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.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Fochriw Road Barrier

Last Saturday, Phil, Josh and myself went to fly at Manmoel, but the air was very turbulent and so we decided to head over to Fochriw instead. 

Upon arrival at the road turn off that takes us directly to the slope, we discovered that Caerphilly Council have erected a barrier, with a sign on it about fly tippers. So this public highway has been blocked off because Caerphilly council obviously cannot enforce the law regarding fly tipping, and so instead of them trying to catch the perpetrators and prosecute them, they have gone for the easy option of closing the road to car users.

This hasn't gone down at all well with the residents of Fochriw village who enjoy a walk along the top of the hill which affords beautiful views across the valley to the east and the Brecon Beacons to the north. The local paraglider club has also lodged a complaint as they regularly use this venue also. A little while ago one of their members had an accident on this hill and several ambulances had to attend along with the police. If the paraglider pilots are forced to leave their cars by the gate and walk up, and there was another accident, the emergency services would find it impossible to get close to the patient with their equipment. And on that same note, if the paraglider pilots and the model fliers, and the local walkers all park their cars on the road by the gate, it could have traffic consequences on the main road between Pontlottyn and Fochriw.

It appears that the council have taken this approach without really thinking about it and we await a decision by them to see whether the gate is to be removed or not.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Yayyyyy I finally went flying

Saturday was a lovely, bright day but very chilly. I had couch to 5km coaching duties to perform first thing in the morning but my afternoon was free and with a good breeze forecast from the north I couldn't waste the opportunity to go flying. So at about 12:30 the car was loaded and I had a 1 hour drive up to Hirwaun Common, my preferred northerly slope. I much prefer this over the VR98 at the Bwlch as the lift is usually better and the landing zone too.

Upon arrival there were a group of lads from Bournemouth and Bristol already flying and, shortly afterwards 3 local lads turned up as well as my friend Chris, who had seen my Facebook post and decided to join me rather than go to the Bwlch.

I decided to begin my flying by lobbing off the fully ballasted Balistik, and I absolutely loved it. This model was going like a rocket and I was having a whale of a time flying it. Later on I flew it again with Chris's M60 and I was pleased to see that the Balistik appeared to be a little faster 😊

I'd also taken the big L213A and had a couple of good flights with that. This flew well and will in fact fly in any wind speed from 15 mph but, it really comes alive in 30 mph or more as I have discovered when flying it in 40 mph plus at Rhossili. I have some changes that I want to make to this model so hopefully I will get a chance to do this over the winter.

So all in all I had a cracking few hours flying and, at the moment it looks like I'm free to fly again next Saturday too. Hooray 😃.

Friday, 26 October 2018

Weekend flying forecast 27th-28th October - Brrrrrrr

Happy Friday fellow flyers, another weekend is upon us. Our weather is changing with northerly cold winds from the Arctic heading our way, but with it are wind strengths that mean is is finally worth a trip to the slopes. So let us see what we have in store.

Saturday - a dry day with some sunny periods, 7°C and the wind beginning north westerly but turning northerly by noon and 13 - 23 mph. Your slope choices would be the Ice Cream slope at the Bwlch whilst it is NW and then moving over to the VR98 when it turns northerly. Meio can also be flown on a NW but will be off slope when the wind changes to north. My recommendation however would be Hirwaun Common which has slopes facing in both directions and only about a 2 minute walk between them. This is a fab slope if you've never tried it.

Sunday - a sunnier day with temperatures of 10°C and the wind NNE or NE and 15 - 28 mph. Your slope choices will be the Wrecker at the Bwlch, Meio which also has a NNE slope or Fochriw. Fochriw is my favourite of these three as the flying is great, as is the landing zone, with the added bonus of being able to warm yourself in the car between flights.

Unusually I am including Monday here as my good friend Paul of Slope Soaring Sussex is visiting Wales and is looking to fly. So Paul this is what Monday looks like.

Another bright, sunny day with temperatures around 8°C and the wind 13 - 25 mph NE. So you have the same choices as Sunday, the Wrecker or Fochriw. You could fly Fochriw on Sunday and the Wrecker on Monday as that is closer to home for you. I hope you have some good flying.

