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The joy of slope

Why dont more peeps do it?

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Tim Mackey24/05/2011 22:01:10
20920 forum posts
304 photos
15 articles
We seem to get a fair few number of flyers on this 'ere forum who regularly complain about the weather being too windy to be able to fly, and they suffer withdrawal symptoms, or try to get their fix on a sim.
Can I make a serious and shameless plug for a spot of slope soaring.
I only came into this slope flying myself a few years back, but now I am completely hooked, and can honestly say that its something that I never thought I would enjoy. How wrong was I - and its a fact , that I have introduced many folk to it over the last few years, and every one to a man feels the exact same way.
So, come on you guys who live reasonable distances from a decent slope soaring site....get yourself up there one day, and see for yourselves just what makes this one of the, if not the, best branch of this wonderful hobby of ours.
andy watson24/05/2011 22:11:35
1942 forum posts
20 photos
I would give it a go, but it seems a bit of a pain to get started on.
Not the equipment- I even have a 2 channel glider ready to go, but the slopes etc. The slopes are in the middle of nowhere and difficult to find. It's hard to know which areas are best for flying in which winds. Once you get there is there going to be anyone there to show you the ropes? I presume there are significant differences to powered flight. It seems to me (although I might be wrong) that glider flying seems a bit more solitary than club flying, with people spread out along a significant length of ridge etc (I know I have read stories about the difficulties of frequency control on 35 Meg with gliders). I do like the social side of spending a day at the field.
I am more than happy to have any or all of these preconceptions refuted, but I guess that's why I have never got round to giving it a go.
Frank Skilbeck24/05/2011 22:32:43
4922 forum posts
114 photos
Andy, that's not the norm, slopers often stand together and launch each others models if required. It's usually quite sociable.
Unfortunately slopes by their very definition are usually away from the hubs of civilisation, but you are usually rewarded with very good views.
If you have a 2 channel glider, what are you waiting for.
The biggest differences with powered flight are
1) Less support equipment
2) No engine set up issues
3) If the lift is good, flight times are as long as you want
4) You learn that elevator controls speed
5) You learn to use the air
6) Your first landings will probably be a series of overshoots.
7) You will be scanning the ads for a higher performance glider
Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator24/05/2011 22:33:29
15748 forum posts
1460 photos
I can see the attraction, and the challenge - but for me there are five barriers:
1. I don't posses a glider - OK I could fix that.
2. I live in a part of the world where we get a nose bleed if we go over 200 feet! The Wirral is a very flat bit of sandstone stuck on to the west coast. OK, I could go to the Orme - but its 11/2 hours drive - the field is just 10 mins away. I can do a lot of flying in 90mins!
3. I love engines - honestly all gliders look to me like there is a "bit missing" An aeroplane without an engine is; beer without alcohol, strawberries without cream, Wise without Morecombe.
4. I'm frightened of heights! Seriously - I get dizzy looking at pictures of people on the edge of the Orme!
5. There are 100's of powered planes I'd still love to build and fly, more than enough to fill about 10 lifetimes! I'd still like to learn to fly aerobatics really well, to fly a scale schedule repeatably well, I've never run a petrol engine in a model but would like to try it, maybe even to have a go at a gas turbine. No time for introducing a whole new type of flying on top of all that!
So, on balance, I think I'll leave the slope to you guys and stick with me engines down at the field!
Gary Binnie24/05/2011 22:36:12
558 forum posts
64 photos
I do a fair bit of sloping as it's how I learned to fly RC.

Problem for me nowadays is the cost of getting there, Ivinghoe is only 40 miles from me and is a nice site but 80 miles at 25 mpg is getting on for £20. I could get a diesel but they charge more for that coz the cars do more mpg!!

It can be a solitary activity and I enjoy that sometimes but you can also meet interesting people and make lifelong friends.

Pilots generally should and do stand together, if not most well established sites use a peg board (it's a peg ribbon up Crook Peak, Somerset).

