Wednesday, 30 October 2013

All new F3F Merlin from Ian Mason

A while back I was asked if I would build and test fly the new Merlin designed by Ian Mason. The first models turned up at T9HobbySport a couple of weeks ago and I received mine a few days later.

The market has many different types of models available for F3F / Slope, generally they come with a high price tag. Unbelievably you can purchase this model for less than £600 and the quality is excellent, see the pictures below for yourself.

The model being more aimed at entry to intermediate level, I was very interested to see how this models performed. It is always very positive to encourage new pilots into slope soaring or F3F and this model will definitely be a massive step in the right direction.

The previous model form Ian the Willow proved to be exceptionally popular with all levels of pilots, many being owned by very experienced pilots.

I will be starting the build in the next couple of weeks and I will provide as much information around the build but more importantly how well it flies.

I will be building the model using MKS 6125’s on the flaps, MKS 6125 minis on the ailerons and 6125e’s the fuz.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

MKS Brings Brushless Motors to there Slimline Servos

More developements from MKS, they have a new range of slimline Wing Brushless Motor servos coming soon for gliders:

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Great Britain Slope Racing Association.

After a lot of work slope racing in the UK has finally received official status. Below is a brief update on what we are trying to do to raise the profile in the UK and establish ourselves for the future:

I am sure the history of slope racing which I have documented below could be challenged, so I apologise for any inaccuracies, unfortunately I am still relatively new to the sport.

Slope racing in different forms has been organised at club and national level since the early seventies and possibly before then in the UK. In the mid eighties F3F racing was born by the Danes. From this time forward, various individuals have given up an enormous amount of time in the UK to organise slope racing. This group of pilots have remained in the whole independent. In the UK we have hosted 3 Viking races and before that the North Sea cup. Viking races have been hosted by many countries around Europe, which is incredible when you look at the amount of work it takes to organise these events.

In 2010 / 2011 F3F was finally recognised by the FAI, which led to the first world championships in Germany. This was without doubt a fantastic event. Those who were lucky enough to attend would all agree Franz Demmler and his team put together a contest that will be remembered for many years to come.

For the UK to bring this together and understand the process required, to send the best team and manager was not easy to achieve. It also showed that we needed to be much better organised and operate closer with our governing body the BMFA.

After I returned from the world championships, I set about looking at how this could be best achieved, how all the pilots could be involved in this process and decision making. Along with Jon Edison we spoke to a number of pilots to understand how they felt about the current organisation. Whilst it fitted what we needed for local league etc, it was clear improvements to raise this ever growing sports profile in the UK were essential.

With the information gained, Jon and I put together a proposal to submit to the BMFA to give us specialist body status. We wrote with close assistance from the BMFA, a constitution and proposal which was submitted in August. On Saturday the 7th September we presented the proposal to the BMFA Council in Leicester and they voted unanimously in favour of the specialist body.

So what does this mean?

It means:

· Secure the future of Slope racing in the UK and to promote the continued growth of slope soaring.

· To Provide the Slope Racing community the opportunity through an organised structure to have a direct input into the running of their sport.

· To manage the expectations of the F3F flyers and provide a democratic organisation to best suits their needs

· To raise the profile of F3F and give it appropriate representation on the BMFA

· Provide a representation on the BMFA Silent Flight Technical Committee.

Jon Edison, John Phillips and Peter Gunning have all stepped forward to form the first committee, which will work towards getting the association up and running. Julian Perrott from BarkWeb, a keen F3F pilot from East Sussex Slope Soaring club, has kindly offered to design and host our website. This will be released over the next few weeks. More details will be available once the website is up and running, including the constitution, how to join the association and support Slope Racing going forward.

So what will we be known as “Great Britain Slope Racing Association” or GBSRA. This will also enable us to also have the full potential to introduce new classes where possible.

I hope everyone is in agreement and understand why this was a necessary requirement going forward.

Kind regards

Martin Newnham
BMFA League Coordinator.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Video footage from SlopeGlide 2013 by Tom Foreman

Excellent video by Tom Foreman of Greg Dakin

Based on watching Greg fly his Dorado form RCRCM I have now placed on order, this model looks an excellent aerobatic model. I hope you enjoy the video of Greg showing off his skills at Levisham.

