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8th Mosquito 14 Day Challenge


Tony Beckett
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Tony Beckett

Jon said:-
I hadn't expected to fly today but by lunchtime the cumulus was piling up nicely in spite of the wind (forecast 10-16) so I decided to have a try.

There were some nice calm patches and I got about 2min 45 in some wide lift upwind before I messed up. Then the wind picked up so I ballasted the Vela with 24g of lead (a third of its AUW) and tried again. This gave me the confidence to stick with some lift nicely marked by a kite and some larks for a best time of 4:15.

Cheers,
Jon

Jon Whitmore, Mosquito, 27th April, 4:15

aResult.jpg

This is a for fun challenge, anyone with a hand-launch glider that conforms to the F3K (up to 1.5m) or Mosquito (less than 1m) class can post a time.
Object: Fly your F3K or Mosquito class hand launch glider for as long as possible from a flat field, the person who's time is unbeaten for 14 days 'wins' and a new challenge starts.

Rules: Fly safely. No slope soaring.

Please post your times as follows:-. Pilot Name, F3K or Mosquito class, model name, length of flight minutes and seconds, plus date of flight. Previous challenges for 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 can be seen at www.f3k.uk

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I did not expect to get out for a fly as Domestic Controller was out for the day shopping and I was on Dog sitting duty as resident canine is now close to 40kg and enjoys destroying things when bored. But at 16.00 DC arrived home early and I  threw Smile and Elf in to the car and jogged off to a field that Jon Whitmore found on the edge of the village. This is downwind  of the village and so receives the heat rejection from many dwellings when the wind is from the west. It is a very active site.
On arrival the wind was 2-4mph from the west and ideal . Threw the Elf up on a javelin trim check and  brought it down at 1m 30s as the air was good and I was clearly getting away at low level. A throw downwind caught up with the lift and at 3min  turned the wrong way twice and was down for 4m 24s. Enough to better Jon’s flight but should have done better. The lift was popping off and the next flights were all much better than still air. I caught another good one and was 3m 30s into flight when the wind changed direction to North, the air went cold and try as I might I could not find any help. Down for 4m 36s and again should have done better.
Spent the next half hour trying to find air in the Northerly but it was cold and dead. Started to rain , so packed up, Smile unflown, and returned home for F1 Qualy….hurrah Rosberg triumphs again.

Ian Middlemiss
Elf Mosquito
4m 36s
30th April late afternoon

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Nice one Ian :)

I couldn't get away in the afternoon but flew after the rain so missed you by an hour or so. When I got there the air was as smooth as butter with better-than-dead-air hang time under a large sky. Felt like the whole field was slowly ascending.

After a few minutes whatever was there went, to be replaced with strong infill (?) and the nastiest choppiest air I've ever seen under a clear sky, with the model getting thrown on its back a few times. A poor old kite was struggling too, flopping and flapping about at low altitude over the village. Best time was only 1:36 but worth coming out just for the first few minutes of delightfully smooth flying.

Jon

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Had a lunchtime session today, a bit later on than ideal so all the puffy cumulus had dispersed, but some choppy lift still there in the strong sun. The wind was 12-19mph, too much really in spite of ballast and so I struggled to get away. Finally managed 4:32 - very happy with that in the conditions. Rather frustrating in the comp though! :rolleyes:

Jon

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I decided to increase the rudder area on the Vela as it was a bit on the small side (found I was using full rudder too much) and had a quick test flight today. Happily the increased damping yields a significantly higher launch and although it's more sensitive, the thermal performance is a little better too.

Gorgeous day again here, if a bit windy. Ballasted to 100g and got one good flight of 4:50.

Jon

 

Jon Whitmore, Mosquito, 4:50, May 5th

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10 hours ago, Whitmore said:

I decided to increase the rudder area on the Vela ............ the thermal performance is a little better too.....

Nice flight.

I'm intrigued to know a little more about 'the improved thermal performance', Jon.  Can you provide more detail please?

