Gary Townsend

Return to Pilots View Breakdown by Year

United Kingdom United Kingdom

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28
 
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Models

Align Dominator 450L
Align Dominator 450L
Align
,
0 flights in 2017
0 flights in 2016
10 flights total
00:00:00 in 2017
00:00:00 in 2016
00:29:42 total flying time
Align Trex 550E
Align Trex 550E
Align
,
0 flights in 2017
6 flights in 2016
80 flights total
00:00:00 in 2017
00:27:00 in 2016
05:52:30 total flying time
Blade 130X
Blade 130X
Blade
,
0 flights in 2017
0 flights in 2016
6 flights total
00:00:00 in 2017
00:00:00 in 2016
00:27:00 total flying time
Blade 450X
Blade 450X
Blade
,
0 flights in 2017
5 flights in 2016
114 flights total
00:00:00 in 2017
00:22:30 in 2016
09:18:30 total flying time
Blade Nano CPX
Blade Nano CPX
Blade
,
0 flights in 2017
0 flights in 2016
0 flights total
00:00:00 in 2017
00:00:00 in 2016
00:00:00 total flying time
Goblin 700 Competition
Goblin 700 Competition
SAB Heli Division
,
0 flights in 2017
4 flights in 2016
30 flights total
00:00:00 in 2017
00:18:00 in 2016
02:18:30 total flying time
Mikado Logo 550SX
Mikado Logo 550SX
Mikado
,
0 flights in 2017
13 flights in 2016
255 flights total
00:00:00 in 2017
01:05:00 in 2016
1 days, 00:26:30 total flying time

Flights by Model

Click to see sessions

Places

Central Model Helicopter Club
Lutterworth, Leicestershire
5 Members
0 sessions in 2017
4 sessions in 2016
Leicester Model Aero Club
Lutterworth, Leicestershire
5 Members
0 sessions in 2017
0 sessions in 2016
RealFlight Simulator
,
6 Members
0 sessions in 2017
3 sessions in 2016
Whitwick Flying Field
Coalville, Leicestershire
1 Members
0 sessions in 2017
1 sessions in 2016

Sessions by Place

Click to see sessions

Latest Sessions

Sun, 3 Apr 2016 08:00
Central Model Helicopter Club
3 flights
I decided to only take the Trex 550 today so I could further test and play with the SK720BE and GPS2.

In general the unit did its job as it did before during my 1st testing session with the setup. Also, the software update in the GPS2 definitely cured the height variation that the heli was displaying during position hold during my 1st testing session. It rescued from all orientations, but there were problems. I had my spotter with me, and we only tested the rescue system when there were no people or obstacles within or close to the flying area.

Problem 1) The height at which the hard deck was activating was varying. It was set to 9 metres, but the rescue sometimes kicked in a few metres lower than this, and on one occasion during rolling it even rescued way higher, perhaps more like 15 metres at a guess.

Problem 2) This next part is quite serious in my opinion. On three occasions the hard deck rescue activated, but height and position control didn't work, resulting in the heli flying without the pilots (me in this case) stick inputs controlling the heli. Now it is true that after a hard deck rescue is complete, the pilot then needs to flick the GPS switch to manual to take back control, and for the 1st two incidents this is what I did, but for the 3rd one I flicked the wrong switch. There are various built-in safety aspects which shut off the rescue system altogether so that it doesn't attempt a rescue in the first place when something about the heli or the system isn't right, such as very high vibration, or loss of GPS lock. The flight data shows 17 to 18 satellites so the GPS lock was very good, and the super bright LED was blue. As for vibration when it gets too high, the system is supposed to make the super bright LED flash red. I have no idea what caused the position and height control to fail after the initial/orientation part of the rescue.

I've read that other rescue systems which don't use GPS control, only lockout control from the pilot for about 2 seconds, or like the NEO whereby you regain control by moving the sticks (which I've read is a problem for some). The problem with the Skookum SK720BE and GPS2 hard deck rescue that I experienced, was that you have to manually flick a switch to take back control. This is actually a good thing when the rescue system works as designed, since the heli rescues, yaws to tail-in, and holds position (but gains altitude).

Anyway I crashed whilst locked out of control during a partial and failing rescue attempt, since the GPS was not holding the helis position or controlling the height. If it had been on a 2 second preset and given control back it wouldn't have happened, but the point is, it shouldn't need to give back control if it works correctly. I understand that it's designed to disable the rescue functionality when something is wrong, but making some kind of attempt and locking out the pilot indefinitely until a switch is flicked is dangerous, and not as designed either.

