slopeflyer.com

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.

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:

http://flybyudan.blogspot.com/

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!

http://www.rcgroups.com/inland-slope-rebels-221/

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 flyweasel.com 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 www.flyweasel.com 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/Cwww.flyweasel.com
Hobby-Lobby (Ultracote/Oracover) – http://www.hobby-lobby.com

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!
  • slopeflyer.com 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 slopeflyer.com 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!

slopeflyer.com 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 slopeflyer.com’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.

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