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Hi guys, hope you don't mind me quickly asking, what is the max wind speed you go out in with the mosquito class models?

I've had the week off work and the weather here has been so sunny and warm, i thought perfect for trying to get a good time in, but the wind has pretty much stopped play all week.

Today, going buy XC weather, was 9mph gusting to 14mph, made trying to fly just not fun at all, threw my Elf all over the place. Seems like it's never calm enough out to fly. 

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6 hours ago, mikef said:

I'm intrigued to know a little more about 'the improved thermal performance', Jon.  Can you provide more detail please?

Hi Mike,

The vertical tail volume was originally a bit too small at 0.04. I've increased it to just over 0.05. While the handling was forgiving and pleasant enough, I think maybe the model was flying with more yaw in turns and so the turning sink rate suffered a bit. I now also realise it tended to slip if overbanked and give away height unnecessarily.

The rudder was also too small as a proportion of the total vertical area and so I needed large deflections for relatively small effect. I noticed that in some attitudes, particularly low and slow in turbulence, it felt like it was possible to stall the rudder. Considering the deflection angle and amount I was using it, I thought it would be less draggy to have a bigger rudder and smaller throws.

Fortunately the tail is balsa so a quick slice, CA butt joint and sand to add about 3/8" chord to the rudder solved both issues.

I've only flown an hour of so in the new configuration but the model does seem to be a bit more 'on rails' in a turn and if I'm overbanked (either through rough air or lack of skill :rolleyes:) I can pick up the wing quicker and with less height lost.

As a result the model feels more precise to fly and my first impression, albeit in windy weather, is that its a little easier to utilize lift. It is more sensitive but then that may be a slight CG change due to ballasting. I will know more when I get some dead air flying.

The more noticeable improvement is another 20 or 30 feet of launch height :) - again, I'll need dead air times and no ballast to be sure.

All of this is just based on my attempts to observe the model and relate it to theory. This model was designed about 9 months ago and reflects my thinking at the time. In fact, it was a quicky design to get something flying and really isn't 'optimised'. I'm enjoying the learning process though and pleased that a little tweak can improve things a bit. I have a 1m build on the go that I hope incorporates some of the stuff I've learned from this model.

 

Mark,

My model has a slightly higher wingloading than the Elf but is smaller so is roughly the same in penetration. If the forecast is less than 8-10mph including gusts I will be keen to be flying :) When it gets to 10mph average and gusting more, I need to add ballast to the model. I have flown it in plenty more but when you get to 15-20mph it's time to go sloping or sailing B|

My ballast is pretty crude - just a piece of lead flashing gaffer-taped to the wing but it does extend the conditions I can fly in. The sink rate is worse but it gives you the legs to find and stay with lift if it's there.

Jon

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Richard Swindells
9 hours ago, i_am_mark_evans said:

Hi guys, hope you don't mind me quickly asking, what is the max wind speed you go out in with the mosquito class models?

I've had the week off work and the weather here has been so sunny and warm, i thought perfect for trying to get a good time in, but the wind has pretty much stopped play all week.

Today, going buy XC weather, was 9mph gusting to 14mph, made trying to fly just not fun at all, threw my Elf all over the place. Seems like it's never calm enough out to fly. 

I can see that it might be no fun with the smaller models, but the lift this week has been HUGE.. especially on Tuesday and Wednesday with the wind to stir up the air.

Yesterday was a bit more tricky, cloudless sky's and what felt like an inversion layer that meant most lift I found was dying out at about 70-80 meters height.

Today looks perfect for some nice smooth lift, the sort of day where you can pick up indicators from changes in wind direction a bit more easily.

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I think that's my problem, currently my only dlg that's flying is the Elf, i need to get my Blaster and Vortex flying and concentrate on flying those, i guess i'm holding myself back by trying to currently fly with the Elf as my main model.

 

Sorry for jumping in again and going a little off topic guys.

