Llandudno May 2017


The weekend started on Friday for most that were there, as I was one of the campers the first thing to do was set up camp.

Once done we headed for the Great Orme where we met up with Robert and several other model flyers who were also there for the weekend, hailing from Northampton.

The weather was overcast but the sun showed through sometimes, as the wind direction was northerly we flew our models from the “tank track” site but overlooking the café.


Saturday morning arrived and I was invited to Twilton Manor for a bacon sandwich, but upon entering the vastness of the tent I quickly became lost and so unable to find my sandwich found my way out and had to go hungry.

It rained for most of Saturday morning so we stayed in camp, it stopped midday so we went to the slope, there were even more flyers there as those that couldn`t make it on Friday arrived including Adrian.

“Here what you looking at”                        Photo credit: Steve Bowdler

The wind had become a south westerly so the more landing friendly site could be used at the “tank track” location.

Photo credit: Steve Bowdler
Here is Barry doing his best to be small, so that “Twilton Manor” would seem to be even bigger!!   Photo Credit: Steve Bowdler

Conditions were good for flying and a good time had by all.

Sunday was the best day of the weekend for flying with almost perfect conditions for most of the day, the wind moved around to the south during the late afternoon and eventually became unflyable from the “tank track” site, but by then most had already left.

Photo Credit: Steve Bowdler

I think these are Barry`s feet, maybe he is still being small

Steve`s dog Megan spent the morning looking for rabbits and eventually caught one which she would not let go of, and was a source of amusement to everyone.

Photo Credit: Steve Bowdler

For me Monday was spent packing up and travelling home, after a very enjoyable weekend, my thanks to all who came and to the Northampton group who were most friendly, also to the locals that joined and gave advice.

Here`s looking forward to the next trip.













Cornwall 2016

After visiting St Agnes Head earlier this year and doing a little slope soaring there I came away thinking that it was a great place to fly, so I thought I would suggest a club trip down to Cornwall for a few days.

Three of us drove down there on the Sunday, the rest followed the following day.

Day one, Barry, Adrian and myself decided to travel on Sunday, we all arrived at about the same time but as Barry and me were camping we had to put up our tents before meeting Adrian at St Agnes Head. The wind direction was good and we had a good couple of hours flying from the cliffs.

100_0003 (640x360)

This was our campsite after Steve and Campervan Dave had arrived.

WP_20160905_13_22_42_Pro_LI (640x361)

Sunday afternoon flying.

Day two, the wind direction was still westerly so we spent the day at St Agnes again, waiting for the others to arrive, Mike Leek was first followed by Steve Bowdler, then Robert and Mike Payne who were travelling together.

The wind was quite strong so I decided to erect my small wind break in the hope it would provide some shelter, which it did at first but slowly the wind speed increased and the shelter couldn’t take the strain so it was taken down, or to be more accurate screwed up and stuffed into it`s bag.

IMG-20160905-WA0005 (640x384)

Day three, the wind today had shifted around to the south so flying at St Agnes was out, instead it was decided that we travel to Dodman Point on the south coast, after miles of narrow country lanes and single track roads we arrived to find the coast covered in sea mist, only Robert and Mike Payne were brave enough to fly. The rest of us just watched until boredom set in and we left them to it, this was a little unfortunate as an hour or two after we left the mist cleared and Robert and Mike had a few hours of clear conditions.

100_0005 (360x640)

St Agnes Week 2016-5 (640x426)

Back at the campsite Steve and me thought we would have a go at flying our DLG`s, mine broke after the first throw, Steve was a little more successful the only thing was he lost it on the other side of the hedge that surrounded the camp site, after trying to find a way around to the other side Steve thought to climb over/through said hedge, plane rescued he had to climb back.

Day four, Wind stayed southerly but had moved around to the east, so it was back to Dodman Point, we had found a better looking site to fly from the day before also a shorter route to walk from the car park. Once again the dreaded sea mist prevailed, but the better site encouraged more of us to fly, it was very misty and visibility poor but we flew foamies as best we could, there were quite a few collisions and crashes as we were all flying quite close to each other.

