Nieuws QM40

Practice Day 1 -- Let it blow, let it blow, let it blow...

Hi Racing Fans,
Holy Smokes !!!! Where did the fine Arizona weather go ? Yesterday it rained and today it showered in the morning. That wasn't so bad but the wind began to blow like the hell after lunch today. I swear the boys in Regina would have felt right at home. In fact, Canada's surprise entry Henry Redekop showed up this morning. I'm sure he blew in from up north and brought the windy weather with him. I also heard that Terence is showing up later this week, so Canada will have a contingent of seven strong. I think that is our largest showing ever at the Phoenix races.

altAccompanying the wind was that very fine Arizona desert dust that coated everything. I'm sure even the inside of my plane had dust in it. Despite the weather we put in about three or four flights each before the wind became such that it was no longer fun and we just were not learning anything.

A team of four of five guys from the Brazilian team show up today but left their gear in the car. The Phoenix Q40 Classic is likely to prove to be a truly international event once again.

Lots of talk of the new Dub Jett racing engine here in Phoenix with many of the old Nelson boys making the switch due to availability and power. Word has it that there should be seven to ten of the new E-F1 models doing demonstration flights and hopefully some checkout flights. The new AR-6 will be flown by some and the North American version of the Italian Strega molded by Harold will also make its debut. Always lots of new stuff showing up to the start line at the Phoenix Q40 Classic.

So not much action today. The weather is looking better for tomorrow and slowly improving towards the weekend.

Practice Day 2 - Here Comes the Sun

Hello All,
The Pylon Gods shone today and brought back the fine Arizona weather we are used to. A crisp morning turned into a warm sunny day with light winds. This is the Phoenix Classic we are used to.
Today was very productive with lots of testing, trimming and balancing. We put in about six or seven flights before the sun set over the western mountains. My #2 Sweet-V settled down today as I raised the head from when I last flew it in Shelton, Washington. This proved to be a good plan with the Sweet-V
performing like it should. Unofficial time had me at 1:04 with room for improvement.
Doug played with is motor set up as well and improved things as the day went along. His white and checker Sweet-V was flying well. Roy had his two florescent orange Sweet-V's running well. The 9 oz over-weight "balluga" was very quick and solid on the course. Roy tested his brand new Sweet-V and, as you know, it didn't take long for Roy to get it humping in the course.
Hank was flying his old reliable GR-7 and had it really grooving well. Hank is fast and he knows his GR-7 well. He could stand to spoil the day of more than a few of the fast guys come the weekend.
Henry put in a flight with his Candace this morning that resulted in a lean run which seemed to carry over from yesterday. It appeared the fuel tank was a problem since when Henry changed the tank and fuel lines, the lean problem went away. The balance of the day went well for Henry.
Harold started his day with his Candace and a prop strike on take off. Harold shut off the motor with no altitude to recover and damaged his plane enough to send it to the shop for repairs later. Harold prepared his new Strega for its maiden test flight. Roy put in the first couple of flights on the Strega for Harold. The model appears to be quite fast and very predictable in the air. More trimming and balancing is required to get it race ready.
My Dad operated our LED turn light at number one all day which really helped us all get dialed into the course with the right timing. A number of cuts were had but the time to do this is now, rather than in competition.
The Brazilian Airforce was out in full force today with some very nice looking planes. Scott MacAfee, Lee Ulinger, Mike Tallman, and Pete Bergstrom were out testing today as well.
Scott and Pete debuted the E-F1 electric prototype ARF kit from Horizon Hobby. The LR-1A Pogo looks very sharp and flies even better. As the sun began to set and there was no wind, Pete test flew the
Pogo. It flies very well and is surprisingly quick and quiet. Pete was using a four cell, 2350 mah Lipo pack and a 8 x 8 APC prop. No video today but a couple of still pictures here. I'll try to get some video tomorrow.

