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D. Porter
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Posted Thursday, June 21, 2012 @ 05:50 PM  

Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Grimstead
I've edited in the clip addresses of takes-offs and landings at our Sussex airstrip in the first page of this post.

Thanks Bob, I just watched them all. I think it improves my landings to see how the pro's look in the flare.

Don

Bob Grimstead
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Posted Thursday, July 26, 2012 @ 05:11 AM  

Hi Guys,

Many of you will be aware that Britain has endured an exceptionally wet summer, but our airstrip suffered a phenomenon none of us had ever previously encountered. And, would you believe, this happened on the Saturday of the big international Farnborough Air Show. A big bulge or blister, full of water, magically appeared right in the middle of our strip, so there was no chance of our flying until we had pierced it, drained it and levelled the subsequent wrinkly turf.

I thought these photos might be of interest. The big issue was, 'What if this had happened while we were airborne? Since we would never have expected it, we would almost certainly not have spotted it from the air, because it was camouflaged against the generally grassy background. Goodness only knows what damage it would have caused to our airplanes if we had hit this at thirty mph!

Yours, Bob

[Edit by Bob Grimstead on Thursday, July 26, 2012 @ 05:14 AM]

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jb92563
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Posted Thursday, July 26, 2012 @ 10:22 AM  

What a strange phenomenom.

How thick was that bubble?

I can't imagine how dense the sod and soil must be to not allow water to escape from that.

Truely bizarre!

I have seen sports fields in Canada get rolled and aerated with a large drum with spikes on it to open holes in the sod to let water and nutrients get into the soil.

Perhaps in this case it could be aerated to release water by making openings in the sod.

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

Jorgen
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Posted Thursday, July 26, 2012 @ 11:19 AM  

We're getting off topic (isn't that your line, Bob?) again,
but grass strips is a subject of it's own. I have had many a lengthy discussion with Harry, the late farmer and owner of our strip about it's care. I've been trying to get him to use the roller to get it more level in places, but he always stubbornly refused. Instead he used a spiked type of ring roller since he was very concerned about compacting the dirt to much, preferring to "vent" the dirt instead. Our strip is a bit "flowing" with a couple of gentle ups and downs, so maybe I have to give him credit for preventing this sort of occurence were water might accumulate.

Another thing that might be pondered about for us flying from more or less farm-strips is wild bores, which are increasing steadily at least here in Sweden. They are a particular risk at strips close to some woodlands and can make huge holes in a strip in no time, which I have a buddy that can vouch for. He came back from our vintage club excursion some time ago were he had experienced a bad tail-wheel shimmy (we landed at a "secret" airforce tarmac strip and he had "grassfield airpressure" in his tailwheel) with his Miles Gemini that broke the tailwheel-axle. After a provisional repair he returned to land at his own farmstrip were the boars had made a ditch deep enough to catch his tailwheel so bad it cracked the fuselage!!

A low pass to scrutinize your strip as you come back might be a wise and prudent practise, but maybe not always enough. Regarding soaked strips (we've had some of that lately too) you can most often get a hint about it from the air when you see a lot of puddles in the surroundings around a strip. Avoid landing at a "marginally" short strip if you see evidence of water soaking in the surroundings, with the Fourniers puny engine and the "plowing effect" of a monowheel undercarriage you might not get back in the air!!!

May the 4's be with you/ Jörgen

[Edit by Jorgen on Thursday, July 26, 2012 @ 05:34 PM]

Bob Grimstead
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Posted Wednesday, October 10, 2012 @ 10:54 AM  

On the Miscellaneous page, Jorgen suggests it is time to wrap up flying for the season.

We agree. This is the current state of our airstrip!

Yours, Bob

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Markku
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Posted Wednesday, October 10, 2012 @ 11:21 AM  

Almost the same here in Finland, it has been raining, raining, rainig.....
Jorgen
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Posted Thursday, October 11, 2012 @ 04:40 AM  

Bob, great picture of both the right-side-up and downunder Bob. Speaking of downunder- isn't it high time for your fall migration ?