100_0010 (640x360)

However by early afternoon the mist lifted and we had quite a decent afternoon flying,

100_0011 (640x360)

100_0016 (640x360)

The last day was spent back at St Agnes Head, the wind direction was good at the start but slowly moved more southerly as the day went on so by late afternoon it become more and more difficult.

However there were several of the local flyers there and they turned out to be a friendly bunch, lots of story`s were swopped and advise given.

I was a bit dubious about camping but I quite enjoyed it, the thing about camping is that there is always something that has to be done so you are kept busy, a large tent and comfortable bed is a must though.

I think everyone enjoyed it, and we will have to do it again.

PSSA Meeting Great Orme Sept 2016

The PSSA organised a mass build this year the subject chosen was the Sky Hawk, last weekend was the day when all of the models were presented and flown.

Steve Bowdler decided that he would like to build one and here are a few photos that were taken at the great day of judging, as you can see the standard was high.

Sky Hawk Great Orme-1 (800x532)

Time for the maiden, Steve told me there was a good blow so plenty of lift available

Sky Hawk Great Orme-3 (800x532)

Sky Hawk Great Orme-4 (800x532)

Sky Hawk Great Orme (800x530)

Steve took his model down to Cornwall with the intension of doing the maiden flight there, but the conditions were just not right for it.

I took the opportunity to photograph it, here are my pictures so you can see Steve`s model in greater detail, I think you will agree it looks smart.

100_0012 (640x360)

100_0013 (640x360)

Thanks to Steve for letting us share his photos.



Leckhampton ” A Vagabond dies”

Subtitle: You take out two models but return with only one.


Barry suggested we go to Leckhampton, which is just south of Cheltenham, to try out the slope there. The slope is listed on the Slope Soarer guide as usable with a north to north-westerly wind, which as it happened was the wind direction for the day we went so all set and off we go.

Barry brought along his light glider (the name of which escapes me, new brain needed), also a larger similar model of his own creation and the famous “Nobby”, I took along my Wild Thing and the Vagabond.

There is a walk from the car park to the slope, we guess about 3/4 mile, but it is level, you can`t see the slope until you are on top of it the footpath being quite wooded and there are quite a few trees and bushes around, as it turned out they were not a problem.


100_0002 (800x450)

The wind speed was averaging about 12 mph when we arrived and the lift was not bad once away from the edge, and several sorties were made, as the day went on the wind speed dropped and so the flying became more difficult.

There is a nice landing area behind the slope, quite large with the odd bush here and there, however it is a popular place for walkers and their dogs so waiting for it to clear could be a problem, not to bad today but at the weekend it would be more difficult.

100_0004 (800x450)

Barry and his new creation (you can just about see it if you look closely), it flew very nicely I think he was quite pleased.

To explain the subtitle; my Vagabond has always been a pain to fly I just can not get it set up as I would like it.

The problem is with the C of G, I had it to far back, so I started to adjust it bit by bit. We were losing lift by now but I persevered, and found myself flying below the ridge line, I know, I thought, with a little speed and using what lift there was I should make it back up,… wrong my poor Vagabond is now sitting all alone half way down the cliff face.

Of course our old friend Hindsight suggested afterwards that I could have landed at the bottom of the cliff,… we does he always say that when its to late.

Well never mind.

We both enjoyed our day at Leckhampton, with a stronger wind it would have been better.

I made a video using my Wild Thing so you can see what it is like, nice views of Cheltenham.

Orme weekend May 2016

It started when Adrian invited our slope soaring gang to have another go at flying under Llangollen pier.  Adrian, Mel, Dave, Chris, Scott, Steve-B, Mike and Tony and a sprinkling of the fairer sex met up at the Great Orme Ski centre on Saturday lunchtime.  We could not detect any wind but the forecast of a 10mph Easterly tempted us to walk up to the slope.

There was just enough lift for ultra-light discus launch gliders but flying was much easier for those who could use electric assist.  It could be a bit scary to chuck a glider over a precipice and out over the sea – Mel provided a maiden launch of Steve’s wing.

