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Monday, April 30, 2007

DX7 Type Approval

Message from Dave Armatage

Hi Guys

Just to let as many as possible know that on the 26th of April I picked up the Type Approval certificate for the DX7 radio from ICASA.(Independant Communications Authority of South Africa)The DX7 is now finally type approved for model flying use in South Africa

Dave Armitage
SAMAA Frequency and Airspace Delegate

And a question from Wessie at Clowns Hobbies

Hi Dave

Great news!
Just a question - is it just approved for "model flying" or is it for "general RC use".

Is it therefore illegal to use a DX7 to say, control a RC car or sailboat (As I am fully aware that this is what is currently happening)

Not trying to start a flame war here, please gents, just trying to establish exactly what is legal.

I'm sure Dave means the 2,4GHz system is type approved and not just the DX7. Futaba has also launched their 6EX FASST system. Here is a link to Dee Tee Enterprises where the Dx7 and the 6EX can be seen

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Paragliders visit BERG

Late on Sunday after noon after a glorious days flying in "Campaign air" three paragliders arrived at the field.
By the time they were ready to fly we had packed up and most people had left. I stayed and watched and took a few photos.

Later, two Microlights flew over in the last rays of sunlight.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Gordons Shongolo is born

Last night the job was to open the fuselage and stab mold and then celebrate.

About to start, Heinrich and Henk standing by, Gordon giving instructions

Cracking the fuselage mold

Please come out nice!!!

Fuselage revealed

Stab about to come out

And there she is

All layed out

with a very happy Gordon beaming over his new creation.

The group Gordon, Henirich, Henk and Tony

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Some new projects happening at BERG

If you thought things have been a little quiet of late, you are mistaken.

As you all know Mike is always busy with something and here is is with his new RES/100 Model that he has put together for his assault on the NATS. It is an old 3 meter wing on a Pathfinder fuselage. From what I have seen it flies quite well, but needs a bit more tweaking before it will be perfect.

Young Blake (Pictured) and his brother Russel are having a ball with their tiny RC electric models. Very tough EPP twin motor planes that use the motors for vector control.

Charl was out at the field again with his Aquila looking splendid in it's new colour scheme.

Charl has also started work on his third scale K4. The span will be 4 meters. These are the bulkheads cut out and ready to glue to the foam blocks. How about that for size? Talk about GBOGH!!!! The fuselage will be about 400mm high and 200 mm wide. More about the construction method later.

This is the battery pack for the K4. Who needs nose weight with that monster.

Charl is joint owner of a full size K4 which flies out of Orient so this will be a very interesting project to watch.

I don't have any photos of the full size glider, but in the mean time here is a three view of how it looks.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Gordon's Shongololo

On Wednesday evening at the Shongololo Building Group Gordon had the privilege of opening the wing moulds of his Shongololo.

Cracking the Moulds

The moment of truth

The smile tells it all

To reveal a beautiful wing

After that it was back to work and we laid up the fuselage and joined the stab halves. These parts will come out of the moulds next Wednesday. More photos will follow!

We look forward to seeing it in the air soon.

Well done Gordon!

Gordon has also promised us that the week his Shongololo is completed (which is Wednesday 25th April) he will fly his Sangoma on the following Sunday! Everyone is invited to witness this historic event and to offer help and encouragement. Go Gordon Go!

Progress report:

Tony's Shongololo is nearing completion. The fuselage is almost complete and the Stab is on and working. This weekend he tells me he will be doing the knuckles on the Flaps and Ailerons. Then comes the hinging and connecting everything up. Should be a week or two before she is ready to fly.

I have not heard from Hannes for a week now so can't say how he is progressing unfortunately!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

F3J Qualifier #1 BERG

The F3J Qualifier # 1 took place at BERG on Saturday 14th April.

