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  1. Sydney Lenssen

    Sydney Lenssen

    BARCS Member


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      25


  2. PeteMitchell

    PeteMitchell

    Committee Member


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      6

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      858


  3. Gary B

    Gary B

    BARCS Member


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      6

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      771


  4. grj

    grj

    BARCS Member


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      4

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Showing content with the highest reputation since 30/03/12 in News and Information

  1. by Sydney Lenssen, July 2018 Brian Austin has been co-opted by the BARCS Executive Committee as the new President of BARCS. His three year term of office will be confirmed by the membership at the AGM 2019. I am confident that this announcement will be welcomed by all BARCS members. Many, if not all, members know Brian from his long record of achievements and activities in the silent flight field. He is especially known for his friendly cheerful manner, always at hand to help fellow modellers. Four years ago, Brian was awarded BARCS’ Eppler Trophy, in my opinion, the association’s the most prestigious award with a long list of distinguished aeromodellers such as Eppler himself. Graham James, BARCS President at that time, wrote the following citation: In the early years of BARCS, awarding was often a relatively straightforward decision as new construction methods, materials, wing sections, control methods and launch and landing requirements demanded continuous model development. Today, many of us have moved onto moulded ready builds and the skills of the true modeller are largely being lost. One person, Brian Austin, continues to lead the field in home design and build models. Responsible over the years for many familiar Open and 100s designs, his name is now better known in electric circles not only for his planes but also as a driving force behind competition rule progression. Names like Trilogy, Alacrity and more recently the Watts series of electric gliders, of which Watts New is the latest incarnation, will be familiar to us all. For many years, he has also been the responsible for running a very successful series of competitions in Essex. Although tempted by shiny plastic models too, he continues to fashion exquisitely beautiful soarers, built to standards that most of us can only aspire. They take the latest look and feel of moulded machines, but are built in more traditional ways. Brian pilots competition winning models.
    6 points
  2. It’s that time of the year when enforced hibernation makes many of us think about repairing some of the previous season’s damage. Having had more than my fair share of dramas over the years, I have come to realise that more often than not, what seemed like a total right off at the time is with care, repairable. Every disaster is different and not all moulded models are the same, but here is what I did to rebuild a wing tip. The model is an Electra F5J 3.7 mtr thermal soarer. It’s construction is the usual hollow moulded epoxy/ carbon/foam/glass sandwich, and is of a fairly light weight. The tip in question was almost totally destroyed in the arrival when my radio link failed, which was traced to a faulty Lipo The model rolled inverted and quickly disappeared behind trees about ¾ mile from my flying field. I was fortunate that apart from the fuselage tail boom being broken, this was the only significant damage. To start I cut away as much of the remaining damage as was needed to enable me to decide if a repair could be done. This photo shows my first attempt to piece the bottom surface together with scraps of thin carbon. This did not really work. As the main spar and the aileron spar had to be replaced I decided the best repair would be a ‘traditional’ balsa rebuild, but with carbon reinforcement. I started by making a paper template from the other good undamaged tip. The template idea was also dropped as the work progressed. As the repair progressed, the missing moulded surfaces were replaced with balsa sheet and I decided to make the tip from foam. I thought this was the only way I could reproduce all the curves. I cut a rough shape from blue foam and epoxied it, with carbon pins, to the rebuilt tip. This shows the underside as I start to sand the repaired area, and foam tip, to shape. Once the repair had been sanded to an overall smooth finish I wanted to complete the repair without adding any more weight than was unavoidable. I thought that to try to replicate the models colour and finish was a waste of effort and decided to use Textreem spread tow carbon. This is the material used in many of the lightest thermal soarer’s. I coated the surface of the repair with wing skinning epoxy and laid the cloth on to it. The epoxy soaked through the cloth and I removed as much as I could by much blotting with kitchen roll paper. Once I had the epoxy evenly spread through the cloth and it all looked ‘dry’ I covered the completed area with a thickish polythene cut from a rubble sack. I then carefully pressed this down all over onto the carbon with fingers and the edge of a credit card. Once again the epoxy that remained came through the cloth to the surface. To finish off I covered the job with as many magazines and weight as I could balance on the work bench and left it overnight to cure. The picture shows the underside after sanding and trimming. I covered the underside first because the tip needed to be strong enough to allow the top surface to be sanded to its final shape. Once this was done the same process was followed which can be seen in these last two photos. The model had this repair plus a smaller one on the other tip and to the fuselage boom. The total gain in weight is approx. 40g which I thought was pretty good. The repaired tip is approx 25g heavier than the other, but as far as I could see it did not show in flight. If you are in a similar situation, I hope these few words will help you make a start on that ‘impossible’ repair. Peter Mitchell
    4 points
  3. by Sydney Lenssen Any F3J pilot who has competed in contests worldwide over the past 20 years will be saddened to hear of the recent death of Jack Sile. He played a key role in F3J’s birth. Of course many soaring pilots also helped the transition from BARCS Opens to CIAM’s thermal soaring class, recognised around the world and until recently the most popular of R/C glider events. But Jack, in my opinion, came very close to being key. Last week, 16 August 2019, Andre Borowski, my wife and I went to the celebration of the life of Jack Sile at the West Suffolk Crematorium. On the very same day in Trnava, Slovakia, New Zealand became F5J senior team champions in its first world championships, the successful three man team Joe Wurts, David Griffin and Kevin Botherway. That excellent achievement would have brought tears of joy to Jack. He was team manager for New Zealand in 1998 for the first F3J world championships at Upton in England, his team pilots Ross Biggar, Andre Borowski and Stuart Grant, helpers Sydney Lenssen, John Barnes, Nick Evans. Sad to say, the Kiwis did not reach the podium, but the first F3J world champion was the legendary Joe Wurts from the USA, who a few years later emigrated and adopted New Zealand citizenship. Jack Sile was born in Arkansas, an American citizen with a career in the US Air Force which he joined at 18 years old. Most of his military ca-reer of 27 years was spent in Britain at Lakenheath, and continued more years in non-military roles. He married his second wife Phyl. He never lost his American accent. He had a warm smile and always with an amusing tale to tell. An active “do-er” and achiever with a wide range of interests and activities. When he joined a club or organisation, he gave it extra zest, he would happily accept the job of promoting and organising. In R/C model glider flying he played a large part in persuading the FAI to adopt F3J championships. He enjoyed travelling in Europe and quickly joined the Dutch, Germans, French, Belgians, Czechs and Brits who had started annual Eurotour events, one in each country, with scores added to a league table. European contests had started with F3B, speed, distance and duration flying requiring high skills. F3J being ra-ther easier to fly in and cheaper, this new event grew rapidly. How versatile Jack was can be judged by this list: When Romania was chosen to organise the European F3J champion-ships in Deva, he was invited to act as contest director. He wrote for Soarer, the BARCS magazine and a newsletter. He started the technical lectures and demonstrations at the RAF Muse-um in North London where top pilots and designers could give their experiences and guidance. He travelled each year to Lausanne for the FAI’s Aeromodelling Com-mission CIAM sessions writing reports for Sandy Pimenoff. He was a dedicated supporter of Ipswich Town football club and worked as a steward and on the turnstiles for nearly 25 years. He was an expert guide at Duxford and helped with restoration work. When Rui Silva wanted to run the first international F3J contest in Por-tugal, Jack was appointed contest director. He was a staunch supporter of the Peterborough Winter Series which was held in all weathers and drew pilots from North and South, East and West on the first Sunday of the month from October through to April. On competition days he would go around the field with a collection box, complete with Neil Webb’s famous feather, to fund the Neil Webb Trophy to be awarded to the F3J World Champion every two years. Donations produced sufficient funds to pay for the magnificent globe of a trophy. The successful champion does need fitness to transport the heavy box and prize back home. In those days, Jack was confident that BARCS membership, already close to 900, would soon top 1,000! Sadly that was not to be! Over the last ten years Jack found the Masons, carefully choosing which Lodge to join, where he would be active in a reasonable time. At the Celebration of the life of Jack Sile, by far the biggest number of at-tendees were masons and their wives, and just a modest number of model glider pilots. Jack and his wife Phyl, married for nearly 45 years, were good people to know and very worthy in every sense of the word. SL 20/8/19
    4 points
