UK HLG and Catapult Results 2004

(BMFA comp's are flown -7 flights from 7, with a 10 second attempt.)

Northern Area Comp'

Not so much a report as an brief note to a pal.

The Northern Gala was a blast!! High wind and bitterly cold. Only Phil and I flew. I would have won but knocked my tail off and lost its trim. One point worthy of note is that I flew LEFT handed!!! I have modified one of my old Ibis for discus launch, but because of the isometric wing I have to do either a back hand throw or a left handed spin. I was better with the left hand spin. I can toss this higher this way than I can full blooded right hand throw! I hope not to have to throw one again unless my new ones fly away. I am building a right hand tosser to go for big altitude for the Nationals

BMFA 2nd Area Centralised

RAF Barkston Heath

March 28th

(I wasn't able to attend due to work commitments but Mick Page kindly sent me this report.)

A short report of one of the best thermal days flying for many years.

With one of the poorest entries for the first HLG comp of the year for a very long time and a cold day to boot it looked like an uneventful day’s flying. However, there were so many thermals at this meeting that anyone who wasn’t still seized up from not flying over the winter months could have easily maxed out!

Page decided he wouldn’t last all day in the cold, so speeded up his flying and finished over 3 hours before the end of the comp! Hewitt on the other hand was having an off day. Whilst Mark Benns at first also looked as if he was still suffering from winter blues, but naturally this didn’t last long and was soon throwing even higher than last year. The surprise was at the end of the day Mark had won, but only by 1 second!

More treats followed as Phil gave us the first demo of his enormous discus model. The first flight was a bit erratic to say the least, but then he had inadvertently launched down wind! However, the next fight showed what all the fuss was about with a perfect transition to float away for 52 seconds. Unfortunately on the 3rd launch the fuselage broke just behind the wing. Phil also gave a demonstration of discus launching using a normal HLG with no gadgets to help the transition.

In catapult both Phil and Mark maxed out. In the fly-off they launched together with Mark’s going a shade higher, whilst Phil’s had the slightly better glide, it was close, with Phil’s model landing just 2 seconds after Mark’s.

1 Mark Benns 6.34
2 Mick Page 6.35
3 Phil Ball 5.34
1 Phil Ball 5.00 +1.03
2 Mark Benns 5.00 +1.01
2 John Barker 3.54



UK Free Flight Nationals 2004 Thanks BMFA.

MAY 20/30/31

This year's competition was cancelled halfway through after a power flier was killed by lightning.

All competitions on the day were declared Null and Void and all flying ceased.

This was a most unfortunate situation as most of the top fliers had maxes recorded on their score cards and it promised to be a very interesting competition.

Len Surtees was over from Australia again and Bruce Kimball was here from the USA. Len, as ever, had new models as had Bruce, I had my new Hybrid 2 and the even bigger Tango (27") which was impressing all who saw it fly. Andy Hewitt was demonstrating his new but smaller tip launched glider as was Phil Ball - these models can reach a good height at launch and due to there size have a glide similar to an A1. Mark Benns had been using his 2Kan design which he won the last two Nats.

Nevertheless a small group of us gathered together for a 'shootout' in the warmer and almost perfect conditions the following day. We weren't going for maxes, just trying to impress each other with big launches and catching thermals before d/ting into the parked cars (or before). We tried a couple of 'mass' launches for the camera but they got a bit hairy as we tried to avoid each other, inevitably models collided in mid-air so we didn't continue that for too long.

Photo from Bruce Kimball

These meetings are very though provoking especially as we have our overseas guests with us - their input is most stimulating, not that HLG is static in the UK - I can't remember a time when HLG development was so rapid.

Great day at the Dome

As we did last year so we did this year - what? go to the Millennium Dome of course.There weren't as many of us this year just the most competitive of us or those that could get time off work. In the event there was just Mark Benns Len Surtees and myself that wanted to flex our arms in the Dome (Mick Page came along to trim his catapult glider) - if only my arm had recovered from the Nats!   We were all feeling the effects of the previous weekend and our initial times reflected that. Even Len wasn't getting over the magic minute mark but slowly we trimmed our models and the times increased. Len decided that we ought to have a record of the times which was a good idea as all flights were on paper and that introduced a competitive edge to the day..

