Archive for April, 2010

Slope Soaring Mullaloo

[singlepic id=231 w=320 h=240 float=right]It appears I’m in slope heaven at the moment 🙂 Westerlies had been predicted for today and a group of guys on RC Groups have been watching the forecasts keenly for a few days. They allowed me to crash the party so the car was packed this morning so I could go straight from work. Thanks guys, it was great to meet you all. It’s always so much fun sharing a hobby with like minded individuals.

The wind was westerly alright, but very weak by the time I arrived. Some of the guys had been there most of the afternoon and I believe conditions been better earlier. When I turned up there was one Alula airborne and I think a Weasel. There was an assortment of flying wings and conventional ‘tailed’ gliders stuck into the bushes waiting for the wind to pick up. I was chomping at the bit to fly so after initial introductions I assembled the Alula and launched rather nervously – Adam, that video had better be flattering!

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Slope soaring Cott's

[singlepic id=228 w=320 h=240 float=right]Had a great afternoon today. On an impulse we decided a trip to the beach was in order. said the wind was going to be rubbish (wrong direction) but I packed the Swift II and the Duck just incase.

I know some people have soared Cottesloe beach so we headed there. After some exploring, some procrastinating and eventually more exploring I worked up the courage to pull the Duck out. According to the Kestrel the wind was SSW, averaging 11kts with gusts to 16kts. There was a short section of coast, just south of the groyne and near the carpark that faces SSW, it’s really rocky and necessitates flying over the water. I would love to have used the Swift as a sniffer but I knew that it’s too draggy and lightly loaded for a wind like that. So, the Duck it would have to be.

First launch – I tried the nose first method and promptly gouged the underside on the rocks 1m in front of me. Second launch (gulp) I used the two fingers on the trailing edge method and she was off. The lift was smooth and constant, though I didn’t find it really strong and there was definite variations along the ridge due to the topography. I spent a good 15 or 20 min just leisurely beating up and down the short ridge. I found it fascinating that I was getting passable lift off the ‘main’ westerly facing stretch of coast, even though the wind seemed to be running almost parallel with it. I only explored this for 2 or 3 runs though because it meant flying almost straight out away from me.

On my final run I pushed just a little too far out to the west and the lift died. I turned back and was low on the slope. I think I could have scraped over the top by almost turning into wind and allowing it to blow back and over the lip.  Trouble is there was a couple watching me fly and they were between me and the Duck. So all I could do was deliberately slow it up and let it blow onto the rocks. A few frantic moments followed because I didn’t know if it was stuck on the rocks or in the drink. Fortunately she avoided a swim and some careful climbing had the Duck safe and sound.

It was so peaceful and soothing watching her gracefully soar the ridge, almost spiritual or hypnotic. We finished the day sitting on the beach, daring the waves to come the extra 5cm required to wet our feet. Served us right because one big ‘un came along that nearly wet our everything. I can see these slope / beach trips are going to become quite addictive 🙂 Photo credit to Kristy who took this from the groyne, looking ESE.

EVA Sport Video

This has been a long time coming but I’ve finally got  around to editing a video of my Mountain Models EVA Sport that Ben shot for me some time back. Check the 2min mark for some special commentary from Ben!