Saturday, 30 November 2013

How cold was it up at Ditchling Beacon today?

A superb morning slope soaring up on the Sussex Downs, at Ditchling Beacon. A good turn out as well with 10 of us enjoying a somewhat chilly wind blowing around 13 - 15mph Northerly with a wind chill around freezing. Here is a gaggle of 5 Ninja's.

Any one got a good name for a gaggle off Ninja's?
Phil brought up with him a good selection of gliders and most notable was his beautiful Delta Lady which flew lovely and stable. also Phil maidened his very nicely covered Ninja (bottom glider in the gaggle photo above). Below you will see a little video of Phil's new models flying.
A welcome return to the 'King of Combat', Jack. He came up for a hour or so and continued to try and knock me out of the sky and succeeded on more than one occasion, my Ninja still has the battle scars to prove it.. Then Rob joined in and we had three Ninjas tanking up and down just feet above the hill side. Then there were four!
Four Ninja's (Tim's, Rob's, Jack's and Phil's) all buzzing Graham who stood there and took the video of the Ninjas in full flight. Brave boy Graham!
We were buzzed by the full size gliders getting lower and lower but also getting quicker and quicker. If you are Interested in what gliders they were and how far they flew, here's a link to the BGA Daily Scores site. Its gives the details of most of the glider X country flights within the UK.
A big welcome to Graham who we met just as we were packing up as he turned up after reading the blog. Hopefully we will get an opportunity to fly together Graham soon.
John buddied up with Graham for some Fusion flying and Graham also tried out my Ninja and did very well. Come on Graham get your finger out and finish building your Ninja!
One last video of Phil and his new Ninja breaking some sort of speed record. Phil climbs to a good height then dives to get some serious speed on then does a fly pass but manages to keep the wings on - Just! 
I know there are a group of guys going back up to Ditchling Beacon to fly tomorrow morning, if anyone wants to join them? 9.30am up at the Beacon car park.

Friday, 29 November 2013

National Trust flying rules

Hi all,
Just a quick reminder that the National Trust does NOT allow any powered flight on its property. Even though Ditchling Beacon is part of the South Downs National Park, I called the rangers recently for advice and was told that National Trust rules apply and that Lewes council administer the local bylaws for Ditchling. The bottom line is that we can only fly GLIDERS / SLOPE SOARERS, NO POWERED MODELS at all on this site.
Please help us keep our flying rights by adhering to these rules if you plan to come along and join us.
You are most welcome of course.
Many thanks Rob Stanley

Workroom finished

Hi All,
I've now finished my great new workroom - go to 'Model Workshop' above for details of the final works. Many, many thanks to Paul Hampshire and his colleague John who came over to help me put the benches and shelves together. They come from Paul's company Shelf Space Ltd.

HPH Shark - Slope Soaring the Sussex Downs

Here is an Interesting video on Nick Busvine taking off from Parham (Southdown Gliding Club) and completing a ridge run from Parham - South Harting - Lewes and back a few times. He flies a beautiful glider called a HPH Shark.

If you look closely you will see him soaring over Ditchling Beacon - can you spot us flying of gliders?

The HPH Shark has a jet power pack hidden within the fuselage. This is used as a self sustainer meaning when needed the tiny jet pops up from within the fuselage and provides propulsion and lift to keep the glider in the air and hopefully power it home. Very neat and efficient!

Do let me know if these sort of videos are of no Interest to anyone except myself?

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Brisk Northerly winds due this Saturday (30th November)

After the many great weekends slope soaring in Sussex over the last 4 weeks, this coming weekend looks to offer a repeat of last weekend fantastic flying. With good strong NNW - N winds (16 - 36mph) forecast for Saturday and lighter Northerly wind (7 - 9mph) forecast for Sunday.
I was looking at going to 'The Long Man' on Saturday but it looks like its swinging more Northerly now, so Ditchling Beacon looks to be on the cards (again). I will post again nearer the time to confirm the flying site details so clear your diaries for Saturday morning and come out and play. Maybe we could fly to the West of the car park this time and get out of the wind a little?

Monday, 25 November 2013

Time for a clear out?

NO! That's not what I meant - and you know it.......

I have added a 'Items For Sale' page. Its located within the main menu bar under the top banner picture.

