Oily Hand August 2016
Monday was raining, Tuesday the same and Wednesday was worse than both put together! Thursday wasn’t raining and so I packed the car and set off for Cowra, the forecast wasn’t good but this was the Oily Hand weekend and not to be missed. Four and a half hours later the weather had improved (despite the forecast) and I checked into the Cowra Hotel – no stars on this one but all I needed was a bed and access to a shower and toilet and you can’t complain at $30 per night!
The next morning there was a thick layer of ice on the windscreen (thank goodness for the Amex card – don’t leave home without it) and once cleaned off it was time to head for the field and check in. The sky was blue, there was no wind worth talking about – things were looking up. The usual paddock had been planted with canola so there was only a control line (C/L) space available, free flight and small radio was to take place on the next huge paddock planted with Lucerne but we could walk over it.
OH is aimed at diesel and small R/C with some low key competitions. There is always a “Model of the Meet” and for this, the 10th year it was the Apex designed in 1958. This is mine complete with a 1962 ED Cadet which has almost enough power to strip a rice pudding of its skin …….. but not quite. It flies well, I test flew it at our field with the help of Dave Pound and managed 2 circuits before meeting a tree! Yes, that’s Stan Begg alongside me with his Javelin, a model designed in with a rapid climb rate pow ered by a Taipan 2.5 and a very impressive glide (one flight he timed at 14 minutes from a 20sec engine run).
Saturday morning was just as cold but soon warmed up to T shirt temp after flying started at 7.00am with egg and bacon cooked at the field! We had the Concours event for the Apex where 21 had been entered – mine came 3rd, I was well pleased.
This was followed by the PAA Load comp for the Apex where you load a bag of sand in it and still try to complete a 30 second flight. Mine managed about 100 grams, the winner carried 750 grams – about twice the weight of the plane – amazing!
This event was followed by a “SAMs Scramble”. Make as many flights as you can in 30 minutes (maximum duration 2 minutes) while taking off from your allocated place and retrieving it from the official landing area and returning to your starting point before re-starting and launching again. I flew my Tomboy with Mills .75 power while Stan acted as my time keeper. We got a total of 14 minutes, far below the winner with over 15.
In between the events there was heaps of general flying with people like Warren Brown and his collection of interesting craft. This is his profile DH twin (Yes! Twin .5cc diesel powered) that flew remarkably well.
I met Don Howie there who is well known in SAM circles as well as a friend of our old mate Peter Leaney now in Adelaide.
Stan and I did a lot of Tomboy flying, it is really a delightful design from the famous designer Vic Smeed. Here we are, mine is only 6 years old, Stans has a 65 year old Mills .75 in it and is at least 10 but he thinks it may be time to build another.
Sunday started at 8.00am again – it was cold – with a Catapult Glider Scramble. It goes TWANG, time it, retrieve and keep doing that for 30 minutes. Here are the intrepid entrants with their conventional planes except Sam (next to me in the striped shirt) who had a canard that was superbly trimmed. It spiralled vertically up from the launch before setting off on a typically 1 minute or more flight. My best was 14 seconds which explains why I came last.
This was followed by the inevitable Plank Racing which involves fly a set of C/L manoeuvres in the fastest time. I managed a DNF again (I really should practise more than once per year!) including some periods where I didn’t even know where the plane was! But it’s all good fun!
Lunchtime saw the presentation of various prizes and then the gradual movement of people towards home. Another great weekend over and a particularly good Oily Hand Day, if you have a small diesel build something and try it.