Sep 022014
 

Our final day off practise in Monticello. We got out early to Eli Field, the wind was howling so perfect day for practise!!

Didn’t fly too much today, Flew a few knowns in both directions, even the downwind spin actually worked out ok. Mike came out and helped me with a few things, we Flew some unknowns, finished with a single known about lunchtime and called it a day at that.

Peter & Ali arrived to see my last flight or two, they helped us pack up whilst they got the trailer all prepped for their 1100mile drive to Maine on the east coast!

We had lunch in a Mexican in town courtesy of Ali and then drove to Muncie late afternoon. It was a pretty relaxed day, very deliberately didn’t want to fly too much day and I’m happy with my sequences. With Mike & Pete’s advice we have learnt a lot and I feel more comfortable now with Mike’s Sukhoi than any of my own planes! To have two TOC legends coach you a few days before a world champs is a pretty rare thing, so I’m happy no matter what happens!! Looking forward to getting some competition flying now!!

Some pics below, we didn’t get a chance to get a pic with Mike & his plane over the weekend, but got one with Peter.

8am Registration & briefing tomorrow, Also some practise flying on site, my practise is done, so I’ll just chill & help out the other UK guys, I believe my team mates have planes and I hope they got some flights today with them!

Matthew

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Sep 012014
 

2nd full day of practise went well, we had a low cloud base this morning so had some waiting around to fly.

Worked with Pete Goldsmith on each flight, got some great tips from a true master of IMAC! He gave me a lot of great advice, showed me a bunch of things I wasn’t doing just right, he is a great teacher and a can explain things so simply, it was very useful! My sequences are coming on.

It’s a great experience! Mike arrived later in the day and I had an IMAC clinic with the two of them!! Priceless help!!

The Sukhoi is flying really well, did some preventive maintenance also ahead of the comp, nothing major, tightened covering etc! Loving the plane more & more!!

Had pizza, watched NASCAR and chatted about all things IMAC / TOC tonight at Pete’s house, so all good! Even got the coolest stick plane ever! But more on that later!! Getting look after in every way!

Matthew

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Aug 312014
 

Out first day of practice in the states. We had a quick breakfast with Mike & Ali, got to Eli Field in Monticello around 9am and bound onto Mike’s Sukhoi.

Not much to report from the day, flew about 8-10 flights ( wasn’t counting) on the Suk, each flight felt better and better. Had Mike & Pete Goldsmith, offer me some great tips. Pete is a Mode 1 flyer so was even able to show me on the Suk, 10 or so years after retiring from IMAC, unreal skills!! Plenty to work on tomorrow with Mike & Pete.

Mike & Ali worked a lot today on prepping various aircraft for next weeks Horizon Airmeet, so lots of flying today at Eli.

We rounded the day off with a Beautiful BBQ at Mike’s house with some of the Horizon product developers.

Roll on tomorrow!

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Aug 292014
 

First day of our World Champs adventure. It’ll be a travel day!Early start on the road at just after 5am, short hop from Dublin to Heathrow. Have a few hours to kill in Heathrow then it’s onto Chicago at midday!

Unfortunate news about Thomas, Barry & Steve’s aircraft getting refused on their flight to Detroit. The guys had confirmed the size of boxes but apparently the airline claimed that they were too long, despite the guys ensuring they stuck strictly to the rules! What a shame! This was also a similar problem for Chris Bull earlier the week. Fortunately many US pilots and JTEC in particular have sorted aircraft from them when they arrive. That’s the great thing about our hobby & IMAC , everyone helps each other out!

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Aug 262014
 

This year I was selected to fly for Team UK in the IMAC World Champs to be held in Muncie, Indiana USA. This year has been spent preparing for the championships and everything has been geared around this huge event. The competition webpage is www.imacworlds.com

My dad and I will fly out later this week and meet up with Horizon Hobbies’ Mike McConville who is very kindly letting me borrow his Prototype Hangar 9 3.1m Sukhoi 26mm. It is fitted with a DA170 on RE3′s, JR servos and guided by the trusty Spektrum DX18. We spend a few days dialling into Mike’s plane and then make our way to Muncie early next week to tie up with the rest of Team UK. A big thanks to Mike for giving me the opportunity to fly the very first 3.1m Sukhoi built to his design, which later became the hugely popular Hangar 9 ARTF, no pressure!

We have been fortunate enough to practise most of the year with our own Sukhoi which Horizon Hobby UK have allowed me to fly for them over the last few seasons, so a big thanks to John and the UK team for this. It shouldn’t take us too long to dial into Mike’s model as our setup’s are more or less identical.