I have a window on Saturday afternoon to fly so I think I will head up to Hirwaun Common with the L213 and the Balistik .

So whatever you're doing, have a great weekend and keeeeeeeep flying.

Friday, 28 September 2018

Weekend flying forecast 29th/30th Sept

Hi all, well September is coming to an end, the temperature is dropping and the days are getting shorter. But often this means that we get more wind too, although sometimes, much more wind than we need. So lets take a look and see if there will be some good flying conditions for this weekend.

Saturday - A fine and bright day with temperatures around 15°C, but the wind is variable, starting off ENE before swinging around to southerly by mid afternoon and carrying on around to NW by the evening, but at 6 - 8 mph this is not good flying conditions.

Sunday - A mostly cloudy but dry day with temperatures up to 14°C. The wind is much more stable at up to 25 mph north westerly. Your slope choices today will be Meio or the Ice Cream Slope at the Bwlch.

I'm busy running a half marathon on Sunday so I won't be flying, but I was hoping to get some stick time on Saturday but that won't happen if the forecast remains the same. I may have to resort to flying powered instead.

For any of you who are interested, I also have another blog which is all about my running, you can view it by clicking the link HERE.

Have a good weekend all and happy flying.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Flying forecast 15th/16th September

Summer is over and there is a chill in the air. The temperature has dropped and hopefully now we will get some autumn wind to enable us to have the flying fun that we've missed throughout the spring and summer. I can't remember a summer with so little wind.

Anyway, lets have a look and see if any flying will be possible this weekend.

Saturday - A mixture of sunshine and showers, 16°C and a predominately westerly wind of up to 20 mph. Your slope choices will be Rhossili, Mickey's, Eglwysilan and Meio. If I didn't have to be somewhere first thing in the morning, I would have headed up to Rhossili, but I may be able to get a couple of hours in on Meio in the afternoon.

Sunday - A cloudy but dry day, 16 - 19°C with a SSW to SW wind of 10 - 12 mph, so your slope choices will be Mickeys and Meio. I don't know what I am doing yet on Sunday, I should have been racing but I am resting a pelvis ligament injury so, I may be able to get a couple of hours in on Meio.

Whatever you are doing this weekend, have a good one and, happy flying.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Flying forecast 18th/19th August

Talk about a change in the weather! For several weeks we were basking in 30°C heat and wall to wall sunshine and now we have low 20's with showers but, (every cloud has a silver lining so they say), a good westerly wind has been blowing and looks set to remain for the weekend. Hooray 😃

Our friend James Clark from Cornwall has been on one of his visits to fly that awesome slope at Rhossili, and our own Nick Rees joined him the other day. James had his L213 and Stingray, whilst

The L213 dwarfs the 3 metre models
Nick maidened his big pink Salto and his 4 metre L213. According to Nick, the 213 seemed the better model  so I can see him breaking that one out whenever there is a good blow.

Lets get on to this weekends forecast, and Saturday is looking like being the better day.

Saturday - a dry day with a westerly wind of 15 - 25 mph. Your slope choices will be Meio, Eglwysilan, Mickey's and Rhossili.

Sunday - a showery day with variable wind directions from SSW to westerly and up to 30 mph, so your slope choices could still be any of the above, but the showers may make flying difficult, especially with visibility if the cloud base is particularly low.

I am hoping to make an 8 AM start and head to Rhossili tomorrow to meet up with James, and hoping Nick and some others may turn up also as there is nothing better than a day on a great slope and banter with mates.

Whatever you do, have a great weekend.

Happy flying.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Flying forecast 11th/12th August

This week has seen a change in our weather with cooler temperatures and the occasional rain shower, and it looks like there is a change for this weekend too.

Saturday - Rain coming in from the south will spread into south Wales by lunchtime with a SSE to southerly wind of 10 - 14 mph. I doubt you'll be able to fly but your slope choices would be Southerndown or Back of Wrecker.

Sunday - Sunshine and showers with a variable S to WSW wind of up to 22 mph. This may be your best chance to fly this weekend and the Bwlch will be your best bet or, Meio if the wind does swing south westerly.

