All Sessions

From Thu, 1 Jun 2017 for Gary Townsend at Central Model Helicopter Club

Sat, 20 May 2017 08:30

Central Model Helicopter Club

Gary Townsend

5 flights

1st session in over a year but I can still fly 😃

The 450X what can I say, the same good little heli which is always a joy to fly. I flew this 1st just to warm up.

The Blade 360 CFX has loads of power, almost no bogging in tight tic tocs, and overall a great Maiden flight. Silly me, I forgot to Velcro the batteries before I left out, but thankfully Phil had a small piece which I used on one of my packs. It feels like almost double the power of the 450X when you bang the collective, very nice indeed and I'm very happy with it. I wasn't going to mention it but it's true that Horizon provide the same 2 blade foam support that pegs onto the boom as you get with the 450X, proper stupid considering this is a three bladed heli. Anyway I'm simply supporting the middle blade (when they're all folded back) out of the 3 by using one of the slots in the support, and then using a Mikado battery strap to gently tie them all together which actually works very well.

I finished with two flights on the Logo which was super smooth as always, which for that reason probably makes it my favourite, at least for now. I just changed the swash after noticing the last time I landed (spring last year) that the middle section was coming away from the outer swash body. Anyway all is good, but even though the old swash looked pretty dodgy I honestly couldn't tell any difference, it just flies great.

Next the rain came so we all packed up. Overall a very nice morning.


Sun, 3 Apr 2016 08:00

Central Model Helicopter Club

Gary Townsend

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

Gary Townsend

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

Gary Townsend

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

Gary Townsend

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

Gary Townsend

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

Gary Townsend

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

Gary Townsend

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

Gary Townsend

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

Gary Townsend

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

Gary Townsend

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.


Sat, 10 Oct 2015 07:25

Central Model Helicopter Club

Gary Townsend

9 flights

I left home at sunrise to go flying at CMHC, and on the way there as I was travelling down the M1 I kept driving through pockets of fog, then clear, then more fog. When I arrived at the field, upon driving through the entrance it was clear straight in front of me, but very foggy over to the left down at the bonfire point where we fly. I was half way through my first flight when Mark arrived, which is when the talking began!

I had nine flights in total and I was pleased with all of them, partly due to the fact that I was concentrating quite well. I had quite a few attempts at doing some pirouetting half loops and managed my best ones yet, so I'm really pleased with those. Me and Neale got to see Richard practicing his rolling flipping circuits which was interesting (coming along very nicely too), a manoeuvre he tells me could be good to include when competing ;)

There were nine cars at the club today and about as many pilots joining in with the flying, which was really nice to see, we were even queuing at times waiting for our turn.

Mark Devoto passed the practical part of his A Test today with Adrian as examiner, so a very well done to him, and I’m sure he’s very chuffed with his achievement, nice one :)

I still need to get my Skookum FBL and GPS2 units on my helis. I think I’ll try them on my Logo 550sx first, and then perhaps on the Goblin 700. My third set will perhaps end up on the Trex 550e, but then again I might have bought one too many combos as I’m not sure now if I want to convert all three of my large helis from VBar.

So overall a great day at the field, lots and lots of flying, plenty of people to talk to, nice weather once the fog cleared, and a nice ham and cheese mid-morning sandwich to keep me going.


Sat, 3 Oct 2015 08:00

Central Model Helicopter Club

Gary Townsend

11 flights

A very nice session indeed. I felt quite pleased with most of my flights which were all very enjoyable, and the company was great too. Ben that (who, whom, not quite sure) used to fly at LMAC visited us today and had a fly as a guest, which was nice to see. The weather was quite nice, not all that bright, but very low wind which I like a lot.

Clearly today I had the best workbench out of everybody there. Mine is a wallpaper table which spans 560mm x 1780mm, and can easily support two 550s at a slight angle without the tail dropping off the edge, unlike some of the other benches I saw today :)

See you all next time.


