Look: no gloves!

I have had an original Dan LeighR8 in my possession for a while now. It’s an interesting lifter and I’m lucky to have it- Dan doesn’t make them any more.


While my RC controller is at the machine shop I thought I’d practice my AutoKAP technique and see if I can get to grips with the R8. I know it likes a lot of sky to work in and it’s not a pin point kind of thing: it flies really well, steady with graceful movement across the wind window, always square on to the wind but, my oh my, it likes a lot of down wind space- great for slack line stability but just how much space it needs to lift a given weight is something I’m learning.


The shallow angle between the rig and the ground shows the distance it needed to lift the load.

With windspeed at 9-12mph I’d expect the ITW Levitation to lift a kilo and do so with a flying angle of around 30deg. The R8 has a very different path, at launch it lifts easily and took line gently, so gently I took my gloves off and was able to fly for the next hour without them.

_MG_0743 _MG_0964

The catenary on the line is huge, camera positioning is a very delicate business as it rises so slowly but the lack of tension on the line is a boon for exposures: these were taken by clickPan Pro with the EosM set in ‘shutter priority’ mode at 1/640th with auto AE the CPL filtered camera computed an ISO of between 100 and 250.

At this time of year the fields are being prepped for winter sowing, the stubble is ploughed in and the tilth harrowed and seeded.


The recent move of the East Anglian Air Ambulance to 24hour 365 day cover out of Cambridge airport has kept me off my local common so I’m trying pastures new for practice. The fields around the Horningsea droves make for a change.


About billboyheritagesurvey

Heritage worker
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