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.

Monday, 24 October 2016

PSS L39 Albatross Maiden Flights

I arrived at Manmoel Common, Ebbw Vale around about noon on Saturday. The wind was near enough square onto the slope which was blowing from ENE at 15 - 18 mph, which is about as near as perfect as you'd like to maiden a small PSS model, which the L39 Albatross is.

Both Big Phil and myself had these built for us by Andrew Meade, so they are identical apart from the colour schemes.

I was the first to arrive at the slope and knowing full well that I had added to much nose weight, even though it seemed to balance perfectly on the marked spots on the underside of the wing, I gave the wee bird a few test throws, tweaking the elevator trim a little each time I threw it. The time had come and I gave her a good throw and off she went.

It was obvious straight away that it needed quite a lot of up elevator and right aileron trim, but once that was sorted she was flying alright, but the dive test proved to me what I already knew, that she was nose heavy.

Andrew had said to be soft on the elevator. I had already set up dual rates on the TX so I had switched it onto low rates but kept the ailerons on high rates. As it turned out, the elevator was about perfect but I had to switch the ailerons to low rates as it was far to twitchy.

I flew her around a little more before landing, which was non eventful really, then removed the wing and excavated some of that extra nose weight. I also added an extra 5% expo onto the ailerons before chucking her off the slope again.

This time she was flying much better and would even perform a proper loop instead of reaching the top and just flopping over.

The added expo and smaller aileron movements certainly made her less twitchy and so I decided to land again to remove just a little more nose weight. However, she landed with a bit of a thud which ripped off the wing retaining screws nylon head, and so that brought an end to flying that model for the rest of the day.

Here is the video of those flights.

Phil and his son Josh turned up about an hour after me and we immediately set to preparing his Albatross for its first flight.

We walked back away from the slope where there is a slight rise in the ground and I threw the model for Phil. It went extremely well and must have flown 20 metres or more before landing. So we just picked it up and chucked it off the slope straight away.

It behaved very well. Elevator trim seemed right but it needed a bit of left aileron trim and the CofG seemed perfect too.

There isn't a lot more I can really say about this as it all went so well with no issues.

So here is Phil's video.


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