May the 4's be with you/ Jörgen

Bob Grimstead
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Posted Friday, October 12, 2012 @ 06:11 AM  

Yes, but we have one more display at Duxfor this weekend, and then I have to replace my cylinder heads with dual-port ones, make up a new inlet manifold with Sam's Mikuni carburettor, and then make up baffles and tailor new cowlings to fit. I guess it will be a few weekes yet....

Yours, Bob

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Bob Grimstead
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Posted Sunday, March 3, 2013 @ 00:36 AM  

Hi again Guys,

More 'Where do you fly from' footage, this time from a rather more unusual angle. This is our short, narrow, sloping rural airstrip, but for once last summer, it was sunny and we had no tailwind, so it's a quite short take-off. We almost always take off downhill and land uphill, for obvious reasons with so little power.

http://youtu.be/rQx2BUrsqH8

Let me know if you can't find it, or if the soundtrack is silent, because sometimes YouTube deletes my clips if they think I've stolen the music (here, as almost always, from the incomparable John Williams).

Yours, Bob

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Donald
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Posted Sunday, March 3, 2013 @ 04:33 AM  

The link and the sound are fine, Bob and nicely different POV. what is the text in the middle of the frame between 1:00 and 1:19?
Bob Grimstead
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Posted Sunday, March 3, 2013 @ 06:37 AM  

Hi Donald,

It's just an imprint from the free file conversion software I downloaded that I used to have to use before I could edit GoPro footage in my old and beloved Windows XP computers.

But now I have a second-hand Windoows 7 computer with Windows Live Moviemaker, I don't think I need to convert GoPro MP4 files to edit them any more, so standby for some more clips.

Have I already warned of these? I just put them on facebook, and I would not want you guys to miss out.

For anybody interested, here are more take-off & landing clips from our airstrip:
RedHawks stream take-off, head-cam, short crop cross/tailwind http://youtu.be/I4yFWef8Eeo
First downhill take-off, long crop, side-cam, tailwind http://youtu.be/L9oL-oZ7k20
First uphill take-off, long crop, side-cam, headwind http://youtu.be/kXoUpaoQ57o
Overhead approach and uphill landing side-cam long crop http://youtu.be/VHFZSxG27R4
Onboard helmet-cam, downhill landing, short crop crosswind http://youtu.be/GKaJnKqSdPI
Early downhill take-off, short crop, side-cam, tailwind http://youtu.be/AEOmqOvSg-Q
Matt taking off downhill, short crop http://youtu.be/PaZ4f4bM0Yg
Matt landing uphill, short crop, crosswind http://youtu.be/OfEnsjD33_w
Matt landing downhill, short crop, wide-angle GoPro http://youtu.be/MTaJQersRMo

Plus lots more clips at: http://www.youtube.com/user/fournierbob

Yours, FournierBob

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

dannparks
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Posted Monday, October 21, 2013 @ 08:38 PM  

Parkside Airpark, WA, USA

My home base is Parkside Airpark in Southern Washington, USA. Its designator is WA87.

It is a private strip surrounded by 28 homes that have access to the runway. Each home has a hangar and is on about 2 1/2 acres of land, although some of that is part of the runway and road easements -- it's still a lot of lawn to mow. Most of the homeowners are active pilots, although a lot are retired pilots. There are a lot of homebuilt aircraft -- I think 10 RV's (and 1 RF4D) have been built here, and any kind of tool you could possible want is available in somebody's shop. It is a very friendly and social community as well and we do fly-outs and potlucks often.

The runway is 2100' long and there is a parallel grass strip on the north side of the paved strip. The strip is narrow and the approaches do have serious trees at both ends. People say if you get comfortable landing here, you can land anywhere. It is a beautiful area to fly, with the coast and Mt. St. Helens a few minutes away. If you're in the area, please come visit.

--------------------
Dann Parks • RF4D #4051 N2188 • now flying!
Pictures at: https://picasaweb.google.com/111628310900713778468/RF4D_N2188?noredirect=1

Bob Grimstead
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Posted Sunday, October 27, 2013 @ 01:13 PM  

Hi Dann, that looks like a wonderful place to live in and fly from.

With all the relocation hassles and airframe renovation hassles I've had this past few weeks, I am totally envious.

Be warned, we have a persistent flying buddy in Seattle who keeps inviting us over, plus other friends in Sequim, near Port Townsend. Plus our Champ came from Snohomish, so we're well overdue a re-visit to that area next year.

