RMAC hosted a very professionally run Nationals over the Easter weekend. All three disciplines attracted very good entries, with 16 in Large Scale, 11 in Pylon and 12 in Scale.
The weather presented all pilots with a challenge especially on Sunday. Everyone flew very well and it was great to see lots of family, friends, supporters and spectators who all came to join in the action.
The large-scale planes flew amazingly complicated manoeuvres (as many as 10 snap roles in a schedule!). The Pylon classes included Standard Quickies, Hot Quickies and FAI models, which flew at 300km/hr! Scale had one of the biggest entries in recent years and the Sportsman Class is a really good way to promote this discipline. All r/c pilots should give it a try in the future.
Flying competitions may seem hard work, but all those who competed will have raised their piloting skills to a new level, which will enable them to enjoy their flying even more at a normal club weekend. One RMAC member only started flying in November but competed in the Large Scale Sportsman Class and flew very well. This really must be a first in SA!
I am pleased to announce that after due process, the SAMAA Management Committee has approved appointment of Juanita Smith as the new SAMAA Treasurer. Juanita's financial background is ideally suited to this critical role & following a structured handover period she will assume responsibilities for the 2012 financial period from Keith Nichols who has served the SAMAA and its members with unselfish dedication & distinction over the past periods.
Juanita has a passion for aeromodeling too, and is already an Glider pilot and recently competed at the combined Power Nats where she participated in Pylon racing and Scale disciplines. Juanita is a member of the RMAC club in Johannesburg, where she & husband Alan (also an accomplished RC pilot) are based.
The SAMAA has recognised a new SA height record. This was claimed by Aaron Tshabalala flying from the Diepsloot Club just North of Johannesburg.
The new record is 19 329 feet or 5891 metres above launch point.
A 55 cc petrol engine of Chinese origin powered the record breaking aircraft which has a span of 3 metres and mass of 4,3 Kg.
The plane is launched and landed under radio control but most of the flight takes place under a Locosys GPS. The GPS feeds into a "credit card" computer -- a Pandaboard ES -- that drives the servos and maintains a pre-programmed flight pattern.
This flight pattern is a full power climb until the fuel runs out, followed by a circling glide back to the landing area. The initial rate of climb is 2000 feet per minute. The plane carries enough fuel for a ten minute engine run. The total flight time was 46 minutes and 13 seconds.
Aaron thanks the following people and organizations for help and advice on this unbelievable achievement:
The SAMAA, his associates at the Engineering Department of the Centurion Technicon, two scientific officers at Denel, who cannot be named for reasons of security, Sky Hi Systems which provided the GPS and Pandaboard and all the helpers at the Diepsloot Club.
(Sorry no photos yet)
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