The idea being if you have any RC related items to sell then send me what you would like to sell with a brief description and a price and we can advertise your sale items for FREE.

I can't promise you that it will sell but the more people put up items for sale here. the more popular its becomes and you hopefully will find suitable buyers.

Click Here  to send me your items you wish to sell.

No second hand pants, rusty commodes, false hips - you get the idea!

Also I wondered if there was a need for a 'Wanted' page?

I want a new moulded glider after pranging it - Again on Saturday but will I get one? Chances are slim!

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Great Morning at Ditchling

We had a brilliant turnout this morning at the Beacon - the early birds got there at 09:00 to be followed by others as the morning wore on. The lift was almost non-existent first thing but we managed to get the foamies and the Rivington Hawk airborne. Later the sun came out and started to give us thermals and then the wind picked up directly from the North and we got fantastic lift by about 11:00.

 We had - Rob, Paul, Tim, David, Bernie, Peter, Terry B, Terry and Kevin.

Thanks to all who came along to help, fly and generally make it a great time.
We also had 2 dogs came along !!


RC Model or the real thing?

Friday, 22 November 2013

Slope soaring this Saturday at Ditchling Beacon, Sussex

We have an established Northerly airflow with us for the next three or four days at least, so this is the time to wrap up warm and come out and enjoy some serious slope soaring (well not too serious) up on the South Downs.

We have a crowd of us going up on Saturday to fly at Ditchling Bacon starting around 9.30am for a few hours and a few others going on Sunday.

Hope to see as many of you as possible.

PS....Remember your thermals!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

A gentle Northerly breeze at Ditchling Beacon

Here is a video of us up at Ditchling Beacon in March 2013. The wind was very light and not enough to keep all but the lightest gliders airbourne.

Time to bring out the 20 year old Algebra. Two channel rudder / elevator model 120'' wing span and as light as a feather. Jack is seen here flying his Gentle Lady which is very similar to my Algebra.

With no airbrakes or ailerons on these gliders it can make the landings a little tricky as they float and float just when you want them to sink and land.

I am a big fan of large floaty gliders as they are gentle and slow to fly and show you exactly where the lift is when you find it of course....

This type of glider is plan built from a kit but there are modern equivalents available. I keep hassling Rob to buy the Seagull Pilatus. This has Ailerons and airbrakes and would make an Ideal low wind slope soarer and sold for a bargain price of £139.00 plus carriage on Ebay.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The Northerly Wind Blows

This weekend (Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th November) looks good for slope soaring with a brisk Northerly / North Easterly wind blowing all weekend.

This should mean some good slope soaring up on the South Downs.

Where to fly? It should work pretty much all the way along the Downs as the full size gliders will be taking full advantage off I'm sure.

To keep things close to most of us I would suggest we go and fly up at Ditchling Beacon (click for map)

I have sent out an email to most of the regulars asking which day of the weekend best suits you.

It will be a beautiful weekend up on the South Downs but wrap up warm and remember to bring your glove and goggles and your hip flask (just in case).

Hope to see some off you up at Ditchling over the weekend and possibly with the repaired Typhoon!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

A Story of Two Halves....

After the unfortunate coming together with my new RCRCM Typhoon and the ground due to an elevator servo failure. The repairs have come along a good pace this weekend.
The fuselage had completely broken in two halves with just the control cables holding it together.
With Tim's help the Typhoon will fly again. Firstly using epoxy and some small pieces of fibreglass cloth to stabilize the fuselage and give it some strength ready for fibre glassing. Then using pre cut pieces of glass fibre cloth and mixed fire glass resin, glass around the repair using 4 layers of class cloth.
 Here you see the fibre glass repair in its raw form without any rubbing down or profiling. Then out came the dremmel and Tim sanded down the rough fibre glass repair to leave a neat and smooth glass repair.
With a little more work the repair was then ready for spraying. A quick trip to Halfords and trying to match the blue finish up to a car colour, I found an old Vauxhall car colour 'Pastel Blue' and some grey primer.

Then onto the 'pastel Blue' top coat. Because of the weather and freezing cold garage, Each coat was followed with a heat up using a hair dryer. Here's the result.

Now with all the masking tape taken off. The colour is a little off but near enough to make a good job of the repair.

