Although difficult to choose specific highlights of the event with so many maiden flights and the old favourites present, most notable were Ken Kearns' fleet, many of his models now owned by other pilots present, Mike May's super sized GBOGH fleet and Craig Baker's big yellow ASW19 model. But there were many more ...
Pilot's briefing was held on the South Slope (Cross Site) while waiting for the wind to swing to the predicted direction. When it became obvious that the strengthening wind had settled in from the north, everyone quickly moved over to the north slope and flying began.
Paul Carnall's Fox was very impressive - he showed us some really fast passes across the slope and graceful aerobatics.
This 4.2m wingspan model weighs in at 7.2kg and is based on the full sized two seater aerobatic glider. The flying weight of the full sized aircraft is 500kg. The model is scratch built, first flew in 2002 and has many many hours on the airframe.
During one of the first slots Norbert Rudolf set up his camera in his ASW27 and shot the scene above. Click on the picture above for a higher resolution image. Note the model flying on the right edge of the picture and another about to be launched at the bottom.
One that we didn't see fly was Russell Conradt's ASW22b. Full size aircraft has glide ratio of 60:1 using complex internal airflow system in the wing to assist laminar flow. The flex on the model's wings is amazing. Maybe next time Russ?
The model was originally manufactured for Clive Reunert (deceased), this model lived in Jix Model Centre's ceiling for 13 years before purchased by Russ in 2005. It had an awesome maiden flight at Springfield Park Slope with all of Durban's modelling who's who attending and has been winched from a flat field with absolute realism. It has also produced incredible views of Karkloof Forests with video cam installed.
Moving to lower tech, but oh so graceful: Mark de Klerk's Ka6e (also built by Ken Kearns). This model flies very realistically and almost got sucked away into the storm in the afternoon.
A familiar sight at Volksrust is Norbert Rudolph's SB10. This fully composite very high aspect ratio and very stiff winged model has been flying since 2006 and Norbert says the model launches easily from a winch on a flat field as well. Weighs in at around 6,5kg and uses HQW 2,5/12 wing section.
Below, Gert Nieuwoudt from Secunda managed to take some time off from his busy schedule to spend some time on the slope with us. He was flying his Minimoa.
And then Craig Baker's ASW19 showstopper. He spent most of the past few months working solidly on this spectacular project. He gave us the most impressive flying display with slow and high speed passes. But unfortuntely something overstressed on one of his turns causing delamination on the stabiliser and the model crashed at high speed into the side of the mountain.
On the right, Norbert, Rudi, Russ and others help retrieve the remains.
On the right, Chris Adrian launches Johan Bruwer's ASW27. Johan saw Chris flying one of these models at Hermanus in 2007 and just had to have one. Model is built by Craig Baker and is Johan's first scale model. It is one third scale, weighs in at 6,3kg and has a 4,6m wingspan.
Andries Gouws flew his ASW28. An excellent flyer and really good build quality. Andries has produced a few of these models and also brought along one of his unfinished fuselages. It was snapped up very quickly by one of the enthusiasts. His workmanship really is world class.
Norbert launches Herman Weber's Ka6e. This model was one of Dieter Eberbach's orphans - when Herman first got it, it was held together entirely by duct tape! The model was lovingly rebuilt and now flies beautifully. It has a wingspan of 4m with fibreglass fuselage and obechi/foam wings.
Mike May's very big Ventus model in the foreground with Peter Carner's Astir CS in the background. Unfortunately both of these really big models were damaged - the Ventus rather badly when it stalled head on into the slope and the Astir cartwheeled onto the slope after a "too soft launch".
Sorry guys, I'm doing the blog so I get the biggest picture - but it's a good one. My Discus finally had it's maiden flight - flew perfectly straight off the building board (or should that be out of the box). It looks great in the sky and flies like a dream. There were quite a few Discus models at the event as well as a few other 2.6m wingspan Chinese ASW28 and DG1000 models - more pictures of these below.
Charl Viviers did a superb job of restoring this Speed Astir bought from a emigrating modeller. This model of the 15m standard class 1st generation fibreglass sailplane flew very well but spiralled out of control while on landing approach and will now need another restoration job. No doubt Charl will have it flying again soon.
Ken Kearns brought along his fleet of scale models. Without a doubt he put in the most flying time of the weekend and here are a few shots of his Minimoa. All his models were scratch built with open structure construction and they all flew perfectly in varying conditions from strong to light winds.
The afternoon ended earlier than scheduled due to a rather large storm moving in from the south. Flying stopped on the north slope when the wind swung 180 degrees. Some pilots retired to Oom Louis farm and as soon as the storm passed, others headed for the south slope and continued flying. Unfortunately Paul's Fox was damaged on landing there.
The braai at Oom Louis farm was a grand affair. The day's experiences were relived, future projects revealed and beer, good food and good company enjoyed by all. Thanks to Peter Carner for those really good pate and biscuit snacks while waiting for the braai and special thanks to all the sponsors. Also many thanks to Martie, Norbert and Russ for their picture contributions for the blog. Phew, and now ending off with a few shots of the pit area. Sunday's report will be a separate posting.