  4. Once again it is my pleasure to collate the reports from Radioglide 2017. Held for the first time at the BMFA National Flying Centre. Photo credits are Gary Binnie, Chas Dunster, Graham James and Neil Harrison (F3K). Saturday 27 May Two competitions were held on Saturday, a combined Open class/100S at the eastern end of the field and F5B just south of the main runway. The day started with light winds and a high, thin overcast allowing milky sunshine through, there was a light shower early on but the main problem was an ever-increasing wind strength which caused us to give up early. Open/100S Report by Peter Allen (CD) 18 entries, six of whom were doubling up with both Open and 100" models and all battling the wind! We were lucky to avoid the heavy showers that affected many areas but the wind strengthened enough to make flying unpleasant and more of an endurance test so we decided to curtail the preliminaries after 3 round and move straight to a four pilot fly off. Two of the contestants managed to land in trees so the result was an unexpected but very well deserved win for Alan Morton flying his trusty Tracker. F5B Report by Greg Lewis Round 1 of the inaugural F5B event at Radioglide at the NFC started with very calm conditions. Running up to the event the forecast had been for winds gusting up to 40 mph. A band of rain passed through as forecast and Alan Flockhart had the honour of being the first pilot to fly. Alan and the next pilot Steve struggled in the humid dense air. Next to fly was Greg Lewis who posted a more respectable flight of 46 legs. Josef Mouris was the last of the top flight pilots to fly and hit 48 legs. A number of pilots missed out on landing points or used motor on time to complete the duration. As forecast the wind increased and through Round 2 the forecast high windspeed arrived. Due to the close proximity of the F5B landing spots to the hedge landing became a dangerous task. Model survival became more important than going for the landing bonus. After Round 3 two planes had been damaged and we decided to call a halt to the event after a vote from the pilots. As usual the event was close with Alan Flockhart claiming first place, with Josef Mouris pipping Greg Lewis to 2nd place by .7 of a point. Tony Wilson with some excellent flying won top spot in the intermediate class. We all agreed the NFC is an excellent field and once the seeded areas are in use we will have more scope to get the landing circles away from the hedge. Sunday 28 May ELG Report by Pete Mitchell I am very happy to say that this ‘trial’ BARCS competition run to Bartlett’s rules was a success. We were lucky with the day, it was dry with light’ish winds, sunshine rarely, and cloudy. What more could you want, typical weather for the time of year. It was all a bit daunting for me as I had persuaded the committee to give it a try, so I felt under some self-imposed pressure. Added to that, it was one of the first comps at the NFC so I did not want to be the one BMFA spoke to if their property got damaged. For those who have not yet been to Buckminster, it is worth a visit. At the moment you can only see the terrific amount of preparation work and new build that has gone on since the lease was signed. The flying field is very large, not suitable for all classes of competition, but more than adequate for most. I am sad to read some of the comments made on other forums which say it is a waste of money. I think they are wrong and all model flying is going to benefit from it in one way or another as time goes on. The comp was a little late starting due to new equipment gremlins, but after a pilots’ briefing to clarify a few points we started first flights at 10.15. Conditions at first looked as if it was going to be an easy day, but this soon changed and it became more difficult to find and stay in good air. Most pilots had at least one or even two bad rounds, some had even more. Pete Allen was the worthy winner, and prizes were presented by BMFA Chairman Chris Moynihan. The old BARCS Electroslot trophy was presented to Peter, and it looks like the Electroslot name will be used for this new set of rules. Thanks to all who supported and took part, everyone seemed to enjoy the format. And also thanks to those who voted at the following AGM to approve the adoption of these rules as BARCS own. F3K Report by Mike Fantham Entries were well up this time on the past few years at 18 - we only had 8 in 2016. This trend has been there for all of the first three F3K events this season and is a very welcome sign. Not just more entries but an improving standard of flying across the board with several new names coming in and already flying at a good standard. We were all keen to see and try the new BMFA National Centre field and we were not disappointed. Driving up from London I met increasingly overcast conditions and a fair breeze from the west. The sky cleared during the day and the wind dropped off giving ideal conditions for a contest. F3K set up camp outside what will be the main carpark for the field with the box towards the south-western corner of the property. People were able to operate from their cars but the box was constrained by the newly seeded runways which we need to stay off until the grass is established. Once we can get on there, it will be an even nicer set-up. CD Michael Stern had set up 8 rounds of 3 slots to give a relaxed contest and make sure that the newer pilots could always get an experienced timer/caller to help them through the various tasks, which can seem a bit confusing at first. Everybody enjoyed the way the contest ran and we were treated to some spectacular flying from the top pilots who seem to able to conjure some help from the slightest waft of lift with their modern high performance airframes. Some of the tasks require pilots to make fast turnarounds – a tip catch timed to the second followed but an ultra-rapid re-launch – to maximise air time. We fly to a 10 minute slot for the 1,2,3,4 task. Here, you need to make four flights as near as possible to the maxes to win – you can do them in any order so you need to think on your feet. You cannot actually do the full times as they add up to ten minutes and you need to re-launch three times on the way. The eventual winner, Michael Stern (yes the CD!) did 0:57 1:58 3:00 4:00 making a total of 9:55 in 10 minutes! In the 5 x 2:00 round he also did 9:55 but this time with four re-launches making 2:00 1:59 2:00 1:59 1:57. That’s about one second for each re-launch given that times are rounded DOWN to the nearest second. As Team Manager, it was good to see this year’s Team of Michael Stern, Mike Challinor and Richard Swindells finish in that order in the top three places. table.tableizer-table { font-size: 12px; border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; } .tableizer-table td { padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #CCC; } .tableizer-table th { background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold; } 1 Michael Stern 7000 2 Mike Challinor 6950 3 Richard Swindells 7875 4 Marin M 7273 5 Phil P 7060 6 David P 7006 7 Neil H 6879 8 Carlos DS 6111 9 Simon B 6502 Full results are in the Forum post below Nick winds up for a big launch. Matt and Phil head out for a flight. AGM The AGM was held after flying in the restored indoor dressage building, there was a good attendance by members. In memory of Robin Sleight a pair of his gliders were placed either side of the projector screen and we held a short period of silence. A BARCS Fellowship was awarded to Colin Paddon and the Eppler Trophy was awarded to Colin Paddon and Kevin Beale for their Proglide design. Two proposals were carried with no opposing votes, a committee proposal to allow re flights in Open class competitions and a member’s proposal to update the BARCS ELG rules. Monday 29 May It had rained heavily during the night and the morning dawned foggy and damp with a very low cloudbase. We spent the morning chatting, a couple of pilots launched into the low gloom but at 12:00 the decision was taken to cancel the F5J competition. And there it was, all over for another year! Shame that the weather played a part in spoiling what is always a great weekend, my thanks to all the organisers and CDs. Gary Binnie
    3 points
  5. Christmas Message from the President It was the outgoing President Sydney Lenssen who broached the proposition to me, to take on the post of President, although I think it will be difficult to fill his shoes especially in regards to his reports over the years, in the many aspects of our hobby. I think I speak for all of us, when I say that his reports on the F3J and FAI aspects of thermal soaring, under the’ Uncle Sydney’ columns, have always been interesting and informative. Although not being a member of BARCS when it was formed in 1972, I believe, having joined in 1974, I knew most of the early cadre of flyers who initiated its formation. There was a move to establish a group of like-minded flyers, to promote RC gliding in all forms, as it was felt that the SMAE did not provide a section that supported their interests at that time. It was to prove successful in as much that the SMAE, adopted the majority of the competition classes and rules into their rule book. It is an established fact, that numbers engaged in model flying of all persuasions, are falling. The age of model flyers is in the retired group mainly nowadays, so numbers flying are dwindling, due to mortality as well as loss of interest and moving on to bigger things. Only today I heard that one of the younger flyers I taught some years ago, Peter Barnes is now Vice President of Airbus America. Sydney Lenssen did compile a detailed analysis of how this is happening across Europe, in the various RC glider classes. Although some flyers do move over to electric launched classes, even they are just about maintaining numbers. The committee, is aiming to achieve closer liaisons with the BMFA, with the growth of electric gliding, bringing the classes flown by the two groups, very close together in the rules used, making this a possibility. On a final note, the weather this year has been exceptional for the summer months, rivalling 1976. It was strange that some contests, were still lost when the weather, turned sour on the days allocated to them. Let us hope that 2019, will be even half as good as 2018 was. I would like to take this initial piece, to wish all BARCS members a very Happy Christmas and New Year, on behalf of the committee and myself Brian Austin, BARCS President Chairman’s Christmas message Wise words from Brian. The first half of 2018 was a worrying time for all model flyers (especially the soaring glider community) as the proposed 400 foot height limit hung over us like a dark cloud. What was not widely known was that BMFA staff were working very hard behind the scenes to convince the CAA and EASA that the blanket limit was unrealistic and unnecessary. An exemption was granted for model aircraft and an amendment made to the Air Navigation Order. During a BARCS committee visit to Chacksfield House it was explained how the exemption was granted and that work in this area of regulation has been ongoing for many years and continues. The second purpose of the visit was to discuss closer ties between BARCS and the Silent Flight Technical Committee as Brian touched on in his message. March 2019 may (or may not!) bring the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, what effect this will have on moulded model prices is unclear at the moment. Hopefully it will have no effect at all on the ease of crossing the Channel either way, Interglide (F5J) was particularly popular with French pilots this year, they used the event as their team selection competition. Improvements at the National Flying Centre (NFC) continue, mostly to the camping area and domestic facilities, Radioglide 2019 is planned to be held at the centre again, the third time the event (and AGM) will be held there, how time flies! I wish you all the best for 2019 whether you will be standing on a cliff in a howling gale, on a hill in a gentle zephyr or sharing a farmer’s field with 200 sheep as I do! Cheers, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Gary Binnie, BARCS Chairman
