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, 28 February 2017

Bwlchfest Update 28th February

Hi all

Robin has been busy designing and doing some procurement research so that we can have the opportunity to purchase T shirts and caps for Bwlchfest, and this is what he has come up with.

Caps will be approximately £5.00 each

This is the front of the T Shirt

And this is the back of the T shirt

T shirt cost will be approximately £20.00, however, the more we order from the supplier, the cheaper they become.

If you wish to pre order a shirt or cap, please contact me, either by leaving a comment on this post, or emailing me at steve.houghton59@gmail.com, letting me know what size of shirt you require, so that I can let Robin know the numbers required. 

Payment will be by PayPal once we know the numbers required and an accurate cost given, and we will then let you know.

There may be some non personalised shirts and caps available on the day but sizes and quantities cannot be guaranteed.

L213 Progress - 28th Feb

When I began this project, I wanted to have it completed by sometime in March. So barring any disasters, that will definitely happen, and then hopefully the weather will warm up a little so I can get out and chuck it off a big hill.

So here is where I now am with it.

I've fitted the 9 channel receiver and connected all the servo leads to it. I haven't glued the tray into place yet as I still have to connect the rudder pull pull wires to the servo arm and check that it is balanced correctly. I think I'm going to have to add a little weight under the tray to achieve the correct balance.

The air brake (spoiler) servo was fitted and the servo arm extended. I then bent a piece of wire and attached it to the brake flap. So the servo arm goes up, pushing the air brake up and the wind resistance keeps it pressed against the arm. When the arm goes down, wind resistance and gravity do their thing and the arm then slides through the loop in the wire, so that when the brake is fully closed, the wire stops it from opening or being lifted by air pressure. 

This was just a trial piece taped into place. I will fabricate another piece of wire and glass cloth/resin it into position.

I purchased KST servo mounts for ease of installation, but they also allow the servo to be easily removed should the need arise.

This is the aileron servo, and the flaps are much the same.

So I then connected the wing to the fuselage and tested that everything functioned as it should, and thankfully it does. I will set up all the mixes and throws once the model is complete.

This short video shows the functionality so far with flap mixed into aileron, aileron on its own, flap, and the air brake.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Weekend flying forecast 25th/26th February

It's the last weekend in February, storm Doris has passed leaving a wake of destruction behind it, the days are getting longer, (there's actually light in the sky when I leave home for work in the mornings), and the temperatures should begin to rise now.

My diary is filling up with camping trips away, PSS meets, other flying events, and running races too, (the Newport half marathon a week on Sunday), and I need to think about making the trip to the south east to fly with Paul Hampshire and his boys.

As for this weekend? The wind looks great, unfortunately the rest is looking pants.

Saturday - South West winds of 15 - 19 mph but with rain forecast for the afternoon.

Sunday - South West winds of 16 - 21 mph but cloudy with rain coming in towards the end of the day. However, I suspect that the cloud will be low so some slope may not be flyable.

So if you do find yourself on a slope, I'd head for Mickey's at the Bwlch or Meio Common. Because of the cloud, Meio may be your better bet as it is much lower above sea level than Mickey's.

I won't be flying this weekend as I have too many other things on the go, but I hope you have fun if you do manage to hit the slopes.


Sunday, 19 February 2017

Wildthing in the Mist

With time on my hands today, and looking out of my window, I could see the grey skies but it looked good enough to fly so, I loaded the car with my X models Whisper and trusty Wildthing and headed for Meio Common.

Upon arrival I got out of the car, picked up a handful of grass and threw it into the air. From that I could see that the weather forecast was correct in that the wind was westerly and therefore I'd be better moving along the road for a couple more miles and fly at Eglwysilan Common.

However, the cloud base was very low with bands of misty drizzle coming through. Still, I'd come this far so I threw up the Wildthing into the 15 - 20 mph wind.

It wasn't a day for flying the Whisper as the cloud base was so low, so that remained safe in its rucksack.

After a couple of flights, I decided to call it a day, packed up and walked back to my car.

Driving down the road I noticed a sign for Eglwysilan Common and I decided to pull in and take a photo of it. Whilst dong so a car came past me then stopped by my car and the driver asked if I was Steve.

His name was Ted and he was visiting the area from Gloucestershire and flies in the Cotswolds, and he told me he enjoys reading my blog. This man has taste 😁. Anyway, it was great meeting you Ted and I hope we get a chance to fly together some time.

