Thursday, July 31, 2008

2008 Nationals

The 2008 AMA Nationals are in the record books. My flying buddy, Jim Sheffield and I had more fun than the law should allow. We left Texas Saturday am and drove through to a location about 80 miles south of Louisville, KY. The following day we drove a short distance to our super secret practice site in southern IN. We both flew several flights and decided to call it day because of approaching bad weather from the west. It's a good thing we did, as we were loading the last of our equipment into the van winds that we later found out were estimated to be gusting up to 50mph began to blow. As we drove from the practice site we saw trees and power lines that had been blown down from the high winds. We arrived at our hotel only to find out the local area was experiencing a power outage due to the storm. However the upside to this was others who were wanting to check-in to the hotel like us decided to have a tail gate party in the parking lot. Let's just say a good time was had by all. After a couple of hours of waiting for the power to be restored we decided to move onto Muncie that evening. Early Monday to our surprise the AMA site was fairly unoccupied. Jim and I were able to get in several practice flights each fairly quickly before others arrived after attending the judges clinic. All classes were well attended and the level of competition across the board was the best I've ever witnessed at the Nats. The scores in the Masters class in particular during the prelims were closely packed. I attribute this not only to the level of competition but also to the great weather we experienced during the Nats. Especially the weather on the finals day, there was only a 60 point spread between first and fifth place. In light to moderate wind conditions everyone flies well.

In summary even thought I had aspirations of repeating as the Masters National champion, I am proud to have placed 2nd 15 points out of first. Congrats to Ken Velez this year's Masters champion, he flew extremely well.

I've included some random shots taken of me, my plane and Jim during the Masters' finals and awards ceremony.
Results available at: (go to Contest/Results/Nats history)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Beryll GP by OXAI

Late 2007 I contacted Sam Johnson of the US importer for OXAI products to explore the opportunity of purchasing an aircraft. Aircraft I have selected in the past had to meet a short list of minimum requirements. Those requirements are use readily available accessories from US pattern suppliers like Central Hobbies, easily transportable (two piece wing), and be on the cutting edge of current design trends. The Beryll GP (glo power version) by Oxai met those requirements. In addition the craftsmanship, fit and finish far exceeded my expectations for an ARF.

I opted for the gray/silver/orange/white/black color scheme. For years my airframes have been red, yellow and black which have proven to be extremely visible in most light conditions. Once assembled the Beryll’s color scheme is striking however much different then anything I have seen over the years. In the air I was pleasantly surprised how visible it is even in moderate to low light conditions. The orange and white bottom scheme clearly distinguishes the top from the bottom.

To date I have logged approximately 45 flights. I am very pleased how quickly I was able to trim the Beryll GP to obtain a competitive feel. Rolling maneuvers are easy to manage, snaps are crisp and predictable. I look forward to competing with this aircraft at the 2008 Nationals. First pattern plane I’ve ever owned that required zero mix with rudder application.

Equipment list:
YS DZ 170
APC 15X11 4bld
Hatori 821 muffler, 822 header
Futaba 14MZ 9154=ail, 9155=rudder, 9650=elevator & throttle

Finished weight 10lbs 5ozs