    2 points
  6. For BARCS members, the late bank holiday weekend is synonymous with Radioglide, this being the 39th running of the event. Unfortunately bank holidays are also well known for poor weather and following a warm sunny week, it was almost inevitable that as we moved towards the weekend things would deteriorate. And so Saturday 26th May saw the BMFA National Flying Centre in Lincolnshire swathed in mist and low cloud with a stiff northerly breeze. The site is still developing but it has to be said has moved on a long way from the bare shell of things we saw last year. The camping field though flat and close mown, is still fairly basic offering cold running water and waste disposal but the flying area has matured well with a flat grass runway, a shelter and tables for model set up and other flying areas. There is a small toilet block in addition to the facilities within the conference building and the office and meeting rooms appear fully operational. I would recommend any member to visit and use the site, see http://nationalcentre.bmfa.org/ for more information. The venue is chosen to try and give a more central location to BARCS members and make it more attractive to competitors from a wider geographical area, a decision which seems to be vindicated given entries came from Scotland to Dorset. This year was to see a first, with no winch competitions scheduled, nonetheless there were to be four events, F5B, F3K, BARCS ELG and F5J. The F5B competition, which by the way was also being run as the British Nationals, got underway fairly early on the Saturday as, at least for the speed and distance tasks it can operate with a lower cloudbase. Because of the multi task nature of F5B, they were located to take full advantage of the runway to set up their course and enjoy the pits area for charging etc. BARCS ELG however is a standard duration event and so start was fairly leisurely as we waited for the improving conditions. Flown to 10 minute slots with a penalty applied for launches over 200 metres and a landing bonus, this makes for a fun, not too onerous competition, unless of course you are the CD and poor Pete Mitchell had more than his fair share of headaches with technology issues. Indeed, I think Pete was pleased to get to the lunch break so that some of the equipment could be swapped out and he had a chance to catch up with the scoring. For the competitors it was the blustery 20mph breeze blowing over the upwind line of trees which provided the challenge for the day. Lift was difficult to find and exploit and any hope of slope soaring the treeline was dashed by heavy turbulence. This then translated into a wicked rotor in the landing area causing planes to roll from wingtip to wingtip on approach and in many cases dumping the model in the long grass, well short of the ten metre tape. It was not a cold day and there was always the threat of sunshine throughout the day, though little actual evidence. Twenty one pilots participated, divided into four groups over the five rounds which allowed a drop score. Despite flying to these rules for the first time, eventual winner Steve Haley and son Simon, placed third, proving the adage that natural skill will out in the end. Equally gifted second placed Peter Allen was less than two points behind Steve. Despite the difficult conditions there wasn’t the carnage of models one might expect, a testament perhaps to the actual skill levels on show and the manoeuvrability of modern aileron/crow brake equipped machines. Unfortunately a deteriorating forecast persuaded the F3K contingent that their competition would be adversely affected and CD Mike Fantham took the difficult decision to cancel the event before too many had travelled. The night proved cold and wet with a heavy downpour in the small hours and flashes of lightening but the weather passed with little drama. Unlocking the gates to the site at 6.30am saw competitors for the F5J competition arriving with high expectation. In the event the conditions were similar to Saturday though the wind did increase and flying became increasingly unpleasant throughout the day. F5J is somewhat more demanding than the previous days ELG format, in that height limiters are not set for altitude, only motor run and penalties incurred for launches over 200 metres. This requires a level of experience that your scribe, for one, doesn’t have with my rounds having launch heights between 160 & 230 metres, I must do better. Peter Allen was our CD for this event and at briefing told us he was aiming at a ten round competition over two days with 6 rounds on Sunday and 4 more on Monday. The pilots from Saturday were joined by several more to give a field of 26. All the same challenges faced us regarding lack of lift, turbulence but of course made that much more interesting by having to guess at launch heights. Those that did catch lift were finding themselves downwind quite rapidly and then having to fight their way back with varying levels of success and many doing the walk of shame to retrieve models outside 75 metres. Flying continued till lunch when Peter used the break to compute the scores. As the afternoon session got underway conditions continued to deteriorate and some competitors consulted online forecasts which indicated that Monday would be much better and so a vote was taken to cut the competition to nine rounds and it was decided to complete five rounds and then fly four more on Monday starting at 9.30am. The distant rumble of thunder suggested that the right decision had been taken and indeed, later news reports of flash flooding around the country gave credence to the F3K group decision to cancel, though the rain never actually hit the field. The thunder continued throughout the evening and the small hours but when I went to open the gates in the morning the mist had once again descended and only lifted very slowly. Come 9.30, some people were ready to fly but launches into the clag were only recording heights to cloud base of 150 feet or less and given the contrast, overall visibility and topography of the site it was deemed unwise to fly. In the end the cloud didn’t really break until 11am and so flying didn’t commence until around 11.30am. But crucially the wind was far less strong and so the heavyweight models from the previous two days were retired and the lightweights were very much in evidence. By foregoing the pleasantry of a lunch break and speeding on through the rounds we were able to complete our schedule by a little after 3pm and then have a prize giving and clear the field. Most competitors now fly the same top quality models for all electric disciplines. One exception to this was Paul Wainwright who flew 2 metre in ELG and a Bitsa, flown to great effect and based around a very early F3J Corrado wing married to a T tail fus which performed so consistently that Paul took a very creditable third place in F5J. Always embarrassing for the CD but Peter Allen took top spot, flying his Tragi variants (one with an Optimus fus) with Steve Haley was in second (Pike Dynamic). So what models were flown during the weekend? Well, as has been said it was windy and turbulent for the first two days so it was often older design converted F3J models, out on the flightline. Xplorers, Shadows, Storks, Optimus, Pikes and Maxas were all on show. However once the wind dropped Optimus were joined by Pike Dynamics and Explorers plus two very interesting designs, the Infinity NG available through Flightech and campaigned by Graham Wicks and Claymore designed, kitted and flown by Rick Lloyd, son Josh and several other pilots. The Infinity NG is unusual in being a smaller 3.5metre design. It was only its second outing for Graham and he was using the competition as shake down in preparation for the Euro Championships where he currently plans to fly the model. Also, I believe, a Eurochamps model, is the Claymore designed by Rick Lloyd of Tracker fame. Sadly the Tracker is no more, following the loss of moulds in a fire at Rick workshop. Also lost were early incarnations of Claymore originally conceived as an F3J/F5J project but now configured as a totally dedicated F5J soarer. This hollow moulded airframe is beautifully constructed to a standard comparable with Eastern European produced machines. It has taken three or four years to develop but is now a very competitive and economically priced model, at around £1000 and has the distinction of being the only model, commercially designed and produced in the UK. More info available at www.liteflite.yolasite.uk. A full set of results for both competitions can be found on the forum page below One of the other advantages of using the BMFA facility is the large hall on site which allows us to run the AGM when there is already a large number of BARCS members assembled. These meetings are now little more than a formality with reports from the officers, accounts and elections of committee and none of the rule debates seen in earlier years. However, one very pleasant duty is the awarding of a Fellowship. This year the committee commended to the meeting that Pete Mitchell, our Membership Secretary, co-author of our GDPR and Compliance Manager be awarded the honour. Members will also know Peter for his CD duties and participation in numerous competitions. It was a pleasure to see the look of shock and then delight on Pete’s face. A copy of his citation and draft minutes from the meeting will be published in the members section of the website in due course. We did also invite members to participate in a Bring and Buy but there appears to be little appetite for this idea. So overall, a very successful and pleasant flying weekend. It would be good if we could get back to the huge entries of the early days. For a number of factors well outside our control, that will never happen. But for the band of dedicated pilots, the fun, camaraderie and banter will continue to hold appeal. It was great to welcome an injection of northern grit, straight talking and wicked humour into the proceedings. It also gave BARCS the opportunity to present the BARCS ELG League trophy to Brian Johnson, along with certificates to other league winners and placed pilots. Get the date for 2019 into your diaries.
