Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Nats 2016 Flying Part II

Besides E36, I flew in three other categories; catapult glider, HL glider, and P30. Catapult was a last minute decision, I just put a hook on the front of a hand launch glider I had. The glider had no DT and I was afraid of losing it on a test flight right before the contest. My first contest launch went straight up and straight down crashing in the glider pen but no damage. For the rest of the flights I used a Vartarian glider. I didn’t wait very long for what might be good thermal air and flights were pretty short.

Catapult Glider Flyers

After my official flights I tried the first glider again. Several not so good flights and then it connected with a thermal. The glider circled and drifted down the field, I took up chase in a golf cart. I was beginning to think the glider would be lost forever as it was getting rather high; but it started a downward spiral to the ground.

HL Glider Event

HL Glider which is mainly a discus launch event had some stiff competition but at least I had a glider with a fair amount of flying on it but always with short DT set. During the time period I made my official flights the sky was overcast, probably not great thermal conditions. Some of my launches were pretty good, others not so good. When I try to launch really hard my coordination seems to suffer, at least I had one flight of a minute.

My Dynomite 

The designer of the Dynomite glider I was flying Stan Buddenbohm was there as well as other top notch competitors such as Tim Batiuk and Jan Langelius . Just from a quick glance, Stan noticed my stab had a warp in it. When I stopped by later I noticed several gliders circling in a thermal, what a cool thing that was to see.

Stan Launching

Gliders in a Thermal

P30 Rubber Event

Friday which was the final day was the P30 event and the weather was really nice. Several years ago I had built the Al Lidberg beginners P30 NJAPF but just this year I added the DT and flew it with several hundred turns on the rubber motor. I flew from small fields and set the DT for no more than 30 seconds to keep it on the field. Before going to the Nats I was busy with College for Kids class and did not have a chance to test the DT for a two minute flight.  I wound the DT up much farther than I had before but this resulted in the DT deploying at just over a minute bringing my plane down too soon where at least one flight might have been a max. Still I was happy how well it flew and was worried I might lose it with a stab DT and no tracker.

My NJAPF P30 Model

Bill Kuhl

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