Sunday, 13 December 2009

frustrations wiped out by glorious flight

Finally, after hours of rigging hassle yesterday, I flew......and the sheer pleasure of independence in the air wiped out all the frustrations on the ground.

I had just about rigged my wing by the time Steve landed at Rougham and I felt I was making good
progress, though I regretted using the semi-tensioned method which I had forgotten had been such a hassle before, and had to take several battens out to allow me to cam-over the tip-wands.

Steve landing in G-IWIZ

Poor, long-suffering Steve should have flown on by!
Once committed to lending a hand, he became caught up in my problems rigging my trike. I think essentially that the short rig is just not suited to out-of-hangar rigging....the hint of wind on one wing-tip is enough to twist the base of the monopole so that it grazes the plastic bearing sheet inside the trike splints and rips and buckes it.

The twisting is quite horrible to watch, Steve says. I had to lower the wing and then remove the plastic at the base. Then, when Steve raised the wing again I couldn't get the monopole holes to line up....incredibly frustrating. I was all set to give up and go home, but Steve saved the day, not for the first time, by suggesting we try a seat-break rigging, which is the way it was originally designed to be done....before the short-rig was designed to enable users to keep their panels on their Dragonflies.

hen he must have been regretting having landed, Steve was treated to the sight of me falling flat on my face in the mud in my idiotic propeller beanie, when I tripped on a cable. I think that must have cheered him up.

Steve demonstrated the seat-break method....and it was so much easier! Fact is, I like the really is great design...and so much more stable. It worked great! Steve flew back to Honington before I started flying and once I had flown I had the challenge of de-rigging without his assistance. Splitting the seat tubes is a smooth process. It went fine.

Steve is feeling very pleased indeed that he didn't bother with panels, and I can now see why. That said, once you have your seat on again, fitting panels would not be too much bother really...and not nearly as time-consuming as other processes involved.

Flying was glorious! Having boshed just about everything up on rigging, I decided not to push my luck and raise my undercarriage, but all the same, the flight ticked all the boxes. I flew three extended circuits, skirting Bury St Edmunds, did three sweet landings and one too-high go-around...and left the circuit heading North for a little while, just bimbling about. Wonderful. (total 1hr 10)

De-rigging, as I say, was straightforward, though I finished off in the dark. I made a neat job of packing the wing; I'd thought that would be one of the hardest parts when it was first demonstrated, but I make a decent job of it now.

A long day, but I realised as I soaked in the bath, that even when it was going badly, I had enjoyed every bit of it.

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