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Posted by surfimp | Oct 11, 2017 @ 05:36 PM | 31,083 Views
I haven't updated my blog in forever, so here's some of what's been going on.

I got a Dream-Flight Ahi...

Dream Flight Ahi Slope Aerobatics Glider (3 min 0 sec)

...and took it to the French Alps, where I met François Cahour, the godfather of slope aerobatics...

François Cahour - Troll at Col du Joly (3 min 38 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by surfimp | Aug 13, 2015 @ 06:01 PM | 34,670 Views
Nearly 41 and still skateboarding. It's a lot of fun!!

Posted by surfimp | Aug 11, 2014 @ 09:58 AM | 36,914 Views
Meeting Point (2 min 56 sec)

Really nice video produced by Noisy Skies of France. When P-A told me he was going to visit, I was stoked to host him. The result is really beautiful, and I think captures the Ellwood flying experience in a nutshell. Super cool
Posted by surfimp | Apr 22, 2014 @ 05:19 PM | 40,754 Views
I've been using PicaSim (and SSS prior to that) for over a decade now and it continues to get better and better.

Its modeling of slope soaring is second to none, in my opinion equal to Aerofly and vastly superior than RealFlight and Phoenix (both of which completely ignore gliders for all intents and purposes).

Although the graphics are not as snazzy, the flight modeling is excellent and Danny Chapman, the developer of PicaSim, works very closely with experienced pilots to get things just right (ask me how I know )

In fact the aerodynamic simulation has gotten so good I am able to successfully practice "Madflight", a style of slope aerobatics wherein the elevator (and sometimes rudder) is capable of 180 degree rotation, allowing a Lomcevak-like flip around the pitch axis.

Here is a quick video I did showing how to replicate a classic move by Benoit Paysant-Le Roux with his Madslide glider.

Bottom line: PicaSim is the best simulator for those interested in slope soaring and especially hardcore slope aerobatics practice, hands down.


Studying the Masters: BPLR's Mad Snap (1 min 15 sec)

Posted by surfimp | Mar 07, 2014 @ 08:27 PM | 40,376 Views
Posted by surfimp | Jan 29, 2014 @ 01:01 PM | 37,805 Views
Surf has been good lately! Yewwww!

Photo by Mike Hamer.
Posted by surfimp | Dec 17, 2013 @ 07:17 PM | 37,865 Views

Been doing a lot of surfing lately - it's quite fun!!

Posted by surfimp | Mar 10, 2013 @ 12:48 PM | 39,587 Views
Wasabi Precision Aerobatics Practice (3 min 22 sec)

Fullscreen recommended

When I'm not flying my Le Fish down at the beach, I enjoy flying my Wasabi and Voltij up in the mountains. Getting video of the latter is difficult unless I've got someone along to film, but I tried an experiment - inspired by Ian "Daemon" Frechette - setting my GoPro Hero2 on "Narrow" Field of View.

I'm not totally stoked on the results - we just have to fly too far away up there for this method to work - but it's better than nothing, and considering it's been six years (!!) since my last precision video I decided to share.

Hope you enjoy,

Posted by surfimp | Feb 02, 2013 @ 07:49 PM | 41,177 Views

Dawson Henderson and I have been collaborating on a wiki project meant to help support all the Le Fish builders out there - Le Fishipedia

It's meant to be a one-stop shop where new builders can learn about Le Fish, get guidance on what style/weight of build will best suit them, etc. Basically we're trying to help people avoid having to wade through thousands of pages of forum posts to find this important info. It's still a work in progress... it always will be

So... check it out! And enjoy!

Posted by surfimp | Nov 12, 2012 @ 02:47 PM | 40,378 Views

Posted by surfimp | Nov 05, 2012 @ 06:41 PM | 40,929 Views

Flying the ultralight Le Fish through a stock-in-trade Ultrabatics maneuver, the inverted wingtip drag to half roll out.

