Lubcroy in a NE

Lubcroy in a NE
Flair K8 in its element on Lubcroy

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Another Perfect Day

Let's just see some photos this time; fewer  words. A Mini Vector and a Simprop Solution on a north easterly overlooking the Oykel.

A word from the WingCo: "Nice easy walk today, small light glider. Patchy lift to start with, and lucky to get down alive. Both landed side onto the slope as the lift vanished under a grey woolly blanket."

But we persevered. And the sun came out. The cloud disappeared and the lift increased. Two good flights from the Solution and a masterful display of aerobatics from Tally Ho Taylor; rolling circles; square loops; knife edge inverted tunrs but "sometimes not quite sure which way to push the sticks". Photographer in fear of his life at times.

And here are the photos to prove it.

Just a Perfect Day...

 A perfect day, in the end. Two scale gliders against a nice sky and plenty of lift. Worth the trudge up the hill, although it didn't feel like it half way up with Taylor grumbling about the weight of his K*****8.

Perfect? Not that it dawned as such. An aborted trip to the East, a spell back in the workshop where I build wooden boats, then back to the slope; this time the clouds had cleared and the slope just got better as the afternoon drew on.

Just two planes: Flair K8, built by Wing Commander "Tally ho" Taylor and my FlyFly Fox. What a beautiful sight: two semi-scale gliders in the air at once. Makes you wonder why anyone bothers with sticky things with pointy noses.

As for sticking silly little pilots up from (let alone straps, hat, full gliding gear and even a copy of Glider Porn tucked into the map pocket) can't see the point. There was, however, a silly-looking duck up front of the K8, looking suitably petrified as he was flung around the sky.

The Fox is a revelation. Lands like a feather with crow brakes deployed. And flys superbly. Not overly fast, which suits me fine, but has great presence in the sky.

No faults; no tip stalls and almost too easy to land, which may come back and bite me on approach, advises the WingCo if I come in too low on the downwind and lose speed on the final turn. PS Might add the orange decals on the side for the next flight.

Bit of a b***er climbing the hill and they are in the process of planting trees. Will there be any slopes left for our children to fly little aeroplanes in future? A few years left before the lift is affected. Trees are fine and we have would have no trouble with the subsidies that go with them for "improvement to amenities" if they could, perhaps, include a nice path to the top for the not-getting-any-younger members of the Highland RC Gliding Club.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Another Day Another Hill (well Two in Fact)

As the wreckage of the Salto was consigned to the bin, another day dawned bright and North Westerly, so to Benmore we went with Mini Vector, Fox and Phase 6.

After a very promising launch, with endless lift, all of a sudden a massive downdraught and hasty landing. Somewhat alarming, considering what a brilliant slope it can be. Was it the trees or the cold air coming off the sea? Discretion won and the Fox was packed away without a flight, just as the conditions improved. It would have flown, if I had held my nerve.

Then it became blustery and rather unpleasant flying, so the Phase 6 and Mini Vector were also packed away and off we set for the Dam Lochs above Strathkanaird where the lift was smooth and stable, albeit the landing was as usual treacherous.

Commit to the skies, be brave, and all was fine. The landing, sharp turn down wind, through the sun, full flaps and reflexed ailerons, and into the back of the slope. No bother.

Three flights and time to go home. We had won the day.

PS The Salto will fly again with a new set of veneered foam wings with a sensible section. Something to keep me busy in the winter.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Oh Bu****

"Looks not too bad."

"Nothing that a little superglue..."

"Perhaps not."

"No, definitely not."

"Most definitely not..."

PS: Chinese rubbish; nice fuselage but terrible wings: flimsy (an understatement), awful airfoil, dreadful tip stall, almost unflyable, certainly not enjoyably. We shall be making some decent wings for it to Fly Again...

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Sneak Preview of New Mcintyre Machine

Well, well. What have we found hidden away in the depths of the McIntyre workshop? Is it the prototype for another human-powered aeroplane from the man who conceived and built the magnificent Airglow?

Or is it the little sister of the Dreamflight Weasel, of which one was so sadly lost on the Cat's Back a few weeks ago? (see post passim).

Yes, it's an Alula. A featherweight glider, shaped like a bird that will fly in a sheep's fart or a Force 8, of which we have quite a few, (of both) up here in the North West.

And get the whacky colour scheme, presumably to make it less attractive to sea eagles (or perhaps to aid discovery in case it goes AWOL).

Watch this space, as they say. Whatever John conceives is always: beautifully made, elegant and efficient. Well he is, allegedly, a  member of the human-powered committee of the Royal Aeronautical Society as well as the most helpful, honest and talented craftsmen you could hope to have sharing a cold, draughty former milking parlour in the Highlands.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

At Last a Good Sky (plus Sea Eagle...)

Today was a day to remember. Southerly, ish, not too cold, beautiful sky, could have been more wind but enough, and smooth, smooth, smooth.

Oh, and didn't we mention the sea eagle which took a fancy to the Excel 4004? It was love at first sight. Me, an adolescent young sea eagle looking for action; she a tasty, albeit rather large white bird with red wingtips and a sexy body. Until it decided that mating with a lump of German glassfibre would not be the best idea. He was tempted for a while, as you can see, following the plane and making plaintive squeaking noises. Alas, they were not returned.

At one point the eagle looked poised to attack, but thought better of it. So it settled instead for some gentle formation flying before peeling off.

Next up was the Reichard Elipsoid which circled gently, by which time the eagle had decided that the planes posed no threat, or perhaps it didn't fancy it as much as the Excel.

The landing was good for our area; not too many rocks, pot holes, bomb craters, sheep, deer and severe rotor. We could relax and enjoy the flight without worrying about the arrival.

The Excel notched up around 60 minutes of some of the best flying to date. The high point was screaming dive from height, a lovely long banked turn over the valley, carrying momentum all the way, before climbing back up into the clouds.

And a gentle landing, albeit with slightly shaking hands (and after thirty years of flying it's never entirely stress-free, especially the first time on a new slope.)

Finally it was time for the Phase 6. What a joy. Why would an old fart need anything faster or more aerobatic? Should last me a lifetime if I don't smash it up like the last one which totalled itself on the Dam loch north easter. The debris field was a sight to see...