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.

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Polecat on the Crest

Sunday saw me heading up to the Bwlch as the weather man had said that there was going to be a ENE wind of up to 30 mph, and that meant flying the mighty Crest.

I was very surprised as my car came around the bend after passing the Wrecker that there were no other cars parked at the side of the road, as I had thought that the days conditions would have brought plenty of people out to fly.

So after unloading the car I made the lonely trek across the rough terrain until I found my spot where the wind was square onto the crescent shaped cliff. I measured the wind speed which was in the 30's, gusting to 40 mph.

I had only brought two models with me as I wanted to travel light. The FVK Signal 2.4m and my Polecat EPP60 racing bird. And as there was no one else there to help me launch, I decided that I would fly the smaller Polecat.

Standing as close to the edge of the cliff as I dare, and holding the Polecat which was being buffeted about in my hand, I waiting for the wind to die down just a little before committing to a throw, and then she was away.

Surprisingly, I didn't have to alter any trim, particularly elevator, but then I think the last time I flew the Polecat it was in a 40 mph south westerly on Mickey's.

I remember thinking how fast the cat was going, but then when I watched the video footage back later, the cat looked farther away from me than I thought it was and it didn't look to be travelling as fast. It was pulling some seriously big loops from level flight though.

Landing is always tricky up on the Crest due to the severe rotor, so when it came the time to think about landing, I traversed the slope whilst walking up to the top of the rise behind me before taking the cat down wind, then across before pointing her back into the wind.

I had taken the cat just a little too far back and she came in pretty damned quick, losing height rapidly without the benefit of the wind to slow her down, but she landed ok and with no damage, which is the main thing.

Anyway, check out the video.

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