Have you ever noticed how most pilots of models seem to have an irrational insistence on turning left. Now if you are like me with some 38 years of control line flying behind you it is perhaps understandable that you are stuck on flying from right to left and making only lefthand turns. Whats more, you could have it stuck in your mind that right hand turns means that the controls are reversed as in C/L flying. When they are not reversed, as in R/C flying you can become very confused and prefer not to make right hand turns or left to right passes.
Fine, so how about those people who have never flown C/L (shame!) or only done a little yo-yo flying, why should they want to turn left all the time. Well, you could argue that the majority of flyers are right handed and that it is easier to push the stick rather than pull it. Could be, but that sort of hang-up should be easy to overcome with a little bit of determination.
I remember seeing one of our clubs self-styled experts (this is the one who hogs the green peg for two hours at a time - most of which is spent trying to start his engine - and then complains if anyone else has it for more than 10 minutes) 'help' someone trim out his new Aeromaster. After leaning out the motor to the point where it had no chance of pulling the skin off a rice pudding, he persuaded it to stagger off the ground and proceeded to turn left and dig a large hole in the roof of the barn!
Having been quite critical of this worthy at the time it has occurred to me since that I may have been unjustifiably unkind. It is a well established fact that even highly powered models show a distinct tendency to drop their left wing in a climb. I remember some years ago that there was a long series in the American 'R/C Modeler' (sic) on the design of aerobatic models in which it was pointed out that all models need right rudder trim in order to climb straight.
Interestingly enough, this is not the result of torque reaction as many seem to think, but rather the result of what is known as 'P' effect (no, we are not descending to lavatory humour - yet). In simple terms this is caused by the fact that the descending propeller blade (on the right hand side of the model) produces more thrust due to it having a greater angle of attack caused by the nose-high attitude of the model. (Thinks - this is simple terms?).
So, our aforementioned 'expert', having dragged the model off the ground was in a situation where it would have taken a strong willed pilot indeed to force the model against its natural inclinations and make it turn right and away from the barn.
Rereading the above prompts several possible subjects for future discussion vis:-
a) Why do clubs waste money on producing large notices saying such things as "No flying over or behind the barn"?
b) When did you last see a skinless rice pudding lying around on your flying field?
c) Why does one of the wealthiest clubs in the country still have a majority of its members flying on 27MHz AM?
For more years than I care to remember the model press has contained various discussions on the subject of the dreaded downwind turn. The matter crops up over and over again in magazines from all over the world. In most cases the same old points are repeated in slightly different words from people who obviously feel that they are contributing something new to the subject.
Having discussed the matter with all types of pilot, both model and fullsize, I am always amazed at just how strongly many of them feel on the subject. Having seen a full-size Pitts aerobatic biplane crash in what was obviously a classic downwind turn accident I too have very well defined views on the subject but normally prefer to keep them to myself.
It was, therefore, very refreshing to see something really new contributed to the subject in a recent edition of 'SAM Speaks'. Have you ever watched a free-flight rubber model (in other words, a real model aeroplane) with a free-wheeling propeller gliding in circles in a strong wind. Would you believe that as it turns into wind the propeller speeds up! How often have you heard the expression "the aeroplane doesn't know which way the wind is blowing". Ah yes, but has anyone ever asked the propeller whether it knows which way the wind is blowing.
A young lady spent a weeks holiday at Primrose Valley during the modelling holiday week. While there she met an anaemic German model flyer with whom she had a whirlwind (Westland?) romance. She sent a postcard home to her mother on which she wrote those immortal lines:-
'Pale Hans I loved beside the chalet Ma!'
Talking of modellers on holiday reminds me of the banquet which followed a World Championship meeting many years ago. Being in Belgium, the service was diabolical with several hours between courses.
In typical modelling manner the occasion developed into a bread roll throwing contest. It was immediately apparent, however, that the Russian team were having no part of this moral decadence. After a while it also became clear that there was an increasing shortage of ammunition. Eventually, there were no rolls to be seen anywhere and the whole thing fizzled out in some confusion.
Suddenly, there was a word of command and the entire Russian team rose to its feet as one man - and the air was full of bread rolls!
No sense of humour these Iron Curtain types.
There was a young man called Dave,
who found an old Mills in a cave.
He said, "It's disgusting,
it only needs dusting,
and think of the money I'll save."