Monday, 14 June 2021

A nice flight

After having flown very little hours over the winter due to bad weather and the lockdown it was nice to complete a longish flight yesterday.

Down to the south coast to see the parked up Cruise ships. Then past the very busy beaches of Bournemouth and around the Isle of Wight.

Heading back up home I managed to get a zone transit through London City.

Finally landing at my mates strip at Gravely after 2.8 hours for a well earned cup of coffee and a chat. Then followed a short air to air formation with him in his new RV8 to take some photos of it for him.

All in all a great day out.


Pete Wells' airstrip

Corfe Castle

Diamond Light Source - Research Facility


Bournemouth Pier

Brighton's BA Eye 360

Cruise ships moored up near Weymouth

Norwegian Bliss, complete with Go Kart racing track on the top deck!

The Needles, Isle of Wight

London City Airport

Parked up at Gravely

James in his new toy

Saturday, 12 June 2021

Article from 2004

I've read this article before but it was a poor quality photocopy.

I managed to get hold of a brand new copy of the magazine from 2004 and scanned the article in high res in colour.

I had to chuckle at James Hallam's claim of 500 hours build time. That was before he had built his of course. I wonder how long it actually took him?

A good read none the less with history from Mike Friend and a Sales pitch from James Hallam.

Click on each image for a larger version to read.

Saturday, 12 December 2020

Trans Atlantic Twister talk

I gave a talk on Zoom for a Strut group (LAA enthusiasts) a few weeks ago.

The talk details the trip I took in 2017 to Oshkosh and back via a slideshow of images.

Click on the link below to listen to the talk

Saturday, 26 September 2020

Turbine Twister?

I have already written about the French company Turbotech. Specifically referring to their previous product offering (still on offer BTW) of the gas turbine gen set with recirculation - which improves fuel economy.

They now have a new product.

A gas turbine with direct drive to a prop. Which is of course a turboprop, but with a difference. With the same recirculation unit on the rear of the turbine the same 30% fuel efficiency is claimed as per the gen-set version.

Not only that but the Turboprop version boasts 90kW of power (that's 120.692 hp for you dinosaurs).

It also uses the electric starter motor to provide a short term boost of 10kW to take total power to 100kW (134.1hp).

I thought this would be great in the Twister.

The diameter of the unit works well but the length would mean it would be much too long to fit in a current cowling and indeed would put the C of G too far forward.

Anyway I haven't even mentioned the price yet...

See below response for the price which has one too many zeros in it to be a viable alternative to a piston engine. (125k Euros).

Oh well, dreams are free right?

Sunday, 6 September 2020

Tiger Trophy aeros comp

Yesterday I competed in the first official (British Aerobatics run) comp this year.

The Tiger Trophy at Leicester.

It is a difference type of comp with all pilots from all classes competing against one another with one unknown sequence which gets progressively more complex the higher up the class goes.

I screwed up my spin - having not practised a one turn spin ever that I can remember - I am so used to doing 1 and a half spin turns that I did not recover soon enough and over rotated. So a hard zero for me on that one. The other figures flown scored well and had I done the spin right then I would have been right up there in the top 3, as it was I finished 10th from 15 competing.

A good fun day out despite my screw up.

A mate videoed part of my sequence with his phone so this is best viewed on a big screen.

Monday, 17 August 2020

The original Twister

The RC model that started it all.

It now hangs on the living room wall of Mike Friends house.

The origin story of the Twister is that Matthias and Thomas designed and built an RC model to compete in competitions. It was very successful and someone said "Why don't you build a full size version?". So they did and 10,000 man hours later the prototype Twister was finished, production soon followed.

Aeros comp

Due to Covid, this year has been without an aeros competition run by British Aerobatics so far.

Adrian Willis of the British Aerobatic Academy decided to run his own comp at Fenland.

It was a less formal affair with good flexibility from the organisers. 3 sequences were flown over 2 days. I had not practised any of the sequences so treated it as a training exercise and good practise for Unknowns. Excluding H/C competitors I finished 2nd both days so not bad considering I hadn't practised since March.

A recently completed One Design next to G-FUUN while the Extra 300 lands in the background.

The top 3 in each class.

Monday, 30 March 2020

Aerobatics FUUN

The final video that will form part of the TV/Slideshow for Friedrichshafen 2021.


FUUN with friends

Another short video that will form part of my TV/Slideshow at Friedrichshafen 2021.


Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Twister 2.0 - Unlimited Aeros capable?

Could the Twister be modified to be capable of Unlimited Aerobatics competition?

We think so.

So long as endurance is not your prerogative then with an electric motor of 200kW+ and modifications to the control surfaces - specifically the Ailerons - larger and with a horn balance to increase their 'throw' - and a larger elevator, again with horn balance (these act as 'power assistance' to the controls in place of spades) then it's quite possible a Twister could compete at Unlimited level.

Below are three pics.

The first is a 'mild' upgrade with no new molds or major changes to existing layout needed. The flaps are gone and have been replaced with full span Ailerons.

These ailerons also have a horn balance on the outboard section, which is where the mass-balancing weight would now be so that 'throw' is not limited as it currently is by being inside the wing. The outboard hinge is in the same location but on the inboard section of the tip rather than outboard as is normal on a Twister.

The elevators are a little larger in area, also with a horn balance. 

The rudder remains unchanged. The standard rudder in a Twister is already very powerful and overly sensitive compared to the other controls - due to it's too large horn balance - but ideally suited to this more extreme version.

'Mild' version of an Unlimited Twister.

The second version, below, is a more extreme version with a larger aileron surface area - particularly on the outboard area (where it has the most effect). The inboard section of the wing has been left without a control surface (as per the Extra 300SC).

The roll rate for this version would be 400 degrees per second. Roll rate being a function of aileron area and 'throw', coupled to wingspan (wing area ultimately).

The elevators are also larger for more rapid 'Flick rolls' and more control at lower speeds.

More Extreme version with 400 degree per second roll rate and greater speed of flicks.

The final image shows this extreme version overlaid with an Extra 330SC (currently considered to be the ultimate Unlimited aircraft, and with identical wingspan to a Twister at 7.5m). As you can see the ailerons are now of similar size. The elevators don't need to be as big because the Twister is considerably lighter than the Extra (approx half the weight).

Extreme version with Extra 330SC overlay.

Overall the Twister would need to be strengthened considerably so that it could deal with the increased G forces but also the expected higher Va and Vne needed to compete at this level of competition. This will add weight of course but I still don't think it would be as heavy as the steel framed Extra with it's heavy Lycoming 580. The power to weight ratio would be comparable or better than the Extra.

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Building FUUN video

5.5 years and 3,000 workshop hours compressed into about 2 mins of building G-FUUN.