(Double tap pics to enlarge)
23 October 2022
A hot windless day for late spring. But, the skies darkened and the earth shook and we never ever thought that we would see the day when the maestro of internal combustion engines appeared with an electric powered model. He of the four engined monster. Not one, but two electrics. His rationale, was that the fuel, methanol, is becoming increasingly difficult to source and inexplicably more expensive. Oh, the shame of it, repent.
Peter and Roger inspected a visitors under construction model and gave it the seal of approval. All aligned and ready for covering. As has become his custom, using one of his models Don spent some time instructing a new member on the intricacies of the sticks.
09 October 2022
Unusually, at last a perfect morning. A sign of things to come? John entertained his guests from Australia with his usual impeccable performance. Our two new members learned that it ain’t as easy as it looks – taking home some wreckage.
14 August 2022
A perfect cloudless and windless day but the chill obviously deterred a few members. Not surprising after the recent heavy rains but the surface was deceptive and mud ruled. Nonetheless, the conditions did not deter a group of hardy flyers. A surprise was the reappearance of a long absent foundation member of the club who demonstrated that he had lost none of his flying skills. Welcome back Phil. We had another visit from Charlie and Hunter who obviously have dad wrapped around their little fingers. Good to see you again gentleman.
26 June 2022
A perfect winter day, lots of sunshine and only a slight breeze. A slow morning which George enlivened with a polished, if somewhat noisy, performance with his battle scarred Zero. Earned a tot of Saki. Richard caught a dead stick followed by a precision landing in the right place with the model in the right attitude.
22/29 May 2022
Two fine but chilly days. The clouds backed off towards noon and things became more comfortable. With help from Peter, Paul continued to come to grips with his fixed-wing model – son Hartley supervising. On the 29th two guests sampled the strip, one arriving in a trailer with all the resemblance to a mobile model shop.
01 May 2022
Attendance was light today. Some members may have been deterred by the dark threatening sky over the mountains to the west. Don sorted the electronics of Bill’s new Phoenix glider but was frustrated by not having a binding plug. Paul continued the virtuoso handling of his home-built quadcopter which, being small and fast, defied attempts to effectively photograph it in flight.
APRIL the FIRST 2022
1 April 2022
I recently chatted with the Rev Thomas Cowell and as we walked, I explained that we, the Model Aeroplane Club, had of late experienced frequent inclement Sunday morning weather that interfered with, or prevented our activities. He thought about this for a moment and then said that he believed that he could help us. He explained that across the population many people were failing to observe the customary Sunday duties and that it was this that played a part in such disappointment.
He said that if members wished, he would be happy to come to the flying field and conduct an ecumenical service of intercession. He observed that he often met people or organisations experiencing difficulties in their activities and had found such a service of prayer to be most efficacious.
Obviously, he routinely had commitments later on Sunday mornings but would be happy to help us if we could assemble at the field at perhaps 6:30 AM. He added that he thought that it might also be helpful to have a Kaumatua attend to voice a Karakia – he could arrange this.
If I provide a portable table, Thomas will provide an altar cloth and candles in storm proof lanterns. In any reply, would you please indicate your preference for a monthly or weekly services?
I told him that I would let him know if members wished to accept his kind offer.
Response was light and only two members let me know they did not wish to be involved. I wonder why? One respondent, reading my email, told me that he had concluded that I had finally lost it.
27 March 2022
Although rain was forecast, the last weekend of autumn produced a calm sunny Sunday morning. There was plenty of thermals which the Hawks soon hooked into. Don chalked up another 35 minute flight with his Phoenix sailplane. Paul relinquished the sticks of his fast & furious quadcopter for a training session on a proper model aeroplane, guided by Peter. Hunter brought his dad to the field who showed an interest in model aerobatic flying. Steve finally overcame the tyranny of the small wheels and launched his rotary powered Zero into the air. Don made a special effort on the mower to facilitate this. We were entertained to a show of noise and smoke!
