Slope Trash Magazine Contributor Guidelines

Original Slope Trash Magazine logo.

We uncovered these Contributor Guidelines for Slope Trash Magazine from original publisher, Roy G. Biv, dated August 15, 2000! Well, all the basics still apply so read on. We made just a few updates to account for 17 years of Interweb advances.

Slope Trash Magazine strives to present high grade articles and photos of interest to extreme RC slope soaring pilots. In fact, we hope to present the highest quality words and images available in any RC soaring specialty publication. We want STM to be great, so send your best work.

STM is founded on irreverence, so topic areas are not limited. We may be crude but we are not unkind, so STM will not run material that ridicules individuals or puts down designers or kit makers or any individual.

The House of Blues motto, “Help Ever. Hurt Never.” applies here.

Articles: Should run from 400-900 words, may have subheads, and should be sent in Microsoft Word format, or in pure ASCII text format. We reserve the right to edit an article for length and clarity.

Photographs: Digital images should be sized to fit a 1920×1920 pixel box but need not be square. Simply the the longest side should be no more than 1920 pixels. We will hold a high standard for our photographs: action shots are highly prized, or photos of unusual people, places
and things that are related to extreme slope soaring. JPEG format
(.JPG) is best for web presentation.

Sorry, we do not pay for material. This is an all-volunteer force.

Contributed material is to be submitted in electronic form to the publisher, Greg Smith acting for Roy G. Biv, via e-mail to: You may submit under your real name or a pen name, as you wish.

Ahi One Design Aerobatic Contest – My Entry

This video is my entry in the dream-flight/ Ahi One Design Aerobatic Contest. Check it out and vote early and vote often!

It was a windy day with 20-25mph winds at the small Big Bay slope in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin and it was a good opportunity to try out my GoPro Session 4 on the my helmet to make a bit of a video for the contest. This is a really tight slope but it was a fun flight. Gotta work on my video technique a bit but the contest looms so this is the one. Vote for Greg!

Also, it’s not too late for YOU to enter the contest! Submit your best 3 minute video of Dream-Flight Ahi slope aerobatics (remember it is a one design contest so the Ahi is a must!) to the VTPR & Slope Aerobatics Facebook group by the end of of the last day of summer – Friday, September 22nd, 2017. Judging will be done by members of the group! Good luck!

Prizes from dream-flight include:

First Place: $350 Dream-Flight Cash + T-Shirt
Second Place: $150 Dream-Flight Cash + T-Shirt
Third Place: $100 Dream-Flight Cash + T-Shirt

Check out all the details at – 

Requiem for a Vindy

Requiem for a Vindy

The forecast was for rain, but they made a slight correction
“Winds gusting to 30 from the westerly direction”
When picking planes for days like these I’m not a big debater
This clearly was a job for my trusty Vindicator

I drove up to the slope with a reckless abandon
and did a quick range check at the top of that green canyon
The ocean down below was wild and filled with foam
From up on top there was no doubt the Vindy had come home

This beautiful old ship of carbon, foam and glass
looked like a mighty hunter as it sat there in the grass
And as I threw her out o’er the spectacular abyss
I really wasn’t thinking of the phone calls I had missed

She made a couple passes at about 110
Down for a beach run and then back on top again
Through outside loops and dives that would make you back away
the plane just kept on cruising through this monumental day

A feeling came to me that was a rising of the soul
I’d reached a Nirvana…but then that fu*!@ng pole
I didn’t think I was that close as I setup for a turn
“Speed sucks up the ground” was a lesson I had learned

It didn’t crash as much as it just came to a quick stop
From 90 down to 0 with just a little pop
As I approached the gruesome scene I gave a little sigh
The wings just hung suspended and the v-tail fluttered by

Surprisingly I found that I was not really dejected
it was sort of cool the way the radio ejected
As I gathered up the pieces I harbored no real malice
I waxed philosophic as I searched for the ballast

I thought of glider heaven where the skies are seldom black
Combat in the front and DS’ing off the back
And out there where the lift is strong and the days are always windy
Streaks the spirit of what once flew proud, my good old trusty Vindy


Erickson Architects
John R. Erickson, AIA

If you remember past iterations of, you may remember a subsection called Slope Trash Magazine. Well, in the kerfuffle of porting old content to a new system I lost that part of the site but just found, on an old computer, much of the original content! I will be rebuilding the STM section of this site over time with blasts from the past but wholeheartedly encourage new submissions! If you are Slope Trash, or know of someone who is, tell the story to and see your words on the big ol’ Interwebs!

Slope Trash Magazine Flys Again!

If you remember past iterations of, you may remember a section called Slope Trash Magazine. Well, in the kerfuffle of porting old content to a new system I lost that part of the site but just found, on an old computer, much of the content! I will be rebuilding that section of this site over time including a separate site look for Slope Trash Magazine stories. Meanwhile I’ll be posting blasts from the past but wholeheartedly encourage new submissions to With that said, here is the original announcement from 2002!

Thanks to an arrangement with the original publisher, Roy G. Biv, has agreed to provide server space so Slope Trash Magazine can again bring you the kind of stories you learned to love in the past!

Here is a bit from the new home of Slope Trash Magazine on what this site is all about:

Slope Trash Magazine’s future expansion and development will be driven by contributions from on-the-edge slope soaring fanatics (homo slopiens), and we look forward to presenting the writing and photography of as many contributors as we can.

STM is not for kit reviews or promotion of any specific maker’s products. Rather, it’s a place for stories and images that express the spirit, irreverence and boldness of extreme R/C slope soaring in both humorous and solemn terms. Our aim is to publish the highest quality text and images, so send your best work.

Welcome back, Slope Trash Magazine!

Finding a Local Hobby Shop That Supports Soaring

When my favorite independent hobby shop closed a couple of years back it was quite a blow. I’d been going to Greenfield News and Hobby (and it’s previous incarnation Cudahy News and Hobby) for 40+ years and really tried to make most of my hobby related purchases there. Unlike a lot of other shops I’ve tried over the years the staff at Greenfield was always willing to do what they could to get in unusual products to support my very niche hobby needs. I thought to myself, now what? Not having an real affinity for any other local hobby shops do I just take all my business to shops online? Doesn’t seem like the way to totally go. I often like being able to see things in person before I buy. So, I had to find another hobby shop. After poking around a bit I settled on Hobby Town in Germantown, WI. Yes, it is a franchise. Yes, they do carry a lot of stuff I could get online from Horizon Hobby but what sealed the deal for me is that the owner/manager Ryan is not only knowledgeable, and has some familiarity with slope soaring, but is a nice dude too!

I’ve been to a bunch of independent hobby shops during my travels around the United States and always appreciate a good one. I am going to try to report on the shops that stand out and have, at least, heard of slope soaring!

So, if you have a local hobby shop that understands R/C and, even better, soaring, by all means give them your business! If you have a shop that is particularly interested in slope soaring, leave a comment below so that other slope pilots can visit when they are in your local area or, better yet, pen an article and I’ll be sure to get it published.

Side Note: Interestingly, at least to me, is that my other main hobby, cycling, has a connection to the old store in Cudahy because the son of fellow stick twiddler, Russ Whitford, now owns a bike store in that location. Weird world sometimes! Chow!

Slope Soaring Flight Log 8/29/17

I got out for some flying a couple of days ago and although the wind was minimal at least it was from the right direction to hit slopes along the Lake Michigan shore. I made it to three, two I’ve flown before and one I hadn’t!

The only plane I took was my Ahi because I need a bit of practice to attempt making a video to enter in the dream-flight Ahi One Design Video Contest, not just for flying skills but also for filming ideas. As the contest description says, it isn’t just about the flying!

The first slope I went to was Big Bay Park where the wind was coming in at about 7mph. Big Bay has seen some growth in vegetation and even a few trees over the last few years and is one of the only slopes I was getting out to but the lift is still decent and it is close to home. The flight at Big Bay ended when I landed and bounced the Ahi off my shin and separated the wings a bit! I didn’t have a small screw driver for the wing joiner screws handy so I headed back home before continuing on to a couple of other slope sites further south. This was a good thing since going over the Ahi alerted me to the fact that the servo end clevises were not holding the carbon rod all that well allowing the rod to slide a bit and throw off the elevator trim, that explained why I had a crappy flight the other day with the Ahi ballooning all over the place before I added a bunch of down trim. I thought it was a bit odd but didn’t make the connection that the push rod could be slipping. I dropped a bit of CA in the clevis clamp for good measure.

Anyway, minor repairs and adjustments made, I continued down the road. I went to Sheridan Park where the wind was hovering about 5mph and coming straight in. Frankly, at this slope in these winds, I was just scraping by. I could fly level and maintain slope-edge altitude but gaining any height was painful. I landed a few times and gave the Ahi some solid launches so I was able to get a couple of maneuvers in before I had to land but there was just not quite enough lift for sustained aerobatic playing.

I was also able to mess around with my GoPro Session 4 mounted to a bike helmet and spent a bit of time adjusting it for proper framing. Actually seem like it will work fairly well as one of the cameras for proper slope flying video making. More on that to come.

Since the wind a Sheridan was barely a puff, and the spot where I normally flew in the past seems more turbulent due to the trees that have grown lower on the hill, I decided to walk farther north along the bike path and found a spot that seems better with, basically, nothing but Lake Michigan out front. I flew around there a bit but, again, not much wind so on the the next spot! Still, it seemed smoother than our old traditional LZ.

Finally, I was on my way down to Cliffside Park in Racine as I think it is currently the best slope we have in SE Wisconsin but I took a different route than I normally do on the way hugging the lake shoreline and discovered that there has been some pretty major renovations to the slope and adjacent lands just north of the marina at Bender Park. It is starting to really take shape and, with easy access, may replace the spot about 2 miles south that we’d previously had to hike a 1/4 mile or a 1/2 mile depending on where we went to get to the slope edge. At the new spot, you can park about 100 feet away! So my Cliffside Park trip was cut short to check out this new (to me anyway) slope!

The wind at Bender Park was still just 5 or 6mph but the bluff is over 100 feet high here and the direction was good so the lift when I tossed out the Ahi was a bit better and smooth. The bluff is not only higher but has a more vertical face. I flew the Ahi around for a bit and was able to get in some loops, rolls and inverted flight but there still wasn’t enough lift for proper shenanigans so I headed home.

The wind forecast for Thursday/Friday looks better. Here’s crossing my fingers!

Ahi One Design Video Contest Prizes

Steve over at has posted the list of prizes for the dream-flight Ahi One Design Video Contest. Here is the prize list:

First Place: $350 Dream-Flight Cash + T-Shirt
Second Place: $150 Dream-Flight Cash + T-Shirt
Third Place: $100 Dream-Flight Cash + T-Shirt

Head over to to learn more about the video contest!

ATOMiK RC Radio Case for Spektrum DXE, DX6 DX7, DX8 Gen 2and DX9 Transmitters

The Atomik radio case for the Spectrum RC transmitters listed in the title is a nice, lightweight unit made from a thermo-formed nylon and now houses my Dx6E transmitter. I was using it as compact storage for my DX9 Black Edition but since that one came with its own aluminum case I’ve given the job of housing the DX6E over to this case.

I’ve actually owned this Atomik case for several months and it is wearing well and is very convenient to use. It has a dual zipper and opens completely up like a clamshell while offering good, padded protection when it is closed. There is also a convenient carrying handle on the back of the case.

I can confirm that this case holds the 1st generation DX6, the DX6E and the DX9 (Black Edition) just fine as I currently own all of these transmitters.

