It's that time of the week again where I take a look at the weekends weather forecast and advise which slopes to fly.
Saturday - A bright day with a 14 - 18 mph ENE forecast. So you have a few options of slope to fly. So lets start with the Bwlch and maybe either the Wrecker or the Crest, both of which are awesome slopes. I think you would need to assess the wind direction once you arrive to choose which slope to fly.
Your other options would be Fochriw, but look out for the para gliders as the wind speed is within their limits, although the wind speed could be a bit more up there.
You could also try Manmoel Common, There's no chance of para gliders up there and the only problem you could possibly have are the nosey ponies that roam wild up there. I have had to shoo them away on a few occasions.
Meio also has a slope that faces ENE ish and could also be a possibility if you live towards the bottom end of the A470 and don't want to travel very far.
I still want to maiden my L39 Albatross and I figure that Saturday could be the day to do this. So I'm thinking that Fochriw or Manmoel would be best for this. I will probably decide which at the last moment.
Sunday - Another bright day with an easterly of 23 - 30 mph. WOW! This means, for me anyway, there is only one slope worth flying in the whole of the UK, let alone S Wales, and that is the mighty Crest. For those of you who don't know the Crest, check out the Flying Sites page on this blog.
This is a truly awesome slope and not one for the weak of heart. To launch you have to stand as close to the edge of the vertical cliff as you dare, throw the model like it just spat in your face, then watch it as it goes up, and up, and up, as if it's in a lift, or elevator to my American friends.
A fair bit of down elevator trim will probably be required, and you can push out as far as you like and you won't run out of lift.
Landing your pride and joy is another story. Everyone has their own method but one thing is certain, the harder the wind blows, the further away from the slope edge you have to be to get it down safely due to the severity of the rotor. This may well be 100 metres or more but it is totally necessary.
I like to gain plenty of height then head down wind whilst walking. Once I feel the model has gone back far enough, (but not beyond the rise in the ground in front of me), I begin to circle and lose height before activating CROW (if available) and coming to a halt in the long grass.
But if the Crest doesn't take your fancy, then Manmoel Common can fly in an easterly, possibly Fochriw, (though it could be somewhat off face), and the Garth, (at the bottom of the A470) is also pretty good in an easterly.
To conclude, take a look at this video which shows me flying my FVK Signal last year at the Crest in wind speeds a lot less than are forecast for Sunday.
So wherever you decide to fly this weekend, have fun and happy flying.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org . 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.