So thanks to dad (Tim) we have a fuselage repaired and strengthened and given that I was ready to chuck it the fuselage in the bin and buy another one.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Ditchling Beacon - A Day of Ups & Downs

A few of us braved the Northerly winds and headed on up on to Ditchling Beacon, Sussex for some November slope soaring.

Rob, Geoffrey, Tim, Peter and Me (Paul) met up on the slope on what was a most beautiful blue sky day for November. It started on a strange note both Rob & I having difficulty actually getting our Ninja's to get into wind and out into the slope lift. After several attempts we were up and enjoying the superb lift together with a fantastic vista.

We got Geoffrey up and away with his Spectre and I rigged my Typhoon and readied it for flight. With a nervous throw it was up and flying without too much trimming. Boy does it accelerate well! Tearing up the slope with nice aileron control and not at all twitchy. The landings where made so easy with the full range flaps. These cleverly linked to my throttle and can be increased or decreased with a simple push or pull on the throttle stick. I must have had four or five successful take offs and landings until the last one. It was a simple launch into wind. The glider pitched up and with no response to my full forward elevator, it  got thrown back with the wind and into the field behind. Bo';,;cks!! The model had gone in hard and cart wheeled breaking the fuselage nearly clean in two. Thankfully the wings and the tail plane survived but why did it do what it did? When I got back I plugged everything back in and the rudder, flaps and ailerons all worked but the elevator was dead. No movement from the servo at all. So all that I can conclude is that the elevator servo has failed or come disconnected from the receiver. The fuselage may be repairable with carbon fibre cloth and a skilled hand - dad! I broke my model again, can you fix it for me?. I'm sure it will fly again. It did fly lovely and stable. Rob had a quick fly around and did a sterling job with it until I snatched my transmitter back.
On a positive note, we had a lovely first landing from Geoffrey - Well done! and Tim had his maiden flight with his Ninja. It went well and was nicely balanced and  enough weight in it to push on out into the wind easily.

Tried my new wind toy thingy and it was reading 19mph constant with 29mph maximum gust.
We were joined by many full size gliders up on the Beacon today. One or two of them getting a little close for comfort. Yes, Mr Fritch in your LS8 (L4) I know you were one of them.
From Rob Stanley -

Here's Pauls glider before it succumbed to gravity -

Thanks Rob for the pre crash picture. The elevator servo had seized solid when removed from the Typhoon. It was a good quality Savox one as well. Tim's doing a grand job and has already got the fuselage glued back together and we just need to glass fibre over the break and we will be back in business. The Phoenix, sorry Typhoon will rise again over the Sussex country side.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Who's flying tomorrow at Ditchling Beacon?

We have a small group of people going flying at Ditchling Beacon tomorrow (Friday 15th Nov) around Midday. Anyone else coming along for a few hours slope soaring in Sussex.

Hoping to get my Typhoon moulded glider up in the skies.

Thanks to Peter Spragg for putting out a message using the 'Shout Box' letting us know he will be out sloping up on the beacon. That's what it's there for.......

Looks like this will be the only opportunity for slope soaring in the next three days as the weekend is likely to have light and gentle winds.

Looks like a perfect weekend to get down on the flying field but don't try and drive down the track. Park up and walk to the flying strip.

Pat Teakle ASW20 Scale Slope Soaring Glider

Here is a video of the beautiful Pat Teakle 6 metre Span ASW20. Flown down in Kent. This is another glider that I have flown the full size version off. This glider I remember having very flexible ' bendy wings. Any turbulence or if you pulled up in a thermal with any speed and the tips bent up higher than your head. This glider was one of my all time favourites to fly I flew the German version of the ASW20 as some later ones were produced in France. You could fly it in 15 metre or plug on wing tips and then you would have a 16.6 metre rocket ship. You could load it up with nearly 30 gallons of water, as it had wing and tail bags for water ballast. The more weight the more inertia you had when pulling up in to the next thermal or screaming along the ridge and 120knts.

I have a Pat Teakle 4 metre (1/4 scale) Slingsby Vega waiting to be finished. That should grace the slopes soon hopefully.