Going Gone

Landing is difficult on this slope due to small undulations and rocky outcrops but most of us avoided serious damage.


We all retired to our accommodation to prepare for a pre-booked visit to Romeo’s for an excellent Italian.  Colin had been on his way home from a motorbike tour round Scotland and diverted to join us for the meal and stay to watch the next day’s flying.


Sunday started calm and damp but eventually blossomed into a good day for everybody else.

Boys and their Toys

My Libelle DLG seemed to be right for the early morning light air until competence was overtaken by too much confidence.  A couple of clumsy manoeuvres at the dodgy left side of the slope took the model below the height of the cliff.  I recovered to stable flight but could not find any lift to get back up.  Eventually the model went out of sight and I left it to its own devices.  While I headed off to check beside the under cliff road, my beautiful butterfly (Libelle is German for butterfly) came back into sight from the top.  If the tide and wind had been right, I might have met Adrian’s challenge of getting under the pier, but instead it looked like Dublin next stop.

Missed the pier Llangollen Pier

I could have been tempted to lock my other models in the car but as the wind picked up I joined the rest in some great flying with plenty of

Contemplation Concentration Relaxation

Most of the gang went home at the end of the day but Adrian, Mel, Dave and Tony stayed for another morning.  More sun and wind gave a great morning, including a spectacular flight from Adrian’s 2.5m mouldie and a maiden for Tony’s Wild Thing.  We had a visitor who couldn’t make up his mind whether to fly himself or just hope for a free ride.

Free Ride

He eventually walked off in a huff when we tried to insist he joined BMFA.


If any other members are interested in slope soaring please get Adrian to put you on the circulation list for trips to the hills.


Tony Cundy

Sloping and floating off the Great Orme.

I stopped off at the Great Orme on my way back from a bike trip to Scotland to see a hardy bunch of SMFC slopers, and I was glad I did!

On Sunday 8th May the weather started damp, but gradually improved throughout the day to such an extent that when I got home I was chastised severely for not applying any form of protection from the sun!

However, on to the sloping!

First the participants assembled as per instructions:




Dave was planning to fly a new (old) model he had just completed! He was given ample support and encouragement by all, including Adrian who was to be test pilot for the maiden flight!:



Eventually, after much procrastination it was time to fly. Again help was on hand , and after some concern about the flexibility of the wings, the model was thrown in to the sky:




Where it flew rather well!



To say Dave was happy would be a massive understatement!



However, despite his massive experience, the test pilot was rather put off by the multiple announcements of ‘RSSI Critical’ which kept being issued by Dave’s transmitter. Adrain had never heard anything like it in all his flying days, and therefore was keen to get the model back to land where the problem could be investigated.

The model was landed undamaged, no small feat on the rocky surface of the Great Orme, and the best minds on the Orme offered more advice and guidance to Dave who was rather perplexed!


















Despite all the skills and experience available to Dave, his model didn’t fly again that day!
















In the meantime, Mel was quietly going about his hobby with the usual enthusiasm:P1030333


Later in the day, an observant flyer noticed that Tony had wondered off on his own somewhere.



Apparently he had lost sight of his model and had gone off to look for it .

Some time later there was a cry of ‘There it is!’ followed by many hands pointing towards the sea!

Sure enough, the model was spotted in the Irish Sea and appeared to be making its way around the headland!


P1030340 P1030343 P1030341 P1030342


Despite Tony describing his glider as a ‘floater’, I’m sorry to have to report that currently there have been no reports of further sightings. We will have to assume the worst!

Another enjoyable day’s sloping with SMFC!

Thanks to all!

Haresfield – A Breeze!

Once more a band of intrepid SMFC slopers braved the elements and this time travelled to Haresfield Hill on Monday 25th January 2016 for a spot of time wasting slope soaring.

