Update on my McLean Extreme

Update – This plane is a great size . It is big enough to get great performance and small enough to fly at the local small slopes. My closest slope is 70 feet high and about 200 feet wide with a tricky on the face of the hill LZ. The flaps are great for bringing it in.

Greg launches the Extreme at Sheridan Park

On bigger hills like the Big M or Concordia I have had 16 ounces in it many times. I have a steel ballast bar now and will be making a set of lead slugs so I can get more weight in it.

I really like how it bangs off the turns!

The Extreme at Sheridan park

South Dakota Slope Trip October 2001

In memory of Ed Harris 1933-2001.
Read a tribute to Ed by friend Jim Porter.

There are over 75 pictures on the site from this trip. Start looking at them here.

Well y’all, here is the beginning of the report on the 2001 South Dakota Slopin’ Safari, held over four days in the Chamberlain area of South Dakota. 25 pilots from around the Midwest made the trek. States represented included Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio and South Dakota.

Pilots started arriving early in the AM of Thursday, October 4th and were welcomed to the first sloping location by South Dakota resident and slope finder, Rob Hurd. Rob has done extensive research and travel to find the best locations for sloping in South Dakota and the next 4 days would prove that his search was not in vain.

The location Rob chose for Thursday, located on a private ranch near Chamberlain, had a large area where pilots could drive to the top of the hill and fly just feet from their vehicles. The wind was light in the AM but flyable and with the thermals coming through there was no excuse not to get the flying under way.

Flyers continued to arrive throughout the day and there were 18 -20 who showed up on Thursday.

Many of the new arrivals chose to stay at the spot near the parking area. Several adventurous types followed Rob to a different hill that was about a 10 minute hike from the parking area. Shazam! It was a great spot for DSing! Several pilots took DSing 101 from Rob as most of the attendees had never done the DS thing before. We spent several hours finding our DS wings with Rob patiently looking on and offering advice.

Dinner at Al’s Oasis completed the evening and I went to sleep with the whoosh, whoosh sounds of DSing in my head.

Friday looked to be a bit better for wind and it was blowing somewhat stronger with the late afternoon offering up 18-20 mph pretty consistently. Even with the decent wind pilots still had to contend with strong thermals and the ensuing sink throughout the day.

Give a soaring junkie a new toy and see if he can resist! Several more pilots made the trip to the DS location, no doubt encouraged by those who had done it on Thursday. I spent the whole day there! Who says junkies are not sociable, you just have to come to my crib!

The highlight of Friday’s flying, for me anyway, was a tossup between DSing my Prodij and Extreme and watching Dave Hauch DS his 2 meter Duck! Here was the sound: Quack, Quack, Smack! Too bad it had to end that way Dave!

Prime Rib at Charley’s did the trick for many a hungry tummy on Friday evening.

Saturday and Sunday were spent front siding at another private ranch about 5 miles from the first site. The slope here was spectacular! The ridge is about 250 feet above the land immediately below and then it slopes down another 300 feet or so to the Missouri which is less than 3/4 mile away. The bowl shape of the site would make working it from different wind directions possible although it was pretty consistent on the two days we were there.

Saturday the wind was a bit light, but most people brought planes for light air. As the day progressed, and the thermals started to add to the available lift, many different birds made it into the air.

Rob, Larry, Walt and several other guys had some combat going later in the day while Dave and I, as well as a couple of other “crunchie” flyers, used a different spot on the slope. There was room for all.

A big group dinner and plenty of hangar talk took place at Al’s Oasis on Saturday evening.

Sunday started out with better winds and as more guys packed up to leave, it kept building. Dave and I got in some good flights with our Vindicators. I had the Extreme and Prodij out as well. Mirko had a nice flight with his 4 meter LS-4 and avoided what could have been a disaterous landing behind the hill when his plane hunted out the tallest grass around to settle in. Walt and Emil really got their Zippers dialed in.

One of the highlights of Sundays flying was playing “last guy to pull up wins” with Rob and Larry. Basically we all start at about the same altitude, dive for the valley floor and wait until the other two chicken out. I think we all were about equally daring, although I am sure Rob won one of the rounds because I swear he breezed a tree at the bottom.

A partial list of planes flown during the 4 days: Zagis galore, Boomerangs, Brisk II, Image, 2 Vindicators, Extreme, Prodij, 4 meter LS-4, Hillbilly, several Zippers, several Fun-1s, several JWs, 2 meter Duck, Wide Glide, Eli 2, Vern Hunt F3B, a couple of Vern flying wings, several foamy warbirds, Encore, Scar, Windfree, SH-50, Mini-Acacia, 2 Sagittas, several 60 inch racers from MRCSS, 2 meter DAW 1-26 and many more!