    2 points
  7. Sitting snowbound in the house waiting for winter to end my mind is wandering to the flying field on a nice sunny day! Part of the daydream is plotting how to read the weather for soaring. I used to teach trainee glider pilots basic meteorology to get them through the ‘Bronze C’ examination, as part of my Private Pilots Licence training I also had to take an exam on meteorology. The difference between the two exams is that the glider pilot one is aimed at understanding soaring conditions and the PPL one is aimed at keeping the pilot out of trouble. Chatting with other F3J pilots at competitions last year showed that there are different levels of understanding of the weather, perhaps it is a boring subject but knowing a few basics might help. Right then! Meteorology is a big subject but what we need to know as model glider flyers is manageable. Being able to read a weather chart is a very useful skill and probably more obviously, reading the actual conditions by looking at the sky at the flying site is the other. Unavoidably there are some technical terms but I will try to explain them as simply as possible as we go along! Apologies if this is ‘egg sucking’ for some, it’s aimed at readers with limited knowledge of the weather. Air mass This is the term to describe a very big lump of air! We say ‘the air mass is coming off the sea’ or ‘the air mass is stable’. The British Isles has a maritime climate (greatly affected by the surrounding sea), air can come from four general directions, Polar Maritime (Iceland, cold and wet), Polar Continental (Norway, cold and dry), Tropical Maritime (Bay of Biscay, warm and wet) and Tropical Continental (France/Germany, warm and dry). There is a fifth direction now, Arctic, you can guess what kind of air comes from there! Pressure systems We have two general types of pressure systems in the UK, low pressure (also known as a depression or ‘low’) and high pressure. Air always moves from the high pressure area to the low and the systems rotate due to Coriolis force (caused by the Earth’s rotation, the same force that makes your bathwater swirl down the plug hole!) Atmospheric pressure is measured in Millibars (mb), the worldwide average sea level pressure is accepted as 1013 mb. Fronts and troughs A front is the leading edge of an air mass, several hundred miles long and up to 100 deep, there are three types, warm front, cold front and occluded front. A warm front generally means dull, damp conditions with stable air (overcast and raining!) where a cold front will be drier with unstable conditions (very likely to be thermic). An occluded front is a mixture of both warm and cold fronts. The areas behind fronts are called ‘sectors’ so we say ‘cold sector’ or ‘warm sector’. German glider pilots call the cold sector ruckseiten wetter, literally ‘back side weather’. What they mean is the back side of the cold front where thermic conditions are best. A trough is an isolated line of low pressure, often associated with stormy weather. Lapse rate Sounds technical but it is just the change of temperature with altitude! If the air mass is wet (saturated lapse rate) the temperature will decrease approximately 1.5 degrees C per 1,000 ft of altitude and if the air mass is dry the temperature will decrease 3 degrees C per 1,000 ft. The way to remember this (if you really want to!) is that drei (dry) is German for the number three. These are very general numbers, the lapse rate varies depending on the actual humidity of the air mass. Under high pressure conditions there is often an ‘inversion’, this is where the temperature increases with altitude (the reverse of normality) and prevents thermal activity or limits its height. You can often see this as a purple haze where pollution is trapped in a layer. Dew point The dew point is the temperature that water vapour condenses into visible liquid water (i.e. a cloud!). This temperature relates to an altitude so we can work out what height the cloudbase will be (using lapse rates). Technical again but very simply imagine that the ground level temperature is 10 degrees C, the air mass is saturated (humid) so it has a lapse rate of 1.5 degrees. If the dew point has been predicted as 4 degrees then the cloudbase will be 4,000 ft (10 minus 4 equals 6, 6 divided by 1.5 equals 4). The difference between the ground level temperature and the dew point is known as the dew point depression, the bigger the number the higher the cloudbase. A high cloudbase indicates large, strong thermals, in the UK a summer cloudbase of 5,000 ft is fairly normal, Germany can be up to 9,000 ft (hotter land mass) and Australia can go to 12,000 ft plus. A related rule of thumb that works well for soaring prediction is the difference between the lowest overnight temperature and the maximum expected the following day, a cold night followed by a hot day usually means strong thermals. Orographic cloud Related to the dew point is orographic cloud, this is the mist that suddenly forms on slopes (usually after we’ve walked a mile to get there!). As the air rises up the slope it cools and if the dew point at your level decreases then cloud will form suddenly from nowhere, this can be quite dangerous for full-size glider pilots, the brief is to know what direction is needed to fly away from the hill and use the compass to do that (swiftly!). Insolation Not to be confused with insulation this is the amount of sunshine (Sol) that the ground is receiving, a south facing slope gets the sunbeams directly on it and heats up, often making the air rise up the slope without any wind, this is known as Anabatic wind. It’s enough to keep full-size gliders airborne in the Alps and can be used for light weight models on our smaller slopes. Cloud cover has a marked effect on insolation, if the sun can’t heat the ground then the thermals will die or decrease in strength. Late afternoon ‘spread out’ or ‘over development’ (becoming overcast) is common in the summer and is the curse of cross-country glider pilots. Out of interest cloud cover is measured in Oktas (eighths) so a half covered sky is reported as four Oktas. Diurnal variation Diurnal variation is a posh term used to describe the difference between day and night weather conditions that are affected by the sun. Obvious effects are the drop in temperature at dusk and a drop in the wind speed which free flight model flyers wait for when they are trimming. Hot air balloonists fly in the mornings and evenings, taking advantage of the effect. Perhaps bundled in with this is ‘maximum heating’, the time when the ground has got as hot as it is going to get, usually taken as 1 or 2 o’clock, slightly after the sun has passed its highest point in the sky (Zenith!). Weather charts The nice pictures provided by the BBC and Met Office are good enough for us. This one is from June 2012. Weather chart from the BBC Chart explanation and notes: Isobars: Isobars are lines connecting areas of equal atmospheric pressure, the closer they are together the windier it will be. On the chart they are the thin black lines with the millibar value written on them. Fronts: Warm fronts are marked in red with semi-circles facing the direction of movement, cold fronts are blue with triangles (icicles!) also facing the direction of movement. An occluded front is shown in purple with a mixture of semi-circles and triangles. Trough: A trough is shown as a thick black line (over France). From this chart I would expect good soaring conditions in Brittany and Cornwall. At the flying site Armed with all this gen we have looked at the charts and decided that it will be good for a trip to the field (lots of thermals) or slope (lots of wind and thermals!). There are still some weather related decisions to be made at the flat field flying site, ‘reading the air’ is often mentioned in model soaring books. What this means is taking a few moments before launching to work out where the best lift might be and formulate a plan to get there without losing too much height. On a good day there is a thermal under every cumulus cloud, a problem for us is that the thermals rise from the ground at an angle due to the wind so their source is probably quite a distance upwind, directly underneath a cumulus cloud is likely to be sinking air. It might be worth having a look above or downwind to see if a cloud is sitting on a thermal column that is much closer. Quite a guessing game but it’s the part of the sport (F3J) that I enjoy the most and still have a lot to learn. The strength of the wind can vary throughout the day, probably the biggest effect I notice is in the lower end of the landing circuit, too much spare height with no headwind makes hitting the tape tricky! I have watched many full-size gliders land downwind, quite remarkable at an airfield with two very dayglo orange windsocks!! I hope this article is useful, there is obviously a lot more to it, meteorology is covered in the older soaring books by Dave Hughes and George Stringwell etc, not always easy to get hold of nowadays. A very good book is ‘Meteorology and Flight’ by Tom Bradbury, available from the British Gliding Association online shop or Amazon etc. If all else fails follow the birds, there’s a friendly Red Kite at my home field! Cheers Gary Binnie
    2 points