Tue, 29 Sep 2015 19:55

RealFlight Simulator

Gary Townsend

0 flights

My first flight in 5 weeks and it went pretty well. My sim skills seem to be more or less the same as they were the last time. Overall it was a nice session but my batteries went flat after 10 minutes. I just need to get to the field now, but we've still only got 1 car between us until Clare's new one arrives.


Sat, 22 Aug 2015 07:10

Central Model Helicopter Club

Gary Townsend

12 flights

A very nice session. My flying not really as good as last week, but was okay I suppose. Amazing weather again and low wind until about the last hour and a half during which it had picked up a bit, but still quite nice. I have the dominator setup to fly about as nice as the 450x so that'll now be spending more time in the air.


Sun, 16 Aug 2015 07:00

Central Model Helicopter Club

Gary Townsend

11 flights

An excellent session. I had quite a few good flights which I was very pleased with, and even just managed to start trying the piro half-loop. My control on piro flipping has improved, and my rolling circuits are turning out reasonable sometimes. I found flying the 450x in this low wind about as controllable as the 550, and so I'm really liking these two models at the moment. My best rolling circuits today were actually on the 450x which has proved itself many times to be a fantastic little heli.

I've been having an overheating issue with my Jive 100LV after flights with high head speeds (such as 2530rpm) which include lots of tic-tocs or other aggressive collective moves. It turns out that when flying at 2350rpm it's much better. Also during my last flight (just a hover really) the governor seemed to stop working and just gave me 100 percent throttle regardless of the throttle input from the transmitter (once above the minimum required to start spinning). I unplugged the battery and reinitialised the system but it was the same. After arriving back home I removed the blades and tested again but it was still the same. Next I did a mode 1 reset and that seems to have resolved the issue.


Thu, 13 Aug 2015 18:00

RealFlight Simulator

Gary Townsend

0 flights

My 1st proper go on the sim in a while and it was great fun practicing some stuff I was getting into several weeks ago.


Sat, 8 Aug 2015 07:05

Central Model Helicopter Club

Gary Townsend

8 flights

The weather was perfect, sunny, warm, but not too warm, and no wind. The flight line was busy pretty much nonstop which was nice to see as always. My Jive 100LV on my Trex 550E keeps overheating and I can't understand why. It has the heat-sink on it but it's still getting very hot. I tried the esc in KSA mode (mode 10) to see if that would make a difference, but it didn't. My next step was going to be to try a little fan as Richard was explaining about the airflow and how a fan would be a good idea, but first I think I'll rob Clare's Jive 100LV from her Goblin 570 and try that, just to make sure mine isn't slightly faulty. Anyway overall a very pleasant day, and I probably enjoyed flying the 450X today as much as flying the 550, which I guess is due to the low wind we had making it handle beautifully :)


Sat, 11 Jul 2015 07:30

Central Model Helicopter Club

Gary Townsend

11 flights

Another great session with loads there doing lots of flying and chatting away.

I'm loving my Trex at the moment, and started the very beginnings of pushing my field flying (of that model) to be more like my sim, but I have a long way to go and it's great fun trying :)

Now then, and this is ridiculous. For about a year I've always felt there's something fundamentally different between my Trex 550E and Logo 550sx, that being my Trex has always felt far less agile. Last night I decided to check my transmitter settings, and discovered I've been flying that model for about a year (not many flights during this period though) with 38% expo for the cyclic. I had a friend do some test flying about a year ago at which time he added expo, but I either didn't realise he'd set it, or I'd forgotten. So then I've changed it to now have zero expo like I do on all my models, and it's like a different heli, in fact I had to turn my agility slider down on the VBar from 120 to 100, as it was a little too sensitive, but I might increase it to 105 or 110 next time as it's so much nicer to fly now.


Sat, 4 Jul 2015 08:00

Central Model Helicopter Club

Gary Townsend

7 flights

I did lots and lots of talking today.

A very nice session indeed. My last flight was probably my best of today, so what a nice way to finish. I need lots more time at the field, and a little less on the sim I think.

