No posts since May? And yet we've had some cracking flying (literally as the WC's - wing commander's - Bidule met an ignominious near total last month, of which more later).
The Elipsoid is now sold, for a remarkably good sum, which suggests this thermally, light and rather elegant Reichard electric soarer is quite sought after. And into the stable comes a 4m K21, left behind when the WC (I could think of another name for him, but won't) decided to piss off to Aboyne after years of faffing about between the blessed land of his ancestors ("sun's shining here, Adrian. What's it like in Mordor", his word for the paradise we call the West Coast.
Anyway, he had his comeuppance at the flying club near Aboyne where he chose to fly his Bidule into a fence. In his defence (ha!) he was trying to avoid a spectator who had taken fright at the sight of an engineless Bidule about to land on his head. It wasn't (it was at least 6in above him) but these split second reactions can go either way. His went into the deck, and in bits, many bits, lots and lots of bits.
But it is now back together again, thanks to the miracle of super glue and patience, stronger than ever and rearing to go. The WC, to be fair, is one of the very best pilots you can find, with years of experience in building and flying, aerobatically, slope soaring (his first love) and recently helicopters. This was just one of those days (as he used to tell me). The Bidule is scheduled to fly again very soon: "Heads!" or as they say in golf: "Fore!"
Oh, and there's a good chance we'll be going full-size gliding in Aboyne, so the move should be a positive one all round.
My last flight with the Elipsoid was far less dramatic and embarrassing, as no one was watching as I landed it very gently in a rowan tree by the river as I banked in to land. A little TLC and it was stronger than ever. These hills are not for the faint hearted or flimsy, so onto eBay it went and whoever bought it will have a lovely 2,8m glider to play with.
Until the WC departed the season had been of variable quality; some great slope soaring off the Assynt hill, and a little flat field flying with the Alpina, but it's not the same as chucking it off a slope.
And the future? Well, I can see the (Royal) Deeside Highland RC Gliding Club spending more time in the lush surroundings of Aboyne and district, where the hills are alive with the sound of gliders biting the heather, and the panting of old farts dragging their aching limbs up the kind of slopes we in the rugged West take at a gambol.