Drag Races are a GO! (March 25, 2006)

I received the following update from Wade:

They are reporting that the field & road are good now & will be better
by Saturday.

Bill, would you please send a "Flash Update Bulletin" to the members and
tell them that the field and thus the funfly are good to go for saturday.

Mike, Matt,
Could one of you guys put the same message on the web page - please.

Ask and you shall receive, Wade...

Concern...

My only concern is the fact that the wind is going to be a steady 25MPH by 5 PM, with gusts of double that...

Other than that, we're all love & kittens!

Good day...

It was a good day. Most of us got some flying in. Because of the wind, though, few planes that went up escaped unscathed. I'll post a longer report later, including some photos.

Quick overview of the day

For those who were unable to attend, here was the summary:

Steve brought the haute cuisine: corn dogs, hot dogs, and chili, with various fruits and other side dishes. Yum! I was eating by 11 AM. Steve and I did one round of races, but his little electric has so much zip that it was ready to leap off the ground before he was!

Several pilots took their planes up prior to the 10:30 launch time for the races. I even putted around in my Typhoon, pretending it was a sport aerobatic plane rather than a 3D ship. A crosswind caught a wing tip and sent it plummeting, but I dusted it off and it was fine. I need to replace a prop shaft now, but it worked OK for the races. I think the key to winning the races is keeping your speed down, and using spoilers if you have 'em.

We called the contest shortly after pilot-Mike hit judge-Mike with an airplane. It destroyed the trainer... the wing literally exploded upon impact with judge-Mike's shin. He limped around for a bit, but was basically OK. Pilot-Mike said that the problem was, with the strong tailwind, that he had no yaw control and couldn't make a course correction. Judge-Mike took the hit with a "deer in the healights" look... how can you decide which way to jump in that situation, when a plane is heading right at you?

One more pilot attempted to do the run, but one-third of the way down the course, due to a tailwind gust his plane weathervaned and started flying back towards the pits. We decided that was a good time to call the contest, as every one of us thought that it was going to be our car or person that got hit by the out-of-control aircraft. What do you do when a 25MPH gust hits your aircraft from the rear just as you are taking off, though? Excellent save on the flight, as nothing was hurt and the plane came down safely.

Shortly after lunch, the wind died down a little bit, and the electrics started going up. We had three at a time in the air dogfighting: Dave's GWS Corsair, Wade's GWS A-10, and Matt's ParkZone Stryker. Foam planes in a high wind are definitely a good time, though nobody seemed to land without any damage.

A strong gust picked up Dave's GWS A-10 and made it start flying on its own while it was parked in the pits. It flipped around in the air a few times before finally being slammed back to the earth by the wind. Several hunks of foam then began racing westward at 20MPH due to the breeze. I don't know about you, but I can't run that fast; I don't think Dave found all the pieces, despite Wade's help. I suspect they may be littering the city limits of Wendover at this point.

We were packed up and heading home by 1 PM. I took a few more forlorn pictures of my little hybrid car sitting out on the salt flats before packing it in and calling it a day. The wind continued to howl, building to a storm that night which featured gusts in excess of 60MPH. If you look at the windsock (once I get the picture posted) you can see what kind of wind we were fighting most of the time! Straight out from the post!

We had a pretty good time overall. Judge-Mike won the Dremel tool for taking a hit from a .40-sized trainer and not complaining, but he returned the Dremel back to the prize pot for future distribution. I think we'll be rearranging the judging station for the next time, putting it far to the upwind side of the course if we can :) With the shifting wind direction, it was tough.

See you at the Egg Drop in April!

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