Saturday, January 31, 2009

2009 Memphis Heli Classic

This year, I will (along with my club) be hosting the 2009 Memphis Heli Classic.

We're hoping to make this an annual event and a good all around time. Attendance looks better every day and that is definitely a positive.

If you're reading this and you're a heli pilot, I hope you come out!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Good CX Ride and End of Duck Season

Well, this past weekend, my father and I headed back into the woods to finish out the duck season. Arkansas' season ended this weekend.

Before I headed over to AR, I managed to get in two laps of the Tour De Wolf Trail on my SSCX bike. The trail was in great condition and was a lot of fun. Very fast rolling on those narrow nobby tires.....

Saturday was a good day with everything right about the weather except the wind.... Everytime we'd get a group working down to the treetops, a gust would come along and blow them away (literally). Got pretty frustrating, but you can't control the weather.

Then Sunday rolled in. Again, we were heading for the woods of Bayou Meto..... As we loaded in the boat road and got the WarEagle on plane, the water was nearly freezing on my face as it splashed up.... it was cold like you don't feel otherwise. Normal people don't get to have experiences like this.

As we rounded one of the corners around Hallowell, we saw a few boats pulled up against a little island just off the boat road. As we went by, people started hollering and flashing lights in our eyes. We rolled on past and they yelled louder. At that point, I told dad to pull the boat over. As we did, it got stuck in a shallow spot and one of the people at the island started screaming that 'you wouldn't be stuck if you'd just pulled over when I yelled at ya!". I replied "I don't know who you are or what you're doin!" The guy then hollered at me that he had yelled "Game Warden", but I could not hear that over the boat motor- and I told him so.

It was a pretty interesting situation. Boats lined up like cordwood against this island in the woods at 4:45 in the morning with skim ice floating around the bases of the trees..... A group of hunters was gathered around a bonfired the gamewardens had built on the island. They might as well have gotten warm as they all were getting tickets.

The wardens searched our boat and checked over our licenses as well as our guns and our shell bags. As we floated there, wardens kept yelling at boats coming around that corner.........

I'm not an outlaw, so we got out of there with no citations and no warnings. Definitely a good thing.

Back on the boat road, we raced on down to the new hole in the woods we had scouted out the previous afternoon. This area was in an area of the woods that not many people went to because there was no way to get your boat to it easily. Good news was that the wind was gone..... Bad news was that it was replaced with ice on the water and heavy cloudcover. Well, the ducks don't like the woods when its cloudy in my experience, and watching the fields as we left that morning, all the ducks were in areas they were able to keep free from ice. I'm guessing between the clouds and the ice, we just were not bound to see a duck - and we didn't...

Next season will be fun. We found a few new holes to hunt, and I learned a few tricks to create opportunities to hunt. I just have to make sure to take advantage of what I learned.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Eager To Get Back On The Road.....

I am missing road riding again. Can't wait for a warm afternoon to get out and head out on the pavement.....
Two pictures from the past 5 years..... Guess which one is the earlier....

Monday, January 19, 2009

One Lap At Herbs

Made it out to Herbs for one lap, but I just plain felt like crap...... It was 35 degrees out, so that was not helping at all.

It drives me nutz! Over the holidays, I got in a lot of riding and eventually got to the point I could stay ahead of some of my riding buddies..... however because the past two weeks have been so busy, I've apparently lost everything I had built up- Today I was lucky to even keep up.........

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Horrible Cycling Weather

Well, its just plain been aweful cycling weather the past few weeks. I think I actually heard my roadbike say "I'm lonely.... ride me".......

Between rain to keep me off the trails, and cold to keep me off the roadbike, I'm guessing its now time to set up the trainer and go from there....... Kinda a painful thought- I hate the trainer. However IF I'm going to hit my 2009 goal of getting to 180 by September, then I'm gonna have to do it......

Saturday, January 17, 2009

T-Rex Night Flying

Last night while waiting outside to pick up some take-out food, I rigged up my T-Rex for night flying.

Used some Align blades I'd picked up some time earlier, and an Electrifly light kit I picked up at the LHS. I test flew two packs through it and its not terribly easy to see, so I redid the lighting on the canopy and the fuse. On the canopy, I moved it 1/4" away from the black window paint. I'm hoping this will get the light reflecting from a lot of white paint.

On the structure, I re did the lighting alignment so it would show in every realm of flight.

I also noticed that these blades tracked worse than any blade I've flown yet. I'll have to re-track them when its warmer.

In flight, the thing really was a dog because of the cold. I could not believe how poorly the batteries performed. That was until I got in the truck and realized it was 21 degrees........

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Memphis Indoor Classic 2009

Its been a week since I last posted......... and its been even longer since I've thrown a leg over my bike.......

