Well the day finally dawned for our Great Orme sloping fly-in, and despite the previous week’s weather of flat clam balmy summer-like days, the forecasters thankfully got it right on the day.
The suggested meeting place( ASDA cae )was approved, and with gloves, boots, wooly hats and freshly charged gear, I arrived at the rendezvous to stock up on sticky buns. As I was ordering the bacon buttie, a tap on the shoulder heralded the arrival of Des(Whittaker) Owen, good friend and budding R/C flyer, who had agreed to do the photo-shoot for us with his posh camera. Next to arrive was Lee Morgan and his Carmel club mate and fellow forumite Richard Bond. As we were tucking into hot coffee and nosh, gloating at the bright and breezy day outside, I spied a posh new motor-home pulling into the car park. Could this be him? ...my bosom best pal Jetsome? Sure enough, a couple soon appeared at the hot counter, wearing 'R/C Hotel Corfu' sweat-shirts - a dead giveaway! After the introductions were complete, and it was apparent that this was it for attendees,(the glider king Mr Ellison was conspicuous by his absence - chickened out I reckon!) we set off in a small convoy, taking of course, the modelling money savers route to avoid the marine drive toll charge.
As I watched Jetsome in my rear view mirror wrestling with the tight bends and steep hills, a smile appeared on my face - prompted of course solely by the fact that the wind was now edging ever so slightly closer to the promised 14 mph.
On arrival at the site, we were greeted by an empty car park, and a nice, flyable W/S/Westerly. First into the air was young Lee with his green Zagi, followed soon enough by Richard and another Zagi. Yours truly then launched a proper sloper - the mk3 Wildthing, in a rather fetching orange and black livery - signature series - autographed by the man himself, Alan Head of S.A.S. Having had enough of stoogeing around with his Zagi, young Mr Morgan launched his Wildthing, and almost immediately it was love at first sight between the two of them....at least I thought it was love, as they did seem to want to stay very close to each other!
As the 3 of us enjoyed the stiffening breeze, the fun was interrupted by the sight of no less than an Avro Vulcan! Who says there are no flying examples around these days? As we focused better, it was clear that this was actually a rather nice model of the beast, and was being flown by Jetsome. The petting between the Wildthings was getting heavy, and within minutes first blood was drawn! Why is it that such a childish game as deliberately crashing two foamy toy aeroplanes mid-air, results in two grown men laughing uncontrollably - happens every time you know!
Next in the air was “Jetsomes Japanese Javelin” looking every inch the part, sweeping across the Irish Pearl Harbour seascape, desperately avoiding the Wildthings and Zagis.
After an hour or so it was time to sample Christine’s (Mrs Jetsome to you) hot coffee and Timbo’s sticky buns, all in the warmth and comfort of the motorhome/model transporter. Very nice, and a big thanks.
Soon enough it was time to re-commence. The wind had now swung slightly more Southerly, prompting a mammoth excursion of at least 20 yards to the left. As we continued to do battle and generally have a good time, a voice was heard from behind “Hello, nice to see some flyers here today” I turned around to find my slope soaring friendly postman out walking his dog. After a brief and highly entertaining demonstration of his remote controlled water squirting dog collar (don’t ask!) he disappeared over the hill to fetch some aeroplanes, with promises to return after lunch to join in the fun. Lucky blighter actually lives ON the Great Orme these days, having moved there earlier this year to avoid the 20 minute drive he used to endure to access his favourite slope site!
So on with the fun, and just to make things even better, the wind was getting up quite nicely now - so much so, that Jetsome took to spending long intervals in his cosy camper. When he next emerged, it was with the big un! - the 13’ span ASW.
Lee and I elected to launch the beast for him, and soon she was away and looked very majestic, being flown very nicely, apparently he hadn't had it up for almost 10 years, no wonder Christine was excited! An apparently good landing 15 mins later surprisingly brought some slight damage to the root of the port wing, nothing serious, but enough unfortunately to curtail its exploits for the day.
Shortly after, the Jetsomes decided it was time to head for home, and it was left to the hardy/foolish die hard trio to fight it out again with the foamies. True to his word, Mr Postie returned from his picket line with a selection of models. First out of the car was a mid-sized composit hotliner sort of affair, followed a bit later by another 13’ span ASW. With the increased wind, and a reckless spirit, he entertained us to some pretty hairy whistling flypasts - the Wildthings knew their place, and to avoid being re-kitted instantly, maintained a healthy distance.
The wind had reached its promised speed by now, and although we were beginning to feel the cold, we just couldn’t resist one last fast and furious session. Mr Postie threw his SAS Fusion into the air, and joined in battle with the Wildthings. Somehow, we managed to avoid any further strikes, although I am not sure the postman will!
All in all, despite the low turnout, those who attended had a thoroughly fun time. The day was finished off with steaming hot chocolate (and more buns of course) at the nearby café, before we headed off for home. I’m sure that Jetsome enjoyed his first session at this great sloping site, as did Richard. Lee discovered just how steep the slope really is when you cock it up and land “a good way out” and we are looking forward to the next one already. Many thanks to those who came and flew,Christine for the shelter and coffee and Des who took some excellent photographs Click here to see them
Lee's video of the day is just below and don't forget to check in at the gliding forum section for the latest news and chat.
Cheers, and see you next time. Timbo
Want the latest issue of RCM&E? Use our magazine locator link to find your nearest stockist!