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, 16 March 2018

Weekend Flying Forecast 17th/18th March

Winter is keeping a firm grip on our weather and it is looking like we are in for cold temperatures and some snow for this weekend.

Saturday - A north easterly wind of around 23 mph means that there could be some good flying to be had. However, wind chill temperatures will probably mean that the 4°C forecast could feel more like -5°C and there are some snow showers in the forecast. If you do decide to venture out with a model, the Wrecker or Fochriw will be the places to be. The fortunate thing about both of these venues is that you will be very close to your car for a warm up between flights. Fochriw will always be my favoured slope and I doubt if there would be a problem with para gliders this weekend.

Sunday - This is looking like being a repeat of Saturday wind speed and direction wise, however there is now an amber weather warning for snow for SE Wales.

It has been ages since I've been able to get out flying, either because of the weather or my marathon training has had to take precedence. But there is light now at the end of that tunnel, and as April approaches I hope to get out flying a bit more, and I am looking forward to making the trip to Sussex mid month to fly with Paul and the boys at Slope Soaring Sussex, so I shall have to find some time to dust off my models and give them a check over.

Have a great weekend all and lets hope Wales beat France tomorrow in the rugby 😃

Friday, 23 February 2018

Weekend flying forecast 24th - 25th February

I think this last week has been one of the driest weeks we've had in a very long time, and it is looking like this weekend is also going to be dry with cloudless blue skies. Perfect for flying you may say, but it is going to be bitterly cold with the easterly wind that is forecast, so expect wind chill temperatures of -5°C easily on the higher slopes, such as at the Bwlch or Fochriw. So let's take a look at what is in store.

Saturday - a dry, sunny day with an easterly wind of about 16 mph

Sunday - a repeat of Saturday

So your slope choices will be the Crest at the Bwlch, Fochriw, or the Garth, which actually flies very well in an easterly, but it is a bit of a walk for those hardy souls that don't mind that and car parking isn't easy.

My personal choice would be Fochriw as with car parking on the slope it is easy to warm up once you've had a fly. Hopefully the wind will also be strong enough to deter the para gliders also.

I shan't be out this weekend as I am away in the Lake District. So have fun guys and don't get too cold.

Happy flying 😄

Friday, 9 February 2018

Weekend flying forecast 10th - 11th February

Hi guys. It has been one hell of a week weather wise, I think we've had it all. Rain, wind, snow, hail, you name it, we've had it. So unless you have some work flexibility, or are retired, then you probably haven't had a chance to get out and fly this week, and next week is looking pretty much the same. So let's see what the weekend looks like.

Saturday - looks like being a rainy day with a SSW wind of around 13 mph. So your slope choices will be any SW facing like Meio or Mickey's. 

Sunday - looks like being a better day, and possibly even flyable with sunny intervals and a WNW - NW wind of about 17 mph. Your choices of slope will be the Ice Cream Slope, Abertwssyg or Meio, so plenty of choice there. The beauty of Abertwssyg is that it is a park and fly slope, so if you do get cold, or there are showers, you can easily get into your car for protection and to warm up. Oh, and don't forget to take a flask of hot choc with you.

Until next week peeps, keeeeeep flying 😃

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

South Wales Soaring Association website

Hi guys. Just to let you know that the SWSA website is now up and running and ready to view. The info on there is only basis at the moment but this will expand as the year and the club  progresses. Check it out by clicking HERE.

Friday, 26 January 2018

Weekend Flying Forecast 27th/28th January

This is the last weekend of January and I haven't flown yet this month. This is partly due to me not having a battery for my TX. I buggered up the last one because I inadvertently left it switched on and totally drained the LiPo, which had caused it to swell slightly. Anyway, a new battery has been purchased, I just need to change the connector on it, which is Saturday's job.

So without further ado, here is your flying forecast.

Saturday - A mostly wet, rainy day with a 13 mph SW wind. If you do manage to find a dry patch, then head to the Meio or Mickey's for some good flying.

Sunday - A cloudy but dry day with a 19 mph westerly forecast, so head to the far side of Mickey's, Eglwsylan, Meio, or if you really fancy an Adrenalin rush, Rhossili. 

Whatever your plans this weekend, have a good un 👍

Thursday, 18 January 2018

SWSA Update

It has been a while since the committee got together, but we did this week to chat about progress so far, membership and 2018 events.

Membership uptake is slow. We have tried to gee up people through the Facebook page, but still they are not completing the membership form and sending it in, even though club membership is 100% FREE. So we need to dangle a carrot or two to persuade people to fill out that form.

2018 events so far include the PSSA annual Fly for Fun event at the Bwlch which this year is set for May 12th and 13th. Other club one day PSS events may also be included throughout the year with an invitation extended to PSSA members.

Bwlchfest will return on June 9th and 10th, and I shall be praying for some decent summer weather, which is not what we had last June.

Kombat Kings will be a slope combat competition series, beginning on Sunday March 25th, (which just so happens to be the start of British summer time), and will be a monthly event going right through the summer months up until October when the clocks go back.
There will be winners prizes at each event and a series winners trophy at the end of the competition in October.
But we don't just want this event to take place at the Bwlch, we may just use some of the other fabulous slopes we have in the region too.
As the SWSA does not charge a membership fee, we have to cover costs for this somehow and so it was proposed that SWSA official members, (those that have completed and returned a membership form), would pay £5.00 per event and non SWSA members a fee of £10.00. So here is a carrot, return your membership form and you can take part at half price. Other carrots will become available 😂
I am also very pleased to say that Zagi Bash King and organiser, Mike Grey has agreed to help with the organisation of this event. Thank you Mike 👍

There will probably be other events organised throughout the year and these along with those mentioned above will be listed on our new website, once it is ready to go live. We will also add limited details on our Facebook page but ultimately you will be guided towards the official website.

If you were to look us up on the BMFA website, you will find that our details have been updated there also, and that the SWSA is still affiliated to the BMFA.

And finally, the club membership form can be found on the Facebook page and will also become available to download from the website in due course. I think Nick is looking to produce a more phone friendly version for those people who do not have access to a computer.


Friday, 12 January 2018

Weekend Flying Forecast 13th/14th January

Hello fellow flyers, is anyone managing to get any flying in? I know I haven't, partly because I have a knackered LiPo in my TX which I haven't had time to sort out, and partly because it's been too cold. I'm such a wuss 😂

Here is your weekend forecast.

Saturday - a cloudy day with a 15 mph SE wind.

Sunday - a cloudy day with a 9 mph SE wind.

Your choices of slopes are limited. The far side of the Crest may be your best option. Back of Wrecker may be flyable but the wind could be too easterly and so off the face. Or, you may be able to try the sea cliffs at Southerndown. I have to say that south easterlies are the most difficult direction to fly, and I think it's fairly unusual to get them in the winter when we usually get north westerly or north easterly.

So whether you fly or not, have a great weekend all.