Glenluce and Galloway Flyers
Sloap soaring tips
This hints and tips guide is an attempt to help newcomers avoid some of the pitfalls we experienced when we started off a few years ago. If you are new to slope soaring but can already fly a 4 channel powered model, you should pick it up very quickly. If you have the right slope and the right wind conditions, you can easily keep your model flying for as long as your batteries hold out. So, here is the first tip. Make sure your flight and Transmitter batteries are fully charged just before you go flying. It is a bit annoying to find that you are on top of a hill with great conditions and your batteries are flat with the charger in the car at the bottom of the hill! There are really only two or three main ways to launch the model successfully. Note the word successfully! In you are new to it, it is much better to get someone to launch for you, particularly if it is windy. Hold the model by the nose and trailing edge and push it out and away from you gently in a slightly nose down attitude. There is absolutely no need to throw it with all your might! It is more likely then to get the wind under it and disappear at great speed over your head and bury itself behind you! Please make sure that there are no people directly downwind of where you launch. Getting a smack in the face from a ballistic out of control Zagi in not great fun! If you have to self launch, and if the wind isn’t too strong, you can hold the model by the trailing edge in one hand and push it out gently or just let go. If it is windy, you can grab it by the nose, back of the hand pointing into wind and at shoulder height, launch it out with a sort of backhanded flick in a slightly nose down attitude with the wings as level as you can manage in the buffeting wind. This takes more skill and practise. Once airborne, concentrate on keeping the model pointing into wind and let nature do the rest. The model will gain height very quickly in a decent wind because its glide angle down is less than the air rising up over the slope. A word about model set up. Follow the guidance in the instructions about control throw. Set your rates and exponentials for rates on and off. For cruising you don’t need much movement, about a cm or so in either direction to start off with. But, for combat you need about 30 to 50 degrees or so with about 30% expo. to stop it from being too twitchy. If you have too much movement, this effectively acts as an airbrake as you twist and turn. This slows you right down and it is possible to stall out. However, there is usually enough wind to allow you to quickly recover. You can control the penetration into the wind with your elevator trim. The model will be very sensitive to elevator trim. Too much “up” and it will just sit there making no headway, or it may rise all the while coming back towards you. Too much “down” and you won’t be able to gain height. You are looking for a trim that will allow the model to both gain height and still be able to penetrate enough to move forward. The next step when you have enough height for comfort is to start feeling out the model by zig zagging in a series of S shapes along the front of the slope. (You should have the comfort of the ten second rule that means nobody will have a pop at you until you’ve had ten seconds to gain height.) Don’t turn down wind! If you turn downwind close in to the slope, the model will very quickly pick up a lot of speed and disappear away behind you. It is then very difficult to work it back upwind and out over the slope again. The model will almost certainly be forced to land on top of the hill behind you. Immediately behind the face of the slope, the air is very turbulent with downdrafts and wind sheers that will toss the model around. There is not as much lift and the model will glide or be forced down. The lift from a good slope like Craig Caffe extends out for a very long way, almost until you are flying right over Loch Ryan and you can even fly well below the level of the hill top and still easily be able to gain height again. (This is just as well because if you had to walk down the hill to get your model, it is pretty steep and a looong way down!)It is worth noting however, that if you are at this stage and just weaving around infront of yourself, someone (not me, definitely not me!!!) is VERY likely to have a go at you! This will probably take the form of diving at you from higher up and further out. The more sneaky approach is to make the dive away to the side, build up speed and come at your victim from low and fast before he sees you! It is up to you to get out of the way as best you can! It is better to learn in the heat of combat through the school of hard knocks. You very quickly learn what to do to survive and stay airborne! You opponents will be trying to hit your model on a wing tip to knock it off balance and hopefully force you to the ground or out of control enough to make you lose a lot of height atleast. We don’t howl from a dive straight through somebody’s model! We’re not trying to break or damage somebody else’s model! (But it CAN happen!)It is worth noting that sometimes unofficial “alliances” creep in and you could find yourself being set upon by more than one person at the same time! This is more likely to happen to you if you pose some kind of a threat or have been successfully attacking others and those others want you dealt with! It can be really funny to see the hunter become the hunted! This is just as likely to happen to you if you “do not engage” and think that you can just mince around keeping out of everyone’s way! (It’s like birds pecking the weakling!) Sometimes people will try to stay out of trouble by going for height. The problem with that can be that if you can get up there, probably the people you are trying to get away