Times must surely have changed, in some areas at any rate, with respect to the zealous way in which slope sites are guarded from outsiders. I say this because, following my recent plea for information on Midlands sites, I have received two friendly and helpful letters—and not a word of abuse! The first is from Mike Pitchers, of Leicester, (designer of the Fauvel AV 22s in our March issue) who names three sites. One of these is Burrough Hill, south of Melton Mowbray, where “model aircraft” flying is actually prohibited by byelaw; licences may be obtained for flying gliders there, however, and his club, the Leicester MAC have one. Presumably individuals can apply for glider licences, too—though Mike didn’t specify this one. The site isn’t all that high—just 150 to 200ft. above the surrounding countryside so, as Mike says, it “hardly compares with Moe Fammau!” The other letter, from a Mr M. Element, of Shrewsbury, tells of two sites not too far from there. One, near Dudley, we are not at liberty to publish (though individuals may be informed, on sending sae) and the other we have published some mention of before—the Clent Hills, also in the West Midlands.
Wessex Association coming further south now, I have news this month of the Wessex Soaring Association. Under the chairmanship of Mike Withey, this group have secured the use of slope sites in the Dorset area, they tell me, and their “indoor” meetings are held on the first Friday of each month, at the King’s Head Hotel, Wimborne. They did not say if they have become part of the Dorset Federation of Model Flying Clubs (to which at least a further five Dorset clubs belonged, when we last heard from them) but if they have not yet made contact, they no doubt soon will. There cannot be that many slope sites in Dorset, though admittedly that county is better off than many in this. Anyway, those seeking further gen on this group should contact secretary Michael Huggins, 48 Pilford Heath Road, Colehill, ‘Wimborne (Tel. 883965).
A letter from Mike Elliott, of Grouville, Jersey, gives food for thought — especially if one is wondering about holidays (and I usually don’t start to think of these until the very last minute). He says that, having spent over ten years in “the power scene” in Jersey, he has now become very involved in soaring. “What I think we miss here,” he goes on, “is the stimulation from non-islanders, although we have some super slopes for all wind directions and our fair share of capable pilots. So, of course, any tic soarers coming over to Jersey would receive a very warm welcome”. I have asked Mike for more gen on the Jersey sites—with photos if at all possible, first for my own information and second to publish for readers’ benefit. I have added Jersey to my logging routine of wind direction and speeds, and will be interested to see how it compares with Luton, Heathrow and Gat-wick. Meanwhile, have sent for the pretty coloured brochures.
Rather further afield than Jersey, I have an enquiry as to the possibilities for slope soaring in the Canary Isles. A. F. Mason tells me that he will be holidaying in Tenerife at the end of August, and would like to hear from anyone who has any knowledge of the area, from a sloper’s point of view. Now, I do know that John Whiteside, of the Preston area, who used to be a keen cross country soarer, used also to visit Tenerife regularly. But I seem to have lost touch with him. Maybe someone else who’s been to the Canaries would like to contact Mr Mason direct? His address is 18 Merrydale Road, Stapenhill, Bur-ton-on-Trent, Staffs. Don’t forget, though—we’d like to know too, for future reference!
Long foam wings
- Beetham, of the Par-lick SSA writes to say that a recent project within the club was a 10ft. soarer, basically for cross-country work, using a variable camber aero-foil section. Since he didn’t have too much time, he chose to use foam wings and, as there seemed to be no commercial cutter available for 6ft. panels, he constructed his own, as shown. As will be seen, this consists of a 6ft. length of 2 x lin. timber, with pre-stressed 6g piano wire set into each side. The cutting wire is the Nichrome type as used in the industrial cutting of foam. On the application of 25 to 30v a.c. to the cutter ends from a suitable trans-former, the wire heats to a good cutting temperature. Obviously the cutter is satisfactory—even though it would seem a bit basic—and no doubt others would wish to make
refinements such as variable resistances, in order to control the heat of the wire, and so on.
Repairing foam wings
From northern top-rank soarer Dave Worrall comes another in what has been a series of interesting little gems. This time it’s about repairing broken or creased foam wings. His method is as follows:
- Strip the veneer back from the break, both sides, top and bottom, and cut and clean at approximately 45deg. to i.e. Set the cores up straight and level—no warps or unevenness—and epoxy (5min) them together, ignoring any nooks, crannies and holes in the core.
- Cut a piece of veneer to fit over the joint and bond this in place with a contact adhesive (Copydex) on smooth areas of foam core (Use 5 minute epoxy over the joint area if very uneven).
- With a sanding block, make a 90deg. groove at the veneer joint position and complete the joint with 5min. epoxy. Apply the epoxy twice, first time to join and second to produce a smooth finish (using Sellotape if required).
- Turn the wing upside-down and repeat the process on the underside, making sure that it is properly aligned.
- Finally, complete the trailing and leading edge repairs in the normal manner. Dave says that repairs made in the foregoing manner seem to be as strong, if not stronger than the original and, if care is taken, the repair can be almost undetectable. An added bonus is that accidentally built-in warps in foam wing panels can be removed using a similar technique, by cutting narrow slots at 45 degrees across the skin, leading edge to the trailing edge, then loading the wing to remove the warp and filling the chamfered slow with five minute epoxy.