Drumlough Display

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Drumlough Display
Jul 272014

Friday 27th July saw the now annual display at Drumlough take place. This has become a regular event on the club calendar and is a favourite for anyone who has been there either as a pilot or to lend a hand, not least for the offer of a steak to round the evening off!

As always it was a relaxed display, since there is music and dancing across at the hall, there is no commentary from us, so the main focus of the evening is Toffee drops  interspersed with display flights, all of which is well appreciated by the crowd in attendance.

Gerald’s video below captures the mood well, and judging by the invitation to come back next year we did our job well.

Thanks to the folks at Drumlough for their hospitality, and to the boys who went home before the food, don’t worry, we found a good home for it!!

Club Family, Friends & Neighbours BBQ

 Club matters, Events  Comments Off on Club Family, Friends & Neighbours BBQ
Jun 262014

The club decided to organise an evening BBQ to encourage family, friends & Neighbours to come along and get an idea of what the club does. It was a very relaxed evening and we kept it informal and fun.

We keep planes & helis in the air all evening and run several flights with the buddy box to let people have a go. Paul’s Easipzee & my Apprentice trainer providing the perfect buddy system, ably assisted & instructed by Dennis & Sean. Dennis had his Wot4 toffee bomber in the air as well, the young kids & not so young ones (David) enjoyed the charge for the sweets!!

It was a great evening and very well received by the Neighbours in particular!

Some pics below, I’m sure more will appear soon!

















Area Funfly June 2014

 Competitions, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Area Funfly June 2014
Jun 262014

On arrival at the field it was a blustery Saturday morning, but the wind was in a good direction almost parallel to the runway. There were only three pilots about at 10:00am so we decided to wait and see if anyone else turned up. Very shortly more pilots began to arrive, most of them from the Banbridge club, but we did have two pilots from outside the club which was good to see. There were no pilots for class 2, so aftera quick pilots brief we got started with class 1. Each pilot had one wild card to use, which meant they could fly any round again if they thought that round wasn’t flown to the best of their ability. This had to be done before the end of the round in question and if used the first score was scrubbed and the second attempt counted.

Climb & Glide
Climb at full throttle for 20 seconds then cut the engine or motor and glide for as long as possible, with a 10% bonus for landing back on the strip. With Richard up first, getting lots of height and managing an impressive 6 minutes and 29 second glide, I think he managed to find the odd thermal. Missing the strip when landing there was no bonus for Richard. All the other pilots managed to get the bonus, but couldn’t come close to Richards time. This was a nun eventful round with no wild cards being used during this round.

Triple Thrash
Complete 3 touch and goes, 3 loops and three rolls and a final touch and go as quick as possible. Brian first up for this one getting 33 seconds. Matthew managed to beat this and done it in 20 seconds. Sean and Phelim decided their times were not up to scratch and played their wild card. Sean improved his time from 50 seconds to 35 seconds and Phelim improved his from 80 seconds to 75 seconds. Paul had a bad round, pulling the bulkhead out of the fuselage. This eliminated him from the rest of the competition.

Touch & Go
Touch and go on the strip as many times as possible in two minutes. Dennis was up first and set the target at 11. Matthew got the most in this round with 33 touches in two minutes. Even though the pit crew were on standby for the ic models they were not needed and no wild cards were used during this round.

Do as many passes under the limbo in 2 minutes without breaking the string. Alistair went first for this round setting the target at 14. Matthew cut the string after 12 passes and with 1 minute remaining. He decided to use his wildcard and only managed 5 passes before breaking the string again, but that is the chance you take when using your wild card.

Mystery Round
Do one fast pass into the wind as quickly as possible between the 2 markers, then do one slow pass downwind as slowly as possible between the 2 markers, nose to point in direction of travel for both passes. Score is the difference between the two times, with the biggest difference winning. With the windy conditions there was not much difference between the two times. Brian got the longest difference of 7 seconds this was after using his wildcard as the model was actually flying sideways during his first slow pass, disqualifying his first time.
Positions after the five rounds are below as is the results table showing the complete results for each pilot.

