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I think Dan might post the full story sometime, but for those interested, Dan and Whitters won the USSR by a big margin. The numbers still need to be officially verified but they flew from Northampton to York and back with only 20 mins to spare before the cut off time ! Approx 280 miles in approx 7-5 hours out of the 50. Would like to have flown more but the weather was not good. I look forward to Whitters account. Sounds like an adventure !

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I think Dan might post the full story sometime, but for those interested, Dan and Whitters won the USSR by a big margin. The numbers still need to be officially verified but they flew from Northampton to York and back with only 20 mins to spare before the cut off time ! Approx 280 miles in approx 7-5 hours out of the 50. Would like to have flown more but the weather was not good. I look forward to Whitters account. Sounds like an adventure !

Ultralight Single Seat Rally (USSR) Sywel Aerodrome.

For those that are not familear. The USSR is a British Microlight Association organised event for all catagories of <115kg aircraft and paramotors are invited. The competition is run over 3 days (50 hours) and the rules are simple. Out and return to Sywell within the 50 hours without breaking air law and prizes / tasks set for;

1 The furthest streight line point away from Sywell.

2 The longest single leg

3 The longest combined legs.

4 The most number of out landings.

After months of planning and preperation Dan and I hoped to win 3 out of the 4 sections not expecting to achieve the most out landings. However yet to be verified it appears we have scooped the lot. The conditions were challanging and some were forced down and others were unable to return in time. Good pre flight planning and carefull study of conditions with last minute on the hoof changes in plans coupled with an excellent support driver payed off. Oh and of course great pilot skills courage and determination, Dan did ok too. LOL

I have nearly finished a detailed description of the event and will post it as soon as we get the official results.

Thanks to Dan Burton and Russell Hawkins suppport for making this event truly memorable for lots of reasons. A gereat event and would recommend it.

report soon.

Regards.

Whitters. :wingover:

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Fantastic job !!! well done :D

I would like to have a go at this myself at some point in the future so eagerly await the full story :D

The USSR is a British Microlight Association organised event for all catagories of <115kg aircraft and paramotors are invited.

Might not get allowed in again though..

I'm sure there are a few in the bmaa who are less than impressed that a couple of those bloody paramotor pilots went home with the whole trophy cabinet :D:D lol never mind

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Tom, the whole idea is to give the lighter end of flying a bit of a challenge over a week-end.

The BMAA includes paramotors in its membership, I am a member myself as I am sure quite a few on here are also.

Check out http://benclowes.blogspot.com/2009/05/u ... r-vol.html for one blog from last years event. If you know a BMAA member have a look at July 2009 edition of Microlight Flying magazine for the article from USSR 2009.

Cheers,

Alan

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Thanks Alan :D

Might not get allowed in again though..

I'm sure there are a few in the bmaa who are less than impressed that a couple of those bloody paramotor pilots went home with the whole trophy cabinet :D:D lol never mind

Was only joking :oops:8)

I know a few bmaa members there office is 200 yards from my house :D

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Ultralite Single Seat Rally 2010

(USSR)

Richard Whitmarsh

Well it all started earlier in the year when myself and Dan Burton discussed the possibility of competing in this event. Although well experienced in long flights which are our main interest in paramotoring Dan and I have limited experience in competitions so this would be a little different. We have been flying together for about four years and both fly Fresh Breeze Sportix machines under a Paramania Revolution wing, we have adapted our machines to take 21.5 ltr fuel tanks providing about four hour endurance, our wings although different sizes are equally matched for speed so well suited for flying as a team.

Through April and May I practiced navigation flying concentrating on endurance and best speed to fly regarding trim settings. After clocking up almost 1000 miles with two >100 milers over 40 hours flying during April and May I realised the best speed to fly to achieve distance and exactly what my fuel burn will be at different settings and weather conditions, this information would being vital for flight planning the USSR.

During the week prior to the event I had purchased the current CAA 1:25:000 maps and started flight planning. The weather forecast changed on a daily basis from wet and windy to moderate and overcast with wind directions anywhere from Easterly to Westerly with a Southerly forecast on the Monday. However this changed hourly resulting in multiple flight plans in all directions with alternative longer and shorter flights to cater for the stronger winds should this occur.

The competition is divided into four tasks which start and finish at Sywell Aerodrome NE of Northhampton and are to run over 50 hours starting from the time you take off on Saturday 29th May, failure to return in the 50 hour time window is nil points. The tasks to achieve are;

1) Furthest straight line point you can fly to from Sywell Aerodrome.

2) Longest accumulative miles flown.

3) Longest single leg.

4) Most number of designated out landings.

Number 4 the most out landings was not on my agenda because I felt that attempting to achieve that would jeopardise the other three which were more distance related tasks.

