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Derek McAllan

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Derek McAllan last won the day on September 26 2013

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About Derek McAllan

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    I'd rather be at cloudbase...
  • Birthday 11/26/1974

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  • Gender:
    Male
  • Location:
    Perth, Australia
  • Interests:
    Life's a Reach, then you Gybe...

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  1. Greetings old friends! I just realised it's been about 5 years since I last popped in to say hi to everyone. I got a bit excited by the news that we would finally be seeing a new MSFS and began to think about getting back into simming once more. Alas, in my protracted absence from the community it appears that my large collection of FTX scenery has been rendered useless by a change in the online activation process at some point and given that there'll be new FS relatively I don't see much point in buying FSX stuff I already bought once. But it prompted me to come and check in and see what amazing stuff is still being produced at ORBX, and I'm not at all surprised to see some amazing efforts. I AM surprised by an apparent change in attitude towards X-Plane and other sims?? That's a great thing. Anyway, great to see some familiar faces still kicking around here - I hope you're all well! I still spend all my free time gliding, but mostly in the rear seat these days as an instructor. My "for fun" flying time's been pretty limited by work over the past couple of years. Any of the West Oz crew who remember me are always welcome to come up to YCUN to have a go Cheers, Derek
  2. Happy Birthday Frank! Sounds like it was a good one mate Cheers, Derek
  3. Ah, the ever legendary Primary... I posted some pics of one from the early days of our Gliding Club a short while ago here - link Great video!
  4. Thankyou everyone! It's a pleasure to share treasures like this. Jeez, I could have used slew mode a few weeks ago when I landed out... One step away and the step is up to a hang-glider. The old primaries would have nowhere near the glide ratio of a decent hang-glider, and wouldn't even have been as safe. Hey! Its a "Yawstring" thankyou very much And that 5 cent piece of wool does a better job than the $1200 battery eating turn-and-bank coordinator. I would imagine so. Not quite in the same league as this sexy beast
  5. G'day all, So my gliding club, GCWA, had its 70th anniversary last year. We recently had a big party to celebrate the milestone, and I was tasked with collecting as many old photos and slides as I could from old members. There was some great stuff hidden away in people's collections, and I thought I'd share a couple of the more interesting old shots with you. Go grab a tea, there's a few here (in no particular order...) Hope you enjoy!! A busy day on the lineup at the club's original location - Caversham Airfield. Primary Gliders and the club's old truck. A Motorfalke motor glider - this has been restored recently by its current owner and was run up last weekend. I look forward to seeing it in the air! Mmmmmm, radial... A Klemm L 25-1. This was imported into WA in 1929 from Germany I absolutely love this photo of filming underway at the old Caversham Airfield Outlanding in the old primary would have been a bit rough... ...and often ended up in (severe) damage to the glider A primary starting its tow Primary in flight These guys were super-keen. They managed to rig a camera onto the wing for some awesome aerial shots. VH-TUG, DeHavilland Tiger Moth. The first of several glider tugs to wear this rego in Australia, all here in WA. The "cockpit" of the primary... no fancy creature comforts here. This was the flash model, that had a variometer (the drum is its capacity flask) and altimeter. Airspeed indicator was the wind in your face. VH-TUG in action A busy day out at Cunderdin Airfield, the current home of the club. Looks a bit diffferent to Jarrad's model VH-TUG the second. Dehavilland Chipmunk. This is still in storage at the airfield (in pieces). Oooh, check out the hot new glider on the scene! Another busy day at Cunderdin The old Tiger Moth in action again Selfies, way before they were popular. And way cooler than any you'll see today... Cheers,Derek
  6. Well, it had to happen eventually. I finally pushed a bit hard for the conditions and got caught out low. This was my first solo outlanding, 2 years of XC flying under my belt and I'd never had to practice this since being endorsed - I've been very lucky with conditions so far. I'm happy to report that all of my training kicked in exactly as it should and I had a good field picked well before things got hairy, and the paddock landing was executed safely. Then it was a matter of sitting around twiddling the thumbs until another club member could drive the trailer out to me... Cheers, Derek