I won't be flying this weekend as Saturday's weather is pants, plus I have a new washing machine being delivered. Sunday I am running in the Port Talbot half marathon in the Afan Forest. So whatever you guys are doing this weekend, have fun and I'd love to hear from you.

Happy flying.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

A Summer Soaring day with Paul

On Saturday I met up with Paul from Slope Soaring Sussex at The Bwlch. Upon arrival I was expecting a north westerly wind which had been forecast, but instead the wind turned out to be northerly which meant flying on the VR98 slope. This isn't a bad slope but certainly not as good as the north west facing Ice Cream slope, and with a road directly behind the flight line, landing is always challenging.

The wind was light but there was enough wind to cruise around with something light or a large wing area, Paul had his little Zulu foamie and his Ascot F3F/B whilst I took my Genesis chevron wing and Heron.

During a break in the flying Paul and I were chatting and I mentioned another good slope to fly in a northerly, Hirwaun Common, a cracking slope but one I haven't flown in probably a couple of years. I think that when a northery does blow, everyone locally just instinctively heads to the VR98 as they don't want to drive the extra distance to Hirwaun, or have to walk for 10 - 15 minutes once they park the car, but in my opinion Hirwaun is a much better slope than the 98.

Anyway, Paul suggested we take a drive up the Rhigos mountain road to Hirwaun, and what a good move that was. Once we'd parked the cars, we walked for about 10 minutes and discovered that the wind was blowing north westerly up there, and not northerly like on the 98.

The views across this open expanse taking in the Brecon Beacons and the Black Mountains is spectacular, and with the old Tower Colliery directly below us we launched models into the silky smooth air and we had a great time.

The time flew by and before we knew it, it was time to pack up and head for home. Thanks Paul for your company and a fun days flying.

Enjoy the video.

Friday, 3 August 2018

Weekend flying forecast 4th-5th August

August already! Where did July go? And the temperature is rising again and the wind is dropping.

Saturday - A bright, sunny day, 23°C with a light variable breeze of 5 - 9 mph. The Met office shows the wind starting off northerly, then slowly swinging north east, south, then north westerly but, XC Weather and the BBC TV forecast this morning shows mainly a north west breeze, so who knows what we will get. Either way it's rubbish! I'm meeting Paul from Slope Soaring Sussex at the Bwlch in the afternoon so I guess we shall just have to play by ear which slope we fly at the time, but it'll be a day of thermal hunting anyway.

Sunday - A cloudless, sunny day with 25°C. Again the Met office is showing variable wind directions, north east, east and south east about 8 mph, so take your pick as to which slope to try, but the Bwlch, Fochriw or Manmoel may be your best options as they will all fly a wind with east in it.

Whatever you do, have a good weekend all and happy flying.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Weekend flying forecast 28th-29th July

Hello fellow flyers, another weekend is upon us when we down tools at work and charge battery packs and head for the hills.

After a very hot week the weather is about to change for the weekend with rain coming in this evening and Saturday morning, and Sunday is looking like being heavy rain showers too. So here we go with more details.

Saturday - After a rainy start the sun is due to come out in the afternoon with the occasional shower possible, wind south westerly 16 - 20 mph. Your slope choices will be Mickey's or Meio.

Sunday - A pants day weather wise with heavy rain showers and a southerly wind of 18 - 21 mph. If you decide to chance the weather then your slope choices will be Back of Wrecker or Southerndown, but Back of Wrecker is likely to be shrouded in cloud.

I'm intending on heading up to Meio for a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon and take the big guns out with me, the L213 and the Balistik, I've only flown these once this year so far so it'll be nice to get them in the air again, and I hope to see some of you there.

Have a good weekend all and happy flying.

Monday, 23 July 2018

My weekends flying on Meio

Yes, I did manage to fly on both Saturday and Sunday. I headed up to Meio on Saturday, early afternoon with the MPX Heron as I knew there would be very little slope lift, but the thermals should be good, and I was correct.

Once at the top of the slope, there wasn't enough wind to keep me airborne, but once I'd got some altitude using the motor, there were some big thermals about which kept me flying for a good time without having to resort to using the motor.

By mid afternoon the wind had increased sufficiently to just about keep me airborne using slope lift, but by then it was time for me to make a move home.