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I would like to thank all my sponsor’s for their help this year, it really wouldn’t be possible without them.

Horizon Hobby UK

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Desert Aircraft

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Optipower

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Carden Aircraft

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TruTurn

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Powerbox Systems

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Detect Security Systems

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Model Fixings

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I plan to do a daily blog update on this site, it’s a good way for me to document our adventure and hopefully you will enjoy reading it.

Thanks,

Matthew

Jul 272014
 

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IMAC Clitheroe is held each year during the last weekend in July. This year it was our first trip over to the Mainland for a comp and is our last chance to compete before the World Champs in early September.

We set sail on the Belfast to Cairnryan ferry on Friday evening and travelled south for 200 or so miles to the flying site just outside the town of Clitheroe. When we arrived at 11pm, everyone had retreated to their Caravans or tents so we for bedded down for the night ourselves.

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Saturday morning dawned with clear blue skies and a very light breeze. Perfect conditions for a days competition. With a few competitors having last minute technical problems with their aircraft we had 10 pilots in total, a little down on normal but last minute problems can’t be avoided. 2 basic class pilots, 1 sportsman, 1 intermediate, 2 advanced & 4 unlimited.

After a short pilots brief we got underway about 10am with the plan to fly 2 double knowns, a unknown, a single known and then freestyle for those that wanted to compete in that class.

Basic was first up, unfortunately one of the new comers had some bad luck on takeoff and clipped the fence at the end or the runway, it’s caught many pilots out over the years, hopefully it won’t dent his enthusiasm for IMAC. With the prefect conditions everyone flew well and our biggest problem was keeping the suncream from running into our eyes and finding a suitable place to get some shade! Not that we are complaining, I’d happily take 28-deg each time I go to fly! Pete Mumford had an exciting first flight, his Edge 540 developed some elevator flutter, he throttled back right away but it took a few seconds for him to regain control, fortunately with the speed bleed off the elevator started to have some control, he smoothly brought the plane round and landed. The problem had been caused by the control horn departing from the elevator. Pete’s edge is a IMAC veteran, it must be 10years old, so it had just worked loose over many 1000′s of flights. It couldn’t be fixed at the field, is Dan kindly lent him his Carden PRO.

We completed two rounds before lunch break, after a short pause we went straight into the unknown and final known. The wind picked up a little for the unknown and everyone managed ok with it. On the unlimited unknown we had the tailslide to trip us up and it did, no one scored for it, I did slide for about a fuselage length but it fell to the left. It looks like IMAC’s sequence committee is pushing the Tailslide this season, so the worlds is bound to have at least 1! Practise required!

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With the sequences over it was time for freestyle, Chris was first up and put it a nice flight, Dave was up second about 3/4′s of the way through his flight, his rudder closed loop gave way, he waggled his way around and needing to keep the speed up he came In fast, model dug in and tip over, minimal damage, a broken prop. I was third up, about a minute into my flight it was my turn for a mechanical problem, the aileron started to flutter, luckily i was able to throttle back, stop the flutter and land without any problem. On investigation it was the inboard starboard aileron servo that had stripped. I wasn’t too annoyed, the servos on the H9 Extra 300 had probably done a good 1200 hard flights and it’s not a bad wear rate for the servos. That was the competition flying over for the day, I got a chance to fly my fellow IMAC UK World Champs team mate Brian Horn’s H9 Extra 300, he wanted a second opinion on his setup, I can report it’s spot on, I really enjoyed my flight and Brian has done a great job getting it just right, he will do well with this at the World’s next month!

The club had kindly laid on a BBQ for us and we all enjoyed the Craic, food and flew some smaller electric models. I had the new Parkzone Super Cub and Sukhoi with me, flown on the new DX6, everyone was impressed with how they flew and for an IMAC crowd the Cub was the most popular model, we may see someone at future IMAC comps! It’s a cracking little aircraft it has to be said and the more I flew the Suk I’m enjoying it more and more! The rain came in about 10am so everyone called it a night and headed to bed after a long day in the sun!