from because they pose a threat, are skilful enough to get up there too! It is harder to hit anyone at height because it is harder to see and judge distances. When you are beginning, it is likely that more experienced people will ALWAYS seem to be able to get above you. You will probably blame your own model and think that your opponent has got a better model than you etc, but it is more likely that he just has more experience of making his model fly more efficiently with less control input to upset it. You will soon be able to match the better flyers and they will have lost their advantage! Another thing to consider carefully is your colour scheme. Try to make it bold and easy to see in the heat of battle. Make your model unique and easily distinguishable. (There are lots of red and yellow Zagis in the world!) It is better to make top and bottom completely different so you can quickly tell what way up you are as you twist and turn. We have had numerous occasions when we have each “flown” the wrong model, laughing when somebody tears off downwind and crashes only to find that that was our model and that we had been “flying” the wrong model for several seconds before the crash. Ballast – Zagis will fly quite happily in winds of about 10 mph off a decent slope. This is OK until you get to about 15-20 mph. Above that, they really do benefit from adding ballast to make them penetrate into the wind better and allow them to cover a lot of sky at speed. When we first started we were taping batteries etc. onto the top, anything to add weight! These fell off after every crash. We soon settled on a great method, pioneered by Dougie Gray, to make our own moulded lead ballast that could be added or removed in seconds. Dougie’s idea was to pour melted lead into different sized table and kitchen spoons. (Don’t tell the missus, it will ruin the spoon!)This produced tear drop shaped weights that we simply bore and tap with a 6mm bolt and bolt this through the model over the cg. Build in a wee ply square with a 6mm hole in it into the bottom of your model under the cg before covering. Bore this through to the top and attach your threaded lead ballast. We found that a medium sized table spoon was about right for most conditions. This really does make a difference. Without ballast, you will have no chance on days where the wind is over about 15 mph. For racing, the ballast really comes into its own. However, if you are just starting it is probably best to avoid using ballast for various reasons including the safety of others and yourself! I hope these few pointers might be of use to some people. We are looking to get up Craig Caffe which is between Cairnryan and Stranraer, as soon as we can from now on Saturdays mainly. We would strongly recommend coming to Craig Caffe for your first attempts if you are new to slope soaring because we know that this place works and works really well. You can’t go wrong and there will be people to help if you need it. Keep you eye on the forecast for Saturdays. We are looking for Westerly winds of atleast 10 mph. If it is about 20 to 30 mph directly from the west you will have a brilliant day! We can also fly in North Westerly and South Westerly winds and at a different location in Easterly and South easterly winds. We normally head up around 11 a.m and take our lunch with us. (Please respect the farmer’s land/ fields etc and close all gates and take your litter home.) To check if we are “ON” please call either Alastair (01581 300433) or Richard. (01581 300292)We should normally know by about 10.00 a.m. what the weather is doing and whether we are going or not. We don’t mind a few rain showers and usually shelter until they pass and fly between showers. If you wear glasses, bring something to wipe them and a pair of shades is also a must as the Sun creeps round low towards the West. I would recommend a pair of fleecy gloves and / or a Transmitter cosy, particularly as we get further into the winter. We usually wear waterproof jackets and trousers with a woolly hat and hiking boots or wellies for the Farmer Giles’ amongst you! Don’t forget your sandwiches and a flask of soup or tea/ coffee! The walk up the hill approaches from the side and isn’t too demanding. It rises up gradually over sheep grazing fields and only takes about ten minutes. If you are reasonably fit you will have no problem. Don’t forget things like spare Zagi tape, your ballast, a few extra servo control arms and clevises incase you take a knock and any spare sets of crystals you may have ( if still on this system ) . If somebody wants to organise an e-mail loop, we could try to give a provisional by Friday night and a definite by telephone on Sat. Once everybody is up and running, we can think about organising general get togethers or friendly comps. Etc. Because we are so dependant on the weather, we tend to operate a roll over approach until we hit a good day. Let’s see if we can get most people up at least a few times before Christmas. If the weather is good, some of us are likely to be there most suitable week ends, so get building those Zagis! When we are all established, most of the Glenluce guys have expressed a desire and willingness to travel up and meet somewhere closer to you guys if you can find a really good slope to use. We could take it turn about if we find another good venue. One final point of note. Between us we have a couple of “spare” Zagis that people might have a go with if they want to try before they buy. Just let us know in advance and bring a suitable buddy lead and crystals. We mostly fly mode 1 but we can buddy anybody up on mode 2 no problem. We have a Futaba 6EXA Tx (takes square buddy lead) and JR Txs. (JR buddy lead) We can also do Spektrum off a JR buddy lead if anyone needs.) Hope all this is helpful and hope to see you all soon, Ally.
