Saturday 18th to Tuesday 21st June

Posted: 22/06/2016 09:00

Addendum to previous Blog.  For those of you with an engineering bent, Ken Arkley has provided a photo of the gear train in a Bristol Hercules engine of the type  that was demonstrated to the Northern's competitors last week by owner Patrick Smart whose father flew Bristol Hercules engined Halifax bombers in WW2.  Get your teeth into that.

Bristol Hercules valvegear (1)

Saturday 18th.   The last day of the Northerns started much like the rest of the week with a low overcast in a light to moderate N'ly wind, but for a change the overcast did lift and break sufficiently to allow flying to take commence around midday although, unfortunately, the improvement in the weather was not enough to allow a contest day to be held.  Club, competitor and  visitor flying all contributed to an AT total of 24 for the day, with Northern's competitor Mike Bond in his DG800  and Chris Gill in his DG202 both electing to fly back to Rufforth, 2 of the 11 private owner launches of the day.  Bob Bromwich, another Northern's competitor, rounded off his week with 1:31 in his Lak 17 fes, while YGC pilot, Lindsay McLane had 2:05 in his Ventus, 2 of the 4 pilots to exceed an hour in the air.  Mike Wood, flying the Ka8 of the first launch of the day, almost made it to an hour with 58 minutes, while Steve Codd and S Lambdre in their Twin Astir had 34 minutes of the last flight of the day, albeit off a 4,000' tow, to contribute to the four > 30 minute flights of the day.  The day's flying included 2 flights in the Falke and the day's entertainment  was rounded out by an end of competition party complete with a live band.

Sunday 19th.  An advancing Atlantic front with its rain meant it was an early finish to flying around 1500 hrs, but not before 16 ATs and 3 Falke flights had taken place under progressively cloudier skies in a light to moderate SSE'ly wind.  The lack of any significant thermal activity meant it was an up round and down day, which meant 3,000' tows for the 2 First Flight pupils of  the day, and 3 flights for Geoff Christason who was a Day Course pupil.   Steve Codd and S Lambre topped the flight time table with 34 minutes, this time in the DG500, with Albert Newbery and First Flight pupil John Holden making their 3,000' tow generate 31 minutes of flying time, these being the only flights of the day to exceed 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, in the tug hangar, Tony Drury, was hard at work installing the electrics, as the following photo tends not to show.  Tony was obviously in a self supervisory role at the time.

.Tug Hangar power supply June

Monday 20th.  Sunday's rain lingered into Monday morning, the total rainfall being 10.6 mm, but by 1245 hrs the cloud and rain had cleared and a light to moderate W'ly was blowing, accompanied by sunny intervals and convective cloud.  Marginal soaring conditions on the hill resulted in some pilots taking ATs and some winch launches, 10 of the former and 10 of the latter, with the conditions resulting in 8 flights of > 1 hour and 6 > 30 minutes.   Thermal lift was mainly the order of the day, with thermal boosted hill lift and some weak wave around to add interest to the day's flying.  Two private owners flew, Steve Thompson in his Discus having 3:09, his tow to 3,000' QFE putting him in touch with some transient wave that never translated into a significant climb.  Martyn Johnson in his DG600 took a winch launch and landed 2:58 later, while fellow winch launch pilots Phil Lazenby in the Ka8 and Brian Wise and Frank Rolls in the DG1000 had 1:40 and 1:19 respectively.  Those flying ATs off runway 24 found some turbulent conditions on the climb out over the western corner of the ridge, with Steve Ogden suffering a weak link rupture that resulted in his starting his soaring flight at 100' above the hill but, whether undeterred or taking time to get his breath back, eventually landed after a flight of 2:06 in Astir DPO, while Tom Dale, having a less traumatic start to his flight, had 1:49 in the DG303.  Monday saw the start of another holiday course with members Christina Griffiths, Luke Koprowski, Keith Davey and Paul Sheffield able to get some early soaring experience, Christina and Luke both having flights close to an hour, Christina with  Ron Beezer in K21 JVZ and Luke with Bob Beck in K21 KLW.  Flying continued until after 1800 hrs with the day's 4 First Flight pupils splitting 50/50 between AT and winch launches.

Tuesday 21st.  Sunny skies in a light to moderate SSW'ly flow, encouraged  a number of private owners to rig and fly, they contributing 10 to the day's total of 24 launches.  However, the atmosphere responded with periods of over-convection and spreadout, making take off time an important factor in the ability to stay up.  Due to the changing conditions, only 4 of the day's flights exceeded an hour with 11 exceeding 30 minutes, but Lindsay McLane, off early in his Ventus returned just under 6 hours later, having visited Scarborough and Barnard Castle  and covering at least   216 kms.  Most of the other private owners who launched and were able to soar stayed relatively local, including Nick Gaunt in his LS7 with 2:13 and Martyn Johnson in his DG600 with 1:40.  Steve Thompson in his Discus ran into an dead area on his way to Pocklington and landed out near Kirkham Abbey, south of Malton as the following photo shows.

Steve Thompson Kirkham Abbey

Typically, after finding no lift before landing,  conditions had changed by the time his retrieve crew of George Rowden and Polly Whitehead arrived to one of blue skies and plump Cu as shown below, Leonard, a local friendly farmer, showing  a great interest in the proceedings.

Steve Thompson Kirkham Abbey 1

Back at site, 5 First Flight pupils as well as course members experienced similar  varying conditions, with course members Christina Griffiths seeing the best of them with 58 minutes in K21 JVZ with Ron Beezer followed by 43 minutes in K21 KLW later in the day with that man Ron again.  Not to be outdone, club member Andy Evans had 44 minutes in JVZ with David Campbell while David Watson took First Flight pupil M Pack for 48 minutes in the DG500.  The day's flying activities included 4 Falke flighs and a visit from a Robin, the aeronautical and not ornithological kind.

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