Crook Peak has a nice hotel at the bottom of the hill BTW, I have short sloping breaks there in March and October, leave the missus in the beauty parlour, fly all day then retire to the bar! All very civilised!!


Edited By Gary Binnie on 24/05/2011 22:37:27

Alan Cantwell24/05/2011 22:38:36
3039 forum posts
anything you want to know about local sloping Andy, just ask me, i was up on nonts on saturday, trying to get this cold blown out, quite a blow up there, there where easily the fastest flying models i have ever seen, nice slippy molded slopers, 2 scaleys, a big, all molded fox, and an ask26, about 20 models altogether, simple aileron elevator model made of wood, would have been great fun, had a great 2 hours, just wished i had had a bobble hat!!!
main thing about sloping is get warm gear on, and a good pair of goggles, or sunglasses, Andy, the only slopes i use are the ones that are not too far from the car bonnet, i dont do mountain climbing anymore,
if the wind is blowing E, NE, S, I have an easy access slope for it
Tom Wright 224/05/2011 22:48:36
3908 forum posts
297 photos
Some of my most pleasurable model flying was from the long mynd via church stretton quite honestly IMO it is by far the closest any one can get to the real feel of true flight love it .i moved house some years ago and that means a drive of nearly two hours to the pennines,as our local field is 4 Min's drive the practicalities win the day.
Tim Mackey24/05/2011 23:05:23
20920 forum posts
304 photos
15 articles
All good points, but to answer BEB ( who is the only "negative" so far ) as Frank has answered the general points that Andy made
1) Simple and cheap - no excuse as you admit
2) There are usable slopes closer to the Wirral than the Orme
.... you cant do ANY flying at the field 10 minutes away if its blowing 30MPH+ !
3) I seem to recall similar sentiments about electric flight a while back, and now look at ya!
4) Me too, but you dont stand so close as to even notice - honest. The Orme especially is shaped as such as to never actually impart a feeling of height.
I am not kidding incidentally, I wont even go in the balcony of a theatre, or up a lighthouse - I HATE heights.
5) Again.... none of which are possible in a strong wind! And that really my point - I wasnt just suggesting more folk should try it just because its so great - which it is - but to address the people who just love to fly model aeroplanes, yet are prevented from doing so because there is a bit of wind!
Phil 924/05/2011 23:07:03
4287 forum posts
257 photos
what ia a good model to start with (using a DX6i tx )
Tim Mackey24/05/2011 23:13:46
20920 forum posts
304 photos
15 articles
Wildthing of course

Edited By Tim Mackey - Administrator on 24/05/2011 23:14:00

Alan Cantwell24/05/2011 23:14:21
3039 forum posts
SAS Wild thing, standard span version,
i should have said, in mentioning the nont sarahs slope, it was gusting 40 plus, and it was BRILLIANT!!!
Tim Mackey24/05/2011 23:18:29
20920 forum posts
304 photos
15 articles
We spent 5 hours+ enjoying almost non stop flying in 50+ MPH today on the Orme.
Fresh air, great views, great company, great coffee and buns, and fly all day for free, no fuel, no charging, no fuss, no mess.
Turn up, park free, walk 45 seconds to slope, throw it off, and enjoy......

