Important notice
Please remember that people from all over the world read and post on this forum, and that every country has its own rules, regulations and standards. This forum is based in the USA and so much of the information posted here is for the benefit of people who operate aircraft in the experimental/exhibition or experimental/racing categories. Advice given on this forum may be region specific. A person from Europe, for example, may make suggestions perfectly appropriate for a U.S reader, although not acceptable in his home country!

Please take this into account and carefully consult the authorities, standards and approved documentation where you fly.
Fournier Forums User Cp  |  Register  |  Members  |  Search  |  Help
    |- Fournier Aircraft > What have you done with 39HP? Post New Topic   Post A Reply
Fournier Aerobatic Achievements printer friendly version
next newest post | next oldest post
Author Messages
Bob Grimstead
Captain

Gender: Male
Location: Perth, Western Australia or West Sussex, England
Registered: Dec 2006
Status: Offline
Posts: 1673

Click here to see the profile for Bob Grimstead Visit http://www.redhawksduo.co.uk Send email to Bob Grimstead Send private message to Bob Grimstead Find more posts by Bob Grimstead Edit or delete this message Reply w/Quote
Posted Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 01:59 PM  

Hi Guys,

Most of you know that, despite their low weight and tiny power, our RF4s are pretty versatile and capable little aerobatic airplanes.

They have been entering and often doing quite well in aerobatic competitions in Britain, France, the USA and South Africa since the late sixties (and latterly in Australia).

The late Gordon Franks came fourth in the 1974 Air Squadron Trophy, despite being hoplessly outclassed, and other well-known pilots fared pretty well.

Neil Jensen and Brian Stevens aerobatted and displayed RF4s regularly in the late sixties and early seventies.
I think they flew a duo; certainly Gordon did with the late, great David Perrin, who also flew graceful and inspiring RF4D solos (he certainly inspired me!)

I'm not sure whether Texan Robby Dorsey ever entered an RF4 in competiton, but he certainly flew lots of aeros in them, and started John Harper ('Harpo') on a long and distinguished aerobatic career. Harpo would probably be happy to recount Fournier aeropbatic tales to your uncle.

Sam Mason flies in both competitions and displays from Santa Paula, California (and posts his excellent video clips on YouTube).

The late Peter Goldin entered many aerobatic competitions and became very well-known for his RF4D displays in South Africa. I have some e-mails from him on my Australian computer.

Many of you will know that my blue RF4, HDO, managed to scoop first place in Western Australia's only annual aerobatic contest a couple of years ago -- not through any skill on my part, but merely because we didn't get blown out of the box like all the others.
We didn't do so well in subsequent years, although we did manage a second place once.

Christina Zok is similarly well known for his aerobatic displays in his orange RF4D in Austria, and likewise Jean Claude Leboulanger in France.

Most of these guys must have a tale or two to tell, and they're all in the CFI Directory

Yours, Bob

[Edit by Bob Grimstead on Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 06:34 PM]

--------------------

Bob Grimstead
Captain

Gender: Male
Location: Perth, Western Australia or West Sussex, England
Registered: Dec 2006
Status: Offline
Posts: 1673

Click here to see the profile for Bob Grimstead Visit http://www.redhawksduo.co.uk Send email to Bob Grimstead Send private message to Bob Grimstead Find more posts by Bob Grimstead Edit or delete this message Reply w/Quote
Posted Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 02:15 PM  

Then of course we have John Taylor and Brendan O'Brien's Fournier Duo, which became the Unipart Duo, before morphing with Mike Dentith into the Skyhawks, which some young guy called Hill later joined (plus the occasional 'guest appearance' by Tizzi Hodson).

That lot definitely warrants a chapter on its own.

Yours, Bob

--------------------

Bob Grimstead
Captain

Gender: Male
Location: Perth, Western Australia or West Sussex, England
Registered: Dec 2006
Status: Offline
Posts: 1673

Click here to see the profile for Bob Grimstead Visit http://www.redhawksduo.co.uk Send email to Bob Grimstead Send private message to Bob Grimstead Find more posts by Bob Grimstead Edit or delete this message Reply w/Quote
Posted Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 02:21 PM  

Among my Pilot magazines I have the article on how the Skyhawks came to display in Chile, plus the adventure of dismantling their aeroplanes and packing them into a Boeing 707 for the longest-ever Fournier transit.