The day started off with low cloud and a bit chilly, but by the time we got started the mist had burned off and the thermals were starting to develop. There were plenty of thermals for the most part of the day and the flying was generally good, but at around 14h30 the thermals started becoming and fewer and smaller, which made for some challenging flying, with lots of scratching from low level and some great saves by many pilots getting away from tree top height to record maxes. There were a few out landings quite far from the field when the thermal that was being worked suddenly petered out and to pilot could not get the model back to the field. Such was the nature of the thermals. Sometimes they developed and you could get away and other times not. On the whole a very enjoyable day!

BERG was represented by Piet and Evan with Hugh and Derek joining them to make up a team.

Results below (For a round by round breakdown of score, visit the F3J Blog at the link on the right of this page)

1. Craig Goodrum 5,000 (100 %)

2. Paul Carnall 4,973 ( 99.5)

3. Conrad Klintworth 4,953 ( 99.1) Jnr

4. Chris Adrian 4,950 ( 99.0)

5. Michelle Goodrum 4,933 ( 98.7)

6. Mark Stockton 4,834 ( 96.7)

7. Hugh Edmonds 4,824 ( 96.5)

8. Rodney Goodrum 4,810 ( 96.2)

9. Derek Marusich 4,592 ( 91.9)

10. Izak Theron 4,557 ( 91.2)


11. Simon Tladi 4,541 ( 90.8) Jnr

12. Dion Liebenberg 4,409 ( 88.2)

13. Joe Coetzer 4,377 ( 87.6)

14. Kurt Stockton 4,375 ( 87.5) Jnr

15. Volney Klintworth 4,283 ( 85.7)

16. Ian Lessem 3,922 ( 78.5)

17. Evan Shaw 3,801 ( 76.0)

18. Piet Rheeders 3,526 ( 70.5)

19. Lionel Brink 3,273 ( 65.5)

20. Jurgen Hartig 3,118 ( 62.4)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Mapping out The BERG 100

The BERG 100 - Out and return(50 km straight line) click on the picture to make it bigger

The BERG 100 - Out and return(55km by road) click on the picture to make it bigger

Well the long weekend has come and gone and having four days away from work gives one the option to go somewhere one can not do on a normal weekend.

Some of our BERG member had opted to go down to Volksrust for a slope weekend (Charl and Peter) while others like "If you can’t go Big, Stay Home", Mike and Chris, had opted to stay home and build while Evan and myself let the adventure bug lose and went down to the Free State to map out the upcoming BERG 100 monster cross country route.

Charl has promised me a report and pictures on the Volksrust outing, and Mike was very secretive about his latest project and I don’t think he will let "Wit Willem De Kat" out of the bag
at this stage.

I set my cell phone alarm to wake me up at 5 am on Saturday morning as we planed to leave
Evan’s place at round 6. We managed to get away at 6.30 and headed towards Ventersdorp traveling in a westerly direction to our destination as our over night place was at Hugh Edmunds home in Wolmaransstad +/- 250km away. We went on a slightly longer route as we wanted to see if there was a possible, closer cross country route, to the PWV area. With me driving and Evan taking notes, it felt more like a motorcar rally, with odometer readings, landmarks, landing fields, trees, dams and cross roads being noted and jotted down on Evan’s notepad. We stopped at Klerksdorp for breakfast and then set of on the last 80 km stretch to Wolmarnsstad and Hugh’s home and arrived there at around 11.00 am.

After we had good chat and a nice cup of coffee we set out to drive the course with Hugh joining us now and sharing his local knowledge of the area. The main idea was to find a route that was quiet in terms of traffic, straight and long (100 km) with good open landing place on the both side of the road. Both Evan and myself had had a good look on Google Earth and identified the route that we now were riding on. The first part of the journey, Wolmaransstad up to the Vaal river was promising but not ideal. However when we crossed the Vaal river, the road became, wide, straight and level. At this stage we also identified a farm house and an adjacent starting/launching field. Launch field

From here the stretch lasted for +/- 40 km before we came to the only kink in the route near the little town of Wesselsbron were we ran into T junction. Here we had to turn right and after a further +/- 3 km a stop street. A left turn here and now we were on long slightly downhill run of 30 km to the T junction to Odendaalsrus and Welkom. Once again the road became wide with lots of landing space on both sides and straight as can be.

