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, 26 March 2012

The Wrecker - Sunday 25th March 2012

Sunday morning dawned a beautiful, warm sunny day and I headed up to the Bwlch. Mark was already on his way according to the text message I had received from him earlier. . The wind had been forecasted as easterly, but when I arrived, Mark was already landing his Graupner Mini Graphite on the landing zone for the Wrecker which is north east facing. . Mark and I had several flights in the 15mph wind and it must have been around midday as Chris arrived. .
The Wrecker isn't called the Wrecker for nothing. Because the rotor on that slope is so bad, you have to walk 100 yards to the right of the flying position, to the lay-by, then cross the road behind you, then walk 100 yards up the slope behind you in order to land the model in one piece. So as I was walking towards the lay-by, my foot went into a hole and I almost twisted my ankle and fell over, whilst still flying the Synergy. Then as I got to the lay-by I lost the lift and the plane suddenly began to sink like a stone. I tried to get it back to the ridge where I was prepared to take my chances with any rotor rather than lose it on the cliff but, there wasn't enough air flow over the wings for the ailerons to work properly and she ended up inverted, on a ledge about 50' below. Gutted!
Chris flew his Dogan, Mark his Willow, then Chris again with his Strega before I decided to fly my Beevolution, foam chevron wing. . The Beevo was pilot error! I'd performed a roll very close to the cliff face but must have over cooked it because she went inverted again. I pulled in up elevator to bring it level and bring her up but not before she hit the cliff, again about 50' below the ridge. Double gutted! How could I have managed to do that twice! . Mark is contacting the rock climber guys who rescued his Balistik off the Crest to see if they can retrieve both models for me. The Beevo I think will definitley test their climbing skills lol. .  Steve

Friday, 23 March 2012

Hirwaun Common 18/03/12

With a northerly wind forecast, the plan would normally have been to fly the VR98 slope at the Bwlch, but there was an F3F competition on there so we had to have a re-think.

I remembered previously driving past the Tower Colliery, heading south from the Heads of the Valley's road at Hirwaun and noticing the north facing slopes there. So with that in mind, Mark and I met up at Tesco, near to the Trefforest Industrial Estate on the A470 and set off through Pontypridd, Porth, Treorchy, Treherbert and then up the Rhigos mountain road to the snack van lay-by where we met up with Roger (Cliff Hanger) from Swansea who had flown the area before.

Roger showed us the way, along the road for maybe 150 yards, then turning off to head across the mostly flat common following a north west facing slope. After about 15 minutes we reached a white post stuck in the ground where the slope was now facing north and the 15mph wind was blowing straight into our faces.

I was the first to launch and my trusty Wildthing rose quickly into the air. Immediately I knew this was going to be fabulous flying with no turbulence at all. Landing was also a doddle with no rotor to talk about. Roger launched his Pshyco, followed by Mark with his Mini Graphite and Willow.

Roger left us after about an hour but Mark and I stayed on. As the day progressed, the wind did pick up just a little but the big thermals came rolling in and Mark was having a blast, taking the Mini Graphite up really high before powering down to perform HUGE loops and whistling past the slope face at high speed.

All to soon is was time to pack up and walk back to our cars, but we just know that if there's a north or north westerly blowing, we'll be going back there.

Here's the video


HIRWAUN COMMON from Chuck Glider on Vimeo.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Mooching on Meio

19th February 2012

Mark, Phil and myself met up at Meio for a few hours flying and we also met up with Andrew Dowden, who Phil and I had spoken with on the modelflying.co.uk web site forum. Andrew hadn't flown the slope before and he had been given an old Zagi chevron wing which he had a go flying. Chris joined in with the fun a little later and apparently, after Phil and I left, the big thermals came through and Chris was able to fly his Dogan F3B for about 40 minutes away from the slope and over the flat top of Meio.

Here is the video of Andrew Dowden making his first slope flight, Phil giving his new Speedo its maiden flight, and Mark flying his trusty Willow F3F

MOOCHING ON MEIO from Steve Houghton on Vimeo.