Saturday afternoon saw a rare visit to Springfield to trim up Russ'sASW26 for Sungazer, being pleasantly surprised to have Andre, Michel, Rheino, Russ, Morne and Dave all enjoying some pleasant light weather flying! The winter nip (in Durban terms) was in the air despite the magic sunny weather and seemed to prove our theory that the February unpleasant and turbulent North East winds were simply a result of the "overheated" hot and sweaty time of the year. Definitely a lot more enjoyable that a month or two ago.....
RC e-HeliflyerMorne Van Der Ryst had recently joined the Umhlanga Saturday morning e-plane mob and had his ear bent about the pleasure of slope flying. Yours truly dusted off the much flown and enjoyed OD flying wing that Fed Wittstock had invented and passed on. This little plane is pretty much viceless and Morne took to it and slope soaring instantly, after binding his Dx6i to the receiver. It was an easy decision to pass on this little gem to Morne to enjoy although we were a little at a loss at suggesting a nice locally available crunchy model kit for him to build at the same time. Russ's suggestion of the Sig Ninja seems the most practical so far....
Fred had christened the little wing "Klunk" after bouncing it on the first few flights, I prefer the re-christened "Little Dolly" but never did get around to putting on the appropriate sticker, below ;-) The only changes being the replacement of Fred's original parallel chord elevons with the tapered versions, along with a well deserved re-cover.
The last few years of e-power and 2.4G have been most enjoyable, with zero issues from the Dx6i or newer DX8, except where there was finger trouble by yours truly.
Some of us parkie folk had opted to dabble in some novice aerobatics, with enjoyable success from the parkie, like the Mini Showtime, only tempered by any real hint of a breeze!
A visit to Mark Savage of Radio Active to look at other low cost options had brought forward the Eflite Diamante as a recommendation. Yours truly was not enchanted with the colour scheme and thus took too long to follow up on this craft - and even more time to complete the actual simple assembly......
The only mod Mark had recommended was some form of support for the two part undercarriage, which otherwise was prone to levering the fuselage apart on a robust landing. An old slot car controller pc board was sacrificed for the simple and light support bracket, as shown in the second picture. Otherwise the model was a pleasure to assemble with even the elevator lining up perfectly with the wing and no massaging required - same story for the fin which slotted in, spot on 90 degrees.
The model only saw the light of day well more than a year after the original recommendation, powered by a Dualsky 900 watt motor on a four cell lipo. This cheapie option was a slight irritation to fit (in hindsight) as the motor mount is a perfect fit for the Eflite power 25 and 32 options. I failed yet again (my fault) to massage a spinner to fit in balanced form and gave up on that.
A quick call to the mob to witness the maiden turned in to a total damp squib as the new larneyDX8 receiver was stone dead on arrival at the field, despite functioning fine during set up. Of course the assumption was that it must have been something else that fritzed the fancy 8000 receiver! It was with some trepidation that a replacement cheapie orange receiver and satellite were fitted instead and the fateful moment of first flight delayed for a few days.
The short story is the craft and receiver combo performed flawlessly in the fairly stiff breeze at sunset yesterday - what a pleasure to fly an e-craft that simply cuts through the turbulent air that would otherwise scupper normal e-flight. The plane was rock solid and vice less, with the control throws dramatically reduced from the manual specifications, thanks again to some more good advice from Radio Active's Mark and some useful reading on RC Groups.
After a false start to the novice aerobatics, I now look forward to trying out the Sportsmans pattern before revisiting those enjoyable Neil Allen pattern league events.