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.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

An English Dragon in Wales

Today I met up with Paul from Slope Soaring Sussex in Merthyr Tidfil and we headed off to the NW facing slope at Fochriw.

We were the first to arrive but Mark was following up at the rear amd we pulled off the road and onto the grass.

It was a cloudy day with probably a good 15 - 18 mph blowing, but it was only 3*C so bitterly cold as we began to assemble models.

Mark began the days action flying his Race M but closely followed by Paul flying his M60, which was going great guns, even though the wind was a little off the face.

Paul had a couple of flights also with his Valenta Dragon but was struggling to get it down on the ground again due to the shallow deflection of the flaps. A couple of useful hints given and down it came to a lovely landing.

Phil and Josh also joined us with a variety of foamy models and had their usual fun with those.

Next Saturday is the final day of the Six Nations rugby championships, so I shall be in the pub all day watching that. On Sunday I really need to get on with covering my PSS Lightning in readiness for a day out at Easter flying on the Great Orme, Llandudno in N Wales with Phil, who is collecting his new PSS Vulcan bomber.

Anyway, here is a short video of Paul's Dragon.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Sussex Slope Safari

So bright and early on Saturday morning, Paul at Slope Soaring Sussex  met me in Crawley and I followed him down to Newhaven where we had a SSW wind blowing, so Paul, Rob, Jack and myself launched our foamies off the sea cliff there for an hour or so. David turned up with his Middle Phase but landed it in the thick brambles behind us. You do NOT want to land in that lot.

So, after this we decided to move on to Mount Caborn, a conical shaped hill with a good walk to it. This slope has good lift and the landing is soooo easy there too.

When we arrived there, there were already a couple of guys flying but, I think they must have thought that more was a crowd, and they headed off to another part of the slope to get away from this rabble who had invaded their air space, especially as we were also joined by Graham. (I think I'm getting the names right here, I apologise if I haven't).

Rob and I had a mid air with his Ninja and my Wildthing, which landed in the next field. As I got to the model I realised all wasn't well and discovered the fuz had split in half, but nothing that can't be fixed. It was no ones fault and just one of those things that happens when you get a few foamies in the air at the same time.

After an hour or more at Caborn, Paul wanted to finish off day one by showing me Mill Hill at Shoreham. This is a park and fly site and there were lots of guys flying there. One section of the slope seems to have been designated as a foamie combat zone, and the other for moudies and other models.

Height is a problem here as we were right on the flight path of the light aircraft on final approach to land at Shoreham airport, and you have to keep a close eye on them and keep well out of their way.

Paul and the boys don't normally like flying at Mill Hill but wanted me to experience the place. I am glad they did as I will now know to avoid it.

Day two and Paul picked me up from Crawley and we went to Itford Hill where we met up with Rob and Ian. This is a long, shallow slope, unlike the high, steep monsters I'm used to in Wales, where the wind was blowing WSW, but then soon changed to being off slope at SSW. Still, there was enough air for me to fly my Whisper and then use the incoming thermals to gain some great height before diving in for some screaming runs.

Rob had a Stargazer and Ian a Wildthing and Vagabond. Paul was flying his Zulu and Traceur. Paul let me fly his Traceur and I repaid his generosity by nearly taking him out when I came out of a manoeuvre  a little low. I think Paul has this on video, which I shall look forward to seeing later.

By lunch time we all had to make a move home. I had a fantastic weekend, with fantastic weather and fantastic company and I shall look forward to my next week. Can I be an honorary member of Slope Soaring Sussex please guys?

Anyway, here is some video from the first day. I'm sorry there isn't more but I was having too much fun to take video. May I suggest you watch it in 720p as 1080 appears a little jumpy.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Correx Impala Build

Phil and I are working on a new project to build the Aermacchi MB-326 Impala out of correx plastic. The stuff they make house for sale signs out of. 

With Phil off work at the moment he's already made a start and moving pretty quickly, whereas I won't be able to make a start on mine until next week. 

The build uses mostly 2mm and 3mm correx, however, Phil was unable to source 3mm so we are having to use 4mm. We are not envisaging any problems with this as we fly "big air" slopes anyway. 

So as I said, Phil has made a start and I will progress this post every few days as the build progresses. Here are a few pics. 

Phil cut out the plans he had printed, which were a free download, and he made cardboard templates. 

He then began to cut out the formers and fuselage and dry fit them together. 

And this is where he is now, ready to hot glue it together. 

So here Phil has cut out the tail feathers and top decking ready to be attached.

The nose is also supposed to be made from correx also but felt that he couldn't get a nicely curved shape, it was too angular, so he is looking to make a nose cone from foam.

Now adding a little subtle? colour in the form of tape.

 Now onto the wing and a wood spar has to be shaped, obviously to give the wing strength, but this is to give it a little dihedral also.

First wing drying...note flap in top for servo to fit inside on strengthened base. Flap can be taped down once servo is glued in place.
Phil thought long and hard on servo position,  this method will be more direct acting with only the servo arm poking through the wing top and allowing access if the servo needs replacing. 

Fuselage having colour added

The canopy has been made using a pop bottle. The nose was made from foam. It's maybe a bit blunt but we are sure it'll be ok.

The maiden flight. Being launched off the Wrecker at the Bwlch on Saturday 21st March 2015

Phil said it flew very well indeed, and was very surprised at just how well it did fly. It was somewhat nose heavy and so that needs to be sorted out but all in all, it flew very well.

This has been a very interesting building project and I shall look forward to building my own when I have time.
Amazingly, the cost of the Impala came to £48 which included the correx, glue, servo's etc. Everything in fact apart from the receiver. A cheap fly in any ones book.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Flying in foreign lands ....... ok, England lol

Well the weekend is fast approaching, and Saturday looks like being a cracking day with decent south westerly winds and double figure temperatures. It appears Spring may truly be on its way!

I am straying away from my usual slopes in South Wales and heading to West Sussex, (that's in SE England for those of you whose geography is rubbish lol), flying with the boys at SlopeSoaringSussex 

I love to fly my local slopes but I also like the variety of flying in different places too, so this is the first of three planned away matches I have this year so far.

I know Paul Hampshire at Slope Soaring Sussex is rallying up the boys and it should be a good weekend.

For those of you staying at home in Wales, have a good weekend on the slopes.

Happy flying