1. Brian McCartan Jnr
2. Matthew Poots
3. Sean Scullion
4. Richard McNeill
5. Alistair Henry
6. Dennis McNeill
7. Phelim Lundy
8. Paul Harrison

BAC Competition Director





Gliding at Flagstaff

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Gliding at Flagstaff
Apr 132014

Sunday 13th of April was to have been the first gliding competition for a good few years (2009 I think!). Unfortunately volunteers were in short supply, but we had a site and wind, so I would have been rude not to have a go!

Alistair & myself decided to have a look at a site outside Newry recommended by our good friend from Dungannon, Richard Boyd. The site, at the Flagstaff  Transmitter is spectacular to say the least, with slopes to suit most wind directions, and best of all, a road to the very top, so there are no excuses for anyone!

Dave Nolan came up for a look, because believe it or not he fancies becoming a Glider Guider! I want to be there for his first Tic Toc!

Anyway two of us doesn’t really make for a competition, so we just made the most of a good strong breeze (understatement!) and a dry day to have a bit of craic.


Alistairs Phase6 with a good view of Dundalk.


Spectacular scenery, great views of North & South.



Pair of Phase6’s ready for action.


Looks like we’re just short of a horse and a motorbike!


Like i said, spectacular scenery, where else would you see wooly hats like these!


£5 to anyone who can spot Alistair in this pic!  (25 June: Has Alistair been found yet??)


Carlingford lough from a great height, without breaking sweat.

We’re back!

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on We’re back!
Jan 262014
After the first flight with the Jeti. It feels like a totally different plane.

After the first flight with the Jeti. It feels like a totally different plane.

Most of it anyway. Still lots of details to sort out, but hey, this looks better then it did the last few weeks. One good thing about a crash is, that you get to throw away an amazing amount of garbage. Every edit or modification ever made is stored, and hence the backups grow and grow. So, right now, I have only half the data, and 90% of the stories! That’s not bad for a cold Sunday afternoon.

There are of course links to sites that haven’t been revived yet. Don’t worry, I’ll find and fix them.

 Posted by at 3:47 pm

Drumlough Display

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Drumlough Display
Jul 272013

The last Friday in July has become a regular display for the club at Drumlough outside Rathfriland. On again the weather held out wonderfully well to allow us to put on almost two hours of a display including 3D Heli flying by Dave Nolan with his Furion 600 and the Electric Whiplash 90 size, we’ll not go into detail as to why the second Heli had to come out, suffice to say that when the grass has already been cut it doesn’t need done again! But as always Dave put on a great display.
Also on show we’re Sean & Alistair with the strykers, which fortunately did not meet each other the way they did at the same display two years ago.
As always the Toffee bomber was popular with children of all ages and a total of eight drops saw the bombsights well zeroed in and the squeals of delight as the sweets dropped confirmed that they were reaching their targets, although some of the squeals may have been shock and surprise as some of the toffees landed on folks having their BBQ.
Gerald Magivern also brought along his Quadcopter equipped with GPS and a GoPro camera which captured some great shots and video of the display.
As always the folks at Drumlough showed us great hospitality with a sirloin each for our trouble and a fireworks display to round off the evening, although we had to have the last word, with a quick flight from an EPP Flash equipped with as many LED’s as it was able to carry, so if you hear reports of UFO’s around Rathfriland never let on!



Area Funfly

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Area Funfly
Jul 222013


 Area Funfly

The Area Funfly took place on Saturday 22nd June, hosted and run by Banbridge Aeromodelling Club. As it turns out all the competitors were from Banbridge too, with the only visitor being Robert McElroy from the Craigavon club.

Conditions were challenging, with a fairly strong, lumpy, gusty wind which caught a few people out over the course of the competition.