Sunday was a completely different day on Meio. I took the Heron, just in case the 12-14 mph wind forecast was incorrect, and the Genesis combat wing, and it was this that I flew that afternoon. The air was a bit bumpy but as the afternoon progressed and the thermals began to die down a bit, the air became smoother and I had some good flying.

I used these two flying opportunities to try out my new camera, and on Sunday I tried the video function by filming myself flying the Genesis. I didn't look at the footage until I got home and I found that the footage was really dark. I had a fiddle with the settings and I'm sure I had a setting wrong, so hopefully next time the picture quality should be much better. I did still use the footage though but I had to lighten the picture when I was editing the video. You can see the result in the video below. The Heron video was recorded on my GoPro Session.

Friday, 20 July 2018

Weekend flying forecast 21st/22nd July

Another weekend is upon us, and the wind still isn't playing ball! Bright skies and warm temperatures but very little wind, so I'll get straight into the forecast.

Saturday - Starting cloudy but but sunny intervals in the afternoon. A light breeze beginning ENE in the morning of 5 mph then swinging around to WNW late afternoon and 7 - 10 mph. Pretty rubbish really! I'm not even going to suggest a slope for this and my suggestion would be to fly a thermal soarer of some kind from a flat field.

Sunday- A sunny, hot day with a WNW to W breeze of up to 13 mph. Your slope choices will be Meio, Mickey's or Rhossili.

I'm not sure what I am doing yet but I hope to fly on Sunday afternoon for a couple of hours.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Weekend flying forecast 14th/15th July

Hi guys, another weekend is upon us, and it's looking like another weekend with little wind, and I'm posting this a day early as I won't be around tomorrow to do it. So let's see what the weather has in store for us.

Saturday and Sunday are both looking similar with a WNW to W breeze of only 6 - 10 mph but gloriously sunny days.

So your slope choices are going to be Mickeys and Meio but, if I had nothing else on this weekend, I think I'd take my chances and head to Rhossili, and if there isn't enough wind there at least you can go for a paddle in the Atlantic 😊

As for me? I'm off to Tenby to run in a half marathon on Sunday from Pembroke to Tenby, which is part of the Long Course Weekend, a ultra triathlon, but my calendar is free to fly next weekend, hooray.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Saturday Soaring

Saturday was another beautiful sunny day, but there was no wind to speak of, but I headed along to Meio, just in case there was any at the top of the hill.

When I arrived, Chris was already there and his Vegas was buzzing the hill with the motor running, so I assembled the Heron and carried it up the hill, and no, there wasn't any wind up there either.


I launched the Heron and no, there wasn't enough slope lift to stay airborne, so I was going to have to rely on the thermals, which fortunately there were many, and some of them were HUGE! In fact on one flight I located a thermal which took me up several hundred feet and was still rising, so I thought I'd better get it out of the thermal and bring it back to a respectable height, so I applied full crow braking and pushed the nose down with the elevator. It must have taken me a couple of minutes but now it was no longer a dot in the sky and I was feeling much happier.


During the course of the two hour session I located many thermals and only used 20% of the power in my 2200mah LiPo and I left feeling happy and thoroughly satisfied.

Friday, 6 July 2018

PSSA meet & Weekend flying forecast

Good morning all, it's another beautiful summers day here in Wales, as it has been all week and it looks set to continue into next week also.

Last Friday I made the long drive, ( 4 ½ hours) up to Abersoch in N Wales for the PSSA meet. The weather was glorious all weekend, however there wasn't enough wind on Saturday to fly PSS models off the slope and we had to resort to flying powered models, mostly the Phoenix 2m powered glider, for some thermal soaring. I took my Multiplex Heron which I'd managed to fix up ready for the weekend after having ploughed it into the ground on its maiden flight a week before when it tip stalled and hit the ground nose first, breaking the nose off just behind the motor. If it hadn't been for the Heron I wouldn't have flown at all on Saturday.

Sunday began with little wind, and what wind there was, was coming from the wrong direction, but the forecast was for the wind to change direction and increase, which fortunately it did and we all managed to get some slope flying in, until about mid afternoon when the wind direction changed again and became well off the slope face, so I decided to make a move home a little earlier than intended.

Here's a short video of some of the action.