Kou discovers several small slopes in Madison

Madison Wisconsin Slope Flying Sites
discovered by Kou Vang

Giddens Park, Lake Mendota, Madison WI
A small park facing N-NW onto Lake Mendota. Located on the Isthmus on N. Brearly St. behind a Church just off E. Gorham St. Parking space available at the top. Grassy slope is mowed all the way down to the lake. The slope is gentle and is about 50-80 feet above the lake and 30-50 yards from the shore. A small area facing NW is free of obstructions, but more N are 3-4 trees that are at the base of the slope and affect flow a little, getting above the turbulence created by them you’ll be in smooth air. This site is advisable in N-NW-W-NNE winds of 10mph or more. Recommend HLGs and foamies, Zagi’s work great. Landing is a little tricky in the small area and there are large trees and houses around the perimeter of the park. Lift is very good, but you must get above the turbulence created by the trees. Hour flights in 10+ mph N and NW can be had. Soaring is several hundred feet high depending on wind conditions and incoming thermals from the north shore. Bring lead for NW winds at 15+ mph.
Read more

Spring Valley Resevoir, Spring Valley, WI

Spring Valley Wisconsin Slope Flying Site

Directions to Spring Valley Slope (from Twin Cities)
Take 94 East through Hudson, WI to exit 19, which is HWY 63. Follow this for 7 miles to County Road 29 and turn left (East). Follow this into the town of Spring Valley. At County Road B turn left. Follow it through town to 2nd Avenue (stop sign here). Turn Left into 2nd Avenue (same as County B). Follow it West for one mile to 250th St.

Turn Right on 250th at the sign that says Eau Galle Recreation Area, turn right. When you get to the gate leading into the Corps of Engineers buildings, turn right and continue up a hill. Keep bearing right. You’ll come to a parking area with a covered look out balcony that overlooks the reservoir below. Park and walk down to the dam site.

N. Fork Bad Axe River, Dam site, Vernon County near La Crosse, WI

N. Fork Bad Axe River, Dam site, Vernon County near La Crosse, WI
reported by Kou Vang

A sloping treasure, if you can find this site and the wind directions are right you’ll be in DSing heaven. It is a dam site, holding back the Bad Axe River. County Y, goes right over the dam and there is parking on top of the dam. You have 100-200+ feet of almost vertical slope on both sides down to the lake on the north or a small stream on the south. I flew in south winds, which generated excellent, but turbulent lift. In south winds you are flying over a small stream and can land at the bottom on the flats. If flying in North winds you’ll be landing on the slope, on top of the dam or in the water. Wind directions Southish to Northish at 8+ mph recommended. In 10+ mph any size plane should fly and there is plenty of space for landing on top. Bring the Monsters out. The North face onto the Lake is less restricted and should give smoother lift, the South face is grassy at the bottom, but faces the tree line several yards back, so there is more turbulence. If DSing you’ll be doing it right across the road, but don’t worry few people travel this isolated route. The bad thing is the dam is located in a valley up in the hills, therefore wind direction can be somewhat restricted to directly S and N flying because of the flow within the valley.

This site is located in the Amish country of Vernon County, near La Crosse. It takes 25 minutes to get there from La Crosse. You’ll need a Gazetteer or you’ll get lost. From La Crosse, take 35 south till you get near Goose Island, then take a left onto County K and follow it for 8-10 winding miles until you reach 162 East (this will be an inclining exit of K, and leads into the town of Chaseburg). Right after Chaseburg take a right onto County KK and follow that for another 4-5 winding miles till you see Enterprise Road which you’ll take a right onto. Follow that for 1 mile till you reach County Y, where you will take a left and follow that for 2 miles till you reach the site.

Russ’s Vern Hunt Sloper

Report on 09/06/01

High Angst is my first larger sloper. The 4.5 lb weight (16 oz/ft2) was a little disconcerting but I had nothing to fear. It flies as if on rails and is super stable. Mirko has always extolled the virtues of larger planes and it is easy to see where his enthusiasm comes from. Yes, Renolds Number does exist!

The severely tapered wing and only 10% stab area spelled “tip stall” to me. I set the CG at 25% MAC as a starting point and have since moved it back to 30%. I used an aluminum spinner that did not have prop cutouts for the nose. I made a clay impression of the inside of the spinner then cast a mold in plaster of Paris, using the clay as a pattern. When the plaster was hard, I poured lead in the mold. I was afraid that pouring lead in the spinner might distort it. This worked great.

Flying is different from the SH-50. I have to think ahead a little more. The SH-50 can roll or loop in impulse if you have some speed. The High Angst requires a little forethought as its inertia makes it a little slower to react. I have increased aileron throws to liven it up. The fast swooping flight with great E retention is its forte.

On the first landing, I overshot the approach and flew it between tree branches without a touch. Lucky! Spoilerons are effective for slowing down. I recommend them on all slopers that do not have flaps.

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