The first round as always was the Climb & Glide, 20 second engine run, engine cut and glide for as long as possible, with a 10% bonus for getting back to the strip. As can be seen from the scores, this was not a round to be writing home about. The wind played a large part in this, with there almost seeming to be a downdraft over the field, all pilots did well to get back to the strip to get the bonus all be it that a couple of undercarriages were well bent on arrival.

Take off, wings level & gain sufficient height before banking gently into the turn. Or Not!!

Repairs complete, Triple Thrash was next. Three touch & go’s, three rolls, three loops and a final touch to stop the clock. Times on this were slightly better, although the wind played a part with a couple of cartwheel arrivals including Alistair who had repaired his undercarriage after the first round and now had a dinged wing! Also some of the inadequacies of earlier repairs were shown up when a slipped undercarriage leg pinned Iain’s throttle wide open, leading to a first time of just over 4 minutes i.e circling until the fuel ran out! A wildcard was used and that time reduced to 53 seconds although a gust on final approach flipped the model and broke the engine mount, hence no further scores for Iain.IMG_0297

Brian McCartan, flexing his knees to encourage the model up!

Touch & Go’s proved less eventful with the main problem being getting the models down in the wind. Matthew showed the looping technique off to good effect although was blown around a bit, while others chose the more traditional circuit & bump approach, Alistair having replaced his original Limbo Dancer with his optimistically packed backup! Electric models proved their advantage in this round with some arrivals which would traditionally have seen the pit crew belting out for a re-start, simply opened the throttle and continued on their way.IMG_0311

Matthew just under the Limbo & turning for the next 1 of 24 in 2 minutes.

The final round as always was the limbo and again the wind caused some bumpy approaches and a few cuts of the limbo string to end rounds early.

Overall it was a good days flying in challenging conditions and the best pilot won. Again it was disappointing that no other clubs took part, although the weather forecast may have put some off.IMG_0315

Competitors in the 2013 Area Funfly with Club Chairman Paul Harrisson.


The top Three being presented with their Certificates & The shield goes back to Matthew’s Mantlepiece.

You can watch part of Matthews Limbo Here


Pilot Climb & Glide (time/score) Triple Thrash (time/score) Touch & Go (Number/Score) Limbo (Number/Score) Position / Score
Matthew Poots 121 Sec+10%/1000 31 Sec / 1000 28 / 1000 24 / 1000 1st / 4000
Sean Scullion 74 Sec+10%/ 609 38 Sec / 816 16 / 571 5 / 208 2nd / 2205
Alistair Henry 75 Sec+10%/ 617 49 Sec / 633 11 / 398 3 / 125 4th / 1767
Iain Johnston 64 Sec+10%/ 526 53 Sec / 585 0 / 0 0 / 0 6th / 1111
Dennis McNeill 62 Sec+10%/ 511 92 Sec / 337 5 / 179 3 / 125 5th / 1152
Brian McCartan 64 Sec+10%/ 526 44 Sec / 705 12 / 429 8 / 333 3rd / 1993
 Posted by at 4:13 pm

Heli Competition

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Heli Competition
Jul 222013

Heli 1Heli Competition

To say it was a busy week at the club would be somewhat of an understatement. Normally we struggle to run competitions when they are supposed to because of weather or folks being unavailable, last week, we made up for lost time, with a new format heli competition on Thursday evening, the Area Funfly on Saturday with a short informal e-soaring competition afterwards. And just to round off the week , the first round  of the Area Aerobatics/ IMAC Norn Irn competition took place on Sunday at the Tyrone Model Flying Association’s site outside Omagh.

The Heli competition differed from the normal rounds of hovering manoeuvres and basic aerobatics to a more Funfly type schedule, with three rounds flown. The first was based on the Triple Thrash Funfly round, with competitors taking off performing 2 pirouettes, 2 flips & 2 stationary rolls in the quickest time possible. Times were actually pretty tight, with the smaller 450 machines getting away with lower altitudes. Alistair also had a low altitude moment when he forgot to flip the idle up switch to give him negative pitch, resulting in his first flip turning into a very low diving manoeuvre which he did well to recover from.