  8. My old and faithful electric Xplorer 3.5 suffered one more nasty arrival last summer. This one due to a radio fail, not me. Despite an extensive search before the model was found it spent over a week lost in an uncultivated area of hedgerow with its nose buried up to its wing in soft earth. The damage did look bad and at the time I could not face making the repair so I put the model in a cupboard and forgot about it. 6 months later a wanted request on the forum got me thinking about it again. I thought it would repair quite well. This resulted in me offering it to a couple of guys who had expressed an interest. The pictures below show the damage did nothing to encourage them to take it on, so I decided to do it myself. This model was my first all moulded electric thermal soarer, and it has always been a joy to fly so I wanted to see it usable again. The wing is f3J construction, before spread tow carbon, and is strong. A previous accident 2 or 3 years ago did damage the centre panel, and at the same time destroy both tip panels, but this latest event did more serious damage to the centre panel. These pics show some of the damage to the centre panel, it can be seen that the top and under side skins were split and although it can’t be seen here, it was subsequently found that the top carbon spar had been almost completely severed. So how to repair? I first thought of removing all the damaged skins and replacing them with balsa covered with glass cloth. But this meant that I would also have to re paint, and anyone who has seen the models I have repaired will know that I don’t like spraying. In the end I decided to retain the damaged wing skins and repair them by piecing them together. The top surface was repairable by glassing the inner side of the shell, and as I needed to cut a big hole in the underside to do this and gain access for the spar repair this decided things for me. Here you can see the underside of the panel after I cut it open. This removed the damaged skin so that I could repair it and gave access for the spar repair. To repair the spar I first had to remove the balsa webbing. I ground out as much of the balsa in the damaged area as I could safely reach with my Dremel, and then carefully finished the cleaning out with a balsa knife and Permagrit tools. Here can be seen the hole in the spar webbing and the intact lower carbon spar. I have repaired a number of models (not all mine) with broken spars. So far as I know, none of them have failed since, so this is how I do it. First I make a length carbon fibre plate to suit the size of the spar. In this case the broken spar is thin, about .8mm thick and approx. 25mm wide. To make the repair I cut a carbon plate 1mm thick and approx. 80mm long. Replacement webbing was made with built up sections of 8mm balsa. The spar replacement carbon plate is first pushed into place under the broken spar and the replacement sections of balsa webbing then forced into position between the lower good spar and the repair. Plenty of 30min epoxy is used to glue it all in-place with each part of the repair. The wing panel was carefully lined up with a mark one eyeball and left for 24hrs under weights to hold it all in place. Once the epoxy cured, I drilled a 1.5mm hole all the way through the wing from top surface to the bottom, through the spar and webbing, either side of the spar break. Into each of these hole’s I cyano a 1.5mm carbon fibre rod. The rods pin the spar repair plate to the original spar and stop any possibility of a glue failure to be caused by the shearing effect of excessive loads in flight or a heavy landing. The wing skins were pieced together, with glass cloth epoxied onto the inner surface with wing skinning epoxy. To finish the repair the surface sections must be replaced so that the monocoque strength is retained as far as is possible. I made joining strips by laying up carbon cloth with 1mm balsa, and these were then epoxied into the wing forming a ledge for the repaired pieces to be fixed to. One small area of the leading edge had disappeared in the crash so I moulded a piece of carbon cloth to the leading edge shape and this was cut to size and fixed in place with cyano. The panel is now almost ready, it’s not pretty, but it is strong, weighs approx. 25g more and will fly again. One tip panel suffered a small amount of damage and this was repaired in the same way as the centre panel. All the equipment in the model, except for the lipo and the nose spinner survived the crash, and will be used again. However the rx was replaced by Multiplex, although they could not actually find a problem with it. I will also replace the 2 Futaba S3150 rudder and elevator servos in the fuselage, with the much smaller MKS- DS6101. Nothing wrong with the 3150’s, but as they are in the fus, under the trailing edge of the wing, their weight means that more weight is required up front to balance the model. Having done a trial balance on the re-assembled model, I find this now means that I can use a smaller, lighter weight lipo and the overall result is that the total flying weight is only increased by only a small amount despite the extensive repair. When the weather warms up I can always clean it up and re-spray it :o) Update 23 Feb 2014 I have flown the model now and it is just like it was before the crash – excellent As an experiment I decided to use Solartrim to cover some of the repair, the pic shows the underside and I may try the same thing on the topside Peter Mitchell
    1 point
  9. Recently a thread on the forum sparked an interest about the formation and early days of our Association. This prompted correspondence with one of our earliest members, Martin Garnett membership number 5, who has provided the following very interesting information. He writes: I may be a lapsed BARCS member but I still keep an eye on the website to see what’s going on, and I see from the BARCS forum that the actual formation date of BARCS has arisen. I attended the inaugural meeting at Aylesbury in 1972, along with Colin Thompson and became member no 5 only because I was the 5th person to sign the attendance register. I recollect that there were 11 or 12 of us at the meeting, and I think that Dave Hughes was no 1. I attach some pdfs, relating to BARCS and its early days, and perhaps the RM Apr 1972 gives the best indication as to the first meeting. Allowing for publication deadlines, I guess this would have been in the March/April time, but I can’t find anything better than that in my archives. I went back through those Soarers I still have, and thought you might to see the attached pdf. Although not specifically mentioned inside, I assume that the 11 people on the cover were those at the first meeting. Sadly, many no longer with us, but I have the advantage of having been a uni student back in 1972 so a lot younger. I did some lateral thinking and checked my 1972 RCM&E back issues, as Geoff D wrote the thermal column in those days. See attached pdfs – the March 1972 edition gives the date as Friday 18 Feb 1972 for the inaugural meeting. This was followed up with a report in May 1972, interesting showing that 22 people attended. Perhaps BARCS membership nos 1-22? Martin has provided a few more pdf's dated after May72 which I will post later. Any more memories and info will be good to add here. RM Jul 1968.pdf RM Jan 1972.pdf RCM&E Mar 1972.pdf RM Apr 1972.pdf RCM&E May 1972.pdf
    1 point
  10. Bertrand Willmot wins Interglide 2018 After several weeks of careful planning and negotiations with Richard Thomas, owner of Hamilton Farm Airstrip, caterers, food vendor, sponsors and the printing of stickers, registration packs and score cards, BARCS Interglide 2018 was finally upon us and the weather looked set fair for a long hot weekend. The event forms the British leg of the Eurotour series and so entry had proved very popular with the sixty places taken up within days of registration opening. The French contingent were also to use the event as part of their national team selection process. Driving on to the site early Thursday afternoon, we were surprised to be met by two Dutch pilots waiting to get their caravan onto the field and within minutes they were out testing the air with DLG’s. The need to get the early preparation work installing signage, decking out the marquee and other facilities would clearly need to be undertaken with the utmost haste. The farmer was instructed to cut the long grass and the huge one hundred and sixty metre, fourteen spot flight corridor planned to best suit what was expected to be the variable wind directions of the weekend. The landowner had agreed to remove a section of fencing used to keep the sheep off his long West-East runway. We had one other small request of him, being as there were a couple of interesting football matches to be played, a television was duly hung in the marquee. From 6.30am on the Friday morning we were greeted by a rapidly filling camp site and the first electric soarers being launched into the cool still early morning air. Indeed this scene was repeated every morning with models being tested at times when most British pilots were still dreaming of their Full English. It was a busy day, not only for the organisers laying out the field but also competitors as a huge tented village started to appear along the edge of the flying area with ‘Coleman’s’ were erected to form a ‘pits’ area. The campsite itself was much improved on last year with a small toilet block and wash-up area, electric hook-ups and sectioned off pitches which lent themselves to forming the small national enclaves of British, German, French and Dutch. Practice continued all day apart from a couple of short delays as full size aircraft took off from the runway. Saturday morning dawned with a slightly sharp breeze and most competitors rigged more than one model to cover the conditions. Briefing started at 9am with CD Peter Allen welcoming our friends from across the channel and the further reaches of the UK. Nine rounds were to be flown, in three sessions of three, with a lunch break both days and a three round fly-off on the Sunday. With up to twelve pilots per slot, each round would take something around an hour and a quarter and at 9.30am, the first round was underway. Model wise, there was plenty of variety on show. From Optimus and Infinity through Xplorer and Explorer (see Acemodel.co.uk to note the difference), Shadows, Storks, Pike Perfections and Dynamics, plus one or two rarer planes El Nino, Nova and Satori. Very few v-tail these days, as lighter construction allows the use of the more stable cross-tail, although Julien Benz flew an Xplorer 3 v-tail to great effect. Good also to see one or two Claymore and Colin Paddon and Kevin Beale successfully campaigning the Proglide. At this level, it is small differences that make for a winning flight. In good conditions, all F5J gliders are capable of a ten minute flight and landings are on the nail within seconds of the slot ending. The key is the launch height and good thermal detection. To aid this, many now carry poles with mylar strips to the flight line as wind drift indicators. Fred Simiand of France flying an Infinity, threw down the gauntlet early with a 66 metre launch for his first 1000pts. The rounds carried on in the improving conditions until 1pm, when as scheduled three had been completed. Dutch pilot Frank van Melick led the way with 2976pts, Simon Thornton UK flying Optimus placed second and Fred Simiand in third on 2944 pts. For those who didn’t want to cater for themselves, there was a cold buffet available in the marquee. The French contingent lived up to their deserved culinary reputation and dined in style on the campsite. Flying recommenced at 2pm and it seemed some may have left their ‘gliding heads’ back on the lunch table. Others however were newly refreshed and Simon Thornton took over top spot, with Steve Haley’s slot win taking him into second. Frank van Melick had a poor round and dropped back to eighth. But these were fine margins and with the fifth round flown and a drop score now applying, Frank soon found himself restored to top place. Given the style of flying, it seemed everyone had one poor flight, misjudging the lift and landing early, or outside the circle when trying to return from long downwind searches. The wind was constantly swinging throughout the afternoon resulting in the landing spots being