Neil claims that spring is here, though the layer of cold white stuff encrusted over my backyard makes me tempted to think otherwise.
There can be no denying, however, that the days are getting longer and the average temperatures are getting, well, tolerable.
I hope everyone has been keeping on top of his/her equipment and is now ready to hit the circle hard as soon as the mud firms up a bit.
I guess you donít need to wait for the mud to clear up, if youíre into that sort of thing.
There hasnít been much in the way of flying going on around here for quite some time, which leaves me without a whole lot of material
to write about in this column. All this time that weíve been shoveling snow, however, itís been summer for our friends on the other
side of the equator. Bryce Gibson, our Kiwi Combat Correspondent (who recommends that you avoid alliteration always) has graciously
submitted the following report on the New Zealand NATS for your reading pleasure.
The NZ NATS was held at Mosgiel which is at the southern end of the South Island, from 28 December until 2 January.
This is away from the major population centres, as 3/4 of New Zealand's Population is in the North Island,
so you would think that flying sites would be easy to find. That's true but there are very few modellers around so the NATS Team was
small and hard worked. They did a really nice job but the numbers meant you flew then scored or pitted every match.
The weather was flat calm most of the time; great combat weather, but offset by a constant light rain.
There were only three in F2D: Me, Jon Spain and Simon Barnes (JNR). Simon was using Cyclon PC2's and sportingly DQíed himself in
the first round when he let go of the handle, grabbed it back on the strap (no one saw it) then said OK I let go.
That's flying to the spirit of the rules!
The final was between Jon and I; Jon ran out of gear so I lent him all the gear except he used his own bladders.
Two blew in succession leaving me to fly out the "Final" Solo.
The main event though was speed limit, with 9 entries including Craig King, a NZ Free flight Team member.
He borrowed a complete set up (including bladders) from me, and made it to the final. He is keen on flying more,
and has since bought his own models and engines. Like with any drug dealer, "The first taste is free kid..."
The hot set up for Speed limit (flown on FAI spec lines) is the SC or ASP 15 (same motor, different distributor),
which is the cheapest 15 you can buy in NZ, on an old F2D model. The SC is about 100 g ready to go and costs about 60 US.
Running a Taipan 8/4 nylon prop provides a lot of bang for the buck. I run a 4mm venturi which, depending on temperature,
pulls the model at 35s/10 laps with a full streamer and a bit of fluttering tape on the training edge.
Sounds like a pretty decent meet. Itís too bad that the turnout was so low for them in F2D this year,
but Iím sure the entries will be back up next year. Now letís see about increasing our own entries for this season!