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Monday, August 24, 2009

F3j Q1 at BERG

20 seconds to go. Get down there!
Note - Full Crow

Shadow on approach

Just before touchdown

Craig in action


Nice climb out

Back breaking, arm wrenching stuff

Sunday, August 16, 2009

E-Tsotsi Mk2 maiden flight

Saturday, August the 15th happened to be one of those cloudless winter day's with very light and variable winds (coming from the SSW) and more of a hassle for the winch pilots, but for me and myE-Tsotsi I could not asked for a better day to fly it's maiden flights.

(photo on the right) Piet and the E-Tsotsi -Mk2

After finishing the radio installation an charging the Tx and flight pack lipo batteries, I arrived at the BERG field at around 2 PM. Zimmy, Wolfgang and Boris were already unpacked and enjoying the fair weather.

I don't know who was the glades to great each
other but Zimmy said that he already had the Mafia lined up to come and get me out of my
winter bunker after no flying for the last 3 months or so.

Unfortunately I got bogged down with work and to the boot my left eye acquired a moving black dot that meant that I have to compensate for two Tsosi's while flying. Anyway I assembled the Tsotsi and with the folding prop held close with a rubber band, hand launched it straight into the slight breeze for its first trim glide.

(photo on the right) Wolfgang and Trevor discussing the big Thermal( fish?) that got away!!

True to the Tsotsi tradition it went straight as a die but nosed up a bit and required some down elevator to compensate for this.

I programed in a few clicks down trim, remove rubber band over the prop, opened the throttle stick to 2/3 full throttle and again launched the E-Tsotsi into the breeze and it effortlessly climbed away for its first flight. at about 3 times winch height I cut the motor and had to add a few more clicks of down trim in. The extra wight did not make much difference and it stay up in the very light lift conditions with no problem and the maiden flight lasted for 32 min. (I had to restart the motor a few times) and on recharging the lipo's I used 1340 mah of the 2100 mah battery capacity.

While recharging the flight pack had a chat to Trevor, Wolfgang, Stefan and Boris and not to forget Zimmy. Zimmy and Boris flew a ARF EPP foam DG 1000 electric gliders with unique retractable brush less motor system. the lipo batteries might be on the light side but on a good thermal day they will be more than adequate. It will also be ideal on the slope when the conditions are light.

Now you see me

and now you don't

Zimm and Boris with the EPP electric DG1000

Stefan converted his Tx to 2.4 Gh and look happy with his conversion reporting solid operation a fair distance.

(Below) Stefan (having fun with DHG glider)

(Above) Trevor hunting the Thermals after a winch launch

My second flight with my E-Tsotsi mk2 lasted 1hour 3min 45 sec in almost perfect late afternoon weather and on arriving home recharge the flight liop pack to 1649 mah.

E-Tsotsi mk2 recharging.

I know it's not always the case that a maiden flight works out well but there is not much that can beat the feeling when it do and even more so when you clock 1hour and 35min in your first two flights.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Rc Plans and Moulds

If you are into building your RC models from Scratch here is a link to Kobus Dirker's web site
for plans and moulds. I had a look at the plans list and there is a good selection of plans at reasonable price (Rands). Local is lekker so go and have a look.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New XC 2 meter E-Tsotsi to challenge World Distance record.

After flying 3 distance flights this year ( 35km, 50km and 72km) I have gained lots of experience, and one thing that came out of this exercise is the fact that to go far you need lots of battery capacity, good penetration / glide angel ( more so when gliding) and a wing section that can carry the weight. On top of all this you need a powerful brush less motor that can swing a big prop with out robbing you from your precious battery
capacity. Talking about energy management!!!

With all this info I have now come up with the E-Tsotsi – mk2.
The airframe is still the same except that it is a little stronger and heavier and I have also made space for 4 X 2300 mh lipo 3 cell packs ( ruder and elevator servos are now mounted in the tail) all in parallel giving a total of 9200 mh.

I also fitted slightly less powerful motor 450Watt in place of a 550 Watt motor. From previous data it is possible to fly 40 to 50 Km per 2300 mh lipo pack depending on the conditions giving a theoretical distance of close to 200 km.

I still have to fly the maiden flight , and then if all goes well, tackle the paper work and planning for this flight. Hope my friend Evan and the rest of the team will be there to support me come the big day.

New XC 2 meter E-Tsotsi to challenge World Distance Record.