I thought I had scanned it and sent it to Collin, but I cannot find it on his site.
Maybe it's hidden there somewhere?

http://sbeaver.com/cgi-bin/fournier/cutecast.pl?session=QGQsfb1lgfZ2YnI3waHkhDEuQN&forum=23&thread=824

Likewise my article on flying for the Red Bull Air Race over London.
I have that in a pdf file somewhere, and I must e-mail it to Collin (iof I have not already done so).

Do you have them Collin, or should I send them?

Yours, Bob

[Edit by Bob Grimstead on Monday, April 2, 2012 @ 02:06 AM]

--------------------

Bob Grimstead
Captain

Gender: Male
Location: Perth, Western Australia or West Sussex, England
Registered: Dec 2006
Status: Offline
Posts: 1673

Click here to see the profile for Bob Grimstead Visit http://www.redhawksduo.co.uk Send email to Bob Grimstead Send private message to Bob Grimstead Find more posts by Bob Grimstead Edit or delete this message Reply w/Quote
Posted Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 02:44 PM  

I have just found the text of an e-mail I sent to my supporters after that West Australian aerobatic competition.
I don't know if anybody's interested, but it amused me in hindsight...

Yours, Bob

This e-mail is addressed with many thanks to all of you who have assisted me during the past eighteen months with my little Fournier RF4D, and particularly to those of you who have helped with my aerobatics.

What a strange day Saturday 26th November 2005 was.

The previous Saturday had been my 57th birthday, and the second anniversary of my retirement. I had hoped to participate in the air display at the local RAAF base, but was finally told, just a few days before the event, that they didn’t want me. During eighteen months of hard work, my aerobatics had been gradually improving. I had been practicing assiduously, and I had specifically obtained clearance to fly my routine down to 500 feet (one of only six Western Australian pilots so approved) so I was disappointed.

There are very few air shows in Western Australia (generally only one big one and a couple of smaller events each year) and only one annual aerobatic competition, so all my efforts seemed to have been wasted.

But what about that contest? Investigation revealed it was the Western Australian Light Aircraft Championships, which took place the following weekend. A visit to the Royal Aero Club yielded the routines for the two categories: ‘Beginners’ and ‘Advanced’. Since I had never before competed in aerobatics, I entered the ‘Beginners’ category. Then I looked at the ‘Advanced’ routine and saw that in fact it was the 2005 Australian Intermediate Known sequence. It was (of course) fiendishly drawn with all my preferred into-wind figures flown downwind and vice versa, but there was no sustained inverted flight, and although I had never attempted some of the manouvres, they all seemed feasible in the Fournier, given a little luck. (Routine attached)

--------------------

Bob Grimstead
Captain

Gender: Male
Location: Perth, Western Australia or West Sussex, England
Registered: Dec 2006
Status: Offline
Posts: 1673

Click here to see the profile for Bob Grimstead Visit http://www.redhawksduo.co.uk Send email to Bob Grimstead Send private message to Bob Grimstead Find more posts by Bob Grimstead Edit or delete this message Reply w/Quote
Posted Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 02:46 PM  

So, with just eight days to go, I entered. Circumstances prevented me from flying more than once per day during the preceding week, but I comforted myself with the thought that the others would not be able to fly much either. The competition? Frank Smit (ex Tiger Club) in his Yak 52, David Brown (from Aberdeen) in his Christen Eagle, regular competitor and Chipmunk owner Jerry flying the local Cap 10B in competition for the first time, and club captain Mick Harcourt (from Middlesborough) flying a Cessna 152 Aerobat. So, there was a chance I would not come last, at least!

There were six competitors in the Beginners category, and the routine was a simple 360-degree turn, a loop, a barrel roll and a stall turn flown into wind, and a slow roll flown downwind. At least I should be able to wobble my way through that.

The day dawned hot (30°C) with a howling easterly wind: 20 gusting 30 knots on the ground and perhaps 40-plus along the A-axis in the box, with a slight component towards the judges. At least that hot wind blew away most of the otherwise-prevalent swarms of flies.

I flew one practice early, and established that, if I started at the upwind corner of the box, and droned into wind at every possible opportunity, I should at least be able to stay within it. I also established that I could not possibly taxi, so I left the aeroplane on the downwind side of the first runway turn-off. As she lay there, listing on to her outrigger, everybody thought I’d broken this unfamiliar little aeroplane.

I also heard that poor Frank’s Vedeneyev engine had dumped all its oil overboard the previous night, and he showed great skill in gliding that big anvil of a Yak back to base, popping its wheels down at just fifty feet, to plonk her on the piano keys! So, he was out of contention.