Atomik RC Part#: 2037

I bought mine for $24.99 from

Atomik also makes other radio and drone cases in eluding one that lists Spektrum DX5e, 6i, DX7, DX7s and FrSky Taranis X9D Plus as compatible that you can check out here –

Announced on SlopeAerobatics the dream-flight Ahi One-Design Video Contest

I saw that Steve recently posted what sounds like one of the coolest contests I’ve seen on the RC sloping world in a long time!

Basically, contestants submit their best 3 minute video of Dream-Flight Ahi slope aerobatics (remember it is a one design contest so the Ahi is a must!) VTPR & Slope Aerobatics Facebook group by the end of of the last day of summer – Friday, September 22nd, 2017. Judging will be done by members of the group!

Prizes from dream-flight!

Check out all the details at – 

Flying at Oacoma, South Dakota

Ahi on the shore of the Missouri River
Ahi on the shore of the Missouri River.

I stayed in Oacoma, SD for a couple of days on our way to Wyoming for the Solar Eclipse 2017 and, between family sight seeing including a couple of dams and the capitol at Pierre, I got in a bit of flying.

We stayed at the Arrowhead Cedar Shore Resort in Oacoma that is right across the Missouri Rover from Chamberlain, the HQ for many a slope trip to South Dakota. Mostly just passing through but since the resort is right on the shore of the Missouri River I thought, maybe, I’d get a chance to fly a bit. As it happened, time was short but the SE wind was a decent direction for a gander op the shoe north of the resort. I hit pay dirt about 1.5 miles north of Cedar Shore on some Public Land that had about a 30 foot slope with the wind coming straight in at about 15mph.

First time flying this shoreline slope that is 1.5 miles north of the Arrowhead Cedar Shore Resort in Tacoma, SD. Notice that the shoreline bends to the right past the trees for a more southerly direction, Plus, no trees!

My first bird in the air was, of course, the Weasel. I was only moderately hesitant to throw the plane in the air, not because I didn’t think the slope would work but because I’d left the wing screws and the Blenderm tape back at the hotel! No matter, I figured the magnets holding the Weasel-Trek together were strong enough for an exploratory flight and, after about 20 minutes I was proven right on both counts. The plane held together and the slope worked!

Even though I had no problem with the Weasel holding together with no wing screws, I didn’t want to try the same with the Ahi. That, and I wanted long pants to trek through the tall grass to get a bit further down the slope. So, back to the hotel I went. 15 minutes later I was back at the hill putting together the Ahi with wing screws and tape!

As I was putting together the Ahi I decided to add 2 ounces of ballast because the lift was a bit bumpy and I wanted to try to smooth it out a bit. Seemed to work fine as the Ahi grooved right out of my hand. By this time the wind had also picked up close to 20mph. I had a good flight just getting to know the Ahi and, while the lift was OK, I think the increased wind velocity started to blow the lift band out a bit. No matter if it stays int he air I’ll fly that thing!

My final flight of the day was another Weasel flight with the full confidence of a screwed and taped bird. Wonderful!

If you find yourself in the area and don’t want to drive to the bigger slopes outside of town, this is a very flyable shoreline slope that worked well in a Southeast wind. I think 12-15mph would be ideal for the dream-flight dream team of the Ahi, Weasel and Alula!


Maiden Flights of dream-flight Weasel-Trek and Ahi dream-flight dream team of Weasel, Ahi and Alula

I was heading out west for a Solar Eclipse trip towards Wyoming the next day and, as luck would have it, the weather in Milwaukee looked decent for test flights of both my dream-flight Weasel-Trek and the all-new Ahi Freestyle Sloper. I’d planned to take these planes on the trip anyway but it was nice to get a chance to fly before I was on the road.

I started at the Sheridan Park slope in Cudahy that has always been a go to spot for test flights because the land out spot in front is pretty good if things aren’t grooving and it works better than most in a northeast wind. The wind was somewhat more north than ideal but seemed coming in enough to toss out the Ahi, so I did. Pretty right on with just a couple of trim clicks. The wind was really too far north and, since the heyday at this hill several years back, there are some larger trees out in front that were making the lift bumpy but the Ahi flew very well and I had enough height after a few minutes to try some loops and rolls. Very nice, then I switched to high rates and learned that the Ahi can really maneuver! Rolls can be really fast and loops tight and round.

A dude, pilot from the looks of his LearJet (or similar) logo on his shirt, stopped and chatted a bit. He and his wife are summering just up the street and he has a couple of gliders and electrics and said he’d always wondered about this particular slope! The flying Ahi proved the point so maybe we will see him there sometime.

dream-flight-Ahi Freestyle Sloper
dream-flight-Ahi Freestyle Sloper
dream-flight-Ahi Freestyle Sloper
dream-flight-Ahi Freestyle Sloper – bottom stripes

Since the wind we kind of north at Sheridan and I was chomping at the bit to get some proper lift to work out the Ahi more I took a look at the app for what the wind conditions north and south of Milwaukee. It looked decent in Racine at Cliffside Park so I made my way down there expecting decent conditions and, before I even parked, my expectations were rewarded as I saw a lone plane in the sky. I could tell it was a DLG-style plane but wasn’t sure what it was until I approached Ken slopeside and he told me it was a dream-flight Libelle! Interesting since I had all 3 of the other dream-flight planes in my van; the Weasel-Trek, The Ahi and an Alula-Trek. dream-flight dream team of Weasel, Ahi and Alula dream-flight dream team of Weasel, Ahi and Alula!

The wind at Cliffside was about 12+mph so I flew the Ahi first; anxious to get more stick time and see what it can do. I wasn’t disappointed! The lift was really good and gaining height and/or speed was no problem. I kept the Ahi out front more than I plan to on future flights to make sure I could get a feel for it. Mostly basic maneuvers but all I did including inside and outside loops, rolls either way, a few 4 point rolls were all very easy even if the pilot was a little rusty on the sticks. CG seemed pretty spot on with inverted flight needing just a breath of down stick at times to maintain level, inverted flight. I will move the CG back a bit as I get more familiar with the Ahi but my 15-20 minute flight made me realize why I love sloping so much!

After some fun with the Ahi I went for the Weasel -Trek and it’s first proper flight having only tossed it around a few times without decent lift. Right out of my hand it was flying nearly perfect. I’ve got 4 other Weasels so I am very familiar with how they fly but this one was even more so a Weasel than the others. They’ve always felt like bigger planes and they just GROOVE. I am stoked to have the latest version in my quiver and the fact that I can put it back in the original box easily for transport is even better. I think I’ll be making a Weasel bag that I can attach to my backpack so transporting it on my bike will be a breeze.

dream-flight libelle
I shot this photo of Ken’s Libelle at Cliffside Park in Racine.

Ken flew his Libelle again and from the looks of it it is a very nice flying plane that moved well in the 12-15mph wind and I expect it can work great in really light lift as well. I may have to complete the dream-flight hangar with one at some point. Ken, for his part, seems destine to pony up for an Ahi and, possibly a Weasel someday (he already has an Alula at home!). Keep ‘em coming Michael, we love them here in Wisconsin!

All in all, this was the best day sloping in a long time for me. I think I have the bug again, Watch out!


Help a Brother Update the Sloping Sites Listed Herein!

A photo of me flying my Airtech Fitness a while back at Atwater Beach in Shorewood, WI has always been about connecting local pilots with others, either folks looking to get into slope flying or traveling pilots who are looking to hook up with local pilots for local slope knowledge. To that end we have received contributions from a bunch of people in over 35 states, and several countries, who know about their local slopes. This has happened over the last 18 years and some of the contributions have outdated contact info and some sites may no longer be available. It would be great if we could get some of those out of date contacts updated. If you know of a change that should be made either leave a comment on the appropriate page on the site of shoot me a note from the Contact Page and I’ll get the page updated.

Dream-Flight Alula-TREK

You all may have noticed that I am again flying slope. Maybe not as rabidly as in the past but I do have plans to make flying a part of my life again.

While I do have a BUNCH of slope planes that I still own from the past, my current need for a sloper is to have a plane that is easily transportable when I go for bike rides. The portability of Dream-flight’s Alula-TREK looked like just what I needed to get back into flying more regularly. I’ve owned a bunch of Michael Richter’s planes in the past, and still own 4 Weasels, so the choice of an Alula-TREK seemed pretty easy!

There are several good build threads out there on the Alula-TREK and, truth be told, there is a lot of prefabrication on this plane along with the excellent instructions we’ve come to expect from Michael so I’ll dispense with the steps except to say that this plane goes together very easily and took me 3 hours or so to complete including the purple and orange paint!

alula-trek-slopeflyer 2

For the flight pack I went the easy route and ordered the Alula-Trek flight pack along with the plane and used a Spektrum AR610 receiver to go with my fancy DX9 Black Edition that I picked up when my favorite local hobby shop was heading out of business.

Obviously, the flight pack works great with the plane. I’d go for a receiver with end plugs if I need to build one of these again. To that end I picked up a couple of Lemon RX’s small receivers and I’m inclined to add a dream-flight Libelle to my new fleet where I’ll use one of those.

Not withstanding that it is 9-degrees outside this week, I did get a bit of flinging and test flying in. Seems to be a good plane and I’ m now just waiting for an easterly breeze!

If you own an Alula-TREK, would you leave a comment below if you’ve covered the leading edge with anything and, if so, what did you use! Thanks!

Citizens & AMA VS FAA Resources

Folks, I am getting back into our beloved hobby at a very interesting time. Not only has the R/C tech improved yet again but there are potentially new rules that I’ve only recently become aware of that may affect our ability to fly as we have in the past. In my research of the opinions and recommendations on what to do I’ve talked to several longtime pilots and also perused the web for info. Here are some links I came across that, I hope, will shed some light on the issues. Please feel free to comment! Let me know your rational for registering, or not!

Not withstanding that I don’t consider my model flying over the past 40+ years to be in the same vein as unexperienced drone “pilots” who can step back from active engagement with their aircraft, my inclination is to wait and see where this goes.

Connecticut Slope Soaring in Bloomfield

A nice grass NW slope about 80 feet high is located behind the Seabury retirement home on route 185 in Bloomfield. Park in the parking lot on top of the hill. The slope is owned by the town so don’t let rent-a-cops from the home say you can’t be there. There is an RC field out to the right of the hill so check frequencies if anyone is there.

  • GPS Coordiantes:
  • N 41 degrees  50.201 minutes
  • W 72 degrees 42.460 minutes

Have more slopes to share? Please post them. This sport depends on sharing our slopes.

Slope Soaring Sites in Connecticut near Bristol

A nice multi-direction site that has N, NW, W and E faces about 80 feet high is located on Perkins Street in Bristol, CT.

It is an old gravel mine area that is now a rustic dog walking area owned by the town. Use the nice parking lot they created and feel free to bring a weed whacker to clear off the top of the slope. The slope requires a 1000 foot walk from the parking area.

  • GPS coordinates:
  • N 41 degrees  41.595 minutes
  • W 72 degrees 57.938 minutes

A SW slope is on the west end of a large sloped field in Bristol. It is just east of a large factory complex on James P. Casey road. Use on weekends only. Park in pull out on the factory driveway at the bottom of the slope. Site is posted for snowmobile trespassing but has never been a problem.

  • GPS Coordinates:
  • N 41 degrees  41.617 minutes
  • W 72 degrees 58.677 minutes

Have more slopes to share? Please post them. This sport depends on sharing our slopes.

