Wednesday, 12 February 2020

A very sunny and bright day at Itford hill with friends from the Sussex Radio Flying Club (SRFC)

I met Nick, Robin S and Steve a member of SRFC at the car park and we took the long way up to the top of the hill. By the time we had reached the top Mark was in already in the process of assembling his gliders behind the tree line at the top. This little bit of shelter gave us some respite from the very cold biting westerly wind. We had blue skies, full sun and the visibility was excellent. So, leaving behind the sanctuary of the trees, flying began. We were joined later by Colin and Derek from the Sussex Radio Flying Club (SRFC).
We all had a very enjoyable time flying around in clear blue skies and I counted five SAS Wildthings on the slope today one belonging to me, Nick, Robin S, Colin and Derek had one each. Other gliders flying today was Mark's RCRCM Vector which flew really well in the blustery conditions and he pulled off a number of super landings. Steve flew his Wisper and Derek displayed a Chris Foss Phase 2 glider circa 1969. Robin S flew his Aztec well in the challenging conditions. I concentrated as always on landing practice and again ended up in a tree but with encouragement and guidance from others I did manage to improve my landing technique a little by the end of the session. After about two hours I called it a day as it was really cold and departed the slope along with Nick leaving behind the other guys who were still enjoying the flying. In summary, a really good flying day but very cold.
My SAS Wildthing again in a tree.
View across the valley.
Flyer's getting ready to launch.
The glider park.

Sunday, 9 February 2020

My first Mouldie glider

I thought I would make a start on a blog about my first mouldie, write a piece, add photos and spec of my model I ended up with.
After joining the club around October 2018, I started flying again after 12 years with a wildthing 46, which is a real confidence giving model to break me back in, I was hooked and after joining fellow member on the slopes, I got to see what had happened in the world of development of models over the last 12 years.

I was use to building a model from wood and too see these precision moulded machines was an eye opener and I knew I wanted one, one day.
So after watching the BMFA classifieds and chatting with Paul H I set myself a budget, I knew I wanted to start off with a second  mouldie, since a new fully kitted out model was out of my reach.

With Pauls input, he suggested I put a wanted advert out on the BMFA, here I was having a nightmare, I just couldn't  get myself into the system, even after help from the BMFA admin.
So I went to BARCS, within a day after placing my advert with my budget of around £300 I started receiving model offers.
Paul Kindly reviewed them for me and then fours days later I was offered, what I would of said was a gem, a 2.5m F3F moldie, fibreglass carbon reinforced and carbon wing, kitted out with servos ready to go, just add receiver in fantastic condition called a Big Bird.

Photos to follow and I love it, great colour too, red with blue under wing stripes.

I started back flying with Spektrum radio but was intrigued by Frsky and it programing options, so found a Taranis x9d + to try and with some help from Mark and Graham set to work programing the radio.

Story to continue, with photos, setups and flight report.

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Do you fly at The Long Man of Wilmington?

Slope Soaring at the Long Man of Wilmington in East Sussex

The Long Man is a well known venue for leisure and competitive slope soaring and works in winds from SW to W to NW to North. It is a scenically very  attractive location and is now a part of the South Downs National Park. All the flying slopes, and there are several of them, are on, or a short walk from, the South Downs Way, a national walking and mountain biking trail from Eastbourne to Winchester.

What many users of the slope may not realise is that slope soaring is only permitted under a licence granted by the landowner, the Folkington Estate. The other party to the licence agreement is the South East area of BMFA.

A quite substantial license fee is due each year which was mainly paid for by the South East Area BMFA, but because of the changes to the way Area is funded this is no longer an option.

BMFA SE will continue to be the licensee but all funding from this year will be provided by local clubs. These are the East Sussex Soaring Association ( and Sussex Slope Soarers ( Consequently, all model fliers outside of these clubs will need to buy an annual permit for £10. There are details of this on the BMFA SE website (

So if you want to fly at Long Man do join one of the local clubs or get a permit, Both clubs have very modest annual subscriptions.

The Long Man has been a slope soaring site for at least forty years and we all need to make sure that it continues to be so.

Ray Wells

Secretary, East Sussex Soaring Association

February 2020

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Windy day at Itford Hill Sunday 12th Jan 2020

A few of us ventured up Itford Hill today to fly in a strong wind. Estimated 35mph.
Scotty flew his Comet which went really well in the windy conditions, it still amazes me the wide envelope of wind speeds that this model can cope with.
Mark did a grand job of flying his ST Blaze (I think) with a lovely landing only to have the wind pick it up and flip it over after. No damage and it flew again.
Tony flew his Wildthing which was a real challenge in these conditions, they just don't seem to penetrate like Scotties comet. Tony kindly tested the landing in the tree approach for all and I am glad to say it worked (not recommended though). Again, no damage and she was soon thrown back in the air for another sortie.
I (John) flew my Strega with full ballast having made some changes to the elevator linkage. I am pleased to say it went well. This thing can really eat up some sky and does bring your heart rate up if pushed.
Rob Powell flew his Erwin and it looked superb slicing through the strong wind. Nice landings and no dramas here. Robs son James flew the Wildthing but again, struggled to make headway in the strong wind.
We did fly from right at the top today, it was nice to be out of the wind.
We all agreed however, that we prefer to fly from our usual spot by the small depression in the ground further down the hill which has now been officially named as "Hampshire Hole".
Looking for ward to the next sortie, hopefully next weekend.