I'd been struggling a bit with the collective being too sensitive on this heli, although I still felt I needed a high rpm, especially when it was windy. I checked this morning before going flying, and found that the pitch was set to 15 degrees, so I changed it to 13. I don't know how I missed that, but it's better now.


Tue, 30 Jun 2015 07:35

Whitwick Flying Field

Gary Townsend

4 flights

What a lovely morning. Didn't try anything new, but it was a session I badly needed. I'm very pleased I went, and I had a nice time, so very happy.

There is one thing though. After my 3rd flight which was flown at about 2520rpm with quite a bit of tic-toc'ing, the esc was hot to the point that after 6 to 7 seconds I couldn't keep my finger on the heat-sink. There was 11 percent left in the pack after a 4 1/2 minute flight. No problem though as it seems fine, I was just surprised that's all about how hot it gets considering it has the optional heat-sink on it.












Mon, 22 Jun 2015 11:30

RealFlight Simulator

Gary Townsend

0 flights

Just some sim practice, having a go at Piro Half-loop Globes. The move is described in the Moves section and in the video description.


Fri, 5 Jun 2015 11:00

Whitwick Flying Field

Gary Townsend

0 flights

Tried doing pirouetting half loops for the first time at the field. I'm glad nobody was watching. Far too windy for me to have a good go at getting started on these, but I managed to form some of the first parts of the curvature on the way down. It was beautifully sunny, but the visibility was no better than moderated to good, which when flying as high up as I was made it difficult to see. The white belly and the skids were blending into the sky, so I kept trying it lower, but it was getting very risky. So an okay session, but my pulse was racing a little for a brief period during flight 5.


Sat, 30 May 2015 07:45

Whitwick Flying Field

Gary Townsend

5 flights

Nice and sunny. It's flying very nice, and I'm getting to be very pleased with it. I've played with the cyclic gain, and it's now at 100. I got no obvious wobbling even up to 120, but as it gets below about 75 the sloppy unlocked-in feeling increases fast, so I'm leaving it at 100 for now. I've played with some of the other settings, but I won't go on :) I did some very fast high speed passes and generally was just testing the whole time. To me it's mostly about the gains, if they're not right, it's not good. On the other hand if they are right, all the other settings seem to be fine tuning in comparison.


Mon, 25 May 2015 07:20

Whitwick Flying Field

Gary Townsend

2 flights

Fantastic :) After my previous session on Saturday when the Goblin 700 felt very strange indeed (It has continuously had many strange tendencies since the rebuild after the fire, but for some reason I just wasn't identifying them. Thank You Richard V for helping me see), I'm now as sure as I can be that the problem has completely gone away. Rather than babble on about what I've done, I've made a list below. Yippee Tu Bits :) All it needs now I think is perhaps some slight adjustments to the pre-comps, and various small gain adjustments for my various RPMs, but honestly compared to before, it doesn't really need them. What I mean is, I did some high speed passes, stall turns, slow piro flipping, 8 point tic-tocs, and a few elevator slappers, and besides a little bit of wobble whilst being aggressive with the collective during the tic-tocs (probably pre-comps and maybe gain adjustments might help here), it was solid, and didn't have any of the very strange tendencies it had before. Okay that was a bit of babble, here's my list:

1) Created a new model in the transmitter.
2) Did a brand-new setup on the VBar.

There that wasn't long was it. Now a bit more babbling.

I triple checked everything I could think of to check, including comparing all transmitter and VBar settings with my other models. Also I did some vibration checks, and all was fine.

What was it then. Well to me it seems likely there was a strange completely illogical undersigned behaviour occurring in terms of software (either the transmitter, VBar, or satellites). Another list is below :)

1) I'm guessing the most likely cause was the fact that I forgot to rebind the system after having removed the telemetry unit TM1000, since discovering it wasn't going to work compatibly with my setup (that's a whole other story). The TM1000 gets bound as a third device during binding, so perhaps having removed it without then rebinding, might have been the problem.

