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Slope Soaring - I love it!

Old 01-03-2012, 07:31 AM
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aeajr
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Default Slope Soaring - I love it!

When I left the house it was about 34 degrees and wind was forecast to
hit about 19 mph. That is a little windier than I like to fly on the
flat field, so I headed for the slope.

On go the thermals, the winter flying gloves and a supply of hand warmer
packs go into the flying bag. Those warmers and be such a wonderful
help if you get cold but want to keep flying. Ihave flown at 7 degrees and
20 mph winds with a warmer pack in each glove, each boot and the pockets
of my pants. So nice and warm. Toss one in a cooler and you can keep'
your spare batteries warm too.


Tossed the Radian and the old Easy Glider Electric (speed 400) in the
car along with a Zagi and a hi-start. I don't normally use a hi-start at these
temperatures but it was supposed to hit 40 and I would not need a lot of
punch at this site.

I always bring several planes when I go flying.I go to fly and the
trip to the slope site takes an hour so Ibring an assortment so nothing
keeps me grounded.



When I got to the slope the wind was in the perfect direction but was
not as strong as forecast, maybe 12 mph. And it was very smooth.

At this site, the lift is on the other side of a stand of trees, as you can see in the
photo below.I am on the topof a ridge and the trees are down a hill below me,
about 100 feet away from me.I need to either hi-start, zip start or use a motor
to get to the lift zone. The speed 400 on the Easy Glider electric is pretty
weak but it is fine for slope soaring as I only need to get over those trees.

I pulled out the Easy Glider electric, gave it a burst of motor to get over the tree
line.I did notuse the ballast rod I brought and it turned out that I did not need it
all day.A couple of clicks of down elevator was all I needed for these wind
conditions. If it had been gusty or bumpy Iwould have popped in the ballast rod.

That Speed 400 motor is pretty weak but it has enough to get the plane
out to the lift and is a greatsafety net if Iwere to get into trouble. I hate getting
planes out of trees.

First flight was105 minutes and 2 phone calls long.Thanks goodness for hands free
head sets that let you fly and talk on the phone while you fly.


One of our club members stopped by to join me.He flies thermal but
he has never flown slope, to the best of my knowledge. Sincehe is a
competent thermal pilotI handed over the radio and he got his first taste
of slope soaring. The Easy Glider is not very aerobatic but for a first slope
experience, a few loops andzipping round theskyit is just fine.

At one point we had 4 hawks slope soaring with us. I have had hawks attack
my planes at this site, but today they were just enjoying the lift with no signs of
agression.

This is a large site with a big grassyarea so you can just slide it in.You can land
composite and woody ships if you know how. I have had some of my 2 and 3 meter thermal
woodies here with great success.But the turbulance can be pretty strong in the landing area.

My friend wanted to see how we land on the slope so brought it down explaining the
value of foam when landing at the slope. If the turbulance grabs you ... well foam is easy
to fix. I joked about "single use foam planes". Turned out we were able to reuse this one
after the first flight.

Second flight was about 35 minutes and that seemed about enough. Ihad been
there for 3 hours and myhands were getting a little cold. Overall it had been a
afun flying day and I got to give my buddy a taste of slope soaring.


Sorry you were not there to enjoy it.

Been slope soaring lately? Let's hear about it.

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Old 01-04-2012, 02:51 AM
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Default RE: Slope Soaring - I love it!

Great write up aeajr - flying in those conditions certainly adds a further level of challenge. I don't get that level of extremes where I fly as it's sub-tropical where I live in NZ and winters are pretty mild and produce some good blows. It's the middle of summer here now of course so pretty toasty most days. I was out at the beach the other day and had a brilliant afternoon in tremendous Slermal lift. Slermal lift is a combination of ridge lift and thermal lift. The beach at which I was flying is made of ironsand and, when the tide is out, over a 100 metres of beach is exposed. The heat from this, combined with the slope lift of a 250' ridge, boosts the gliders up to over 1000' above the beach.

I strapped a HD key chain cam to my Cobra and made a vid which shows the fun we can have with the strong lift at this site.

http://vimeo.com/34328258
Old 01-04-2012, 05:03 AM
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Default RE: Slope Soaring - I love it!

That is a BEAUTIFUL slope site and one beautiful plane.    Great landing area.   I will have to find a reason to come to NZ just to fly that site.
 

Nice job of mixing ground and air footage.
Old 01-04-2012, 08:48 AM
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Default RE: Slope Soaring - I love it!

Lucky dog! Wish I had access to a good slope area.... [&o] My Prufling would be perfect for it!
Old 01-11-2012, 06:25 PM
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Default RE: Slope Soaring - I love it!

I miss slope soaring. I used to fly all over SoCal. Mostly Torrey Pines and Lake Hodges, but just about anywhere there was a good slope with few obstructions. I taught myself to fly a Bridie Soar Birdy off a slope overlooking the 15 freeway, and never stopped until I moved to Iowa (talk about flatland.)
Old 01-12-2012, 07:18 AM
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Default RE: Slope Soaring - I love it!

cfircav8r

Did you guys ever engage in slope racing? From what I see that seems to be something like pylon racing.

I don't know if we have the locations here to support it but it looks like fun.

Anyone ever try this?

F3F - Slope Racing - They seem to be flying a timed course.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZ9ziVHei84
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6sLTE7l2EM&feature=fvsr
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0Lax...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rO9k40bCSSA



Old 01-12-2012, 09:22 AM
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Default RE: Slope Soaring - I love it!

I tried it a couple times, but just never had the desire to get into fully. I mainly did the fun fly's and thermal duration at some of the inland sites. I did have a blast with a kit bash of the Hobby Shack Ridge Runt. I wanted to prove it was a good plane so I added about 1/4 inch to the front of the ailerons, rounded the fuselage and put the largest battery I could fit in it. It flew beautifully, and I won best box stock. It wasn't a yank and bank glider but it was smooth and graceful and would thermal with a little skill. We also started selling a lot of the kits after that. Unfortunately it still didn't save the kit.
Old 03-12-2012, 10:35 AM
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Default RE: Slope Soaring - I love it!

Anyone else flying slope?

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