May 2009

Sunday 31st

The weather continues,  still a crosswind on the strip superb thermal soaring conditions especially during afternoon.

Malcolm Wood completed his first solo flight with his Wot Trainer during the morning, made another four flight during the day handling the crosswind with ease.

Main task of the day was to try roasting a joint of pork on the barbeque just to see if it could be done, better now than three weeks time. Mike Bond was going to do the cooking but was rushed into hospital

on Saturday, we hope it's not to serious, and look forward to seeing him back in circulation soon.

Tracy & Paul stepped up to the barbeque, and boy was it worth it, if only you could do "scratch & sniff" on the web?

Ok we learnt a few lessons and we need to sort out the mechanics for a larger roast, but that was about the best roast pork I have ever tasted.

Tracy & Paul many thanks, Mike hope you get well soon.

Ade was out again with his Knight 50 3D.

Seems to have put his engine problems behind him and has started to work up to some serious flying.

Starting getting some low inverted flying unfortunately Darren was to busy elsewhere with my camera at the time.

Phil had a bit of bad time, managed to crash is little self launching glider twice in one minute, then had to complete the "walk of shame" still failed to come up with an excuse.

Shortly after this Marley Jnr, Phil and myself had a great half hour of brilliant thermal soaring, I managed 30 mins with the Selection of 1 minute of motor run.

Chris B.

Saturday 30th

The great weather continues, spoilt a little by the easterly wind giving a bit of a cross wind on the strip.

Good turnout, sorry no pics, to busy enjoying myself. (Will make sure it doesn't happen again.


Thursday 28th.

Bit of a dull overcast day, eventually cleared to blue skies and warm sunshine around tea time.

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Chairman's ageing Simprop Selection "Hotliner" (bit more of a "tepidliner") when compared to today's F5B competition models.

As been upgraded to Lipo operation, trusty old Aveox 10 LMR. Jeti 70 ESC and three Lipo 3.7 A/hr cells give nearly a kilowatt of thrust, sees a vertical acceleration of 5 seconds motor run taking it nearly out of sight.

Still a superb model to fly, if not for the fainthearted.

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As threatened Darren has put the "Virtual" Flybar back on his T.rex 500. (Black box in picture above).

Managed to get it airborne (at last!) but not sure what control I had over it, second attempt ended in disaster (yes it crashed) now many would say I crashed it but I didn't see it hit the ground as I was running away at the time.

The real problem is we are lacking info on how to set it up. How are you suppose to set the mechanics up? I had it flying well with no flybar but this was achieved by setting the rates to 30% with 30% expo is this the initial set up for the "virtual" flybar? Or do you set it up and fly with a conventional flybar then use these settings and swap to the "virtual flybar"? Answers on a post card.

My own T.rex 500 has arrived and is being assembled, it will be flybarless (totally). I had threatened to fly it without any gyros at all!! But I think a gyro on the tail will be prudent until I get the hang off it.

"Fly bars are for the old, gyros are for girls but a plastic bag still comes in useful."


Spring Bank Holiday

Friday 22nd - Monday 23rd May.

What a great weekend, four glorious days with some great weather, lots of flying and adventures into the unknown.

I have included Friday as "most" slink of early and a few came out for a quick fly. However my main adventure of the weekend begins on Friday night.

I arrived in the early evening as Darren had asked me to test fly his new T.rex 500. What he hadn't said was that it was missing some pretty serious bits. Flybar, paddles and all those numerous bell cranks and cradles that make the modern model heli flyable. A flybarless T.rex 500!

Don't worry he says "it's got a Virtual flybar" a little box with a multi coloured ribbon snaking from it. "It does what the flybar used to do, it's the way ahead I've seen the light, the future is "virtual"".

Now as many will testify setting a helicopter up to a radio is bad enough especially when it's CCPM! Now add another box (small but quite expensive box) so that all, yes all, the leads from the receiver go through this onto the way to their prospective  servo, add a dozen ludicrously small switches and half a dozen presets that getting the correct permutation is about as likely as good win on the lottery. Also add the usual club "X-spurts" and it was clear it would be a long night/weekend.

As darkness fell the T.rex 500 was placed on the strip with yours truly on the box. After a few false starts I eventually got it light on the sticks only to discover it behaved like no other helicopter I have ever flown. An input to the right had it leaping forward and off to the left. Retired home to a bit of research on the old inter-web.


After a bit of gentle persuasion Darren removed the "virtual fly-bar" and the servos were plugged back into there prospective sockets on the receiver. A standard gyro was added for the tail rotor, a bit of programming in the transmitter and the T.rex 500 was set up for flight, no flybar "real or virtual".

It flew perfectly, well not quite that perfectly. Saturday was a bit windy and made appreciating what was happening very difficult. Made another three flights on Monday in a lot smoother conditions. Without a flybar there is absolutely no stability, but there is instant absolute instant response. There is also no neutral position for the cyclic stick. If you get into an oscillation caused by over controlling you have to stop it, just letting the stick stop at the centre will not stop the oscillation.

Sadly (no I didn't crash it) Darren is putting the "virtual flybar" back (can't help but feel that's like putting a splash of lemonade into a good pint of beer just because it can be done), anyway should be fun? He has very firm instructions "put it back but do not touch anything other than the plugs".

I'm fascinated by real flybarless flight. Ok it's been done before particularly with scale helicopters with multi blade heads and very heavily weighted blades. But this model uses all standard kit there's no "tricks" you just have to move the sticks to the right place at the right time.

Have T.rex 500 on order (no virtual flybar though).

Chris B.