20 March 2022
02 January 2022
New Zealand remains under Covid restrictions with Northland, Auckland and other parts of the country locked down tight. So far, South Canterbury has not fared too badly and the club has managed to meet when the weather served. However, a new variant, omicron, promises to change things over the whole country.
A fine, warm day allowed members to sample the air of the New Year. A new member, Paul, arrived and wowed us all with his home built quadcopter. He flies the machine using an FPV headset. He flies the quad low and fast, making it difficult to keep eyes on it. Paul reported that at one point the device was hitting 120 Kph. He aspires to build and fly an orthodox model.
07 November 2021
Weather, Covid lockdowns and sundry other perturbations, not omitting the Winter season have been a dampener on model flying. Today was not promising, grey, overcast, but that the absence of wind saw a good gathering of frustrated modellers at the field. Jeff received a shock when his new STOL lept into the air after 2 m and climbed vertically for its maiden flight. Hard to miss in the air, lit up like a Christmas tree. Nothing new, but there is a rumour that Bill has a new 2.5 m glider on the bench.
04 July 2021
The first respectable day for four weeks. June brought rain, wind, and fog. Powered by a 55 cc petrol engine, Roger test flew his latest 3 m model. Realistic in the air, it flew impeccably. He is now assembling a large Tiger Moth.
23 May 2021
A brilliant, calm but very chilly morning – shades of things to come. Nonetheless, the usual suspects arrived and flew with frozen fingers. Some had evidently had a lie in.
04 April 2021
When the wind’s before rain
Soon you may sail again
When the rain’s before the wind
Then tops’ls sheets and halyards mind.
Who is put off by a little wind? Actually, the windsock was horizontal and threatening to break from its moorings. Time to pack up and go – 1030 hrs. Bully to those who heeded the weather forecast.
28 March 2021
Overcast but calm and warm. Bill and John scratched their heads over the TX set-up for Bill’s new Toro sailplane. George took a look and within 30 seconds the motor was running. Technology and young heads? The first flight showed a promising floater but tests and trim were curtailed by flat battery. Don essayed a flight with his Radian and on landing announced a 30 minute flight. Peter flew the four engined monster and indulged in some aerobatics. George flew his 10 cc gas powered Harvard at somewhat more than scale speed.
21 March 2021
Another one – how long can this run last? Cloudless, still and warm. Nonetheless, John, Don and Jeff found some rising air and took advantage. Peter and Steve ripped the air with some
wild sedate aerobatics.
14 March 2021
One out of the box, little or no wind and not a cloud to be seen. Peter test flew Roger’s latest acquisition, a 2 m Great Planes model powered by a 50 cc petrol engine and pronounced it excellent. Equipped with leading edge slats and large flaps it should be an excellent slow flyer – flaps yet to be deployed. Don and John flew their sailplanes and contrary to expectations found that there was some rising air. Jeff flew his new Conscendo Evolution which performed as advertised. Steve flew his rotary powered Zero – noise and pollution complaints are expected!
20 February 2021
After a poor start, save for a few contrails, the morning turned fine and sunny. Strangely, attendance was low, with only five at the field. Richard flew the bitzer which sported a newly added fibreglass cowl. A really neat job. Steve flew the pride of the Imperial Japanese Air Force, the Zero, notable for its noisy, smoky presence. The Zero, originally an electric powered model, Steve converted to ic power by installing a rotary motor. John returned to the field with his newly repaired sailplane which performed impeccably, even finding a little rising air.
5 February 2021
Richard James Walsh
6 January 1963 – 30 January 2021
On Friday 5 February, Steve, Angie, Peter and Bill attended Richard’s funeral as representatives of the Club. A large attendance, estimate upwards of 500 people. A celebrant read an account of Richard’s life which displayed a modest man, well-travelled and of many talents. It was moving to see little William help to carry his father’s coffin.
Our condolences to Rachel, Lucy. William and Ruby.
31 January 2021
Only three members at the field, plus a visitor and his son.
