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.

Monday, 20 March 2017

L213 A built and ready for maiden flight

My Valenta L213 A, 2.77m 1/5 scale is finally complete and awaiting some decent weather to chuck it off a big hill.

Unfortunately I couldn't fly on Saturday as I had other things I needed to do, and yesterday's weather wasn't good with low cloud and drizzle, but also Cardiff Airport was showing gusts of 35 mph, so on the top of the hill it would have been well in excess of 40 mph, and I'm looking for something between 17 - 25 mph ideally for its first flight.

Here are some pictures.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Weekend flying forecast 18th/19th March

I was really disappointed with last weekends weather forecast, which said rain for Sunday. So I didn't bother charging model batteries or putting any in the car as I headed over to Michelle's for the weekend.

I awoke on Sunday to a fairly bright day, and as the day progressed, there was still no sign of any rain 😠. However, I was talking to John Farrell on Monday evening in a supermarket car park, where I met him as he was letting me have some lead shot for my L213 project, and he was saying that from his home he couldn't see the tops of the mountains because they were shrouded in cloud. So maybe I couldn't have flown anyway.

So if we are to believe this weekends forecast, we may as well leave the models in their hangars and stay in bed, as the forecast is for rain and more rain.

Saturday - rain all day with a 17 mph westerly.

Sunday - rain all day with a 18 mph west south westerly. However, when I watched the BBC weather forecast on TV this morning, it did look like there may be a chance that this rain could be just showers, and possibly just miss us as it may pass slightly north of us who live around Newport, Cardiff, the Vale of Glamorgan and the lower end of the valleys.  So I would say to keep a model or two charged and ready to go, just in case Sunday proves to be flyable.

My L213 should be ready to fly by Sunday, so I'm going to have him in the car and ready to go in case there is a window in the weather, in which case I shall just head up to Meio Common. I can beat a quicker retreat from there should the weather turn nasty whilst I'm up there.

Last night I was working on the L213 and I made a final check on the CoG, before gluing the radio tray in position. As it turned out, I had to move the tray a little rearward to achieve the correct balance, but I'd already accounted and planned for this.

I also made a cock up when connecting the rudder pull pull wires and forgot to lock the servo arm in place first. Oooops. So I have to pop into my local fishing tackle shop on my way home from work to buy some crimps and re do one of the wires this evening. So an hours work at the most and then finish off programming the TX, charge the batteries and I'm ready to go.

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

Happy flying

Friday, 10 March 2017

L213 Progress 10th March

I'm nearly there! Both wings have now been completed and I sorted out the air brake/spoiler.

I was originally, (on the recommendation of a friend), going to put the brake on a three position switch, so it would be off/50%/100%, but then I decided to put it on a slider. So now when I activate it, the slider goes up to the mid position and the TX beeps at me, so I then know I'm at 50% and I can then move up to 100% if need be.

What I now need to work out, is how to link that in with crow/butterfly, but also use a switch to activate it in crow or not.

In fairness, it isn't likely to be used that much, but I have found with my X Models Whisper, whose flap travel isn't the greatest but about the same as the L213, that when flying in lighter conditions, there is little wind resistance to slow it down when on finals, so the brake will hopefully help this.

The simple wire attached to the underside of the brake seems to work well as you can see from the following video and cannot be pulled up once locked in the down position.

Then it was time to check out how the model balanced. Valenta recommend a CofG at 82mm, which is right in the centre of the wing joiner, and checking with other owners on various forums, this measurement appears to be spot on.

Even with two LiFe battery packs mounted up front, she still needed 670gm (1lb 7½ oz) of extra weight. It's no wonder very few people add ballast to this model.

I scoured my bits and pieces boxes for anything I could use to ascertain the extra weight needed, and well, you can see from the picture, three battery packs and a few sticky tyre weights.

Hopefully I have a solution with an offer made to me from someone who has a load of lead shot available, which I can mix with epoxy and shape and glue into the nose.

So that is it for now. Once the balance has been sorted I can then fit the pull pull rudder wires, fit the canopy, check all over that nothing is amiss, and then wait for suitable weather conditions to chuck it off a big hill.

Flying forecast for this weekend 11th/12th March

Hi guys. Don't the weeks just fly by eh. It's that time of the week again when I look at the flying prospects for the coming weekend. So here we go.

Saturday - A dry and mild day, so you can leave your thermals at home. Winds are forecast to be very light at 4 - 7 mph and south westerly. So your choices of slope will be Rhossili, Mickey's at the Bwlch, or Meio Common.

But with such a light wind, is it worth the effort? Why not break out that electric powered glider and do some thermal soaring.

Sunday - It looks like being rainy until about mid afternoon with a variable wind but coming mostly from the north west at 10 - 12 mph. If the rain does hold off, you could fly at Rhossily, the Ice Cream Slope at the Bwlch, Abertysswg, or Meio Common.

Yesterday, Sunday's forecast was showing the day to be dry, so I was going to head up to the Bwlch, but I doubt I'll bother now, but I will ensure I have a couple of models charged up on standby, just in case the forecast is wrong.

A reminder that there is rugby on in Cardiff this evening, Wales v Ireland, so the roads are likely to be choked. I shall be in Cardiff watching the game on a big screen. Come on Wales!

Have a good weekend ya'll.

Happy flying.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

This months Featured Post

Hi guys - Check out this months featured post which is taken from March 2016 and written by Clive I believe.

This Sunday is looking like a possible flying day 😊, so check out the weekend forecast here tomorrow.


Friday, 3 March 2017

Flying forecast 4th/5th February

I'm just going to get straight into the forecast this week, no messing about.

Saturday - This is looking to be the best day of the weekend. A cloudy day with some light showers possible in SE Wales. Wind about 10 mph and southerly but veering very slowly during the afternoon to south westerly.

For a southerly, Back of Wrecker is probably your best slope although you could give Southerndown a try whilst the wind is coming from the south, then if you are at Back of Wrecker, take the long walk over to Mickeys when the wind turns south westerly.

Sunday - is looking like being a rainy day with a mostly westerly wind of up to 17 mph. If you do fancy trying your luck, Mickey's is the place to go, but the cloud base will probably be very low up there, or you could try Eglwysilan Common or Rhossili.

As for me, I have some chores to do on Saturday before I can do some more work fitting servo's into the other wing on the L213. Then I have an early start on Sunday as I'm running in the Newport Half Marathon.

And that's your forecast. Have a good weekend all.


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.