“AROUND THE HANGAR”
- Saturday, January 30 saw a few of the guys turning out for a bit of Pattern practice. In the last pattern practice, Greg R had tried an electric pattern composite model the “Adrenaline 90” however a severe weight penalty coupled with limited battery capacity meant this model struggled on the “up lines”. Today a new model was on the scene. Greg R’s reincarnation of the “ACE”. This was however an enlarged version and has been renamed “STINGER”. This model had the same power train as the Adrenaline but was 3lbs lighter! There was no shortage of power on take off and Greg was very happy with the performance. The model was not yet completely finished with more decals still to be applied.
- Club Day, Saturday February 6 saw the usual good turnout but today was something special. Kevin Hay arrived with his new Christen Eagle. I won’t give all the details as it was featured in an earlier article here. The pictures don’t do the model justice. In the “flesh” the quality of finish is typical of Kevin’s models – beautifully painted and a true reflection of the full size Pitts that this was modelled on. The paintwork is pristine. Kevin and his “sidekick” Merv Cameron unloaded the model and set about the task of assembling it. This is a process in itself. Many guy wires to rig as well as aileron linkages between the top and bottom wing. When you see the30″ XOAR prop and the spark plug leads protruding from the cowl you soon realize this is not a model but a miniature aircraft! (And not that miniature really).
After assembly, the model was fuelled, range checked and again all necessary checks were carried out by Heavy Model Inspector Merv Cameron. The big DA150 twin was fired up again and you could almost feel the earth vibrate! The anticipation from all around was growing with every revolution of the big twin. Merv guided the Christen Eagle on to the runway and we’re not sure who was the most nervous, Kevin with the sticks, Merv hanging on as Kevin gave the model a bit more throttle or the onlookers watching! It’s never easy taking off any new model with a few onlookers especially with all the money invested in a model such as this. Nevertheless Kevin’s well up to the task having done this many times!
All’s well, Merv lets go and Kevin advances the throttle and the CE is roaring along the runway! Up goes the tail and a bit more power and an uneventful takeoff is the result. However I’m sure the nerves are still playing havoc. The grins on the onlookers faces as they watch the big model take to the skies and the sound of the big twin reverbated around the field said it all. It was a beautiful model on the ground that really lit up when it took to the air. Your resident cameraman had a bit of a job keeping up with it and low fly pasts were not going to be on the agenda for these early flights. Kevin noticed some engine issues and it was decided to bring her in for a check. Nothing seemed obvious so a refuel was in order. Ah there’s the problem – the refill tube had moved from its original position and had melted on the exhaust. Off came the cowl, new fuel mounting clips were put in place and a new tube piece inserted, well clear of any exhaust. Another uneventful take off and Kevin put the CE through its paces with huge loops, big barrel rolls, stall turns and a few more thrown in. Landings were a challenge given the fluctuating wind conditions but Kevin took her home in one piece. Great job Kevin (and Merv)! Some more pictures can be found here.