  7. Looks like a pretty standard "9-DOF" sensor board like the one from Sparkfun here. If you're that way inclined, you can use these with some neat Kalman filtering to create AHRS type applications that are sometimes used in RC aircraft and other purposes. By 9 degrees of freedom (marketing guff, they're really 6-DOF), they're talking about the 9 measurements made - measuring rotation around the 3 axes measured absolutely (ie, differential from moment to moment) and 3 axes of rotation measured relatively (ie, measured against a fixed reference, in this case the earth's magnetic field,) plus linear acceleration in the three axes. The demo video only seems to show the three rotational axes in use though... You can buy a 3-DOF one for yourself (kit form or premade) from here - http://edtracker.org.uk/ although you'll need to become familiar with using OpenTrack and understand the limitations in getting it to work (ie- takes some cheating to get it to work with EZ-Dok.) I've been messing around with these in Arduino projects for a while with a view to making a cheap AHRS system to use in my glider - commercially available systems cost upwards of $2k - but I haven't found a way to easily and reliably calibrate them and remove sensor drift in the field. Cheers, Derek
  8. I had a good few days of flying the Mozzie from Thursday to Sunday just gone, got some Cross Country flights in although the conditions were far from ideal. It behaved impeccably, I'm very happy with it While up flying Friday, a band of Thunderstorm activity moved into the area. Enroute to my first turnpoint (Bonnie Rock) I saw some towering Cumulonimbus building dead ahead on track and as I got to within 40km I saw massive red dust clouds being kicked up by the downburst. Time to turn around I thought, so I headed further south. While themalling North of Merredin, I took the opportunity to grab a pic... The weather was clear with beautiful scattered Cu's south of here so I continued my XC task. After taking a boomer of a thermal over my next turnpoint, Corrigin airfield, I had final glide back to Cunderdin. Unfortunately, when I got to Quairading I could see a massive lightning storm directly between me and the airfield. No chance of getting home - couldn't got through it, was too wide to go around - so I elected to land at Beverley airfield, where there is another Gliding Club. This is what it looked like from the ground, looking straight up to Cunderdin... Caught up with a few people from the Beverley club, and had a nice cold beer while waiting for my mate James to come and pick me up with the glider trailer. All in all though, it was a good day Cheers, Derek
  9. Thanks everyone! Soaring in stock FSX is very basic. The thermals don't really act like they do in real life - they're much wider for one thing, and they are consistently strong throughout. Ridge lift is not modelled at all. I have no experience with ASN, although I don't seem to recall it offering any improvements to soaring weather. CumulusX is what you want if you are interested in soaring - it adds a complete soaring weather model with more accurately modelled thermals based on ground temperatures and trigger points, and also models ridge lift based on ground terrain and wind speed/direction. The DG808 in FSX is a pretty glider but doesn't really behave in a realistic way. Aerosoft's Discus is better but it suffers from poor frame rates (in my experience). There are, however, some great freeware gliders out there if you look - Wolfgang Piper's are the best I've found, they are in many ways better than the payware Discus. For a more "realistic" sim soaring experience, you need to try a specialised sim like Condor - although it is pretty old and clunky now (DirectX 7!!) in comparison to FSX or P3D, it still has the most realistic modelling for soaring flight. Even with the best software however, sim gliding pales in comparison to the real thing, the physical sensations that go along with the visual, the "seat of the pants" sensations that tell you you've just flown into a boomer of a thermal, so I've pretty much given it away. Go and have a trial flight at your local gliding club!! Cheers, Derek I'd love to Todd!! I've tried in the past, but it's hard work Matching speed, altitude and sink rate in a pair of gliders is bloody hard lol. Not much room in the cockpit to manoeuvre a decent camera either - easier to do in a 2 seater, might hit up a friend to do some filming from one of our trainers or towplanes. Cheers, Derek