Rhode Island Slope Soaring

Jan sent in this info. Thanks for the first info about Rhode Island!

Here’s a link to a couple of slope sites in Rhode Island – yes, RI. Provided by Dr. Bill. Haven’t flown there myself.

Jan says “It’s been a cold and rainy summer out on the Cape so far with very little chance to do any slope soaring due to closures. Looking forward to Labor Day.


Promo Video for Manilla Slope Fest 09 in NSW, Austrailia

Hey, Guys, here’s the Promo video that’s been made for the the Manilla Slope Fest after a Recon mission over the June Longweekend here in Australia. This is BIG SKY country  with an astroturfed launching area facing 4 directions of the compass. The event now has 5 Sponsors being North Queenland radio control, Falcon Gliders, AirsportsRC, Windrider and RCmodelair. The event is gaining momentum and now, with this sneak peak of the site and what its like, we will hopefully entice more slope flyers out of the wood work.

I hope you enjoy the Video!
Many thanks to Andrew for putting it together.
Regards,  Steve Wenban

Super Cheetah Slope Plane Info Needed

super cheetah

Larry Pettyjohn sent me an email with the content below. Any help out there?

“I owned the Cheetah Models from 1986-1995 and produced the Super Cheetah. I sold the business to a gentleman in the state of New Mexico, around Albuerque. His name is either Alexander Scott or Scott Alexander. Have you ever heard of him or the where abouts of the tooling for the kit. I am interested in purchasing it back and need to get in contact with him. Any help would be appreciated.”

Shoot me a note if you know anything about this and I will forward it on to Larry.

A mess at Menez-Hom – Death of a Wizard

On Sunday afternoon, May 3rd we went to the very famous 1000 foot hill called Menez-Hom. This is only about 20 miles from Le Faou where we are staying. Temp 60 degree, wind 15 mph from the NNE.

After more nearby house hunting earlier in the day, we drove to the top of the hill, parked the car in the already crowed lot. Lots of tourists come here in good weather as well as bikers, hikers, campers, and people like us.

I had reservations about going to this site, but it was close to Le Faou.

I set up my heavy yellow and blue Wizard 2x and my wife and I walked the quarter mile to the correct side of the wind direction. This is a 360 degree hill: any angle can produce lift.

There were hang gliders flying, but well away from the area used on this day by slope flyers. There were about 10 or 11 modelers there already.

I easily launched my plane in the moderate wind and was flying for about 6 or 7 minutes when disaster struck: the Wizard got its stab, rudder, and right wingtip sheared off by a Cortina (a 3 meter flying wing). The stab and rudder were pulverized (the rudder servo is gone, never found) and the right wing must be replaced. Other damage included a stripped Multiplex elevator servo. The fuselage and left wing are intact.

I never saw the Cortina, before, during, or after the collision: only the Wizard slowly flat spinning to the soft vegetation covered ground. YUK!

Better flying news with my next email about flying at Beg an Fry on Sunday May 10.


Dave’s Report on the McLean Vector2

For a number of years now Greg and I have been talking about designing and building planes for sale. On those long slope safari trips we’d go over what we’d want to see in a plane. Greg’s got a lot of great ideas which are top secret right now 😉  One thing that was paramount was we weren’t going to sell anything that we didn’t like flying ourselves.

Then a couple months ago an opportunity presented it self in the form of the Brian McLean Vector2. Greg called me up and said he’d found a plane that fit’s what he was looking for. Great flyer, sleek lines, super reputation and a twisty wing ta boot. Well, sign me up!…Greg is a great pilot and if he says “this is the one”…well, I got to believe him.

Brian McLean produces kits for the Vector2. It includes the wing cores, the fiddly bits for the wing mechanism, a superb glass fuse and a molded carbon rudder. Everything in the kit is of the highest quality and finish. Looking over the plans I broke it down into building the wings and everything else.;-)  So let’s start with the wings.

The wing cores are cut from surfboard foam. This stuff is dense! I mean solid! These will make a very nice wing. The two panels per side fit together with only a minimum amount of sanding required. Following the plans, I made some cuts in the root for the wing rod and actuator pin. Then attached the root rib. A little more sanding and were ready for bagging.

Most of the wing’s I’ve made have been for DLG’s so making this wing used a LOT more epoxy than what I was used too. A full carbon skin can really soak up the epoxy! Everything’s ready and into the bag it goes. 24 hours later the Mylars come off and I stand back and admire carbon goodness.

Now for the fuselage. Brian’s done an excellent job molding the fuse. There’s plenty of room inside, pre-drilled holes for the wings and stab and a superb finish outside. The rudder fin is molded as part of the fuse so that is the reference for setting the wings and stab.

This is a wingeron so there’s one servo moving the wings. It sits in front of the wing rod and actuates two cams that pivot on the wing rod. The cams are pre assembled and the other bit’s that make up the mechanism are pre cut ready to be installed. Setting the wing servo takes some careful planning. The links connecting to the cams are quite short and need to be positioned correctly to ensure proper movement of the wing. The fuse has marks molded into it showing where to set the wing neutral position. It’s a full flying stab so it’s not SO critical to get the wings exactly on the marks, but it puts the fuse in a pleasing orientation while flying (tail high not low).

The stab mechanism is glued into the fin then the rudder is installed. Trays are glued in for their servos and the linkages are connected. Everything is tested and we’re ready to fly.

I was able to finish building the plane just a week before we headed out to South Dakota for several days of uninterrupted flying. South Dakota is a great place to maiden new planes. Nothing to hit out there.

This was the first time Greg had seen the plane all put together. We set it up in the hotel parking lot to check the throws. Everything looked good so we headed out to the hill. The winds were maybe 10 – 15mph. We had about a dozen guys flying all sorts of craft, most were having success. I handed Greg the radio and stepped up to the lip. A wiggle of the sticks to confirm it was on and a nod from Greg, then I gave it a firm toss….SUCCESS!!  A few clicks of trim and it was FLYING!

Greg worked it back and forth a few times getting a feel for it. It looked great in the air!  The fuse has a sexy shape and I set it up so it has a tail high attitude so it looks like its going fast!  He gained some height and did a short dive followed by the smoothest axial roll you’ve ever seen. A quick roll inverted showed we could take a little weight out of the nose. He brought it around and landed on the top. We had thought this plane would land hot, but it slowed down nicely and settled down into the short grass.

Now it’s my turn! Greg gives it a heave and I fly off into the sky. A left turn then start working the lift to gain altitude. The wind wasn’t what I call rippin’. It’s enough to keep it in the air plus a little more. What surprised me is the way this plane effortlessly responded to the lift. It seemed to fly like it was lighter that it was. It’s not overweight by any means, at 49oz, but I just didn’t expect it to do as well as it was. I was as high as the wind would take me so I put it in a dive and pulled up into a loop. It tracked through the loop like it was on rails!  At the bottom of the loop I pulled up and gained almost all my altitude back! This thing is going to be a favorite. Some fast runs along the top of the hill showed that this plane is silent!  With no servos sticking out of the wing there’s nothing to make noise. It’s almost eerie.

A few more rolls and loops and I setup for a landing. Come around from behind and line it up…It wasn’t as pretty as Greg’s landing but it was level and settled into the grass just fine.

This is going to be a fantastic plane to have in your quiver. Like I said, Brian offers the kits but unless you’re an experienced builder it might not be the kit to start with. Properly built, this plane will perform beyond all expectations.

Bob Completes His 8 Hour Level V Slope Flight

Bob sent in this report on his experiences attempthing the 8 hour, Level V LSF slope task.

April 25th 2009. Frankfort, KY.

I responded to an open invitation to go to Frankfort for an 8 hour slope attempt by Gordy Stahl.

I departed Michigan for Frankfort, KY. Arriving that evening with my Oly2 and an AVA.

I thought long and hard about which one to fly. The Oly is great old sailplane but can it penetrate 20+ mile an hour winds? The AVA has a more modern airfoil and is thinner. I decided to try and put “C” batteries in the fuse just below the wing at the CG as Ballast. The batteries weighed 10 Oz. With dense foam rubber and all It weighted about 11 ounces. Not allot of Ballast but enough I thought. The Oly also had 4 “C” cells installed just behind the leading edge bulkhead. So both were available to me.

Last fall I traveled to Frankfort, Michigan to try the 8 hour at a site called Elberta. It is overlooking Lake Michigan. A beautiful location. Landing is A BIT TOUGH BECAUSE OF THE CLIFF CONFIGURATION WITH LOTS OF TREES. LANDING WOULD HAVE TO BE ON THE BEACH BELOW.

The next morning I met with Larry Story and Ted Grosser both are level 5’s, to witness and help me with my first ever slope attempt. When Larry threw my Oly 2 off the cliff my heart was in my mouth.

It basically flew out over the Lake and just parked out there. Not climbing not moving around allot. I thought wow this is going to be easy! NOT! At around the 6.5 hour mark I became very disoriented.. I could not tell up from down and had a hard time keeping the plane pointed the right direction. I kept turning back towards the slope. Larry explained it was the transparent yellow Monocoat that was causing this. I had planned to recover it in Opaque Monocoat but Did not have the time before departing for Kentucky. So I took blue painters tape and covered the bottom of the wing. Yes it was heavy but I thought that would help. The attempt ended at 7.5 hours. I lost altitude and was unable to recover.

This year, on the morning of April 25th, I met Gordy, Little Lee and Ed Wilson LSF V.P. I had decided to go with the AVA.  I have two AVA’s one with blue tips and a spoiler center panel One with purple tips and a flapped center panel.

We  started hand launching to Trim it out. I had the transmitter on the wrong model. It was on the spoiler panel. Even the rudder servo was working the wrong direction.

After about 6 launches it was ready to go.

At 07:50 Gordy threw it up and out over the cliff. Need less to say it was away, working close to the cliff rim in a figure 8 pattern. It went up with ease.

Gordy launched his Marauder at 8:00. We both are in the air now.The AVA moved around without any effort. I could fly it in any direction. I had made the right choice. It flew very well.

They say only Mad Dog’s and Englishmen sit and stare at the sun. I’m not English….
But for 8 hours? Without any sun blocker? The Mad dog scenario seems to fit well.
Landing at this slope site is wonderful with over  10 acres of grass and a few clumps of trees.

Before it was over more RC slope flyers showed up. The sky was alive with Small little crafts looking like BATS!

I was sitting with Ed Wilson to my right. My butt was fast growing to my chair. Ed had to help me get up to stretch and see if my legs still worked. I was wobbly for the first two minuets each time. I was able to walk to my car for a pee break. It wasn’t to hard to fly and work the plumping one handed. No my shoes are not yellow!

I must say It would not have been doable for me without Ed. He helped me in everyway possible, even putting cold cans of pop on old tired neck, Man did that feel good.

The lift was really good with some thermals working their way thru. At times I was so high that  was afraid to blink. Gordy told me once to get it down form there, I listen when he speaks.

So here I am staring into the sun. Bats flying all over the place and I saw something very unusual a meteorite came flying down brighter then hell! It burned out before my very eyes! Was  this a sign? Who knows? I have never seen a meteor in broad daylight.

Seven hours down one to go! I am now mumbling to my self and yes answering…Delusional? maybe.

At about 8 minutes to go Gordy got distracted and lost his plane. How this happened is not clear to me…or I’ll never say. But his plane crashed on the slope. 8 Minuets short! A very sick feeling came over me, It was sad.

At 4:00 pm I landed. It was not graceful. It was very fast and I lawn darted it. Not real bad and no damage.

It was over! I would have been much happier if Gordy had not crashed.