Practice Day 3 - The Magnificent Seven

Hello Race Fans,
Another great day of testing and practice today. Terence arrived today making the Canadian contingent seven strong. Go Canada Go !!!
The weather was warm (about 70 degrees) with nearly no wind. In case you haven't heard, Powermaster Fuels is out of business so we are running a new fuel blended by Randy Ritch. The fuel is called Ritches Brew and is a synthetic / castor oil blend. We ran it today in practice and it runs very well. I don't think there is any difference in the way the motor runs.
I ran my trusty yellow Sweet-V today and it was running quite well. I discovered that my fuel tank repair failed again so I pitched the tank and installed a new one. I think I put in another six flights today with the motor running very well.
Roy flew his new Sweet-V again today and ran into some strange radio behavior. It appears that in one flight this morning the radio went into fail-safe and shut off his motor ( the programmed fail safe condition). However, Roy was able to land the plane under full control. However, the next time he went to the line to fly, the receiver was dead. A new receiver quickly had Roy back up and running.
Doug struggled with some inconsistent runs today in his Sweet-V. Near the end of the day, Doug tracked it down to a leaky fuel tank as well. Doug changed the tank and put his motor head setting back to where it was and he back up and running strong.
Henry discovered that his new Nelson motor was missing a cir-clip to hold the wrist pin into the piston. Subsequent runs had the wrist pin making it way out of the piston and making a couple of "tracks" on the wall of his sleeve. Henry put things back together and had his motor running again. We're not sure how bad the damage to the sleeve might be. I suppose he'll be running his older motor in competition.
Harold continued to fly the Strega today with more trimming and balancing going on. Harold is getting comfortable with the Strega and I'm sure he'll be pushing the fast guys when the green flag drops.
Terence had either a Two-Sweet or a Proud Bird out with his Canadian flags emblazoned on the bottom of the wing. Terence put in a couple of good test rips with the help of Tony Pacini. I'm sure more practice time on Thursday and Friday will have Terence in the groove for the contest weekend.
Of the many countless practice flights put up by everyone, there have been almost no mishaps to speak of. I think Rusty Van Baren lost a Miss Ashley late today on landing. I think the radio quit (FUTABA) and it went into the desert and stopped with a big thump. We'll probably never know what really happened.
I had the pleasure of flying the E-F1 prototype from Horizon Hobby today. The little Pogo flys really well. It has no bad habits other than a fair bit of torque on take off due to the 8x8 propellor and of course the sudden torque of the electric motor if you advance the throttle quickly. I powered up the motor very slowly and kept on the right rudder the whole way for a smooth takeoff down the asphalt runway. I have to say that I was very pleased with the speed and handling of this little bird. I threw in a few clicks of right rudder to keep the nose up a bit in the left hand pylon turns. It was very smooth and predictable. You just gotta have one of these in your hangar.
Lana arrived at the airport tonight and so Thursday and Friday are tourist days. I'm all done my testing and ready for the race. Lana and I will get some sun by the pool tomorrow and do a little bit of golf together. We'll be checking into the Hampton Hotel up by the race field on Friday evening. My next blog will be Saturday night with Day 1 results.
Keep your nose up in the corners...

Phoenix Q40 Classic 2010:

Competition Day 1:

Hi All,
Today was a great day out on the race course here in Phoenix. The weather was threatening with clouds and chance of showers, however the weather held all day and it was a great day for racing. A little cool in the morning but the sun came out in the afternoon. Not much wind.
There are 77 entries represented by the USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Venezeula, and the Netherlands.
We flew five rounds today (100 heats) beginning at 8:30am and ending at 4:30pm.
Team Canada survived the day, for the most part, with only Hank losing his GR-7 in his first round due to some low flying and possibly bad air around pylon #3. Hank then moved to his new Sweet-V with the unmistakable "Riddler" paint scheme. I flew my yellow Sweet-V, Roy flew his Canadian record setting Sweet-V from Shelton, Doug flew his white Sweet-V with black and yellow checkers. Terence flew his Two-Sweet. Harold started out the day with his Candace but then moved to the new Strega later in the day. Henry flew his Candace.
There was quite a bit of race wreckage today. A number of mid-airs. Two of which resulted in at least three of the pilots continuing to race. In one of these, two planes mid-aired and turned completely upside down in a graceful roll coupled together. They parted and continued to fly. Several other mid-airs were not so graceful and ended with disastrous results. I don't think anyone hit a pylon today but there was some bad air around pylon #3 for sure.
The hyped up Jett motors are running well for some but I would say there is some work to be done on consistent motor runs. I would say some of the fastest guys are Bryan Batch of Spokane flying his Nelson powered GR-7. His motor is VERY strong and fast. Harold's Strega looks good on the course and is quite fast. Lee VonDerHey's Sweet-V (Nelson) earned fast time today with 1:01. Other fast guys are Tom Scott (Jett) and Craig Grunkermeir (Jett) and AJ Seaholm (Nelson). Tom, Craig and AJ finished first/second/third respectively today after completing five rounds.
During our five rounds, our Canadian team had a mix of good strong first place finishes as well as our share of cuts, double cuts, and no starts. After five rounds, here is where we sit:
8th -- Randy
22nd -- Roy
32nd -- Henry
39th -- Doug
43rd -- Harold
45th -- Hank
69th -- Terence
These standing can change quite a bit depending on how many rounds we get in tomorrow. The goal is to fly three rounds but there is forecast for showers and possible rain. So far the weather looks flyable.
Stay tuned for the final results tomorrow evening.