More details can be found here: http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=739789 (Someone else started the thread since they also had their SK720 and GPS setup go wrong. My post is #3)
Sat, 2 Apr 2016 09:30
Central Model Helicopter Club
4 flights
Hadn't been to LMAC in about 9 to 10 months, I can't really remember how long. I decided to have a session there and say hello to everyone, but the weather forecast let me down since the rain (which wasn't even mentioned on XC, and on the BBC only barely suggested the day before) was pouring quite a bit. Understandably nobody was there, so I left after a few minutes and went to CMHC.

Started in the café having a good old natter. We spoke to Max about the basics of setting up a VBar on his new Trex 700, as he's never set up an FBL before. He even showed us the kit in the back of his car, so a few of us bowed down to it with respect to its existence.

At the field I just had 4 flights of the Goblin 700, which was nice, and it flew really well. I increased the agility slider on the VBar from 90 to 110, which has made a massive difference to how well I can do piro flips. This has also made me appreciate even more now that my control rates must not be too low.

Weather, raining for the 1st 20 minutes, then okay but cloudy. After a couple of hours the cloud cleared, but it remained pretty windy for the rest of the session.

Another session on for tomorrow, so I'd better not get too drunk.

Edit: I've been playing around with LogView Studio. It shows some of the flight data from my last flight today with the Goblin 700. The two photos each show two periods of me doing tic-tocs. One photo shows 4 parameters, and the other shows only the BEC current. The high current usage shown (not the average, but the maximums/peak) for the tic-tocs doesn't surprise me, but the very low BEC current does, which seems to peak at just over 6A and average around 2A according to the graphs, and this is during the tic-toc to the left in the graphs. The following thread (#37, #39, & #40) might identify why, brushless servos perhaps? http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=734372&page=2

(Click on the images below, then click again, and you'll get a full size image)



Fri, 25 Mar 2016 07:55
Central Model Helicopter Club
11 flights
Awesome! and I'm totally delighted with todays flying. My 1st proper session flying for many months, and I managed to reach quite good form considering. It was a little windy, but at times the wind almost dropped completely. Richard suggested I try a pirouetting loop during my last flight, which I managed to pull off, and one of them was even reasonably okay for my 1st attempts.

Moves flown: Rolling circuits, reverse piro flipping, 8 point tic-tocs, piro rainbows, piro half loops, piro full loops, and elevator pole dancers. Okay fair enough, at least half my efforts were very limited and in need of massive amounts of practice, but most of it was recognisable :)

I haven't seen Richard fly in many months either, and I have to say it, watching him fly his 700 has inspired me all over again. The power and blade noise from that machine is tremendous, even without turning the headspeed up to a very high RPM. Best move I saw him do was I think, a pirouetting tic-toc loop, left rudder, anti clockwise loop. Extremely well flown, which I scored him 9 out of 10 for, 8 at the lowest if I'm being mean.

The sun was out all day, a little chilly for the 1st hour or two, but overall very nice weather to be outside in.

See you next time, and I feel after today, I'm more back on track than I could have hoped for.
Mon, 29 Feb 2016 13:35
Whitwick Flying Field
3 flights
My 1st flights with the SK-720 Black Edition and GPS2, and overall it went very well.

I had a very slow start because I'd forgotten the exact light sequence for doing the compass swing. I had already done it indoors as a test to make sure it worked, but it needed doing again a good distance away from metal objects as the instructions state. I phoned Clare, she Googled the Skookum GPS2 manual, I did the swing, and perfect, it worked 1st time.

I popped my canopy on for the SK720 maiden fight, and unbelievably the plastic canopy clip at the bottom snapped, so I continued to fly without a canopy. Besides the fact that I like how much better I can see the heli with the canopy on, the only thing that really bothered me was the very long floppy battery/esc lead that was flopping around during tic-tocs.

I tried all 4 of the GPS2 features I have set (using 2 three position switches on my DX9), and overall I was very impressed.

Hard Deck) I only tested this from an upright orientation for this first mini testing session, but I gradually increased the rate of descent, and it reacted very well by quickly gaining height and rotating to tail in. I started off with it set to 15 metres, I then lowered it to 7, and then went back up to 9 metres. 7 seemed significantly lower than I thought it would, so I now think the minimum setting of 5 is easily low enough.

Rescue Now) I pushed it a little further with this. After first doing the very basic tests like I did for the Hard Deck, I then gained height, flipped to inverted, and flicked the switch, and Wow, it aggressively rolled to upright, rotated to tail in, and held position. That was fun, I only wish I'd had the bottle to fly through the Hard Deck inverted, but that would have perhaps been a little premature, since it's a good idea to check the inflight vibration score before pushing it even further.

Position Hold) The Position Hold needed the gain lowering as it was bouncing like the tail does when the gain's too high, but it became nice and steady after lowering the value.

Return Home) I was surprised to find myself feeling nervous after switching to Return Home. It just seemed weird watching it fly by itself LOL, but it did so very well.

