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.

Friday, 31 October 2014

The Weekends Flying Ahead

Mark is not available until early afternoon on Saturday and so is heading up Meio, which suits me also as I have some things to do in the morning.

Sunday the forecast is for it being cloudy, possible light showers and a 16/17 mph south westerly, so a trip to Mickey's may be in order for some "big air" flying.

Our old friend Clayton, otherwise known as Skippy, may be along too for his first flying in 2 years. It'll be good to see him.

Phil isn't flying this weekend, and I don't know about Chris, he may still be puppy sitting, but I hope to see some of you out and about over the weekend.

I also have a new head cam to try out, which should be fun.

See ya soon glider guiders.

Phil's Video

Unbeknown to me until Wednesday evening, Phil used my camera to film some of Sundays action on the Meio.
Well done Phil, good work!

Meio Foamie Fun Fly from Chuck Glider on Vimeo.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Good flying day

Eight of us on Meio today! I can't remember seeing that many people or planes in the air at the same time!

I would guess the wind was a little over 20 mph with Wildthing, Spook, Hawk, Traceur, Polecat and Odysseys darting about in the sky. 

Here are some pictures. 

Saturday, 25 October 2014

This weekends flying

I met up with Mark today for a couple of hours flying on Meio. Conditions were iffy with regular showers and good patches of both lift and sink. 

Ron Broughton, that man famous for EPP 60 man on man racing, came along flying one of his own designs and a Flying Fish, 60" mouldie. 

It turns out that the model Phil gave me and said was an M60, turns out to be a Ron Broughton Polecat

So for tomorrow, it has been decided that we shall all fly on Meio, as Phil wants to stay local and Chris may only be able to get out for an hour or so and doesn't want to travel far. 

See you there if you're going. 

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Where to fly?

Well although the weather looks like being cloudy on Sunday, the south westerly wind looks like being around 15-20 mph. I was hoping it might be westerly so we could fly at Rhossili, a slope I've wanted to fly for a while now.

Mark fancies heading up to the Bwlch but, instead of flying Mickey's, he wants to fly the Blaengarw slope. I've never flown on this slope but I've seen it from the village of Blaengarw down in the valley below. It is truly an awesome sight. It is a huge bowl of a slope that must be over 1000ft high. Your neck strains as you you look up towards the ridge.

I shall keep an eye on the weather forecast and make a decision on Saturday evening. In the meantime, here is a video of Mark and Roger flying the Blaengarw slope.

Nuclear Dwarf and Cliffhanger let out for a day somewhere in South Wales from Cliff Hanger on Vimeo.

Monday, 20 October 2014

40 mph Winds on Meio

Whilst I was away at the weekend, Phil, Mark & Clive flew on Meio on Sunday. Apparently the wind was touching 40 mph and good fun was had flying the foamies. 

Here are a few pics. 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Cornwall visit - Day 3

Today the wind was south westerly at an estimated 25 mph. I was standing on a shear, vertical cliff on Rame Head with the sea and white foam crashing onto the cliff below. 

Tentatively I launched the M60. I've discovered that when the wind is blowing well, the M60 has to be launched with a good amount of up elevator held on with the stick, otherwise it plunges nose first into the ground. This is what it did today and the plane almost came a cropper and was about 2 feet away from dropping over the cliff. 

Second try and away she went and rose a good 100' before I sent her running parallel with the cliff. 

Picking up speed I was amazed at the energy retention of this model and it reminded me of Marks old Ballistik as it would climb vertically before stall turning it into another dive and with each pass of the cliff face, it got faster and climbed higher. 

Eventually I had to land her and I brought her around. As she came into the wind I should have put the nose down and landed her further back from the slope edge because I hadn't realised there was some rotor going on and she was tossed onto the ground with a thump. 

You can't float this plane down for a landing, it has to be done with some speed to stop her from tip stalling. 

All in all, it was a great weekend where I did manage to get in a little flying and I shall be back next spring for more. 

Oh, and my new car transportation method worked a treat. The models didn't budge and I still had full view through the rear window. 

Cornwall visit - Day 2

I had too many other things to do on Saturday than to fly. Well, except that as I was driving along Whitsand Bay I was on the look out for a suitable flying location but, I could only find one that had a landing zone, which was by the link road to Polhaven Hotel. 