Come the contest, I thought a little gamesmanship was in order. I took off with half power, only just clearing the fence, and exaggerated every gust with the controls, kicking and waggling to show what hard work it was, fighting my way through the bumps. Karen later told me this had the desired effect among both competitors and judges alike.

I first flew the Basic routine as the last competitor, and then climbed back up to fly the ‘Advanced’. I don’t remember much, just that the poor, overworked engine kept cutting at every opportunity, with great clouds of black smoke flashing past the cockpit. The prop stopped at least twice, in the stall turn and the spin (and I think also in the half reverse Cuban), so there was much activity as I swapped hands on the stick, attempting to hold a neat down line while heaving frantically on the starter handle.

To my surprise, I completed the routine without making any outrageous mistakes (although ending rather lower than usual). As I pulled the airbrakes and dived on to base leg, I thought I had at least not embarrassed myself.

I only saw the last part of Jerry’s routine in the Cap 10. He had been worrying out loud about making the stall turn the wrong way, being so used to his Chipmunk. He got that right, but then turned right instead of left in the ensuing downward vertical roll, disappearing off into the distance as he completed the final few figures downwind rather than into-wind. So, scoring zeros for the lot!

Then Mick flew his Cessna 152 Aerobat, and made a truly valiant effort in very trying circumstances, not helped by some dippy bird repeatedly calling him on the radio throughout his sequence.

Finally, David flew his Eagle. And what a lovely job he made of it, with perfect shapes, precise angles, immaculate symmetry and very good positioning. It was a demonstration of how things should be done. Then, suddenly, after his half reverse Cuban, he flew another one! That put him downwind, when he should have been into-wind, and again he disappeared off towards Madagascar as he completed the sequence. More zeros. Mick and I grinned. We had a chance.

That evening, as they read out the names of the top three places in the Beginners, I wasn’t mentioned. Not surprising really, I hadn’t made much of an effort for that.

But for the advanced, David came third, Mick in his Aerobat came second and, by default, my little RF4 actually won!

So, it would seem that a 37-year-old, 39 horsepower wooden motor glider with no inverted systems is now the Aerobatic Champion of Western Australia!

What a hoot!

I owe the greatest debt to René Fournier, for devising such a sweet and capable (and beautiful) little aeroplane.

And thank you to you all, for your physical help, tips hints and encouragement. I truly could not have done this without you.

Happy looping, rolling and Fournicating to you all.

Yours, Bob

--------------------

jb92563
Second Lieutenant

Gender: Male
Location: Lake Elsinore, CA, USA
Registered: Mar 2007
Status: Offline
Posts: 582

Click here to see the profile for jb92563 Visit http://picasaweb.google.com/jb92563 Send email to jb92563 Send private message to jb92563 Find more posts by jb92563 Edit or delete this message Reply w/Quote
Posted Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 06:01 PM  

Interestingly I attended, as a Spectator, the Borrego, CA Aerobatic Contest where I unexpectedly saw a fellow co-worker whose husband competes in a Pitts S1...

Also a former member of the Lake Elsinore Soaring club, that I am a member, who took up power aerobatics and was flying a Citabria that day
in intermediate, and as I was telling him about my plans to take up aerobatics in my RF4D, he told me about Sam Mason's RF4D and how he took first place in Basic in the last competition 2010.

Small world us aviation folks.

I love reading all this history as I imagine hundreds of others do as well judging by the number of views these posts receive.

Awesome stuff.

--------------------
Ray
RF4D #4057 N-1771 Rectimo 1400cc
http://picasaweb.google.com/jb92563/FournierRF4D
http://www.touringmotorgliders.org

Post New Topic   Post A Reply Jump to:
Contact Us | cfiamerica.com | Privacy Policy All times are GMT -4 Hours.
Welcome to The Fournier Forum, Guest!  
Login
Username :
Password :
In order to fully utilize the abilities of this board, you are required to register as a member. Registration is free, and allows you to do lots of things including turning on or off certain features of this board. Register now!
Forum Rules & Description
Who Can Read The Forum? Any registered user or guest
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered user
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered user
Who Can Edit Posts? Any original author
A place to record some of the amazing feats the RF4 & 5 have achieved
Currently Active Users: 3
There are currently 0 members and 3 guests on the boards. | Most users ever online was 48 on 04-05-2014 02:41 AM
Search This Forum
Search Keywords: Search From:
Powered by CuteCast v2.0 BETA 2
Copyright © 2001-2003 ArtsCore Studios