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.
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.