Friday, 18 August 2017

Ian Emery - RC Heli pilot season update...

We are excited to bring you a season update from the exceptionally busy Ian Emery today - check out all the happenings from the Euro Heli Series F3C season so far below:

Pre season and Austrian Competition

Ian's JR Sylphide
With one thing or another, it's been a bit of a funny year.  Pre-season I learnt that there was a significant chance that spare parts for my JR Sylphides were probably going to be an issue with the closure of JR. Although there was some light at the end of the tunnel with RC Depot in Japan stepping forward and taking on the World wide distribution of certain JR products which they would produce under licence.  Unfortunately it didn't look like the Sylphide parts would be among the supported items.  I was pretty confident going into the season as the Sylphides have proven to be so reliable, with the help and support of SMB Bearings of course!

some JR pre-competition servicing...
 I managed to get some flying in over the winter, although not as much as I would have hoped and the helicopters were performing well.  I did however decide that it might be good to get a helicopter that I could fly the F3C Schedules and be able to source parts if I needed them.  Having weighed up the various options, I decided on the SAB Urukay.  It had proven to be a good competition helicopter over the past few years and SAB had just released the latest version, the SAB Urukay Carbon. 

The SAB Urukay's 1st flight

I had some new and exciting venues to look forward to on the Euro Heli Series Calendar this year with F3C World Cup competitions in Austria, Germany, France and the final one at my club near Abingdon which will be in September.

I had been planning the Austria trip for some months, with 1100 miles each way I thought it would be a good opportunity for my Dad and I to have a bit of a road trip and stop off at some places along the way.  A week before we set off, I started having issues with my main helicopters rudder.  It had a really strange vibration. I stripped it down and had a look over it and couldn't see anything obvious.  I had run out of time, I had only had a handful of flights on the Urukay so decided I would take both Sylphide helicopters to Austria thinking that I could either use by backup machine or I could pinch parts off the backup to solve the issue that I was having with my preferred model. 

Snow-covered Alps...
 We set off early to catch the Eurotunnel, I had planned that we had to do 700 miles on day 1 which would allow me to stop off and take day 2 a little easier.  We stopped overnight in a lovely B&B near Ulm in Germany before heading to Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria the following morning.  

Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria.

The castle and surrounding area is absolutely  stunning, and if you ever get the opportunity to visit I would highly recommend it.  After a short stop we headed East towards Salzburg.  We had planned to go to a small town called Hallstatt on the edge of a lake but were running a little behind schedule so decided to head straight for the apartment we had booked into in Klopeiner see, about 10 minutes from the competition site.  Travelling through Bavaria and Austria I was lost for words, the scenery was breathtaking.

Because of the long drive we decided to get to the competition site a few days early which would give us a few days of much needed practice/maintenance before it got under way.  Annoyingly I was still having issues so I decided to swap tail units which solved the problem.  Expecting the backup model to now have the rudder issue, I lifted off into a hover and it was perfect. I had 2 serviceable helicopters which was a result but I still wasn't sure why I had the rudder issues in the first place. 

Saturday morning came round all too quickly and the competition began, it was great to see familiar faces and pilots I had not met before.  

All the pilots together 😄
Given the lack of practice pre-season, I was really pleased with how I was flying.  As always there was small things I would have liked to have to done differently, but on the whole I was pleased.  My fellow team mates Steve Roberts and Bruce Naylor were also flying really well.  Bruce used to fly F3C but was making a comeback in his first competition for several years.  It was like he had never been away but I think it was based on his secret Flight Mode 5 which I will explain another time.

Ian Emery (left) piloting & his pal Steve Roberts (right) calling for Ian...
 We were really looked after by everyone involved in organizing the event and members of the MFC Jauntal Club in St Stefan.  I managed to finish in a very respectable 8th place given the company I was in.  Most of the pilots there would be competing in the World Championships in Poland in July. 

Brilliant results - well done Ian!
Before I knew it, it was time to pack up the car and start the long journey back.  The Scottish Nationals was only 3 weeks away.

Thanks so much Ian - we can't wait to hear all about the Scottish Heli Nats!  It's great that the Euro-Heli Series is gaining some much deserved recognition in the press - see the feature below from an international magazine recently:

We are so proud & delighted that SMB Bearings continue to be a very small part (quite literally 😅) of Ian's RC Heli journey & we look forward to bringing more news (& stunning photos) as his season continues...

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