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, 31 January 2017

Saturday Flying on Meio

Here is the video as promised of Mark flying his Baudis Pitbull and me flying my X Models Whisper and L39 Albatross PSS model.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Lack of lift on Back of Wrecker

I'd forgotten I had this video footage taken when Phil and I met up with Paul Hampshire a few days after Christmas whilst Paul was on one of his family trips to Wales.

XC Weather had forecast 10 - 17 mph, but we were only getting 6 - 8 mph, so it was a good job we had models that would fly in light conditions.

Paul had his Nan ExPro F3J, Phil his Phoenix 2000 and Spectre, and I had a chuck of my trusty old Wildthing.

I finally got in some flying.

Hi guys

So on Saturday I managed to get in a couple of hours flying, and I had Mark's company for an hour of that.

There were a few showers coming through, particularly over Cardiff as I could see, but they missed Meio completely, fortunately.

The wind was gusting to 16 mph but was due to veer to a westerly, so I wanted to make the most of my time before that changed.

I'd taken the L39 Albatross PSS model with me as it was the first opportunity I'd had to fly this since removing some nose weight, as I'm still trying to find the sweet spot on the CofG. As it turned out, it flew a lot better than last time but I felt it was still a little nose heavy, so I shall be moving the battery rearward a little more before its next flight.

So I managed a couple of flights with the Albatross and also the Whisper before the wind increased to 21 mph but shifted westerly. By this time I was beginning to feel the cold so I decided to call it a day.

I did take some video so I will have a look at that this week and post it here.

The KST servo for the elevator on the L-213 has been delivered today, so I shall be fitting that this evening probably. And I'm still awaiting delivery of the rudder servo mount so that I can get that fitted along with the rudder and the Bowden cable for the pull pull closed loop system. Once that is done, I only have to paint the electrics tray under the canopy and that will be the fuselage completed.

I'm also awaiting delivery from the Hobby King Europe warehouse of the two Corona servo's intended for the Vagabond, so I must chase those up. In the meantime, I decided to remove the Gening servo's from another foam model that I'm scrapping and I will use those in the Vagabond instead, so now I can at least get on building the wing on that.

Happy flying

Friday, 27 January 2017

Elevator servo failure on the L-213A

So I fitted a small Hitec servo into the fin to operate the elevator, and as is my usual practice when installing a new servo, I give it a good old wiggle for about a minute, just to ensure it is operating ok. Unfortunately this one didn't and it began to play up by constantly moving the full length of travel in both directions, a bit like a metronome.

So I spent some time last night looking for a replacement, and as I am intending to fit KST servo's in the wings, I thought I'd have a look at what KST could offer and I came up with this.

The new KST MS320 is a revolutionary high reliability servo that uses contactless/magnetic position sensoring to do away with the unreliable and limited life potentiometer (pot) that has been a thorn in the side of RC models until now. This advanced KST developed technology has the potential to revolutionise the RC servo industry, with servos no longer the least reliable part of the RC control system. This increased reliability will make these servos the preferred choice for all high value/high energy models, and for the UAV industry.

The KST MS320 has an excellent 6.2 Kg.cm torque with a really good 0.075 sec/60° rotation speed. This makes it particularly suitable for cyclic on 450 and larger helis, and control surfaces of large fast models up to 10 Kg in weight.

In addition to the contactless/magnetic position sensors KST MS 320 high voltage (2S LiPo capable) servos use zero slop hardened steel gears, aluminium alloy cases, and well designed electronics to deliver the best performance at this size and price point. The combination of no free play in the geartrain and the ± 100ยบ rotation range gives these servos the best resolution of any on the market.

The extreme reliability and performance of these servos also makes them very suitable for use in film and motion picture industry special effect departments. They are also used in robotic, drone, UAV, UAS, academic research, military, and other highly demanding applications.

So here's hoping it is a good as the blurb states. I'll let you know.

Flying forecast - Weekend 28th/29th January

Is it the end of January already? Where has it gone?

I've only had one flying session since Christmas due to having had a really bad cold and also the weather has not been good enough to warrant heading out to the slopes.

So this weekend is looking like this.

Saturday - Rain first thing which should be clearing to possibly just the occasional shower, wind south westerly about 12 mph. So your slopes of choice will be Meio or Mickey's.

Sunday - It is looking like Sunday will be a wash out with rain for the best part of the day, wind southerly 15 mph. So if you still fancy trying your luck, then try Back of Wrecker or Southerndown.

I may just give Meio a go on Saturday afternoon for a couple of hours, or until I get too cold.

So whatever you're doing, have a good weekend guys.

Happy flying.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

L-213A Progress

So just before Christmas I took delivery of my Valenta models Inteco L-213A.

Now having never previously assembled a fully moulded glider, I was a little apprenhesive about this but, at each stage of assembly so far, I've sat down and thoroughly thought out how I was going to proceed, and as it turns out, it isn't as challenging as I thought it would be ............... so far.

So I started under the cockpit canopy at building a servo/radio tray and fitted 2 x 2000 mah LiFe battery packs with a switch for each with a built in digital voltage readout. I've just taken delivery of the rudder servo I'm going to use and I am awaiting delivery of a pull pull rudder servo mount, which means that the closed loop wires can be tightened very tightly without causing stress to the spline/gears of the servo.

