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.

Thursday 28 April 2016

May Day Holiday Weekend

Another holiday weekend is almost upon us but the weather prospects don't look to great, unless you're prepared to put up with showers.

Saturday is looking the best day with the forecast at Cardiff Airport being WNW up to 14 mph with a bright day, so I guess this would be a case of sucking it and seeing on the day as to whether it is better to fly the Ice Cream slope or the furthest, westerly Mickey's slope. I would prefer it to be on the Ice Cream slope as I want to fly the Typhoon and get in some bombing practice ready for the next PSSA  meet, but it's a very long way to carry that lump to Mickey's West. Otherwise I'll just take the two glass models and a foamy.

Sunday is looking like being a wet day with SW 15 mph winds, and the holiday Monday sunshine & showers, 18 mph westerly.

But we all know that the forecast can change over a 24 hour period, so keep an eye on that forecast and we'll make up the plans as we go.

Whatever happens, I will definitely be flying on Saturday and playing the rest by ear, so I hope to see some of you guys on the slopes.

Happy flying

Thursday 21 April 2016

PSSA Fly for Fun April 2016 - Part 3 GoPro Hatcam Edition

So this is the final video in this series. It is just a few shots taken with my GoPro hatcam.

I look forward to seeing all you PSSer's at my local flying patch at the Bwlch in S Wales on the 21st & 22nd May.

Until then, happy flying

Wednesday 20 April 2016

PSSA Fly for Fun April 2016 - Part 2

I guess there isn't a lot to say about day 2 of the PSSA Fly for Fun weekend, other than the turnout was great, as was the weather but, we could have done with a bit more wind. It was an excellent weekend though.

Tuesday 19 April 2016

PSSA Fly for Fun, April 2016 - Part 1

Hi all

Well the first PSSA Fly for Fun meet of 2016 turned out to be successful with a good turn out on both days and good weather.

Saturday saw the sun shining and a northerly wind blowing in off the Irish Sea at 25 - 27 mph. I think the star of the show that morning was the maiden flight of the Hawker Hurricane from Matt Jones, which is planned to be the PSSA mass build project in 2018, which didn't go quite as Matt planned I'm sure. The model turned out to be tail heavy and and he was close to losing it in the sea. But a few lumps of lead in the nose soon put this right.

By lunch time, the wind was dying off and changing direction slowly to NW.

So after lunch, we headed down to the grassy area to the west of the Rest & Be Thankful Cafe for the rest of the afternoon where we had to wait a couple of hours for the wind to begin to pick up again. But as soon as it did, the skies were suddenly full of models again.

Monday 18 April 2016

SAS Wildthing: 0 - 60 in 2 Seconds

So this is what the guys get up to whilst I'm away and there's no lift on the slope. They attach 15 metres of bungee to a hook 4" in front of the CofG and catapult in into the air. I gotta try that with my Moth!

Monday 11 April 2016

Foamie Fun & PSS on Blain Bran

So yesterdays forecast was for a bright, dry day with wind speeds of 23 mph ish until late afternoon when rain was set to come in. And the forecast on this occasion was accurate.

With a south easterly blowing, Phil and myself decided to try flying Blain Bran again as it is only a few minutes drive away for both of us, rather than the 50 - 60 minute drive to fly Back of Wrecker at the Bwlch, a slope neither of us are particularly keen to fly.

This time Mike, Andrew and Mark decided to give it a go with us also and we arranged to meet at the car park for 11 AM.

Once assembled we headed up the rocky track before turning off to our right and a short walk then to the top up the slope.

Once there we chucked a few foamies up to test out the wind, which seemed to be pretty damned good, but, we felt that a move a little more to our left would benefit us, which it did.

So with the wind gusting up to 30 mph we all launched again for some foamie fun.

Andrew had brought with him a PSS Handley Page Victor V Bomber which had been built, by his father I seem to recall, some 20 years earlier but it had never flown. So Andrew had checked it over, installed radio equipment and chucked it off the hill. And very well it flew too. Nice one Andrew.

Mike joined him in the air with a Mark Kettle designed EPP Victor Vulcan V Bomber, which looked great when flying alongside the Victor, even though the scale was wrong between the two models.

Phil launched his new correx built BF-109, but unfortunately shortly after launching, he flew it too far to the left, out of the main lift where he lost orientation and the model flew back over the brow of the hill and landed out of sight. Unfortunately he destroyed the wing, but Phil being Phil said that he'd have another wing built by the end of the week. Hoorayyyyyy.

All the time we were up there the wind was picking up speed, but battery packs were beginning to run low on some models and so we decided to call it a day.

