A return to model building and flying. Part 75

August 2012

It's been awhile!

It's been almost a year since I wrote anything, a year of loosing the will to live regarding modelling, it's either been windy as hell when I do get out or engine problems. but this year has brought two good competitions days weather wise so far. The first was the BMFA Festival of Flight, they do seem love these fancy names don't they, but calling a sheep a goat does not make it one, in essence it is still the Midland Area Rally. Name changes are mysterious and wonderful things in the eyes of people that think them up, but don't usually impress anyone in reality. 

The crystal ball shimmers and  I see a  vision of a future where every year there is the annual National McStuffums Buy a Model Event, Competitors have to to pay 1000000.00 yen to enter, if you can't afford it you are not serious about the event! The evens consist of of a preliminary round of consuming 50 Kilo's of burgers in a  24 hour period, then having to walk to the trade tents spaced equidistant from the centre of the arena without the aid of a toilet, antacids, pink fluids, or a cork, the latter  is considered  very unsporting and although not expressly forbidden in the rules would lead to some pretty close scrutiny of any contestant bending the rules in such a way. Naked flames of any sort are strictly forbidden for the duration of the even on safety grounds, gas masks are permitted. The contestants must then purchase a box with a picture of a model airplane on it accompanied by another box marked 'RC equipment, all at 10 times the price you would expect to pay. Points are awarded for the the biggest airplane box and the artistic merit of the picture chosen, but must containing the least contents. This requires considerable skill. The box marked RC as a juxtaposition to the the model box, must contain the the most number of bits possible, accompanied by a manual of incomprehensible complexity, extra points are awarded for, A: none of the bits actually working together B: all of the bits working but in an inexplicable way: C: the pits are such new technology that it has only been hinted at by the CERN Particle Accelerator Physicists. and can only exist in another dimension, this of course means the box is infinitely full, but will be empty if it's opened; a tough call to make for contestants and judges alike. Any contestant found actually assembling a model will be immediately disqualified, as will anyone the that doesn't  speak of the RC bits in reverential tones and incomprehensible jargon and maintain a puffed out chest stance whilst doing so; plain words are strictly forbidden, as is any hint of simplicity. The scoring is complex, and only years of eating burgers, sitting in front of a TV and reading RC magazines, will get a judge even interviewed: actually ever flying a model will mean being struck off the panel of judges and a lifetime ban. The lucky winner of the Event will receive a a customer made coffin and exclusive use of the only toilet after the event, every one else will then make the annual waddle into the the surrounding fields to relax................something!

Wait......! The crystal is clouding again.. all is going dark..... that will be ten quid deary.

This day caught me totally unawares. Waking from my slumber at 9:00 in the morning and peering bleary eyed out at what I was expecting to be the usual cloudy and cold howling gale, I was greeted with bright sunshine and ne'er a breath of wind stirring the trees. This led to a panic attack thinking the world as we know it was about to end, from which I quickly recovered whilst turning into good impression of whirling dervish and up sitting in my car an hour later complete with models and kit, washed a breakfasted, and wondering what had happened between? There following by a hasty dash up the A607 to Barkstone where I was greeted by the sight of a lot of stunned looking people wandering about mumbling, "why isn't it always like this?"

My lack of flying practice of about six months unfortunately weighed heavily on the results with engines not running right, in fact the the OS manufactured Irvine 40 parked on the front of the Bearcat, at one point got so uppity it back fired 'after' I had started it and spit the the prop, driver washer and nut of at high velocity off the end of the deck. Recovering all the bits and getting it all going again was to no avail, abd as it rubbed salt into the wounds by deciding it just was not going to throttle either. This is not unusual for that engine as it never has, even when I can get it too, it will not in the next flying session. It's been a pain in the rear for over a year and wasted an enormous amount of my time.

So out came the old Hellcat, yet again, with an original British made Irvine 40 and all was at least normal in the throttling department. But the hook decided to hang up and no amount of twanging lines and handle waving would release it. Only one thing left; a hookless landing; which I managed with some aplomb, even if  say so myself. So a good day, and not so good day, depending how you look at it. BUT, for the first time in months I was enjoying myself, so much so, I didn't have a chance to get round and see any other CL events or take any pictures. I Had forgotten the sun cream in my rush, and ended up with my usual urticaria skin rash which fortunately seems to be limited to my forearms or life would be very miserable in the summer, it's bad enough having to cover up every time the sun shines as it is. None the less it still meant a four day wait for the symptoms and itching to subside. I do pay for my good days out in a big way sometimes.

As a footnote to the OS built Irvine fiasco, it has compression like a diesel and feels like it should go like stink; but only seems to like two settings, flat out, or slow? I have sneaking suspicion it's too high a compression ration causing pre-ignition and peculiar noises in flight flat out, and possibly the prop spitting on the ground; but this doesn't square with the manufacturers instruction book on the use of fuels. Something is amiss and I don't have the time or inclination to start digging deeper. When you purchase a new engine from a reputable  manufacturer you expect it too work; in truth I have more luck with cheap Chinese engines which in effect are close copies and have never let me down in the thottling department (I would go so far as to say that I think the the carb's and NV assembly's are better thought out and a lot more adapable to a wide range of engines).After  another weekend of pissing about with it, I finally made up my mind to ditch the damned thing and stick a nearly new Mk1 SC40 back in the Bearcat. Since then it has worked out of the box and not let me down once, no startling performer, but I can live with that. I may be able to coax more out of it once I get it settled down. Think there is lesson in all this somewhere? So for now the OS/Irvine has been thrown unceremoniously back into it's box in fit of pique; where it can stay until I am in a better mood to decide whether to get rid of it or not.

Next up was my clubs Open Carrier Comp. The first of two we had organised for this year. What happened? A wind that that would have made any sensible person stay in bed that day. In the end there were four brave souls standing on the blasted heath, and one of the those was the contest director.... ! it was not the most pleasant of experiences for anyone. I have never been so frustrated at not being able to get a model down onto a deck before with the sheer number of passes over it making my abysmal score plummet to rock bottom. I will only attack the deck if I have run out of all options.... sod he score! This was one such case, ending badly with a ditch. Not a good day..., but the barbie was good.

andy zero

Andy Green's Zero - Photo: Zoe Quilter

The second club event went much better with kinder weather bordering on balmy at one time to torrential rain the next; but no storm force wind, Woohooo! during the morning the heavens decided to open and I decided to fly in it, ( I'm mad, or hadn't you guessed that already :) ) And perversely I loved it. LOL. Everyone else had scarpered for shelter. The sight of Andy green standing the the downpour stop watches in hand, saying, "rain's not, that bad, is it?" will stay with me for a long time. I think everyone enjoyed this comp I certainly did, the collective will for a stray gust of wind to upset Ian Gilbert's ridiculously long slow flights, along with Brian Hunt's creamy landing during a violent gusty weather front moving in with distant thunder from the blackening sky, are the sort of things that stick in your mind.

zoe in the rain

Zoe with very wet Bearcat - Photo Paul Breuring

More pictures of the event here

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