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About SlopeMe

  • Rank
    Top Poster, Master Builder, Donator
  • Birthday 01/18/1958

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  • Location
    Paul Broome. Hamilton, New Zealand.
  • Interests
    RC Soaring, Scale Sailplanes, All Grain Brewing, cooking.Foam cutting, coffee.

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  1. SlopeMe

    MDM FOX (again)

    yes Jono. Lets plan for that.
  2. SlopeMe

    MDM FOX (again)

    Hi Peter, I'm sorry about this very late reply. Yes, I think mine is the ESM Fox. It has the heavy steel wing joiner which I wanted to replace with some other much lighter one but have not done so to date. After today, I feel this to be unnecessary, as the model really needs the added weight IMO, in order to assist momentum through aerobatics. Today I went out to Rags as it was predicted to be 16-18 kts Westerly and this proved to be correct, only if anything it was a little stronger which was superb for the Fox. I had no issues launching, as I stepped down the slope about 3 metres or so to overcome the nasty little rotor that has developed (Rags guys will know what I'm talking about). The first thing I noticed was my modification to the stab incidence was pretty good. The Fox was still climbing ever-so-slightly but 3 clicks of down took care of this and she cruised around nice and level. The lift was excellent today and so permitted any aerobatics I wanted to try. She does shed off speed quite easily, as you might expect from a scale machine, but I'm used now to slippery F3B ships and so I was happy to make allowances. I'm pretty happy with this plane as she looks good in the air although does not have quite the presence of the 4 m version, which as I've discussed earlier, was not the right ship for this slope and so I've sold it. This 3.5 m version however seems about right for our Raglan slope and is quite manageable for me on my own. I had two flights today and the first landing was quite a hard one, as I was fast approaching a fence and had to decide whether to attempt to fly over it or land heavily before it. After the maiden landing several weeks ago, the landing wheel and molded housing required a small repair plus beefing up. The beefing up paid off today with the heavy landing as there was no damage at all. The second landing today was way better; one of those landings you wish your mates were watching. She assembles quickly at the slope and the wing retention bolts which screw the root to the fuselage are a good idea. I have given the elevator a lot of extra up-throw and controlled this with exponential function, so the model can be flaired quite well just prior to touch down. But it's still not an easy thing to achieve in practise when landing towards yourself in long grass. Daryl, if you're reading this, I texted you the other day, but no reply...
  3. SlopeMe

    MDM FOX (again)

    I maidened the Fox yesterday at Rags. Arrived at 11am to a SSW of 15 kts so it was too south to risk but the wind was due to move around to a SW anytime so I drove over to town for lunch. I sat at the airfield and watched the wind sock and before long it had swung around a bit to the west by 20 odd degrees, so time to get back to the slope. By 12.30 it was flyable and I decided to launch from our usual site but from down 8 metres or so to the very edge where the gorse has grown. This was to move out of the dead zone that has been created by the new gorse and weed growth. (We must have a little working bee soon and clear all this crap away so we can restore our normal launching spot to the top again). The launch was excellent with no sign of any of the stalling problems encountered at the top, the Fox climbed away nicely but needed an urgent thumb to the elevator trim as she was very much up-trimmed and required many clicks of down. I may have to move the stabiliser dowell position further up. She also required three or four clicks of right aileron, due to the less than perfect balsa kit ailerons supplied which are slightly warped. After these adjustments the model flew nicely. I tried only one gentle loop, as I noticed my elevator clevis required a squeeze with the pliers which I had neglected to bring and I didn't want to risk it popping off (er... not very nice having no elevator....!!!). The wind direction was not ideal but at 17 kts the lift was adequate and without too much turbulence. I had programmed the model with more than the "normal" control movements and with plenty of expo to ensure it would complete manoeuvres quickly if required. Not strictly scale, but more exciting to fly. I climbed away and tried a few rolls which were pretty axial and then I tried inverted flight which was excellent, due I think to the airfoil which is pretty nearly symmetrical, but on close inspection actually has a more rounded underside towards the trailing edge (I don't know what to call this but I assumed it was to improve the inverted flight characteristics) and it seems to work as the model flew surprisingly well upside down. After 20 minutes or so the wind direction seemed to improve a little more and the lift got better, allowing plenty of height to be gained before walking back to the hang gliding paddock to land. I thought this to be the best option on the day. The approach was fine even though the airbrakes provided only minimal slowing of the model, as they do not rise all that much. The landing was also good except for the wheel coming off, breaking the plywood frame inside the fuselage. A typical sign of Chinese lack of attention to strength. So this area will need to be beefed up a bit. All in all a pleasing first flight, especially knowing I will be able to launch this model on my own, unlike the bigger 4m Fox. I feel it won't be worth trying to fly it in anything less than 17-18 kts as it won't be capable of any manoeuvres worth doing, but in 20 kts plus, she will be loads of fun and looks great in the air, as it's a very pretty looking plane ( well just my personal opinion). Maybe I'll get photos next time or whenever I have some company.
  4. SlopeMe