So looking for something else I could do whilst awaiting parts to be delivered, I've sorted out the tailplane and elevator control.

Then I've temporarily fitted the wing root MPX connectors for the ailerons, flaps and spoiler controls.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Bwlchfest 2017 Update

So I've been a busy boy and done a lot of Googling to find email contact addresses for the various Slope Soaring Association club secretaries around the UK.

Quite a few of the email addresses bounced back to me, but I did get a good response from a few clubs also, who promised to add Bwlchfest to their calendar.

I've also contacted David Ashby, who is the editor of UK model aircraft magazine RCM&E. David is going to add Bwlchfest to the magazines Going Places diary page and has also added it to his own calendar with the intention of joining us on the slope, which is great news.

The event has also been added to the BMFA and BARCS calndars also.

My next job, which I will probably do tomorrow, is to contact a few model suppliers to see if they would like to attend the event, maybe bring along a model or two to fly, or maybe the new Horus TX, something like that. So it could be good for them as well as for us.

Robin Lutzenberger has also been busy designing T shirts and caps which will be available for pre order with payment by PayPal, with a small number available to purchase on the day. Here i.s an example of what might be available

I have also produced a new promotional video for the event which I have put out on all the Facebook groups I use, and there has been quite a bit  of interest, so I'm thinking that there could be quite a good turn out, which would be great news.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Weekend flying forecast 14th/15th January

Hi guys, it's that time of the week again where I look at your flying possibilities for the weekend.

Saturday - A mostly fine, dry and bright day but with a possibility of the odd wintry shower. Temperatures of 6°C but will be closer to freezing on the tops of the slopes and with the wind chill. The wind is north westerly about 10-12 mph.

So your slope options are the Ice Cream Slope at the Bwlch, Abertysswg or Meio Common.

Sunday - A cloudier day than Saturday but mostly dry with temperatures around 9°C and a north westerly wind again of 12 - 14 mph.

I may go up to the Bwlch on Sunday for an hour or two, or stay home and carry on building my new model projects.

The Bwlch in winter

Have a great weekend guys, whatever you're doing.


Thursday, 12 January 2017

This months featured post - Flippin Cold in Abertysswg

Hey guys, check out this months featured post on the left side bar.

PSSA Events 2017

The following dates are now agreed and confirmed for the 2017 PSSA Flying Season for those of you who enjoy a bit of PSS flying

8th/9th April 2017
PSSA ‘Fly for Fun’ event – The Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales

20th/21st May 2017
PSSA ‘Fly for Fun’ event – The Bwlch, Bridgend, South Wales

10th/11th June 2017
‘Bwlchfest 2017’ – The Bwlch, Bridgend, South Wales

24th/25th June 2017
PSSA ‘Fly for Fun’ event with the Lleyn MAC – Nr Abersoch, North Wales

19th/20th August 2017
PSSA ‘Fly for Fun’ event – The Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales

7th/8th October 2017
PSSA ‘Fly for Fun’ event – The Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales

For more information on any of these events, visit the PSSA Website Events Page 

Friday, 6 January 2017

Weekend flying forecast 7th/8th January

Well here we are at the beginning of a new year and the forecast for the weekend isn't looking great.

Saturday - Wind south west to west later, about 5 mph, so Meio Common or Mickey's at the Bwlch, or even Rhossili would be your slopes of choice.

Sunday - Wind south easterly at 5 mph, so Back of Wrecker at the Bwlch or Blaen Bran at Cwmbran would be your choices.

Personally, with wind speeds as low as that I think I'll stay warm at home and get on with some building.

My Vagabond is coming along nicely and I've gone as far as I can at the moment with the fuselage, so I shall make a start on the wing next.

I've had a good look at the Inteco L-213A and received the servo wiring loom for it. As it requires 8 servo's in all, I'm going to have to wait until pay day, at the end of next week, before I can order these, and a few other bits, but work on this should begin soon.

Catch you all again soon
Happy flying

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Now the festivities are over .........

Hi all, I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year.

Well my Valenta Models Inteco L-213A finally arrived on the Thursday before Christmas, ans it looks like it was certainly worth the wait.

I can't wait to get on with this although I have never built a mouldy before. I need to order 8 servo's too as the wing has spoilers as well as flaps, although these probably only deflect downwards by about 45 degrees.

The other model I got was the Phoenix Models Vagabond, a 990mm span, 2 channel, balsa built aerobatic glider for those light wind days. I shall be making a start on this tomorrow.

I now need to get on and spread the word about Bwlchfest 2017 which is being held over the 10th/11th June, as I want as big a turnout as I can get. I'm also going to see if I can get any model/parts suppliers interested in coming along.

On the Wednesday between Christmas and New Year, Phil and I met up with Paul Hampshire at the Bwlch, for some very light wind flying on Back of Wrecker. (Story and video to follow). Paul was telling me that about eight of the members from Slope Soaring Sussex are hoping to attend, which is great news.

So don't forget to keep returning back here for further information on this and also the PSSA Bwlch meet over the 20th/21st May.