SlopeGlide 2013

With work I havent had much time along with organising contests to update the blog. Below is a report form last weekends slopeglide contest held in Yorkshire:

Thank fully the weather was on our side for the weekend and we had plenty of wind and sun for this year’s SlopeGlide contest. Last year we were in Wales and with the change of location we moved to the Hole Of Horcum. Although the numbers were not as high as last year, we still had plenty of pilots for an excellent weekend of flying.

The first day put us on Levisham, this is a very challenging slope at the best of times but add its variability and you can be punished in every round. At the end of the day there were a few broken models after the 10 rounds, thankfully all were reparable. Setting the variability aside, other than 2 rounds the rest were won with sub forties, the fast time by Mark Redsell with 31.66 which was also the fastest time of the weekend.

The results at the end of day 1 were as follows:

1 Mark Redsell 8465.22 1000.00
2 Greg Dakin 8120.04 959.22
3 Rich Bago 7998.55 944.87
4 Martin Newnham 7983.47 943.09
5 Paul Garnet 7940.57 938.02
6 John Phillips 7914.65 934.96
7 Kev Newton 7791.94 920.46
8 Ronnie Lampe 7504.88 886.55
9 Mark Abbotts 7499.67 885.93
10 Tom Foreman 7421.81 876.74
11 Keith Wood 7365.64 870.10
12 Jon Edison 7202.37 850.81
13 Frank Hulton 7094.88 838.12
14 Tom Macpherson 6983.12 824.91
15 Mick Walsh 6746.22 796.93
16 John Tideswell 6522.69 770.52
17 Jonathan Wells 0.00 0.00

Sunday, the wind was looking to be more southerly and the hope of flying on the bowl was eagerly awaited by all, conditions on this slope tend to more consistent, how wrong we was. Every round had its good and bad flights, everyone suffered at some point throughout the day. It was still a great days flying enjoyed by everyone.

Overall it was an excellent weekend of flying and I think everyone enjoyed the flying, the relaxed atmosphere and the company.

To the final results, Mark Redsell took the honours and didn’t put a foot wrong for a well deserved the win. It was great to see John Phillips sharing the honours along with Greg Dakin in third. I hope the port and win went down well.

At the end of the 20 rounds the scores were not as far apart as the conditions would have suggested they would be.

1 Mark Redsell 16867.49 1000.00
2 John Phillips 16563.05 981.95
3 Greg Dakin 16449.83 975.23
4 Martin Newnham 16315.29 967.26
5 Rich Bago 16233.95 962.44
6 Paul Garnet 15909.66 943.21
7 Kev Newton 15508.96 919.45
8 Keith Wood 15471.99 917.26
9 Ronnie Lampe 15195.49 900.87
10 Tom Foreman 15168.34 899.26
11 Jon Edison 15167.26 899.20
12 Mark Abbotts 14929.47 885.10
13 Mick Walsh 14545.54 862.34
14 Tom Macpherson 14434.28 855.74
15 Frank Hulton 14361.48 851.42
16 John Tideswell 13025.04 772.19
17 Jonathan Wells 0.00 0.00

I would like to thank Jon Edison and Ronnie Lampe for sharing CD duties, the new timing equipment with its latest update uploaded was faultless on both days. Frank, Mark A, Mark R and Paul for getting the course out to the slope and ready for use. Kev and Tom who shared buzzer supreme duties. Finally North Yorkshire Moors Ridge Soaring Club for sharing the slopes again for us to race our models.

I look forward to catching up with you all again soon.



Wednesday, 12 June 2013

BMFA F3F Nationals 2013 Championship

Sun, 24 degrees, a view across the Welsh Valleys, just a few more ingredients, wind 10m\s increasing through the day to around 15m\s coming from the ENE direction placing us on Britain’s premier slope ‘THE WRECKER’ along with plenty of good air (thermals;-) )  And finally, 32 pilots to compete in the BMFA F3F Nationals 2013 Championships. It all made for a really fantastic weekend in South Wales.

Meet on day one was 8:15am to get registration and pilot numbers out of the way. Simon Thornton and Andrzej worked on getting the course out, setup and 10:15 we was able to get the first of 8 rounds on the way and the start of a total of a 123 sub forties including one sub thirty.

