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This Saturday (9th) the club is running a Control Line Aerobatic competition in Pitencrief Park (The Glen) as part of “Come and Try week”.
Our event will be on the South lawn with setting up starting at 9:00 with the tent arriving 10:00 and flying 11:00 to 16:00. The plan is to have a static display and RC simulator in the tent overlooking two circles on the South Lawn. Also commentary will be provided from the tent. One circle will be used for the Bob Hutton Trophy competition and the second for display flying and “Come and Try” by visitors. It is also hoped to have catapult/hand launch gliders down wind of the circles for “Come and Try”.
The forecast is sunny and dry until 13:00 then sunshine and showers thereafter. Wind will be Westish 11mph but experience over many years is that forecast speed tends to drop as time passes up to the event.
“Come and Try”
Whitsun Bank Holiday Weekend can mean only one thing – the British Free Flight Nationals! The self indulgent joy of three days of Free Flight contests on an airfield instead of the blasted heath. The “FF Nats” is the biggest free flight jamboree in Europe with a multitude of events to suit all tastes. Three SAA members travelled South this year, David Hambley and Jim Arnott from Dunfemline and Chris Edge from the Borders, David and Jim sidestepping the usual weekend under canvas in favour of the comforts of a lodge room at Woodlands Waters caravan park. It was a problem free journey down until South Yorkshire and then a bit of a stop/start drag for the remainder. On Friday evening, there was full size aircraft activity on the airfield until about 7pm. A stiff breeze thereafter put paid to thoughts of an evening trimming session, so we settled for a relaxing walk along the woody tracks around the fishing lakes followed by a meal and bevyin Woody’s Bar.
What you have just read is the first paragraph of a comprehensive report written by Jim, if you want to continue to read it click here. Alternatively read on for an abridged version.
Saturday was dry, warm but windy and that caused problems. In the BMFA Rubber power event. Jim in his usual inimitable style put in 3 solid maximum flights to secure his place in the 3 man fly off. This was held in the teeth of a gale with extreme turbulence across the whole length of the airfield. All the flyers did extremely well to get their models away safely and Jim securing a very worthy second place. David had one attempt at a BMFA glider flight but had to ditch the model due to the strength of the wind. This resulted in a 24sec flight time so he withdrew from the contest. Chris travelled down to Barkston on the Saturday so did not fly that day.
Sunday again was dry and much less windy, the air was however treacherous. Jim dropped a couple of flights in International F1a glider so did not make his third successive Nationals win in the event. David’s day was poor with each successive round yielding shorter flights than previously. The third one was 0 with the model stacking into the ground due to an overzealous tow, he withdrew, again! Chris on the other hand handled the conditions with exemplary skill resulting in him lining up for a 3 man fly off. By this time the conditions had changed dramatically with the wind gone and buoyant air everywhere. The fly off did not produce a winner before the light was fading so a second fly off was scheduled for the next day.
Monday started dreich which turned to rain in the afternoon. Before the events of the day Chris lined up for the second fly off and produced a magnificent flight under the conditions to secure the top spot.
After this fly off the days events started. Jim maxed out in Classic Rubber and won the fly off in the rain. David’s fortunes improved and got 2 maxes in Classic Glider and an excellent 3rd flight in the conditions to secure third in that event. Jim also flew our recently deceased friend Ron Sabey’s Vintage Odenham glider to good effect overcoming towing problems to secure 3rd place in that event.
Chris quietly went about his business in International F1h glider collecting five maximum flight times putting himself into another fly off. This was a dramatic affair with Chris’s model tumbling to earth due to a malfunction at the start of the towing phase. A quick correction saw the model in the air again with 1 minute to go before the end of the fly off period. By this time the other two contenders were airborne. An excellent launch placed the model in helpful air and the model floated away to secure the top spot again for Chris. As a result of this second win Chris also won glider champion of the British Nationals.
Overall a successful three days for DMAC. and a superb boost in Chris’s preparation for the World Championships in Szentes, Hungary this August.
The Spring Bank Holiday was busy for club members with the Dunfermline Fresh Air Festival and the British Free Flight Championships running at the same time. A report on the fresh Air Festival can be read here. Great success was achieved at the Championships and a report will be posted soon.
The Fresh Air Festival was run on 27th March from 12:00 – 16:00 in the “Public Park” Dunfermline. There was a yellow warning for thunder & torrential rain at 3PM, this rain duly arrived but did not last for long. The DMAC flying and static displays were held on the upper lawn of the park with the flying circle placed adjacent to the Donald Fountain. This fountain is on a raised area and gave an excellent viewpoint for the public, at times it was reported that spectators were two deep watching the flying action below.
