PSS warm up with warbirds
Damian has a great habit of getting behind an idea and motivating people to buy into it.
So a late night call on Friday to a few fellows and the troops were informed of an impending scale day
on Saturday as the weather looked good. 60km+ winds from the South East meant that St James
should be the site for the day of all days. Having never had the four largish scale PSS warbirds up together
we were all amped to try out a bit of warbird formation. Meeting at the parking area at 1 PM on Saturday ,
it took some time to get all the clobber together and then the trek up the mountain on a 1.7km gander,
with a 5 kilo, 2.2m plane hanging off your shoulders.
As we got to the top and the slope site, and after the early crew had cooking conditions,
mother nature raised her ugly head and kicked us a sharp blow to the nuts.
Due to the incessant heat of the past few days, there was howling wind all over the bay,
but a heat dome had formed over the land and the end result was zero lift.
8 very depressed pilots attempted to sit it out and wait for the cooling to occur.
It never did… and so we departed, somewhat disgruntled to say the least,
and hauled the 5 kilo planes back down the mountain sans even one flight.
Sunday looked worse if one were to follow the predictions.
Promised temperatures of 34 degrees hardly inspired the guys,
but we all left the war-birds in the cars overnight and once more set out on Sunday morning.
The wind had backed off to a manageable 40km/h and the day looked to be fine.
And was it ever!
Red Hill presented one of the best days of the year so far, with the wind not backing
off one bit and holding in at a beautiful 35-40km/h for the day. Non Stop! smooth as silk all day!Endlessly.
Steve was up on the slope early with Peter and I met them there, with the new Vector ready for a maiden flight
and the large P38 J Lighting in tow. We had an awesome maiden flight with the Vector,
which simply flew out of hand sans a single trim switch required, danced around the sky like it was
balanced on a knife edge and point to point in the maneuvers for which she is designed,
she landed like a butterfly as the large flaps dropped 70 degrees into the smooth lift.
At this point Damian, Carlo, Michael, Marc and Christo arrived and the full fleet of warbirds
were assembled and launched off one after the other. Damian had the p51 Mustang, Carlo the Sea Fury,
Micheal the Reconnaissance Spitfire and myself the P38J Lightning. And boy did we have fun.
To have 4 fairly large scale warbirds in close formation, all from the same time gap, cruising over the Red Hill
slope and Navy Base below, as well as the submarine that they had kindly parked in the Simonstown bay
for us to take practice gun runs at, was just an incredible experience.
After 45 minutes of hard core sloping all the warbirds were deposited back to Terra firma in one piece and
a silly 30 minute combat session took place in the most perfect conditions possible.
Smiles, grins and laughs were part of the sum total for a brilliant day on the slope, thanks to mother nature
delivering one of her best days of this summer.
Marc did a whole bunch of Photography on Sunday and hopefully will post some of the best shots.
Marc are you out there? Marc?