As the early rounds started it was clear that a mid to low sub forty was going to be required if you wanted to stay in touch with the early leaders. The round takers for the day were as follows:

Round 1              
  • 1st            Martin Newnham 35.54
  • 2nd           Jonathan Wells 38.14
  • 3rd           Mike Shellim  38.47
Round 2              
  • 1st           Joel West 29.75
  • 2nd          Scott Ravenscroft 33.02
  • 3rd           Greg Dakin 34.58
Round 3              
  • 1st           Martin Newnham 31.87
  • 2nd          Mark Abbotts 32.60
  • 3rd           Joel West 32.73
Round 4              
  • 1st           Martin Newnham 31.86
  • 2nd          Joel West 32.71
  •  3rd           Mark Redsell 34.11
Round 5              
  • 1st           Joel West 33.76
  • 2nd          Mark Redsell 34.79
  • 3rd           Paul Garnett 35.62
Round 6              
  • 1st           John Phillips 32.87
  • 2nd          Greg Dakin 34.12
  • 3rd           Paul Upton 34.24
Round 7               
  • 1st           Joel West 32.65
  • 2nd          Mark Redsell 32.91
  • 3rd           Mark Abbotts 32.97
Round 8              
  • 1st           Mike Evans 31.92
  • 2nd          Paul Upton 34.98
  • 3rd           Rich Bago 35.29

Each round requires a 300 metre walk to the landing area, by the end of the day everyone was suitable exercised and ready to get back to the various hotels to sooth the sunburn and get ready for the curry.

Mark Abbotts had taken care of the food arrangements at a different curry house for a change, those of you that stayed away missed some great food, Mark also excelled in laying on street entertainment, and you had to be there to understand.

Day 2 we meet at 8:30am again Simon and Andrzej got the course organised whilst I updated the pilot flying list.  The wind again put us on the Wrecker and the normally most trusted sites for the area suggested it would stay there all day, this unfortunately wasn’t the case and by the time it swung round it was too late to change location and re-setup on the Crest.

We did manage a further 3 rounds:

Round 9              
  • 1st           Paul Upton 37.47
  • 2nd          Jonathan Wells 37.52
  • 3rd           Mark Abbotts 38.63
Round 10              
  • 1st           Paul Upton 33.46
  • 2nd          Joel West 35.43
  • 3rd           Mike Shellim 36.41
Round 11            
  • 1st           Mike Evans 38.42
  • 2nd          Martin Newnham 38.45
  • 3rd           Rich Bago 38.62
Even with the early finish it made for a great weekend, the standard of flying by every pilot was excellent and I am sure there are some new PB’s to be updated to the list which is growing with every contest we have in UK as is the numbers to each event.

Special thanks have to go Andrzej who CD’d the whole weekend, he kept it flowing and without him we wouldn’t have completed the rounds we did. As a pilot that takes dedication for so many others to be able to enjoy their flying, whilst he choose not to.

Simon Thornton made sure the course was up and ready to go at the start of each day and disassembled it at the end of each day. John Phillips our buzzer supreme kept the base going over both days, which isn’t easy trying to make sure a pilot is back in time ready to fly in each round. Thanks to all of you and to all the other pilots that take the time to get involved rather than letting the normal individuals take the load.

You have already seen the results from the weekend; Joel West flew stunningly, not one mistake all weekend and is without and doubt a deserved British Champion for our sport. He also took fastest time of the competition posting a 29.75 in the second round.

Left to right: Mark Redsell 3rd, Joel West 1st, martin Newnham 2nd

Joel West

Freestyler 4
Martin Newnham

Freestyler 4
Mark Redsell

Freestyler 4
Mark Abbotts

Paul Upton

Mike Evans

Freestyler 4
Greg Dakin

Rich Bago

John Phillips

Jonathan Wells

Tom Foreman

Mike Shellim

New Sting
Frank Hulton

New Sting
Mark Treble

Freestyler 3\ Needle124
Paul Garnet

Keith Wood

Simon Thornton

Scott Ravenscroft

Andy Burgoyne

Ronnie Lampe

Graeme Mahoney

Jon Edison

Tony Livingston

Mick Walsh

Martin Drewett

Ian Web

Tony Robertson

John Treble

Pete Burgess

John Bennett

Ron Boughton

Ian Falconer


Thank you everyone for making it such an enjoyable weekend, I look forward to seeing you on the slope again soon. I have plenty of pictures and I know Mike Shellim also took plenty; I will post what I have soon.
Best regards