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.


Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Preparation for weekend flying

Well I've been busy readying models for this weekends flying. The forecast looks warm and dry but with a very light breeze on Saturday, so I've readied the Libelle for some DLG fun, fixed the flap problem on the Whisper, (a soldered joint had come apart) and the Elegant, which I am still looking to maiden, so both of those will be able to go up on the bungee or off the slope if the wind is strong enough but, I really want to get in some thermal action off the bungee.
I reckon the Meio will be the best bet as it has both a slope and a flat top to bungee from and, if the paragliders turn out, the bungee could be a good option.
I hope to see some of the guys up there either on Saturday or Sunday.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Libelle Maiden Flight

Well I had an hour to spare early this morning, the sun was out, the breeze was light, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to head over to a local football field and try out the Libelle.
The first few throws were javelin style to test the trim, which only needed a few clicks of up elevator.
After that I tried the discus style launch and tested the landing flaps, which needed less down elevator compensation. The next throw proved my adjustment to be spot on.
For about an hour I launched, and launched but I couldn't seem to achieve any real height, so I guess some practice is in order whenever the opportunity arises, particularly after work in the evenings.


Wildthing in the doodas!

I knew I wasn't really going to get a chance to get much flying in this weekend, if any. Partly due the the weather and other commitments I had planned.
On Saturday my girlfriend and I had planned to go for a walk up Cwmcarn Forest Drive and to the Silurian hill fort, which dates back to 500BC, on the top of Twmbarlum, a 1,375 metre mountain which overlooks Newport and Cardiff.
This was the place where I took my very first foray into the world of slope soaring 3 years ago so, I couldn't go up there without at least taking with me some foam to throw off the hill which, just happens to have a SE facing slope, and which direction was the wind blowing that day? Yep, you guessed.
So I threw off the Wildthing and, to be fair, the flying was pretty good although a little turbulent if you got a bit too close to the ground, so I made sure I kept some good height.
The landing was text book and I walked the few yards over to where it had come to rest only to find the nose buried in a very wet, sloppy, fresh, cow pat.



Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Hi Start Wednesday

Driving home from work in Bristol this afternoon, it looked such a lovely day and I wondered if I should do a bit of thermal soaring when I got home, however, the wind sock on the Welsh side of the Second Severn Crossing was hanging limply, not a good sign as a bit of a breeze is beneficial to aid launching and also to blow the thermals towards you.

After loading the car with the hi start bungee and the Whisper, I headed off for the 5 minute drive to the Three Blackbirds field which, was totally deserted. I looked around the field and up into the sky but I couldn't see any birds soaring in any thermals, checked the wind direction using the old faithful method, the grass drop test.

I put together the Whisper but to my dismay, the right wing flap wouldn't work. The servo seemed fine so I assumed it was probably a bit of dodgy wiring. Anyway, I wasn't going to let a dodgy flap stop me so I disabled the flaps, after all, the thick grass was about 2ft tall so landings would be soft, if maybe a little quick and I set out the bungee.

Launches were straight and true, (unusual for me), but with no launch flap available I had to use a lot more elevator to achieve a steeper and higher climb.

For an hour and 20 minutes I launched and launched again but to no avail, the thermals had deserted me, but I had fun and lots of exercise, walking up and down that field full of long grass, my legs are aching now.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Back of Wrecker

Sunday 18th May Well the guys went out flying today. Unfortunately I couldn't make it as I was playing with the traffic on the M6, but Phil said they had a good day on Back of Wrecker with the wind about 15mph.

On my journey home I did stop to pick up my Elegant thermal soarer and an Algebra and bungee launch system for Phil, both planes are in 1st class condition and bought on eBay. I've already fitted new rudder and elevator servo's, (not supplied with the model), an RX battery pack and RX. I do however need to fit a couple of Multiplex multi connectors for the ailerons/flaps and remove the flaps and turn them upside down as at present, the way the inside edge of the flap is bevelled, there is minimal downward movement. By turning them over it should enable me to achieve close to 90 degree of flap for crow landings. So both Phil and I are looking forward to some flat field flying off the bungee and hitting those thermals.

