31 October 2009

trick or treat?

Mist shrouds the hill all morning, and after a quick jaunt round the county for something below cloud level, a fair crowd reconvenes at Thurnham. The mist has passed, the wind has gone, and to top it all it's getting dark!

clear sky, but running short on light and wind

ornithopter flaps past

mist creeps in

see...it does show up in the dark

Simon fiddles.....

.....and launches out into the night air

....only to have to dodge an attack from a patrolling Tie Fighter

Deryck stays under the radar

but also has to take evasive action!

sod all that, let's go apple bobbing

29 October 2009

nil all draw

It's a nil wind, nil lift, nil sun day on Wednesday. Still there's a good turn out on the hill, doesn't anybody work anymore?

It's DLGs and electric all round, one flyer is a new arrival who after only 7mins of flight time with his first model, is doing loops and low passes. The whole affair even ends with a hand catch!!

the only sun glass requirement of the day

Alan tries to get a bit of lift off Paul's garlic breath

deciding the E-Hawk might fly better with the aerial attached


25 October 2009

short days, long shadows

It's a blustery, but mild day and there's a mahoosive turn out up yonder hill today. The sun's sat low on the horizon reminding us all that summer is now but a distant memory. The lift is strong out in front, but the sky is mighty crowded.

a mixed bunch of partakers

Colin gets the Flamingo away

it chooses to pose jauntily for the camera

Michael Portillo regrets leaving his shades at home

Ray gets ready for a launch in an 'Allen The Soarer' stylie

bull charges the camera, sign post jumps up at the last moment
impaling the hapless beast

Rob dreams of New York

blurry plane, blurry moon but good focus on the fence

launch officer Steve

remember Ray, there is no Fight Club

19 October 2009

hats at holly

Chilly conditions at Holly today means protective head gear for all the flyers, but can you match a hat with its owner?

full bun of lovely locks under there

Papa Smurf's going so fast he's all blurry

woven from the pubic fleece of fair maidens


12 October 2009

autumn cometh

A fine westerly morning, but rain stops play early in the afternoon.

Steve's convinced it's still summer

...as is his Discus

flown like a pro, no cracks in his gel coat

his Wildthing is a different story

full size fly over

rat tail envy

wing set for high wind work

Wildthing bling

05 October 2009

every day's a school day

Having discussed the matter for far too long, Alan and Paul finally decide set Hollingbourne as their cross country goal and choose Monday 7th Sept as the day.

Conditions show promise with an 8 to 10mph south westerly wind and plenty of sun. On the downside a high pressure is moving in from the Atlantic and there’s few cumulus in the sky.

Things get off to an interesting start, Alan launches off and the Alpina immediately heads off round the castle ignoring his every command. The search party heads off and tracks down the itnerant beast to a blackberry bush on the far side of the eastern gully. Luckily the 80s classic is unscathed but for an old wound reopened in the fuz. Such a blemish doesn’t stop a seasoned slope bum of Alan’s calibre, and after a few patches of tape we’re good to go again.

a false start

This time things go better and with Paul’s Fendon floating out into the yonder, we’re all set for an afternoon’s stroll east along the North Downs.
The going is good for the first stretch, the two lift hippy wastrels connect a lovely thermal that gets them easily over the back. High and away they push into the eastern gully with bags of altitude in hand. As the footpath drops down the scarp it’s perhaps the most challenging walking conditions with loose flint and branches littering the pathway.

With partridges and hare making startled dashes from their footfall, our intrepid stick twiddlers press on with upturned head cricking neck tendons, and barbed wire fence glancing at buttock flesh.

After the unexpected ease of rounding the castle, they come to the first gap in the ridge. The lift seems ok for skitting about at slope top height, but they’ve got to work it from the base of the slope. Head out too far and they’re making uncomfortable bed fellows with some power lines.
Paul makes a break for it over the gate and across the road, a sprint back up to the ridge sees the Fendon floundering in sink. Alan back tracks, playing the safety card. While Paul continues to fall foul of sink assisted gravity, he sees Alan make a circle. So with nothing to loose, the Fendon ploughs a long low furrow back across the gap in desperate hope.

At this height there’s not so much of a bump under the wing tip, more a tight patch of turbulence, but Paul’s laundry bill is already heavily overdrawn, so he cranks the poor beast over on the wing tip within 3 turns he’s up over the ridge and breathing again.

After such a close call he cruises the ridge while Alan staves off a full blown cornonary hiking up the hill to join him. It’s then a 20 minute wait before they can connect with a decent thermal to get them round the south east facing gully that forms the next gap in the ridge. However the two models hook into a smooth wide riser released from a harrowed field and the crossing is a simple one. They get to a safe ridge ahead of themselves with just a field of bulls to negotiate.

Easy! In the oppressive heat, the bovine spectators stay put, so Paul and Alan dash up from the valley with eyes set skyward. At this point Paul sets up the Fendon in the sky so he can round a tree, momentarily blocked from view the model has vanished when he regains a clear sightline! A stream of expletives issue forth, Alan with his mind on the job sees the Fendon diving back behind the slope. The model is a right off with the fuz in three pieces and a very dead battery.

A few hundred yards further along the Downs, Alan is tied down to just above ridge height, and by this late point in the afternoon the air has lost its buoyancy. He plays safe and calls it a day while Paul heads off to Hollingbourne to get the car.

3.2 miles travelled, and 0.75 miles short of goal, and on a lighter note it looks like the Goodwind broadband connection will be restored next week!
the price

Alan tries not to look on as Paul douses the wreck with help from his microscopic member

ready for next time - this could be your lucky day!