Gordy tried it again the next day with A supper AVA and batteries installed as I had done. He made it! It wasn’t as easy Sunday because the lift was much weaker, None the less He did it! Over 16 hours of slope flying in two consecutive days, It has to be a world record!

Bob Summers
LSF 3548 IV

South Dakota Slope Trip April 2009

Dave and I went on an early season slope trip in mid-April 2009. We met Rob and about a dozen other dedicated slopers on Thursday and had a couple of good days of sloping at The Pasture in NE wind conditions.

Some of the highlights of the weekend were:

  • Maiden flights for several of DaveO’s planes including a Jart Lite, Ruby, Predator and Destiny.
  • Flying my V-Ultra both days. It has been too long and I love that plane!
  • Maiden flight of the McLean Vector2 that DaveK just finished. Gotta get mine done! That is a seriously excellent plane!
  • Listening to DaveK’s vacuum bagging technique tips.
  • Hanging with the Watertown boys.
  • Dinner at Charly’s

I’ll be heading out again for a few days in mid-May. Hope to get some DSing in them and look forward to seeing the crew again.

As always, if you are interested in sloping in South Dakota contact Rob. He will be able to tell you what you need to know if you want to join us.

Weasels Are Back! Long Live the Weasel!

Weasels are back! Here is part of a post to the Dream Flight blog from Michael Richter:

“We will activate our online order pages and purchase buttons at 9AM tomorrow (April 15). Yes, I know, its tax day… So, make sure to pay your taxes, but don’t forget to buy a Weasel too!

Looks like we have a busy week/weekend ahead of us… weasel kits to finalize and package, new orders to process, etc. At the moment, there are a few things remaining to be done on the website, so we’ll also continue work on those unfinished “coming soon” pages.

Thanks again to all who were so patient during the re-design / overhaul of our business and products.

Its good to be back!”

Good to have you and the Weasel back, Michael!

Greg – Lifelong Weasel Pilot

Slopestream and PSS Kit Availability

I’ve gotten a bunch of requests about the plane in the intro section of this site which is currently Carl Mass’s Aerostream flying at Soar Utah. Dan Sampson is the guy who is fulfilling the kit orders for the Slope/Aerostream as well as several other Slope Scale designs by Brian Laird. Check out his site at:

Also check out RC Groups for information on our ISR’s newest project, the F-84. Dan is starting to roll out some short kits which are available for sale. In addition, he is also working on a Lancair. Slope version! The prototype is about 90% complete. Can’t wait!

Richter Weasel from Dream Flight

Greg flying a Weasel close in at Big Bay Park.

Wing Span: 36 in
Wing Area: 375 sq in
Weight: 11.5 ounces

Controls: Elevons
Minimum radio requirements: Elevon mixing with dual rates and/or  ATV (Adjustable Throw Volume)
Installed Radio: Hitec Electron 6 receiver, HS-81MG servos and 270 mah NimH battery. JR 8103 transmitter.

The Weasel is a breeze to build. It took me about 4 hours. I think I could have shaved a good hour off that but I used UltraCote (Oracover) to cover it. The tape method is faster although I much prefer the finish of the Ultracote. If you have built a foam wing in the past this plane will present no problems. If this is your first EPP plane then the instructions are some of the best I have seen. You can preview the plans on the website.

What’s it made of?

  • The Weasel wing is made from 1.3 lb per sq/ft density EPP foam The wing set has the servo bays and spar notches pre-cut even the hotwire residue has been removed!
  • The nose pod is made from 1.9 lb per sq/ft density EPP foam with factory-cut battery and receiver compartments.
  • The balsa elevons are delivered pre-beveled for hinging.
  • The kit also includes, wood spars, a CoroplastTM fin, a hardware package and a very thorough construction manual (also available on line at this came in handy when I took the kit on vacation and forgot the instructions)!

As noted on the Weasel website: In order for the Weasel to maintain the flight characteristics, micro size radio equipment is required to keep the weight down. The Weasel is a very pitch sensitive aircraft and therefore requires dual rates or ATV (Adjustable Throw Volume) on at least the elevator channel (channel #2 in most cases). Most computer radios have this function. Unfortunately, the inexpensive 2 and 3 channel radios with just v-tail mixing do not have these sensitivity adjustments, making it difficult to fly the Weasel with them. So please invest in a radio with dual rates and/or ATVs. If you already have a Hitec Focus III and are determined to use it, there is a modification that you can make that will cut down the control throws on the elevator.

Flying the Weasel

Bottom line for the Weasel is does it perform? Yes! Michael Richter designed the Weasel as a lightweight flying wing that is extremely maneuverable, yet forgiving. The Weasel’s design features give it a wide speed range, great hands-off stability, and agility.

I have flown the Weasel in winds conditions ranging from about 4 to 25 mph. One addition I still plan to do is make provisions for ballast. I have flown it on a lot of hills from 15 foot high “speed bumps” to 500 foot pristine slopes in South Dakota and it handles them all well.

The Weasel is very aerobatic in the hands of an accomplished pilot. Inverted flight is excellent, roll rate is fast loops are great both inside and outside. This is a super plane! With the control sensitivities turned down, and the CG moved forward, it can be great for beginners as well. It lets me fly when I otherwise could not and at slopes that are not suitable for any other plane. All this in a 36-inch span glider that stows anywhere!

Related Links

Richter R/
Hobby-Lobby (Ultracote/Oracover) –

Weasel Pro

While this review is a couple of years old I felt it still needs a place on the site. Note that the release of the New Weasel EVO is coming very soon! Happy Days!

If you read these pages at all you’ll know that the Richter Design Weasel is among my favorite RC slope planes. Every RC pilot ought to own at least one. I now have two with the recent completion of my Weasel Pro.

I picked up my Weasel Pro on the way through Santa Barbara last year when I stopped by at Michael’s then shop in the garage of his family’s home. Recently Michael built a standalone shop to improve production and to keep us all in Weasels!

Michael updated the original Weasel design a while back bringing us the Weasel Pro. He uses new materials and construction methods to make this little sloper even better. Some re-working of the original Weasel design seems to have improved both the axial roll and the inverted flight characteristics when compared to my original Weasel.

Read more

Big Bay Flying 03-09

Big Bay Park – Whitefish Bay, WI – 03-22-09

Good wind and a reasonably warm weekend for this time of the year brought out 6 Milwaukee area slopers for only the second get together of the year. While a few of us have had some individual flights, having a good group of guys together makes it more fun to fly!

Dave and Ben started out at Concordia but the wind was more north than predicted so the call was made to meet at Big Bay Park. Greg, Michael, Mirko and Russ met the early crew there.

It was a day for Weasels and wings. Maybe in anticipation of the upcoming MidWest Weasel (Whatever) Fest! There were at least 3 Weasels, a Moth a couple of Bees, a Slope Monkey and a Mini Conmbat Wing.


Greg Mirko and Russ

Russ made it out after a hiatus of sorts. We haven’t seen much of him at the slope recently. Must be those Ducattis taking up valuable flying time. Russ had his well traveled Moth and I think the flying may have rekindled his interest. As a side note, check out Russ’s website that may be of interest if you are in the Milwaukee area. The Putt Putt Boat.


Midwest Weasel Fest 2009

The event was held the weekend of April 25th and 26th in and around Milwaukee, WI mostly at the AstroWings Omega Hills, Germantown Slope.

We a GREAT Pilots Raffle with domations including:

  • Jack Cooper of Leading Edge Gliders kicked of the “Generous Donation” portion of the 2009 MWWF pilot raffle prize list. After initially offering a size SMALL 2007 LEG Slopefest shirt, we beat him up and he is now graciously donating a 48-Inch Fat Albert! Thanks, Jack!
    $79 value with shipping!
  • The good folks at Off The Edge – makers of the Zipper, Scorpion, etc.- have donated a Wasp kit.
    $80 value with shipping!
  • AstroWings of Wisconsin is donating an LEG Prairie Dog Combat Wing.
    $49.00 value with shipping!
  • Plus more, probably!
  • Wyoming Wind Works – Slope Monkey Kit!
    $61.95 value with shipping!
  • and LEG – 4 disc DVD set – “EPP Building Clinic”
    $59.95 value with shipping!
  • Bad Brad Graphics – $50 Gift Certificate for Vinyl cutting
    $57.00 value with shipping!
  • Paul Naton / Radio Carbon Art – 2 Slope Soaring Videos!
    $50 Plus value with shipping!
  • Ed from SkyKing RC Products is donating a 60-inch DAW 1-26 kit as well as some Lost Model Locators.
    $154-plus value!
  • Michael Richter / Dream-Flight – 2 Weasels! $150 value!

In additon to the generous donations from our supporters is donating a bunch of banner ads as rewards for the companies donating items.

$490 and counting of ad space to companies who donated product! Shop Moving!

We are in the middle of moving the shop…all the way next door. It is something of a sashay more than a move as I have to get the other tenant to move half their stuff out, paint and prep the first half of the new space, move my stuff in and then get the second half of their stuff out. What fun!

In the end we will have a more useful space that will allow me to combine a couple of projects and have a good-sized common area that can expand or contract depending on the work.

Besides’s shop area, I will have my office for my web design and media production company in the space as well as my bicycle business prototype shop.

Manilla Slope Fest 09 in NSW, Austrailia

Stephen form the West Sydney Slope Soarers sent in this note about an event in Austrailia.

I’m the President of the WSSS and just wanted to get the word out about that the WSSS have secured the use of Mt Borah near Tamworth NSW for Manilla Slope Fest 09 September 20th to the 28th. Site information can be found here

This will be the inaugural event and we plan on making it an annual get together. We already have 1 huge event In January at Camperdown in Victoria but having to wait 12 months for a get together of slope flyers we thought we would do a little research and came up with this site. It’s actually a Parra and Hang glider site where they do there record attempts for cross country and they held the 2007 Parra Gliding World Championships there. It has 4 huge launch sites covered with astro turf  making the perfect runway for scalies.

So, there it is, it’s open to all flyers not just Aussie ones could be that perfect slope /family holiday in Australia for some of our international slope brothers and sisters.

For any other information regarding the slope fest our West Sydney Slope soarers home page will carry updates regarding the progress of the event.

Best Regards.

Midwest Slope Challenge 2009 Dates and Info

Wings over Wilson (WOW) is proud to host MWSC 2009 May 14th – 17th at Wilson Lake Kansas.

Registration and Open flying will be on Thursday with events planned beginning Friday morning and continuing Saturday and Sunday as weather permits. There will be the traditional awards banquet on Saturday night in Lucas.

The 2009 MWSC will be the 16th annual contest. The MWSC was hosted by the Lincoln Area Soaring Society (LASS) for the first 11 years. Beginning in 2005 WOW has taken the torch. WOW is a loosely knit group of Lake Wilson slopers interested in continuing the traditions of the MWSC.

Check out the official MWSC site at

If you have questions or comments contact Erik Eaton WOW President at 785-625-7660 or, or Larry Purdy WOW Vice-President at 785-483-3385 or

Check Out Espen’s F3F Timing Gear With Weather Station

Espen and his partner have designed a timing system for F3F. What is so special with this system? They have incorporated a weather station into the timing devise.

The device captures wind and direction measurements from leg one to leg ten, average values can be calculated for both parameters, and the results displayed along with the time of the flight.

As such, the CD or timing gear operator will be empowered to confirm the validity of the flight conditions.

See more here:

They plan to make these units available for sale to the F3F community.

