Flying through

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Goodwood prepares for the Festival of Speed

Even though it is only April and full of showers Goodwood airfield is making progress with its preparations for the Festival of Speed. Here (left) you have two little work horses in ready to do their bit with the lifting and carrying....!

Ok, it is unlikely the Tiger (third picture - don't ask why it went in second - blogspot alone knows) is going to do much carrying but look at those tents behind...

And Earls Court Motor show is what it will all look like by July.

Muddy? Yup, I think Goodwood invented the word... it was so muddy I was taxying the Tiger through a shower of spray... we had more mud to wipe off than oil, and you know what the Tiger is like for oil baths.

This one ain't doing much carrying!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Flying the Cabri Gimbal G2

Cabri G2 at Kemble, Gloucestershire
Went flying in the Cabri G2 today at its British base in Kemble.
Very unusual helicopter, and one of the few new helicopters of recent time. It is a fully composite helicopter with a piston engine and a fenestron tail rotor. There are also many clever innovations.
See the next issue of Helicopter Life magazine for full details.

G2 engine

Friday, 6 April 2012

Day Four Bosham sailing course

That does what?
Okay, should have mastered this by now. Last day... loads of confidence (not) but, unfortunately, also loads of wind.
So, out we go - man overboard, mooring by a buoy. Peter at the helm, Stewart and I jumping around the ship. Jib half out, not too much speed - opps slow down, watch out for that boat - whew --- better gyb...oh no... tangle of man and materials on the floor and guess what - in the drink again.
This time the fact we had a combined age of the dinosaurs told on us. I had another go with the instructor but we were losing confidence through our feet....
A rare moment - upright and calm!

We did the mooring next to the boat and it wasn't too bad, although I missed the boat twice! The rudder felt very heavy, my arms were aching - but it wasn't that really. It was just loss of confidence and cold - we gave up! Too windy - but was that us or the weather!

Flying is easier. If you get it wrong you go over in a roll and come back the other side (not helicopters!)

I will have another go but I'm waiting until the water is warmer. April is a cruel month as someone who almost certainly wouldn't be so foolish as to learn to sail at an advanced age has already pointed out!

Day three Bosham sailing course

Hey, look at these smiles. Yup, this is because on this sortie we only managed to run aground a couple of times and stayed upright. Hey! Perhaps we've got it! Or perhaps it had something to do with the wind - about 2-3 knots all morning.

Still it was something new to be dry for a few hours.

While we were ahead we started learning a few things like 'man overboard' and mooring by a buoy. Ah! Easy in no wind.
Look Mama, I'm dry - at the moment
OK, so now we are getting some of the terms:
close reach
starboard tack
keel haul - oh no, that was Peter who likes reading Hornblower.

Day three third session - G at the helm again - getting that tacking nicely now - let's try a gyb
oops - did anyone think to pull up the centre board - no, I thought not. Let's try and pull this little dingy up again. Yup, back in the water - not too warm in April either. Thank Heavens for a wetsuit.
Back in the Bahia and try again - but the confidence is slipping away.

Day two sailing course Bosham

Stewart and Peter
These are my fellow novice sailors. As you can see we are all fine young specimens of humanity, or, as Stewart put it, "we have plenty of grey matter."
Humm, rather too much grey matter and not enough white iron, I think.
So, day two we set off with Stewart at the helm learning about tacking and gybing. Good work, for a while - then he gets a bit confident and we get faster and faster - guess what.... in the drink for the third time. Yippee. Back for coffee and a debrief.

Sailing at Bosham in West Sussex

Helming the Laser Bahia
Decided to try doing a sailing course. So I signed up with Bosham sailing club for a four day course, adults, level 1 and 2. There were two other novices: Stewart and Peter. And, come Monday, off we went.
Day one we learnt about tacking and gybing. We set off down the channel, and for a while were doing OK, then the wind strengthened and we started going rather fast.
Unfortunately, with three in the Bahia it was rather unstable, and, of course, we had no idea what to do: so, I capsized it. Back for lunch and a debrief.
So, the instructor decided to join us in the boat - before he was in a little rib, zipping around
yelling instructions we could not hear over the wind.
So, now there are four in a boat designed for three and before long - guess what - we are in the water again. Home for debrief - this time with the instructor helming.