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Author Topic: The last P-30 Flight at the 2014 AMA Nats  (Read 596 times)
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Bredehoft
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« on: August 02, 2014, 03:30:04 PM »

I posted this in my Facebook page a little bit ago.  I spent the last 3 days at the 2014 AMA Free Flight Nats...

The best performance I saw over the week at the Nats was by Don DeLoach in P-30.

It was at the end of the last day and the calm, cloudless day had turned into a breezy, partly cloudy day. Most people were done for the day and the week. Don was on the flightline with his wound plane. Rumor had it he was at least into the second fly-off round, because we had heard another modeler had dropped their 4-minute max. He the plane in his right hand with the prop stopped by a pin and a cattail head in his left.

He was scanning the sky, looking at the sun and the cloud structures above the field. On occasion, he would rub off some cattail fuzz and watch how the breeze carried it, looking for any indicator of a thermal. He was traversing the entire area of the flightline, brushing off the occasional fuzz bunch. Quickly, he took off to the east, fuzz flying...but it was not yet right. Then, he started back west; the fuzz flying at regular intervals as he paced determinedly to the west.

Suddenly, a bunch of fuzz was in the air and it was floating more than normal. He dropped the cattail and started furiously putting in the final winds into his motor by hand, regaining a bit of lost torque.

Then...

BOOM! that little P-30 was going straight up. It must have climbed at an 80 degree angle for about 100 feet before it leveled off and went into a rotational climb, clearly in a thermal.

I watched the entire flight. The plane got incredibly high and I estimate it was at 5 or 6 minutes before it DT'd. Don's DT system pops the entire wing off the plane and it helicopters down. I am sure that it took at least 3 or 4 minutes to bring it down. At one point, I think it was not losing altitude at all. It finally came down behind a treeline. An absolutely incredible flight.

--george
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