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Slope Soaring Near Birmingham

Jim Larkin sent us this story from Birmingham. Thanks, Jim!

We have a slope here in Birmingham, AL, but only for NW winds or something very close. It is a cleared off mountain top that homes are being built on. Construction presently stopped due to some fill dirt settling and some cracks have resulted. So, we can fly for a while. The name of the site is The Ledges of Weatherly and is south of Birmingham, in the Pelham area.

We don’t get much NW, mostly when we have a weather change. Usually pretty turbulent so we fly mostly foamies.

Mirko’s Airtech Fitness

Mirko Bodul sent in this review on his Airtech Fitness, a French made 2-meter slope or thermal plane.

I received my FITNESS early last March and have been flying it since the end of March. A very easy plane to build and fly with no bad habits; ailerons, elevator, and rudder are the control surfaces. Stalls are nothing more than the classic “mush;” no nasty spin on the wingtip or other nerve racking behavior. The plane accelerates well in dives, and “zooms” very well for height recovery as do most Airtech planes.

This fast, 2-meter, thin winged plane flies in very light lift or in howling 35 mph winds – with no ballast. I don’t bother with ballast. I get irritated if my unballasted plane does not fly in all conditions. This plane has never irritated me. For those of you who must absolutely load up with dead weight, the plans advise no more than 500 grams of ballast, that is to say, a little over a pound. The plane comes in at about 35 ounces overall weight. Airtech, the manufacturer of this fine kit, recommends using 1.5 degrees of down aileron (flaperon) in light lift to help while flying in thermals. The S7012 airfoil is exceptionally efficient in light lift.

Airtech Fitness at Platteville, WI

 

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