Friday, 16 July 2010

DS in Derbyshire and the Final Piece of the Puzzle...

I've had a couple of cool and contrasting DS trips lately. Couple of weeks ago, there were some decent conditions on Rushup Edge in Derbyshire and that resulted in quite a turn-out. Julian Bayley was there with his new Pace 2m, and Chris Cambrad was about with his new D40 - great to see Chris getting to grips with the little D40 doing some really nice smooth laps. Ray Manko turned up as well and turned some great laps with his Ocelot - first time for both these boys over the 100mph mark so a great achievement for them - top effort. Craig Lemon had his first visit to Rushup with flying buddy Theo and got to dip his Bat and his Mini Alex Carbon into the darkside - getting ready for his D40 experience as well!

Of course Rushup has it's own permanent monument in the guise of Graham Bridge, who gave his little Destiny an outing and reminded us all what a versatile model it is. The D80's were out in force as well, and I really enjoyed the smooooooth conditions with mine - tried a few set-up bits here and there and generally really enjoyed the way this thing handles when it gets shifting. It was the first time I tried out some basic aeros on the back with the D80 and it's great at it - that awesome tracking giving you loads of confidence in the model.

Crazy moment of the day was another session of MiniVec DS - the little thing whipped up to 125mph with no bother at all this time! Absolute blast! However the day wasn't without its mishaps. George had an unfortunate bit of unexpected gusting on the back which caught out his D40 and sent it in at around 130mph, although the only damage was a few cracks to the fuselage and tail - easily fixed by the Fu-meister. And Chris did the most awesome poundage when he got a little too inverted on his top turn with his D40, and pulled it straight into the ground at a fair old lick! I think he chipped his gelcoat and stripped a servo - all in all, D40s do help to make DS pretty pain-free - they are seriously hard to break!

 Fast forward a week or so, and how's that for an ubercool foamy? Congrats to my flying buddy George and his wonderfully artistic other half, Chrissie on their joint effort JW60DS. George has built this one up pretty hefty, and it's the L2 Airframes DS double spar version so we're expecting great things from it. I missed the maiden flight on Rushup Edge yesterday as I was working for the morning and early afternoon, but apparently it went off fine but felt rather unstable in pitch. As it turned out this was just due to a little too much elevator movement and nothing other than that. Adam chucked off the D80 into the fairly strong conditions on Rushup and clocked a 196mph but apparently it was super-gnarly down the back with way too much west in it, so he felt that it was going to end in tears and quit whilst ahead! So as I arrived mid-afternoon, it was decided to move to another more SW DS site.

A bit of a drive and a bit of a walk later and we found ourselves on a site which we had misunderstood to be a SW site but is actually a W/ WSW! So it was crossed off by about the same amount as Rushup, and even more gnarly down the back. Still, no point trekking up a hill for nothing and Adam threw off the trusty Tank 54" foamie (currently the 3rd fastest airframe in the world and a British design) and proved that although the conditions were very unpredictable down the back, it was working.

By the end of the day, we'd all had a good old crack at it, with Adam taking the day best with an excellently flown 227mph with the D80, me trailing a bit with a 189mph and George just getting in a bunch of set-up laps with his new JW. I very nearly did a Brunel and dug a massive tunnel when my D80 got flicked almost inverted at just over 180mph coming out of the bottom turn and I only just recovered it with quite literally less than a foot to spare. Although it was incredibly turbulent down the back due to the crossed direction it was some of the most exciting DS I have had for ages - had that tight stomach and wobbly legs after both flights, as you just had to be ON it all the time to not get caught out - great fun! Z

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