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Am I missing something - Flying today

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Chris Walby06/11/2016 11:55:19
1393 forum posts
348 photos

Being newish to the hobby/sport con someone explain why there does not seem to be many models if any suited or designed for windy conditions.

Now I have a Yeti (and after some very helpful assistance from George at 4-Max) I can fly in almost anything...but no one else turns up to fly. Its low cost and very resilient if it meets the ground being an electric delta & pusher, but with only elevrons its not a massive challenge in the stick wiggling department!

With the advent of some very clever technology like giro's, stability control and that is not even close to what the multi-rotor companies are doing why do we seem to have very little choice?

Should I take up ridge soaring? indecision

Cuban806/11/2016 12:06:18
3107 forum posts
1 photos

With sufficient power and a high enough wing loading there's nothing stopping you flying in very windy conditions. It depends on the pilot and how they feel about possibly damaging the model in gusty conditions, or simply that one no longer gets much pleasure in getting blown around in the cold anymore.

Years ago, nothing would stop me and a few friends from flying except pouring rain and lightning (no gyros either), with more time to pick and choose now, I tend to be more selective and avoid getting cold and windswept.

If you enjoy very challenging weather conditions and can fly safely, then there's no problem.

Edited By Cuban8 on 06/11/2016 12:09:49

kc06/11/2016 12:09:44
6788 forum posts
174 photos

Not many turn up when it's very windy mainly because if the model has an engine cut downwind the model will likely be carried away & lost for ever!

IanN06/11/2016 12:12:20
1675 forum posts
119 photos

If you're enjoying your flying then stick with what you're doing. It's always been the case that some peeps seem to have an aversion to anything stronger than a gentle summer's breeze. I've had some really good days at the field either on my own or with just one or two other like minded souls on days that - with the appropriate model - were perfectly flyable

I enjoy the social aspect of the hobby on the nice days, but it's also true that less chatting = more flying!


Edited By IanN on 06/11/2016 12:12:52

MattyB06/11/2016 12:14:41
2393 forum posts
46 photos

What you are describing is not a model or technology problem - there is lots of suitable setups available to buy or build for use in higher winds. This is all about the squidgy thing that holds the sticks...

It's not the sole reason, but as the demographics of modelling steadily change more and more people are becoming fair weather fliers. As a result attendance levels at the patches where I am a member are dropping off, especially when it gets windy. Lots and lots of my peers have other hobbies or activities they do when the wind gets up, so they don't see any need to risk a crash by flying in more challenging conditions. That's absolutely fine, but there is no doubt that you can learn a lot by flying in a wide variety of conditions - coming from a background where I learnt to fly on the slope I find the conditions that some power fliers dismiss as "far too windy" rather innocuous! 

Edited By MattyB on 06/11/2016 12:22:15

gangster06/11/2016 12:19:03
1065 forum posts
29 photos


I don't think the issue is a shortage of models of models suitable for windy conditions. Seems like in your club its more like a shortage of modellers who are happy to fly in inclement conditions.

I reckon if the forumites start listing suitable models it could easily get up to dozens

There is no need for fancy technology the good old radios with fairly heavy stable models fly perfectly happily in any wind. I accept there can be an issue with modern light weight foam models and these may benefit from stabilisation but indeed they are available with such fitted.

Even the likes of the Easystar 2 are very flyable in quite windy conditions.

Something like the wot4, acrowot, Seagull challenger and probably most of the wooden ARTFs are very flyable in wind, they have to be we hardly get a still day these days.

I agree there is so much fun to be had at very low cost and low hassle with something like the Yeti

john stones 106/11/2016 12:24:51
11780 forum posts
1521 photos

You explained it yourself Chris.."being newish" you're raring to go whatever the weather, most of us where exactly the same smiley

Plenty models out there that'll cope with less than ideal conditions, brings you're flying on as well makes you work harder, tip for windy weather...keep model in front or upwind till you want to land.

Martin Harris06/11/2016 13:04:11
9603 forum posts
258 photos
Posted by Chris Walby on 06/11/2016 11:55:19:

...but no one else turns up to fly.

Where were you yesterday? Several of us flew...

Cuban806/11/2016 13:11:47
3107 forum posts
1 photos

The danger comes during landing. Getting the model off might get a bit 'hairy' with a few wild gyrations until the model powers through the ground turbulence and into cleaner air, but there's always the risk of the model being slammed into the deck or blown onto its back if things are allowed to get out of hand during landing.

If there are trees or tall hedges causing turbulence and wind rotors nearby, then that will also make things interesting and can put a model onto a wingtip even during the final few seconds of a well prepared and considered windy approach to land.

I hesitate to mention it, but there is a macho element that drives some modellers to fly in rediculous conditions in order to gain 'hero status' among their peers. Don't get swept along in all that nonsense.

Colin Carpenter06/11/2016 13:13:36
658 forum posts
36 photos

Been out this morning with a bog standard Riot in 15 mph + gusts. It flew ok. Clubmates Riot fitted with a Lemon Rx stabiliser flew on rails ! Just the cold fingers that may upset some folks but as I've been rc modelling throughout the winter since 1969 I'm ok Jack !!!!😁 Colin

Peter Christy06/11/2016 14:11:43
1921 forum posts

Actually, I have a lot of sympathy with Chris. Its something I've been banging on about for a while. Most modern designs are far too lightweight for our current climatic conditions. ARTFs in particular seem very fragile compared to the models of yesteryear.