This weekends weather forecast is looking good    if you want to sun bathe or go thermal soaring, but NOT if you want to hit the slopes.

Saturday - A hot sunny day of 26°C but with a north west to westerly breeze of only 5 - 9 mph. If you wanted to try the slopes then Meio or Mickeys may be your best bets.

Sunday - is looking like another gloriously hot day like Saturday but with NNE to N breeze of 5 - 9 mph. Meio may be your best bet here, or the VR98.

I will probably go to the Eglwysilan clubs field on Saturday and fly my Heron for about noon but will be making a hasty retreat about 2 PM to watch the England v Sweden game. Sunday morning I am running so I'll be recovering in a pub beer garden somewhere in the afternoon.

Whatever you decide to do, have a great weekend and don't forget to slap on the sun block.

Monday, 25 June 2018

Flying visit from USA blog follower

LastThursday I met up with Terry, an ardent follower of this blog. Terry hails from Syracuse in New York State, USA and was visiting family here in the UK, so he thought he would take the opportunity to leave London behind and head for our fabulous Welsh hills for a spot of slope soaring.

I met Terry and his family at Sarn motorway services, just north of Bridgend where they followed me up to the Ice Cream slope lay-by. Once there the north westerly wind that had been forecast had turned into a northerly, so after waiting for local friend Nick to arrive, we made our way up to the VR98 slope. Wind speed was 14-15 mph but with huge thermals they made the air very bumpy to fly in at times. Then of course with huge thermals comes huge sink in its wake, which made flying challenging at times.

Terry was most impressed with our huge, grassy slopes and the quality of the flying available, saying that he'd never flown or seen anything like the Bwlch back home in the USA.

Terry, it was a pleasure to meet you and your family and I hope to see you in Wales again sometime. Enjoy the video.

Friday, 8 June 2018

Bwlchfest Flying Forecast

Hi guys. The weekend is upon us and it's looking like we'll be getting some flying in for Bwlchfest.

Both Saturday and Sunday are looking similar with a 8 - 9 mph ENE breeze, which will mean flying the Wrecker. This should give us 15 mph plus on the slope, and the Wrecker produces bags of lift. Saturday is looking cloudier so, as long as the cloud base isn't so low that we get clagged in, then we should be OK.

Sunday is looking like being a much sunnier day, so don't forget to bring a hat and sun block with you. You may also wish to bring along a stout pair of walking shoes, just in case the wind does turn more easterly and we have to move over to the Crest, which would be a 15 minute walk ish, over quite lumpy terrain.

Initially we will meet up at the Ice Cream slope lay-by and then move on up to the Wrecker at 10 AM where I will give us a very short, pre flying briefing.

So I look forward to seeing you there. 

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Bwlchfest Update

Hi Guys. I'm just beginning to check out the weather forecast for Bwlchfest this weekend and at the moment it's looking like we will have wind from the ENE of up to 15 mph, if the forecast remains the same as it is now, which means we would be flying the Wrecker. But we all know how quickly the forecast can change.

Watch this space and the SWSA and Slope Soaring in Wales Facebook pages for further updates.

The Wrecker

The Wrecker

Friday, 1 June 2018

Flying Forecast 2nd/3rd June

Hi guys, another weekend is upon us and it's looking not bad for getting some flying in. So without further ado, I will get straight into it.

Saturday - a bright, sunny day with 19°C and a west to west south westerly breeze of 8 - 9 mph, which will relate to probably around 10 - 12 mph on the slopes. And your slopes of choice will be Mickey's at the Bwlch, Meio and possibly Eglwysilan.

Sunday - is looking like the better day sun wise but the worst day wind wise, with a temperature of 22°C but the wind easterly at 8 - 9 mph. So your slope choices could be The Crest at the Bwlch, The Garth and Manmoel.

I shall be flying on Saturday afternoon but not on Sunday as I am running the first 12.5 mile stage of a 112 mile relay race, starting at 7 AM from Llanthony near Abergavenny, and then I will be supporting the rest of the team throughout the day.

So have a great time flying this weekend wherever you are.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Bwlchfest 2018

Hey guys, this is just a reminder that Bwlchfest is only two weekends away, 9th & 10th June and I hope to see some of you guys there.