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After a night of heavy rain, Sunday was a little more grey and there was noticeably more wind. It was more IMAC UK competition like! The club spoiled us again with breakfast and we got flying with full stomachs at 10am. The forecast was for showers up to and rain after lunchtime so Phil the CD had planned on getting 2 double knowns in before that. With a few flash showers we did manage it and by 1.45pm we had 4 flights in the bag. Phil suggested we call it a day as the rain was coming and a lot of people had a long journey. By 2pm Win had the results ready and the prize giving took place.
You can see the results below;

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I was very happy to take first place in unlimited and the overall “Woodvale” Trophy. For me it was a warm up comp for the Worlds and I’ve seen a few things and chatting to Chief Judge Phil have a few things to work on for the big comp. So a very worthwhile weekend!

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Thanks to all who organised the comp, Phil & Mike our judges, Win for score keeping and to Andrew & his wife for looking after us all throughout the weekend, food, tea you name it we had it!

Clitheroe is one of my favourite comps, it always has been and still is a worthy successor to the Woodvale Comp, relaxed, a great site and always good to meet up with friends. Looking forward to next year already!

Thanks also to all my sponsors for their continued support! Some pics below.

Matthew

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Jul 132014
 

The Inverza 62 is the third scale model to come from Horizon Hobby which replicants Kevin Kimball’s concept design that we know as the Inverza. Eflite first produced the Inverza 280 mini sized, which proved hugely popular, then came the Inverza 33, this was a 33cc version or 10cell electric and finally we have the Inverza 62 for 60cc or 12cell electric.

We have fitted this Inverza with a DA50, ES composite pipe, spektrum A6260 Hv servos, spektrum 9 ch receiver, single 2s 2000 lipo and Optiguard for redundancy. Evolution have a new 62efi engine due for release very soon, so we will fit that once it’s available.

The inverza comes in 3 boxes and is double boxed for extra safety

The inverza comes in 3 boxes and is double boxed for extra safety

Once the shipping protection boxes are removed, the three internal boxes are identified with the inverza picture

Once the shipping protection boxes are removed, the three internal boxes are identified with the inverza picture

The contents of the 3 boxes, a very complete kit as you can see.

The contents of the 3 boxes, a very complete kit as you can see.

Spats are pre-drilled & captive nuts fitted, they bolt straight to U/C

Spats are pre-drilled & captive nuts fitted, they bolt straight to U/C

DA50 fitted, the block standoff's come with the kit. The header has a 25mm drop.

DA50 fitted, the block standoff’s come with the kit. The header has a 25mm drop.

DA50

The former had to be trimmed slightly to suit the pipe exit, we reinforced it above.

The former had to be trimmed slightly to suit the pipe exit, we reinforced it above.

The ES pipe is narrower in Diameter than an RE2 for example, so a slightly adjustment to preinstalled pipe support is required.

The ES pipe is narrower in Diameter than an RE2 for example, so a slightly adjustment to preinstalled pipe support is required.

Pipe fitted in Fuselage

Pipe fitted in Fuselage

Cowl Mounts attached

Cowl Mounts attached

Supplied Tank fitted & plumbed. The throttle servo we used in a Spektrum A6110 HV servo.

Supplied Tank fitted & plumbed. The throttle servo we used in a Spektrum A6110 HV servo.

DA50 ignition fiited, we used a Spektrum Regulator & 2s Lipo to power the ignition.

DA50 ignition fiited, we used a Spektrum Regulator & 2s Lipo to power the ignition.

underside view of DA50 and ES pipe, we elected to use a Jubliee clip between header/pipe.

underside view of DA50 and ES pipe, we elected to use a Jubliee clip between header/pipe.

The new Spektrum A6260 HV servo. The are super smooth and the metal case is very nice, will reduce that backlash you can get with plastic cases.

The new Spektrum A6260 HV servo. The are super smooth and the metal case is very nice, will reduce that backlash you can get with plastic cases.

The new Spektrum Servo connector, it makes installed very simple and this is a heavier duty option than the standard connection type.

The new Spektrum Servo connector, it makes installed very simple and this is a heavier duty option than the standard connection type.

Underside of Wing

Underside of Wing

Servo tray & horn pre-drilled and installed.

Servo tray & horn pre-drilled and installed.

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Test Flight

The test flight took place on a breezy evening at the flying field. After a quick pre-flight range test all was as expected and the new DA50 fired up with ease, about 10 flicks to get fuel into the carb, it fired, choke off a few flips and it was running. The ES pipe seems to be very quiet and the DA was running very smoothly.