2) 2nd most likely cause. Loading in the previous model (from before the fire) from my PC (rather than starting from scratch) somehow managed to not work as it's supposed to, and the underlying data that gets transferred didn't transfer correctly, and was simply not visible from within the graphical interface we all use to do a setup. This seems a bit wacky to me though, but you never know.

3) 3rd and least likely cause. A software update to my DX9 somehow corrupted data within that model memory, perhaps messing with (but not completely stopping working) the communication to the satellites.

Anyway me and Clare are off to work shortly as we have a busy week.

Ta Ta for now :)


Sat, 23 May 2015 08:55

Leicester Model Aero Club

Gary Townsend

11 flights

Started out with darkish cloud, but then it brightened up with the cloud thinning, low wind, and just warm enough, so overall very nice weather. Did a bit more practice on pirouetting rainbows, but I need lots more. I pulled off some half decent continuous quite high speed piro flipping during a couple of flights, but still really want to master the controlled slower aspect to it. So I'm rating my flying today as okay, but could do better. A significant discovery about my Goblin today made by Richard, after asking him to have a fly to see if he thought it felt weird, the answer was yes, very. So, I'll just describe the first moment of discovery. Quite simply after rotating at the top of a stall turn and pulling up as the heli is flying downwards, there is a very significant amount of left aileron occurring (or at least it’s flying as if its receiving left aileron input). Strange, the VBar doesn't correct it at all. Whatever the cause is, it's definitely affecting several aspects of flight, not just stall turns. I've tried very low, medium, and high cyclic gain, and the characteristic is still the same, so it's not that. I've checked all VBar settings and there's nothing wrong there, I'm pretty sure anyway. So I don't know what to do. I might take the VBar out of my 450 Dominator and put that in it and do a brand new set-up, but I really don't think that will make any difference. Richard mentioned something about mechanical/aerodynamic phasing (I think he said phasing, not sure) possibilities, so I'll Google that tomorrow. To conclude, if the Goblin was flying as it should be, it would have been at least a 4 star, possibly even a 5 star :)


Sun, 17 May 2015 07:00

Whitwick Flying Field

Gary Townsend

8 flights

An excellent session. I need to always be wearing my sunglasses I think, as they make me feel more relaxed somehow. I started off with low confidence, but by flight three I was feeling quite at ease. Moves today were: Slow and medium speed piro flipping (quite high up), pirouetting rainbows (quite high up), paint stirrers, and elevator slappers. All four moves are coming along nicely, and my flying today was closer to where I am on the sim than my last few sessions were, I just hope I can maintain the focus and confidence I had today. If the sunglasses are helping like I suspect they are, then my new Rapid ones on order are going to be very interesting for me, as they have four different types of lenses to try :) :)


Fri, 15 May 2015 10:05

Central Model Helicopter Club

Gary Townsend

5 flights

A great 1st flight (maiden) for Clare on her Goblin 570. It flew really well from the moment it lifted off the ground. No wobbles at all, and very smooth. She really liked it and was feeling quite comfortable hovering around covering some ground. One of the main blades was a little too loose after the first flight to be able to spool up again without it folding back, and I didn't have the Allen key, but although it was just one flight, it couldn't have gone any better.

My new 15 tooth pinion on the Logo is allowing me to govern the rpm at about 2300 with sufficient head room, but I was mostly flying at about 2250, and I will be doing a mixture of 2100 to 2300 in the long run I think. So I'm pleased with that. Flying wise I didn't really try anything interesting.