    MDM FOX (again)

    Thanks Daryl. That looks like fun.
  5. SlopeMe

    MDM FOX (again)

    Fox all finished and ready to go! I beefed up the forward end of the fuse with chopped strand mat. Nose weight ended up at 514 gms for a CoG of 26% at the root. It feels a bit over the projected 4.8 kgs but I guess we all know they under estimate these things on the box. Will probably do a weigh-in just to satisfy my curiosity. Looks like the wind's won't be anything near a westerly until middle of next week at least. I'm going to maiden her in a different spot to normal; I don't trust our usual spot these days, too much gorse and rotor now. I drop her off the cliff near the surf club, Daryl, you will know where I mean, go straight ahead at the roundabout and park before driving down to the car park. There's a steep cliff next to the picnic table and seat. Will have to walk back quite a way to land, or down to the beach.
  6. SlopeMe

    MDM FOX (again)

    Cheers Mark. Hey Daz, which Chris do you mean?
  7. SlopeMe

    MDM FOX (again)

    Some may recall my 4 metre Fox about 3 or so years ago? I built it to fly off the slope at Raglan, heavy and strong. The theory was that it was to be a strong wind aerobatic glider but Raglan turned out to be the wrong slope for this model. In retrospect, what was really needed was a more "powerful" slope, higher and with better lift generating winds. This model was too difficult to launch on my own at 8.5 kgs and struggled to aerobat in anything under 25 kts, which I never actually got to fly it in. Sadly, I sold the model after investing quite a lot of time and $$$ constructing it. But the other day I spotted an unfinished kit on TM, a 3.5 metre Fox from a Chinese manufacturer. So I drove to Tauranga and bought the kit. A very nice glass fuselage, canopy and cockpit with sheeted and covered wings, rudder and tailplane, a spare canopy and bag of hardware bits and pieces. The fact that the projected flying weight is 4.8 kgs made it a nice replacement and the slightly smaller span seemed a more manageable size...I thought it will be perfect for Raglan. There are a few quite nice features such as airbrakes with integrated servos, so you don't have to buy and install separate servos, the wing sheeting seems to be 2.5mm instead of the usual 1.5mm. The wing joiner is a hefty 16mm solid steel rod weighing in at 1 kg. I don't mind this as the overall flying weight is still quite light and it certainly simplifies and speeds up rigging at the slope. The fuselage already has a very large cockpit frame and several formers to strengthen down the tail moment. At the moment, after spending about 20 hours, the model is almost finished. Another 2 or three hours will sew things up and then of course the wind won't play ball for three weeks. A few photos to follow.I usually put the Wog in these photos for scale, but she would not cooperate, that's her in the first one... ( no it's not my Great granny's hat ! )
  8. WOW, what a weekend! I'm totally stoked that the weather remained beautiful for the entire weekend and that everyone had their fill of flying. Thanks once again Daryl for another set of great pics and to everyone for coming. Thanks go to: Vic, Gareth, Jono, Dave, Nick, Daryl, Len, John, Simon, Marcel, Grant, Rex A, Mark and myself.
  9. Thanks Daryl, for taking such a superb set of pictures and posting them up for us to relive that awesome day yesterday. It was spectacular from start to finish, although I left the slope a little earlier than most of you. I'm sure we all had our fill of good flying as the wind gradually picked up throughout the day until reaching the very best flying at around 2.50 until about 3.30 pm when it was a good 12-15 kts straight in. The lift then was good and any of the more than 40 models could have been flown. From some period around 3.45 however it became somewhat inconsistent with short periods of bumpy air and unpredictable lift. A few of the larger models left the air at this time whilst several more robust Fusions and flying wings remained, persevering with the less than satisfactory conditions. I'm unsure what happened after 4.30 as I was heading home by then. For me, the model of the day was Marcel's Eagle, looking very realistic not only from our point of view but from that of a passing seagull, which must have been sufficiently concerned about this unusual intruder to approach it in the air with definite cries of alarm. But once both Daryl's and Marcel's Eagles were in the air at the same time it