The third member of the team was Russell Collins our retrieve / support driver and a good friend of Dan Burton. Russell has a keen interest in aviation with fixed wing experience, he teaches advanced Ski instruction in the winter months and turns his hand to many other things during the Summer, he is an ex-serving member of the armed forces commissioned rank, and is fast becoming a well known poet in his own right. He is a highly intellectual person which suits me cos that is wot I am too!! Russell is an expert in the study of martial arts culminating in the achievement of attaining recognition from the Chinese masters of Kung Fu; he is a practising celibate Monk who has been walking the path for over 10 years now. His knowledge of martial arts, its origins, combined with religious beliefs from many nations is amazing, he is a modest gracious individual and was a pleasure to be with.

On the evening of Friday 28th May Dan Burton Myself and Russell met at Sywell Aerodrome for the brief and to camp for the night ready for an early start. The weather was not looking great for the event. We gathered in the bar with the other competitors some flying a microlight aircraft and one ultra light 3 axis machine, a rather fascinating SSDR ‘Kid’. This is a sub 115kg 3 axis microlight by the Escapade aircraft company which looked a bit like the aviations answer to a kit car but an aeroplane that fits on a small trailer with the wings folded back. One of the microlights, a ‘Chaser’ made it to Perth in Scotland on the Saturday returning in 3 hours on the Monday burning an impressive 5 ltrs of fuel and hour.

Dawn broke with sunrise just after 04.30 and shortly after people were up and preparing kit. The forecast was fairly accurate with a SSE wind direction moderate due to increase with a frontal system arriving from the West bringing rain which was due to ground us by 10.00. There was a possibility of the weather clearing later in the evening allowing a second evening flight. Speaking with Richard Shaw (Trans Global Fame) we planned to be airborne early to make use of max time before the weather deteriorated. I loaded Richard Shaw’s GPS with all the turn points and routes so Jamie and Richard could follow us if they wanted too. However on waking I decided that we would be better waiting until after 07.00 which would give us more flying time on the Monday to return within the 50 hours allotted time. The weather was due to be better on the Monday so it would be foolish to take off too early on the Saturday which would mean we would miss the chance of a flight in the improved weather on the Monday.

My plan to lay in my tent until 06.00 snoozing was not to be, Dan was up and about tripping over my tent lines and with his distinctive dominant booming voice was determined not to leave me to sleep any longer than he had slept. By 07.00 I was prepared for take off, others had taken off earlier including Richard and Jamie, some were now returning describing that the conditions looked a bit bleak to the North so they decided to return. This was a bit concerning but we decided to take off and have a look for ourselves. Russell was up and assisting our preparations, pre flight brief had taken place and the route had been selected. I had over 50 turn points with multiple routes in all directions but the plan was to fly NNW today then take advantage of the Westerly wind tomorrow to fly to the East coast then head as far South as we can. I worked out that we needed to be within 80 miles of Sywell Aerodrome on the Monday to be able to get back within the allotted 50 hours and before 09.00, weather and wind permitting. Andy Phillips, Mike Knight and Clive Bunce decided to wait until the evening weather window to fly.

Dan was a little delayed in preparation and we eventually took off at 07.30 with all the pre flight tension that a competition event creates. The 50 hour window had now begun, we needed to be back at Sywell by 09.30 on Monday. We set off heading towards the darker cloud and rain that had deterred the other competitors but we could see brighter skies beyond so tracked slightly East to avoid the rain and then continued towards our chosen first turn point, a roundabout junction NE of Nottingham near Bingham. We were going to RV with Russell in the support vehicle and fully expecting to be weathered in until the evening. We made better progress than expected, arriving over the turn point we decided to press on to the next turn point NE of Chesterfield about 30 miles further on. This proved to be a little optimistic as we were now heading NW and were rapidly converging with the weather system coming from the West. We opted to land in a large field between Calverton and Uxton for a GPS flight of 63 miles, average ground speed 25.7mph max of 55.3mph. Richard Shaw and Jamie had also followed the route but had landed approx 10 miles earlier nearer to the turn point.

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Left to right. Dan Burton. Russell Hawkins. Richard Whitmarsh.

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Congratulations to all three of you !

Wonderful account of your trip Whitters, and especially liked the poignant link between your Grandfather and RAF Binbrook.

Thanks for sharing - one of the best posts I have read. And that is saying something on this forum :D

Andy

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Whitters.

Well done to you and Dan, I live 5.5 miles ENE of Sywell and stood in my garden watching you and Dan as you made your final leg back into Sywell, had I have realised it was you I would have popped up to see you.

We did wonder who it could be flying locally at that time of day, the mystery is now solved.

Thank you for a fantastic write up, so much so we read it through twice.

Dave

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Whitters,

Is the write up going to be published in Microlight Flying?

I certainly think it should as it is such a fantastic promotion for what can be achieved with PPG.

Again well done to the team, I bet you're chuffed to bits :D

Cheers,

Alan

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