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, 15 August 2016

Thermal Soaring the Thermal Instinct

I bought the Thermal Instinct a year ago from a nice gentleman who due to medical reasons was unable to fly anymore, but he still enjoyed building models, but it was almost this model was jinxed as on my second flight I misjudged its height, and the height of the trees bordering the field and, well you can guess the rest.

Over the winter I finally got around to rebuilding the damaged wing and tested everything before taking it to the field, whereupon the motor decided it wasn't going to run and one of the four ailerons decided they didn't want to work. Doh!

I worked on the motor on and off and eventually it decided it was going to run again. I don't know if it was something I had done or whether the jinx had left it, but it does now run.

So with Sunday's forecast being for 2 - 3 mph winds, this was the ideal time to give it a blast. So I headed off to Manmoel Common near Ebbw Vale, where the air was very still, the wind turbines were barely moving and it was almost deathly quiet.

I set up the Thermal Instinct and everything was behaving as it should, except for that dodgy aileron, but hey, I still had a working aileron on that wing so I thought I'd be ok.

The first launch went fine and I took her up to height and spent a minute or two to trim the model and test the crow function, which turned out it needed a lot more down elevator compensation.

Two more powered climbs and then I was into a thermal, which wasn't particularly strong but then very slowly she began to rise until eventually she had become very small in the sky.

At this point I remembered that I hadn't set the timer, and I must have already been in the air for about 7 - 8 minutes, so I turned on the timer and managed to fly from thermal to thermal until eventually all the thermals seemed to have disappeared and I had to think about landing.

The landing was pretty uneventful and I decided not to use crow for this due to the elevator compensation. Ground effect came into play on my first two attempts to land and she just didn't want to seem to drop below about 2 metres, but then eventually, down she came.

I took a break before relaunching but I didn't manage another long flight. Most of the climb outs resulted in times between 7 - 10 minutes. Still, I had already beaten this years PB by 7 minutes so I was feeling pleased with myself.

So here is the video of this session. Unfortunately the model does look a bit small and maybe a little difficult to see so I would suggest you watch it in full screen mode. When the model was really high, you just can't make it out against the grey sky so it was pointless me including footage of this.

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