moved from one side of the flight line to the other. Flying stopped at 6pm as scheduled with the completion of round six with Frank van Melick confirmed in top spot, Simon Thornton in second and Julian Benz from Germany in third. Saturday night is BBQ night on the camp with the grill and beers supplied by BARCS. There was football on the television in the marquee, the Brits laid on some music and there was a party atmosphere around the site as the warm evening closed in. Sunday saw lighter winds but with very strong lift and three rounds went ahead as scheduled. Everyone was now launching to around the sixty to eighty metre mark and mostly getting away, though one or two did choose the wrong part of the sky and would have to return to the spot and sit it out whilst others flew out the slot. Nine rounds completed, time for lunch (which conveniently coincided with England first half thrashing of Panama in the World Cup) whilst CD Peter Allen slaved over a hot computer to determine the fly off of twelve pilots. Interestingly there were several father/son teams with Frank and Geert van Melick of Holland, Steve and Simon Haley from UK and Bertrand and Tierry Wilmot from France in the fly off. Sadly neither Guillaume and Adrian Gallet, France, or Nils and Wilhelm Winkler, Germany, made it through. Julian Benz, Germany and Simon Thornton, UK were joined by other Brits Kevin Beale and Colin Paddon (Team Proglide), along with Fred Simiand, France and Pascal van Ool, Holland. The wind, what little there was, was now blowing along the flightline, so the CD asked the pilots to decide which side to put the spots and they were moved as requested and so the three fifteen minute round fly off was underway. Slot one and everyone got away and flew the slot out with Julian taking the 1000pts closely followed by Steve and Simon Haley. Simon decided to go for it in slot two and was unlucky not to contact but Steve did and took the slot with Julian very close behind. In slot three, everybody decided it was go low or go home. Steve and Julian immediately headed in the direction that the lift indicators suggested but failed to hook up and indeed Julian recorded a zero, landing out, with Steve just managing to make it back to the circle. Many others also landed early, leaving Bertrand Wilmot to take the slot and the fly off win to be closely followed by Frank van Melick and fellow Dutchman Patrick van Ool. Back to the marquee for the prize giving. We were very fortunate in receiving support with prizes this year, led by Flightech, who provided a HET/Reisenauer motor set as first prize, Samba Models supplied servos, West London Models batteries and glues and eSoaring gadgets a height limiter and other goodies. This generosity, along with items bought by BARCS built a prize haul of over £700. And there were the Eurotour and Micro-Mold Trophies too and cups down to twelfth place and the best placed junior, Adrian Gallet from France. BARCS would like to thank all who attended and particularly those who helped with timing duties, flight line relocation and of course, Brian Austin and Syndey Lenssen who shared the duty of Jury Chair, which as it happens, proved to be fairly easy task as there were no protests. They did however have to award the ‘Unlucky B’ Spade, presented to the pilot who runs out of luck over the weekend. The recipient this year was Phil Brandreth, who having practiced on Friday only to have his transmitter fail before flying a slot in the actual competition. Despite this, Phil assisted the rest of his team with great humour and heart throughout the weekend. Indeed, that summed up the tone of the weekend, competitive but friendly, superb flying, great weather and all went very smoothly. A full breakdown of scores, further pictures and videos (thanks to Eamon Keating) can be found here. There is also a gallery of additional shots Graham James Link to forum topic below https://www.barcs.co.uk/forums/topic/7846-interglide-f5j-2018/
    1 point
  11. My good friend and mentor Dick Edmonds died last Saturday after a long battle with Parkinsons disease. Dick grew up and lived all his life in the High Wycombe area where, during WW2, the furniture manufacturing skills of the region were put to good use making Mosquitoes. The airfield of RAF Halton and Booker were also close by so after the war Dick chose to do his National Service in the RAF where he was trained as a mechanic. He became involved in various fields of modelling but was best known for his exploits in Team Racing. I first heard Dick's name when as a teenager around 1960 and part of a young group of enthusiastic control line fliers the news came that 'bloody old' Dick Edmonds has won the B class team race World Championships. Old? He must have been about 30 at the time but when you are a teenager anyone over 20 was old. Dick's approach to team racing was typical of the analytical manner in which he approached model design. Most of the top pilots of the time were using the latest ETA glow engines, very powerful but thirsty. Dick used a Frog 500 and managed to complete the whole race without a pit stop, a case of the tortoise beating the hare. I am sure that some BARCS members have more first hand knowledge than I do about Dick’s exploits at this time and it would be good to hear from them. Dick started his modelling business Edmonds Model Products in 1980 in partnership with his wife Maureen taking advantage of the then new technology of using veneer covered foam for wings in a glider application. His early designs included the classic Halton Specials and Apex which were also offered ready covered in film so could claim to be the first ARTFs on the market. He then took to manufacturing the very competitive Sean Bannister designed Algebra and continued to expand and develop the range throughout the 80s. Dick was a great innovator and used his talent to supplement his skill as a highly proficient thermal soaring pilot. I recall him experimenting with WARC breaking (back to front CROW where the flaps came upwards), canard thermal soarers and different wing sections. An interesting one was the use of a Guerney flap which he tried out on only one side of a wing in order to assess the effect. The first launch on a winch had a nasty effect on the bowels and nearly the need for a poly bag! As he approached retirement in the early 90s the market for foam/veneer models was declining as the early moulded models were being produced. Dick investigated the possibility of producing a mouldie himself but concluded, quite rightly, that if he paid himself a living wage and he could not compete on price with the products from eastern Europe with their very low wage rates. The lease on his High Wycombe premises was due for renewal and this co-incided with moving house to Little Marlow where there was a large hut in the garden from which he could continue to run EMP with little in the way of overheads. He continued to enjoy competing in thermal soaring competitions but increasing found that he could not be competitive with his home built designs against the ever improving moulded models so decided to retire from competition flying. He continued with his life long membership of the High Wycombe club coaching beginners and flying mainly electric sport and semi scale designs. This activity continued until recently when the increasing hold of Parkinsons made this impossible. Dick leaves a widow, Maureen, who was not only his partner in life but also of EMP, reminding him that it was a business from which they made a living and not just an enjoyable hobby. The funeral is at Amersham Crematorium on Thursday 26th October at 1pm.
    1 point
  12. March 30th saw the end of the BARCS 2015 League year. This revised date was adopted as part of the overall changes to the fiscal year voted on at the EGM held in May 2015, aligning membership, league year with the revised AGM date of May. So overall the 2015 season lasted almost seventeen months. In reality the majority of the competitions were completed by October 2015, though had the weather been kinder, the traditional Peterborough Winter Series might have been included. As has become quite noticeable in recent years, weather has played an increasing part in a competitions success, with some CD’s declaring Saturday and Sunday dates, to be finalised depending on local conditions. Eighty five individual BARCS members took part in at least one competition with some recording up to twelve cards in any one class. Electric launch gliders continue to dominate as the favoured launch method, reflecting the development of airframes and electronics (as well as the ageing demographic of the aeromodelling population). The F3J format maintains a strong level of interest with twenty eight participants. 100s is championed by a small but fervent band of enthusiasts, mainly located around the East of England, though events such as Radioglide and the Nationals, see a wider spread of entrants. The full set of league results can be found on the BARCS homepage under the relevant class tab but I would like to congratulate League Champions: Peter Allen, Open; Neil Jones, F3J; Kevin Newitt, 100s and RES; Graham Wicks, Multilaunch; Bob Hope, Classic; Richard Swindells, Miniglider and Brian Austin, Open and Restricted Electric Launch, on a successful 2015. The Neil Webb Trophy is awarded to the competitor with the highest cumulative score from all the leagues they have flown to be BARCS All rounder, which for the third year running goes to Mark Fozzie DeVall, having competed in Open, F3J, 100s and RES leagues. I will be contacting the winners and current holders of trophies to arrange distribution and will be posting out certificates to winners and second and third place runners up in the next weeks. The All rounder league table can be viewed by clicking here. On behalf of BARCS and all competitors I would like to say a big thank you to all the CD’s for running competitions and to clubs for making their facilities available. A full list of current event can be found in the BARCS calendar. The 2016 season is now underway and will run until March 30th 2017
    1 point
