The Llandudno Flyers

A small group of intrepid SMFC flyers ventured up the Great Orme, Llandudno over the weekend of 11th /12th April to try some slope soaring. One intrepid biker (me!) followed to keep an eye on them and learn how to soar on the slope!

Day 1 (for me!) was to be Sunday 12th when I was told that many flyers would be there with a eclectic assortment of slope soaring craft. I got there at 14:30 to see what was going on –

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So – not much happening then!

Apparently the word had gone around that it was too wet and windy for the intrepid flyers. Winds had been measured at over 100mph – and it was raining!

So, I set a satnav route to my hotel and set off. Got to the hotel and removed my soaking bike gear and had a shower.

The band of SMFC flyers eventually got in touch that evening thanks to some sterling work by Campervan Dave who apparently hacked in to Adrian’s phone and found my mobile number! The wonders of modern technology. (Or is that just extremely lack security on the part of Adrian?)

So – at the planning meeting that evening it was decided that the following day would be much better. Thanks again to Campervan  Dave and his weather forecasting phone! Sustenance was taken and everyone eagerly looked forward to the morning.

The next day, Monday 13th April, I went back up the Orme and met a couple who seemed intent on flying something-

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The weather, as predicted by Campervan Dave, was much better. In fact it was so calm at one stage that many thought sloping would be impossible-

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To cut what could be a long story a bit shorter, it turned out to be a great day. Much flying and retrieving was done and the weather stayed fair. The wind did increase during the day. In fact some saw fit to wear eye protection-

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Others, despite their apparent skills with a phone,  were still trying to work out what to do with a transmitter-

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There were some near misses – a stone wall will have to be rebuilt after Adrian ran through to retrieve a model-

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Some spent every available moment sloping!

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Others just wandered about aimlessly-

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All in all it was a great day! My thanks to all who helped make it so! I thoroughly enjoyed it!

The Long Mynd

Barry and I went on a day trip to the Long Mynd to try slope soaring from the Pole Cottage site.

It was extremely windy, XC Weather says it was 29 to 38 mph, it was also quite cold, but we gave it a go.

The video is record of one of my flights, it is quite short mainly due to me loosing my hat to the wind just as I launched and as I said it was cold.

Trip to Llandudno

A few of us went to Llandudno for 3 or 4 days to do some slope soaring on the Great Orme.

We had to take pot luck with the weather it is one thing there is no control over, I arrived on Sunday afternoon to find that conditions where just right (for me anyway), and the short video was filmed then.

Monday started off quite well the wind had moved to SW so we had to move to a new site, just up the hill not far, I got a flight in early on, but the wind soon picked up and became quite strong making launching difficult. However Robert and Adrian enjoyed the conditions and a few flights.

Tuesday was the opposite of the previous day, being calm with little wind, however the sun shone making it a nice day. Fortunately we had brought along some power gliders which were flown in these light conditions.

The last day that I was there, Wednesday, the wind had picked up again, very strong first thing again making a launch difficult, my Wild Thing suffered damage due to a bad launch and now needs a dose of looking at. After an hour or so the wind speed dropped, but it had moved to the SW again so it was back up the hill, launching now was quite easy but the wind speed quickly increased but as I was already flying this wasn’t a problem, that is until I let my plane get behind me. I was flying my Weasel now which is quite light and would not penetrate the strong wind making it very difficult to get back to the cliff edge and so the lift. I had to land it and had a long walk to pick it up.

This is a photo of our “camp”,

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PSSA Meeting on the Great Orme

I read that there was to be a meeting of the Power Slope Soaring Association (PSSA) in April so Adrian and myself decided to go and have a look and hopefully get some slope soaring in ourselves, this is a short report on what we found.

The meeting was held over the weekend 12/13th April, we arrived Saturday afternoon the sky was overcast and the wind very strong, a westerly. I felt a little disappointed at first because I thought the conditions to be unfavourable for flying, this was true for me but it didn’t stop the PSS guys.

Two things impressed me on this first day, firstly the quality of the model build, most of the PSS models are scratch build from a plan and are made using balsa, ply wood which are then covered with Solarfilm or just painted, the attention to detail was exceptional and many hours spent on the finish. The other thing that impressed me was the flying skills of these guys, the landings in particular were nice to watch.

The weather on Sunday was the same as the day before, although the wind was not so strong at first, so I decided to give it a go, Adrian launch my Wild Thing, it took three attempts before I got it right, there was a strong rotor at the top of the slope which I found difficult to cope with, but once through it and into the lift the flying was good despite the strong winds. The landing was ok with no damage done, this gave me a bit of encouragement. However as the day went on the wind speed increased again, they were measuring 57 mph at the edge of the slope, so I chickened out.

We stayed on till the Monday where we had the slope to ourselves, although we were joined by a local model flyer, the wind had eased off but had moved around to the north, the local guy showed us the best place to fly from. Now for me this was the best day, the sun was shining and the wind not so strong, if a little chilly. We both got several flights in, the wind speed got less as the day passed but this enabled me to switch models and fly my Weasel.

I have posted some photos, these are mostly of the PSS models, the others were taken on the last day.

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