Monday, June 20, 2011

Looking Good in Luzon!

Preparations for the resumption of the circumnavigation attempt continue apace in the Philippines and we can now give you an update on Norman’s activities over the last couple of weeks.

The second half of the journey will be quite different than the first half, with long open ocean crossings and travel through colder and wetter northern latitudes, which has meant a couple of updates to the gyro, mainly in the form of replacement fuel LED sensors for the unique Turtle-Pac 'in flight' refueling system. Plus the addition of 6 combinations of temporarily attached Camera positions which give tremendous alternative viewpoints around the Gyro, both looking forward and backwards!

Also taking place was a weigh-in exercise where the all-up empty weight of the aircraft (no fuel), pilot (no dinner) and hand luggage were weighed so as to be able to fine tune how much weight of fuel/passenger will be allowed to bring the aircraft up to its maximum take off weight (MTOW) of 500kg.

Norman, with the help of a local tree, weighs all his kit.

But just how do you weigh an autogyro? Not the easiest thing to do but Norman and the guys at Woodland’s came up trumps with a mobile weighing platform and some careful balancing!
So that's how you weigh an autogyro!

Norman has also been continuing with his flight tests in the local area which has included trying out new camera positions. As can be seen from the following images, these give a greatly improved view of the whole Gyrox adventure. Different camera positions are still being tried but we can rest assured that once the journey begins again we are in for some really dramatic images from Norman’s flight.
New camera view of Norman's take-off from Woodland's runway with local volcano, Mt Arayat in the distance.

Dramatic view of Norman as he flies Roxy down the local river.

Norman flies parallel to Woodland's grass runway as an ultralight lands on.

Great view from the new pylon mounted camera as Norman lines up for final approach to runway 08 at Woodland Air Park.

Of course, it’s not all been hard work down in the Philippines. Even Norman gets a day off at times and this allowed him to partake in one of his other favourite pastimes…Scuba Diving!
Vasco's Hotel and Diving Centre.

He and Jay were able to visit Vasco’s Diving Centre and Resort at Olongapo City, on the eastern coast of Subic Bay, about 35 miles south west of Woodland Air Park. The owner of Vasco’s was very nice and even lent Norman some of his dive-school scuba gear, free of charge, so he could dive along with Jay (who had his own gear).
Norman and JC at Subic Bay.

Subic Bay was a major US naval base during World War 2 and after and was the scene of major battles during the war. This has left many wrecks for the accomplished diver to explore. There are even aircraft strewn across the sea bed!

Vasco’s had a lot more than just diving for Norman to enjoy on his days off, including a fine restaurant and bar, a dive shop, accommodation and even a dive museum. Although exchanging his flying helmet for the deep sea diving helmet may have taken the all up weight of the Gyro slightly over the limit!

Norman modelling the latest in Gyro pilot's headgear? Not really, just an old deep sea diving helmet at Vasco's restaurant!

Woodland Air Park is closed every Wednesday and this has given Norman time to take the short journey down to Subic Bay to enjoy these watery distractions, returning refreshed to continue with the preparations for the upcoming flight. He is very closely watching the weather reports as Tropical Storm Egay makes its way across the northern parts of the Philippines. Hopefully this will die out before long and clear skies will see Norman on his way again very soon.

Tropical Storm Egay and it's expected track across the region.

The Gyrox Team

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