Edited By Tim Mackey - Administrator on 24/05/2011 23:19:22

Marty Ball25/05/2011 00:16:11
118 forum posts
I am one of Tim's deciples, Tim took me up the orme about 14 months ago.
I was a novice and was flying a Multiplex EasyGlider and with the wind at about 20 MPH Tim said, "Don't worry, just throw it slightly downwards" ...... well, it was a leap of faith and I had only had two or three fights of around 4 minutes at a time under my belt!
After about 20 minutes Tim asked me if I wanted to land. Land? why would I want to land? but being a nicotine addict I thought a fag would be good, so, Tim talked me down.
Later that same day I flew Tim's 48" Wild thing and was introduce to the rough and tumble of combat! Yes! .... After about 12 minutes of Field flying and maybe 60 minutes of sloping I was engadged in combat and I ain't had so much fun with my clothes on!
The only reason we went to the Orme was because there was too much wind on the field.
Now my 100 mile round trip to the Orme is much easyer because I've, in the last three weeks, upraded from my motor bike that I transported my models in big box strapped to the side, to a car.
Before my EasyGlider died, (ask Tim), I used the lift over a drystone wall ontop of a small slope (20m) up to a small field behind the house to make 20 - 30 minute flights so you don't need mountains!
As far as The Orme is concerned we seem to congrigate where the best lift is, and we enjoy a good social time even down to sharing coffee and cake, (even with visiting pilots ).
What model am I flying now? Well, the 48" Wildthing of course. Nothing to do with the model! I just liked the "'Stones" in the 60s ...............
RGPuk25/05/2011 00:59:05
151 forum posts
12 photos
Slope soaring? Recommended!
As long as you have some lumpy bits not too far away and / or can be bothered to use OS maps, XCWeather and travel a bit - it's brilliant flying. And it's flying that can be done when everyone else is sat around moaning about the weather.
Ok, I'm lucky to live fairly near hilly bits but I've snatched a couple of hours everyday since last Thursday, throughout this recent blowy stuff - from the dam wall at the local reservoir with Weasel, to trips out to the Moors with Luna and Wildthing.
The dog has a good time too.
PS. I thought The Troggs did 'Wild Thing'.

Phil 925/05/2011 07:08:10
4287 forum posts
257 photos
would it be a good idea to have a motor on your first slope model to recover it or is that missing the point.
a few at our club have zagi's
Phil 925/05/2011 07:10:44
4287 forum posts
257 photos
where can you buy a wildthing?
Zaidy25/05/2011 07:14:43
23 forum posts
10 photos
I got into gliding late last year thanks to Tim and Jem and it's been such great fun after being anti gliding for so long as my first few experiences have not been very successful.
I mainly fly heli's but this gliding stuff is soooo addictive I find it as enjoyable as helis if not more so some times especially during combat. We all stand together and some evenings you just don't want to go home
I started with a Bedlam, Zaggi (RIP after yesterday !) a Luna and a wild thing in the post and the downside is I have to glue the model together before I take it flying
Of course I look forward to good weather so I can fly power, but if it's blowing it's no big deal as I can go gliding and enjoy it as much if not more so.

get out there and enjoy...............
ken anderson.25/05/2011 07:34:08
8855 forum posts
820 photos
going along with Wot tim say's...anybody who hasn't had a go on a slope with a glider.....should give it a go.....i started 3 years ago and am now hooked also.......this is a view from the top of one of our hill's c/w 'rosie' our lookout.....

ken anderson ne...1.
Myron Beaumont25/05/2011 08:03:49
5797 forum posts
51 photos
Well I'm not being negative (unless that puts me in the same league as BEB) WHAT! Me?
I get the point of being something to do if it's really windy ,but it makes me think of powered boats & sailing boats where the opposite is true sort of -for me anyway to flying with engines..I've had both & soon get bored with powered boats whereas there is nothing better than a good blow in a sailing yacht to get the adrenalin working. I love the "fiddling" aspect of engine power ,in fact it's one of the most enjoyable aspects of powered flight -getting everything right in the end so to speak .To sort of contradict myself again,I just loved hang gliding when I lived in Cornwall -but still flew powered models (Bullet etc) .Now I'm in a bit of a quandry & have recently been toying with the idea of a powered glider since moving to the N Yorks moors .Plenty of slopes literally on my doorstep.The only snag is that it will probably have to be 'lectric.The reason for the motor ? Well there are a few too many trees in the immediate vicinity & would probably need the power to get me out of gusts & eddy currents ( ask Phil Claridge ) So -At the end of the day ,could someone recommend a suitable trad- build glider with electric power of a reasonable size -more like a thermal soarer type actually ?
There. I think I'm about to be converted Timbo.
Zaidy25/05/2011 08:38:02
23 forum posts
10 photos
I think a Blaze ST is a good powered glider and handles really well..

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