  13. It is with the greatest sadness that we have to announce the death of Nick Neve. Nick passed away peacefully on Wednesday 30th March after a short battle with cancer. Nick had a very varied and interesting life and career. A graduate of Jesus College Cambridge, he married Pat, his American wife, in August 1958. They had 3 sons, each one born in a different continent, as Nick’s distinguished Army career took them to many countries, including Australia, the USA and Germany. Nick was bitten by the aeromodelling bug whilst in the USA in the late 1950’s, where he was first introduced to model gliders being flown off towlines. Back in the UK, and living in Sussex, the modern era for towline RC gliders can be said to have truly started with the publication of an article in the Aeromodeller magazine in 1968 by Nick Neve and Chris Foss. The models depicted used single function radio equipment and were “of the free flight type of glider design” (according to an extract from George Stringwell’s book on Thermal Soaring). The well-known “BARCS Open rules” which form the basis of the subsequent FAI rules for the F3J class, owe their origin to discussions between Nick and Chris Foss around a kitchen table. Nick and his family moved to the Malvern area in 1970 and in 1973 he was one of the founder members of the Malvern Soaring Association – still one of the most active soaring clubs in the UK today thanks to Nick’s efforts as club Chairman for many years. The various raffles run by the club were legendary with prizes which included multiple cakes baked by Pat. Nick was an early member of BARCS and a Fellow and Past President of the Association. To assist RC thermal flyers, Nick set up his cottage industry of Eynhallow Avionics producing hand tow and power winches for launching – multiple versions of these are still in wide use today. For the wider Aeromodelling community, Nick acted for many years as the UK’s FAI delegate and his honours include that of a Fellow of the SMAE. Of Nick’s many achievements, the one of which he was particularly proud, was the organization of the inaugural World Championships for thermal soaring (F3J class) in 1998 at the MSA’s flying field at Upton-upon-Severn in Worcestershire. Nick was the moving force behind getting the required UK support to stage this event and he dealt with all the complex administrative arrangements pretty much single- handed. Nick and his wife Pat were excellent hosts and, over the years, welcomed many aeromodellers to Eynhallow, their home. Besides these activities, Nick enjoyed very many other varied interests. In retirement, he continued to travel widely, was a member of the Malvern Hill Fine Art Society, a member of his local racing pigeon syndicate (owning four birds which he named Mathew, Mark, Luke and John). With his late wife Pat, he devoted much time to the local parish church and in recent times found happiness again with a new companion Allie, an American lady so that Nick spent significant time in the USA over the last couple of years. Nick will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by his very many friends. By Steve Hannon, MSA Chairman and Robin Sleight, BARCS Chairman
    1 point
  14. Hi folks, I was asked to write an article on a method of weighing large model gliders after I wrote a short ‘how to’ on RC Groups, so here it is!! Introduction: My background is 20 plus years service in the Royal Air Force as an airframe engineer and a lifelong aeromodeller, I currently work in Formula 1 aerodynamics. During my military service I took up full-size gliding as a hobby, became an instructor and tug pilot but perhaps more relevant to this article I applied my aircraft engineering knowledge to maintaining club gliders as a volunteer inspector. Later I took up a full time post as a gliding instructor/tug pilot/engineer for four years (it got me away from the ‘fast jets’ and there are worse jobs!!). I have a couple of 4 metre span model gliders and recently I refitted one with new radio gear and battery. Realising that I needed to check the centre of gravity (abbreviated to c.g. from now on) I had two choices, lift it on my finger tips in the traditional way or buy one of those neat but relatively expensive balancing rigs. A third choice came to me, why not try and weigh it like I used to weigh the full-size gliders? It was a wet afternoon so I tried it and it worked!! The importance of the centre of gravity position: I would think that model pilots and builders reading this will already know about the importance of the c.g. (some people call it the ‘balance point’ and they are technically correct) and may have found out the hard way but others may not so I thought I would add a few words on the importance of the c.g.. All full-size gliders have a range of the c.g. for flight to allow for different weight pilots and the addition of water ballast in the wings and tail fin (vertical stabilizer) where it is used. Model kit manufacturers usually give a set position or also a range, like the full-size. Let’s look at the effects in flight of various positions of the c.g., they are the same for both models and full-size (ever seen ‘Flight of the Phoenix?!!). Forward c.g.: A c.g. close to the forward limit (or beyond it!) i.e. nose heavy will have the following main effects: Ineffective elevator with slow control response in pitch, may not ‘flare’ out after the landing approach unless carrying extra speed! Reluctance to stall or spin (you may be looking for this characteristic though). Difficult to slow down and trim to a normal gliding speed. Aft or rearwards c.g.: A c.g. close to the rear limit (or beyond it!) i.e. tail heavy will have the following main effects: Very effective elevator, ‘twitchy’ or uncontrollable in pitch. Worse at higher speeds on aerotow. Prone to stalling/spinning. Unable to trim for higher speeds. Gary waiting to be aerotowed. Full-size glider weight and balance: It is obviously important that full-size gliders are weighed accurately to determine the empty c.g. (calculations are done afterwards to determine the minimum and maximum cockpit weight) and, not so obviously, to determine the weight of ‘non-lifting’ parts for structural strength/load factor reasons (wing bending loads). Gliders are generally weighed when they are new and after repairs/repainting. National regulations apply. They are also sometimes weighed with the pilots on competition grids to make sure that they are not overloaded!! Once they are weighed a sheet is completed for the logbook and a placard fitted in the cockpit with the loading limitations. The process of weighing a full-size glider involves weighing all the components separately (fuselage, wings and tailplane) then rigging it and weighing it as a complete machine. Before the advent of electronic scales large spring balances were used (and probably still might be at some establishments!), the difference being the accuracy and ease of weighing a glider on top of scales rather than slinging it from above by the hangar roof beams or small cranes. Modern glider factories have load cells set into the floor, even easier. The glider is placed in the flying attitude using an inclinometer, datum lines are drawn using chalk on the floor and distance measurements are taken (or are sometimes given by the manufacturer). These distances (the ‘moment arms’) are combined with the measured weights to work out the c.g.. For more on the subject of full-size glider weighing here is a link to the British Gliding Association procedure: Gary enjoying some full size Gliding Garry Binnie
    1 point
  15. By Mike O'Neill Way back in the early 1980’s, and for a brief time only, I rubbed shoulders with some of the (then) notable names in r/c gliding: Sean Bannister, Chris Foss, George Stringwell, Chas Gardiner, Alan Head, Nick Wright, Colin Paddon, Bill Dulson, John Goldsmith, Steve Mettam, John Shaw, Dick Edmunds, Graham James(?) etc. etc. etc. I designed a big V-Tail open class model based on the E193 airfoil, with aileron control and half span, quarter chord flaps to assist rapid (and safe) launching, improved thermalling and offering phenomenal landing performance when the flaps were lowered to 90 degrees. With virtually no experience of competition flying, I took this glider up to Radioglide 84 in Scotland and, by a combination of radical/original design and incredible good fortune, scored three perfect scores in the rounds over the unsuspecting competitors, and a perfect score in the first fly-off. Nobody expected what this plane could do: in particular (as George Stringwell wrote at the time) “...the approach and landing was a joy to behold, since the plane appeared capable of maintaining a 70 degree dive with no increase in airspeed”. I was unlucky in the second fly-off in that an aggressive and well known pilot flew into me as I approached the landing circle, taking the tail off his plane and depriving mine of the energy to make the landing circle. I placed 9th instead of somewhat higher, but I did win a special design award that I cherish to this day. And me and Colin Sparrow came 3rd in the team trophy. Fast forward 30 years, one marriage and three grown up kids later (jeebers, where does the time fly) and I still liked to think I had r/c planes to fly even though I’d not had time to do it. But as I reached for my r/c stuff to do a bit of flying in my rediscovered leisure time, I realised just how much time had ravaged my ambition. My old Futaba Gold and Sanwa Black Custom sets were – apart from having duff batteries – severely short on functionality compared with the now prevalent 2.4Gz radio control equipment. And my planes hadn’t fared much better. The veneer had started to de-bond from the cores of the foam winged models, the dope and spray paint was cracked and crazed from wooden fuselages carved originally to look like sleek fibreglass moulded efforts, and the solarfilm coverings were looking decidedly dog-eared. What is more, I’m still working and I have a house to run on my own and many other commitments and I don’t have the kind of time needed to restore my old stuff right now. But I do have enough time to nip out and fly briefly and, as if to taunt me, my new house is one minutes drive from the lovely and peaceful field where the Timperley Model Club do their flying. Something had to be done. Happily, oh so happily, we now live in the age of the internet, so that I could start researching and reading up on what the modern model flyer was getting up to. Much as I drooled over the state of the art hand built Czech competition models and what they might do in the air, I didn’t want to spend that kind of money (I’d been fullsize gliding in the intervening years and a ¼ share in a fullsize K6 cost me less than one of these things would have!). But I did want if possible to find something that would fully engage my interest in soaring in the way that fullsize gliding had done. From my researches, I became aware that lithium polymer batteries were now becoming safe enough for ‘normal’ use by modellers. This opened up the possibility of an electric glider whose soaring ability would not be unduly compromised by battery weight. The idea was attractive as it would dispense with time wasting bungee deployment and allow me to set up and pack up much more quickly. And for any after work flying sessions, the sooner I could get airborne the greater my chances of catching the last of the day’s thermals before they disappeared. I really didn’t want one of the foam moulded toys (as I saw them) but began to change my view when I visited the Timperley MFC field and saw the Parkzone Radian in action. Several people had one and they all recommended it as the best option for me. I had to concede