McLean’s Models

McLean’s Models – Brian McLean is a guy who builds super planes. I have both a Vindicator, which I bought used, and an Extreme, his high-performance sloper and DS ship. Even though I got the Vindicator used, Brian was helpful when I had a few questions about it. His willingness to help was part of the reason I ordered the new Extreme from him. I also love the way it looks!

Update: I got another Vindicator with the new Joe Wurts airfoil from Brian and a second Extreme. These are currently my favorite planes and Brian is always very helpful.

Update: Got a Vector2 this time! As always Brian’s craftsmanship is top notch.

Gulp – 60 inch DS Wing – Its Bigger than a Swallow!


The GULP is designed and kitted by Steve Drake. It is an 60 inch flying wing with a cool fuselage shape. It is an EPP model designed for maximum DSing. Steve uses the proven MH-45 airfoil on the GULP.

The fuse is large enough to house all the radio gear internally. I used Hitec HS-225 servos and strip aileron controls to keep everything clean.


Airfoil: MH-45 modified
Span: 60 inches
Area: 570 sq/in
Surface loading: 9.1 oz/sqft
Weight: 36oz
Control: Elevons
Radio: GWS 8 channel receiver, Hitec HS-225MGs, 1400 mah pack.

Here are pictures of Greg’s GULP. Gotta make sure you know which side is which when DSing!

04/06/02 – Update
I got the new Gulp from Steve and he has added a nice touch to the kit. It now has the spar cavities routed out. Should make building faster and because they are the exact size for the included spars it may save a bit of Goop weight.

I’ve had a couple more days on the original and I am still very happy with it. I had a rude landing at Warnimont Park with it and walked away with no damage. Tough slopers rule!

03/22/02 – Update
Well, the minor repairs from the DS sessions in Kansas have been made and I have flown the Gulp several times in the last few days. It continues to impress me. It is nearly as fast as a 60 inch composite plane yet will hang in relatively light lift. On our hills it likes about 10-12 mph at least so it isn’t quite a Zagi THL but it is a heck of a lot better flying plane! I’ve got a DLG for when the lift is real light anyway. When the wind pick up the Gulp is just a joy to fly and that along with the incredible durability has put it on my “must have” list. I have already ordered another from Steve Drake. I wouldn’t want to be without one.

03/07/02 – 03/10/02 Flying at Wilson Lake in Kansas
I tried to do the Gulp in this weekend DSing at the dam at Wilson Lake in Kansas. It was howling at 35 to 40 and I had 22 ounces in the custom ballast tube in the wing.  The DS circuit is about 10 feet off the deck in some places and meetings with the ground were inevitable. Besides blowing off the epoxyed on carbon wing tips, damage was limited to torn Ultracote and a slightly compressed nose. Did I mention that the lake side of the dam is all sharp boulders? I am replacing the carbon tips with EPP and covering with tape and Ultracote.

We also had a brief foamy pylon race. I races 2 regular JW’s and a new JW XL. The GULP smoked them. It turns better and pulls them on the straights. Steve, you may be getting an order or two out of Kansas. Everyone who saw it fly was very impressed.

02/10/02 – The first flight of the GULP in 25 mph winds with blowing snow and 30 degree temperature! It flies very well. I set it up per the instructions and they seem to be pretty close.

Montana Slope Soaring in Missoula

Montana Slope Flying Sites

Jim Crook – Missoula
I have flown on a local hill, that seemed fine to me, but I have never been to a slope site that was known as a good site so I have nothing to compare my hill to. If you are in the area, and you are a sloper, maybe you can give an experienced evaluation.

Here are the directions to the hill in Missoula.

  • From Hwy 90 take the Reserve Street Exit.
  • Head north on Reserve (Reserve turns into Grant Creek at the highway).
  • Stay on Grant Creek for a couple of miles and turn right onto Glen Eagle Way.
  • Follow Glen Eagle until it dead ends.
  • Park there and walk up to the hill.

It looks like it is possible to drive up to the hill, but the owners will NOT be happy. Please walk up so the sire remains open.

These are locations we have had the privilege to fly. Some may have access restrictions.
Check with local flyers for information.

Fly Fult’s Hill near St. Louis


Missouri Slope Flying Sites

Fults Hill (OK so technically it is in Illinois, but it is only 45 minutes from ST Louis!)

This is a public park in rural Illinois about 45 minutes from downtown St. Louis, MO. Head South on Rt 3 to Waterloo, right on 156, make hairpin turn at abandoned gas station onto Bluff Rd., past village of Fults, look for sign on right that says Fults Hill. Hike up the left-hand trail (not the wooden stairs). Et voila.

It’s a pretty spot. A few pix are at:

The flying is best with southwest winds, which luckily are the prevailing winds at the site.

For best info, check with Paul Luebke or Ken Trudeau of the Mississippi Valley Soaring Association.

Sloping in Frankfort, Kentucky

These are locations we have had the privilege to fly. Some may have access restrictions.
Check with local flyers for information.

Chris DSing a Wizard at the Frankfort slope. Photo: Ken Marks

Frankfort, KY Slope
Discovered by Dave Smith of the Bluegrass Soaring Society.

We have discovered a good slope here in the Frankfort, KY area that generates some major lift. It is in the 500-600′ range in terms of height and is quite extensive. It is quite flyable in anything form 5+ mph winds (S, SW or SE) for the bigger ships. The landing area is all grass (at least 10+ acres). The only disadvantage is that the slope is tree covered, so combat is a no-no, because recovery would become a little involved (though not impossible). Randy Elkins and Gordy of LASS have flown it and have likened it to Parker Mt. in So. Cal. in terms of lift. Will keep you or anyone else interested informed regards conditions if you would like to fly there sometime.

Local Pilots


The slope is situated on state-owned property located behind the state forensic labs in Frankfort. To get there from Cincinnati, take1-75 South to I-64 West. Take I-64 West and make your exit at EXIT #58 which is US 60 and head in towards Frankfort (i.e. go right) and then make a left on the East-West connector (about 2 lights, at the intersection of US 60 and US 421), and go about 1.5 miles downhill and turn left (this is the first possible left that you can make). Look for the Forensic Labs on the left (corner of the intersection) that are housed in a modern looking building that resembles the Titanic due to the numerous smoke stacks sticking out of the roof. Drive up the road till it dead-ends into some construction and make a right angle turn and head to the parking area behind the building.

You can park your vehicle in the paved lot, and just head up the gentle grade in the general direction of the communicationtower. Once on top of the ridge, follow the path left (about 200-250 meters) till you come to an area that has a distinct clearing and you can look out over this fantastic but rugged slope. The landing area is to the rear and is mostly grassy (at least 10 acres) with one main area of trees and some very thorny bushes (the thorns are an inch or longer, so avoid this area at all costs).

The slope is best flown when the winds are from the South or Southwest. My first outing with my 60″ EPP Blue Max, was a great success, wind out of the south at about 10-15 mph. Toss the plane out and watch that baby climb almost vertically up and out. The best lift is to the right of the launch area, heading out towards the communication tower. Surprisingly, the lift zone prevails to at least an eighth of a mile out (extending out over the fields at the bottom of the slope). There is decent thermal activity in this area, as evidenced by the sudden lulls that we experienced, accompanied by major lift. Buzzards and other feathered friends are also abundant in this area, and are good indicators of lift. The drawback of this slope is its ruggedness, while its finer points include a reasonably large grassy landing area. It is probably not wise to fly too close to tree level, especially at the lower elevations of the slope except in good lift conditions, otherwise it is quite a long trek down to recover the downed plane. Combat maneuvers at this slope could also be hazardous to both you and your plane, for the very same reason. Buzz has suggested using the fields at the bottom as an emergency landing area in case recovery becomes impossible…. a most excellent idea. The fields appear to be accessible by road, and I’m sure we can get permission to do this when it becomes necessary. All in all, an excellent slope that can be flown by all. So gentlemen if you have anything reasonably rugged and flyable, come on out and enjoy.

For even more info on this site check out:

Frankfort Slope

Thanks to Ben Wilson!

Slope Flying – Chicago Style!

Slope flying in Chicago? Yep, thanks to the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County access to the Greene Valley Hill is available on weekends with a valid permit from the Preserve Office call Visitor Services at (630) 933-7248 for more info.

Slopin’ over Chicago

From the Forest Preserve website:

The 190-foot Greene Valley hill is open to the public on weekends from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m., spring through fall. A road leads from the base of the hill to a parking lot at the top, where visitors can get a bird’s-eye view of DuPage County as well as the Chicago skyline. Revenue generated from Greene Valley disposal operations, which ended in 1996, covered construction costs.

The introduction of native grasses and shrubs on the hillside will combine conservational and recreational objectives, attracting native songbirds and wildlife while providing visual relief for preserve passersby.

Model glider and sail-plane owners with valid District permits can fly their crafts from the hill. For permit information, call Visitor Services at (630) 933-7248.

Brian’s P-63 at Grene Valley

Location: About half a mile south of 75th Street and Greene Road in Naperville, IL.
The website provides directions and a map.

Best wind direction(s):

  • South is optimal but it is flyable with winds ranging from SE to SW.
  • Easterly winds are probably next best.
  • Northerly winds are also flyable.
  • West winds are unusable.

Time available: Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00AM to 6:00PM

Access restrictions: Requires a DuPage County model airplane permit which can be obtained through the mail or in person at the address given on the application form:

Until there’s a frequency control board, flyers need to check in with the ranger at the top of the hill and provide frequency information.

Related Links

Greene Valley Slope Site –

Hawaii – Polipoli slope soaring

Polipoli is Maui’s “Bunny-slope”. It is the place to fly if you’re learning to fly something slow like a Gentle Lady. It’s also a great place if you’re interested in lazing in the sun flying a gentle gas-bag like the Lady or the Olympic II.

Thermal Soaring at Polipoli
Thanks to Duane Asami for permission to use this info.

Polipoli is a very scenic area on the slopes of Haleakala about 3,600 feet above sea-level. Located in Kula, it overlooks the isthmus that connects Haleakala to the West Maui mountains. I learned to fly gliders on this slope, as did many of the people in our club. Polipoli is a gorgeous spot to spend a quiet family outing enjoying the scenery. Often, the R/C glider folks can be found thermalling lazily for many peaceful hours.
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Hawaii – Waihe’e slope soaring

These are locations we have had the privilege to fly. Some may have access restrictions.
Check with local flyers for information.

Sloping the Kapuna Point Sea-Cliff at Waihe’e
Thanks to Duane Asami for permission to use this info.

In May of 1998, Alvin Battad of Kahului set the current A.M.A. Class-A Slope Duration Record at Kapuna Point. Members of M.I.S.O. met at 5:00 a.m. to get ready for Al’s flight and after much prodding, Al launched his Mel Culpepper designed Hummingbird at 5:40 a.m. Twelve-hours-twenty-eight minutes later, he landed with a great suntan and a new A.M.A. Record.

Kapuna Point, generally called Waihe’e (the nearest town) by the local fliers, is a small sea-cliff north of Wailuku. The flying there is great and the lift is endless when the trade-winds blow. Unfortunately, the landings there are not as wonderful as the flying. This is not the place to toss an expensive glass or carbon plane like a Vindicator. If you have a foamie or a less expensive hard-body plane, fine. You may get it home in one piece or you may have some new dings to reminisce about after you leave here. I learned to fly aileron ships at Waihe’e and I’m glad I started with a DAW P-51 foamie Mustang.