Glenluce and Galloway Flyers
Slope soaring tips
This hints and tips guide is an attempt to help newcomers avoid some of the pitfalls we experienced when we started off a few years ago. If you are new to slope soaring but can already fly a 4 channel powered model, you should pick it up very quickly. If you have the right slope and the right wind conditions, you can easily keep your model flying for as long as your batteries hold out. So, here is the first tip. Make sure your flight and Transmitter batteries are fully charged just before you go flying. It is a bit annoying to find that you are on top of a hill with great conditions and your batteries are flat with the charger in the car at the bottom of the hill! There are really only two or three main ways to launch the model successfully. Note the word successfully! In you are new to it, it is much better to get someone to launch for you, particularly if it is windy. Hold the model by the nose and trailing edge and push it out and away from you gently in a slightly nose down attitude. There is absolutely no need to throw it with all your might! It is more likely then to get the wind under it and disappear at great speed over your head and bury itself behind you! Please make sure that there are no people directly downwind of where you launch. Getting a smack in the face from a ballistic out of control Zagi in not great fun! If you have to self launch, and if the wind isn’t too strong, you can hold the model by the trailing edge in one hand and push it out gently or just let go. If it is windy, you can grab it by the nose, back of the hand pointing into wind and at shoulder height, launch it out with a sort of backhanded flick in a slightly nose down attitude with the wings as level as you can manage in the buffeting wind. This takes more skill and practise. Once airborne, concentrate on keeping the model pointing into wind and let nature do the rest. The model will gain height very quickly in a decent wind because its glide angle down is less than the air rising up over the slope. A word about model set up. Follow the guidance in the instructions about control throw. Set your rates and exponentials for rates on and off. For cruising you don’t need much movement, about a cm or so in either direction to start off with. But, for combat you need about 30 to 50 degrees or so with about 30% expo. to stop it from being too twitchy. If you have too much movement, this effectively acts as an airbrake as you twist and turn. This slows you right down and it is possible to stall out. However, there is usually enough wind to allow you to quickly recover. You can control the penetration into the wind with your elevator trim. The model will be very sensitive to elevator trim. Too much “up” and it will just sit there making no headway, or it may rise all the while coming back towards you. Too much “down” and you won’t be able to gain height. You are looking for a trim that will allow the model to both gain height and still be able to penetrate enough to move forward. The next step when you have enough height for comfort is to start feeling out the model by zig zagging in a series of S shapes along the front of the slope. (You should have the comfort of the ten second rule that means nobody will have a pop at you until you’ve had ten seconds to gain height.) Don’t turn down wind! If you turn downwind close in to the slope, the model will very quickly pick up a lot of speed and disappear away behind you. It is then very difficult to work it back upwind and out over the slope again. The model will almost certainly be forced to land on top of the hill behind you. Immediately behind the face of the slope, the air is very turbulent with downdrafts and wind sheers that will toss the model around. There is not as much lift and the model will glide or be forced down. The lift from a good slope like Craig Caffe extends out for a very long way, almost until you are flying right over Loch Ryan and you can even fly well below the level of the hill top and still easily be able to gain height again. (This is just as well because if you had to walk down the hill to get your model, it is pretty steep and a looong way down!)It is worth noting however, that if you are at this stage and just weaving around infront of yourself, someone (not me, definitely not me!!!) is VERY likely to have a go at you! This will probably take the form of diving at you from higher up and further out. The more sneaky approach is to make the dive away to the side, build up speed and come at your victim from low and fast before he sees you! It is up to you to get out of the way as best you can! It is better to learn in the heat of combat through the school of hard knocks. You very quickly learn what to do to survive and stay airborne! You opponents will be trying to hit your model on a wing tip to knock it off balance and hopefully force you to the ground or out of control enough to make you lose a lot of height atleast. We don’t howl from a dive straight through somebody’s model! We’re not trying to break or damage somebody else’s model! (But it CAN happen!)It is worth noting that sometimes unofficial “alliances” creep in and you could find yourself being set upon by more than one person at the same time! This is more likely to happen to you if you pose some kind of a threat or have been successfully attacking others and those others want you dealt with! It can be really funny to see the hunter become the hunted! This is just as likely to happen to you if you “do not engage” and think that you can just mince around keeping out of everyone’s way! (It’s like birds pecking the weakling!) Sometimes people will try to stay out of trouble by going for height. The problem with that can be that if you can get up there, probably the people you are trying to get away from because they pose a threat, are