24 January 2021
17 January 2021
10 AM brought a dark lowering sky which produced heavy rain. No flying today. At 11 AM I checked again and found a clear blue sunny sky with masses of bright white growing cumulus. I drove out to the field where I found just two stalwarts, Don and Jeff, who were binding and setting up Jeff’s new Conscendo Evolution. Some technical issues precluded a trial flight but both had the satisfaction of being out at the field on a bracing summer morning.
20 December 2020
Today I delivered the annual gift – the rent – to John and Joan. John was very complimentary about the way in which club members have formed the habit of booking into the field using the smart phone app.
13 December 2020
25 October 2020
The weather forecast notwithstanding, the morning was cloudy and chilly with a prominent Northwest arch. What happened to the forecast 28°? Roger appeared with another impressive model, a Starlet, ran up and tuned the engine, but having left the wings at home, no test flight. Steve flew his Zero which he had converted from an electric model by installing a rotary motor – very clean and precise in-flight with the ever present smoke trail. Peter continued to impress with his bitsa.
11 October 2020
Another mild Sunday morning with a light breeze. Peter found an odd wing, so why not add a red fuselage – it flies like a bought one. The phantom mower was on deck at 0830 – thanks Peter.
04 October 2020
10am found just four members present and flying into a variable and challenging nor’ westerly. Don had his Carbon Cub hovering into the wind and then engaged in some wild aerobatics. Richard essayed a more sedate flight with his “cracker”. The wind died and at 1030 shifted to south easterly and blew a howling gale. Models, parts of models and accessories took off downwind with owners in hot pursuit. Some items reached the road fence line. All was recovered intact and secured. The camera was left in the car!
20 September 2020
13 September 2020
6 September 2020
A fine morning, variable wind direction, with gusts from the north-west and the threat of weather to come. The Casualty Clearing Station was busy with one who now concedes that there are better ways of stopping a motor, then grabbing the prop!
Richard essays the maiden flight of another old-timer, which he recently converted from electric to a .46 motor. Apparently still underpowered.
William demolishes a cookie…
30 August 2020
20 Degrees and half a gale of wind. But this did not deter the aces. The consensus was that the new red job would not get off the ground.
16 August 2020
A cold start, leading to another great day – as arranged…
09 August 2020
Spring is in the air, a beautiful morning with just a taste of ice in the breeze.
26 July 2020
12 July 2020
A passable mid-winter morning, mild and calm with lots of coffee and chat.
14 June 2020
17 May 2020
Another great day and by noon it was warm enough to shed layers.
10 May 2020
Another warm, windless autumn day, thanks to our soothsayer for arranging the continued good weather.
03 May 2020
Notified by Model Flying New Zealand that we were again able to meet at the field provided we observed the 2 m rule, the club took advantage of a perfect Sunday morning.
26 March 2020
21 March 2020
8 March 2020
A disappointing morning. Forecast for rain later in the day, barely had we parked at 9:30 am when the rain came. Just time for Roger to assemble his large Tiger Moth and essay a maiden flight – it flew perfectly. Steve, still on the road, saw the model turn on finals and was convinced that we were being visited by a full-size Moth. The rain then forced a retreat.
1 March 2020
Another day our of the box. I really will have to think about charging for arranging this kind of weather!
Not a prang, just maintenance…
Finally, the ‘Mossie’ makes it’s maiden appearance…
Engines on tune, Peter does the ground tests and steels himself for the launch – but not to be. He decided that torque swing on take-off demanded more available rudder and to cap it, a drooping flap. Inspection revealed a faulty clevis. Weather has been arranged for next Sunday.
23 February 2020
A surprise after a Saturday of heavy rain, the paddock seemed to have soaked it up and the skies were blue, with light easterlies.
The Cub’s second flight…
The Cub’s petrol twin…
9 February 2020
It came from outer space!
We have all heard the stories of exploding lipo batteries and fires. We resolve to ensure that batteries are charged using the correct settings and in a safe location. Nonetheless, it is easy to believe that it cannot happen to me.
