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.

Monday, 23 May 2016

PSSA Fly for Fun Meet Report

Hi all

Well what a weekend that was.

Friday - I got home from work, quickly got changed, loaded a couple of models into the car and then drove to Abergavenny to collect the Mickey's gate key. From there I headed to the Bwlch along the A465 Heads of the Valley's road, which as the locals know is full of road works as they make it an all dual carriageway road, and boy it seemed to take ages to get through that lot.

On my arrival I could see Harry Twist and Pater Garsdens cars parked by the gate, so I drove up to Mickeys and saw Harry flying and Peter walking back to the track with a broken model in his hand. So I gave them a lift down the track to collect their cars but, on the return trip up the hill the rain began, so flying was abandoned.

Saturday - I arrived at the lay-by by 9:30 but the rain was pouring down and the clag, generated by the forest on the windward side of the Ogmore Valley was pouring over the top of Back of Wrecker and right along that stretch of the cliff, and with a southerly wind blowing, there was no way we were going to be able to fly in that. But we chewed the fat until noon, hoping that a change may happen, which of course it didn't, and so once again we abandoned the session.

Sunday - This was much more promising with only showers forecast, and in fact I drove through one particularly heavy shower as I headed towards Bridgend along the M4.

By the time arrived, it was bright but with some formidable looking cumulus clouds floating by on the breeze, so we all drove up to Mickeys.

Flying conditions were light but as the morning and early afternoon progressed, the wind speed picked up a little with big, fat thermals coming through. These of course left big, fat patches of sink behind them, and with the variable wind speed, this left some people stranded and looking for lift. Consequently there were a few landings out. I think the locals among us fared better with this as the big thermals and sink are a phenomenon we are very used to, and recognising which air is constant and which is sink also, knowing not to launch during that patch of sink. You're better off launching when the air is still than when sink air is blowing onto the slope, but even the knowledgeable among us make mistakes sometimes, me included, although I didn't land out this week I hasten to add. That was last week, lol.

Lots of PSS models managed to fly and indeed Phil Cooke's Sea Fury and my Typhoon dropped our bombs on the target, as did Mike Grey whose bomb aiming was superb. However I think he cheated as his model was only about 2ft off the ground when he released his bomb. Mine were way out, mostly because I was too busy looking at the model, but also because I hadn't realised that a target area had been set out. Doh!

The wind swung around in the early afternoon from south westerly to westerly, so we walked the short distance over to the westerly facing side of Mickeys. There were those that questioned that wind direction, thinking it was maybe more north westerly, but the A470 Soaring boys knew this wasn't the case. Fortunately we weren't left with egg on our faces as upon arrival at Mickeys west, we were indeed in the right place.

Once again the air was full of JP's, a Hawk, Tornado, Grippon, EE Lightning and others until the rain showers began again. By this time, time was getting on and with long drives ahead for some, we decided to call it a day.

Thanks Andy Meade for these pictures, I shall have some video ready to post in the next few days.

Happy flying

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