Next to me is Alex Hewson of New Zealand, reknowned for his DS skills (including DS aerobatics with a modified Le Fish).

Photo by Dave Garwood and sequence composited by yours truly.

Posted by surfimp | Oct 29, 2012 @ 02:24 PM | 40,488 Views
Super fun trip to Greens Peak, Arizona over Memorial Day weekend with Dawson and Swiss Peter.

Alpine UltraBatics (10 min 7 sec)

Posted by surfimp | May 01, 2012 @ 05:10 PM | 42,304 Views
UltraBatics is short for “Ultralight Slope Aerobatics” and refers to 3 or 4 axis aerobatic gliders that are ultra-lightweight, ultra-maneuverable, and ultra-durable. Hence, UltraBatic.

The UltraBatics movement started here in Santa Barbara, California in the summer of 2011 and is now spreading around the world. UltraBatics is the product of collaboration between myself Steve “Surfimp” Lange, “Swiss Peter” Richner, and Dawson Henderson of Flagstaff, Arizona.

Combining ultralight building techniques perfected by Peter with my Le Fish aerobatics glider design and Dawson’s innovative Henderson Pulley, we were able to create ultralight versions of the plane that were less than 1/2 the normal weight, allowing a radically new style of extremely close-in, low altitude flying in very light lift. These planes are fully aerobatic in as little as 6-8mph at a decent slope, but can also fly in 20-25mph and thermal, too.

UltraBatics gliders – “UItraBats” – are generally constructed from EPP and/or Depron foam, are covered in lightweight yet very durable laminating film, use minimal carbon fiber spars for reinforcement, and generally have wingloadings in the 4 – 6 oz/sq.ft. (12-20 g/dm^2) range. Some of the most radical examples employ Madslide-inspired horizontal stabilizers, controlled by Henderson Pulleys, which are capable of 180° rotation. This allows them to do radical filp maneuvers in the style invented by Benoit Paysant-Le Roux.

UltraBatics is takes inspiration from...Continue Reading
Posted by surfimp | Apr 26, 2012 @ 09:24 PM | 41,371 Views

Posted by surfimp | Apr 04, 2012 @ 02:11 PM | 41,321 Views

Posted by surfimp | Mar 13, 2012 @ 10:33 AM | 41,587 Views
"No, you are not dreaming and this is not pure fiction: with a little practice and sometimes a few tubes of glue, we get the desired result."

- Eric Poulain, from his article about the Excalibur VTPR glider in Looping Magazine
Posted by surfimp | Mar 08, 2012 @ 05:43 PM | 41,654 Views
I decided it was time to once and for all provide a concise, to-the-point introduction to VTPR aerobatics flying.

Based on a question posed by grfcon in the Slope forum, I created an info-rich response including a summary of the history and development of VTPR as well as a bunch of videos.

All of this is available via any web browser here:

Ultimately this might develop into its own standalone site, who knows. But at least we've got it all in one place, with one easy to remember name!

Next time you're out at the slope having a go of it, and some asks to learn more, you can just say:
"Check out!"

Posted by surfimp | Feb 29, 2012 @ 01:49 AM | 41,404 Views
UltraBatics California Style (4 min 15 sec)

Clips from this video were featured on the TV show "right this minute":

Posted by surfimp | Feb 16, 2012 @ 05:18 PM | 41,735 Views
Ellwood Mesa Onboard Cam (3 min 10 sec)


Posted by surfimp | Feb 07, 2012 @ 10:44 PM | 41,966 Views
Blade mQX at the park (1 min 34 sec)

I've been bitten by the quadcopter bug hard courtesy the dainty little Blade mQX. Never have a flown an aircraft which has so thoroughly impressed me; it's like a radio controlled hummingbird.

I'm already looking into a "nano" FPV system for it, and am eying a larger quadcopter frame for hardcore FPV rotorizing. This is getting serious, and I LIKE EEET!