After having the Weasel for a year or so I’ve not had much airtime with it. Trying to find the time to go flying when it isnt raining, when I’m near a slope AND when the wind is blowing in the right direction just doesnt seem to happen very often. However this weekend we had a planned trip to the Isle of Wight, checking the weather forecast showed that the wind was predicted to be in the 15-30mph range and coming from WSW/SW direction, despite that not being ideal for the local (to where we stay) slope, I figured it was worth a shot, so in the car the weasel went.
The first trip out was on Thursday evening. I didn’t have my anemometer with me, but I’d guess it was 15, maybe 20mph, and dead on SW. I lobbed her upstairs and watched as she went up like a kite! After multiple attempts at getting her out over the lip of the ridge and into the lift, I gave up and came home a bit disheartened. 15-20 launches and nothing seemed to get any forward momentum. I was thinking maybe more weight was needed, but then not being experienced at slope soaring I didn’t really know.
Fast forward to Saturday evening, I got the chance for a second visit in very similar conditions. This time a friendly local chap was up there flying a 60" flying wing, he seemed to be finding a good bit of lift with a little effort, so things looked promising. First flight time then! I gave her a lob, same as the previous trip, up like a kite, hovering above my head, no penetration. After landing the local guy offered to lend me some of his lead to tape onto the top of the fuse. Now, neither of us know how heavy his weights were, he had moulded them in a tea spoon(!), but after having taped three of them to the Weasel I gave it another go. Oh wow! What a difference the extra weight made. Getting out over the ridge was easy, and as soon as I did, up she went. Wowee! A few mins work got enough height to do simple aerobatics: some decent rolls and loops, even a few lowish passes over the slope and back out into the lift again. Amazing fun, definitely the best flight I’ve ever had with her. The longest flight of the evening was just over 20 minutes, only ending because my hands started to freeze. Now I must go and start melting some lead weights of my own!
I was 50/50 thinking I ought to flog the airframe, but now there is no chance 🙂
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