slopeflyer.com

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: greg@slopeflyer.com. 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/slopeaerobatics.com 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 + SlopeAerobatics.com T-Shirt
Second Place: $150 Dream-Flight Cash + SlopeAerobatics.com T-Shirt
Third Place: $100 Dream-Flight Cash + SlopeAerobatics.com T-Shirt

Check out all the details at – http://www.slopeaerobatics.com/2017/08/18/announcing-the-dream-flight-ahi-one-design-video-contest/ 

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

JE

Erickson Architects
John R. Erickson, AIA

If you remember past iterations of slopeflyer.com, 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 greg@slopeflyer.com and see your words on the big ol’ Interwebs!

Slope Trash Magazine Flys Again!

If you remember past iterations of slopeflyer.com, 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 greg@slopeflyer.com. With that said, here is the original announcement from 2002!

Thanks to an arrangement with the original publisher, Roy G. Biv, slopeflyer.com 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 slopeaerobatics.com 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 + SlopeAerobatics.com T-Shirt
Second Place: $150 Dream-Flight Cash + SlopeAerobatics.com T-Shirt
Third Place: $100 Dream-Flight Cash + SlopeAerobatics.com T-Shirt

Head over to slopeaerobatics.com 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 atomikrc.com

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 – https://www.atomikrc.com/collections/bags-cases

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 – http://www.slopeaerobatics.com/2017/08/18/announcing-the-dream-flight-ahi-one-design-video-contest/ 

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!

8/17/17

Maiden Flights of dream-flight Weasel-Trek and Ahi

slopeflyer.com 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 Wunderground.com 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.

slopeflyer.com dream-flight dream team of Weasel, Ahi and Alula
slopeflyer.com 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!

8/15/17

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

slopeflyer.com 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. http://www.risoaringclub.org/

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.

Regards,
Jan

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vB2EYCIiD5E

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.

cortina1sm

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.

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