Monday, August 22, 2016

Too Wimpy for Competition

After my poor contest standings in a local radio control soaring contest yesterday and in free flight contests before that I have to admit my not taking chances might be one excuse I could use.  In the RC soaring contest it appeared that the longest flights were by those that flew downwind after launch while I was trying to find lift upwind. An experienced pilot told me the thermals were coming across the field and shearing off at the tree line behind us. 

With sailplanes that have better glide ratios and penetration than my Sig Riser 100, going far downwind is normal for a Supra but pilots with lesser performing sailplanes were doing it too. After crashing into the low branches of a tree with my Gentle Lady a couple of years ago I seem to have become more timid about going downwind off the field.  I watched in amazement yesterday as Ali and John S. flew over the trees for extended periods. 

In the free flight contest flying I have done recently I have no backup airplanes so if I lose one I am done for that event. In addition I have no tracker system. On my P30 airplane that has put in respectable flights I have not worked with the viscus DT system enough to be able to set it for a flight time over 2 minutes. My airplane is using stab DT which I understand is not always adequate for strong thermals to bring the airplane down. As far as finding the thermals I do not have the patience or experience yet.

NJAPF P30 Free Flight

Yes, I have plenty of excuses and could come up with more. More importantly I am having fun and learning all the time.  If it was too easy that would not be fun either, I remember flying in a lesser RC pylon racing event for a time in which I won every race for a time. That wasn’t much fun and I switched back to the more competitive event. Flying so many different aspects of model aviation no doubt lessens my focus on a particular aspect but I enjoy the variety.  

For the last two flights I switched to a different glider that turns and penetrates slightly better. On the last flight I caught some lift off launch and then went downwind over the trees.  My timer said I thought you were going to have to land two minutes ago; I came down at 4:57.  I was happy with my performance on that flight. 

Almost as much as participating in model aviation, I enjoy writing about it and sharing the success of others.  As I meet more people in model aviation they tell me they enjoy reading my blog posts. Thank you, that keeps me going.

Bill Kuhl

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