Even home-grown products are following this dubious trend. The good old Gangster 63 was a quite amazing model for the money. Robust, yet capable of very good aerobatic performance and able to handle the gustiest conditions with ease. I see now that only a "light-weight" version is available! Now, I admit I haven't tried one, but my experience with lightly loaded models is that they do not handle turbulent conditions at all well. And that has been our prevailing weather pattern for a number of years now!

Yes, I would dearly love to see some "lead sleds" back in production. My current favourite model is my 1963 KingPin, which had its maiden flight in conditions that had grounded pretty much everyone else. That handles the British weather with ease. Unlike nearly all my other models........ sad

Please, Mr Reeves, can we have the heavyweight Gangster 63 back? Preferably in tail-dragger configuration, to cope with the average flying site?



Phil 906/11/2016 14:22:12
4287 forum posts
257 photos

Peter interesting point but would adding ballast not give you the flight characteristics you are looking for?

I recently had a great planes revolver 70 that was no light weight but a lovely flyer

Former Member06/11/2016 14:28:05
3573 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Phil 906/11/2016 14:34:51
4287 forum posts
257 photos

like the OP I was keen to fly in less than ideal conditions but now nor so much. once I had mastered flying in the winds the challenge dwindled and I found flying in windy conditions less enjoyable. I think maybe because my next challenge was aerobatic manoeuvres and flying in wind seemed to hinder that type of flying to the point it was not fun. But going back to Peters point I think my models got progressively lighter as I seeked more so called advanced models so maybe that did not help things.

Paul Marsh06/11/2016 14:41:54
4112 forum posts
1245 photos

been flying the w/e in 30 mph gales! Anything to a Wot 4 foam e, Wots Wot Foame and a quick Seagull PC-9 Tuccano.

Robert Parker06/11/2016 14:48:43
1033 forum posts
1446 photos

I went up the patch myself this morning, no wind at home, but the wind was cross winds to the patch at 15 - 20 gusting 25 ish, I only loaded up with light weights so myself and my other fellow club mate called it a day as the rain started. All models home in one piece - ready for another day.

Bob Cotsford06/11/2016 14:55:32
8853 forum posts
496 photos

As one of the stayaways, I can say that even 5 years ago I would have flown in any weather, rain wind or snow. My 1970/80s Crescent Tornado, Marabu and GP Skybolt can cope with just about anything and are tough enough to withstand the odd heavy landing. Today I am more selective as to when I go out to the field, my back doesn't like the cold and my eyes don't like the wind.

I certainly wouldn't think about adding ballast to some of the modern lightweight structures, one heavy landing and you get a bag of plywood matchsticks.

kevin b06/11/2016 15:17:59
1971 forum posts
176 photos

There are lots of models specifically designed for windy conditions.

They're called Slope Soarers. wink

I understand what you mean though and I agree that generally it is not the aircraft that is the problem.

However, most of this year we have been unable to fly at our field due to high winds (and I mean high !). Backwards flying aircraft just don't look right.

gangster06/11/2016 15:48:51
1065 forum posts
29 photos

Even home-grown products are following this dubious trend. The good old Gangster 63 was a quite amazing model for the money. Robust, yet capable of very good aerobatic performance and able to handle the gustiest conditions with ease. I see now that only a "light-weight" version is available! Now, I admit I haven't tried one


That lightweight is not bad at all and is rock stable in the wind. I am sure if you built one you would not be dissapointed.

Yes the original was a fantastic stable easy to fly model, back in the day there was the theory that to learn to fly you had to have a traditional high wing three function trainer. I now believe the reason for that was if you could fly one you could fly anything. Now I am sure the G63 would have been the ideal first model.

I have recently dug out my tatty old Mick Reeves Spitfire 63 and am having a ball with it thats another led sled that will fly in anything. It would be fantastic if he reintroduced that as well

Actually took, and passed my "A" test on an open air field in a howling gale with horizontal rain with a G63.

No doubt in this politically correct sanitized world I would have failed on safety grounds for being irresponsible enough to try and fly in those conditions.

Geoff S06/11/2016 16:07:08
3914 forum posts
62 photos
Posted by Colin Carpenter on 06/11/2016 13:13:36:

Been out this morning with a bog standard Riot in 15 mph + gusts. It flew ok. Clubmates Riot fitted with a Lemon Rx stabiliser flew on rails ! Just the cold fingers that may upset some folks but as I've been rc modelling throughout the winter since 1969 I'm ok Jack !!!!😁 Colin

I agree. My Riot is the model I'll turn to in draughty conditions and it puts paid to the allegations that foamies are no use in a wind.

MY main problem is the wind chill. My right hand particularly feels the cold and seizes up, which is what might be called a 'bad thing' for a mode 2 flier. I've alleviated that problem a bit by buying some electrically heated fingerless gloves. They're powered from a USB port and I use a Turnigy 10AH pack primarily intended as a portable energy source to recharge things like phones and tablets. I found them on eBay and they're only available in a small size but as I have small hands anyway they're OK. Just Google 'heated fingerless typing gloves'


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