Black Eagle project gets legs
Following the success Black Eagle Trophy, most of the guys seemed to take a hiatus from building anything. Flying, yes, building, no! The EPP warbirds have endured and boys are we having a blast with these awesome little machines. Not as tough as the indispensable BEE wing, but definitely worth the eye candy when flying formation combat. They just look too darn pretty when gaggled together as a pack of 4 or 5 fighters at a time
In the meantime, and based on our discussions at the event itself with the guys from Percy Fitzpatrick foundation, we were committed to building a scale Black Eagle glider. The prime objective of this project is to see if we can illicit a response from the smaller raptors. From what is understood, the small raptors are likely to come out and beat the beast to death, or foam pieces if it ventures near their nesting sites. That’s the theory anyway, and we are going to see if this is indeed the case! If so, it opens the door for a fluid approach to the study of nesting sites all over the peninsula as well as the rest of South Africa. The Fitz guys are excited about the project as are we…so this Black Eagle will be built as a proof of theory subject and if the smaller raptors just plain ignore it, then were back to the drawing board. But it is certainly worth the time and effort.
After spending some time going through the internet and picking up on the Eddie the Eagle build on RC Groups, I sourced the plans from the UK, which was a cinch and the delivery and handling of the whole process was plain sailing. There are also some other really nice plans up there for PSS models…. winkwink, nudgenudge.
In the meantime we had the pleasure to meet Dr. Lucia Rodrigues who heads up the Black Eagle section at the Fitz and she spent an afternoon on the slope with the guys and gave a few handy hints on some minor adjustments to the overall design. Plans in hand we have started a build, I will handle the fuselage as best I can. Jeff will be doing the wings and Damian is lined up to do the artwork, feathers and all the detail. Whoa, that’s a wee bit of work for all concerned. All balsa, wood etc for the build is being sponsored by Hobby Warehouse and electronics, servo’s etc is being sponsored by Chris Leal, so a great thank you to the guys for supporting this project.
Very hastily organised,after a Friday evening phone call, a few of us headed out to Spier wine farm on Saturday morning early to Eagle Encounters that is situated there. Run by a charismatic and knowledgeable raptor trainer
called Hank Chalmers, we were given a close up view of the Black Eagle that they hold there, amongst what must be about 40 different raptors that have mostly ended up in rehabilitation due to a list of injuries, man made and otherwise. This place is so worth the visit if aviation/birds/flight are on your menu of interests. We were lucky to be given a flight demonstration as well and believe me a Black eagle close up
on a flyby is a really impressive sight. Not small by any means, the sheer grace of the animal is astounding a she (and yes it was a she) skimmed the grass with millimeters to spare. This little trip served as immense inspiration to all involved to get the Black Eagle glider to reality.
and now to attempt to add some media… if this doesn’t work it’s time to have a chat to our webmaster
……. . sound of phone ringing….