Thats because I was incredibly busy last week.

Last week was the Memphis Indoor Classic. I've been working on this race with Al Glenn for several months. First off, he deserves all the credit for getting this event together, and simply consider myself lucky enough to have helped.

I started the event the week before in building my newest design. It still does not have a name, but it flies well. I finished that airplane on Wednesday evening. Thats the cool thing about FAI F3P-A, finish your competition airplane in 4 hours instead of 400.......

People started showing up for the event on Thursday night. While I tried to stay out of trouble with the wife, RJ and AC showed up and started working on RJ's latest prototype. FancyFoam had shipped the raw kit to my house along with prizes for the competition. After laying a simple but attractive paintjob on the bird, RJ took to framing it. For me, it was a bit frustrating to watch, as it took RJ about 4-5 hours to complete, and I can do the same job in less than an hour....... However the results were pretty awesome.

We showed up at the facility on Friday morning and helped Al set up the facility with tables and concession stand. By 10:30 we were flying, trimming and practicing. I put up approximately 15-20 practice and trim flights just in that one day. By 5pm, we were handed the unknown and sat down for a pilots' meeting. The unknown looked scary on paper, but was really not that bad in the air. It certainly was not easy (it was an ass kicker) it was just not as hard as it looked on paper. That was definitely a good experience for me. We finished the evening when Riley K's father brought pizza in for all the pilots.

Saturday began very early and very rainy. Thank goodness we were flying indoor! We started the morning by realizing 2 of the pilots we were sure were going to fly backed out. Their loss. We flew 2 rounds of F3P-A and 2 rounds of unknown. I felt really good about the known flights and my first unknown flight. My second unknown flight was going great and I managed to zero the last maneuver!!!!!!! Thank goodness we were allowed to drop our worst flights.

After the morning precision contest, we had open flying for several hours. People flew all sorts of flying, and we managed to get some impromptu pylon racing in. That was some of the most fun I've had at a contest in a while. I flew my trusty little SCAT delta (own design) and whoooped up on everyone else. By the last race, one of the HobbyLobby guys finally had his bird tuned to outrun my airplane on the straights. At that point, I genuinely had to outfly him on the course to beat him- and I did!!!!!! Of course that was all just for fun. : )

Saturday afternoon, we got ready to hit the freestyle section of the competition. Frankly, I flew my first flight to a new song and the routine just plain sucked...... Then I flew to my 2008 ETOC music and my routine was significantly better, even though I had not flown it in almost a year....... and then I crashed. I genuinely think that d@#$ airplane was jinxed. Needless to say, I won't rebuild it.

The real freestyle competition was between Riley K and RJ. Both put up absolutely killer flights. They were on fire. Well choreographed, challenging maneuvers and sequences and pretty dynamic overall.

In the end, RJ came out on top on both Precision and Freestyle. Huge congrats to him.

Personally, I came out in 4th place overall. I'm actually pretty pleased with that. The competition in front of me was/is pretty doggone good.

After the competition was over, we sat down for some 'Interstate' barbeque. There is nothing that compares to Memphis bbq. I had not had any bbq in so long (still trying to lose weight) it was really nice to have a plate of it. We spent the rest of the evening flying helis, some more pylon and generally acting stupid.

Sunday, we flew a bit and helped clean up. I ended up having to work Sunday morning, so I missed most of my friends before they left.... : ( but I'm glad I was there to help Al wrap everything up.

Next year will be an even better event!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Foamy Painting

Laid some paint this evening after cleaning the airbrush for too long......

Monday, January 5, 2009

Foamy Building Fun

Spent a lot of the fall working on two foamies, one of which is great, the other which has its own issues........
So, over the holidays I drafted out something new. We'll see if it flies well on Friday with a little luck. In a matter of 3 hours, I cut all the parts, drew and cut the milling templates, then milled all the parts.........

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Bike Cleanup Day

Well, I've put in a few messy miles over the last couple weeks, so when my daughter decided to nap, I got out the work stand and polished and waxed up my bikes. Each is shined to a 't' and will resist the rest of the winter gunk out there on the roads and the trails.

Finally got a picture of the QA with the new Toupe Ti on it. Crappy name for a seat, but I like the seat.

While I was at it, I pulled all the cables and wiped them down. I then coated the portion of each that goes inside the cable housing and greased it with Boeing grease. Everything shifts/brakes very nicely now.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Awesome MSTA New Years Day Ride

To start the new year, I met up with approx 16 other MSTA members and rode the Wolf River Trails. Was a great morning out even though it was cold!!!!

I launched myself over the handlebars for the first time in a lot of years, but otherwise had a smooth fast ride. Was a great time to meet all the other MSTA guys I've not yet met. They really are some good riders and very capable of putting the burn on a rider!