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.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

More PSS meeting stuff

Just to allow a little competitiveness to this weekends event, there will be prizes for;
  • best flown prop model
  • best flown jet model
  • model of the event
The prizes will be given on Sunday but pilots votes can consider models flown either/both days.

We will probably hold a bomb dropping competition also, which could be held on both days but we will make a decision at the time based upon safety due to the close proximity of the F3F competitors. And no, you are not allowed to drop your bombs on them.

The forecast at the moment is showing a SW wind on Saturday, which is perfect for us and having Mickeys all to ourselves.

On Sunday the wind changes to a southerly, so a move to Back of Wrecker is on the cards and we will car park in the Wrecker lay-by. The F3F guys will take the lower section of the slope to the left whilst we have the higher section to the right, and they will park at the side of the road which divides Back of Wrecker and the VR98. There will be plenty of room between the two groups so there is no need to worry, but please be vigilant to be on the safe side.

This will work well for us, however, the lower left hand section can suffer from rotor, so some F3F competitors may walk up to our position to land on the brow of the hill, so just keep your eyes open when planning your landings.

One last thing, one F3F competitor is flying on ch72 35Mhz, so please keep channels 71, 72 & 73 clear, just to be on the safe side.

Wrecker car parking

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

PSSA Fly for Fun Weekend 20th - 21st May

I'm collecting the Mickeys gate key tomorrow evening, so I will probably be at the Bwlch on Friday at around 5:30 ish for anyone who wants to fly and doesn't want to walk up the hill, and I will be there for maybe a couple of hours.

On Saturday morning I will unlock the gate at 10 AM to let the procession of vehicles through, but then I have to lock the gate behind us, so I'm afraid that anyone arriving after this time, or needs to leave early, before the masses do, will need to walk.

On Sunday we do have to slope share with a F3F comp, however this could yet be cancelled, I will know more on Friday evening. This is not ideal I know.

The current forecast for Sunday is for a SSW wind, which makes it "off face" on the main Mickeys slope, however I need to check but I do seem to remember flying the same ridge at a spot before the cattle grid and dew pond, which I think would put us square onto the wind, and far enough away from the F3F boys so that there would be no interference.

If this is not the case, then I have made arrangements to use the Eglwsilan Model Flying Club field for car parking, (thanks to Andy Watts for this), and we can fly the SW slope of Meio Common, which is only about a 10 minute drive from Pontypridd. It's only a short walk from the field to the slope, and the slope generates good lift, little turbulence usually, and a good LZ. All the locals love this slope.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Happy flying


Monday, 15 May 2017

SWSA Meeting

This is just to say that a successful meeting was held on Friday 12th May and that a new committee was formed to kick start life back into the old South Wales Soaring Association.

The club is already BMFA affiliated but I shall be contacting the BMFA in due course to update our details, and we shall also be using the BMFA to host our new web site.

There are exciting times ahead.


Friday, 12 May 2017

Weekend Flying Forecast 13th/14th May

Hi guys

Event wise I don't think there's anything happening this weekend, except for the SWSA meeting this evening, and I hope to see a lot of you there.

Next weekend, 20th/21st sees the PSSA Fly for Fun meet at the Bwlch, so please come along, even if you don't have a PSS model to fly, and pray for some good weather eh.

So here we go with the forecast.

Saturday - A bright day with a SSW - SW wind of 10 - 12 mph.

Sunday - Sunny intervals with possible rain showers and a SW wind of 12 - 14 mph.

Your slope choices will be Mickeys or Meio. I will be flying on Saturday, and most likely fly on Mickeys as there will be more wind up there than on Meio.

Have a great weekend all. Happy flying.


Wednesday, 10 May 2017

SWSA Reminder

Hey guys, just a reminder that this Friday evening we have a meeting of the SWSA at the Rose & Crown, Eglwysilan, beginning promptly at 8 pm, so please arrive a little earlier to grab a drink and take your place in the conservatory at the back of the pub.

I look forward to seeing many of you there.


Tuesday, 9 May 2017

It's alright for some!

Our friend Robin posted on Facebook a few days ago. He was flying from Monte Cornetto in northern Italy, (I can hear the sniggers already, and no it isn't a Walls ice cream lol 😂).

And here is a picture of Robin with his X Models Swift 2.5m on the left and his Rotmilan (Red Kite) on the right.

I'm particularly looking forward to seeing Robin hopefully fly the Swift at Bwlchfest in June.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Manmoel Common flying

Hi guys

I met up with Nick Rees on Saturday at Manmoel Common for an afternoon session.

The wind was supposed to be coming from a ENE direction, however when I got there it was definitely slightly off face and a NE, so we would have been better going to Fochriw. However, we decided to stick it out at Manmoel.

I rigged up the 213 which now has its new livery.

After making  repairs from my landing out the previous weekend, the CoG had moved slightly and it was a little nose heavy, but the flight was fine until I discovered after landing that one of the flap servo mounts had come a little unstuck, so that needs sorting out this week.

Nick had brought along a NCFM M60 and a 3m Pilatus B4. However, I think the 30 mph wind was a little too much for the B4 and during the flight we could see the wings flexing quite a lot, and then suddenly they appeared to have an extraordinary amount of dihedral, so something had obviously gone wrong and Nick quite rightly decided to try for a landing.

Fortunately the ailerons and air brakes were still operative and amazingly he managed to land it safely, as you can see from the following photographs.

Nick had replaced the carbon wing joiner with an alloy one, and in that wind it just wasn't up to the job and it had bent. I think he will resume using the carbon joiner.