FBL Mounting) I've used the super soft anti-vibration kit (the foam is quite thick and very soft) which I was very sceptical about at first. The heli with all the settings and gains set to the defaults flew great, I even did a gentle piro-flip high up. It'll no doubt need fine tuning once I gain confidence and get into it. The vibration score in the software which is measured on a scale of 1 to 10, was just 0.1 on the bench, and the target is to aim for less than 5, so I might very well try a harder mounting which lots of people do anyway. I guess the super soft mounting kit is for helis with very high (extreme even) levels of vibration. Anyway I haven't looked at the inflight vibration score yet, so I'll have to see.

Edit: I've just checked it, and the last flight recorded 0.7 for the vibration score. The last flight included 2 to 3 inverted rescue now tests, and some tic-tocs. So how good is that :) time for a more solid mounting perhaps.

So, a new canopy clip, some nice weather, some tinkering with the settings perhaps, and all should be perfect!
Sun, 28 Feb 2016 20:10
RealFlight Simulator
0 flights
I've been practicing my all-time favourite move so far, reverse piro flipping. Okay yeah it's very repetitive and far less skilful than many of the much more complex manoeuvres that exist, but it suits me very nicely :) Simple, can be done fast, and ends in a crash :)

Edit: For me the smoothest playback by far is in Chrome. Also, there's more reversing towards the end.

Sun, 21 Feb 2016 20:10
RealFlight Simulator
0 flights
Continuing to make good progress on my right rudder piro flipping. But it's fascinating me, a lot, how my brain is adjusting to try and match my left rudder abilities to my right, but there's some way to go yet.

Having said that, I'm finding that practicing reversals at varying points of the flips/rotation, in either direction, is helping quite a bit, almost like the brain cells need input from both directions to somehow make ones mind flex for the better all-round.

On another note, I'll be testing my SK720 and GPS2 any day now :)
Sun, 24 Jan 2016 18:20
RealFlight Simulator
0 flights
This session I practiced left and right rudder piro flipping with reversals. I'm pleasantly surprised how fast I'm learning to do them.

My right rudder piro flipping has improved a lot (this is all sim though at the moment). I can now easily reverse from right rudder (weak side) to left rudder starting from an upright orientation and switching at various points of rotation during the 1st half flip to continue to an Inverted orientation . I can do the same starting from left rudder (strong side), but crash much more often.

I've had a little go at reversing during the 2nd half flip trying to continue to an upright orientation, but I need more practice.

Anyway a very enjoyable session and I'm getting right back into it :)

Sat, 16 Jan 2016 08:45
Central Model Helicopter Club
7 flights
Great to be back flying and overall it was a great session. My last flight was 13 weeks ago today.

I've given up on the BeastX used by my 450X as today it was behaving very unusual indeed and very inconsistent. It was only initialising every other time, and during the times it failed all the servos twitched quite a bit. That wasn't really the problem though, as it was the following two issues occurring during flight which made it difficult.

1) An aggressive drift/tilt to the right during hovering (happened for approximately half the flights)

2) From take-off the cyclic gain felt like it had been turned down to minimum. Again not every flight. When it was okay-ish, then after piro flipping and levelling out, the weird low gain feeling seemed to kick in for a few seconds.

Anyway then for its final flight of the day I decided to demonstrate its behaviour to Neale and it didn't drift at all. Amazingly it seemed reasonably locked in for most of the flight, but the super low gain feeling still kicked in a few times lasting for a couple of seconds. Most bizarre.

Since I'll have 3 spare VBars after fitting my Skookums (no I haven’t fitted one yet) I've decided to put one on the 450X, and so I've given away the BeastX making it quite clear that I'm not happy with it, and that it's most likely a cold weather issue, just to make him aware.

The Logo was an absolute dream to fly. Extremely smooth, solid, and perfectly consistent like always (like my Trex 550E is too).

My flying was as I expected it to be, a bit rusty, but even so I was feeling unexpectedly confident, more so than my flying revealed.

Very low wind, nice and sunny, six of us flying in total, so a very happy session overall.
Sat, 19 Dec 2015 20:10
RealFlight Simulator
0 flights
A nice session on RF7. Had a few beers but they seem to be helping if anything. I was back to my previous sim level in an instant. I just need to get to the field. Clare had a fly and to be honest (and she won't be reading this) she needs a heck of a lot of practice :)
Sat, 17 Oct 2015 08:15
Central Model Helicopter Club
6 flights
I let myself down today by being hung-over from way too much booze last night (I had bouncy vision and could hardly concentrate, although my driving on the way to the club seemed quite safe), so I called it a day for the flying after just 6 flights within the 5 hour session. So what was I doing for the rest of the time, having a good old natter as usual.

A new guy Bill visited the club today who'll be joining us as a new member which is great news, and he's a good flyer too. We watched him practicing some of his B Cert moves which I really enjoyed. It's just great seeing pilots determined to make progress.

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