As we did last year, we will meet at the Ice Cream slope car park so that we can head off to whichever slope we will be flying from on the day by 10 AM sharp.

We may have a key for the gate leading to the SW & W facing Mickey's slope, however if you arrive after the 10 AM cut off time then I'm afraid you will have to walk up to the slope. No other slopes will be affected this way as we all have to walk to those.

So keep your fingers crossed for some good flying weather and I look forward to seeing you.

Friday, 11 May 2018

PSSA "Fly for Fun" meet

So this weekend sees the PSSA coming to S Wales for what has become a regular, annual meet, and it's good to see them and have a different aspect to our hobby gracing our amazing slopes. (I don't care what anyone says, I still think the Bwlch is THE best place in Britain to fly from).

So currently the weekends weather forecast looks like this.

Saturday - A bright day generally with a chance of a shower, wind southerly 5 - 7 mph so we can probably expect 10 - 14 mph on Back of Wrecker.

Sunday - A sunny day with a predominantly westerly wind of 14 - 16 mph, so we can expect    18 - 20 mph plus probably on Mickeys, which will mean we can fly just about anything in that wind speed on that slope.

We will meet each day at 10 AM at the Ice Cream slope lay-by and move on to the slope from there.

I hope to see the usual PSSA crowd there as well as some locals.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Weekend Flying Forecast 5th - 7th May

Good news guys, it is looking like we are in for some dry, sunny and warm weather over the holiday weekend. Hooray 😃 The bad news, is that the winds are forecast to be very light, so keep those Stingrays, Swifts etc safely bagged up at home and dig out the light stuff 😒

Saturday - a bright day, 18°C with a WNW of 3 mph gusting to 6 mph. I would usually say to head up to the Ice Cream slope for a north westerly, and you still could, but if there is too much west in that wind then this slope doesn't work so well. If that is the case, you could then take the long hike over to the west side of Mickeys which may work a little better for you, although it would still be off the face. Personally I think the better option maybe to fly the Meio as it is easier to move around the slope. You could also try Abertysswg.

Sunday - another bright day with 20°C and a SSE wind of 5 mph gusting to 8 mph. Your slope choices will be Back of Wrecker and Blaen Bran may also work.

Monday - mostly sunny, 21°C with a W 6 mph wind gusting 10 mph. If you have all day then get yourself over to Rhossili as this will definitely generate lift and you'll have a great day. Get there early for a place in the church car park otherwise you shouldn't have much of a problem parking in the National Trust car park down the road, it's just a longer walk. Your other options are Mickey's, Eglwysilan and possibly Meio.

I will probably give Meio a go on Saturday afternoon, and depending on how bad my hangover is on Sunday, I may get there then too.

Oh and just a reminder that next weekend the PSSA have a weekend of flying at the Bwlch, so come along, fly, watch, and enjoy a couple of good days, and pray for dry, windy weather.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Weekend flying forecast 14th/15th April

Yayyyy it looks like I'm finally going to get some flying in this weekend! And it's about time too. The weather still isn't great but it is slowly improving. So let's have a look at what we can expect in S Wales for this weekend.

Saturday - a dry, cloudy day but with some sunny intervals mid afternoon. Temperature around 13°C and the all important wind being south easterly about 9 mph gusting to 15 mph. So your slope choices will be Back of Wrecker, the far side of the Crest or Blaen Bran.

Sunday - after a wet start in the morning, the rain may clear to sunny intervals with occasional showers in the afternoon. We still have that south easterly wind but it is much stronger at 15 mph gusting to 27 mph. Your slope choices will be the same as for Saturday.

I am heading off to Sussex this weekend to fly the South Downs and that area with Paul Hampshire and his mates from Slope Soaring Sussex. As the wind forecast for Saturday is very light, I'm taking along my 2m electric power thermal soarer, just in case. Sunday it looks like the wind will be stronger so I'm taking Big Bird, (L213A), Phoenix models Carrera and the Genesis chevron wing.

Have a great weekend all.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Easter Weekend Flying Forecast

Hi guys, the Easter break is upon us and so I guess most of us will be looking at trying to hit the slopes at some time. The weather isn't looking that great but there maybe a chance on  Sunday.