One member arrived at the field today to relate a cautionary tale. He set up a battery to charge on a bench in his garage and left to attend to some other work in the house. Returning to check, he was confronted with what appeared to be a mist but on cautiously opening the garage door found the interior in flames. He grabbed a hosepipe, soon to be joined by his neighbour with a hose, and they successfully extinguished the blaze.
But, examination of the interior revealed that every model aircraft that he owned had been destroyed together with tools and other items stored in the garage. He believes that the garage is repairable but that the entire roof will need to be replaced. Fortunately, he has insurance.
2 February 2020
A very hot morning with a light easterly breeze. Mid morning a black a threatening sky moved in from the west and Jeff reported strong lift all round.
Dave announced that almost immediately he and Kathie are shifting to Mosgeil to be near family and that today was likely to be his last Sunday morning visit to the RPMAC field. Farewell and good wishes all round.
Downsizing, Dave produced a couple of 2 metre Radians free for the taking. Jeff and Bill took one each.
Richhoffen…. sorry, Richard’s midget bipe performs convincingly.
John added a GPS Tracker to his Sportster model which produced the image above. Unbelievably, at one point the model reached 177 km/h. Nonetheless, John has been admonished and instructed to practice until all his circuits achieve a perfect elliptical track.
26 January 2020
Another “out of the box” – cloudless with a light easterly…
It flies too…
The roar of the mighty Merlin…
19 January 2020
A beautiful morning with a light easterly.
Motor on Tune?
Another whimsical creation by Richard and it flies well.
The fly past…
Why not fly in comfort, but do try to stay awake. Dave made a 30 minute sortie and found some rising air.
11 January 2020
His alien stowaway
It flies nonetheless…
01 December 2019
Sunday morning at church!
Keep it out of the sun Jeff…
A technical issue…
The more the merrier…
After contact with grass at the edge of the strip – is the main spar intact or not?
17 November 2019
After a changeable week, Sunday turned on a day just made for model flying.
Peter eyes another launch. Spot the mini video camera.
Peter in military mode
Then he reverts to his day job with Delta Airlines.
Wow! The centre of attention…
The recovery mission.
The pall bearer…
The Dakota had given Peter trouble from the moment it was extracted from it’s packaging. He recalled that he had many times been on the point of hanging it from the ceiling of his workshop. But for all that, it flew well. The first few minutes of today’s sortie appeared to be normal, but then disaster struck. The left engine shutdown with the right stuck on full throttle, the machine became uncontrollable. Pete made a valiant effort to return to the strip, but it was not to be…
03 November 2019
Today the temperature peaked at 29 degrees and left everyone gasping, but it was beautiful almost windless day. Dave and Don tried for some slope lift along the ridge to the south but the results were not clear.
Don runs up and adjusts his motor.
A willing helper as Dave trims out his Fox.
Twenty minutes later, a satisfactory flight.
27 October 2019
Although it flies beautifully, the DC3 continues to give trouble. Last week the port side engine mount broke on start-up and today the throttle ceased to function. Full marks to Peter for persistence.
Foreground, Roger’s latest impressive acquisition – yet to fly.
Steve contemplates Peter’s efforts with the Dakota.
Don launches his Colmato
20 October 2019
The four engined aerobatic machine dominates.
15 September 2019
Richard repaired the Georgia Cracker and it performed perfectly, smooth and accurate.
John flew the recently refurbished ex-Dave, and if performed as good as it looks.
08 September 2019
A hive of activity. Snow lingers on the distant hills, but the days are warming.
Steve prepares his Calmato for another aerobatic flight.
Roger’s latest acquistion, a large Cub, predictably flew like a bought one. Richard had a spot of trouble with his latest scratch-built model.
But the old vintage job continues to perform well.
Peter’s sport model is ace at aerobatics, but this low pass was too low – he wiped the undercarriage.
25 August 2019
Peter has been struggling with the DC3 for months and asserts that it is the most disappointing kit that he has ever encountered. On completing the assembly he found balance to be a problem and to get the C of G to the optimum position necessitated 2lbs of lead in the nose! But it flew sedately.