The Goblin 700 is no longer showing the significant cyclic wobbles it had last time, probably because I've lowered the cyclic gain from 90 down to 70, which is what it was set to before the rebuild, 70 that is. My head speeds are approximately 1850 Normal, ST1 1900, ST2 2050, and ST3 2150 (80% Throttle). There is some wobbling under approximately 2000 rpm (a bit of tail bobbing, and a bit of slow wag), which perhaps the gains might help (I'll have to set each VBar bank accordingly), or else taking the shims out of the head dampening. I managed to do some really quite good paint stirrers with it, as good as my sim efforts, and Clare was impressed :)

Overall quite a nice session. There's an event at CMHC next weekend and some of the glider pilots are starting to position their equipment from today, which will be in area Zone B. Two very nice gentlemen, one mowing the whole field and one setting up the perimeter, kindly came over and spoke with us, and we had a nice chat. They told us they would leave where we were flying until as late as possible to allow us to continue flying :) Dudes or what ;)

OH Yes, I forgot my sunglasses, which made it difficult on a bright day like today. So I'm off out to try some on so that I'll have a few pairs, some of which will live in my car B|


Wed, 13 May 2015 16:15

Central Model Helicopter Club

Gary Townsend

1 flights

One of my crappiest sessions ever, but still it deserves one star because it was nice talking with the lads. The 1st flight 30 seconds in (I was already being restricted to a poxy small flying area due to the gliders having parked in the middle of our main patch to the right), some geezer walks directly underneath where I'm flying, then 30 seconds after that a glider gets towed straight down the middle of the little bit of our main patch that still remained, directly towards me, at which time Mark advised me to land. Half an hour later Neale arrived (things had settled down a bit) and he did a cracking first flight, especially considering he hadn't had a fly in three weeks, nice one dude :) Anyway then I left and went home for a BBQ. Most annoyed. I had the Goblin and Logo with me, determined to get 10 decent flights in, but it all went to sh-t at the very beginning. Never mind there's always next time :(


Sun, 10 May 2015 07:30

Central Model Helicopter Club

Gary Townsend

10 flights

Overall a very nice session. The weather was great at first, then 20 minutes later when Ewan turned up it got quite windy and there was thick dark cloud affecting the visibility. Then an hour later Mr Bird arrived and the cloud cleared, but the wind remained, and it gradually got stronger for the remainder of the session. The Goblin is back in the air. I need to have a play around with the cyclic gain I think (perhaps I need to lower it, it's at 90 at the moment), I'll research some setups later, but I managed some high speed tic-tocs and some low speed gentle ones during my nervous first two flights since the rebuild due to the fire. I started practicing a new move (stolen from Richard) on the Logo, one which I thought would be suitable for me when it's very windy. It's quite simple, but a challenge for me to do very well formed and in position. Basically it's just an elevator rainbow with a 180 degree aileron rotation as the heli flies over the top, flying from left to right and right to left. I didn't have the bottle to try the pirouetting rainbows yet, maybe next time.


Thu, 7 May 2015 06:00

RealFlight Simulator

Gary Townsend

0 flights

Some more sim practice doing pirouetting rainbows. More details in the video description.


Mon, 4 May 2015 07:30

Central Model Helicopter Club

Gary Townsend

8 flights

A good session with Richard but very windy, and the control he has in the wind is definitely very impressive, and a good target to be aiming for. I practiced a bit of heli to the right skids in tic-tocs, heli in front skids in tic-tocs, a little bit of piro flipping, and 4 and 8 point tic-tocs. To be honest I felt restricted due to the wind, which put me a little too far outside my comfort zone to be able to fly how I'd have liked, but it was a nice session considering. One of the canopy support posts nearly worked its way out on the Trex so I only had one flight with it, which was a little disappointing as I prefer it to the Logo when the wind is up, probably due to it being a heavier model and having a higher head speed, making it feel slightly more solid in the air.


Fri, 1 May 2015 17:10

RealFlight Simulator

Gary Townsend

0 flights

Quite a nice session, mostly experimenting with the specific timing aspect of single and double piro flipping. I'm finding getting the correct movements to hit exactly either 1 or 2 full tail rotations a nice challenge. It amuses me though that I can spin around without a target in terms of an exact number of rotations, probably averaging about 3 rotations, with far less effort, but higher up, and definitely without a true focus on the helis orientation at all times. Instead I find myself mostly concentrating on the nose as it goes around, and also keying on the nose at various points of rotation to start the second half. Having said all that it still looks cool to me, and I think it adds to my overall skill set, even though really it's perhaps just part of my cowboy style for certain areas of my flying :) The light air was the baked beans.