Friday - Light rain showers with a north easterly breeze of about 9 mph. Your slope choices will be the Wrecker, Fochriw or the back side of Meio. Fochriw would be my preferred choice normally, however with such a light wind, and it being a bank holiday, you can bet your life that the para gliders will be out in force there.

Saturday - A mostly dry day expected but a chance of showers. A 9 mph NNE breeze changing to northerly in the early afternoon and increasing to about 11 mph, so you could try flying the Wrecker and then moving over to the VR98 once the wind shifts direction. You could also try Hirwaun Common which flies well in a northerly, and a morning fly at Meio. I may just try Meio in the early afternoon for an hour or two.

Sunday - A dry day with a south easterly breeze of about 11 mph. This is probably our worst direction for flying as we are very short of SE flying locations. You could try Back of Wrecker but the wind could be off the slope from your left or, if you fancy a hike you could march over to the far side of the Crest, (but who would want to do that after eating all that chocolate 😂 ). You may be able to find a coastal site worth flying. Another option, and one which I think I might try as I haven't flown it in ages is Blaen Bran at Cwmbran, which is fine for flying foamies and other smaller models. I shall be asking Big Phil later if he fancies this option as it is just up the road for both of us.

Monday - Heavy rain, and possibly snow on higher ground with a 15 mph south easterly wind again. So I will probably get on repainting my kitchen walls that day.

So whatever you guys do, I hope you manage to get some flying in at least. Happy Easter.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Weekend Flying Forecast 17th/18th March

Winter is keeping a firm grip on our weather and it is looking like we are in for cold temperatures and some snow for this weekend.

Saturday - A north easterly wind of around 23 mph means that there could be some good flying to be had. However, wind chill temperatures will probably mean that the 4°C forecast could feel more like -5°C and there are some snow showers in the forecast. If you do decide to venture out with a model, the Wrecker or Fochriw will be the places to be. The fortunate thing about both of these venues is that you will be very close to your car for a warm up between flights. Fochriw will always be my favoured slope and I doubt if there would be a problem with para gliders this weekend.

Sunday - This is looking like being a repeat of Saturday wind speed and direction wise, however there is now an amber weather warning for snow for SE Wales.

It has been ages since I've been able to get out flying, either because of the weather or my marathon training has had to take precedence. But there is light now at the end of that tunnel, and as April approaches I hope to get out flying a bit more, and I am looking forward to making the trip to Sussex mid month to fly with Paul and the boys at Slope Soaring Sussex, so I shall have to find some time to dust off my models and give them a check over.

Have a great weekend all and lets hope Wales beat France tomorrow in the rugby 😃

Friday, 23 February 2018

Weekend flying forecast 24th - 25th February

I think this last week has been one of the driest weeks we've had in a very long time, and it is looking like this weekend is also going to be dry with cloudless blue skies. Perfect for flying you may say, but it is going to be bitterly cold with the easterly wind that is forecast, so expect wind chill temperatures of -5°C easily on the higher slopes, such as at the Bwlch or Fochriw. So let's take a look at what is in store.

Saturday - a dry, sunny day with an easterly wind of about 16 mph

Sunday - a repeat of Saturday

So your slope choices will be the Crest at the Bwlch, Fochriw, or the Garth, which actually flies very well in an easterly, but it is a bit of a walk for those hardy souls that don't mind that and car parking isn't easy.

My personal choice would be Fochriw as with car parking on the slope it is easy to warm up once you've had a fly. Hopefully the wind will also be strong enough to deter the para gliders also.

I shan't be out this weekend as I am away in the Lake District. So have fun guys and don't get too cold.

Happy flying 😄

Friday, 9 February 2018

Weekend flying forecast 10th - 11th February

Hi guys. It has been one hell of a week weather wise, I think we've had it all. Rain, wind, snow, hail, you name it, we've had it. So unless you have some work flexibility, or are retired, then you probably haven't had a chance to get out and fly this week, and next week is looking pretty much the same. So let's see what the weekend looks like.

Saturday - looks like being a rainy day with a SSW wind of around 13 mph. So your slope choices will be any SW facing like Meio or Mickey's. 