An ASW20 dumping water as it 'Beats up' the finish line.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Slingsby Dart 17R

As some off you know I used to fly full size gliders and over the year I have been fortunate to fly many types and from various club sites all around the country. I spent my early days flying K6E's, K18's, Pirat's and some flying in a Dart 17R owned by a good friend of mine, Les Merrit. It was lovely to fly with lots of room and flew very nicely. On one flight I remember flying out over the sea up at about 4500ft after soaring a classic sea breeze front. I might even have some pictures from that flight somewhere. Must dig them out!

I found this video of a 1/3 scale Slingsby Dart 17R and it took me back when I was younger and slimmer and flying the full size version. A British made glider, built up in Yorkshire by Slinsby Sailplanes Ltd from 1965. One of only a few wooden gliders to have retractable undercarriage and complete with a 17 metre wingspan. The glide angle was reasonable at 36 - 1. Les often flew 300Km x country tasks with his Dart 17R and continued for many years to get around a 500Km course.

Note the under carriage being retracted shortly after take off - very nice....

Monday, 11 November 2013

Now You See It- Now You Dont!

I found this video of Jack flying his SAS Wildthing over at Itford Hill, East Sussex last January.

One of those low wind days with low cloud forming just below the top. You could actually see the model a bit better than the video depicts but Jack assures me he was flying VFR at all times.....

How about some nav lights Jack. Stick a few LED lights on the tips. That might help.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

The Long Man Slope Soaring & F3F Racing

The Long Man & F3F Racing

We decided to try some where different to fly and decided The Long Man of Wilmington would be a good option in the predicted NW wind. The car park located towards the top of the Wilmington road proved to be packed when we arrived at 9.30.  It seemed a relatively easy walk up to the top of The Long Man probably no worse than the walk up to Itford Hill. At the top we were greeted with about fifteen pilots already ensconced in a little camp hidden in a hollow behind the hill. Jack and I went down and had a chat and found out that these guys had turned up to race their F3F high performance composite gliders against each other and the clock.

A course is created with flags over a distance of around 100m and the pilot flies through a start gate and then proceeds at maximum speed over ten laps round the marked circuit. As they pass each flag a beep is heard and then on to the next one. These things travel at a good lick with times around the 40 second mark being achieved for the 10 laps.

We moved on along the bowl to an area of gorse bushes, well out of the way of the F3F guys. Jack and I flew our Ninja’s and the Graham & Geoffrey turned up a little later. Graham flew his Fusion after topping up its weight with a few AA batteries for ballast. The lift was very good and smooth but the gorse in front of us wouldn’t have been the best to land in, so no combat today. It proved an easy place to land with plenty of wide open space behind you and with a definitive no lift area making landing fairly straight forward. Then we left Graham to carry on enjoying the lift, so Jack & I moved back down to watch the F3F racing.

Hidden out of the stiff breeze we watched as these beautiful sleek gliders sped past us at phenomenal speeds. These guys fly on the edge literally. Flat out and very near the edge of the slope. I really enjoyed watching them compete. Met up with Allen who organised the Ashdown Forrest x country comp.
I want one of these F3F machines but not sure how long it would last in my hands.
It was a lovely day out at this new slope to us. Here is a video of me flying my Ninja.

I have added a few pictures of some of the sloping group up in the gallery - Have a look!

Just to finish off here is Graham flying his SAS Fusion. 'Keep left and low Graham!!!!' You had to be there to understand.......

There seemed to be another couple of good looking bowls facing SW & W as well as NW. well worth the walk.

Sloping at The Long Man

First time at the Long Man for us today, what a great site.  About a 10 minute walk up the hill similar to itford, couldn't of been bad Paul wasn't puffing!  Fantastic weather once again, Paul can fill you in on the detail with his new gadget, typical man and doesn't read the manual so pushing every button to try and change it to mph but with no joy, read the instructions yet Paul?

When we got to the top we where surprised to see a large gathering of f3a models taking part in a competition which was great to watch.  Great bunch of guy, very accommadating with our little foam models. I think Paul got some video which I'm sure he'll put up.

In all a good mornings flying and another new site ticked of the list.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

How Low Will You Go? Slope Soaring Firle Beacon

Another video loaded up on you tube of me, Jack and Rob (plus Navid taking the Video) slope soaring up on Firle Beacon, East Sussex.