Thu, 30 Apr 2015 16:55

Central Model Helicopter Club

Gary Townsend

8 flights

An excellent session. Spent two flights setting the throttle curves on my Trex 550, and then shortly afterwards Richard turned up, which is when the session really began. Moves I practiced were piro flips, backwards waves, rolling circuits, 4 and 8 point tick-tocks, and some general random transitioning between various orientations, which is the single biggest aspect I want to practice more. Richard was flying magnificently this evening, demoing lots of different moves. I don't know the names of many, but to be able to fly the complexity of continuously changing orientations is something I'm aiming for.


Tue, 28 Apr 2015 17:00

RealFlight Simulator

Gary Townsend

0 flights

Another great session. More slow piros, and my first go at gently reversing them. Also a bit of practice doing tick-tocking square circuits, which are coming along very nicely, but I wonder what they'll be like at the field LOL :)


Mon, 27 Apr 2015 15:45

RealFlight Simulator

Gary Townsend

0 flights

Getting on very well. Just trying to get a broad range of slow transitions into my brain, by doing slow piros, funnels, flips etc, continuously switching between moves.


Sun, 26 Apr 2015 09:00

Leicester Model Aero Club

Gary Townsend

5 flights

An okay session, but I wasn't really concentrating very well, partly due to feeling quite cold I think. I did manage to do some okay walking tick-tocks which I haven't done for a while. Problem though, my Trex 550E with its new Jive 100LV and telemetry unit now has a servo twitching issue. It started out on servo 3 front right, but after further testing it has now changed to servo 1 elevator, so it's unlikely to be the servos, and is probably something to do with the BEC supply not being properly compatible with the servos. My Logo has exactly the same setup, but uses Savox servos, and there's no problem. Both are using VBar. So now then, Noel at Midland warned me that when the Jive 100LV BEC was set to 6.0v on his Trex 550, the servos had a random big twitch during flight, and that setting it to 5.6v cured it, but mine is set to 5.6v. So what the heck am I to do now, change all the servos, or use a Castle 120 ESC :( Dunno, probably change the servos.


Sat, 25 Apr 2015 08:00

Central Model Helicopter Club

Gary Townsend

3 flights

Fantastic :) I passed both the flying and the questions. Thank you Richard and Adrian for being the examiners :) So then my opinion is: My two practice flights, one on my own, and one with Richard, both went very well, even with the strong wind. About an hour later I did my test flight and the wind had increased even more. Overall not bad, all very safely in control, some good moments, and some wobbly, but largely due to the gusty wind. So for a school grade perhaps a 'C' which I'm happy with. It's Neale's (Mr Bee) turn next :) and he told me he'd like to do it before Grass Roots :)


Fri, 24 Apr 2015 12:00

Whitwick Flying Field

Gary Townsend

8 flights

Windy and gusty, that's all it seems to be lately, whenever I fly anyway. Overall quite please with my flights today. My stall turns are much better, and my figure eights seem better formed flying them a little faster, which is my usual style anyway, so why was I flying them slow, I just don't know. Hovering about the same, nothing changed there, and it just seems to be more about the wind than my thumbs that determines how smooth the heli is. I know in about a 5mph quite steady wind it all seems about 3 to 4 times easier than in a 15mph gusty wind. Anyway tomorrow is looking as windy as ---k, so it's unlikely I'll have a descent chance at the B test.


Tue, 21 Apr 2015 16:30

Central Model Helicopter Club

Gary Townsend

6 flights

Had 6 packs practicing for the B test. Richard turned up and watched me fly the routine, giving me some pointers on a few aspects of the test. Cheers mate :) Anyway after flying the whole routine, and then a couple of flights just concentrating on a few of my weak points, my confidence has improved considerably, and it's nice to have a reference to aim for from such an experienced flyer. Over the next few days I'll be working on the shape and positional accuracy of my stall turns, and then second to that the neatness and style of my square circuits, and figure eights, and then also just generally tidying up the rest of the manoeuvres. Hopefully I'll be able to have a go at the test on Saturday, after 2 or 3 days more practice this week.