Hope to meet you then.

Yours, Bob

Bob Grimstead
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Posted Wednesday, November 6, 2013 @ 07:04 PM  

For 27 or 28 years (we can't quite remember) Kelvin and I have been based on and flying from our airstrip on Lowfold Farm in West Sussex. Latterly Giles and Matthew joined us there. But three years ago the lovely farmer and former wartime RAF pilot owner, Steve Osmaston died. His offspring could not agree on how to divide the farm, so eventually they decided to sell the whole thing. Consequently we got notice to remove our aeroplanes and hangars.

Matthew immediately took his Fournier to his friends' hangar at historic Shoreham Airport. Giles sold his hangar to a buddy who owns another farm strip, and now rents it back for his Super Cub.

Kelvin also sold his hangar and all but one of his ultralights, which he has dismantled and taken to his home. My Champ was already stored in my garage, so I 'only' had to find accommodation for my forty-foot-span Fournier and forty-foot square hangar somewhere.

I have been active in British aviation for more than forty years. I have been a fairly prominent aviation journalist here for nearly thirty years. I know a lot of fliers and airstrip operators. I contacted them all, hoping to select the least expensive from those who could accommodate me.

Back to reality. Nobody had room!
One strip had a waiting list of seventeen aircraft owners.
Others could not accept any more aircraft, not because of insufficient space, but because their movements were limited to 28 days per year (the norm in Britain) and already flew on every one of those days.

Eventually Tony Hoskins, who runs a nearby glider repair business, said he thought the owner of the strip where he was based might be able to accommodate me. Since my recent spinal operation meant I could not fly and we had to dismantle Wagon, I decided to take the opportunity of getting it re-covered and re-painted, and commissioned Tony to do the job.

Meanwhile, a big gathering of friends helped me to dismantle and trailer the hangar over to Tony's Southwater airstrip base, and Bobby Warren agreed to re-erect it there.

Dismantling it didn't take long, and the site was soon cleared.

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

Bob Grimstead
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Posted Wednesday, November 6, 2013 @ 07:16 PM  

Alan and John helped me by marking out the site at Southwater,

Ray dug the foundation block holes with his Bobcat, and I poured the delivered concrete using a rented dumper.

Then, in mostly atrocious October weather, and almost completely independently, Bobby re-erected the hangar while the rest of us worked cosily indoors on the aeroplane.

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

Bob Grimstead
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Posted Wednesday, November 6, 2013 @ 07:42 PM  

Remember, I was still recovering from my back operation, so I was very weak, sleeping a lot, on dozens of pain-killing drugs and could not do much physical work or any lifting or pushing at all.

And by now Karen had returned to Australia, with me breezily farewelling her with a cheery, "See you in a few days".

After a month or so of extremely hard work, in the middle of which he got run off the road in his car by a huge Europen truck, Bobby got the main hangar framework completed.

Then the landowner suddenly tripled our agreed rent. He was very reasonable about it. He said "Pay up or remove your hangar!"

It didn't take too long for Bobby to get it down again.

It was somewhere around here that I succumbed to the shingles.

So, after some frantic negotiation, the hangar and I will now be relocating to the historic British airfield of Dunsfold, the former test flying site of Hawker Aviation (Harts, Hinds, Hurricanes, Tempests, Typhoons, Furies & Sea Furies, Sea Hawks, Hunters, Harriers and latterly Hawks) but better known these days as the base of the BBC's Top Gear programme, which I'm told is the most watched TV show in the world.

Today I signed my lease to the background howl of a pair of supercars drag racing along the main runway.

My hangar should fit on the end of this row.

...just along from the old 747 modified for that recent James Bond movie.

Watch this space for developments!

Your, an exhausted, dispirited, but not demoralised, Bob

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

Bob Grimstead
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Posted Wednesday, January 22, 2014 @ 09:12 AM  

Ready to start all over again!

To see how this hangar reassembly project progressed, you can go to this additional thread:

http://sbeaver.com/cgi-bin/fournier/cutecast.pl?session=7cAoOnSlTDZNNDIJfe1LYCIDn9&forum=18&thread=1070

[Edit by Bob Grimstead on Tuesday, February 16, 2016 @ 05:46 AM]

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JamesB
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Posted Wednesday, January 22, 2014 @ 02:06 PM  

Sorry about all the problems....when Life should be simple(r).

