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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Spring time at BERG

Piet and I will be flying at the Spring HTL event at SGC on Sunday 2nd so won't be at the field with our winches, but Tony will be there with his, so for those you would like to fly there will be a winch available.

I would actually love to be there as I want to test fly my newly acquired Grand Esprit to get it trimmed out and ready for the RES/100 challenge happening on the 27th & 28th October. Nice and bright LE so I can see it when it's flying towards myself. (Hopefully!)

Charl Randel is selling a Calypso. Not sure what he wants for it, but I wouldn't offer more than about R1500.00 for it. (A full Composite F3B Shongololo is going for R2500.00 at my building group) It is brand new out the box and needs finishing off. It would be a good contender for the F3B League and a nice transition model form GL type to full house. Foam and veneered wings. Charl can be contacted at

Finally, just a reminder that we will be going down to Volksrust next weekend, 8th & 9th September, for the Big 5(Big BERG Blog Birthday Bash). And don't forget that Piet has promised to bake us a cake for the Blog Birthday. Just this alone is worth the trip. Piet has booked 10 places at Oom Louis place for the Saturday evening. Contact him for details!

(NW Slope) DG1000 gets airborne............. Oom Louis place below the slope.

We will leave early Saturday morning, about 05h00, stop for breakfast in Volksrust and get to the slope at about 09h30. The wind does not normally start blowing until about that time anyway. That night we sleep over at Oom Louis place and after breakfast head back up to the slope for some more flying and then leave to come home again at about 15h00 on Sunday
Stories around the Camp Fire....................... View from the veranda
On the Veranda, eagerly awaiting Oom Louis' legendary breakfast!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A pleasant but blustery Sunday

Although the conditions didn't look good when I left home to go to the field it actually turned out to be a lovely days flying.

The lighter ships stayed grounded for most of the morning because of the wind, but it did not stop Piet and I from flying. Piet with his Ellipse and myself with my Emoyeni. Just about every flight was into wave lift and one could ride it for at least 8 to 10 minutes at a time. Then there were times when the thermals would come through and carry you up to spec height in seconds.

Later on after 14h00 the wind swung a bit to the NW and dropped enough to let Len with a Bird of Time and Robert with a Spirit Elite fly. The sky cleared a bit and there was plenty of sun with scattered puffy clouds about and even more thermals.

Michel and Boris arrived in the afternoon and it was quite comical watching Michel getting his knickers in a knot, trying to put new line onto his winch. I don't know that this Italian would have managed without some help form us boerkies!

Herman once again brought out a beautiful model he if scratch building. I think he said it was an Eliminator. It will be about 3400mm, three piece wing. Herman's building is something to behold. It is full of carbon reinforcing and very stiff. Should come out at under 2kg and looks like it will make a fantastic TD glider.

Another Shongololo sees the light of day

Len Thomas is now another proud owner of a Shongololo.
It seems the race is on between himself and Robert to see which will fly first.
Both have completed the wing hinging and are busy with the fin and stabilizer assembly.
Who's will fly first? Watch this space!
Action shot of the wing molds being opened,
to reveal another perfect wing!
Next, the stab and fuselage must come out of the molds. Also visible nearest the camera is the wing joiner, canopy and servo tray in their molds! (Click on the photo to get the bigger picture)

Robert Davies has ordered a S.H(one)T load of servos for the Shongololo and they should be landing here shortly. Speak to him if you need. The price is very good and 6 servos (4xHS85MG & 2xHS125MG) will only cost about R1300.00. You can contact him at

Thursday, August 23, 2007


The success of Ventus no2 sparked a fair amount of interest , many of the comments give me the impression that people are keen to own and fly these majestic gliders but feel they are out of reach to the average modeller.....this perception is totally wrong.

There is an abundance of information available and with a little project management it is no different to any other aircraft other than everything is done on a big scale, weight is not super critical but good strong ,sound building is required.

For the record Ventus number 1 was the first ever vacumn bagged wing I ever built ,only the
second moulded fuselage and was ok. Ventus no 2 is only vacumn project no 3 ,what does all this maths mean .....well anyone can build and fly these ships ,the rewards are really BIG go on take the challange.

Here are the photos of Ventus no 3 which is going to belong to another keen Berg pilot not Steve K but Pete K

who wants to GO BIG AND NOT GO HOME.

exactly 6 hours work .complete with pushrods ready for servos.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

F3J at ETB on Sunday

ETB CD/Scorers tent

ETB hosted an F3J event with was also served as another Qualifier for the juniors. Ryan Nelson and his dad Simon flew up from Durban to attend this event to give Ryan an opportunity to try and qualify as a reserve for the Junior team.

