Tuesday, 22 July 2014


Next, must test fly the Q, before deciding whether to keep it or to keep the Quantum

Fantastic....am back in the air

Two permits, new medical form, insurance, transfer documents, blah blah blah...endless bureaucracy sorted out after a year grounded by pulmonary embolisms etc....

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Quantum 15 / 582 For Sale

Now that I am heading over to the dark side, I am going to keep my new Pegasus Q as a cheap, fun flexwing and sell my more expensive Quantum to raise funds for a share in something fixed wing.

Bryan Smy has inspected, flown and permit-passed both the Q and the Quantum and he says both are great fliers, but if he could choose one, he'd have the Quantum, which he reckons has 6 years left in the wing. He said the pop it made as the Betts tester pricked the wing was a very good sign. I am delighted. He did some servicing on it, replaced the thingummies that the pylon slides between, sorted the brakes, renewed all the bungies which hold the ribs in (after a year out of flex flying, I cannot remember the names of things). I have re-organised the service history in the file so that everything is very accessible. I wish my house was that tidy!

Bryan put me on to someone who is looking for a Quantum, and he came and had a look. I was embarrassed by how dusty and muddy it was (no water at the airfield), so when he had gone, I used a large bottle of drinking water and some Fuchs-Off to spruce both my planes up.

I will get all the details together and do a proper advert, but for now if there is anyone who is interested, please email tinworm@hotmail.co.uk

I have just realised that I have had my Quantum exactly three years. Here's the blog entry

Sunday, 11 May 2014

finally getting back in the air

Had the pulmonary embolisms, the long period on Warfarin (now off it), the fortnightly blood tests, etc and now that I am fit, I am keen to get back in the air. I am waiting for my Medical Declaration to be signed by the GP, have renewed my lapsed BMAA membership and....

...have bought a second plane! It is a low hours Pegasus Q. I plan to permit it this week and possibly get the Quantum done too. Then I will sell the Quantum. I will get better economy with the Q, and because it is a cheaper, older aeroplane, I think I will feel I can justify having it, later in the year, when I hope to get a 3-axis aeroplane too.

And with the latter in mind I need to complete my interrupted fixed wing conversion. So, exciting times!

Thursday, 24 October 2013


A couple of months ago I had pulmonary embolisms in both lungs, which almost killed me and which put me in hospital for a week. I was grounded, which meant not only that I couldn't fly my own plane (never, never call it a plane, Bader!) but also that I couldn't fly to Australia a few days later as planned. My trip was postponed by a month, and after that I spent a fantastic month visiting my sister in Melbourne, camel trecking and camping in the Outback and visiting friends in Darwin.

I am on warfarin now and making good progress. I can fly again, but now my aeroplane (it is an aeroplane, Bader!) is out of permit, so what I really must do in the next week or so is get down to the hangar and do some maintenance on her.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

small inputs

Small inputs
and give them time to take effect! 

I have now done my first unsupported landing in 3-axis. But I am very much over-correcting because I am used to a slower approach with a relatively rapid succession of large flexwing inputs. 

Can't wait to get up again this weekend (if weather allows) to practise my circuits, approaches and landings . . . 

and must make
small inputs
and give them time to take effect!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Bernouille turned upside down

A year or two ago I saw a film on YouTube which appeared to debunk  the Bernouille Principle as a way of explaining the lift of a wing. Student pilots are always taught that an aeroplane flies because of the shape of a wing, which because of its shape experiences negative pressure over its top surface so that it is effectively sucked upwards (or forced upwards by the greater pressure beneath the wing). So this film said, how does that explain the fact that an aeroplane can fly equally well upside down?

I was fascinated and came away excited and confused. The film hadn't persuaded me that Bernouille was wrong, but on the other hand it obviously couldn't be the whole story.

I am reading a book called Stick and Rudder, which has apparently been continuously in print for the last 60 years and is very well regarded. The author, Wolfgang Langewiesche, says it is all due to the angle of attack, and that while Bernouille is no doubt true, it obscures the whole business: 

   "Trying to understand the piloting of airplanes by concentrating on Bernouille 
and Prantl is like trying to catch on to tennis by studying just exactly 
how the rubber molecules behave in a tennis ball"

I have only just started the book, but essentially he says that all flight is about the angle of attack of an inclined plane (surface). So that is why my hand, which is not aerofoil sectioned, rises when I stick it out the car window, or why an aerobatic aeroplane with almost no hump in its wing flies equally well upside down!