Monday, 24 May 2010

MiniVec Maiden!

After a bit of a slog up to the top of a tasty DS ridge in Shropshire, George Pilkington, Adam Richardson and I were greeted by the sight of Mike Evans smoothly carving his Vector III through some aeros in the light thermic lift.

Adam and George bolted the wings on their D40’s in short order and had them whizzing round the back within 5 minutes of arriving. The conditions weren’t there for big speeds – only just enough for continuous DS - but as usual this little model didn’t disappoint and provided plenty of entertainment.

Soon enough the MiniVec was launched off too and I quickly had the confidence to start trying to remember my (limited!) aerobatic repertoire. Mike and Adam joined in with their big Vectors and with George on the camera, some fun was had trying to get all three Vectors in the same shot at the same time – the models ended up flying around on crow for about 10 minutes!

After some more larking about I landed the MiniVec as, in keeping with other Hammond designs, this one seems to be quite happy with less throw than you would expect, so she was rated down a bit on the ailerons, and duly launched off again. With a total of about 2 hours continuous flying time, it was pretty clear that there was plenty of fun on offer from the Mini. Meanwhile Mike and Adam were trying to loop around each other’s Vectors a bit further down the slope – sounds like a mid-air waiting to happen, but in the end they just had a lot of fun and no tears thankfully!

No Sloperacer test flight is complete without a bit of DS to test the strength of the model, so I sent the MiniVec down the back and after a bit of getting used to how hot the throws feel on an aerobatic model going faster than it was designed for, the light conditions pushed the MiniVec over the ton to 101mph – and not a mm of flex anywhere – passed that test then! It’s always interesting landing a model on a DS ridge, but the MiniVec has lovely handling on crow, so thankfully that proved to be an anticlimax. All in all this model does everything you would expect it to, with excellent energy retention, accuracy and tracking. It has lots of power from both controls at the back end too, so if you’re into violent flicks and tumbles, then she’ll serve them up no bother. All in all, what’s not to like? Great looks, plenty strong, doesn’t need masses of wind, flies beautifully on the front or the back, and is a peach to land.

By now the DS was starting to look a little bit more tasty so Adam got his Erwin DSS up. That seemed to be going round pretty well, so I decided to get my Strega F3F up for some acro DS – I’m really enjoying this kind of flying at the moment with an F3F model – they are a LOT of fun in light DS! Now I’m not one to brag (much) but I’ll just say this – Erwin DSS 102mph, Strega 107mph – sorry Adam! I don’t beat him at much so when I do, I gotta get the news out!

Now it’s not like we’d had a boring day up until this point, but George decided that we all needed a wake up and when we landed we found him putting his Dynamic 80 together in the pits. Still blowing only between 10 and 15mph, this was a close call decision, but George isn’t one to shy away from doing something daft. So off she went! That DS wing section always surprises us with how well it soars off in light conditions, so George got a little bit of height on and started carving her round. Admittedly these aren’t the conditions that D80 was designed for, but she got going pretty nicely nonetheless and took the fastest speed of the day with 112mph – hey I know it’s not fast, but when you’ve pulled that out of not a lot of wind, it’s a satisfying feeling!

Still not satisfied that he had entertained us enough, George then demonstrated that the conditions were dropping off by treating us to a couple of D80 cartwheels across the top of the slope. Neither George nor the D80 were in the least deterred by this, and she was launched off again, sent round the back, where again the conditions had just dropped off too much and George once again demonstrated how to use the wingtips, nose, tailfin and elevator as landing gear in a cartwheel that Louis Spence would have been proud of. We were all a little worried about a D80 getting two arrivals like this, but fair play to the model – it had a tiny crack in the top fuselage seam, and that’s it – since fixed with cyano to no detriment at all. Thumbs up Joe Manor!

Thanks to George for getting some shots of the MiniVec and the Strega whilst I was flying – here’s a few pics to browse through…

1 comment:

  1. Nice one Zim, some not too bad shots in there huh.