BERG's team was made up of Piet, Mark, Derek and Evan. Piet did very well flying his trusty old Tsotsi 100 , ending in 4th place overall. Quite and achievement when you consider he was up against some really fancy models like Supra's, X-pro's, Pike Perfects and the like. Mark ended up in 6th place. Derek (12th) had a few hiccup's by overflying the working time, otherwise he would have been a lot higher in the rankings. I unfortunately had equipment failure on my Emoyene, so ended up way down the rankings.
On the whole a very enjoyable day. There were a mixture of hand-tow and winches (150 met to turn-about). From what I saw there is very little difference between the winch or hand-tow launches!
Personally, I like the F3J format of 10 minutes working time to record as much flying time as possible. The all up and all down at the same time is very exciting. Amazing that there are not more misshapes on the launch when all the models are launched at the same time!

All the score and some more photos will be posted to the F3J Blog at this link.

Some photo's from the day.

Ryan Nelson with Ian Lessen. Ian did a lot of coaching, which helped a lot it seems, with Ryan easily achieving 89% of the top score for the day. On the right the Nelsons' plane box.

BERG's pits. Evan's Emoyene and Mark's Supra's and Xperiance

Piet and Derek

Flight line with the ETB team nearest the camera.

Craig preparing his brand new Xperence

Catching some Zzzzz's

Peter Eagle and Craig in the background.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Big BERG Blog Birthday Bash Party and Outing To Volksrust

The last Flight of the day over Volksrust. North Slope.

Well the poll has showed us a close battle between a ‘fun fly at the Berg field’ and a ‘Slope Trip to Volksrust’ with only one vote more in favor for the slope trip, and so it will be!!!

September the 8th and 9th has been booked with oom Louis place and judging by the popularity of the last trip over the long weekend ( 9 members of the BERG club alone out of 40 ) this will be something to look forward to. So get your Zagi’s and other slope airies ready. Please let me know either by = email me
or when you see me on the berg field if you are joining us. The accommodation for the sleep over at oom Louis’s place including bed and breakfast won’t cost more than R85 per person.

In the mean time the Blog counter has step on and now it looks like we will get to the 6000 hits mark well before the 9th of September. Last month (July) we recorded the most hits so far in a single month (812) and by the half way mark this month (680 hits so far).

Once again thanks you to all our contributors and viewers for making the Berg Blog a great place on the web to view.

I have added some pictures of our past trips to Volksrust just to get you in the mood to come with us to this really majestic place. Eat you your heart out !!

Mike and 6meter Ventus.

Piet let's Charl's DG1000 lose. North slope

Sunset on south slope.

Charl launching Mike's Stretched wing Zagi.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


As the pilot I unfortunately did not get any photos but recorded the flight on video, which should something had gone wrong would prove useful to study later.

Johan Snyman of Secunda is credited with the following images, thank you.

Charl and Peter preparing to throw, backwards facing caps required.

After the initial throw the glider clears the rocks and is on its way.

See Charl now has his cap on backwards .

In her element soaring on the aircurrents.

This aircraft is scratch built using epoxy/glass with carbon fibre re-inforcing.
The wingspan is 6 mtrs
The airfoil section is a hybrid MH32 root transitioning to SD7037 mid wing and finishing again with MH32 on the tips which have 2 degrees of washout.
The all up flying weight is 9.00kg
The wing area is +- 120 dm sq
The wing joiner is a 19mm carbon rod (made of 75x 60k tows)
The epoxy was supplied by A.M.T. and is all LR 20 and various harderners.
The wings are vacumn bagged blue foam.
The servos are 11kg digitals with metal gears .
Hindges are silicon
and remember GO BIG OR GO HOME.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

BERG postal scores for Aug 2007

Sunday 5 Aug. (3 pilots)

An overcast day with a steady but high wind all day long accounted for the low numbers
of participating pilots flying but even so we managed to do reasonably well.

Piet Rheeders 2095 2.5 Meter Tsotsi SD 7037
Evan Shaw 1705 2 Meter Tsotsi SD 7032
Len Tomas 1523 2 Meter Tsotsi SD 7032

Club Score 5323

Sunday 12 Aug ( 6 pilots)

Excellent day for thermal soaring with not a cloud in sight. Good lift condition
and just about the same amount of sink around made for reading the conditions very important .Many a good pilot got this wrong and paid the penalty for this. I.E Lead foot Shaw.