Sun, 19 Apr 2015 09:10

Leicester Model Aero Club

Gary Townsend

3 flights

Two packs practicing for the B test with Clare standing next to me as I was explaining the moves, and I did very well. Clare did point out my square circuits weren't very neat, so I told her I wasn't trying properly for that part, and that they were suppose to be rectangles. I had one flight just flying around randomly, and did a few really big stall turns which I really like doing, simple but satisfying. I buddied Clare on the 450x, her first flight in about 6 months. Weather forecast: Cold, quite windy, thick grey/black cloud, visibility good. Loads were there, and by 10:30 it was getting very busy with planes. Overall a nice little session, and as usual I did a fair bit of talking.


Sat, 18 Apr 2015 07:50

Central Model Helicopter Club

Gary Townsend

8 flights

It was pretty windy, making it difficult practicing the B hovering manoeuvres, but I did okay though considering. It was gusty too, not just plain windy. I had a couple of flights doing a little bit of Gary flying, but overall I was slightly disappointed with my flying today. There were loads of us there, and Neale seemed to be loving flying in the wind, and I think at one point he even wanted it to get windier :) The sun was out all morning, and by 11:00 it started to become a real problem, even with sunglasses. I decided to do a couple of stall turns at one point, but to have flown them left to right, would have meant flying either through the sun, or if I'd changed the way I was facing, then over where everyone was standing, and it was getting more and more distracting moving into the afternoon. So when the sun's out, it seems early to midmorning, or from 3:30 onwards are the best periods to fly. Also last but not least, Dave was there visiting the club, and he had a few flights of his heli, which I think was a Trex 500, and he flew it very nicely. I spent loads of time talking to him, but I couldn't wear him out, he just kept listening and listening :)


Wed, 15 Apr 2015 16:25

Central Model Helicopter Club

Gary Townsend

8 flights

Spent all 8 packs practicing the B moves. Quite happy with my progress, but still a little work to do in certain areas yet. Hopefully I'll be ready to take the test by next weekend. One nice change for me this evening was having a 3:25 (that's meant to mean 3 hours 25 minutes) flying session instead of getting drunk in the sun :) although I like doing that too. What I liked most of all though is just being at the field with other dudes. 8 packs over 3.5 hours is so much better that 8 packs in 1 hour dude-less.


Fri, 10 Apr 2015 12:00

Whitwick Flying Field

Gary Townsend

1 flights

A touch less windy and it would have been a 3 star. I spent a lot of the time practicing 4 and 8 point tick-tocks, did a little bit of very slow piro-flipping, and had a very brief play at rolling circuits. An okay session, but really I found it too windy for what I was trying to learn. The wind was directly from behind, and I was at full collective at times trying to keep it near enough during tick-tocks. My last pack was spent doing all tick-tocks, and after 4:30 minutes I landed with 7 percent left, and got an over temperature warning beep from the talon 90. I didn't know what the beep meant, and didn't think to touch the esc until a few minutes after landing, but even then it was proper hot. I took off again though with a nearly flat pack to do a 10 second test and it was okay. This has got me wondering if the Talon 90 can cope with the 730MX motor tick-tocking into wind for a whole flight, which should have only lasted 4:00 minutes if I'd landed soon enough. I know I could mount the esc on the side, but I'm not sure if that'll make any difference,


Sun, 5 Apr 2015 10:15

Leicester Model Aero Club

Gary Townsend

4 flights

Only my second visit to the club this year. After having 4 nice flights on the Logo at CMHC, I decided to have a fly of the Trex for the first time since I accidentally stepped on it. It was absolutely great to fly, loads of power, feeling very solid and smooth, although the tail authority was slightly week for a second or so at one point. Right now it's difficult for me to choose between the Logo and the Trex, but I like them both very much today. I noticed the master's clockwise rolling circuits looking extremely well formed, and it's good to have someone leading the way, even if he is light-years ahead :)