See the Google earth image’s so you can get the idea of what the course will look like.

So the total distance that one can fly in one direction is +/- 70 Km. I propose to have a turn point at 50km (straight line and then you have to return to base giving a total of 100 Km) The distance by road is 55 km one way and a total of 110km in total.
Hugh at the end of the BERG 100 course near Welkom (70 km)

At the end of this stretch (Odendaasust) we turned right to Welkom to pop in for quick visit and lunch kindly supplied by Ricky and his wife. The time was now close on 3PM and we had to tackle the return journey. As we got to the planed staring point we turned in at the farm house that we saw earlier on. The farm belong to Oom Willie Jacobs and after knocking on his door with no reply we eventually found him at the back at his barn. We helped him to carry his groceries in and he offered us some coffee. He agreed that we can use the field across the road from his farm house as a launch field and his farm for secure parking of car’s when we do go there to fly the BERG 100.

Secure Parking

Oom Willie Jacobs, Hugh and Evan having a chat on the BERG 100.

After a pose for pictures we returned to Hugh’s home were we had a fantastic braai with the best potato salad ever. When hit the sack later on and Evan and myself were so tired that we fell asleep instantly. I tried to snored him awake all night long but he wouldn't budge.

On Sunday morning, after a breakfasts at the Wimpy we returned to Evan's place and then to the BERG field to for some Sunday afternoon flying.

All the information that we obtained will now be worked on and submitted to SAMAA for approval of the BERG 100. We hope to fly it on the last weekend of July 2007 and the pilot that can finish this monster out and return BERG 100 Cross Country will win himself a well deserved R1000.00. (R10.00 per km)

Rules and other related information will follow shortly. So watch this Blog.

To Ricky and Hugh. Thanks for the fantastic hospitality and we are looking forward making the BERG 100 a great cross country event.

Visiting Ricky in Welkom, Evan admiring the workshop. (Home of the famous Mitchell winch)

Having fun In Hugh's workshop (What is that a power arie doing in a glider workshop?)

Old friends meeting again.

Monday, April 02, 2007

HTL #3 at MMS (On April Fool's Day)

The MMS leg of the HTL was held on Sunday the 1st April in perfect thermal conditions. The results speak for themselves with many maxes the order of the day. The format was 6 rounds of an hour each in which to record a 12 minute flight per round. The landing bonus circle was divided in 20cm rings at 2 point per ring from 100 in the centre down to zero after 10 meters. The flying part was very easy but the landing were difficult, especially on the rock hard, burned MMS field. On the whole a very enjoyable day with plenty of sunshine and laughter. Not least of all, Mike's antics with his April Fool con of the 7 meter Stiletto.
Evan's Makulu coming in for a landing

The MMS Teams

An Experience Pro from the ETB team.

Evan trying to unstick his elevator after getting cyno in the pivot

Mike about to launch his Stiletto (What only 3,8 meters???)

The BERG pits.

Some statistics from the Open class:

Just to illustrate how good the lift was, of the top seven pilots, only 99 seconds were lost out of a possible 25200 seconds that could be flown. This relates to 99.6071%.
Paul Carnal the winner only lost 9 seconds of his possible 3600.
So the event really turned into a landing competition for the top pilots and those that were prepared to dork their models to get close to the spot were the winners.
Another bit of useless information. There were only 9 flights out of 85 that did not get close to the maximum of 12 minutes. This is excluding the one throw away that each pilot was allowed of his 6 flights.
All but two pilots had at least one bad round with the majority in the 6th round when the lift was not good for the first 45 minutes of the hour. Craig (one of those that got all 6 maxes) hung in there until the end and managed to record a 12,01 in the dying minutes of the round. Isak was the other pilot who managed 6 maxes. I watched him scratch the last round to recorded 12,12 seconds and he did that in the early part of the round, so there was some lift to be found, all be it light and patchy.