Planes that do well here are mostly the foamies, only because of the landing area. The DAW Foamie Mustang, the Studio-B EPPee, the Zagi, the Foameron, etc. Hard-bodies like CR’s Renegade and Excel fly very well here, but take a beating on the landings. When the winds are light, it’s also possible to fly polyhedral ships here such as the Gnome 2meter and the Sophisticated Lady.

WARNING: Before you fly at Waihe’e, you must understand one inviolable rule. You are not allowed to fly when there are people on horseback anywhere in the area. If there are people on horse-back anywhere in sight, DO NOT LAUNCH! If you are in the air when they enter the pasture, LAND THE PLANE! We are allowed to fly at this site only because we have the permission of the ranch which owns the pasture. They run trail rides for tourists. If your plane spooks a horse, someone could get hurt so they don’t allow anyone to fly when riders are anywhere in the area. If you can’t live with this restriction, don’t fly here…some of those cowboys take this stuff very seriously. There are several tales of fliers breaking these rules and being thrown out or punched out!

Finding this site is not particularly difficult. Follow Kahului Beach Rd. north-bound from Ka’ahumanu Ave. (the main highway connecting Kahului to Wailuku) along the coast past the harbor. Take Waiehu Beach Rd. (340) to the intersection with Kahekili Hwy. (330) Turn right and Kahekili Hwy. 330 becomes Kahekili Hwy. 340. Follow Kahekili Hwy. (340) to mile-marker 5, then measure exactly .5 (half) mile from the mile-post marker to a paved shoulder where you can park. Look out over the sea-cliff and you should see a natural arch in the rocky shoreline to the left and directly below you should be a short stick with a couple of plastic streamers on it.

Before you launch, check the wind. If it’s blowing at least 10 mph and if it’s blowing directly into your face from the sea, you’re alright. If it’s from the left, the lift is going to be poor and hard to fly. If you do decide to launch, look for lift way out on the right, just outside the cliff face and beyond the stand of ironwood trees. If the wind is from the right, DON’T LAUNCH. Flying at Waihe’e can be great but losing a plane there can happen in seconds and can be very permanent. It may look like a small pasture with short brush, but there are large (100″ span) planes still lost in the bushes there.

Flying at Waihe’e is wonderful. The view is great, the lift is nearly endless and it’s a ten minute drive to the nearest McDonald’s. Launch and fly straight towards the sea. Don’t expect much lift before you pass the cliff-face because it isn’t always there. Stay away from the bowl area on the right if you don’t have lots of altitude, the air gets really dirty really fast back there.

The landings at this site are interesting. Generally, you use that dirty air in the bowl on the right to kill off altitude as you approach from the right. Drop below the level of the hill to make your approach. As you climb, your plane will lose energy so you should be just above stall as you get to the top of the hill and can land without skidding too far. The landings are generally cross wind here, otherwise you’ll be landing with your plane speeding towards you. Not so bad if you judge the approach perfectly but not to great if you misjudge and put the plane into the fence or your car. Also, be careful of the short scruffy looking bushes, they eat carbon-fiber wings for lunch.

Local Pilots

Duane Asami

South Florida Slope Site

Update 08/05/03:

Regarding the “South Florida Slope Site” post from Charles Lillo, the park he referred to is called Vista View Park and is now open to the public. However, radio-controlled model aircraft are not and never were permitted there.

Along with a growing group of interested local glider flyers and AMA Flying Site Assistance Coordinator Joe Beshar, I am currently in the process of attempting to obtain the permission of Broward County park management to use the hill there for slope soaring. If successful, we intend to form an AMA chartered club called the Vista View Slope Soaring Society.
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Slope Soaring Without Mountains

Check out this site at:

Here is a brief excerpt.

“Believe it or not, slope soaring is entirely possible here in sunny Florida, despite the fact that within 30 miles of the coast the ground rarely gets more than fifty feet above sea level. While our thermals in the summertime have been known to lift small houses off their foundations, the cooling seabreezes that form much of the year are a convenient source of lift along our beaches. Slope soaring is not difficult for anyone who is capable of flying a model sailplane safely. It also offers some unique qualities and opportunities not found in thermal flying. This section will cover a beach environment like we have in Florida, but applies also to any slope with a bit of flat area in front… hills, mountains, large flat-sided buildings, highway overpasses, etc.”

Mild Slope Site Near Orlando

Chris Wells sent in this story.

Site: Carlos Canyon

Description: a pit with 25-30′ of slope, soarable in 270′ of wind direction. (South winds are no good) Probably needs a 20 mph wind to be soarable for most gliders, a Zagi THL is fine on 10-15mph.

Location: off of route 27, maybe a mile north of I4 & 27.

Directions: Go north on 27 off of interstate 4. After about a mile, there is an intersection with a Walgreen’s. Continue north on 27 and take the next right. Go straight onto the dirt road, and if you don’t have 4WD you want to take a right at the fork, since there is deep sand going straight. Watch out for sharp objects. The road on the right ends at the NW corner of the pit. You can also drive down the main road to the NE corner, don’t drive around the pit itself unless you have 4WD: the sand is incredibly soft.

Ted Sent In Info on Slope Flying at Lake Okeechobee in Florida

Hello Greg, I have been soaring the only site I knew of near Lake Okeechobee until I saw your links. I put together a web page describing it for anyone interested in it.

Just wanted to let you know of a new site for Florida flyers. I found your website a week ago, and saw your “Flying site” section for Florida, and clicked on it to find a site right down the street from me! WOW!….In flat Florida!

I have been soaring the only site I knew of near Lake Okeechobee until I saw your links. I put together a web page describing it for anyone interested in it. I have been flying R/C for 25 yrs, Hang gliding for 10yrs and slope flying for about a year. I am now an R/C slope junkie, bigtime.

Please link my site to your flying site section to benefit any other FL flyers that are looking for somewhere to fly.

Thanks for the great site.

Ted J Conowal

Thanks, Ted!

The Dynamic’s First Flight in Florida

Mirko sent in this report on slope soaring in Florida the 30 foot dunes at Merrit Island located about 10 miles north of Cape Canaveral. If you look closely at the photos you will see the gantries in the background for shuttle launches!

We drove from Orlando to this area (Titusville) in a little over an hour. Merritt Island is a viable slope. It is situated just 10 miles or so north of Cape Canaveral with a series of continuous dunes of about 30 feet high. Facing ENE, these bluffs are completely covered with vegetation, where walking is forbidden. Every several hundred yards there are raised, wooden decks that transverse the dunes. These walkways are the only access to the beach area.

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Slopes in the Clearmont, Florida Area

Greg from Florida sent in several slopes in and around the Clearmont area. Nice to know that there is sloping going on in Florida!

1 – There is a slope behind the Bob Evans restaurant on SR 27 off of Johns Lake Rd 2 minutes south of were SR 50 & SR 27 cross which is good for a south wind only. It is approx. 250 ft wide by 30 ft high and a good 45% angle all short grass with a large plateau to land on behind the top, But there are power lines at each end followed by two busy roads, Accurate flying is a must.

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Slope Soaring in Colorado

With all the mountains in Colorado you’d expect some great sloping, and you’d be right!

These are locations we have had the privilege to fly. Some may have access restrictions.
Check with local flyers for information.

Loveland Pass, Colorado
reported by Kou Vang

US Hwy 6 bypass off interstate 70 before entering the tunnels. You climb about 2000 ft. on hairpin roads to 11,900 feet. Parking is available and trails lead even further up the mountains. As part of the Rocky Mountain chain and the Continental Divide you can fly either off the East face or the West face depending on wind direction. Should be flyable in any other wind direction that may develop. The day we were there it was extremely windy 25 mph or more from the East so I flew off the East face. There are 500-2000 ft. drop-offs, which create enormous lift generating 500+ ft of flying altitude. I was not prepared and only flew for 30 minutes. Bring gloves, coat, and water if you plan to fly because the wind is cold and the air is thin. If not flying just stop by for the beautiful view. The pass is open when weather permits.

Denver, Colorado

Check out Ian Frechette’s reviews of Denver area slope sites.

Slope Soaring in California (North)

There are numerous great spots for slope soaring in Northern California. This article has links to other sites with more info

These are locations we have had the privilege to fly. Some may have access restrictions.
Check with local flyers for information.

Northern California

Davenport is about 15 miles north of Santa Cruz just off HWY 1. The flying site is just across the highway from Big Creek Lumber. You’ll see a small hanger with a windsock on top and the runway at the cliffs edge. ( Imagine crosswind landings in a 310 or Baron! ) Find a parking place on the ocean side and follow the trail to the cliff’s edge.

Sunset State Beach is a few miles south of Santa Cruz near Watsonville. Wind normally builds in the afternoon. Not really a morning spot. Go here for directions:

There are many places near San Francisco. Check out this site for more info.

or Axel’s Bay Area Soaring Information at:

If you are in the East Bay area try:

Around Trukee, Tahoe and Grass Valley try Rob Crockett’s Gold Country R/C Soaring site:

Slope Soaring in California (South)

Southern California boasts some of the most famous slopes in our sport. This article includes links to other sites with more information.

These are locations we have had the privilege to fly. Some may have access restrictions.
Check with local flyers for information.

For Torrey Pines info:

List of the best sloping spots in SoCal:

Jon Paul sent this link with info on sites in Santa Barbara, Ventura, Malibu and Playa del Rey:

Southern California Soaring Clubs:

Inland Slope Rebels

West Sydney Slope Soarers

Stephen, the President of the West Sydney Slope Soarers sent in this note.
We have our own registered site at Mt Annan about 40 minutes south west of Sydney. The hill offers a great range of opportunities for every level of slope flyer including DS.

Stephen is also on the committee for the SSA of NSW that Klaus has submitted.

Having these to sites available allows us to fly 12 months of the years as the summer is the coastal season and winter when the winds turn westerly its back to our inland slope.

The club site is at:

Check out the great slope database for a bunch of Australian Slope Sites.

Wisconsin Slope Flyers Rejoice! We Have a New Slope Site in Southeast Wisconsin

The long wait is over. Things turned out a bit differently than we’d originally planned but our friends and fellow club members at AstroWings of Wisconsin helped us finally gain access to one of our local “Holy Grail” slope spots. Thanks to AstroWings, and especially Roger Zahn, as well as the folks at Waste Management for this opportunity.
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What the Heck is Up at or 2008 year in review!

What the Heck is Up at or 2008 year in review!

No doubt many of you have noticed a fairly sparse update schedule for the past few months. Rest assured that after 10 years of running and hosting this site that I am not going anywhere but I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone. Get a post going and give you all an update on what is happening here at

This has been a fairly sparse year for flying personally and thus for personal flight logs. Hopefully, this changes with the coming of the New Year. The weather around here was not great for east winds and those are the winds I most enjoy. We did gain access to a super spot for South, Northwest and Northeast winds at the Omega Hills Slope Site but it is not 5 minutes away like my local favorites. I made it out there a few times and we had the Midwest Weasel Fest there but the time commitment hurt too much to make it a regular thing.

My growing family is taking up more time than in the past. While Sydney is closing in on 10 years old and becoming more self-sufficient, Garrett is just 2-1/2 and we do a bunch of non-flying stuff together so the available time for flying has decreased some.

I didn’t travel as much this year as in the past. The death of the Tri-Slope really affected me for some reason. I’d been planning to be there for several months and really pinning some high expectations on the trip that did not come to fruition. I did have a nice trip west with Brian Kloft early in the year but when I got back home, not only was the weather not great for flying but I actually had some work that I could get paid well for and, consequently, needed to get done.