On the approach to a water bottle with the 450XThe second round saw the Bamboo poles usually only seen during the Limbo at Funfly competitions being produced from the hut, which raised both eyebrows & cold sweats! Three poles were placed down the runway with enough space to fly between, and the pilots asked to fly a slalom course between the poles and back to land as quickly as possible. The presence of a physical object obviously makes folks a little more cautious with their whirling blades and with this in mind Dave  took off, flipped inverted and flew the course in a rather interesting manner with some flips and piros thrown in for good measure, and he still had the fastest time! The others followed and some oohs! And aahhs! Were produced as blade tips got close to bamboo in some overcooked turns.

Heli 2

Mission Accomplished!

The last round saw one pole left up and three water bottles set out on the strip, with the pilots required to knock the bottles over, hopefully with the skids! And fly around the pole before returning for each of the remaining bottles. This proved a very challenging round, with some people’s depth perception being put seriously to the test! Brian overcame this by following the heli around the strip, which incurred a 10 minute penalty for leaving the pilot’s box (judge’s decision final!) There were a few near misses as tail rotors got close to bottles, but thankfully nothing hit, at least until Matthew, flying Brian’s Blade 450X, connected the main rotor with a bottle top, resulting in a spray of water and some unrepeatable exclamations from the onlookers. Thankfully the heli survived unscathed and only slightly moist, much like the pilot!

Heli 3

The alternative use for a helicopter as a bottle opener!

Overall the pilots and spectators enjoyed the new format and I think this will be used at future club heli competitions. The rounds were challenging for everyone and showed pilots were in full control while under a little bit of pressure, but the overall feeling was just of a great evenings craic, much like our normal Funfly competitions.


Pilot Triple (time/score) Slalom (time/score) Bottle Knock (time/score) Position / Score
David Nolan 17 Sec / 1000 35 Sec / 800 62 Sec / 1000 1st  / 2800
Alistair Henry 55 Sec / 309 46 sec / 609 145 Sec / 428 5th / 1346
Brian McCartan 19 Sec / 895 44 Sec / 636 85 Sec + 10 minute Penalty / 91 3rd / 1662
Iain Johnston 45 Sec / 378 50 Sec / 560 94 Sec / 660 4th / 1598
Matthew Poots 19 Secs / 895 28 Secs / 1000 99 Sec / 626 2nd / 2521
 Posted by at 3:51 pm

Curious Case of the Missing Volts.

 Electrics  Comments Off on Curious Case of the Missing Volts.
Apr 262013

(To the unsuspecting Reader: This is a story unfolding, which is frequently interrupted by interruption of my access to the interweb. Your travelling Webmaster)

Sounds like the title of a detective story, as a matter of fact, this story is a search for something missing. Before jumping to conclusions, we have to be clear about the word missing. There is a possibility of something being really absent, but it might be equally true that we simply percieve something to be absent, when in fact it is not. It all depends on the method of observing. And that brings us straight to the core of the problem.
Continue reading »

 Posted by at 5:48 pm

Winding up for the Pylons???

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Winding up for the Pylons???
Apr 062013

How do you win the next open pylon? How about wedging as much juice as possible into an airframe and following the basic rules of pylon racing, “Go Fast, Turn Left” and making sure your bicycle clips are firmly fastened!

Below is a speed estimate taken from a recording of Brian McCartan’s Dara 20 at the field, as you can see, the figure comes out at 240km/h or in old money a hair under 150mph!!

What have you got??

Dara DopplerMeasuring the Doppler effect (change in sound frequency) during a low pass to give a speed reading

Dara 20Brian’s Dara 20, not a lot to keep an eye on at 150mph!




 Posted by at 10:21 pm