|There wasn't any water at the farm, we got the use of a large field, with longish grass and a hill - it also had a gulley running down it, bout 300m square in total.
I wasn't expecting much of her, but she did well. We've had lots more adventures we haven't photographed, so the commentary below won't match the photo's. There's a comedy video here (5MB mpg) to make up for it.
The farm trip went well, all had rides and a fly - even the farmers 10yr old son, who flew like a natural.
We even got the hover lofted onto the trailer with a bailing crane, which was wonderful.
|That hill is as steep as it looks, and it went up with 3 of us in at a sedate 15mph or so, but my god did it come down the hill, the undulating field and gulley making for good flying.
After this ride out we went to pilling sands near Fleetwood. We got on the beach and had a real good fly, one of the problems of a big hover is you need a support crew to get it on and off the trailer. Once they're there you need to keep them occupied, so no big missions. We were flying it on shallow water (about 8 inches) and it was fine (as you'd expect). I got into my acrobatics, and during the early part of the day we had a couple of fairly hard impacts into and up onto things. It survived them all and we didn't have any more (until later......).
|Some friends rang, they were at the wrong car park, so I set off to get them. Having an actual mission was a joy after all these circles and being terrified by my mate's flying. On the way I encountered a deepish stream cut in the sands and didn't believe I'd get over it and went for a frantic turn round and stop. Didn't have time and went over it, sideways and backwards. Didn't feel a thing the hover, well it hovered really, better than expected. On the way back we went over at half speed with 2 bikers and luggage.
Shortly after, said biker tried to look cool in front of the crowd of (by now) about 15 friends, but cut the power whilst going sideways and ripped a skid off. Further inspection revealed only superficial damage and I made a few more tentative trips with friends. All in, we flew solidly for about 2 hours, must have covered 10 miles at least, about 10 people flew it, 3 crashed it and about 15 rode in it. Success
|Next trip was to Hoylake, on the wirral. A smaller crew this time, and a couple of bystanders to help get it off. More flying round a beach and letting people fly round. Two things of note happened, firstly the police turned up. We took advice off locals as to where to go (we'd gone to meet a colleague), so I went over and confessed. The copper said "what's the skirt made of?" and then, a very surprising "shouldn't it have a flashing amber light", said with a grin. I chatted to them for a while, and then heard a thud.
Derek who had been flying the hover thought we were in trouble wi' law and came back. He kind of buggered it all up and crashed into the back of the substantial trailer, which hit his jeep with enough force to damage it. "I have to leave officer, there's been a crash".
|Only damage was to 3 skirt segments, and the P clip pulled off in flight (this was just after the speed run, where we'd clocked over 41mph against a jeep - which couldn't keep up). No other damage and it's repaired now. That day we had problems with it not starting, investigations revealed a duff battery. The battery was well abused, having to turn all manner of axle/belt/fan things.
Bought a 9Ah battery, and rewired it all much better with a proper cut-out switch. Is much neater now and it was the last thing that irritated me.
Going out this weekend (6/9/3) and will photo.
|Much better wiring now, big fat cables, run properly and easy to remove for when we demount the engine.|
|And all the electrics are now in a fairly watertight box, with shorter soldered wires. There's also a 300 amp cutoff switch rather than a noddy little rocker switch.|