it was a pleasant, impressive and forgiving thermalling machine for light wind conditions: the electric motor simply substituted for the bungee that a pure glider would have needed. But I just fancied something a bit more challenging and potent, more able to handle windier days, and preferably larger so I could fly higher and further and still see it. And so I started searching to find out what ready to fly electric gliders people had been opting for, and what they thought of them. Nothing apart from the Radian really jumped off the pages of the various internet blogs and forums, until I came across the Art-Tech Diamond 2500. This was one of only two suitably featured RTF electric gliders I came across with a span as big as 2.5m (the other being the same design, but branded and marketed by Multiplex). And it was offered absolutely ready to go including 2.4Gz transmitter, motor, speed controller, 6 servos (2 aileron / 2 flap / 1 elevator / 1 rudder) and 4 cell LiPo battery pack, all for a little over £200: an incredible deal. It got good flight reviews and it looked great, with a cavernous fuselage (should I want to install telemetry gear, FPV , whatever) and landing wheel. There was some suggestion that the component quality was not all it could be, but it seemed to me – reading between the lines – that none of this was a deal breaker. And so I bought one, in the summer of 2014. It took a little doing, as everyone was out of stock. But my local model shop – Steve Webb Models in Frodsham – reckoned they could order one in within a week, and their price was the best I’d found also. One week later and the Diamond was in my hands. I opted to buy a decent new transmitter and receiver (Spektrum DX9) as I wanted to do some fancy mixing of flaps and aileron surfaces to replicate the equivalent functions in a fullsize flapped glider. This was not possible with the cheap Tx and Rx that came with the plane, but they could be reassigned for use with my old simple gliders (Graupner Amigo, wooden Chris Foss Centiphase, 1948 Thermalist, Algebra Open Class etc.), so they wouldn’t be wasted. It took no time to fettle the Diamond ready for flying. I put a strip of fibreglass adhesive tape along the underside of the fuselage and wing tips to protect them against abrasion, and I worked all the control surfaces to remove stiffness before putting the servos to work, in order to avoid undue strain on them. I also replaced some of the cheap tape covering the wing servo wire channels. I mastered the mixing (on the DX9) of flaps and ailerons, how to mix in elevator trim compensation, plus switchable coupled aileron and rudder, aileron differential, switchable motor disabling, and how to start timers from key controls (e.g. throttle up). And the DX9 had voice options too, which I made good use of. I set the wing surfaces up for launch, speed, cruise, thermal and landing configurations. In the last case, the flaps move down to their 45 degree limit and the ailerons move about half that in order to ensure good control response etc. though I’ll experiment with the settings in time. I removed the supplied metal weights embedded in the wingtips in order to lighten the plane. These weights are interesting. Some owners think they are there to dampen roll sensitivity and make the plane easier to fly. This may be true, but I wondered if they might also be there to reduce overloading that part of the wing where the long aluminium tube wing joiner ends and the wing becomes pure unreinforced foam. By fitting weights out near the tips, the outer panels are forced down by centripetal force when the plane is pulled out of a dive. This reduces the strain on the vulnerable section where the joiner ends. Anyway, I removed them, and I’ve flown a few loops since with no ill effect, though I have a mental note that I should be careful with all this. The plane flew really well from the word go, and all the various flying settings worked a treat. A few things though were still left to address. First, I’d read that the plastic folding prop was prone to shedding a blade due to the power being put through it. A consequence of this could be to rip the motor out of its mount. Second, there was a very audible whistling sound as the plane flew overhead and close. Lastly, the aluminium spar/joiner was very long and weighed a bit, and might also be prone to bending. I had read that a carbon fibre spar could be got that would fit perfectly and that it would save yet more weight. So I bought a decent prop and fitted it. And because I suspected the extremely blunt trailing edges to the control surfaces was the cause of the whistling, I decided to address this and to increase the wing area and control response of the plane in one move by glassfibre taping balsa trailing edge stock to wings, elevator and rudder. By doing this I added about 10% to the wing chord and aimed to reduce the drag caused by poor airflow separation at the trailing edges. The next flight proved the worth of all of this. The new prop gave a much crisper climb to height (near vertical climb out to 500 feet in just a few seconds). The whistling noise vanished, and the plane was altogether more capable when it came to slow circling flight. It seemed to fly quicker too when flaps were set at a negative (speed configuration) angle. And obviously the braking effect of flaps improved, and the elevator and rudder controls became more efficient as smaller deflections were needed to achieve the required degree of control. This was now a really capable sports glider. It was easy to thermal and was very stable in the turn (I have a set up for coupled aileron / rudder if I’m feeling especially lazy, though it barely needs it and will almost turn rudder only due to the curved up outer wing panels ). It moved across the sky very respectably and handled loops and rolls, the latter despite me opting for a 2:1 differential on the ailerons (this is primarily a soaring machine after all). It managed about a dozen bungee height climbs on a battery pack. And it could be landed at very slow speed, with a steep approach, into a confined space, and under good control. It wouldn’t compete with serious competition machines obviously, but then it was probably much easier to fly than they are (and a lot cheaper too). And it looked great, resembling a fullsize design with its generously proportioned fuselage and pleasant lines. All in all, the Diamond 2.5m gave me a plane that I could just go out and fly if I wanted, but that I could fiddle around with and fettle, should I choose too. Looking ahead, I might for example decide to make it some fancy sectioned, properly sparred longer wings for extended thermalling and distance flying. And as soon as I can source that carbon fibre tube for use as a wing joiner, I’ll definitely try out that mod. It’s good to be back flying. And it’s amazing (but not surprising) that the (flapped) features I had no option but to spend a lot of time designing and building for myself all those years ago have now become a readily available feature on an RTF plane costing so little to buy, and taking no time to make. Mike O’Neill
    1 point
  16. It is with great sadness that we report the passing, on Tuesday 6th February, of the former BARCS President and BMFA Chairman Chris Moynihan at the age of 72, following a long battle with cancer. I stood alongside Chris for many years in his roles on the BARCS Committee as Secretary, Chairman and President of the organisation. He was a man of great integrity, drive and ambition, always pushing to improve the lot of aeromodelling in the UK. He fought hard to form close alliance between BARCS and the BMFA sacrificing his position as BARCS Chairman to re-election on a platform of affiliating BARCS to the BMFA. In more recent times he has been a strong advocate for the BMFA National Flying Centre, bringing his ambition to fruition, as the Chairman of BMFA, with the opening of Buckminster Lodge last year. He also bought his negotiation skills to the table in discussions with aviation bodies including the CAA. Many will remember competing against Chris in Open Competition, where his dogged determination to win would be ably demonstrated. In particular he was well remembered in fly off situations, on occasion campaigning what might best be described as ‘behind the edge’ technology, in large floaty ‘free flight’ style models and beating more sophisticated designs. I remember him talking at a Thames Valley Silent Flyers meeting about tips on lift detection and spoke somewhat tongue in cheek, of allowing his neck hair to grow, so that he might feel the change in wind direction that indicted lift in the flat calm of a late afternoon fly off. He was winner of many competitions at national level particularly in Open and 100s classes, taking Midland League, Radioglide and Victor Ludorum awards on several occasions and was awarded a Fellow of BARCS in honour of his services to the organisation. Although primarily known for his thermal soaring prowess, his love of aviation ran deep in both modelling and full size. He was a member at the Shuttleworth Museum often attending their summer evening flying displays. As BMFA Chairman he attended many flying events and was enthusiastic about all aspects of the hobby, particularly fascinated by the skills of the free flight scale modeller and the ingenuity of the ‘heavy lift’ student challenge. He enjoyed all forms of slope soaring, organising trips to North Wales for TVSF where he would fly everything from Phase 5, 60” slope racers and quarter scale gliders through to a pioneering PSS SE5a. He also enjoyed Sunday flying of electric aerobatic and oldtimer models at his local club field, followed by some lively debate with the pub crowd on a Sunday lunchtime Chris was a Manchester lad who had great affection for the Red side of his home town. Having worked for many years in human resources, Chris’s career saw him move around the globe and in particular South America. A geography graduate, Chris had rekindled his interests in recent years and studied Geology, participating in field trips on coastal walks and welsh mountain scrambles to indulge his passion. Chris is survived by his wife Anne-Marie, two Children Paul and Amy plus grandchildren. His funeral will take place on Monday 19th February at St Joseph's Church Gerrands Cross SL9 8RY, followed by a service at Chilterns Crematorium, Amersham and a reception to follow, details will be confirmed at a later date. If you would like more information on this, please contact me directly grjinflight@yahoo.com Rest in peace Chris. Your friends will remember you. Graham James
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  17. We have just received very sad news that Dick Edmonds has passed away. We have no further information or funeral details yet. We will be updating the website as soon as we get receive any.
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