adventures apart from some mud and grass on the nose.

A great day out with clear views out to sea, too windy for the paragliders and the full size gliders were maxing out a few hundred feet above me, so I had the slope to myself.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Stinger Ballast Sheet

Well its been a wet day today so rather than fix planes I decided to do a ballast sheet based on the one developed by Pierre Rondel (see Planet Soaring ) for the Stinger. Found out that some of the ballast configurations I've been using have been having a negative effect on my Stinger by moving the CoG rearward. Might explain why it sometimes feels strange when I'm flying it or maybe its just me, still I'll now have a useful reference sheet to use when racing to take some of the guess work out of calculating it all in my head, well that's the plan anyway.

You can see from Pierre's sheet how the CoG shifts, Green for forward CoG, Red for rearward, I've removed the configurations that pushed it rearward and as soon as we get some new ink for the printer I'll be able to stick a copy to my ballast box.