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8 hours ago, Whitmore said:

Hi Mike,

........The more noticeable improvement is another 20 or 30 feet of launch height :) - again, I'll need dead air times and no ballast to be sure.  ...............

Thanks for the info Jon - nice to hear of success driven by experiment based on theory.  It will be interesting to see what the still air performance is like.

I told my Elf what you were doing and it insisted that we go out even though conditions were not perfect this morning.  As I feared, the wind from the woods was pretty turbulent and the Elf (98.6gms) was struggling.  There was turbulent lift and the best flight I had used two out and return thermals before the wind speed increased and I was flying with a bit of down elevator to stay still.  The air seemed to be smoother and the model was just sat there at maybe 200-250 feet in what may have been a wave effect.  A few more bits of out and return seemed to help but only a few turns each time before I was pushing forward back to the "wave".  Then some colder air came in and the lift evaporated but the Elf had done it!

Mike Fantham, Mosquito, Elf, 7:18

I then tried the Snipe (265gms no ballast, 62 mm CG) and it had no trouble skating back to me through the wind.  But it only just beat the Elf with a 7:37!

 

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Nice one Mike :)

I was flying at lunch again, there was a ton of lift there at times but I found it hard to read as I got higher and so it wasn't easy to stay with it.

I think the model has a floppy rudder spring or perhaps it's just not man enough for the bigger rudder. The previous version was probably easier to core thermals, pretty much hands off in thermal trim once decent lift was reached. The new rudder has made it a bit squirrelly - definitely a greater pilot work load - so I have some tweaking to do. Got a couple of 3mins plus and close to specked out but nothing to write home about.

Jon

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  • 2 weeks later...

i was early on Sunday at the Eurotour , Little Bentley so had an hour or so to kill before the competition began so out with Elf for a chuck. Windspeed was 2-4mph and lift was abundant. Started off with a 4.35, then 7.12 and finally 9.00 dead. Many thanks to Mike F for his cheery encouragement.

 

Ian  Middlemiss

Elf Mosquito

9m 00s

08.30 am 15 May

 

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Boffin's 9:00 has been on my mind and today looked like a chance to have a go at it so I was out before 1100 to see if the common was producing lift.  It took about an hour before I got respectable air for a 4:00 odd.  Lift seemed tight, turbulent and was well spaced.  The next hour saw a couple of sevens and a six and then I got away again, surviving a three minute scratchy climb in tricky air before I got into good stuff.  The wind seemed drop right off and I was well set at about 6 minutes but getting a little way downwind.  Loads of height, I thought, so off upwind into massive sink - couldn't find anything but sink....  8:09.  I battled on and finally got a triple out and back flight that gave 12:16.  Two and a half hours work but it paid off.

Mike Fantham, mosquito, Elf, 12:16, 22/5/2016

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Ian Titchell

After weeks of poor weather managed to get out today. After several two to three minutes flights managed to 21.30 with my F3K sabotage.  Well chuffed as its my longets flight yet

Cheers

Ian

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StraightEdge

A bit late - in terms of the current Mosquito challenge - to meaningfully post my 8:07 achieved at lunchtime today, but well chuffed as its my personal best yet!

What astonished me was that it was only my third or fourth launch after arriving at the field, the air was pretty turbulent and I'd already descended to what was usually a height of no return for the Elf, but suddenly the little bird was rising and I just went with it, with constant moderate banking, as she just circled higher and higher and moved progressively downwind until I could barely see her.  Then that was it - out of lift and down she came, elevator trimmed to 'speed' mode and just penetrated back to the field.  The 12.5g lead ballast did its job perfectly.

Then the air cooled, menacing steel-grey clouds obscured the sky, the wind veered more to the west, and we had some light rain.  I waited out the afternoon, chatting to the guys flying RC power (including Simon Jones piloting a aero-towed 1/4 scale sailplane), then called it a day when it became clear that all lift was - for me - in an effectively negative direction!

But looking forward to more good weather this week!

Jon

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