became a sight never before seen at Raglan. I found myself imagining we were witnessing something from an Attenborough documentary. I would like to express my thanks to all those who came a long distance to attend. It's often a bit of a lottery as to what conditions will await us at these meetings and I'm so glad Rags did not disappoint. And Of course there's always today ! Another glorious weather day awaits; lets hope the winds cooperate again. The only glitch experienced my me was the launch of my Ceres; at around the time when the wind was turning a bit inconsistent and the lift became sporadic, the Ceres went straight into the gorse in front of me, disconnecting only a flap clevis and leaving me with a few thorns to deal with as I was wearing jandals at the time. Otherwise an incident free day (for me). Looking forward to more sun, wind and fellowship today.
  10. Jono, great to see such a good bunch coming all the way up from Welly. Goodonyas. Daryl, I suspect the bumpy ride we had today was due to the (almost) southerly prevailing wind. It always amazes me how the Wainui Slope site can exhibit quite a different wind direction to what is happening just a few metres further inland. This is due to what I believe to be a very localised convection/sea breeze system which invariably creates the westerly we need for flying. So my theory as to the bumpy air today is that the two systems interfere with one another, both trying to prevail somewhere overhead and thus create some kind of upper altitude turbulence...........but I could be completely wrong in which case I'm talking a croc load of total crap. Having said that, the lift was pretty good most of the time, the view was spectacular and the blue sky and hot sun all added up to being another classic Raglan day.
  11. Hi Nick, you guys are very welcome at my place. We are in Hamilton on the Raglan side, 35 mins (bit longer in a camper) from Rags, you are welcome to park outside our place. We are at the end of a very quiet cul 'd sac right on a big park. You can have an extension lead from the house out to your van for power. We are doggy people and you could have come up the drive except that we have a new puppy who has not completed her vaccinations yet, so best not socialise with your dog. I have done this before for an other friend and worked well. Cheers. Paul. ph. 0274 052 961 Check out 5 Arawa st. Hamilton, New Zealand on Google Earth. you can easily see the number 5 on the big gate post from Street view.
  12. oooh wow, that's pretty definitive. Good info Daryl.
  13. Yeah Daz you just beat me to the draw! I was going to say I have succumbed to the temptation to look at the weather forecast and it certainly look great at this stage. Friday looks like a stunner too ! It's going to be sea breezes and not much prevailing. Should be awesome for most gliders. The inland temperatures for Hamilton are hotter than those for Rags at around 27, 28 degrees C and that can't be bad for helping sea breezes although as we know, the SB at Ngaranui can be very localised. Lets hope nothing changes. We deserve a fantastic weekend, I think. What a complete PEST that the "Southern Fling" is happening this weekend also. I've had a few guys say they wanted to come to Rags but will be competing at Matamata. If anyone has a gazebo they would like to set up......go for it. I think we have one somewhere? Do we need a FREQUENCY BOARD? I have one which I will bring but I guess almost all of us will be on 2.4 (except me, on 40 mhz. 40.770). I won't be changing for some time yet either, don't fancy replacing 15 receivers. Looks like we will be sharing the skies with several Parapenters and likely some Hang Gliders too, so remember, these dudes have total Right of Way at all times, which is not a problem. We simply fly with a "caller" and keep an eye directly overhead as well.
  14. Hey everyone, in case you were not on my text list yesterday which I sent out to those who's number I have: I am hosting a BBQ after Saturday's flying at my place. BBQ at PAUL'S SATURDAY EVENING from 5 onwards. ADDRESS: 5 ARAWA ST, HAMILTON BRING YOUR OWN FOOD AND DRINKS There will be a few beers I will provide, but if you want more, then BYO. My place is only 35 minutes from Raglan and easy to get to. I'm sure you will all have Google maps on your phones. Jono and Dave: if you guys would rather do something in Rags after the flying since you are staying there, maybe we get together with you guys instead ? Whatever everyone thinks ....... see you on the slope.