Roger assembles a recent acquisition which is powered by a petrol engine. Predictably the Chipmunk is elegant in flight. Another awaits it’s maiden in the van.
Peter maidens a recent acquisition by the Collins brothers
09 June 1019
Don preps his versatile electric model
27 April 2019
Peter test flew Richard’s impressive new Mustang which proved to be a winner. Richard took control and the model flew as if on rails.
Dave (right) preps his sport model which ended in a tangled heap immediately on take-off. Much head-scratching, but Dave believes that a switching problem on the transmitter the most probable cause. Kathy supervises.
31 March 2019
A strange morning, starting with fog resulting in solid overcast at about 400 feet. Several members flew and skimmed the bottom of the clouds. Others concluded that discretion is…
Richard’s scratch built WW1 Italian Alexandro the subject of scrutiny, will it or won’t it? It did, but balance problems meant that it flew rather edgely.
24 March 2019
17 February 2019
10 February 2019
It was hot, too hot for comfort but certain gentlemen solved the problem —
Geof introduced his new Carbon Cub S from Hobbyzone which includes SAFE Plus GPS-enabled drone technology which enables AutoLand, Holding Pattern and Virtual Fence, foolproof for a tyro.
20 January 2019
A beautiful morning with some spectacular cloud formations threatening wind, but it remained calm.
Later, club members enjoyed a barbecue at the home of Dave and Kathy. Not the first such occasion, but certainly a rare event.
13 January 2019
Dull and windy and only the brave or foolhardy diced with the elements. Steve (background) and his Calmato were made for these conditions and he was untroubled. Don chanced his luck with his light little bipe to be rewarded with a spectacular mid-air breakup. The rest wisely remained grounded.
9 December 2018
An ominous overcast, black storm clouds all around with evident rainfall over the foothills. But, at the strip it was dry with little wind. However, it proved to be a smashing day. First a battery failure at about hundred feet had Rogers sport model nose dive to the ground under power to become a write off.
Then, Bill essayed a flight with his Super Tundra. All was well for about ten minutes when he set up for a landing and seconds before touchdown the model became uncontrollable, cart-wheeled and smashed off the forward section of the fuselage. It happened so quickly that it was not possible to assign a cause.
Geoff continues to progress and had successful flights with both his models.
Another technical conference:
11 November 2018
A fine, calm morning with half a dozen members present. Richard relaunched and flew his pterodactyloid after rebuilding the wings and eliminating the warp. It proved a little touchy in flight
Bill rigidly secured the heavy 6S battery in the correct CoG position in his Grand Tundra and opined that it would take an earthquake to shift it! It proved to be more docile then expected and infinitely versatile.
This week, Steve forsook the Stick and essayed several flights with his latest acquisition the Calmato which flew like a bought one, smooth, precise and aerobatic.
4 November 2018
True to the forecast, Sunday morning produced a north-west gale which left three members flying the ride on mower. With no signs of any early abatement members present gave up and left
21 October 2018
A good attendence for a holiday weekend.
Bill reveals his latest. It flew but proved to be a powerful handful and restraining the battery to the CoG position proved to be an issue – back to the bench…
With the guidance of Don, Jeff persists and is well on the way to becoming a competent RC pilot.
23 September 2018
Once again, the forecast was wrong and we enjoyed a pleasant morning. Dave and Bill had a spot of glider guiding and Jeff persists in mastering his foamie. Dave exhibited his latest acquisition, a beautiful Cherokee.
09 September 2018
The first news post on the new website. Once again, the weather forecaster missed the target. What was slated to be a calm, sunny day remained overcast and chilly until early afternoon. Nonetheless, half a dozen members braved the elements and enjoyed flying in the calm conditions. The grey overcast made it a little difficult to observe the planes in flight. Peter left the Monster at home and put on a show with his sport aerobat. Steve put his corflute stick through its paces and mentioned that he was thinking about learning the regulation aerobatic routine. Bill lost power on his Storch and made a scrappy arrival, broke the prop.