Another pylon racing adventure involving Roy, Harold, Randy, Dougie, Hank, Henry, Terence and about 68 other flyers...

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Competition Day 2 - The End:

Hello Race Fans,

Wow, the day is over. The contest is over. We all had a good time.

We awoke this morning to very cool temperatures and rain. It rained on and off most of the morning from light showers to periods of heavy rain. The contest was delayed until 11:00am. We had two rounds to complete to finish the contest. Doug and I kicked off the first two heats for today. We set the pace with first place wins in our heats. Henry, Harold, Hank, and Terence followed suit nicely with wins in all of their races. Terence would like me to mention that he beat Roy in the first round this morning, thus spoiling a seven Canadian pilot sweep of first place finishes in the first round.

There was lots of good racing right up to the end of the day today. Hank put up a couple of blistering heats with his new Sweet-V. I think he really got the needle and the plane tuned in today. In Hank's last flight today he finished second or third due to one cut and then nearly mid-aired with another pilot just after the finish line as they both pulled up to shutoff at the same time. Meanwhile, in the very same race only seconds after, Travis Flynn and Joe Tropea did mid-air after the race was over as they pulled skyward and shutoff.

Roy survived the hail of parts and pieces as two other pilots in his race mid-aired right above him between pylons 2 and 3. Roy cruised to the win alone. I was mistaken in my blog report of last night. Roy has been flying his new Sweet-V that he test flew only early this week.

Harold turned in a nice 1:02 with his Strega today. Harold decided to park his wallet in his tool box and go out and fly. Perhaps we're all lucky he didn't do this six flights sooner...

Having finished yesterday in eighth place, which was actually a SIX way tie for third place, I was feeling a fair bit of [self-imposed] pressure to continue a strong performance today. It's only two more flights right ? Well, yes and no. I took first in both of my two rounds this morning which put me square in the midst of a FIVE way tie for second place overall. More flying was to come as trophies needed to be decided with fly-offs. The five way tie was broken by two heats. The winners of each heat would fly off one more time to decide second place. Mike Helsel and Craig Grunkmeier took to the air first. Then Lee VonDerHey, Gabriel Tahan, and I flew off. I got a little excited chasing Lee about half way through the race and I cut #1 pylon. Mike Helsel and Lee went on to a second flyoff to determine the final order for second and third place. About two or three laps into the race, Mike got in behind Lee's bad air on pylon #3 and spread his Two Sweet all over the Arizona desert. When the smoke cleared, I finished the day in fifth place overall.

Here is the finish order for the contest:

1. Tom Scott 1:04

2. Lee VonDerHey 1:01

3. Mike Helsel 1:03

4. Gabriel Tahan 1:06

5. Randy Smith 1:04

Fast Time: Gary Schmidt 1:00.29

12. Roy Andrassy 1:03

22. Henry Redekop 1:06

24. Harold Sattler 1:02

27. Doug Houston 1:04

36. Hank Kauffman 1:05

62. Terence Palaschuk 1:08

The Speedworld RC Flyers did a great job once again under the leadership of Jim Allen. If you find yourself in the need of some fun in the sun while going fast and turning left, come down to the Q40 Classic next February.

Thanks for reading.

PS. I have some racing video that I took but I'll post it on Youtube later this week. I'm tired.

Racin' Randy 

Practice days:

Original posted on:

Posted by Randy at 10:09 PM

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