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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

E- Tsotsi does it again!

On the Easter weekend and only 6 weeks after the first record attempt, my electric Tsotsi has done it again. This time round it flew for just about double the distance set before (72 km by road and 63 km in a straight line). Like last time all information will be forwarded to the MGA for recognition of the new distance record.

In a second attempt on Sunday to improve on the 63km we could only achieved 50km due to a faulty throttle set up and ESC not responding properly in strong head winds.

This time round the conditions was just the opposite from the near ideal conditions we had on the first attempt. Starting of on Saturday the 11th of April at around 7 AM and 6 km from Volksrust , heading towards Amersfort, Moregenzon and Bethal . The total course distance of 100km.

The condition did not look promising at all and with a cold front passing over the day before there was a distinct nip in the air. We were fortunate to have the AMT Bakkie from Evan's work to improve visibility while tracking the E-Tostsi and this proved to be a much better option than the one sided view I had from Evan's Kombi on the first attempt .

My normal camping chair was secured to the back of the Bakkie and apart from the rushing wind noise, was reasonably comfortable. Once again and like the last attempt there was just about no wind, but what we did not take into consideration was the low cloud and mist that developed after the flight had stared . This made for some interesting and challenging flying for more than 2/3 of the distance. After the first encounter with low cloud and losing the Tsotsi for about 15 seconds, I was restricted to very short motor runs and low climb out heights.

At times the mist and fog got so low that I hat to fly the Tsotsi about 20 meter above and in front of the Bakkie and when I had to go over telephone lines I opened the throttle for a short burst and climb to a point maybe 40 meter high until the Tsotsi’s outline was only just visible in the mist. This routine cost us some distance of the flight but I don't think even if the conditions were ideal that I could have gone the full 100km. In any case I have once again accumulated a lot of data and you can be sure that I will try again to go the full 100km.
I would like to thank Evan, Edmund, Sam and Kayleigh for giving up some of their time to assist me with the two attempts and also to AMT who kindly loaned us their Bakkie for the weekend.

Record data:
Date of Attempt: 11/4/2009

Distance by road : 72 km

Distance in a straight line: 63Km.
Start point: S 27 deg 17.117 min
E 29 deg 53.786 min
End Point: S 26 deg 46 min 16.4 Sec,
E 29 deg 37 min 32.8 sec

Duration: 1 hour 34 min 59 sec.
Average moving speed: 45.6 km/hour.

Motor run time 17min 40sec.

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