Drumlough Display

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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

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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

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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