24 Hour Marathon Electric CL Record
21st and 22nd June 2021 Peakirk village green . Report by Roger.Silcock
Brian Lever put out the call for willing volunteers to fly electric models for the 24 hour period to establish a UK record but essentially to raise money to help pay for the repairs to the village church.
I in turn posted a request for help on the Facebook site of the Combat Flyers Association. This resulted in 5 definite offers and 2 maybes. We assembled around 09:00 on the green and Brian divided us into two groups.
I can only write about team A, flying in circle 2.
This team consisted of myself, and Chas Campen from Peterborough. Lionel Smith had travelled from Aylesbury. Peter Harvey from Keighley. We were expecting Martin Kiszell from Mansfield with Neil Hayward coming after work in Milton Keynes. Unfortunately we received a phone call from Chris Davey saying his car broke down on the way to us and had to withdraw.
The circle 2 pit area with Peter Harvey.
Circle 2 by night lit by Tilley lamp and torches.
The church bells chimed at 10:00 to mark the start of the record attempt. Each team member selected one of the four planes allotted to the team. We took one flight each to feel how the models flew. The model would leap off the floor before flying very stably under power. The light weight meant the glide was very short when the power cut. The light weight of the model gave us some problems because the wind was gusting very strongly round the adjacent buildings. This gave us some very bumpy flights. We religiously wrote down the time at the start of the flight, the name of the pilot and the time airborne. A running total of airtime was updated after each flight.
We quickly decided that we were wasting time changing planes and pilots after one flight and that each pilot should take three consecutive flights with the same plane, changing over the battery as in a ‘pit stop’.
The flight time for each battery was very consistent at 5min 15sec with a few seconds added by enthusiastic whipping when the motor stopped. Averaging around 85 laps.
The first problem occurred when Lionel took off and the battery fell off. It remained attached by the battery cable and acted like a pendulum making the plane flip on its back then whipping back upright before hitting the ground and breaking the propeller. An additional velcro strip was added to each plane and battery. This worked with no further problems.
Mart Kiszell arrived after problems with his ‘Sat Nav’ and quickly joined the team rota.
Our next problem came when we had exhausted the supply of charged batteries even though Brian had 36 batteries and 4 chargers. This caused a pause in the proceedings and allowed for a ‘comfort break. A local RC flyer Shawn Chaffe who came to spectate, drove home and brought us his battery charger which helped maintain an adequate supply of batteries from then on.
We carried on taking turns racking up the hours. We were plied with tea and coffee very frequently throughout by the ladies bringing trays of mugs. There were sandwiches and cakes for lunch.These were very welcome. As was the soup and cottage pie provided for tea.
We were joined by Neil Hayward who had driven from Milton Keynes after working all day. He happily joined in the rota after taking refreshment. He had to leave shortly after 20:00 as he had to work the following day but his contribution was very welcome.
Once darkness fell we turned on the torches and tilley lamps. Brian had also provided head lamps which turned us into rotating lighthouses when flying. The only person I can report having difficulties in the dark was me. I seemed to be even more dizzy flying in the dark and wobbled around the centre of the circle. I would drift towards the cherry tree near the circle and must confess to my models have a glancing blow with its branches no fewer than 5 times through the night. Fortunately the sturdy little thing would carry on unaffected.
The model I was allotted was number 8 which stood up to a great deal. Not only did I use it, so did Martin Kiszell. Thus it covered twice the mileage of the other models. Added to this, it had already covered 1000 laps during Brian’s previous fund raiser. We estimate we added a further 5,000 laps.
We carried on in the rhythm we had established even through the occasional rain showers. We had dressed to cope with the weather.
We had become rather tired by 00:30 and the rain had also intensified. Brian Lever decided we should take a break until approximately 4:30. We all retired to our own sleeping accommodation. Brian even organised an alarm call for us because the village peace was shattered just before 04:00 by his neighbours cockerel It was quite light by then.
We resumed flying again at 4:30. Only 5:30 hours to go. The skies were clearer but the initial calm of the morning was soon replaced by wind gusting just as strong and unpredictably.
Back to business clocking up the hours until – – breakfast. Woohoo. A very welcome pile of bacon butties and steaming hot tea.
With our spirits suitably lifted the competitive nature of Lionel and Chas took over and they decided to fly two – up to clock up extra flight time. Three flight intervals adding 6 flight times. We had sufficient batteries for them to do this twice. Lionel even did one flight inverted.
Chas enjoyed it so much he defected to circle 1 for a two – up flight with Steve Turner.
We achieved the 12 hour mark with around 4 hours to go. Brian asked us to continue until 10:00.
At 10:00 the bells tolled again and we stopped flying.
We gathered for speeches and photographs and even a drop of champagne.
The event was really well organised and run, all we had to do was turn up and fly. It was flown in the best spirit and was well received by the local inhabitants We had people stopping their cars and passing donations to us. The amount raised on the day plus a ‘just giving’ page is so far £4,200.
Circle 2 totalled 15 hours 4 min 49 sec. The total time for both circles 27 h 50 m 45 s.
CIRCLE 1. CIRCLE 2
Richard Arnold. 27 Chas Campen 41
David Cowburn. 38 Neil Hayward. 6
Andy Green. 18 Pete Harvey. 38
Brian Lever. 12 Mart Kiszell. 24
Steve Turner 21 Roger Silcock. 34
Brian Waterland 29 Lionel Smith 37
TotaL 145 Total. 180 Total flights made 325 !!
Chas Campen completed 41 flights making 3,485 laps. This may also be an electric CL 24 hour record.
Total laps covered by everyone a dizzying 27,625. Roughly 1000 laps/hour.