  10. Well, the soaring season has kicked off over here in West Oz. The weather hasn't been as spectacular as it was this time last year, but it's definitely possible to soar cross country on almost any day. Given that I had a fantastic season last year, my first XC season, I've set myself some tougher goals this year - getting at least one 750km flight under my belt, and having a crack at top spot in the national sub-200 hour rankings. I've also been given the opportunity to step up into a better aircraft... This is a Glasflugel Mosquito B, rego VH-FQO. The Mozzie is a glass-fibre sailplane manufactured in Germany in the late 70's, built to the 15m racing class specifications. It is a very sleek and VERY responsive glider that has a unique interconnected flap and trailing edge spoiler system. While I like flying the Jantar's that I learned to fly XC in last season, this is a step up in performance, and in comfort. The cockpit is much roomier than the Jantar Std 2 that I'm used to, especially given my 6'4" frame. A lot more comfortable, and also better laid out ergonomically. The control column linkage is of a parallelogram configuration that means it slides forward and back rather than tilting for pitch control, kind of like the motion of a yoke. This has the advantage of helping to damp out the effects of wind gusts, and pilot-induced oscillations. The electronic instruments are fairly old but definitely useable, and are largely supplanted by my own soaring computer that you can see stuck on the canopy to the right of the cowling. This particular Mosquito has been modified with winglets, and also has an oxygen system fitted behind the wing spar. The canopy is tinted, which is a comfort in the harsh sun here. FQO belongs to a friend of mine, who also owns a magnificent ASG-29e 18m high performance glider, so this is surplus to his needs and he has graciously offered to lease it to me for the next couple of years - a LOT cheaper than buying my own and worth the extra cost to me as it means I don't have to queue up for allocation of a club glider. I had my first short test flight on Saturday afternoon and was pleasantly surprised by the beautiful handling characteristics and the thermalling ability. I was comfortable enough after a single test flight that I took it out flying cross country on Sunday, and managed 310km in very difficult conditions... https://www.skylines.aero/flights/41908/# The thermals, while strong at times, were very inconsistent and difficult to work and I came close to landing out three times. I got a fairly good look at a paddock near Koorda that I had pegged to land in before finding a weak thermal at 1,500ft AGL, then got an even better look at Kununoppin Airfield before stumbling into another weak thermal at 1,500ft, then had a REALLY good look at the paddocks near Yorkrakine Rock and was preparing to enter circuit when I stumbled into a reasonably good thermal at 1,000ft AGL and was able to make it home. The Mozzie's ability to slow down and climb in even weak lift, assisted by the very effective flaps, has me very keen to log some more mileage in it. Wish me luck for this weekend! Will take some video next time Cheers, Derek
  11. Another very quick little video for you all. >https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hi4C4AW5wPc This was taken last soaring season during a 308km cross country flight but I've only just found the moment I was looking for in the video footage. While on my third leg, back to Cunderdin from Burakin, I stopped in a very nice thermal near Manmanning and found 6-8knots of lift. This quickly increased to 10-12knots and as I rode the elevator up I noticed a bird above me. A couple of turns later, it dived down to my level to check me out, flying in towards the cockpit before diving away to avoid a collision. I got a good close look at it and was surprised to see that it was a Peregrine Falcon. I've seen them in the area before, but never expected to find one thermalling at 11,000ft. I've seen plenty of Wedge-tailed Eagles up there but never a falcon. Enjoy! Derek
  12. Thanks for the comments everyone I've got some more video coming soon... I think it's actually easier in real life than in a simulator. There's a lot to be said for the effect of having peripheral vision giving you attitude cues, and also to the physical sensations that tell you what the aircraft is doing. Part of the reason I'm not flying in FSX as much any more is that I now find it difficult without all those peripheral and non-visual cues to help me! The removable canopy is actually very thin acrylic, and doesn't weigh much at all. It is fragile and awkward to handle though, and is an unfortunate feature of older gliders like the Jantar. Modern gliders tend to have forward hinged one-piece canopies. Many a removable canopy has been damaged during removal, or by being stepped on while exiting the cockpit. I've smashed one myself, because I cocked up and didn't secure it properly before launch - and at $4k to replace it can get expensive.
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