Flying “Jaws”, heading home

I’ve spent some time at the Moyes factory the last weeks, helping Bill Moyes finishing some of his projects. One project was to make a nice cockpit for the Dragonfly, to give some shelter to the pilot flying it. I’ve gotten some first hand knowledge of how cold it can be in the winter, so I think this was  a good idea!

Bill made some brackets, and a frame from aluminium tubing and profiles. We put it all together by pop-riveting the clear perspex and black plastic sheet to the frame, some alu profiles on the side, and sikaflex to glue the trim and jaws in place. We quickly realized it needs a few improvements, like hinges to swing it up for easier entry and exit, and possibly a way to get to the rudder pedals to steer when groundhandling the plane, but all in all a very good result for a first prototype.

Looks pretty good?

Dragonfly cockpit
Dragonfly cockpit prototype

I made up some nice sharks teeth to give it a bit more “Bite” :-)

Jaws, now with sharks teeth!

We wanted to try it out at Rylestone, but the weather did not cooperate with us the first weekend. However last weekend we loaded it into the trailer and drove to Rylestone to try it out. Saturday was rainy and shitty, so we spent the day moving a trike and some other stuff to Gulgong. Bill has some of his toys there, and I had a look at the Tempest sailplanes he built. I hope I get to try one someday!

We slept in the “Terminal” at Rylestone again, and with Bill getting up every 2 hours putting more wood on the fire it was warm and comfy inside. I woke up and had a look outside at 4 AM, with a full moon and clear skies it was getting well below freezing and the ground was white from frost. I never thought I would experience this in Australia…

At 7AM Bill is awake and it’s time to go flying, frost and dense morning fog did not matter. According to every Australian I meet – as a Norwegian I should be used to the cold… In Norway we have real clothes for real winters, not the thin and cheap stuff you find in stores here :-)

I was doing some instructing from the back-seat, flying with Roger who is buying a new Dragonfly. He’s already had many hours of flying, so we just trained some landings and emergencies between heating up in front of the fire inside. I was wearing everything I had left of warm clothes, but I did not have windproof clothes anymore as I shipped those with my hangglider. It was extremely cold in the morning, but got a little better during the day as the sun heated up the air.

In the meantime we had got the wings back on Jaws, Steve McCarthy took it for a spin after warming up the Rotax 912 and reported good behavior and vibrations. I took it up for the second flight, and found that our cockpit worked brilliantly. It was just a little turbulence down my back, otherwise nice and comfy. The local eagles were coming up in the weak thermals to check me out, and we had a brilliant sky to play around in.

It was a good way to finish off the flying in Australia for this trip. We are packing up at home now, and have a flight home to Norway on Saturday.

Looks wrong with no glider on the roof.
The Cruiser looks strange with no glider on the roof. I'll miss this car, I did 22000 km on it in 5 months with no trouble at all. The ultimate hanggliding car... She's with a very good new owner now!