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Old Dec 23, 2012, 04:17 PM
sikeston mo
Joined Apr 2009
368 Posts
new to slope soaring

Hey guys i'm new here i'm wanting to get in slope soaring. I fly thermal and powered sailplanes. My first sail plane was a ventus 4 meter from soaring usa flew it for 5 yrs and then finally crashed it. But i live in southeast missouri no mountains just hills. During the spring and mid summer i get a lot of wind off of these hills . They produce something that gives me a little flying time but those hills are barely 50 t0 60 ft up at the highest point and it slopes. I went out today with my upstar plastic sailplane i took out everything i could to lighten it up but it still weighs 25 to 30 ounces real heavey got one 3 minute flight out of it and wind was 15 to 20 mph. Was out there for 1 hour and i think total got 10 minutes flight time rest was walking and climbing .So i guess what i'm asking is HELP. What type of plane would work for light lift small hills and how do i actually stay in the lift .The plane kept wanting to dive or balloon up or just didnt wanna turn.I was looking at the zagi thl and was curious if anybody has one and if they are worth the money. Flown wing before and like them owned a couple of ritewings. I love every aspect of sailplanes and this wonderful hobby just wanna learn how to expand my horizons..
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 04:52 PM
Just Toss It !!!
MATIN's Avatar
United States, CA, San Diego
Joined May 2004
6,200 Posts
My advise is to find someone in your immediate area who already slope soars and can show you the ropes.
Trying to figures this thing out by yourself as a newbie is daunting.
You will spend a lot of time and money and energy without much satisfaction.
You'll eventually figure it out, but there are better ways.

Just as an example, I fly off of a slope that's 20 feet lower than yours and in winds 10 mph slower. But it has the right orientation and shape. How can I tell you what to look for in the slope/hill? I'm not sure.
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Last edited by MATIN; Dec 23, 2012 at 05:08 PM.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 08:06 PM
sikeston mo
Joined Apr 2009
368 Posts
thank you for replying honestly there isnt anybody that i know of i might half to go out of the area to find someone
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 08:09 PM
sikeston mo
Joined Apr 2009
368 Posts
actually here is a video of the area that i'm flying it is maybe high line wire tall and as you can see it is really sloped but here you are is the vid i did there
spillway flying (4 min 21 sec)
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 09:06 PM
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rockbus's Avatar
Carlsbad, CA
Joined Sep 2004
4,855 Posts
Looks like the spillway has a very shallow slope. 15-20 mph at our local slope is rare and we're stoked when we do get winds like that. Look up videos for Dave's beach, this is our local slope Matin talks about (I think). Its 40 ft high and has a kick at the lip that pushed the wind up. Its about a 40 degree slope. We can fly foamy wings in 6 mph. The best lift in light winds is right on the lip with in one wing span or closer.

I think you have plenty of wind. Wait for winds normal to the road and fly parallel to the road to stay in the lift band. Dont fly too high either. maybe fly eye level.

But best to find a local sloper as Matin recommends.

Good luck.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 10:03 PM
Just Toss It !!!
MATIN's Avatar
United States, CA, San Diego
Joined May 2004
6,200 Posts
Well a couple of things you can do before sending me a ticket to come learn you.....:

1. Change the title of this thread to "Missouri Newbie Needs Help" or something like that to get the attention of slopers in your area.

2. Click on the "Maps" button on top of this page and see if there are any slope sites near you that you weren't aware of. (some of the UK forums map the location of slopers in addition to the slopes....I wish!)

3. Find out the shortest weekend road trip that would get you to spend some time with slopeheads that are dying to help and inspire you.

4.Look for hills that are at least 40 feet high, with 40 degrees slope angle, are at least a few hundred feet long and free of wind obstructions (trees suck!) and show up when the wind direction is no more than 10 degrees perpendicular to the edge with at least 8 mph velocity.
5. Find a glider with the wing loading of 5 to 10 ounces per square inch, preferably with ailerons and indestructible!!!

6. Be patient and persistent .
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 01:09 AM
United States, CA, Auburn
Joined Oct 2010
391 Posts
What Matin said! And take the part about trees seriously. They can really kill an otherwise great slope.
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 02:18 AM
Silent Flight
Twyl's Avatar
United States, CA, Cypress
Joined Jul 2005
3,951 Posts
I think there is a group of guys who fly near St. Louis, might be worth checking them out. I'll post a link if I find one.


EDIT: Hrmm.. I guess that's a 2 hour plus drive... n/m

EDIT2: After watching your video, I'd say your slope would work fine with some lighter models such as an Alula or Weasle. It is also quite possible that the 15-20mph winds you were having were actually blowing out the lift, meaning they were so strong they were going directly over the slope and not producing lift by pushing up it. You might do better even with your same plane on a lighter day
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 02:51 AM
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Hawk I's Avatar
United States, CA, Cerritos
Joined Feb 2010
112 Posts
Perhaps a sailplane with a folding prop, R2 Hobbies, Passer, or similar type of plane.
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 05:29 AM
Rosscopk's Avatar
Aberdeen Scotland
Joined Jul 2009
204 Posts
It doesn't matter if you don't find anyone to help you, just watch enough youtube or the Vimeo slope soar channel and you'll sus it with your experience - I self taught as a complete RC noob with an easy glider which will float around in most winds above 8mph if it's direct to the slope you described... With a motor up front as a safety net as I fly over the North Sea mostly.
Watch videos of the landings especially and watch the bad ones - they'll teach you more than the good ones.
If you're ballooning then stalling as described, it sounds like you're flying like you know from the flat field... You want to keep the plane moving fwd, not trying to float or gain lots of alt in light wind. This is important at launch, get away from the lip and try to get some speed up, performing simple turns away from the slope. Push the nose down slightly when flying across your slope to 'sail' the plane i.e. transfer the energy from the wind.
I find on some smaller slopes, the lift zone can be most reliable just above head height, and out about 10-20ft... All slope dependent of course but just since you asked.
I still fly my easy glider despite having mouldies so I wouldn't think it would be a waste of money as a learning tool and beyond, despite your experience.

Enjoy your lone sloping, like me, without the risk of mid airs! Good luck
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 10:52 AM
characters welcome!
Mark Wood's Avatar
United States, CA, Bear Valley Springs
Joined Feb 2000
26,794 Posts
And stay off the elevator! In this part of the hobby it is the brakes. It won't help you to climb. That's what airflow over the planes airfoiled wing is for.
Forward motion is your friend.

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Old Dec 24, 2012, 05:05 PM
slopepilot's Avatar
United States, CA, Beaumont
Joined Dec 2007
3,326 Posts

now empty your pockets, congrats, you are now a sloper
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 05:37 PM
Ask me about VTPR
oldscooler's Avatar
Joined Aug 2002
2,147 Posts
Here is a good article to mull over. Good luck and happy soaring.

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Old Dec 24, 2012, 08:11 PM
taggrrr's Avatar
Kona, Hawaii
Joined Sep 2007
273 Posts
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 10:48 PM
cityevader's Avatar
United States, CA, San Jose
Joined Mar 2012
3,311 Posts
Maybe a $70 Alula from
Yup, the exact opposite of your former plane!
Having the window opened to a new style of flying can be an eye-opener! Depending on wind direction, one could slope soar off a hand toss along the "open water" shoreline trees.

Edited: BTW...perfect choice for music!! The old-timey feel of the music/video were coupled absolutely gorgeously, IMO.
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Last edited by cityevader; Dec 24, 2012 at 10:59 PM.
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