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!

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