About A470 Soaring

This is the blog for a few guys who spend their time flying radio controlled gliders, or slope soarer's, from the many and varied slopes around SE Wales.

This usually begins at the northern end of Cardiff, driving north up the A470 up to the Heads of the Valley's and the southern fringe of the Brecon Beacons. But the A470 road continues its windy way all the way to N Wales.

There are many slopes available for most wind directions, the most famous being the area between Nant-y-Moel and Treorchi known as The Bwlch, which has some of the best slopes and flying in Europe with many F3F competitions being held there each year and visited by many fliers from Europe and around the world. At 1500 feet (450m) above sea level, there is usually more wind than not, and certainly more than at sea level.

If you require any further information, are new to slope soaring or are visiting the area, please contact Steve at steve.houghton59@gmail.com . I look forward to hearing from you.

Take a look at Page 2 (look below and to the left here) for Google maps of our most popular Flying Sites.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Flying forecast 11th/12th August

This week has seen a change in our weather with cooler temperatures and the occasional rain shower, and it looks like there is a change for this weekend too.

Saturday - Rain coming in from the south will spread into south Wales by lunchtime with a SSE to southerly wind of 10 - 14 mph. I doubt you'll be able to fly but your slope choices would be Southerndown or Back of Wrecker.

Sunday - Sunshine and showers with a variable S to WSW wind of up to 22 mph. This may be your best chance to fly this weekend and the Bwlch will be your best bet or, Meio if the wind does swing south westerly.

I won't be flying this weekend as Saturday's weather is pants, plus I have a new washing machine being delivered. Sunday I am running in the Port Talbot half marathon in the Afan Forest. So whatever you guys are doing this weekend, have fun and I'd love to hear from you.

Happy flying.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

A Summer Soaring day with Paul

On Saturday I met up with Paul from Slope Soaring Sussex at The Bwlch. Upon arrival I was expecting a north westerly wind which had been forecast, but instead the wind turned out to be northerly which meant flying on the VR98 slope. This isn't a bad slope but certainly not as good as the north west facing Ice Cream slope, and with a road directly behind the flight line, landing is always challenging.

The wind was light but there was enough wind to cruise around with something light or a large wing area, Paul had his little Zulu foamie and his Ascot F3F/B whilst I took my Genesis chevron wing and Heron.

During a break in the flying Paul and I were chatting and I mentioned another good slope to fly in a northerly, Hirwaun Common, a cracking slope but one I haven't flown in probably a couple of years. I think that when a northery does blow, everyone locally just instinctively heads to the VR98 as they don't want to drive the extra distance to Hirwaun, or have to walk for 10 - 15 minutes once they park the car, but in my opinion Hirwaun is a much better slope than the 98.

Anyway, Paul suggested we take a drive up the Rhigos mountain road to Hirwaun, and what a good move that was. Once we'd parked the cars, we walked for about 10 minutes and discovered that the wind was blowing north westerly up there, and not northerly like on the 98.

The views across this open expanse taking in the Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains is spectacular, and with the old Tower Colliery directly below us we launched models into the silky smooth air and we had a great time.

The time flew by and before we knew it, it was time to pack up and head for home. Thanks Paul for your company and a fun days flying.

Enjoy the video.

Friday, 3 August 2018

Weekend flying forecast 4th-5th August

August already! Where did July go? And the temperature is rising again and the wind is dropping.

Saturday - A bright, sunny day, 23°C with a light variable breeze of 5 - 9 mph. The Met office shows the wind starting off northerly, then slowly swinging north east, south, then north westerly but, XC Weather and the BBC TV forecast this morning shows mainly a north west breeze, so who knows what we will get. Either way it's rubbish! I'm meeting Paul from Slope Soaring Sussex at the Bwlch in the afternoon so I guess we shall just have to play by ear which slope we fly at the time, but it'll be a day of thermal hunting anyway.

