Saturday 19 November 2016

Dream Classic Update

In March 214, GSAL delivered a Dream Classic kit to Mike and Chris in Wiltshire and although we had been in touch regularly over the telephone and a few meetings at the GSAL headquarters, we thought it was time to go down and see the progress.

This was always going to be a slow burning project as both Mike and Chris are retired and they had always intended to build the kit in their spare time.

I'd popped down a couple of times to sort out bolt lengths as GSAL had made design changes to simplify building the kit and also a wing-fold mechanism.  Each time I visited them they seemed to have made some progress and I took the pictures below.

The next time I visited Mike and Chris they had completed the wings and tail feathers, Chris had made changes to the rudder so it looked very much like a Demoiselle's.

After the second visit things went quiet until we got a call about the stitching used for the fabric covering, so we arranged to drive down and check out the progress in June this year, and the following images show good progress and that they were indeed ready for the fabric covering.

I saw Mike and Chris at the LAA Rally in September, they confirmed that the covering had been completed and were working on the engine installation which is a Rotax 447, it should be finished soon!!!!

Friday 18 November 2016

LAA Rally 2016

The 2016 Rally was a special event for the LAA as they were celebrating their 70th year, I don't think the weather realised as it poured with rain all Saturday with strong winds through the night.  It wasn't all bad, we at GSAL arrived Thursday lunchtime and setup the pitch quickly so we could sit back and enjoy the lovely sunny day and watch everybody setting up while enjoying a few beers.

Friday was another fine day with a reasonable attendance and quite a few aircraft arriving by air.  The evening weather was especially pleasant as the wind dropped, and again we enjoyed a few beers with fellow exhibitors and friends.

Shaun had prepared a splendid feast of roast pork, new potatoes, green beans, and carrots, all washed down with some lovely red wine..........well you might as well enjoy being at the show!!!

Of course we had the Eindecker on show as usual, but we also had Roger Peirce's (7/8th scale) N11/16 in the builders marquee, which caused quite a stir.  He had exhibited it last year with a bare airframe which was pretty much complete and many people couldn't believe it was an SSDR.  This year it was covered with the engine and beautiful Hercules prop fitted, and caused even more of a sensation, poor Roger made up a big sign saying YES THIS IS SSDR to stop the same question being asked hundreds of times over the weekend.  The images below show what a magnificent aircraft it is in the authentic camouflage.

However, on Saturday the heavens opened and everybody ran for the marquees, we at GSAL cover the Eindecker with a plastic sheet but the wind decided to make our life hell as we fought to keep it on the aircraft.  I managed to take a couple of pictures while in the caravan just to show people how bad it was!

GSAL look forward to the LAA 2017 Rally and will pray for fine weather the whole weekend.

Wednesday 7 September 2016

SSDR Rally 2016

This year the SSDR Rally had a much improved attendance, due to good weather and the event gathering popularity, there were many sponsors on hand with stands and advice of all sorts. The BMAA organisers were there in force as expected, as were Skydrive, Grass Strip Avaition Ltd, Metal Seagulls, Flylight, and Sprite Aviation.  Absent were TLAC (probably due to the road accident after the Popham show which wrote off 2 aircraft by a truck) and E-Go who seem to have gone bust, also missing were P&M.

The layout format was changed this year for a number of reasons and the sponsors were alongside the tower, this worked very well and I can see this layout being used in future events.  From a safety aspect it kept aircraft movement and people separated, especially important for those visiting by road and with young children.

This picture of Colin flying his Flylight Dragon over the Rally clearly shows the layout and clear seperation from live traffic and sponsors line, many aircraft visiting from Friday through to Sunday were camping over the weekend.  The next few images give a flavour of the weekend and the good weather over the whole Rally.

On Friday and Saturday evenings many of the aircraft owners took the opportunity to fly their machines in the silky smooth air, and I enjoyed watching them going round on many sorties while drinking back a few beers, I met many old friends and made many new ones.

There were quite a few shadows converted to single seat enjoying the privileges SSDR provide, one such gentleman was Pete Eichhorn who's beaming smile can be seen on page 28 of September MF magazine. Pete like GSAL decide to be at Enstone late Thursday evening ready for Friday, we were the only two present so we invited him to join us for supper, he helped us repair our old generator and was a welcome friend over the whole weekend.  Another person I'd spoken with on many an occasion was Brian Fallows and he came by road with his trike, we talked about Briggs & Stratton tuning and the various options to produce a reliable alternative four stroke engine.  Brian demonstrated his engine and trike and also let others fly his precious machine.

In the image above we can see Brian taxi out with his B&S V-Twin powered aircraft, it was reliable and fairly quite.  One of the things that seemed evident to me was the comradeship of those attending willing to help each other, as I imagine it was like in the very early days of our hobby.

Saturday evening we had a fabulous BBQ provided by a local butcher, with plenty of meat, salad, and various puddings.

Le Petit Cafe were on hand over the whole event providing excellent food and drink throughout the day.

Ton Dawson brought his Pterodactyl to the Rally with a view to flying it early Sunday morning if the weather was calm, and it was. Below are a few images of Tom and others flying his Pterodactyl, and even an air to air shot taken by Colin from his Dragon.

Can't wait to see what turns up for 2017!

Saturday 19 March 2016

LAA Rally 2015

We had fairly good weather for the LAA Rally in September last year and the turnout in visiting aircraft, and those coming by road was excellent.  GSAL of course had the Eindecker on display, but we also had Roger Peirce's N11 on show in the builders marquee.

Roger Peirce's N11 attracted a lot of attention and many people came to speak with us about it, and other kits we are able to supply.  Most people were just staggered at how fantastic the N11 looked and that being 7/8 th scale it could meet the latest SSDR rules, we assured them it could as can many other AA kits GSAL market.

This sequence of images shows what a fantastic job Roger has made of the N11 kit, and all this in around 12 months.  During the rally we discussed engine options for the aircraft, and we narrowed it down to three, HKS, Verner 3 cylinder radial, or large V-Twin industrial engine with reduction drive, the latter was favorite on price.