A very windy January day. You will notice all the ski wear and transmitter mitt.

Jack & I playing the old time classic slope soaring game - How low can you go........

Firle Beacon is easy to get too and you can park up on the top of the hill in a big car park. Simply walk along to where the RC gliders are (away from any Paragliders or hand gliders). Its a great place to fly with masses of space and an easy place to land. It works in a NNW - NNE wind.

Here is a link to a map of how to get to Firle Beacon in East Sussex.

This flying site is well worth a visit.

Friday, 8 November 2013

How about 'The Long man of Wilmington' ?

I have been looking at the weather for slope soaring on Sunday morning and I don't this Jack & Jill is on (as Slope Hunter says it doesn't work is a NW wind but in there slope finder page is sais it does). Rob pointed out at Wolstonbury we might get an Issue with parking, so with this in mind I would like to go and give The Long Man of Wilmington a try.
It does mean a walk up the hill (like Itford) but its a slope I and I think a lot of you haven't flown at before and its nice to try something new and it should be a cracking slope to fly from.

It is forecast to be another blow 14mph and gusting 30mph so add on 5 - 10 mph to that....

So who's up for slope soaring up at The Long Man on Sunday morning?

Meet up about 9.30am for a few hours of flying.

Map of The Long Man

And here is a page from the guys at ESSA website with a few pictures of where to park

I know Rob & Jack are going to join me and Graham was going to try and come along - Anyone else?

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Slope Soaring this weekend (9th & 10th November)

After the success of last weekends slope soaring up at Itford Hill, Sussex in the gales, I am hoping some of you will come out and play this coming weekend?

Looking at XC Soar weather it's showing Saturday to be wet at times and the wind being all over the place and Sunday being brighter and drier with NW - NWN turning WNW winds and a lot lighter than last weekend but still 8 - 15mph so up on the hills it should be another 5mph more.

If the wind stays as forecast then it could be a multitude of slopes.

Do any of you guys want to try any new slopes to go slope soaring on in Sussex?

We have Jack and Jill or the NW facing slope at Wolstonbury and the The Long Man (all new slopes to most of us) and the old faithful Itford Hill all these hill are within Sussex

Click on the links below for a detailed location of each slope:

Jack & Jill Map:

Wolstonbury Map:

Long Man Map :

Or If all else fails and it goes NWN - W we could go and fly at Itford Hill: Map for Itford Hill

For me, Sunday morning works better and looking at XC Soar this should be the best weather.

Pleas let me know if you can make it and I will confirm by a blog on Saturday to firm up the details.


Slope Soaring Sussex

Skywatch Meteos Handheld Wind Meter

Having enjoyed the benefits of Davids anometer up on the hill at Itford last weekend, I thought it would be a very useful tool to have on a regular basis. So I have splashed out and bought one.

The Skywatch Meteo offers:

  • Windspeed
  • Average Windspeed
  • Maximum Windspeed
  • Temperature
  • Windchill Factor
  • EL Backlight
  • Waterproof
  • Floats (if it floats away we are in trouble!)

  • I thought it might be a good idea to record the wind speeds and temp during our flying sessions and then I can include this info when I right up the flying reports for the blog -  I know I'm a anorak!


    Slope Soaring Sussex

    Wednesday, 6 November 2013

    Sussex Indoor Flying

    I know it's a little off track but a lot of the guys who come out slope soaring with us also come along to our Indoor flying sessions held every two weeks throughout the winter months from October through to April.

    I have compiled a blog just to focus on Indoor flying and Indoor flying planes.

    If your Interested here's the link to the new blog;


    Slope Soaring Sussex

    Tuesday, 5 November 2013

    Flair Albatross 100'' glider

    If any of you out there are Interested in building a lovely 100'' thermal soarer (floater) then one has appeared on eBay.

    Would make a lovely glider for those really gentle days up on the slope or could be used on a bungee to fly from the flat. Here's the link if anyone fancies it :

    If anyone does want to bid on this glider then please let us all know. We don't want us bidding against each other - Do we Rob?


    Slope Soaring Sussex

    Sunday, 3 November 2013

    Major Surgery - Don't look

    Here are some disturbing pictures of my Ninja undergoing major surgery. The news is all good !
    She lives to fly another day with new digital servos , some fresh solder and a LOT OF TAPE !