However, we anxiously await the new Top Gear segment where they have you race a prototype Bugatti. (And then see which floats best, while being serviced by one of the hosts, from the back of a Mini, while.....)

Bob Grimstead
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Posted Wednesday, January 22, 2014 @ 05:42 PM  

I love it James,

It was so good to laugh.
I kinda seem to have forgotten how.

Believe me, I'm a very tiny cog here.

Twould be nice to meet some of them, though.

It's within days of one whole year since I was struck down by my back and the grief all started.

I'm so looking forward to getting back up into the air again.

Yours, Bob

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

Bob Grimstead
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Posted Wednesday, August 12, 2015 @ 08:40 PM  

So, where do I fly from?
Dunsfold!

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

Donald
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Posted Thursday, August 13, 2015 @ 02:32 AM  

Congratulations Bob. Not in that you fly from Dunsfold but that AWGN is flying again. You've done well.
I presume the red flashes on the ailerons mean you got impatient and that the rest of the sunburst on the wings will follow.

[Edit by Donald on Thursday, August 13, 2015 @ 02:35 AM]

Fredrik S
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Posted Thursday, August 13, 2015 @ 03:44 AM  

Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Grimstead

and here's another Fournier base, further north in Sweden, where Jorgen suggested I stop for fuel.

It's Odestugu, a nice, sleepy gliding site, hidden among the forests, with friendly people.

Jorgen was so helpful to me in many ways, including recommending I refuel here.

Yours, Bob

[Edit by Bob Grimstead on Monday, September 14, 2009 @ 05:53 AM]

And that's where i fly gliders from and we have our RF4 SE-XSK based in a private hangar .
Ödestugu is a grass-strip that now is about 650m long and the base for Jönköpings gliderclub.
The field is a very good learning place for flying gliders since we first of all have some of the best thermal areas in sweden (because of the terrain) and the field can be tricky to land on if there is stronger winds from east or west due to a hill in the east and forrest in the west that gives rotors in the ends of the runway. That however prepares you quite good for outlandnings and to be prepared for unforseen rotors, windfalls etc during them.

--------------------
Best regards
/Fredrik Svanberg
RF4D serial#4104 SE-XSK

Bob Grimstead
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Posted Thursday, August 13, 2015 @ 06:02 AM  

Thank you Donald. Your support meant a lot to me in those dark times last winter.
I didn't re-cover the ailerons, so they still carry the remains of their 'sunburst' scheme (as do the spoilers).
The rest will be done with red Oratex when I've finished the more important bits & pieces.
I was most pleased that it was in trim in all axes and no longer seems to need that aileron tab, but some aspects of the wiring are still unsatisfactory.
The important things are:
It's flying again at long last.
And I still seem able to fly aerobatics
http://youtu.be/5zekhFXmQkA

That is great news Fredrik.
Thank you for posting.

Yours, Bob

[Edit by Bob Grimstead on Thursday, August 13, 2015 @ 08:58 AM]

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

Bob Grimstead
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Posted Monday, December 14, 2015 @ 11:34 PM  

A couple more Dunsfold photos:

Those curved white marks on the tarmac below delineate the Top Gear test track.

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

Bob Grimstead
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Posted Saturday, December 17, 2016 @ 05:01 AM  

Hiya Folks,

It is time for me to update this post too.

Regrettably, all of my earlier photos, stored on that other site, seem to have evaporated, so here is an up-to-date pic from Photobucket of Dunsfold. In the foreground you can see the new (2015) Top Gear on-road/off-road test track for their 'Star in a Resonably Priced Mini' segment — or whatever it's called now. Unfortunately it became so poor I stopped bothering to watch it.

Yours, Bob

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

Bob Grimstead
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Posted Saturday, December 17, 2016 @ 05:12 AM  

And here are a couple of up-to-date, early summer photos of the West Australian homebuilders' airfield at Serpentine, as seen from my fin-mounted GoPro Session camera.

Note the Sky Crane helicopter parked in the middle of the airfield for local firefighting, now the bushfire season is upon us.

Yours, Bob

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

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