Sunday - A cloudless, sunny day with 25°C. Again the Met office is showing variable wind directions, north east, east and south east about 8 mph, so take your pick as to which slope to try, but the Bwlch, Fochriw or Manmoel may be your best options as they will all fly a wind with east in it.

Whatever you do, have a good weekend all and happy flying.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Weekend flying forecast 28th-29th July

Hello fellow flyers, another weekend is upon us when we down tools at work and charge battery packs and head for the hills.

After a very hot week the weather is about to change for the weekend with rain coming in this evening and Saturday morning, and Sunday is looking like being heavy rain showers too. So here we go with more details.

Saturday - After a rainy start the sun is due to come out in the afternoon with the occasional shower possible, wind south westerly 16 - 20 mph. Your slope choices will be Mickey's or Meio.

Sunday - A pants day weather wise with heavy rain showers and a southerly wind of 18 - 21 mph. If you decide to chance the weather then your slope choices will be Back of Wrecker or Southerndown, but Back of Wrecker is likely to be shrouded in cloud.

I'm intending on heading up to Meio for a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon and take the big guns out with me, the L213 and the Balistik, I've only flown these once this year so far so it'll be nice to get them in the air again, and I hope to see some of you there.

Have a good weekend all and happy flying.

Monday, 23 July 2018

My weekends flying on Meio

Yes, I did manage to fly on both Saturday and Sunday. I headed up to Meio on Saturday, early afternoon with the MPX Heron as I knew there would be very little slope lift, but the thermals should be good, and I was correct.

Once at the top of the slope, there wasn't enough wind to keep me airborne, but once I'd got some altitude using the motor, there were some big thermals about which kept me flying for a good time without having to resort to using the motor.

By mid afternoon the wind had increased sufficiently to just about keep me airborne using slope lift, but by then it was time for me to make a move home.


Sunday was a completely different day on Meio. I took the Heron, just in case the 12-14 mph wind forecast was incorrect, and the Genesis combat wing, and it was this that I flew that afternoon. The air was a bit bumpy but as the afternoon progressed and the thermals began to die down a bit, the air became smoother and I had some good flying.

I used these two flying opportunities to try out my new camera, and on Sunday I tried the video function by filming myself flying the Genesis. I didn't look at the footage until I got home and I found that the footage was really dark. I had a fiddle with the settings and I'm sure I had a setting wrong, so hopefully next time the picture quality should be much better. I did still use the footage though but I had to lighten the picture when I was editing the video. You can see the result in the video below. The Heron video was recorded on my GoPro Session.

Friday, 20 July 2018

Weekend flying forecast 21st/22nd July

Another weekend is upon us, and the wind still isn't playing ball! Bright skies and warm temperatures but very little wind, so I'll get straight into the forecast.

Saturday - Starting cloudy but but sunny intervals in the afternoon. A light breeze beginning ENE in the morning of 5 mph then swinging around to WNW late afternoon and 7 - 10 mph. Pretty rubbish really! I'm not even going to suggest a slope for this and my suggestion would be to fly a thermal soarer of some kind from a flat field.

Sunday- A sunny, hot day with a WNW to W breeze of up to 13 mph. Your slope choices will be Meio, Mickey's or Rhossili.

I'm not sure what I am doing yet but I hope to fly on Sunday afternoon for a couple of hours.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Weekend flying forecast 14th/15th July

Hi guys, another weekend is upon us, and it's looking like another weekend with little wind, and I'm posting this a day early as I won't be around tomorrow to do it. So let's see what the weather has in store for us.

Saturday and Sunday are both looking similar with a WNW to W breeze of only 6 - 10 mph but gloriously sunny days.

So your slope choices are going to be Mickeys and Meio but, if I had nothing else on this weekend, I think I'd take my chances and head to Rhossili, and if there isn't enough wind there at least you can go for a paddle in the Atlantic 😊

As for me? I'm off to Tenby to run in a half marathon on Sunday from Pembroke to Tenby, which is part of the Long Course Weekend, a ultra triathlon, but my calendar is free to fly next weekend, hooray.