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Nov 22, 2016, 04:18 PM
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R/C Diary Pt. 34 “ Slope Soaring”

Nov 18/16

I think today was Fall’s last hurray! Gorgeous sunny day with record breaking temperatures reaching 21C! Oh Yay! The downside? Very strong southwest winds reaching as high as 40 + kms. Too high for regular soaring but just perfect for our slope soaring site! Our club is blessed to have a drumlin or hill running roughly in a west/east direction so winds from the south….south west or conversely, north…north east can produce excellent ridge lift. This site about a half hours drive north west of Hamilton, Ontario, is called the Westover Hill is actually partly owned by the Hamilton Conservation Authority and we lease it on an annual basis.

For some reason it’s under utilized by the members, so with this thought in mind my r/c flying buddy Terry and I thought it was high time to check it out.

We arrived around 11 am, parked the car and proceeded to make the rather arduous ascent to the summit up a rather steep & narrow pathway. The climb was definitely worth it, as the viewer is rewarded with a 360 degree view of surrounding countryside! We could literally see for miles!

At the top we met the club secretary, Andy M who was already hard at it flying is modified 1.5 M Super Gee Dlg. He was putting on quite a show with loops and rolls back & forth across the face of the ridge. Andy flew continuously for just slightly over an hour before he brought it back in…..a new record for him!

Next up, Dick C showed up with his 1.5 oz mini-radian! I’m thinking….no way that feather of a plane is going to survive this high wind! I was wrong! This is why I don't bet! He fired that thing up and threw it out into the wind! Too my amazement, it wasn’t blown backwards but managed to get into the ridge lift for an extended flight! Unbelievable! At one point he even managed to find some thermo lift further away from the slope of the hill which nearly took it out of sight! Pretty damn amazing for a little piece of powered foam!

Next, our vice president, Mike S showed up with his Sig Ninja which is specifically designed for slope soaring. He also put on quite a show & provided lots of excitement as he came dangerously close to the weed tops before pulling the ninja out of danger.

By 1:30 pm. the winds were diminishing and thus the lift was dropping off too….time to pack it in for the day.

Terry & I both felt that slope soaring could be a great way for newbies to gain some stick time providing there was sufficient wind. Now all we have to do is come up with the proper plane for the task. Obviously, not too large of a wingspan, low dihedral and of course ailerons, seem to be the main requirements for a successful sloper. We intend to come back in the spring and give’r a whirl!

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