Black Eagle PSS Festival 2013 report
Black Eagle PSS Festival 2013
Enter the D’urbanites
It does appear that 2013 will be that special year, the one you refer to when staring out over the bay, whichever bay you happen to be sitting above, wondering when the wind will arrive, and if it will at all, ever again.
Two Oceans Slope Soarers had earlier this year hosted the supremely successfully aerobatics event and now had a chance to host the 4th annual
Black Eagle PSS Festival in similar fashion. A few weeks before hand the forecast had set a pattern of South Easters arriving over the weekend, which is a trend that tends to stick for a while, but Mother Nature kindly kicked the trend to the side lines,and threw in three fantastic days of wind, glorious wind.
Dave Greer and Rudi Smook jetted in from Durban, as they do,and the Friday practice session was attended by a few of us TOSSers and D’urbanites with hair
on our teeth, as a 60 km/h breeze blasted the fynbos clean at the
Chapmans Peak site. A few maidens sans damage were taken care of,
and the morning session ended with a fair bit of breeze on the mountainside.
This was followed by lunch with a great bottle of wine and a mouth watering trinchado under the knife, while watching the rain pelt the trees and tarmac outside, at a favorite Hout Bay eatery.
You just got to love a Cape Winter.
Them be large cannons, Sir!
Saturday followed the Windfinder prediction and delivered the most beautiful
post frontal Cape Peninsula morning imaginable. The Navy Cannons up at
Red Hill present a truly awe inspiring site. These now silent WWII large scale sentinels protected Cape Town in their day, and now offered us a viewing
platform par excellence for the day’s static judging. First the combat class
were put to the sword, with Herbie our static judge taking mean aim on
any indiscretion, while handing out praise where due, for straight horizontal
and vertical stabilizers etc. Next were Sportsman’s Light Class, and then
the heavies in Sportsman’s Heavy Class, designed to separate the seriously detailed heavy class from the less detailed light class based on wing loading.
This covered a good three hour session through the differing classes
with Herbie maintaining an admirable sense of humor while contestants
“attempted to get around him” on a constant basis. The Master Class
involved showdown between the Super Constellation airliner of Kevin Farr
and the Vulcan Bomber of Schalk Human, both scratch built from plan,
with over a years work involved in each case, and a sight for any PSS
builders admiration. The Master Class can only be entered by a scratch
built entry, be that foam, balsa, fiber glass, whatever, just as long
as it is scratch built.
As if by cue and the static judging wound down, the wind rose up,
and we were able to fly a scoring round for the combat class.
This round meant taking your foam/correx/combat build and gliding
a 2 minute expression session. Keeping in mind that the judge would
be looking for scale moves similar to the plane you have modeled,
and marking you as such, the lowly Immelmann, 1/2 reverse Cuban 8,
rolls and the split “s” all took on a more meaningfully and relevant existence.
The Sportsman’s Light also enjoyed a scoring session with the day-glo
Impala drawing much attention in this unusual SAAF colour scheme
from the 80’s.
So ended an immaculate and most enjoyable day of slope competition.
The Big Day
With all the wind channels barking out loud that we might have a wee bit
of a blow on the Sunday, most gathered early on the morning of THE BIG DAY.
With a light breeze in the morning, we waited for wind as we chatted
amongst mates and ate the delicious breakfast rolls and coffee as
prepared by the caterers. Then as if with a wave of the wand, the wind
pulled from the North, through to the North West and set the stage alight
for probably the best days sloping seen in many a year.
Combat class took another shot at a scoring round and flew beautifully
through the increasing wind. With the wind ticking off the scales at a
firm 30+km/h, we set free the 2 meter P38 Lightning as the test vehicle
for the round of Heavy class and Master class. If the P 38 Lightning
flew with ease, all classes were open. Now, you do not have to fly your class,
but will lose the points for the non scoring round as a result. That is your choice. Luckily every one of our contestants were champing at the bit and the sooner
we could get airborne the better. Flying was to be judged by Kurt Macrill,
and with the Masterclass called to the air, the Super Constellation
Super G airliner was first up on the plate. Straight as an arrow out of
hand by master launcher for the day, Jeff Steffen, the Constellation
simply reveled in the conditions and flew the sky with ease.
Next was Schalk Human with the one year scratch built Vulcan Bomber.
After a few hiccups on launch and the addition of some necessary reflex
in the elevator to compensate for the all flying wing, the Vulcan just floated
away like an angel and presented a most beautiful sight in the sky while its
pace matched the full scale to a tee in terms of visual presentation.
Alan Ball flew a chase plane behind both gliders and got some really
fantastic footage on the Go Pro cams. Both gliders landed well
and live to fly another day. Amazing what balsa and cyno can do!
And to the Heavy Class we went, with the really large kit planes on show.
The P40 Warhawk of Christo le Roux flew really well in the moderate
conditions, given that it weighs in at a paltry 7 kilograms.The enticing
” Ferocious Frankie” P51D Mustang of Malcolm Riley made it’s debut
and the large and impressive Hawker Hunter of Hans van Kamp cruised
with some speed. Finally the smaller, but very willing flyer of Rudi Smook.
The unusual and inventive DO 335 Pfiel, flew like a treat straight out of hand
in it’s maiden and I have no doubt due to it’s unusual configuration drew the attention of a crow that had plenty to say about the 4 stab setup. To say
this was the best day of large scale PSS subjects flown on one day on
one slope locally, would be an understatement. It was brilliant, awe inspiring
and a huge kudos needs to go out to all pilots on the day who were willing
to step up to the plate and take on the challenge.
In the final reckoning, it was the Vulcan of Schalk Human that took the
much prized master Class Black Eagle trophy on the day, Christo Le Roux
and the P40 Warhawk taking the Heavy Class, Kevin Farr and the Impala
taking the Light Class, and Christo Le Roux once more taking the
Combat Class with the Mustang foamie.
As usual a donation of R 2 000-00 was made to the Percy Fitzpatrick
Institute of African Ornithology as part of the Two Oceans Slope Soarers Commitment to the environment in which we achieve such great pleasure.
A great amount of thanks must go out to all the sponsors who put forward
the fantastic prizes for each class and no one walked away empty handed.
Thanks once again to the caterers for taking the time to ensure all contestants were looked after. Here’s to looking forward to next year’s event with
even more gusto!
Thanks to our sponsors in alphabetical order:
Noel – Profpack
RC Hobby Shop
The Black Eagle Trophy! Scratch built entries only and with three differing
gliders over three years across three pilots .
Contestants still left standing on Sunday
Christo le Roux’s winning Mustang followed by other entries in Combat class
Impala runs with the TOSS and SAAF Impala entry
Alan Baalls quick easy build, great flyer, Spitfire from Flitetest build as below
Noel about to launch the chase plane that took some of the great
video footage of the heavies as below
Ferocious Frankie of Malcolm Riley
P40 Warhawk of Christo Le Roux
The Hawker Hunter of Hans van Kamp that flew a treat
The DO 335 Pfiel of Rudi Smook that also flew a treat and attracted attention
as illustrated below
The P38 Lightning that served as the test bed for the Master and Heavy class
Scratch built balsa Constellation Airliner of Kevin Farr
And the winner! Scratch built Balsa Vulcan bomber by Schalk Human
And the end to an awesome event with more to come next year