This was a grassy slope but not very steep. I launched the Wildthing but it was immediately obvious that this wasn't going to be a good flying venue as the air was very turbulent, tipping the wings of the WT here and there, so I landed and headed back to the B&B. 

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Cornwall visit - Day 1

I headed off to Rame Head in SE Cornwall, a 5 minute drive from where I'm staying at Kingsands. The wind was south easterly and maybe a little over 20 mph. 

I decided to try the M60 and tentatively through it off. The lift was good and turbulent free, as is usually the case with coastal flying sites. 

I was impressed with the M60's performance but I do need to increase aileron movement s little at a time to improve the roll rate. And when performing reversals it tends to roll better to the left, so I need to adjust that too. 

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Phil maidens his Spirit 100

So today's action was on Fochriw, with a light, (10 mph ish) breeze blowing. We had to share the slope with a load of para gliders, unfortunately, but we expect that when the wind is light.
Phil had brought along his latest acquisition, a Great Planes Spirit 100 thermal soarer. He hadn't had time to fully programme his transmitter, then discovered that a newly fitted flap servo didn't want to work but, he taped up the flaps and we headed into the rise to the rear of the slope for a few test glides before committing it to the slope. 

As for the rest of the day? We did manage to have some foamy fun but we were constantly having to dodge the para gliders. 

Here is the video, taken using my iPhone.

Friday, 10 October 2014

This Weekends Flying

So it's now looking like it isn't worth getting out of bed tomorrow to go flying with a maximum of 3 mph wind forecast. 
Sunday is looking marginally better with a maximum of 9 mph north easterly so I guess Fochriw could be on the cards, and pack the car with light wind models. 
See you there?

Wednesday, 8 October 2014


Now I'm starting to become a little irritated by the weather! During the week, when I'm slaving away in a Bristol office, I look out of the window and can see the tree branches and leaves blowing nicely in the stiff breeze. Then, I look at the forecast for the weekend and we get the worst wind direction, (southerly) and single figure wind speeds, (for Saturday), and although Sunday is looking better with a south westerly, it's still only forecast to be 8 mph.

So I think Saturday will have to be a trip up to the Bwlch to fly Back of Wrecker, which will offer me the best conditions, although not enough wind to fly my new Traceur, although the M60 may get a thrashing. As for Sunday? I will make a decision nearer the time.

You never know, the weather man could change his mind by Friday and it could be totally different by then.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Yayyyy, we managed to fly today.

When I arrived at Meio Common, Mark and Wayne were already there and flying on the NW facing slope. 

The wind seemed less strong than the 17 mph forecast and I would guess it was about 12 mph, but at least the sun was shining. 

I tried to fly the Traceur firstly but there wasn't enough wind. I think this is going to need at least 18 mph and more to get the best out of it. 

So I tried flying the M60 that Phil gave me. As I launched I realised I didn't have enough aileron movement on low rates, but fortunately I'd dialled more movement into high rates, which did the job. 

I did struggle to gain any real height so that I could put the plane into a power dive, gain some speed and energy to see what she would do. What I did manage to do was all good and I'm looking forward to some good autumnal weather to be able to put both models through their paces. 

Andrew came along also with his 60" Wildthing. I'd taken my old Spektrum DX6i transmitter with me so we could link the two transmitters with a buddy lead. This proved to be very successful and Andrew managed to get plenty of flying time in without me having to take control. This is obviously the way forward and I'm sure Andrew will only be on the buddy lead for a short time. 

Mark & Wayne chilling in the sunshine. 

The M60

Friday, 3 October 2014

At last some wind!

Well Saturday looks like being a flying day after the forecasted morning rain has passed, and with a 17 mph north westerly forecast, I think a trip to the Meio is in order. I'm itching to fly my Tracuer again! I've also got the M60 ready for another test flight. The last time I tried to fly this, I had a couple of test throws away from the slope and the switch failed, so it was a good job I didn't commit that one to the slope, but flying it on Meio means that if it does go down, it is easily retrievable.
Sunday is forecast to be rainy but at least I will get my weekly fix tomorrow. :)
I suspect Mark & Chris will head up to the Bwlch to fly the Ice Cream Slope but I know Phil and his lad Josh are coming to Meio.