Into the air the Inverza went, with a few clicks of trim it was soon flying straight and level, a quick CofG test and the Inverza CofG felt pretty good. We had placed the RX battery as far forward as we could, being conscious that the DA50 is a light engine, this proved about perfect. I tried a few basic aerobatic manoeuvres, point rolls were very nice, sharp and axial, snaps as seemed to be very positive and the exit sharp, it will make for a very nice IMAC aircraft I can feel that in the short flight I had. I was very conscious that the DA50 was new and not to push things too hard, I tired a few longer uplines and the piped 50 had ample power for most IMAC sequences, the airframe is light and there isn’t much drag, so it carries speed well even with a snap thrown in on the upline. I tried some very gently 3D, not wanting to load the engine, it feels very locked in, responsive & comfortable in 3D.

There is a lot of potential in this airframe, you can really appreciate that this aircraft has been designed from the ground up to be a good as it can be and the Quique Somenzini & Kevin Kimbal partnership has produced a beautifully balanced aircraft in precision & 3D.

I’m looking forward to flying it some more and fitting the new Evolution EFI 62 when it becomes available.

Thanks to Horizon Hobby UK for the opportunity to test. Here are some pics;

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Matthew

Jun 252014
 

Parkzone have just realised a new Mike McConville Design Sukhoi 29. This is the first fully aerobatic 3 D model to feature SAFE texhnology, the Spektrum system that self levels an aircraft from any attitude when altitude allows.

It has a number of modes, that will benefit novices in world of 3D and keep the more experience guys happy. I’m looking forward to flying very soon.

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Jun 192014
 

The Midlands Model Flying Club kindly invited My dad & I down to their Annual ‘Big Fly-in held at their club site near Kilcormac Co. Offlay. My dad, my wife Lisa and I headed off early with a van fully of models ready for a great days flying. When we arrived we were warmly welcomed by the club and quickly got unloaded and ready for a few flights. The fly-in itself was a 3 day event and a lot of flyers had elected to make a weekend of it and camped on site. There was a great array of aeroplanes and heli’s on show and the sky was never empty, it was common to see 3 & 4 aeroplanes up at once as everyone made the most of the near perfect flying condition. The flying site is set in the middle of re-claimed bog land and there isn’t a house in sight, an ideal place for a flying club. The club have great facilities with a large lean-to providing shelter on the wetter days.

 

I had brought to fly the Hangar 9 35% Extra 300 powered by DA120, the 43% Carden Extra 300 powered by DA200 and the 42% Carden Extra 300 PRO powered by 16kw Predator Motor on Optipower 7s Lipo’s. The H9 extra is one of my all time favourite models, it performs precision and 3D flight equally well and I always enjoy throwing it about. The DA200 powered Carden is getting on in years, 5 years old now, but it’s still one of the most competitive IMAC airframes on the market. It has served me well over the years and continues to. The smoothness of the excellent DA200 has really kept this airframe fresh and my dad’s meticulous maintenance routine has kept this combination at the top of it’s field. Our newest aircraft is the Electric powered 42% Carden PRO, fitted with a 16kw Plettenberg Predator 37/6 Evo, JETi spin 300 ESC and new Optipower 50c 7s 5300mah Lipo’s, wired as a 14 cell 15900mah pack, give this airframe stunning performance. We are still very much learning this new aeroplane and with the latest 50c lipo’s from Optipower have limited the power to 70% of what this motor is capable of, we still have enough power to fly any IMAC sequence, our quest now is to work on timings to increase our efficiency and see if we can improve on our 10min flight time. I also flew the Blade 350 Qx and had the Go Pro onboard, the quad performed perfectly but the operator needs some work, I had selected the wrong mode on the Go Pro so only got a shot of me switching the camera on, aerial photography at it’s best. J

 

Lisa and my Dad were on the camera at various stages and got some really nice shots between them, my Dad’s new Canon D70 is working well. You can see some of the shot’s below.

 

I must thank all the members of the club, they really made us feel welcome, food & drink vouchers and really keen modellers very interested in all our models and in particular the new big electric. I found these 2 youtube clips online, so I can’t take credit for them. We had a great day and will definitely be heading back next time.

My H9 Extra 300

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Onboard from a Quad (one with the video on this time!)

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Thanks,

 

Matthew

 

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Jun 082014
 
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I have been very fortunate to receive some sponsorship from Optipower. I will be running their packs In my competition aircraft. Our big Carden PRO needs 14cells, so optipower’s new 7s 5300mah 50c’s fit the bill perfectly.

We will wire 6 of them together In series/parallel to give 14 cell 15900mah of power.

We will also be using their superb Cell Pro 8 charger, it’s a great unit and ideal for parallel charging the 7s packs.

A big thanks to Andy and his team for their support!

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