Here's a picture of the guys today on Back of Wrecker.


Friday, 16 May 2014

Fridays Flying

Phil decided to give today a miss due to the lack of forcasted wind, but Mark joined me and we walked over to Mickey's.
When we got there, there wasn't a constant breeze to fly in so we sat around for an hour until I felt I could throw out a foamie to see what would happen. It took a few attempts but eventually I managed to catch a thermal and we were on as I managed a 10 minute flight.
So we unravelled the bungee and anchored it close to the slope edge and I launched the Whisper. On release it shot off at a severe angle to the left which I managed to correct but I still managed to get a lot of height. As I walked back towards the slope edge, she had sniffed out a thermal and I managed to keep her up for probably around 15 minutes before I ran out of lift and managed to land her on top of a patch of reeds.
We launched Marks Race M F3F ship on the bungee and again she headed off to the left, (it must be the way I throw it) he straightened her out but it came off the hook early. Still, he probably had about 150ft of height and off it headed over the slope where he managed to find the thermals and managed 15 minutes before the Kamikaze urges took over and he put it into a vertical dive followed by a couple of big loops.
The foamies came out again before I had one more final fling with the bungee, resulting in a 20 minute flight and me having to work hard to bring her down for a landing.
So all in all it wasn't a great days flying but at least we flew and enjoyed what we did. 

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Friday Flying.

So its looking like Phil, Mark and myself are heading up Mickey's in the morning to make the best of whatever wind is up there. I shall take the bungee with me, just in case as I can launch the Whisper, and Mark his Race M on the bungee. I've never seen an F3F machine launched on a bungee before!
If anyone else fancies joining us, you're most welcome.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Flying on Friday?

Well both Phil and myself are off work on Friday but the weather isn't conducive to good flying with a SSW - SW wind forecast at somewhere  around 5mph. Even at the Bwlch this will probably just mean enough wind to stooge around whilst waiting for a thermal to come through. So a decision will be made tomorrow evening as to whether we drive up to the Bwlch ot stay local and fly off the bungee on the Three Blackbirds field.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Two New Models

Two new models being flown from the Back of Wrecker slope at The Bwlch, South Wales. A 2m wing called the Amoccha, (thats how I'm spelling it anyway) and an aerobatic mouldie called the Kinetic. The designer of the Kinetic is flying it and trying to get it into production, and what a fab plane it is too.
Wind on the day was southerly and about 15mph.


Sunday, 11 May 2014

Elegance Thermal Soarer

Well it just had to be done. On eBay was a Elegance 2.7m thermal soarer which I managed to pick up for a wopping £62. It has ailerons, flaps, elevator and rudder, a GF fuz and built up wing.
I intend to fly it from the flat field using the bungee or, light wind days on the slope. Here's a few pics.




Friday, 9 May 2014

Flying! What Flying?

Well the weather forecast for this weekend is pants, heavy rain on Saturday with strong winds and blustery, heavy showers on Sunday so, I shall turn my attention to the building board and get on with the Traceur.

Next weekend, a few of the guys from Slope Soaring Sussex  are visiting the Bwlch to get in some real flying, lol, but I'm away up north so can't join them but, the weather forecast, (if you can believe it at this stage) is for it being excellent so, I may just have to take Friday off work and head up there early for a good days flying and join the guys on the slope.

So if any of you local guys are reading this and you see the visitors flying, please be your usual, friendly selves and say hi.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Dream Flight Libelle

Saturday 3rd May - Just sent an email off to T9 Hobby Sport to reserve a Dream Flight Libelle DLG. Well it just had to be done for some after work, flat field flying or those exceptionally light air days on the slope.


As for flying this weekend? I'm sure Mark and Chris will be out each day. Phil, Wayne and myself will be out on Sunday and it's looking like the venue may be Back of Wrecker at The Bwlch. Looking forward to seeing the guys and get some flying in.