skilful enough to get up there too! It is harder to hit anyone at height because it is harder to see and judge distances. When you are beginning, it is likely that more experienced people will ALWAYS seem to be able to get above you. You will probably blame your own model and think that your opponent has got a better model than you etc, but it is more likely that he just has more experience of making his model fly more efficiently with less control input to upset it. You will soon be able to match the better flyers and they will have lost their advantage! Another thing to consider carefully is your colour scheme. Try to make it bold and easy to see in the heat of battle. Make your model unique and easily distinguishable. (There are lots of red and yellow Zagis in the world!) It is better to make top and bottom completely different so you can quickly tell what way up you are as you twist and turn. We have had numerous occasions when we have each “flown” the wrong model, laughing when somebody tears off downwind and crashes only to find that that was our model and that we had been “flying” the wrong model for several seconds before the crash. Ballast – Zagis will fly quite happily in winds of about 10 mph off a decent slope. This is OK until you get to about 15- 20 mph. Above that, they really do benefit from adding ballast to make them penetrate into the wind better and allow them to cover a lot of sky at speed. When we first started we were taping batteries etc. onto the top, anything to add weight! These fell off after every crash. We soon settled on a great method, pioneered by Dougie Gray, to make our own moulded lead ballast that could be added or removed in seconds. Dougie’s idea was to pour melted lead into different sized table and kitchen spoons. (Don’t tell the missus, it will ruin the spoon!)This produced tear drop shaped weights that we simply bore and tap with a 6mm bolt and bolt this through the model over the cg. Build in a wee ply square with a 6mm hole in it into the bottom of your model under the cg before covering. Bore this through to the top and attach your threaded lead ballast. We found that a medium sized table spoon was about right for most conditions. This really does make a difference. Without ballast, you will have no chance on days where the wind is over about 15 mph. For racing, the ballast really comes into its own. However, if you are just starting it is probably best to avoid using ballast for various reasons including the safety of others and yourself! I hope these few pointers might be of use to some people. We are looking to get up Craig Caffe which is between Cairnryan and Stranraer, as soon as we can from now on Saturdays mainly. We would strongly recommend coming to Craig Caffe for your first attempts if you are new to slope soaring because we know that this place works and works really well. You can’t go wrong and there will be people to help if you need it. Keep you eye on the forecast for Saturdays. We are looking for Westerly winds of atleast 10 mph. If it is about 20 to 30 mph directly from the west you will have a brilliant day! We can also fly in North Westerly and South Westerly winds and at a different location in Easterly and South easterly winds. We normally head up around 11 a.m and take our lunch with us. (Please respect the farmer’s land/ fields etc and close all gates and take your litter home.) To check if we are “ON” please call either Alastair (01581 300433) or Richard. (01581 300292)We should normally know by about 10.00 a.m. what the weather is doing and whether we are going or not. We don’t mind a few rain showers and usually shelter until they pass and fly between showers. If you wear glasses, bring something to wipe them and a pair of shades is also a must as the Sun creeps round low towards the West. I would recommend a pair of fleecy gloves and / or a Transmitter cosy, particularly as we get further into the winter. We usually wear waterproof jackets and trousers with a woolly hat and hiking boots or wellies for the Farmer Giles’ amongst you! Don’t forget your sandwiches and a flask of soup or tea/ coffee! The walk up the hill approaches from the side and isn’t too demanding. It rises up gradually over sheep grazing fields and only takes about ten minutes. If you are reasonably fit you will have no problem. Don’t forget things like spare Zagi tape, your ballast, a few extra servo control arms and clevises incase you take a knock and any spare sets of crystals you may have ( if still on this system ) . If somebody wants to organise an e-mail loop, we could try to give a provisional by Friday night and a definite by telephone on Sat. Once everybody is up and running, we can think about organising general get togethers or friendly comps. Etc. Because we are so dependant on the weather, we tend to operate a roll over approach until we hit a good day. Let’s see if we can get most people up at least a few times before Christmas. If the weather is good, some of us are likely to be there most suitable week ends, so get building those Zagis! When we are all established, most of the Glenluce guys have expressed a desire and willingness to travel up and meet somewhere closer to you guys if you can find a really good slope to use. We could take it turn about if we find another good venue. One final point of note. Between us we have a couple of “spare” Zagis that people might have a go with if they want to try before they buy. Just let us know in advance and bring a suitable buddy lead and crystals. We mostly fly mode 1 but we can buddy anybody up on mode 2 no problem. We have a Futaba 6EXA Tx (takes square buddy lead) and JR Txs. (JR buddy lead) We can also do Spektrum off a JR buddy lead if anyone needs.) Hope all this is helpful and hope to see you all soon, Ally.
© 2020 Glenluce and Galloway Flyers
© 2020 Glenluce and Galloway Flyers