    Slope Soaring Sussex

    Silver lining

    However, I ran down the hill and sprinted back up (not) with my trusty Fusion which did very well.
    Thank goodness I took 2 models.

    Opps - My poor Ninja

    Anyone Seen My Ninja?

    Boo Hoo ! As you've heard I took my eyes off the Ninja for 2 seconds and it was literally gone !
    Jack and I went down the hill and Paul went up - to find it in a distant field. It's easily fixed, but for now it's feeling rather sad.
    Both servos stripped, one pushrod broken and one servo nearly came out ! Both wingtips came off.

    Gusting 51mph!

    I thought I would add some video from up at Itford Hill today. As you can see from Jacks post below, We had a super time with everyone managing surprisingly well with a strong WSW wind blowing.

    The walk up the hill nearly killed me and I was totally shown up by Rob and Dave walking up the steep part of the slope and Jack and I took the long winding route to nearly the top.


    Here are the guys and there models. 1 x Phase 6, 3 x Flywings Ninja's and 1 x Flywings Spectre.

    A huge 'Well Done'! to Dave Wilson for his superb flying in what was a gale and this being his only 2nd or 3rd slope soaring session ever.

    What else happened?

    We had a disappearing Ninja that just vanished in to thin air and later found hiding in a far field. Jack knocking me out of the sky with a fantastic head on impact. Unfortunately, took my aileron push rod off and I ended up in the top of a small hawthorn tree. Rob walked all the way back down the hill to his car to get his SAS Fusion and then walked all the way back up and then proceeded to fly it very well in difficult conditions.

    Me and Jack tried playing silly beggars but the wind coming from the south meant you shot along the ridge line one way and then turning back into wind the Ninja's came to a virtual stop. Ending up with Jack doing the walk of shame a few times to collect his model.

    Great company, great weather and superb flying, thanks guys......


    Slope Soaring Sussex

    Itford Hill Sunday 3rd November

    Good bit of flying up on Itford hill this morning with Paul,David,Rob and me.

    Weather was great nice and sunny and winds ranged from 30mph up to 50mph at some points which made launching your own model a challenge.

    I took Pauls ninja out with a great hit (10 points to me) but that knocked his clevis off so had trouble launching as you would with only one aileron and ended up in a tree. Sorry Paul ;)

    What ever you do don't take you eyes of your model, not even for a second. Rob did and when he looked back his ninja had done a disappearing act! 


    Slope Soaring Sussex

    Friday, 1 November 2013

    Rob's New Hobby Room

    Hi all, I've been working on my new hobby room all day - I've cleared the space previously, but today I spent painting it white and started to lay carpet tiles on the bare floorboards.
    See the picture for an idea of how it's going..

    Should be good for making many more models - plus of course I've ordered workbenches and shelving from Paul Hampshire !!1

    Commenting on post's

    If any of you guys want to comment on any blogs posted you can easily.

    Look at the bottom of the post you want to comment on and you will find the Authors name and a message like this: No comments: h

    Click on the 'No comments' and this will open up a comments box. Write your comment here and it will be displayed within that post.

    Give it a try!

    Any problems then give me a call or email me


    Airbus A380 Slope Soaring Video

    Following on from my post below about the Windrider Airliner slope soarers. I found this video clip of some A380 slope soarers supplied by Windrider.

    Go on Rob - You know you want to.....


    Slope Soaring Sussex

    Windrider Boeing 737-700 Slope Soarer

    Finally made my mind up and ordered something different to fly on the South Downs - A Windrider Boeing 737-700 (glider version). Its currently somewhere between Sussex and China but Its on its way, probably sitting in customs!

    With a 1.9m wingspan and made of styro foam it should make a lovely scale slope soarer.

    It comes with a huge choice of decal sets of most the worlds major airlines. I have chosen British airways as its my favourite airline (keeps Bill M happy too) but it was a close call with Easyjet. The bright Orange fin of Easyjet would make it very visible in the sky. There you go Rob - There's a good excuse for you to buy one.

    Windrider offer a good selection of airliners for sale - 777, 787 and the mighty Airbus A380

    These seem very popular with the electric guys who put EDF in and add lights and retracts.

    If your Interested I will try and add a build thread?