Monday 25th

The forecast rain for the afternoon, proved to be no more than a few spots that didn't even join up. Afternoon was a bit grey and overcast with few sunny patches light breeze from north east.

Good turnout in afternoon

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Phil's Formosa, tiny F3A pattern ship. Up in the air and up on it's nose (The Ebley three pointer)

(Above) Steve Parkers inverted flight training rig, not quite rigid enough.

(Right) Darren gets in close just to get the picture.

Phil thinks Darren getting out of the way quick will make a far more spectacular shot.

(Below) CB takes a breather and lets his fingers rest after taming flybarless T.rex 500.

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Lee's Mustang on another very spirited low pass. How long before it meets the same fate as his Tiger Shark. (Inside the fence and out).

Sunday 24th 

Was called to \the field about 1230 after phone call about model flying over horse paddocks, please avoid it causes all sorts of problems. Never did get home to collect models, spent day helping members and flying other peoples models, result no car to unload or repair work once I got home.

What a glorious day, temperatures up to 18 degrees C, blue skies light winds. Perfection.

Big turnout, really great to see so many different models all being flown happily together. At one point in the afternoon there were six models in the air, EDF Phantom, a vintage Tomboy, Phil's bitsa glider, a Mustang, and two helicopters (T.rex 450 and Sceadu). How many other clubs would even contemplate that happening let alone allow it?

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View looking east from cars.

Paul saluting Darren's wing

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Print this photo and put it on the mantle piece, it will keep the children away from the fire

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George with his diesel vintage style competition model, this got into some big thermal lift in both flights

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Phil's ASP glider, details

Mike (up elevator) Bond tries knife edge without ailerons.

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David's Trainer, dad coaching and Jim the new pit man.

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Brian's Seagull trainer

Jonathan's lovely little E-flite Taylorcraft 450, had a bit of landing mishap later I do hope he repairs it. 

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Ken's EDF Kyosho T-33. This now elderly model will soon be replaced, Karl Roedling has been clearing his attic and brought along 1 1/2 kits of this model which Ken snapped up, with modern fan and motor should be worth watching.

Saturday 23rd

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Nick's Azurro

Keith's new trainer

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CB's new/replacement Blade XL, had to wait late into evening until Paul had gone to work, flew OK but a rather errant canopy caused problems, causes a lot of drag when it falls off and the rudder doesn't work to well.

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Jim's Oxyallis?

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Phil's Formosa

George's home brew fun fly

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Laurie's Nitro Kestrel

photographer trying to persuade George and Nick to have a mid air 

Wednesday 20th  

Well another fine evening at the field, a little bit of wind, but nothing to worry about, unless you are trying to skim the lake with a wing!!!! Bit of glue and it will be as good as new said Darren. 

I flew the Phantom again, with some encouragement from Mr. Gurr, Faster, Faster, Lower…. I tried not to listen, and therefore took it home in one piece. 

Ken turned up and gave us some entertainment with his collection of EDF models. 

What has happened to the Hardcore Evening crowd??

Tuesday19th May 

A few people visited the field, was pleased to see that access wasn't a problem due to the high level of rain we have had, the lake has reappeared again, but seems to allow the water to drain on the strip which is handy. 

I managed to fly my Phantom, it was a little bumpy, but managed to do a few circuits. 

Adrian arrived with his new Trex 600 ? I think.... he was having a few problems with set up, it flew very well, Until the engine cut!!!! it was at a reasonable height,  Adrian did a excellent job and putting it into wind and managed a autorotation landing !!  Very impressive...  Thankful nothing was damaged... Back to the workshop to find the engine problem.....

Adrian ’s new helicopter is a Knight 50 3D  and the engine cut when he throttled back to practice auto rotation from 100 feet. Wasn’t expecting to have to do it for real! Lots of Phoenix auto rotation practice saved the day…!

Sunday 10th
The afternoon did not start well, three people crashing including Ian who hit the roller after it had been moved from the strip.
Things improved although it was a little gusty. john from Dursley a prospective member brought a park flyer to be set up and test flown. I had trouble flying it on mode 1 and tried to alter the transmitter to mode 2. This was a bit of a disaster as I had no reading glasses, several members worked on this for some time eventually getting the ratchet and small springs swapped over. The model used a brushed motor and nimh batteries, not giving enough power or duration
Mike's Albatross went well but would have been easier to fly on a calm day

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Our Chairman flies Brian's extra

Jim's F3A 

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ken's Lightening 

Mile's Albatross, it's bleedin' seabird flavour

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Brian's Park flyer

What's hatching?

Sunday 3rd

Warm sunny day with north-westerly breeze, flying conditions were very smooth but the tricky crosswind gave some concern.

Was called to the field to deliver various bits and bobs and to give Stan's big Taylorcraft another airing. Sadly a further fuel leak kept it grounded.

So didn't get to fly myself but did get the opportunity to present Phil with his BMFA "A" certificate. 

Quite a few more members need to do the "A" test it is quite simple. However one major part of the test is being able to have the correct transmitter close at hand when the model starts up has caused problems in the past.

Chris B.

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Steve's Cougar

Lee's Wot 4

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Paul does his best "pub landlord" impersonation at the thought of testing Jim's "FS-Cat"??

 "Sadly" he was to shortly discover that he was only being asked launch it. Jim completed the test flight himself. Flew superbly even though not the best colour scheme for such a small fast model as he lost orientation on it just as the battery ran down. It will fly again.

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Phil's Acromaster and Banshee

Saturday 2nd

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Andy flew his  Pantera for the first time

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Stan's Extra, bounced around a little bit the breeze



Gloucester Model Flying Club