AGM Minutes 28th February 2009

Minutes of the BERG AGM held on the 28th February 2009
at BERG Flying Field at 2.15pm

Present: Mike May, Piet Rheeders, Charl Viviers, Peter Karner, Len Thomas, Gordon Prahm, Peter Eagle, Michelle Goodrum, Wolfgang Steffney, Rodney Goodrum, Trevor Austin, Herman Rimmer

Welcome: Charl Viviers called the meeting to order and welcomed all present.

Apologies: Tony Roberts, Mark de Klerk, Craig Goodrum, Stephane du Ponsel, Michelle Zimmerman, Chris McNiel, John Edwards.

Approval of previous minutes: The minutes of the previous AGM was read out to members by Mike May, (with printed copies available). Approval of the minutes was proposed by Piet Rheeders and approved unanimously by those present.

Chairman’s Report: presented by Piet Rheeders on behalf of Evan Shaw who relocated to the East Rand during the year.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Evan for all the efforts that he has put into the BERG club in establishing, initially the BERG club, and thereafter helping many a member including myself, with building of our gliders using the latest methods. Evan on behalf of all of us at the BERG Club we wish you well for the future.

Last year saw the BERG club gaining a few more new members .
But what was of concern was that the turn out and specifically on Sundays did decrease. On the other hand the members that flew on Saturday’s seemed to increase. Later towards the end of 2008 it started to improve again. I hope to have more information on the numbers of club members at the AGM and on the day’s they prefer to fly.

Good news is that on a financial side our club is doing Ok and Charl will present us with finer details.

On the competition scene BERG had a good year and at the South African Nationals Championships (2008), that was held at ETB, we had some good results when myself managed to be awarded the Victor Ludorum award, first in RES, 2nd in F5J (electric gliders thermal duration) and 4th place in the 2 meter class. I can only hope that this will motivate other BERG members to do likewise in the future. We also did well in the HTL competition where Derek and myself participated. Derek paced in first 10 with in 12th place, and in the BERG leg of the HTL myself in 3rd place.

I was also invited to the F3B team trials last year and managed to be placed 7th with the first 3 places making up the South African Team F3B for 2009.

 Later on in the year the ETB club established the first PSS event in October and the BERG club once again gave a good account of ourselves, with Mike and his A10 Warthog and myself with the 1/7th scale Aero Commander. Apart from these events members of our club also frequently visited the slope at Volksrust as a group for more informal flying and I can only see that this trend will become more and more popular amongst our club members. Getting more popular is the end/beginning of the year slope gathering were we had +/- 20 RC slope pilots this/last year.

On the International front the BERG blog has now become very popular and our statistics counter shows that up to 50 % of our readers are from international countries. This will still remain our main form of communication to our members as also a means of conveying the many building projects and other club activities.
I would like to thank all of our BERG blog contributors for the hard work done so far.

Encouraging trend to see is that on the junior side Mike’s son, Blake is now flying well and will be participating in the monthly Postal competitions this year.

In the pipeline are more things to come like Aero Towing, and cross country events as well as the local postal competitions. We will endeavour to keep our club members informed as we go along.

In closing I would like to thank all our members at the BERG club for their continuing support. I wish you a happy and joyfully new flying year at BERG.

Last but not least I would also like to sincerely thank Mr. Peter Bartlett, the owner of the BERG field, for granting us the privilege to fly here and hope that we can continue to do so in the future.

Treasurer’s report:
The treasurer’s report was presented by Charl Viviers.
Summary: R
Balance at bank brought forward: 7,157.16

Members subscriptions and interest 5,846.37

Winch battery 823.00
Gazebo & side sheet 1,200.00
Winch line 400.00
Bank Charges 326.76

Balance at bank carried forward 10,253.77

Our account at Nedbank was subject to fraud during the year. Due to lack of transactions, Nedbank re-classified the BERG account as dormant. One or more people who had access to such information took the opportunity to open two cell-phone accounts and charged the debit orders to the club account; which was then cleaned out. The bank and the cell-phone companies were not very helpful until Charl laid a charge of fraud against the cell-phone companies for opening the accounts without following Fica requirements. They have now agreed to refund all the missing monies and the refund is expected soon. The existing account will be closed and a new account opened.
Peter Eagle proposed that regular movements be made on the account to prevent it becoming classified dormant again.
Subsequent to the election of the 2009 committee the new Chairman will replace Evan as a signatory to the account.

