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, 11 May 2018

PSSA "Fly for Fun" meet

So this weekend sees the PSSA coming to S Wales for what has become a regular, annual meet, and it's good to see them and have a different aspect to our hobby gracing our amazing slopes. (I don't care what anyone says, I still think the Bwlch is THE best place in Britain to fly from).

So currently the weekends weather forecast looks like this.

Saturday - A bright day generally with a chance of a shower, wind southerly 5 - 7 mph so we can probably expect 10 - 14 mph on Back of Wrecker.

Sunday - A sunny day with a predominantly westerly wind of 14 - 16 mph, so we can expect    18 - 20 mph plus probably on Mickeys, which will mean we can fly just about anything in that wind speed on that slope.

We will meet each day at 10 AM at the Ice Cream slope lay-by and move on to the slope from there.

I hope to see the usual PSSA crowd there as well as some locals.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Weekend Flying Forecast 5th - 7th May

Good news guys, it is looking like we are in for some dry, sunny and warm weather over the holiday weekend. Hooray 😃 The bad news, is that the winds are forecast to be very light, so keep those Stingrays, Swifts etc safely bagged up at home and dig out the light stuff 😒

Saturday - a bright day, 18°C with a WNW of 3 mph gusting to 6 mph. I would usually say to head up to the Ice Cream slope for a north westerly, and you still could, but if there is too much west in that wind then this slope doesn't work so well. If that is the case, you could then take the long hike over to the west side of Mickeys which may work a little better for you, although it would still be off the face. Personally I think the better option maybe to fly the Meio as it is easier to move around the slope. You could also try Abertysswg.

Sunday - another bright day with 20°C and a SSE wind of 5 mph gusting to 8 mph. Your slope choices will be Back of Wrecker and Blaen Bran may also work.

Monday - mostly sunny, 21°C with a W 6 mph wind gusting 10 mph. If you have all day then get yourself over to Rhossili as this will definitely generate lift and you'll have a great day. Get there early for a place in the church car park otherwise you shouldn't have much of a problem parking in the National Trust car park down the road, it's just a longer walk. Your other options are Mickey's, Eglwysilan and possibly Meio.

I will probably give Meio a go on Saturday afternoon, and depending on how bad my hangover is on Sunday, I may get there then too.

Oh and just a reminder that next weekend the PSSA have a weekend of flying at the Bwlch, so come along, fly, watch, and enjoy a couple of good days, and pray for dry, windy weather.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Weekend flying forecast 14th/15th April

Yayyyy it looks like I'm finally going to get some flying in this weekend! And it's about time too. The weather still isn't great but it is slowly improving. So let's have a look at what we can expect in S Wales for this weekend.

Saturday - a dry, cloudy day but with some sunny intervals mid afternoon. Temperature around 13°C and the all important wind being south easterly about 9 mph gusting to 15 mph. So your slope choices will be Back of Wrecker, the far side of the Crest or Blaen Bran.

Sunday - after a wet start in the morning, the rain may clear to sunny intervals with occasional showers in the afternoon. We still have that south easterly wind but it is much stronger at 15 mph gusting to 27 mph. Your slope choices will be the same as for Saturday.

I am heading off to Sussex this weekend to fly the South Downs and that area with Paul Hampshire and his mates from Slope Soaring Sussex. As the wind forecast for Saturday is very light, I'm taking along my 2m electric power thermal soarer, just in case. Sunday it looks like the wind will be stronger so I'm taking Big Bird, (L213A), Phoenix models Carrera and the Genesis chevron wing.

Have a great weekend all.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Easter Weekend Flying Forecast

Hi guys, the Easter break is upon us and so I guess most of us will be looking at trying to hit the slopes at some time. The weather isn't looking that great but there maybe a chance on  Sunday.

Friday - Light rain showers with a north easterly breeze of about 9 mph. Your slope choices will be the Wrecker, Fochriw or the back side of Meio. Fochriw would be my preferred choice normally, however with such a light wind, and it being a bank holiday, you can bet your life that the para gliders will be out in force there.

Saturday - A mostly dry day expected but a chance of showers. A 9 mph NNE breeze changing to northerly in the early afternoon and increasing to about 11 mph, so you could try flying the Wrecker and then moving over to the VR98 once the wind shifts direction. You could also try Hirwaun Common which flies well in a northerly, and a morning fly at Meio. I may just try Meio in the early afternoon for an hour or two.

Sunday - A dry day with a south easterly breeze of about 11 mph. This is probably our worst direction for flying as we are very short of SE flying locations. You could try Back of Wrecker but the wind could be off the slope from your left or, if you fancy a hike you could march over to the far side of the Crest, (but who would want to do that after eating all that chocolate 😂 ). You may be able to find a coastal site worth flying. Another option, and one which I think I might try as I haven't flown it in ages is Blaen Bran at Cwmbran, which is fine for flying foamies and other smaller models. I shall be asking Big Phil later if he fancies this option as it is just up the road for both of us.

Monday - Heavy rain, and possibly snow on higher ground with a 15 mph south easterly wind again. So I will probably get on repainting my kitchen walls that day.

So whatever you guys do, I hope you manage to get some flying in at least. Happy Easter.

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 😃