Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Aaaaaagh! and you thought LiPo batteries were dangerous -- Andre Kilian reminds us to be careful

Here's a pic of my 12V charging battery that was short-circuited and the results on my workbench a few minutes later.

My mistake was to leave the poles open - would not even think of doing that with a Nicad or Lipo battery, but without realising it I left a much more dangerous source of energy open.

Needless to say that I now intend to keep the battery poles covered at all times...
Fortunately I had a car charger connected to the battery (I leave it connected permanently) and the electricity tripped when the cables burnt through, alerting me to a problem. The concrete ceiling also helped - if it was a normal house or garage the whole place would have burnt down.




It took me a week to clean up my workshop. Most damage was done by smoke and soot!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

2006 World Control Line Champs -- update from Peter Lott

The World Champs results can be found here

Keith and Loren who are flying F2B have flown 2 flights each of the 4 at this stage. Currently Keith and Loren are placed about mid-field: Well done! Interesting to see Loren's first flight placed him 26th out of 83, a good show!

Best regards,

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Skunk Works

You will have heard of the Famous Skunk Works. Home of the prototypes of the U2, the Blackbird and the Stealth Fighter.

It thrived on informality and low cost solutions. The best aero engineers in the US worked there, including according to urban legend, Joe Wurts.

Well, SA has its own Skunk Works. It is within spitting distance of the Cradle of Humankind. It operates under the keen eye of Evan Shaw. It is the home of the Tsotsi. The aircraft that filled most of the top spots at the last Highveld Thermal League.

In so doing the Tsotsi beat exotic imported models costing many times as much.

This is the Skunk Works with an engineer hard at work. For obvious resons of security, I cannot name him.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Lost Model -- Jim Patrick

Greetings, I was yesterday given a somewhat wrecked model that had obviously got lost. The lady who gave it lives in Roodepoort, but she got it from somebody else, so she does not know where it was found. It is a high wing trainer type, with "Magnum" stickers. Please be so kind as to post a message that anybody who can positively identify the model can collect it from me in Centurion.

Best wishes,
Jim Patrick
Contact 082 446 6073 or (012) 662 0083

Friday, July 14, 2006

Good wishes to the SA F3J team -- Piet Rheeders

Hi all F3J Team members,

To all our RSA F3J team members/pilots, Senior/Junior Team Mangers and Helpers, on behalf of the MGA I wish you a safe and successful journey to the World F3J Championship in Martin, Slovakia.

You have worked and practiced hard over the past 7 months and now the time has come to show your mettle against the worlds best soaring pilots.

I for one has never been in a SA team or a SA team that left our shores but on the eve of your departure to Slovakia, if I could give some advice, this is what I would suggest.

a) First of all please remember that you are Ambassadors of our country South Africa. Your behavior in Slovakia will not only reflect on you but also on the rest of South Africa. (So no Head butts please !!! :) )
b) Secondly you are Sports men/women and there to display good sportsmanship. Remember that in most sports their is only one winner ( may it be one of you !!!). Be humble if you are the winner, be as humble if you are not.
c) As a Team, support each other both physically and morally, listen to the advice of your Team Managers and never give up doing your best.
d) The only thing that remains now is to bring back those World Championship Trophies to the RSA.

My all the thermals you get be strong ones and all your spot landings be spot on.

Piet Rheeders,

MGA F3J Rep.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Friday, July 07, 2006

Suspension of flying at Groengoud on Sunday 9 July 2006 -- Joe Coetzer

Hi Everyone,
SAMAA is suspending any R/C flying at Groengoud on Sunday 9 July 2006, between 9:30 and 15:00. This instruction is issued in the interest of safety and if not strictly adhered to, the provisional registration of the Groengoud field will be jeopardised and the matter will be reconsidered at the SAMAA Management Meeting, first week of August 2006. Dave Armitage have been requested to ensure that the required spectrum scans are done ASAP. The results will be considered at the aforementioned meeting. Formal registration of the site will only be completed once the results are available.This is the standard procedure to be followed for any deviation from the prescribed 5 km division between flying sites.
The posting of this instruction on the MGASA site is done in order to advise everyone (in particular the members of Groengoud) of the final decision on the matter.
Kind regards,
Joe Coetzer

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Volkrust Freeze -- Gert Nieuwoudt

The long weekend of 16 June provided an opportunity to visit the slope of Tamatieberg. A note on Mgasa and Sarfly revealed that many more had the same idea. The weather prediction for the weekend was -6 deg as Volksrust can get very cold and normally enough wind during winter time. It turned out not to be so cold and we had a pleasant weekend with lots of sun. The wind was not as strong but produced enough lift on the Friday for lots of stick time. The Saturday we only flew the floaters. Twenty or more pilots from BERG, Brits, ETB, Vaal and Secunda joined the gathering over the weekend with some only coming one of the days. Slope soaring has become quite popular also with power pilots here in upcountry. I believe Jaques van der Linde of Nelspruit have a slope in the Lowveld area as well. We were treated with some large scale airplanes in the air on Friday. As always Norbit was there, this time with a 6m wingspan SB-10. Dion maidened his scratch built 4m ASW-22. The procedure is:

1. Get someone to throw the glider off the mountain.
2. Trim the model to fly straight and climb to horison height.
3. Make one pass to test the CG
4. Roll it on the next pass and say "it looks pretty ok",
5. keep on flying for the next 30 minutes and do a perfect landing in the rotor.
Well if you can fly you can FLY!

Can't wait for the next time

More photos here.

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