Len came out on top again with 70+ second flights (small model - 20" - high launch) Mark managed a 66 sec flight then decided to cut an inch off the nose of his model and he lost the trim completely. I was only getting 46 - 50 sec flights (with one 60+). After slicing my wings in two and increasing the dihedral the model began to transition into slow flight and my average flight times went up to 63 secs, it's a good feeling when a high launch finally transitions into immediate slow flight. Len and I were both applying massage cream to our arms before the end of the day but it was worth it.


Indoor Nationals 2004

Millennium Dome - London - 29/6/2004

It always the case that when you set off for an indoor event the weather outside is perfect for HLG, but we weren't phased by that as I, Andy Hewitt and Phil Ball set off for the Millennium Dome.

We were there in good time, there were many there before us and already many models were airborne.

I had taken my conventional indoor HLGs but Phil and Andy had their discus launched gliders with them - they also intended to enter catapult launch glider. Phil is known for his high launching outdoor catapult models and the model he took to the dome was no different. Most of the early flying activity was with catapult gliders and Phil's model was performing magnificently until it struck the cables above the cluster of speakers that hang in the centre of the Dome at about 100 feet, the model dropped down onto the speakers and lodged itself there with only the tail and fin slowly fluttering down to earth. Phil had posted two very high scores (best 2 of 9 to count) and for most of the day it looked as if those scores would be enough to win the competition.

Slowly but surely the OHLG fliers started to loosen up there arms, myself and Andy were eager to crack the magic minute and possibly the 70 second mark. I started to record high fifties (they seem easy now) and then 60+ second flights with the highest being 64.2 (pb) but I just couldn't get a good transition at the highest point. Andy loosened up with what I think was a new model which developed a nice flick-out transition, the one launch that looked very strange but to my mind was higher than the others gave him a flight of 67.2 seconds, with other flights of 65 seconds that was enough to take the title (best 3 of 9 to count). Mark Benns (last years winner) was recording some good flights but couldn't find a really good one to overhaul Andy, although he did beat me into second place buy less than one second. Meanwhile Phil Ball was limbering up with his smaller discus launched glider, the times looked promising but I can't remember anyone saying that he had passed the minute mark. Later he brought out his 60" span model and we all looked on in anticipation. The first launches were from the centre of the Dome and unfortunately the model drifted towards the micro-film fliers and Phil took some ear-bashing from one of them (not surprisingly). Andy brought out his smaller discus model (staying well away from the other fliers) and was posting 50+ plus flights with launches that would he put the wind up other fliers in an outdoor competition never mind indoor.

We all got through the day without any injuries - with one exception, Mick Page, who put his shoulder out trying to stretch the elastic back too far but did manage to beat Phil's times by little more than a second and take first place in catapult. As ever the best flights and improvements seem to come after all of your competition flights have been taken - oh well, there may yet be another chance to fly in the Dome - if there is, I'll be taking new models with ajustable pylons to try and get that one huge flight time.

It was another memorable day and if you weren't there - why ?

Congratulations to Andy and Mick.

1 Andy Hewitt 197
2 Mark Benns 190.6
3 Mike Chapman 189.8


1 Mick Page 166.7
2 Phill Ball 165.5
2 Mark Benns 163.2

(Photo's to follow)

A note from Andy Hewitt - British Indoor HLG Champion 2004

Mike, the trip we had to the indoor nationals was the best day out bunging I have had for many years. My unexpected victory in HLG was terrific, if only I had practised and done some fitness training!! The icing on the cake for me at the Dome was the flying of my big toss glider and getting some very impressive flights in. It had spent the previous weekend up a tree in torrential rain, with me throwing rocks at it. To get it working better than ever was such a relief.

It is going to be a race now to see who will win the first outdoor comp with a toss glider. I will publish the plans for my indoor Ibis ASAP since I do not intend throwing any more gliders, the only way forward is to toss great big ones! The winning indoor Ibis is the same model I flew last year, but with the moment arm reduced by 1" and much less dihedral, no warps, just one wing bigger than the other.

This is the best web site on the planet, keep it up!