Here is the video of today's flying.

Until next time, happy flying.


Saturday, 18 February 2017

L213 Progress - 18th Feb

So work has progressed on the fuselage and the Hitec elevator servo was fitted. However, it only lasted about a minute before it failed. So I have now fitted a KST M320 servo, which is much better quality, faster, more torque etc.

The rudder was the next thing to be fitted.

With the closed loop pull pull linkage attached

Rudder servo and pull pull mount with arm fitted but wires not connected yet. That will not be done until I've carried out a few other tasks first.

 Then I had to do some geometry and work out where the pull pull wires will exit the fuselage. The cross marks the spot.

So my next job is to plug in the wing servo's for centring, and then I have some work to do cutting away some of the TE of the wing where the flap meets it, as currently the flaps do not drop far enough to be effective for braking. So it needs to be as per the picture below.

And talking of braking, this is what I have to do to the spoilers on my model

And that's it for now. Catch you all soon.


Friday, 17 February 2017

Weekend Flying Forecast

Good morning fellow slopies. Another weekend is upon us and those chilly temperatures have disappeared leaving us with some milder weather. In fact, the BBC Wales weather girl, Behnaz reckons that the beginning of next week could possibly see temperatures in the low teens.

So here is your weekend forecast.

Saturday - A dry, mild day with a southerly wind of about 6 - 10 mph. So your choice of slopes will be Back of Wrecker at the Bwlch, or on the coast at Southern down.

Sunday - A dry, mild day with a westerly wind of 10 - 14 mph. So your slopes of choice will be Rhossili, Mickeys at the Bwlch, Eglwsilan Common or if you just want a quickie hour then you could fly Meio, although this isn't the best on a westerly, although it's ok for foamie wings.

I shall probably fly on Sunday but I haven't decided yet whether I'll be making an afternoon of it, in which case I'll fly at Mickeys, or just an hour or two, in which case I'll just go to Eglwysilan.

On another note, there was a piece on the BBC yesterday about spikes that have been placed in the ground at the Bwlch. Obviously someone is mighty peeved about the off road bikers churning up the ground up there.

Concealed spikes left on tracks on Bwlch mountain in Rhondda Cynon Taff could soon cause a "nasty injury", an off-roading club has said.

The club, which found the spikes, told BBC Radio Wales' Good Morning Walesthey looked as if they had been made "for the sole purpose of causing injury".
South Wales Police has launched an investigation.
Michael Toseland, a marshal for off-roading events club Bonkas 4x4 Wales, said they have had issues with some rights of way being blocked.
He added: "A couple of our guys were out at the weekend and noticed some people looking like they were filling holes in and putting some quite nasty metal spikes in.
"They are burying them just under the surface of the soil, so if you stepped on them you'd get quite a nasty injury.
"I've never seen anything like this. It's quite a worrying thing. There's lots of dog walkers and children around there."
Mr Toseland said off-road drivers have a bad reputation, but insisted his club "always try to make sure we stick to the legal lanes".
Have a good weekend guys.
Happy flying

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Bwlchfest Update

The latest issue of RCM&E, (Radio Control Models & Electronics), is available to buy from all good newspaper/stationary stores and in it is a piece about Bwlchfest.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Weekend flying forecast 11th/12th February

Hi all

It's been a chilly week here in the UK and that is looking like it will continue into next week too.

So this is what the weekend is looking like.

Saturday - A cloudy but dry day with a northerly wind gradually swinging around to north easterly and about 20 mph.

Sunday - Much the same as Saturday with the north easterly wind, but a stronger wind of 25 - 30 mph.

So your slope options are the Wrecker, Fochriw, (which would be my choice) or you could even fly over the far side of Meio. But it is going to be really cold with the wind chill factor thrown in so I'm going to give it a miss as I'm becoming a wimp in my old age. Lol.

On Saturday I need to go for a long run as the Newport half marathon is only 3 weeks away, and I can do some more work on the Vagabond build. The rudder servo mount has finally arrived so I can begin to fit that and connect up the rudder on the L213.

Because of the length of the servo mount, I think I'm going to have to make up an extension piece to the radio bay tray, otherwise there won't be enough room for the 9ch RX as well. That's something for me to look at.

The other thing I'm concerned about is the fitting of the rudder, because once that is glued into position, I will no longer have access to the elevator servo, should something go wrong with that.

This is the rudder servo mount, loosely put together to give you an idea of how it works.

Happy flying guys