Monday, 31 December 2012

News Year Eve - Parlick

Managed to get a final flight in before the end of the year after a horrendous holiday weather wise (officially wettest year since records began). Was lazing around at home when I noticed that it wasn't as dark outside as normal and the rain had eased off. Time to put the Cyril on charge and try out my new Xmas present a 2nd hand Futaba 12FG transmitter.

After much faffing I arrived at Parlick which seemed a bit desolate, the roads were still streaming with water after all the bad weather we've had and even the Paragliders Wind Sock had been blown off its tree lying forlornly on the ground.

I trudged up the hill through all the mud, sweating a bit as I had on a new thermal onesy that was more than warm, it was thermo nuclear! As I crested the top of the hill, I was rewarded with a strong Westerly (40mph) and thin whisps of mist condensing out of the air as the wind hit the slope from the coast and arched overhead.

I quickly rigged the Cyril and did a range check to see if the new TX worked ok, with everything in order I chucked off with 1200g of ballast and started zipping around the sky on the lower North West bowel. Even though the wind was coming from the West the bowel which faces NW does a great job of catching the skewed wind and straightening it out to provide sublime perfect lift. The Cyril was screaming nicely and I tried out its various settings to see if they were all set up ok on the new TX, which they were. I played with my variable Snap flap, and today she seemed to like it for a change so I left it mixed it, could the new curve I have (a feature of the new TX) be helping?

All in all the new 12FG feels and flies pretty much like my old 8FG which isn't a bad thing as I copied the settings directly across, would be nice to do this electronically but the 12FG won't read the 8FG settings so I have to program it manually. I guess this is good practice for learning the new radio although it takes a lot of time. Just missing a backlight on the 12FG LCD screen, unlike the 8FG which has one. Also even though the 12FG screen is physically bigger than the 8FG it is a lower resolution, so fits less on it. Shame I had to give up the 8FG as it was bang up to date hardware wise, just some of the software features missing that the 12FG has, although the basic programming remains the same so easy enough for me to transition from one to the other.

Anyway I only managed 20 min flying before the mists started getting thicker, I was worried that I might lose it in the mist which was behind me over the landing zone, when a bit of good fortune wind blew a hole in the mist and I seized my chance to make a perfect landing. A little crow to slow her down, and then with crow off the wind was strong enough to hover her down stationary to a gentle rotor free landing in the grass. Great place to fly and land Parlick, pity its so popular with the paragliders and full size gliders otherwise it would be a great spot for F3F racing as it can handle any wind direction besides N to NE.

Happy New Year everybody and happy landings for 2013!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Picasim Video

Think I need a faster computer, my Picasim video capture using Taksi is a bit choppy, but it gives you an idea of how it all works. Danny has some better video's on his site, check them out here

Picasim from Tom Foreman on Vimeo.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Picasim on Windows

Danny Rowlhouse has made his awesome slope soaring sim available on windows, which is great for me as I don't have a smart phone. Hooked up my trusty Futaba Transmitter to the laptop and can now practice F3F in the comfort of my own home, how cool is that!

Its pretty realistic, although EM turns are difficult, reversals are easy enough, although I haven't managed to go any faster than 39.xx yet!

Have a look here

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Hawes F3F Practice - Video

Apologies for the shaky camera work, just too much wind!

Hawes F3F Practice from Tom Foreman on Vimeo.

Cold and Windy Hawes

Well I went all the way to Hawes and didn't do any flying, shame on me. I don't have any excuses apart from  not having much love for flying in 55 to 65 mph winds. I thought I'd just shoot video and take photo's instead of my more hardy compatriots, but even this was too difficult with the unrelenting wind making the camera difficult to hold and my eye streaming so much I couldn't see anything through the view finder.

Even worse was we were lucky to get Jon Edison to visit our slope and bring the course with him, so I missed out on getting some timed practise.

Rich Bago managed fastest time of the day with a 28.xx but with a crow through, Paul Upton was 2nd best with a 32.xx (also with a crow through) but the computer was predicting a 25.xx until Paul made a few mistakes, sure had the wings bending well on the Needle 124. Could probably have handled more ballast, if Paul had any more but not so sure about the wing joiner.

Keith had a problem with a flap seal catching on a wing skin, leaving one flap hanging, although he managed to expertly land it, fix it and get it flying again. A couple of others also had similar problems, don't know why maybe the wind or the cold causing problems.

Frank and Mark also flew, so well done to them, landings were tricky in that you could get blown too far back, but everyone managed who flew, as long as you picked the best spot with the smoothest air.

We saw a couple of Police on Husky trail bikes patrolling the green lanes, the farmer came up to say hello, think we owe him a bottle of Whisky now if we want to start having proper competitions up there in the future, but turned out a pretty successful day.

Pretty cold on the bases, 5 layers of clothing, goretex boots, balaclava, wooly hat and wind proof gloves were not enough, think its time to get some thermal long Johns or turn the central heating down at home!

Fastest Times – HAWES

1   RICH BAGO                     28.72
2   PAUL UPTON                  32.37
3   FRANK HULTON            33.38
4   KEITH WOOD                 34.11
5   MARK TREBLE               39.82

Keith getting ready to brave the cold wind

Flying was brisk but sparse.

Its as cold as it looks

Ronnie and Frank

Long shadows from the low autumn sun

Rich and his rarely seen Big Bird

Mark and his trusty Needle 100

Can you see me? - Jon Eddison
The warmer side of the wall