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, 28 September 2018

Weekend flying forecast 29th/30th Sept

Hi all, well September is coming to an end, the temperature is dropping and the days are getting shorter. But often this means that we get more wind too, although sometimes, much more wind than we need. So lets take a look and see if there will be some good flying conditions for this weekend.

Saturday - A fine and bright day with temperatures around 15°C, but the wind is variable, starting off ENE before swinging around to southerly by mid afternoon and carrying on around to NW by the evening, but at 6 - 8 mph this is not good flying conditions.

Sunday - A mostly cloudy but dry day with temperatures up to 14°C. The wind is much more stable at up to 25 mph north westerly. Your slope choices today will be Meio or the Ice Cream Slope at the Bwlch.

I'm busy running a half marathon on Sunday so I won't be flying, but I was hoping to get some stick time on Saturday but that won't happen if the forecast remains the same. I may have to resort to flying powered instead.

For any of you who are interested, I also have another blog which is all about my running, you can view it by clicking the link HERE.

Have a good weekend all and happy flying.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Flying forecast 15th/16th September

Summer is over and there is a chill in the air. The temperature has dropped and hopefully now we will get some autumn wind to enable us to have the flying fun that we've missed throughout the spring and summer. I can't remember a summer with so little wind.

Anyway, lets have a look and see if any flying will be possible this weekend.

Saturday - A mixture of sunshine and showers, 16°C and a predominately westerly wind of up to 20 mph. Your slope choices will be Rhossili, Mickey's, Eglwysilan and Meio. If I didn't have to be somewhere first thing in the morning, I would have headed up to Rhossili, but I may be able to get a couple of hours in on Meio in the afternoon.

Sunday - A cloudy but dry day, 16 - 19°C with a SSW to SW wind of 10 - 12 mph, so your slope choices will be Mickeys and Meio. I don't know what I am doing yet on Sunday, I should have been racing but I am resting a pelvis ligament injury so, I may be able to get a couple of hours in on Meio.

Whatever you are doing this weekend, have a good one and, happy flying.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Flying forecast 18th/19th August

Talk about a change in the weather! For several weeks we were basking in 30°C heat and wall to wall sunshine and now we have low 20's with showers but, (every cloud has a silver lining so they say), a good westerly wind has been blowing and looks set to remain for the weekend. Hooray 😃

Our friend James Clark from Cornwall has been on one of his visits to fly that awesome slope at Rhossili, and our own Nick Rees joined him the other day. James had his L213 and Stingray, whilst

The L213 dwarfs the 3 metre models
Nick maidened his big pink Salto and his 4 metre L213. According to Nick, the 213 seemed the better model  so I can see him breaking that one out whenever there is a good blow.




Lets get on to this weekends forecast, and Saturday is looking like being the better day.

Saturday - a dry day with a westerly wind of 15 - 25 mph. Your slope choices will be Meio, Eglwysilan, Mickey's and Rhossili.

Sunday - a showery day with variable wind directions from SSW to westerly and up to 30 mph, so your slope choices could still be any of the above, but the showers may make flying difficult, especially with visibility if the cloud base is particularly low.

I am hoping to make an 8 AM start and head to Rhossili tomorrow to meet up with James, and hoping Nick and some others may turn up also as there is nothing better than a day on a great slope and banter with mates.

Whatever you do, have a great weekend.

Happy flying.



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.