To say it was a bit breezy would be to slightly understate the case. For example, Campervan Dave volunteered to launch Le Fish for Adrian:

Haresfield 250116 (2)

He was given clear instructions about where to launch, in which direction to chuck it and where he would end up if he didn’t get it right!;

Haresfield 250116 (3)


Campervan Dave trudged off to the appointed place to attempt a launch, battling against the breeze all the way:


Haresfield 250116 (4)


He steadied himself, braced against the breeze, and was about to launch (notice the lost headgear!):

Haresfield 250116 (7)

When a sudden gust caught the underside of Le Fish’s wing and:

Haresfield 250116 (6)

Campervan Dave went fin over wing and ended up on the ground.

However, Campervan Dave doesn’t give up easily and aided by a band of helpers, eventually managed to get Le Fish airborne:

Haresfield 250116 (5)


Proper ‘seat of your pants’ flying – well, launching at least!


Great day! Thanks to all who made it fun!

Trouser flapping day at Haresfield

We thought it would be nice to visit Haresfield Beacon last Sunday, the forecast said the wind would be 16 to 24 mph and southerly so off we went.

Well it was a bit windier than predicted, Barry looked at the data from the weather station at Cleeve Hill which is just a few miles to the north and that said it was blowing 40+ mph.

Here is a short video of Barry braving the wind.

We found a small hollow which offered some protection from the wind

Haresfield Nov 2015

Mr Warrow arrives at the hill,

Adrian 2015

The day ended well though, we decided to go for a pint down in the village.

A Game Of 2 Halves

This last weekend Mel and Adrian organised a trip to the Great Orme in Llandudno for a bit of slope soaring.

As novice soarers, Scott and I joined the trip to get some flying hours in, although we would be going only for the Saturday and Sunday where Adrian and Mel stayed for an extra day.

The weekend certainly was a game of 2 halves. Saturday after sitting on the M6 for rather longer than anyone would want to, we arrived to find a wind swept Mel and Adrian enjoying themselves on the Orme. This was one of the new planes that Scott and I bought, the Wraith (mine didn’t fare so well)

but then as the weather closed in a little we headed back to the B&B for the night


The next day the wind was very light from the south east, we went up the mountain, but there just wasn’t enough wind to fly anything really, certainly not novices like me.


We will leave it to Colin to describe what he is doing here


Mr Adrian did explore the area with his bird of time trying to find any lift. Keeping with the post this is also in 2 halves…

But didn’t find any.

So we found something else to do:

All in all a good weekend, so thank you to Mr Adrian and Mr Mel for organising the trip and thanks to Scott and Colin for making it such a fun weekend.

Two Mynds!

MyndAfter thinking that slope soaring was difficult because getting to the slope was time consuming, I find that I have been tempted up the Long Mynd twice in a week!



The same hard core of intrepid soarers from SMFC that tempted me up the Orme (In my last posting!) also tempted me up the Long Mynd.





WhatOn the first visit, Friday 22nd May, the slope was shared with a rather large group of other soarers with some rather large gliders.

Although at times there was some uncertainty as to what they were doing up the Mynd!



planesMel2The SMFC corner was well guarded by Mel, who took the opportunity to reprogram his transmitter.





It wasn’t only Mel who needed to make adjustments-d2





Adrian decided that the half brick he had inserted into the nose of his Sabre which he bought at an (WI?) auction was a bit much.sabre2

However, despite many efforts to get it airborne it was determined to return to earth in a most un-Sabre like way.








On the next visit to the Mynd (28th May) the weather wasn’t quite so bright, but the wind was stronger, which is good apparently, and there weren’t as many people up the slope. However, there were many more full sized gliders in the air, as the Midlands Gliding Club further along the ridge was having a Vintage Glider Club Rally. At one stage there were 12 gliders in the air at the same time. Quite a sight.
Not to be outdone, Adrian decided to take out another house brick from the front of his Sabre, and with another sturdy launch from Campervan Dave it actually stayed up in the air!P1020782 It flew very well and looked great in the sky!Flying Sabre



I don’t know what the gliders from the Midland gliding club thought about it, but they seemed reluctant to come near after it flew!

Flying conditions stayed good, although the wind was quite cool at times. Much soaring was done, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. I certainly did! Thanks to all who helped make both trips such fun!

P1020790 P1020786