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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

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

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.

big-bay-03-091

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.

big-bay-03-092

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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