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Old Aug 20, 2002, 11:55 AM
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Sweden (born UK bred Wales)
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Please help me assess slope

As you might have guessed I am a newbie on the brink of buying a foamie trainer.

Anyway, today I went out and did an examination of my local slope. I've never seen anyone flying there and it's not listed as a site. Since I do not own a car this location is my only option.

The slope is actually a huge man-made conical hill which was once used for skiing. It's 100m (300ft) high with slopes varying from vertical to a gentle slope. It has faces in every direction meaning that it should provide lift with any wind direction. Furthermore it's covered in high grass!

That's the good news. The bad news is that there are floodlights, pylons, lifts and overhead cables. Most of these are concentrated towards the top of the hill.

I'm wondering if I could fly half way up the slope where there are less obstacles. Is this possible from a lift/turbulence point of view?

Then I'm also curious about landings. I know that aircraft always land into the wind but that would mean flying away from the hill...?

Thanks in advance
Gareth
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Old Aug 20, 2002, 12:44 PM
Lifes 2 short, go sloping
colorado @ 5500feet
Joined Sep 2001
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You can fly half way down the slope or give the top a try as long as it won't get suck on the cables... as far as the slopes them selfs go you need atleast a 45 degree angle to get enough lift to fly, and the steeper the angle the better the lift. I fly on a regular basis at a slope that is 200ft tall 300ft wide and about a 55 degree angle and I have a great time out there, it is directly over a highway so it is not for the faint of heart!

Yes you can have alot of fun out there, be ready to be addicted to it.
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Old Aug 20, 2002, 05:40 PM
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Vinny, you might be surprised as how steep 45 degrees really is. 55 degrees is nearly impassible. It's steep enough that if you tripped at the top you may find yourself all the way at the bottom no matter how hard you tried to stop. That'd be a very steep ski hill. Most hills are nowhere near as steep as people think they are. The steepest paved roads in the country are usually no more than 12 percent grade, which is only 6 degrees of slope. You can certainly fly on much less than 45. We fly on a mile long earthen dam, who's sides are probably no more than 25 degrees. I DS my Nemesis on both sides of that dam.

What matters more is how much unobstructed space there is in front of the hill so you get smooth fast wind up the slope. Also you say this hill is conical. How conical? A totally round hill won't generate any usable lift because the wind will flow around it as much or more than it flows up and over. So you may find this little spot of lift, and if you fly 30 feet in either direction to the side, you get blown around the sides of the hill but fast. If each of this hill's slopes are generally flat, or the hill is a long distance around, then you should be ok. Flat sides are good. Bowls are best.

Stuff out in front of the hill that generates thermals is good too. Big parking lots, dirt lots, and so forth. If you fly something durable enough, the cables and stuff will be irrelevant.
You may enjoy flying from the middle of the hill more though. Often the lift feels fatter in the middle of the hill and you can fly higher over your head than you could from the top where the lift decreases and windspeed increases. Especially if it's a roundtop hill. Any hill with a sharp lip is best.

ian
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Old Aug 21, 2002, 06:40 AM
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A picture speaks a thousand words

So here is five of them!

The hill is more like a pyramid than a cone. It has big flat sides, even a bit bowl shaped in places!

Check out the piccies!









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Old Aug 21, 2002, 01:45 PM
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That last angle looks the most promising although
the trees will cause some turbulence if you drop down too low. Park yourself about 2/3rds of the way up the hill or higher with some wind blowing up there and fly away. The buildings and parking lots in the foreground should generate some thermals as well. If the wind's blowing straight up the hill and you feel it shift to your left, it's probably a thermal coming off the buildings headed up the corner of the hill. You may also find that the hill itself is a thermal magnet so you'll be able to ride them up over the point of the hill and take it way up. The trees at the bottom should be good indicators.

If it ever gets really windy there you'll want to get some ballast for your glider. Because the hill doesn't get steeper the lift probably won't be very punchy and a big wind will flatten the lift band a bit, so the way to handle it is with a glider that penetrates well. That means strapping some weight onto it.

ian
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