Mark Stockton 2276 3.2 Meter Eish ?
Kurt Stockton 1978 3.2 Meter Eish ?
Piet Rheeders 1971 2.5 Meter Tsotsi SD 7037
Evan Shaw 1571 2 Meter Tsotsi SD 7032
Peter Joffe 1236 Shogololo ?
Tony Roberts 658 2.5 Meter Tsotsi SD 7037

Club Score 6225


The maiden flight of Ventus ZS-VCX took place on Friday 10th August on the northwest slope

at Volksrust (Tamatieberg). The wind was northwesterly swinging westerly on occassion and blowing at +- 35kmph. The prototype Ventus no 1 flew well but was difficult to land (hard to slow down) and had underpowered servos for the job. Ventus number 2 (ZS-VCX) is a totally improved model in all respects and can be flown with real authority has a huge speed range and snappy turns on the dual full rates, landings are very gentle.

So less than a year after the maiden of no1 at Rosendal and only 12 flights on these big gliders I think that these flights convince me that this has to be some of the most exhilerating and rewarding results of my modelling career so far, I still plan to push the envelope a little futher.

Above is the data captured on Saterdays flight and after reviewing the flight video it all makes sense .
session 8 flight 2

starts at 0 with switch on in the car park the spikes at 3 mins are probably me blowing into the pitot tube with all my might, to see if it was working ,impressive I managed a 230km/h wind with a nasty chest cold, must have been all the performance enhancing drugs I was taking.
Flight starts at 8 mins with the altitude dropping down(purple) and airspeed (grey)starting to rise.
At minute 12 the vario indicated lift and I was well away from the slope and circled up in the thermal, to a height above the slope of 170 mtrs the rapid straight line decent saw the airspeed touch 150km/ph the grey spike as the altitude drops at about minute 13.

At 15 mins the glider dives down below the ridge to -20 mtrs speed at this time is 110km/hr

At minute 23 another strong thermal was indicated and I climbed to the max flight hight of 189mtrs, the decent was a spiral down hence the airspeed stayed below about 120 km/hr.
At minute 25 a series of higher speed low altitude passes were carried out for some close in video footage the speed remains in the 60 to 110 km/hr range and the aircraft is flown down into the valley on a few passes once descending to -32 mtrs.
At minute 33 the glider is climbed up to start the approach for landing at minute 35 after that the readings are of the airpeed while it was on the ground waiting to be retrieved.
The big servos pulled the battery down to 5.11 as a min and had a max voltage of 6.95 the average for the flight was 6.65volts this is indicated by the green line,(the battery pack is 5 cell NIMH 8000 mah) .
Its an awsome experience to fly this plane, but I have no plans to ever winch launch it.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Weekend happening!

See below for some more photos from Volksrust taken by Johan Snyman and used here with his kind permission. A few more photos can be found here:

Gert's Minimoa looks so graceful as it climbs out after launch.

(Photo by Johan)

A few photos follow from Sunday 12th August. - Postals.

Rodney has given Justice a Gently Lady and Craig is teaching him to fly it. A rare sight seeing Craig with a GL.

Our newest member Peter Malcolm seen getting in some stick time with Evan and Rodney looking on.

Robert, Tony and I went down to Volksrust on Saturday and we had a ball in the strong west wind. This was Tony's first slope outing and he managed to get in quite a bit of stick time with his Zagi and what's even more remarkable is that it came back home in the same excellent condition it left in. Not a scratch! I flew my new DG1000 and was very impressed with it's handling. An excellent kit which files like a dream and is real value for money.
Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me, so hopefully Charl, Mike and Piet will be adding some interesting news and photos from the slope trip. They went down on the Thursday so should have lots of lekker stuff for us!.... Mmmmh!

Evan's DG1000 (Photo by Johan)

Charle with his DG1000 (Photo by Piet)

Gert's Minimoa (Photo by Johan)

Mike and the Ventus (Photo by Piet)

Mike's 6 meter Ventus. (Photos by Johan)

The Ventus flies (Photo bt Piet)

Discus (+/-3 met??) (Photo by Johan)

Flight line from the landing area. Note all the foamies! I count 7. How many do you see? (click on the photo to enlarge) (Photo by Johan)

Rudi and Charl with the Impala (Photo by Piet)

Rudi's Impala. Looks really good in the air! (Photo by Johan)

This Omie had it's wing chopped in half by a foamie, and Johan Snyman the pilot, was able to fly it with just one aileron and bring it around to the back and land it without too much more damage. (Photo by Johan)

In closing, Piet has some very important information to share with us and will be reporting back on the results of the Poll!???