Good to hear you know Jougashima well. Please let me know here or by PM if you cannot locate them. I started to fly slope a few years ago at Isonezaki (near Futtsu in Chiba, the other best seaside slope by Tokyo bay) It is a bit too far for me to go frequently but it is like a heaven when I get a good condition.
You do not need expensive glider to fly slope. My favorite is R2Hobbies Speedo 1200 1.2m
. You can get it low price quick from Hong Kong R2hobbies here.
I fly only electric but planes are getting bigger. Flew up to 90 class, 8s pattern planes. Recently started multi copter which is very new. (not a heli but flies like it and easier to repair, can fly quiet in small space.) Thermal glider is also fun. You can buy or import 1.2m - 2.0m motor gliders and can fly at park or farm land (but soon rice field will have water... )
You are also lucky for indoor flight. This group is holding flight meeting regularly at school gymnasium around Zushi area. I know they are friendly people so you might want to contact them to visit and see.
Slope flight is not so difficult at right condition. Landing is always a challenge but it seems Jougashima has more space to land. Veteran fliers throw very expensive 3-4 m span scale gliders from the edge of cliff. I am not spending much there yet.
Starting from glider type of plane is a good idea. Pusher type motor glider such as Bixer should be good to learn. Many of my friends like Phoenix 2000
motor glider as a good low cost thermal/slope glider. You can get it from Hong Kong or at local mail order house about the same cost.
Good luck with Horizon hobby shipment. So you can save oversea shipping cost with FPO? I had a friend who grew up at Yokota AFB and heard about it.
Please feel free to contact me any time where I can help.
Originally Posted by raymer
Thank you so much for the reply! I guess we are just on the other side of Tokyo Bay from each other. I looked through your blog here and I was very impressed. Are you doing helicopters these days or do you still fly electric planes?
It is encouraging to hear that there are flyers in Japan even with the limited space and strong winds. I know Jougashima well - in fact I was just there a few days ago with my wife for lunch. I will search for the slope fliers you mentioned. Have you done any slope flying yourself? I had thought it might be possible here but I have to confess that flying over the ocean terrifies me because, so far, I have never had a crash-free flight :-)
I have ordered a Phoenix simulater / DX5e combo from Horizon Hobbies but they are very slow in shipping to me. They don't like the fact that I used a military address for shipping and my U.S. visa card has a Japanese shipping address. I hope they ship soon - I ordered on April 1st and called them yesterday and they still have not shipped. I want to start practicing on the simulator before I attempt to fly again.
Once I get good on the sim I will either attempt to fly on the farmland in Miura somewhere with a foamie trainer/glider like the Bixler. Or I might have to go micro and look for a gymnasium if there are no friendly farmers here. I don't think I'd better start off with slope gliding!
Thanks again for introducing yourself. If you are ever in this area please let me know.