have always fascinated me. And one of the many highlights was
first seeing 3d, performed by Curtis Youngblood, nearly 20 years ago at the 1994 Sandown
Model Show. That was a spur which saw me learn all I'd seen over
the next 12 months - culminating in pirouetting flips with mechanical
(non-heading hold) gyros in 1995.
I now regularly
contribute to the new RotorWorld
magazine - with both articles and photography. Expect to see
my 2004 3d Masters Photographs in the next issue.
But I do have
many non-modelling interests. Photography has always been a passion,
and in September 2003 I started a Lifestyle Photography Business.
This took a lot of time intially (and continues to do so).
I have worked
in IT for many years, mostly the publishing arena, as artist and
consultant, pioneering the DTP revolution from 1987 to 1989, when
pre-press 4-colour seperations were first bing output from desktop
computers (Apple Macs). But I have worked in the business IT area's,
designing website both graphically and the backend database structure.
work, motorcycling is another passion, which included a 16
day trip through Spain to Gibralter. I bought my first bike
June 2001, a second hand BMW R1150R - for some reason considered
a pipes and slippers motorcycle ;-). It had taken me since 1987
to get the courage up to risk riding one on the roads, I had an
early lesson in 1991, but was so scared I didn't try again for
10 years. But now I have already put 21,000 miles on the bike.
I am a member
of the Solent
Advanced Motorcyclists, an IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists)
club. I passed my Advanced Test 2002, and am now considering becomming
an observer to help pass the skills I was shown onto others. I
arrange some of the group ride outs, and for my sins have been
voluntered to take on the SAM web site and give it a make over.
The IAM scene
revolves around voluntary help, whereby a new club member is taken
on 5 to 10 observed rides (2 hours each) and given advice on improving
their riding with an aim of passing the advanced test. These observed
rides only cost a nominal sum towards the observer's fuel (currently
£5). I know the tremendous value I gained from my training,
and how much safer (and surprisingly quicker) it has made me,
ultimately making me enjoy riding the bike far more. SAM also
arranges group rides and trips away - this year 13 of us went
to France for a 4 day weekend, 11 of us were equipped with bike
to bike radios, which are both a great safety/training aid, and
a lot of fun to boot.
doesn't go well on a bike, unless using a compact digital. Other
interests include; travel, french food and Bernese
Mountain Dogs. More will follow soon. In particular far more
pictures will be published on this site, including my shots from
the 3d masters - I'm hoping to get some large prints made of these,
and if good enough could donate some to AHA and 3d Masters for
raffles next year.
In the meantime,
here is the list of helicopters I have enjoyed to date, and the
things I learned with each.
started with the following helicopters, excluding my first heli
which was 'borrowed' from my father. An electric SkyLark
EH-1 dating from early 1980's.
Shuttle 1985, with OS28, JR Apex 7, Morley Pilot Authority Gyro
Learnt hovering, including nose in, tight
hovering figure 8's in the front and back
garden, plus Stall Turns. I can remeber my
first circuits like it was yesterday.
30 SE 1989, with JR X347 Radio, Futuba 153BB gyro
Learnt faster circuits, spiral dives -
got my first scale body (Hughs 500E).
3. Kalt Space
Baron 30 S, 1994, with SC engine, Futaba 153BB gyro
Learnt to hover upside down, and my first
auto when the SC needle fell out. Did my
first inverted hovering, using 1989 Futaba
153BB gyro (mechanical gyro).
ZXX, with OS32SX, 1994
Learnt backward loops, rolling auto's,
flips etc. Plus started crazy club competitions,
like slowest auto down wins, and first
auto to 'slam-on-the-pad' wins, losers finds
an alternative spot to land. Always ran
with a Futaba 153BB, with modified springs
which were reduced by 2 loops, and the
damping increased by using tiny foam
inserts placed inside the springs - even
today these gyro's still work a treat.
60, OS61SX, Bergen Frames and Upgrades, JR 120BB Gyro, JR PCM
Learnt pirouetting flips and loops, first
demo'ed May 1995 after Sandown at club field,
then at Scottish Nationals that year,
and later at Charmouth. I beleive it was
another 6 months before another UK pilot
performed them. To this day I wonder
if I was only second person to do them
in the World, the first being Curtis.
The JR 120BB gyro was a mechanical gyro,
and it was unmodified.
ZXX, with OS32SX, 1994
Bought as a backup when working to get
the XL going reliably. To give the XL it's due
once I'd sorted the issues it was my most
reliable heli, doing over 50 hours without
a crash. Did some backwards auto's but the
slipper clutch was a waste of space and
hindered auto's unless set to slip excessively.
7. Robbe Futura
SE, with Rossi (modified by Bob Johnson), using JR 1000 gyro
Performed Chaos with this, in May 1996
between 4 and 10 foot altitude.
This was on the Sunday evening of Sandown,
at my local Portsmouth club, what
I would give to get a copy of the video
taken by a Southampton Model Boater. It
was my best flight, as everything had
come together by then. Shortly after I retired
from flying with a brief return in 1999
but I still wasn't fully motivated and didn't get
to my level in 1996 - however the 3d Masters in 2002 was a turning
I got the urge big time!
came next - 3d Masters 2005, and some F3C practise;
had a number of routines planned, dating back to 1996.
intended to show some at Sandown that
year, but alas it wasn't to be - a shame really
as the weather was perfect the weekend of '96,
light winds and blue sky ;-)
Updates always coming, including many out of box machines, along with my thoughts
needs to transition again, as I dabble with a little smack 3d style - I'm not as practised as I once
was ;-) and need to re-learn a number of skills with lots of practise
to regain my former level. Simple things like remebering to put
more fuel in after a flight are high on the list.