I think we all enjoyed flying Blain Bran, including Mark who said it is definitely a good alternative to Back of Wrecker.

This Friday I am driving up to Llandudno for the first PSSA meet of the year, so I shall be reporting back with flying tales and videos from that event.

Enjoy the video of Blain Bran taken on my new GoPro Hero 4 Session.

Happy flying

Friday 8 April 2016

This Weekends Flying - 9th/10th April

Well another weekend is upon us! Hoorayyyyyyy, which of course means doing some flying, if the weather plays ball.

I am unable to fly on Saturday as I have other things I need to be doing, i.e. Parkrun, hair cut, Mike is popping over to collect the PSS Lightning he's buying from me, and get everything up together for my trip next Friday up to Llandudno in North Wales for the PSSA meet on the Great Orme.

But Sunday is looking promising as a flying day and so Big Phil and I are heading up to Blain Bran, Cwmbran, (where we were last Saturday) as there is a south easterly forecast, and with wind speeds of 20 mph plus expected up there, hopefully we should get some good flying in.

I have another reason for desperately wanting to get out flying this weekend too, as I've bought a new toy, a GoPro Hero Session camera.

I took delivery of this yesterday and so I was having a play around with it last night, and for such a small camera, it has great functionality, as well as being small. I particularly like the 50 fps at 1080p and 100 fps at 720p, and also the still photo burst and interval shots. This should allow me to produce some great slow motion footage at those frame rates. So look out for some video appearing here early next week.

So wherever you're flying over this weekend, have fun.

Happy flying.

Wednesday 6 April 2016

A470 Soaring Merchandise

I've just had a car sticker made to help promote this blog, and I have to say it looks quite good.

It appears there has been a little interest in these and they are available in the following sizes and colours.

500mm x 225m - £6.00 (This is what I have on the above picture)
750mm x 338mm - £8.00
1000mm x 550mm - £10.00

Apple Green, Arctic Blue, Black, Cherry Red, Pink, Purple & White
Available for internal or external fitting
All prices include delivery to my address. I can forward them on to a UK mainland address for £2.00 or just wait until I see you for a personal delivery.
Payment to my PayPal account please - doobiedoobiedoo3@yahoo.co.uk

Also available are caps like the one below at £12.00 each

And just to let you know that I am not making any money on these, I just want to promote the A470 Soaring blog.

So if you are interested in placing an order, please email me at steve.houghton59@gmail.com or send me a Facebook PM if you are linked to the Slope Soaring in Wales Group, stipulating what you require.

I am not a business so I will probably only place orders with my supplier once I have a few items to order.


FOUND ON MICKEYS......5/4/16

Whilst we were flying Mickeys today my two boys went on walkabout and found a foamie that has obviously been there a long time ,servos seized and control clevis's corroded away. It is covered in mud and the covering is starting to deteriorate. Span approx 60"
If anyone has lost a foamie and is capable of describing this one then contact me at 


 and I'll arrange to meet and hand over.


Monday 4 April 2016

PSSA Fly for Fun Meet

Just a reminder to any PSS enthusiasts that the first PSSA Fly for Fun meet of 2016 is taking place on the Great Orme, Llandudno on the 16th & 17th April. I shall be heading up there on Friday 15th to make a full weekend of it and hopefully get in a sneaky fly on Friday afternoon.

This year we will be having even more fun by holding a bomb dropping competition. So purchase your bomb through either HobbyKing or Slec and get it fitted to a model for some target fun.

Don't forget that A470 Soaring are hosting the May PSS event on the 21st & 22nd which is taking place at the Bwlch. I have already begun praying to the weather Gods and yesterday I sacrificed a chicken to please them, which also tasted very nice once stuffed and roasted for an hour with potatoes.

I hope to see some of you at the Orme and even more of you at the Bwlch.

Happy flying

Foamie fun on Blain Bran, Cwmbran

Hi all

Well the F3F boys were holding a competition at the Bwlch this weekend, and with a SSE or SE wind forecast for Saturday, our alternative flying venue options were limited. But Big Phil and myself had flown the bowl above Upper Cwmbran once before in a south easterly so we decided to give this another try, especially as it is only 6 miles from my home and about 1½ miles from Phil.

From the car park it was about a twenty minute walk along a rugged, uphill path to where we decided to fly.

In all fairness, the flying wasn't at all bad. The air was a little turbulent close in, but push out a few metres and the air was quite smooth. But with a steep part of the hill still behind us, landing was a bit tricky. In hindsight, maybe we should have continued walking to the top of the path, where the hill flattens out, then headed to the right. I'll do that next time.

Anyway, this is definitely a viable slope to fly when a south easterly blows, and probably also an easterly just by following the bowl a little further around.