The flying started right on time at noon with an F2B flight by Ian Galt with his Joelle in what was a stiff breeze but flyable. At the request of the club to the Fresh Air Festival organiser Jim Stewart the grass had been cut very short to give a good take off and landing surface. The Joelle having spats on its undercarriage wheels appreciated this short grass. F2B is the international class of control line aerobatic model flying in which the pilot guides the model through a set schedule of manoeuvrers receiving points from a panel of judges in a similar way to the compulsory figures in ice skating.
John Davidson and Dave Hill, the combat boys, put on their usual spectacular flights all over the sky with the models towing paper streamers with each pilot attempting to cut his opponent’s streamer with his model’s propeller. This discipline of model flying is akin to fencing.
Eddie Burr, after some teasing by Bill Greive on the Public Address System, put on a wonderful display of special manoeuvrers and terrain following with his Bi Slob. This model being a biplane flies very slowly but has a powerful engine and so is capable of hovering and flying backwards. He also flew some of the F2b aerobatic schedule with David Hambley’s electric PT19. Eddy flew this model as David was away at the British Free Flight Championships at RAF Barkston Heath in England, more of that in another report. The first flight was rather short due to a low charge battery being accidentally used. During the second flight with a fully charged battery Eddy really put the model through its paces. Bill commentating during this flight pointed out the noise difference between Electric and Internal combustion powered motors.
Dave Hutchinson flew his semi scale twin engined Mosquito and did some pitting with Dougie Groome for other pilots.
Flying continued more or less non stop with slick changes between flyers and there were no no engine starting problems. The combat boys entertained the crowd with a bout some five minutes long during which time it was obvious that both pilots were enjoying themselves. A spectator was so amused by the gyrations of the pilots that he took a series of photographs one of which is included in this report, thanks Ian.
Bill on the PA mentioned that these bouts quite often ended with a mid air collision, no sooner had he finished speaking there was a loud bang and the models fell to earth in a shower of balsa wood bits to the great delight of the spectators. A little voice piped up and said “do it again mister”! There is some video of one of the bouts, sadly not the part where they hit each other.
Fortunately they were both old models which were pretty much at the end of their lives so the pilots were not upset by the loss. The rain then started just after 3pm and bearing in mind the forecast, particularly the lightning, we hastily packed up. The rain then stopped!
Whilst the flying was underway there were all kinds of Control Line and Radio Controlled aircraft on static display both in a tent, at the top of the hill and in the pits where the flying was taking place. Unfortunately due to the wind strength no Free Flight models could be displayed as they were too light to stay on the tables. The club prides itself on being the only club in Scotland that caters for all three disciplines of the sport so the lack of Free Flight models was a loss.
The display was ably manned by Bill Crossan who was regularly plied with burgers from the adjacent scout tent. Due to it being quite windy brown parcel tape was used to secure models and one of the club banners, this turned out to be not a good idea as we now have a very sticky banner! Mike Hambley did great job with the electronic side of the static display by setting up and looking after the photographic slide show and Radio Control Simulator which the public were encouraged to try. One mum had the greatest of difficulty prising her son off this simulator! The two Bills, Crossan and Greive, were kept busy handing out fliers and fielding questions.
There were three tables of models in the tent. Mike Rouse was displaying a 6ft span Radio Control foam slope soarer which was so tough that our visitors were encouraged to handle the model. The late Bill Browns “Bitsa” consisting of a Thunderbird wing, Crusader tail plane and an own design jet style fuselage and a simple profile model completed Mikes offering. Bill Greive had an Almost Ready To Fly (ARTF) and a ready built “Russian” style combat model on display.
Unfortunately due to position of other exhibitors tents public access to our tent was severely restricted resulting in a low number of visitors to the static display.
The Fresh Air Festival as a whole appeared to suffer from a limited number of visitors possibly due to the date clashing with other events both local and National. A change of date should be considered for next year which would remove the clash with the British Free Flight National Championships and we hear the championships of other sports.
Thanks to Bill Grieve who masterminded the whole DMAC event. Pete Brown and Dougie Groom were there at setup and helped out for the duration. Mike Rouse helped setup but then had to leave for another appointment.
Report by David Hambley with material from Ian Galt, Dougie Groome, Bill Crossan, Bill Grieve. Mike Hambley. Photo credits Mike Hambley and Ian Muir.
Tent kindly supplied by Cairney Hill Scouts, Slide show screen by Andrew Thompson Ltd, Public address system by Fife Leisure Trust (Dougie Gordon).