Additionally, I have not received as many user submissions as in the past. I have a solution to that though! See a separate article entitled For the Contributor In Us All. Meanwhile, don’t hesitate to send me stories, event coverage and other slope related info so that I can post it.

Also, I am not importing planes any more. After several years of bring in some of the best planes in the RC soaring and slope flying game, including such favorites as the Wizard Compact, RaceM, Opus DS and Erwin’s, the combination of a slowdown in my “real” business and the steep decline in the value of the Dollar led me to decide to stop bringing in planes from Europe, thus, not many planes to review. I would welcome any new reviews from those of you who are lucky enough to fly some of the latest and greatest.

And, Horror of horrors I’ve discovered other RC Pursuits. In keeping with the family activity plan I built not only a 1/18th scale off road track in the backyard but run an indoor club for 1/28th scale Mini-Z racing and indoor rock crawling. Sydney loves running cars and Garrett got into the crawler a bit this summer. I’ve even had my mom and sister whooping it up on the track in the backyard. Cars are just a bit easier for the uninitiated.

Mini-Z Club website

Finally, there are some technical and update issues that I am trying to work through for the site but I won’t bore you with those details here. If you are interested, see “For the Geeky Crowd” in another article in which I will discuss the tech future of this site.

What the heck does all this mean?

Well, it means that I had to take a hard look at the continued existence and updating of the site. This, truthfully, took several months of thought as to what the best course of action should be. In the end, shutting down the site just is not an option for me. I have 10 years invested in it and I’m not giving up yet. Slope flying, and the folks who do it,  give me some of the most pleasurable experiences in my life. I aim to continue.

So, with that said, here are some ideas and my current thoughts on the direction and future of

First, I am working on a major revision of not only the back-end software that runs the site but the front-end user interface as well. This site has existed in its current form for more or less 6 years and it is time for a freshening. This will likely necessitate a kind of kludgy work around for a few weeks but bear with me, it will be worth it.

Some of the niceties coming include :

  • Comments on Articles
  • More Media embedding options
  • Easier article posting
  • User Submitted Articles
  • User submitted Photos and Movies

In short, more interaction!

Second, I am going to open up the publisher interface so it is easier for you all to contribute to the site. More details will come but in a nutshell I am going to allow site users to write stories and add pending content to the system. I will be able to review them quickly and make them live in short order. Hopefully, this will encourage more contributors to add stories that our site viewers will find useful and short circuit the tedious method of emailing in submissions.

Third, I am going to accept advertising. The reality of this site is that it is a bunch of work. I really enjoy doing it but with the decline in my “real” business, and my desire to actually increase my efforts on this site, means I need to start banking a few bucks. Look for more on how to advertise on soon. Meanwhile you can always hit that “Donate” button! For what it is worth, in the 5 or more years there has been a “Donation” button on this site at the bottom of nearly every page I have received one, yep, only one donation and that was from a local friend. I am not begging for money but, frankly, I had hoped more people would see value in this site and help me out a bit.

Also, the Google AdSense ads that have been running for about 4 years have, in total, contributed about $850 to the “keep running fund”. Basically, that amount has not even covered the hosting, software costs and upkeep services required to keep the site live but it was pretty close so I’ll call that a wash. For the time being they will continue but my goal is to have companies that serve the slope soaring market directly replace those ads.

Down the road. Could be a few months or a few years.


Got ideas or feedback? Shoot me a note

Slope Soaring Concordia Jan 3 2009

While we typically try to get in a slope flight in on New Year’s Day, this year did not cooperate with the wind direction. (We did get a bit of *gasp* power flying in a AstroWings). Anyway, It wasn’t until the 3rd that I  got a call from Mirko reporting that the wind would be good and the temperatures moderate at Concordia on Sunday. So, I went to the shop early and got a couple of planes ready; my Bee and the LEG P-51.
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iPhone Weather Apps for Slope Soaring Pilots

There are, at my last count, 62 applications in the Apps section of the iTunes store for the iPhone that have something to do with weather. 40 of them cost something. While I think some of the paid apps have merit, I figured that I would work through the free apps first to see if I could find one that does what I need so all listed here are either free from the App Store or websites with iPhone specific formatting.

Some of the offerings below are applications that you download and install on the iPhone and some are simply websites with iPhone specific formatting. Either way, getting the current weather is one of the things I do most with my iPhone. As you probably already know, slope soaring is very weather dependent and knowing the current conditions means I can enjoy the hobby more. In a way, slope soaring is a lot like surfing. You gotta go when the conditions are right!

Wunderground (Weather Underground)

I end up using this site most as I am normally looking for real time wind conditions in my local area and the network of observers in the Wunderground family provide a lot of locations to sample from. In the Milwaukee area I can select a personal weather station (PWS) that is only about a mile from one of our main slopes and where I need to know the wind direction. IN addition it is right on the Lake Michigan Bluff. With Lake Michigan exerting a significant effect on the weather around here, the conditions can vary significantly from the shore to just a few miles inland. The only real downside to using Wunderground is that it is not an app and that I would need to store multiple web pointers to easily access the spots I regularly look at. Be sure to enable use PWS (Personal Weather Stations) for the most choices on where to get observations from.

Here is the URL for direct access from your iPhone:

Weather Underground Details
Picking a PWS in Weather Underground

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Middleton Mountain Vernon B.C. Canada

The view from the picture is looking south over Kalamalka Lake.

Middleton Mtn is located just outside of Vernon B.C. which is in the Okanagan Valley of the B.C. Interior. Approximately 5 hours from Vancouver B.C., 6 hours Calgary, and 2.5 hours from the Washington border. The summit is about 630 metres ASL.

Slope flying exists on South, SW, West and East ridges of Middleton Mountain. Treeless top with natural bunch grass, and with just an occasional rock to watch for makes for nice landing. Flying is at the summit only as development has wiped out all the lower grasslands, along with numerous smaller slopes that existed. There is still a nice slope that leads to the summit and it does not appear that this or the top will be developed. The lift seems a little more choppy with the houses built below but is still great. South to SW winds are predominant, but East winds when they occur are great.

The easiest way to get here would be to drive out from Vernon on Hwy 6, turn on to Middleton Way and follow the streets to Mt. Ida road. Follow Mt.Ida West and come to a cul de sac. Unfortunately one now has to hike approx 10 minutes up the slope but well worth it when the wind is blowing.

Vernon used to have a very active RC soaring club in the 70’s and early 80’s (NWSS affiliated) but there is no activity at this time. Would be happy to show anyone this site that would be interested. Contact

Deer Island Slope Site Near Boston

David sent this in from The Granite Glider Guiders a southern New Hampshire area club.

Deer Island is just minutes from downtown Boston and offers both east and west facing slopes. The property is part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. Public areas are open dawn to dusk every day. Using the address 175 Tafts Ave., Winthrop, MA 02152 will get you close.  The parking area is at the end of Tafts Ave.
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Berry Pasture Trail New Hampshire Slope Site

Berry Pasture Trail has long been a popular hiking trail leading to Burton Peak on Temple Mountain in Sharon, NH. A timber harvest was completed during the summer of 2007 which provides great views of Mount Monadnock and some awesome soaring when winds are blowing from the southwest. Use the Google Map below to get driving directions to the parking area.

From the parking area it’s a strenuous 15-20 minute climb to the west facing slope site. Just follow the triangular blue blazes until you come to the clearing.

The site is accessible in winter, but Mountain Road is not plowed by the town.  Four wheel drive (along with common sense) is highly recommended when the road is covered in snow.

Continuing up Berry Pasture Trail leads to the summit of Burton Peak.  Near the top it meets up with the Wapack trail which is marked by yellow blazes.  Follow the trail uphill until you see the blue blazes break off to the left. When the wind is north-westerly this area probably provides much better lift.  However, it’s pretty tight and not for the faint of heart.

Here is a link to a Google map of the area.

Polecat Aero

Polecat Aero – I originally got my Xterminator here several years ago and have since owned several planes from Polecat Aero. Denny is very helpful. He has answered every question I had in a timely manner and expresses a genuine interest in my experience with the kit I got from him. I sent a couple dozen emails to him and they were all answered in less that 24 hours. There was a slight delay when I ordered as mine was one of the first complete kits he had put together, but he kept me informed and the wait was short.

Super Talon Conversion

Kevin McDonald, who did the prototype balsa version of the Talon as it was converted from a limited production glass loper in the early ’80s, sent in a great document to address some of the concessions made when the kit went into production and help make the Talon perform more like the plane it cold be. The Super Talon!

Kevin McDonald, who did the prototype balsa version of the Talon as it was converted from a limited production glass loper in the early ’80s, sent in a great document to address some of the concessions made when the kit went into production and help make the Talon perform more like the plane it cold be. The Super Talon!

Download the 1.4MB Talon to Super Talon Conversion PDF Here

Page Springs, Arizona Slope Flying Site

Jim Breen sent info about this slope soairng site in Arizona.

We have a site in Page Springs, AZ (about 15 miles southwest of Sedona). It’s not a big hill, but adequate for foamie wings like a Weasel Pro. From October through May we get our typical southwest wind in the mid day with 10-15 mph pretty frequently. We’ve had flights lasting 30 min. to an hour plus. The best part is you can drive up to the edge of the slope site, and park, get out and toss your plane. If the occassional retrival is necessary, you can walk down the hill with a little care without killing yourself. Foamies only, composits will die here due to poor landing conditions.

If you want directions, best to write to me as they are a little complicated.

The Big M Platteville, WI 09-03-07

I stopped at The Big M in Platteville, WI today on the way home from the LEG Slopefest in Kansas for a little more slope flying. Can’t get enough! No one else there. Pretty decent conditions in the air. Not so great on the road that leads to the top. It was pretty sketchy. There is a large rill at the last turn before the top that requires a slow crossing and then you are mired in soft gravel. I made it through in the slopeflyer Chrysler T&C but realize that I drive this van where 95% of 4-wheelers wouldn’t so I’d suggest 4WD for now.

There is a new concrete bench really close to the LZ that makes landing a bit tricky so I flew my Predator Bee to test the lift and to try some different approaches for landing. I tried a new approach to the left of the stairs and it worked pretty well.

This shot is from the top of the stairs. The new bench is on the left and permanent!
That is the old bench on the right.

After the Bee I got my newly tuned Skip Miller Slope (Mach Dart) out and ripped up the place. I’d already moved the CG WAY back from the original Mach Dart instructions and it was sitting about the middle of the rear bolt. After removing another 1/4 ounce in Kansas I think it is pretty near perfect. It did roll off on a tip when I got it really slow but this thing is supposed to be going fast so that shouldn’t be a problem.

The wind when i flew the Slope was 12MPH-15MPH and big thermals. There was pretty much lift everywhere and huge loops, screaming dives and multiple roll passes were a blast. I worked in some Cuban 8s, basic Split Ss and a fairly respectable snap roll. It is great having an excellent slope, good conditions and a sweet plane and not have to worry about anyone else in the air but, at the same time, flying with other guys is really what sloping is all about to me so after about an hour I packed up and finished my trip back to Milwaukee.

More bench pix.

From the deck

From the parking area

Wreckhouse Section of the Long Range Mountains in Newfoundland

While attempting to get a handle on my out of control email Inbox, I came across this link that Mirko sent me a long time ago. I’ve been meaning to figure out how to get a trip to this place!

I don’t know if anyone has ever sloped this area but I’d sure like to give it a try! No trees, lots of wind and steep mountains sounds like a slope flyers paradise.