Sun, 5 Apr 2015 07:40

Central Model Helicopter Club

Gary Townsend

4 flights

Richard was already there when I arrived. Possibly the most aggressive 3D I've seen him fly. My legs wobbled a couple of times. It's the slow perfectly controlled stuff though which I admire the most, although the fast stuff is quite a blast to watch, and very entertaining too! A lovely morning, virtually no wind, and not too cold even with having an early start. Dean from Medway Massive was there, and it was nice to see him fly his Trex 700 and have a nice little chat :) I was feeling comfortable and somehow slightly clearer than usual about my flying today, everything seemed to flow a little more naturally from the start of each flight to the end. No doubt the good weather helped, a beautiful day indeed.


Tue, 24 Mar 2015 13:00

Whitwick Flying Field

Gary Townsend

7 flights

A really nice session. Quite a bit windier than I was expecting. Spent all 7 flights practicing the B moves. I'm now flying the whole routine at 1900rpm until I get to the stall turns. At that point I'm increasing the rpm a little (forgot to look at the reading) by switching into stunt 1. I have the top half of the pitch curves the same in normal mode and stunt 1, both at a maximum of 90% with the VBar probably initially setup at 13 degrees, which seems okay, and I get no sudden change in height now. It was useful today having the nearly usual 0 to 90 percent (although I could make this even) stunt 1 pitch curve for the stall turns, as when into-wind I used quite a bit of negative collective to hold the position at the top of the manoeuvre, and when downwind quite a bit of positive. Whether I leave it in stunt 1 or switch to normal for the 45 degree decent will hardly make any difference, with only a slight change in rpm coming into play. At a certain point downwind during the figure eight I was sometimes getting an aggressive drop, which needed quite an adjustment to compensate, especial to the collective, but other than that considering the wind strength, not bad overall. My latest thinking is to fly the test in one pack, as I'm getting even longer with more of the routine being flown at 1900rpm, and my thumbs seemed to be okay today with pressing down for over 8 minutes without a break.


Sat, 21 Mar 2015 07:45

Central Model Helicopter Club

Gary Townsend

1 flights

We went through the A test questions today, and some of them were an interesting challenge, especially the one about the pothole :) I only had one flight due to spending lots of time talking, probably over 5 hours worth in a 5 1/2 hour session, which has worn me out. It was nice watching Richard getting back into flying the pirouetting loops. Also Neale's 700 Assault DFC is amazing, especially considering it's a £400 set-up if you don't count the £50 regulator. I'm seriously considering getting one simply because it's a 700 size to practice on with relatively extremely low crash damage costs.


Wed, 18 Mar 2015 16:00

Whitwick Flying Field

Gary Townsend

4 flights

I'm learning the B test routine as a complete flight from start to finish. Having said that It's not correct yet, as there's a landing or two missing, positioning and transitions need some consideration, distances, height consistency, and generally how well the manoeuvres are formed, are all things I'll be trying to improve. Also I need to get the spatial positioning of the heli in my head when it's flying further away. It's great fun and I'm liking doing this very much. I've only had 4 flights at flying the moves as a full routine, so I've only just about managed to memorise it. It's taking me between 7:30 to 8:00 minutes to complete, but I'm hovering too long at times, and probably flying a bit too slow during the rectangular circuits. So considering also that there's a landing I need to squeeze in, then it'll probably end up very close to 7:30 minutes. I'm landing with about 20 to 25 percent left in the packs when flying with an rpm of 1900.




Tue, 17 Mar 2015 16:00

Whitwick Flying Field

Gary Townsend

6 flights

Spent all six flights practicing my B moves. I got on really well, and enjoyed it a lot. I like having a routine to follow and target levels of flying to aim for. Also I positioned the cones on my flying patch, and that was also nice to reference my position against for the relevant moves. Over 9 minutes per flight for the hovering flights. The wind speed was super low, I wasn't cold, and all I want now is a few beers, but I'm not sure if I should.


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