Firstly I know its been a few weeks since my last entry but as anyone who flies on our server knows we have moved it twice in this time as well as Rock and I waving the flag for DCS and Virtual Aerobatics at the Duxford airshow. So I have been a little busy with all this and then work and some kind of family life as well!
So what has been happening the past few weeks? Well in short not as much flying as I would have liked! I’ve missed not flying as much with the regulars on the server as I have been used to, I am very much looking forward to the coming weeks with a little stability so that we can get some serious airmiles under our belts!
So what flying progress has been made, Rock and I have almost exclusively changed over to the Mustang now, I would like to say that the transition to the Pony has been smooth but in reality its more like Mr T making pastry, lumpy, cloggy and feels altogether so unnatural! But yet satisfying as well if for nothing else then to mock at it!
Flying the Mustang is a totally different experience to flying the Jets or the A10c, the balance of the aircraft is subject to constant change, be that from airspeed, fuel load or general trim. The aircraft almost has a mind of its own and until you can at least get the aircraft trimmed to your comfort that you are fighting a loosing battle.
Rock and I started inadvertently with a couple of transition flights, taking the Mustangs out of Gudata and down north of Senkai to a lake with some nice valleys around it. We were alternating lead and wing positions and this at least gave me some idea of how the Mustang felt on wing and how it handled when you are looking for even the tiniest of movements to indicate that a control input was needed. Feeling abit like a yoyo on a clowns finger I was bouncing up, down, in and out to the point that Rock actually had a good chance of passing out from laughing (Nice job on that by the way!) The major difference to the wing work that I had done before was that the rudder was so much more then a simple “sliding” tool used to keep turns tight in. In the Jets its just there to stop you drifting out and only really used on some of the more extreme exercises. With the Pony its far more subtle and extreme at the same time. Now I am sure that its probably down to my rookie level that I need it so much and it may get better as time goes on but for now at least I am glad that I have pedals!
So after a while of bumbling around the lake and having to use bino’s to see Rock we leave the lake and land at Senkai, after refuelling and heading south to Batumi we have a little buzz around there and around the course there before hitting the tarmac and calling it for a rest. After a conservative 250miles we go back up and fly up to Sukhumi where we call it a rest for the day. A good days flying done, and a few hard lessons learnt, but no wrecked Mustangs so I walked away reasonably happy.
The following day we went back up again, again we flew from Gudata back down to the lake, Managing to stick with Rock a little closer here it now really is a case of baby steps and knowing where your limits are, banks getting steeper and steeper I soon realise the respect that I have for the guys who do this all the time is not enough! This was a shorter flight and we buzzed Senkai shortly afterwards and this was the flying done for the weekend.
The next week Max and I set about changing the server with the weeks downtime, some initial testing later looking promising we put it back up again, sadly however It soon became apparent that this wasn’t going to work and we needed to go hardcore on this to get it resolved.
Now I have to thank Max here, Mate I hope you are reading this and accept this public Thank You for all the work you do for Virtual Aerobatics and a lot of that I fear goes unrecognised. Without you and your expertise we would not be where we are today, and for that I Thank You.
We set about going one step higher and setting up a dedicated server with 9x the bandwidth we have had before, a few hours of setting up everything and we realise that it wont work. So £80 worse of Max and I are really starting to have what is technically called “The hump” with this. Last roll of the dice, more money, we try the last thing we can think of. Just to put this into context if this didn’t work it was “it” that was the end of Virtual Aerobatics. With some grit, determination and a lot of swearing we did it!
This now brings us pretty much up to the Duxford weekend last week, I will be doing a specific blog post about this weekend as I think there is so much to cover, but that is pretty much where we are now
A little request, if anyone has any pics of us at Duxford send them on as I didn’t get any and would love a momento!
Next time Rock and I do Duxford!