Orca Pitcheron Slope Ship

harley's orca

Harley Michaelis of Genie TD ship fame, with help from Jay Decker, Eagle Butte regular, have made available a new version of the ORCA “pitcheron” sloper with plans and parts kits. The original version appeared in the November ’89 issue of Model Aviation while the new plane has been updated to reflect current slope trends. If you like speed, agility and something different in looks, check out this easy-to-build machine.

Northwestern New Mexico Sloping Near Chama

L.P. How sent in this site in he Northwestern corner of New Mexico just outside of Chama.

He says  “Great landing area and my longest flight so far is over an hour with my Philip 600 e-powered hotliner. In the fall the color is beautiful not to mention surprising the train buffs with an airshow at one of the most beautiful spot in NM.

L.P. How sent in this site in he Northwestern corner of New Mexico just outside of Chama.


  • Go north after Chama to Cumbre pass.
  • At the top there is a narrow gauge tour train stop.
  • Right after the pass, take the first left on to a dirt road and another left right away. (going behind the train station) 50~70 yards later you’ll see a hiking trail going up the saddle on your right. (if you get to the underpass, you’ve gone too far).
  • A short/easy 5 minute hike and you are there.

2007-08-04Great landing area and my longest flight so far is over an hour with my Philip 600 e-powered hotliner. In the fall the color is beautiful not to mention surprising the train buffs with an airshow at one of the most beautiful spot in NM.

I made the trip to fly up there from Santa Fe, which is a two hour drive, about four times.

Conditions had been winds 15~20 mph and when it isn’t blowing the thermal from the valley is just fantastic. I am not sure but I think on top of the pass is 10,500ft.

Get in touch with me if anyone is interested.



Cape Cod Slope Soaring at Wellfleet Parking Issues

Jan sent in this update. IMPORTANT INFO HERE!

Meant to write you last summer after reading your Wellfleet parking paragraph. Things have become even more restrictive since 2007. In May 2008 my friend was flying at Duck Harbor when the National Seashore environmental ranger told him to cease flying because of endangered species (piping plover) nesting on the beach below. While we used to park at the Great Island parking lot, and walk to the slope, it is no longer possible to use this slope in the summer (mid May to Labor Day). Same goes for other Cape beaches – depends on nesting site location.

Here’s the thread from RC Groups –

I have been to Cape Cod a couple of times before and have checked out a few of the slope soaring spots listed on the CRRC site that Helmet wrote a few years back. I’ve always had excellent flying while staying at the Seascape and hitting a few of the local hills. This year the wind was a bit more west on Thursday so I decided to try the dunes at Duck Harbor near Wellfleet.

Seems that the city of Wellfleet owns the beach at Duck Harbor and from the third Saturday in June to Labor Day will not issue a beach parking permit to anyone not staying in Wellfleet. I am staying in North Truro and so can not get  a legal pass to the beach during the day. After 5PM there are no restrictions but knowing about the restrictions earlier in the day would have saved me some time.

By the way, if you are staying in Wellfleet and looking for the place to get a parking pass just go to the harbor and check in at the Beach Parking Permit House.

Cape Cod Slope Soaring at the Seascape Motel

I got to the Seascape about 2PM on Wednesday, June 20th, 2007 and had a good hour of slope flying the Weasel and the Bee but the wind died off as the rain that had been in the area all morning passed.

I took a drive to look over Duck Harbor about 5PM and sloped the small dunes to the right as you walk up to the beach with my Polecat XP-4 DLG while Syd, Garrett  and Wendy hunted for shells. There are some roped off areas for the Plover nesting grounds to the left and I did not walk further to check out the higher dunes there as the wind was light. May check that area on Thursday if the 20kph West winds arrive.

Thursday was supposed to be West winds so I took a drive with the family over to Wellfleet and Duck Harbor. After 30 minutes or so of searching for the place to buy a parking permit for the beach we were thwarted by the City of Wellfleet and their Summer Beach Parking Pass Policy or SBPPP. Seems from the 3rd Saturday of June through Labor Day the city only issues parking passes to residents and guests of the city proper. Since we were staying in North Truro we did not rate a parking permit at any cost! I haven’t confirmed it yet but the parking people in Wellfleet informed me that Corn Hill in the City or Truro has the same policy, only for Truro residents and guests.
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Indiana Dunes – Mt Baldy Weather Information

Here is a link to the Michigan city light house weather station for slope
soaring Mount Baldy.

As described before N-NW winds are ideal. Western southerly winds are soarable on the smaller north dune.

The large central bowl of the dune makes this site great for beginners to
learn with elbow room for mistakes.

I paraglide and RC this location whenever the winds permit.


Kepp’s Crossing Overlook Slope Site – Idaho Slope Soaring Site

Kepp’s Crossing Overlook Slope Site

Cory sent in this great report on a slope soaring spot in Southeast Idaho. He says Idaho Falls is at the eastern end of the Snake River Plain. This plain is oriented generally in line with the jet stream in spring and fall, which helps produce our winds.

Southeast Idaho has a reputation amongst its residents for being pretty windy. I’ve lived here for 29 years and always thought so too, that is until I took up slope flying in the early ‘90’s. Sometimes it seems like the wind only blows when all of my planes need repairs. Murphy must have been a sloper!  Seriously, I once knew someone who moved here from “The Windy City” who claimed that Chicago was calm compared to here.

Idaho Falls is at the eastern end of the Snake River Plain. This plain is oriented generally in line with the jet stream in spring and fall, which helps produce our winds. Unfortunately, most of the steeper slopes in our area do not face the prevailing wind direction of SSW.  Fortunately there are several exceptions. I will submit descriptions of these sites as I fly them this spring.

This part of the cliff makes the best lift.

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Mt Baldy Slope Flying, Michigan City, Indiana Update

I have spent the last 2 afternoons sloping at Mt. Baldy near Michigan City IN. There are a lot of changes this year that slopers may want to take note of.

The first change is that the approach paths have been altered. The main (and only) path to the summit now begins at the service road on the west side of the main driveway entering the site. The result is a longer path to the top. The natural movement of the dune over the last couple of years has made the final approach to the summit a very steep one, so be advised to “keep it light” with the amount of stuff you carry with you.

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JR Announced a Couple of 2.4ghz Radios Recently.

I’ve been waiting for this announcement from my favorite radio maker for sometime. I know that JR is not always the fastest with new technology but when they do it, they do it right. Looks like they have embraced 2.4GHz DSM2 technology.

First, JR is making the 9303 available as a 2.4GHz unit called, appropriately enough, the JR X9303 2.4.

Even cooler, coming this fall is a new 12 channel DSM2 radio dubbed the 12X. Sounds great for big scale sailplanes and for any guy who needs, or wants, the best. It incorporates the rolling selector system that I love on the 9303.


Predator Bee – A Tougher, Stiffer Bee!

I just finished up my Predator Bee and while it has been languishing around the shop for a few months the build actually went pretty fast. (The Predator Bee is a modified version of the popular Windrider Bee combat wing). I went with internal pushrods, taped the heck out of it and added a couple of layers of goop. It seems really strong and is the stiffest combat style wing I’ve owned. This one came in just under 24 ounces. Looks like I may want to build a lighter one in the future!
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Slope Aerobatics Website From Steve Lange

Santa Barbaran, Steve Lange, has begun what promises to be a super website on slope aerobatics. The site is located at (I’m surprised that domain name wasn’t already taken!).

So far there are photos, reviews and videos. A copuple of planes are well represented those being Le Fish, the Voltij and the Weasel.

As Steve’s mission statement states:

“ is dedicated to the joy and satisfaction inherent to flying R/C glider aerobatics on the slope. The website has an international focus and is meant to showcase the different styles of aerobatic R/C slope flying popular around the world.”

Sounds good to me.

BTW, I have a Le Fish coming, Steve. We’ll get you some pix of aerobatic action in the Midwest!

My 2nd Pica Pitcheron Sloper

I liked my first Pica so much that I got a second plane from Tim. The new plane is a glass version instead of a carbon plane but it seems fine to me. The pix don’t do the color justice but it is orange and blue. I may add a second orange stripe to the bottom of the wing. I was not sure how it would look but now that I have it I think the additional stripe will balance it out nicely. Stock Krylon color so that should be easy.
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Ellipse 2V First Impressions

I’ve wanted a Jaro Muller Ellipse 2 for a long time. It has always been a very highly regarded plane and is still competitive something like 10 years after it was introduced plus, for me, it looks great! It has some shape to the fuse instead of just being a broomstick and, like all Jaro Muller planes, it is superbly built and tough as nails.

My Ellipse 2V is 2.86 meters or about 112 inches. Mine comes in at 86 ounces. It has provisions for a bunch of ballast and a hook on the bottom if one feels the need for a winch launch. Jim Porter, the builder and previous owner, put a speed hook tube in the nose as well.

Greg’s Ellipse 2V

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JART World Interview Series

Reed’s interviews of some of the best known names in slope soaring make for some great reading and give some insight into the thoughts and experiences of an influential bunch of guys in our slope soaring hobby.

As of this writing Reed has interviewed the following folks:

I look forward to reading more interviews from sloping luminaries!

Great Planes Precision Z-Bend Pliers

Great Planes Precision Z-Bend Pliers

Part # GPMR8025

Every rc slope plane builder will need a good Z-Bend pliers in their tools arsenal. The Great Planes version, called “Precision Z-Bend Pliers, is my favorite mostly for the alignment pin. It helps you put the bend right where you want it every time. You simply put the pin in the servo horn hole you are using, insert your push rod and clamp down on the pliers. Voilà, a perfect bend at the right length.

Get the Great Planes Precision Z-Bend Pliers at your local hobby shop or go to to find where to get them.

Slope Scale Aircobra PSS Plane

This Slope Scale kit can be made to resemble a P-39 Aircobra or a P-63 Kingcobra. I use the terms interchangeably for better or worse. My plane leans towards the Kingcobra if only because I opted for a more Kingcobra like vertical fin because it is a bit taller. I figured the extra stability couldn’t hurt.

My current P-63 is a standard layup and with normal balsa sheeting/solartex/paint type construction. It is flying at 38 ounces. I recently picked up a heavy layup short kit that I will build heavier for the big wind days. I am going to use 1/32 ply on that one.
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San Antonio Mountain in Northern New Mexico

Posted by Ezra (Edited by Greg) on Mar 28, 2007, 21:35

San Antonio mountain, located on highway 285 about 10 miles south
of the Colorado state line, about 35 minutes northwest of Taos, New Mexico. A
massive blob with 10,000 foot altitude and 2100 feet above the surrounding is land located on BLM and Forest Land. There is a dirt road 87 that skirts the backside (southwest) where the winds are most prevelant. It’s size is deceiving, it’s about a mile hike from the car to the slope. The lift is massive, very easy to speck out my Kulbutan in any direction. The slope is rocky in some areas.
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PBS Series Nature Features Kyle Paulson DSing!

I caught the Raptor Force episode of the PBS series Nature today. It was a very cool show all about various raptors and their influence on aircraft design and studies of flight. One segment had Kyle Paulson DSing his 100-inch Exxtreme! RC on PBS. How cool is that? The segment was about dynamic soaring and the energy gained flying the DS groove.

The preceding segment showed how Condors do the same thing to fly long distances with very little energy expended.

The segment following Kyle’s demonstration of dynamic soaring showed a full scale glider and pilot exploring the phenomenon of DS flying the groove on the side of a mountain. How long before this is a real full-scale sport?

The nature series is on a bunch of times in my local market so you may still be able to catch a viewing in your area. Look for the Raptor Force episode.

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