Election of new committee:

Following a show of hands where necessary, the following were elected to the club committee:
Chairman: Piet Rheeders.
Vice Chairman (new committee position this year): Peter Eagle
Secretary: Tony Roberts (in absentia)
Treasurer: Charl Viviers – unchanged
Safety Officer: (It was proposed by Charl Viviers and seconded by Piet Rheeders that two safety officers be appointed; one for Saturday and the other for Sunday flying – agreed unanimously)
Saturday Officer: Michelle Goodrum
Sunday Officer: Herman Rimmer

Safety, Safety Officer and Frequency control:
It was re-emphasised, as per last year’s meeting, that in the event of incursion into our airspace by manned aircraft that we must immediately take avoiding action and alert all pilots.
The safety officer is to keep a register of all incidents involving safety or damage to models and any other property. Members should send a report of any such incident they are involved in, or witness, to the safety officer.
Pilots must at all times adhere to the club peg on / peg off system and board.
It was suggested that the club purchase a frequency monitor at an estimated cost of between one and two thousand rand. It was alternatively suggested that the club borrow a unit from SAMAA or MGA. Piet Rheeders is to take up with SAMAA / MGA.
It was agreed that additional peg-boards be made so that two will be available for Saturdays and two for Sundays; one to be kept by the safety officer for each day and the other by a pilot deemed to be flying the most regularly. This should ensure that a board is available on most flying days.
If a peg-board is not available then a pilot arriving at the field is to check frequencies with all other pilots at the field.

Airspace and SAMAA regulations
Our field is registered with SAMAA and therefore should have a ceiling of 1000metres available to us. However at present, legally all clubs have only an allowable altitude of 1000 feet. SAMAA is taking up this matter with the authorities.
Lionel Brink of the MGA is handling the matter on behalf of all glider pilots. It was noted that we are in the approach airspace of Lanseria.
Peter Eagle volunteered to go and inform Lanseria control that we fly at the field on Saturdays and Sundays.

Subscriptions will remain at present levels:
Seniors R 200
Pensioners R 100
Juniors R 100
Entry fee R 50
At the previous AGM it was suggested that the entry fee be waived – to be voted on at the 2009 AGM. It was decided to keep the entry fee and use the funds to supply a new member with a membership card and a key to the field.

Winches, parachute retrievals and related matters:
In the coming year the club may have to purchase a new battery and more winch line.
The club now has two winches since Trevor Austin donated a winch to the club during the last year. Herman Rimmer is to keep control of the second winch.

Removable shade structure and other facilities:
A gazebo was purchased during the last year. It was unfortunately destroyed during a storm at Volksrust while being borrowed by Piet. Piet will replace the gazebo.

Driving on the field:
The rules remain the same:
Cars must use the access track and if wind direction dictates otherwise then must only go along the boundaries of the field.
No short cuts are to be taken across the field.
At no time whatsoever must drivers ever drive over the Lucerne.
We use the field with the generous permission of the farmer and such permission could be revoked at any time if members are perceived to be damaging/littering the field.
On Sundays Piet will set up a flag and club members should then park in a line west of the flag.

BERG Calendar for 2009
Events are as per the published MGA calendar.
The Sungazer is planned again this year and Mike May stressed that it is not an event that is linked to any club (although BERG memebers were welcome to participate), but a collaboration between Mike, Charl Viviers and Natal, represented by Russ Conradt and numerous other helpers in their private capacity.

Club Clothing:
There is no stock at present. Due to a lack of demand no new stock will be ordered at present. Club members are encouraged to wear a red golf shirt for competitions as that has become the signature of BERG.

Other Matters:

Wolfgang proposed that the club purchase a case of good red wine for the landowner, Peter Bartlett. This was agreed unanimously.

As a security measure Piet is to remove the club’s banking details from the blog.

Wolfgang is seeking sponsorship for the promotion of gliding to youngsters and would like to use BERG for a show day promoting model gliding to the younger generation. He asked for assistance from club members and for members to bring out all possible models to show to the children attending.

It was noted that all club members should be in possession of a bronze eagle rating in order to fly solo. Any members not having a bronze eagle should take steps to qualify.

Date of next AGM
This will be held in February next year and actual date subject to MGA calendar events.

The Chairman thanked the members for attending and contributing to the AGM and closed the meeting at 4.00pm.