Sunday morning was beautiful, as the weather had been from the beginning of the Easter holiday on Friday. However, there was very little wind, which we had anticipated from looking at the weather forecasts so, when Paul and Ian of Slope Soaring Sussex told me that Sunday was their only available flying day of the extended weekend, we told them to bring light wind models with them, with also something that could fly in a slightly stronger breeze, just in case.
Paul and Ian had only arrived at The Wrecker lay-by at the Bwlch just a few minutes before me and the weather forecast was accurate so far with a cloudless sky and a very light north easterly breeze, so we began flying from the Wrecker. They unpacked and assembled a couple of F3J models, Paul an Xperience Pro and Ian a Nan Shadow, which flew very well in the light breeze. There were some good thermals beginning to show also but, very quickly the wind began to shift around to a south easterly direction as had been forecast. We had anticipated this and moved over the hill behind us to the Back of Wrecker slope, however, at this moment there didn't seem to be enough slope lift to risk launching even the F3J models, so we gave them a throw from the top of the hill between the two slopes and managed to pick up thermals to give us some altitude. I cheated and used the motor on my Multiplex Heron to gain some initial height and quickly got into a thermal that took me way high. So much so that I had to bail out of the thermal and use crow braking to bring it down to a reasonable height.
The wind did pick up a little with an estimated 6 - 7 mph on the edge. The F3J models didn't have a problem with this at all but, as the lift was coming and going, and there being huge patches of sink being left behind by the thermals, when the lads tried to fly their F3F models, they would have to make a hasty retreat back to the grass for a landing, as landing out is definitely not an option on this slope.
The weather could only have been better if we'd had another 10 miles of wind to play with but, we still had a lot of fun. Check out the video below.
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.