Sunday - looks like being a better day, and possibly even flyable with sunny intervals and a WNW - NW wind of about 17 mph. Your choices of slope will be the Ice Cream Slope, Abertwssyg or Meio, so plenty of choice there. The beauty of Abertwssyg is that it is a park and fly slope, so if you do get cold, or there are showers, you can easily get into your car for protection and to warm up. Oh, and don't forget to take a flask of hot choc with you.

Until next week peeps, keeeeeep flying 😃

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

South Wales Soaring Association website

Hi guys. Just to let you know that the SWSA website is now up and running and ready to view. The info on there is only basis at the moment but this will expand as the year and the club  progresses. Check it out by clicking HERE.

Friday, 26 January 2018

Weekend Flying Forecast 27th/28th January

This is the last weekend of January and I haven't flown yet this month. This is partly due to me not having a battery for my TX. I buggered up the last one because I inadvertently left it switched on and totally drained the LiPo, which had caused it to swell slightly. Anyway, a new battery has been purchased, I just need to change the connector on it, which is Saturday's job.

So without further ado, here is your flying forecast.

Saturday - A mostly wet, rainy day with a 13 mph SW wind. If you do manage to find a dry patch, then head to the Meio or Mickey's for some good flying.

Sunday - A cloudy but dry day with a 19 mph westerly forecast, so head to the far side of Mickey's, Eglwsylan, Meio, or if you really fancy an Adrenalin rush, Rhossili. 

Whatever your plans this weekend, have a good un 👍

Thursday, 18 January 2018

SWSA Update

It has been a while since the committee got together, but we did this week to chat about progress so far, membership and 2018 events.

Membership uptake is slow. We have tried to gee up people through the Facebook page, but still they are not completing the membership form and sending it in, even though club membership is 100% FREE. So we need to dangle a carrot or two to persuade people to fill out that form.

2018 events so far include the PSSA annual Fly for Fun event at the Bwlch which this year is set for May 12th and 13th. Other club one day PSS events may also be included throughout the year with an invitation extended to PSSA members.

Bwlchfest will return on June 9th and 10th, and I shall be praying for some decent summer weather, which is not what we had last June.

Kombat Kings will be a slope combat competition series, beginning on Sunday March 25th, (which just so happens to be the start of British summer time), and will be a monthly event going right through the summer months up until October when the clocks go back.
There will be winners prizes at each event and a series winners trophy at the end of the competition in October.
But we don't just want this event to take place at the Bwlch, we may just use some of the other fabulous slopes we have in the region too.
As the SWSA does not charge a membership fee, we have to cover costs for this somehow and so it was proposed that SWSA official members, (those that have completed and returned a membership form), would pay £5.00 per event and non SWSA members a fee of £10.00. So here is a carrot, return your membership form and you can take part at half price. Other carrots will become available 😂
I am also very pleased to say that Zagi Bash King and organiser, Mike Grey has agreed to help with the organisation of this event. Thank you Mike 👍

There will probably be other events organised throughout the year and these along with those mentioned above will be listed on our new website, once it is ready to go live. We will also add limited details on our Facebook page but ultimately you will be guided towards the official website.

If you were to look us up on the BMFA website, you will find that our details have been updated there also, and that the SWSA is still affiliated to the BMFA.

And finally, the club membership form can be found on the Facebook page and will also become available to download from the website in due course. I think Nick is looking to produce a more phone friendly version for those people who do not have access to a computer.


Friday, 12 January 2018

Weekend Flying Forecast 13th/14th January

Hello fellow flyers, is anyone managing to get any flying in? I know I haven't, partly because I have a knackered LiPo in my TX which I haven't had time to sort out, and partly because it's been too cold. I'm such a wuss 😂

Here is your weekend forecast.

Saturday - a cloudy day with a 15 mph SE wind.

Sunday - a cloudy day with a 9 mph SE wind.

Your choices of slopes are limited. The far side of the Crest may be your best option. Back of Wrecker may be flyable but the wind could be too easterly and so off the face. Or, you may be able to try the sea cliffs at Southerndown. I have to say that south easterlies are the most difficult direction to fly, and I think it's fairly unusual to get them in the winter when we usually get north westerly or north easterly.

So whether you fly or not, have a great weekend all.