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.

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.