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Wisconsin Slope Flyers Rejoice! We Have a New Slope Site in Southeast Wisconsin

The long wait is over. Things turned out a bit differently than we’d originally planned but our friends and fellow club members at AstroWings of Wisconsin helped us finally gain access to one of our local “Holy Grail” slope spots. Thanks to AstroWings, and especially Roger Zahn, as well as the folks at Waste Management for this opportunity.
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The Big M Platteville, WI 09-03-07

I stopped at The Big M in Platteville, WI today on the way home from the LEG Slopefest in Kansas for a little more slope flying. Can’t get enough! No one else there. Pretty decent conditions in the air. Not so great on the road that leads to the top. It was pretty sketchy. There is a large rill at the last turn before the top that requires a slow crossing and then you are mired in soft gravel. I made it through in the slopeflyer Chrysler T&C but realize that I drive this van where 95% of 4-wheelers wouldn’t so I’d suggest 4WD for now.

There is a new concrete bench really close to the LZ that makes landing a bit tricky so I flew my Predator Bee to test the lift and to try some different approaches for landing. I tried a new approach to the left of the stairs and it worked pretty well.

This shot is from the top of the stairs. The new bench is on the left and permanent!
That is the old bench on the right.

After the Bee I got my newly tuned Skip Miller Slope (Mach Dart) out and ripped up the place. I’d already moved the CG WAY back from the original Mach Dart instructions and it was sitting about the middle of the rear bolt. After removing another 1/4 ounce in Kansas I think it is pretty near perfect. It did roll off on a tip when I got it really slow but this thing is supposed to be going fast so that shouldn’t be a problem.

The wind when i flew the Slope was 12MPH-15MPH and big thermals. There was pretty much lift everywhere and huge loops, screaming dives and multiple roll passes were a blast. I worked in some Cuban 8s, basic Split Ss and a fairly respectable snap roll. It is great having an excellent slope, good conditions and a sweet plane and not have to worry about anyone else in the air but, at the same time, flying with other guys is really what sloping is all about to me so after about an hour I packed up and finished my trip back to Milwaukee.

More bench pix.

From the deck


From the parking area

Big Bay Park, Whitefish Bay, WI

Big Bay Park, Whitefish Bay, WI

70 foot slope overlooking Lake michigan. Small, tricky landing area. 3 of us live within a mile of it!

Good bowl shaped slope on the shore of Lake Michigan a few miles north of Milwaukee. The slope is small, only about 70 feet but it provides good lift. The landing area is tricky and requires an up the face and plop it on the top approach. NNE to E winds, but if it gets East there are better slopes a bit south of here.
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Spectacular Sunday at the Big M!

Mirko writes: This WAS one of the best days we ever had on any slope!  It was no effort to climb out to 1000 ft at anytime of the day.  Steady 25-30 mph winds, with over  twenty different planes flying.  Two different Compact Wizard 2X, four different Pixels,  an Ellipse 3 CAM, Extreme, Psycho, Jedi, Hornisse, Fitness, and various trashy foamies.  There were only three of us: Greg, Ken Nelson and myself. This was Ken’s first time ever to the Mound: he was just thrilled with the great conditions.

With all the dry, unplanted dark ground in front of the Mound, super strong thermals were constantly blowing through the lift zone, which allowed straight out, forward flight to huge altitudes all day.  Very pleasant 70 F all day, with no clouds, until about 7:00 PM.  This was the dream come true slope day.  Best of all, no crashes or even, bad landings. The Wizards, Ellipse, Psycho, Jedi, and of course, the Pixels all were screaming like banshees.

Greg says: What a day! I have a new toy and it is not a plane. Have a look at the pix and you will see what it is!

All photos by Greg unless noted. (There is a second page of pix here)

Ken and his ballasted Bluto

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The Slope at Bender Park – OakCreek, WI

Milwaukee Slope Flying Sites

SH-50 at Bender Park Oakwood Rd. location

 

Bender Park, Milwaukee

Good 100+ foot bluff on the shore of Lake Michigan NNE to SE winds with slightly NE best. The best slope in the Milwaukee area is in Oak Creek at the end of Fitzsimmons Road or Oakwood Road. The walk up Oakwood is much shorter! Huge landing area, no trees, 100+ ft slopes, but of course one huge problem: Milwaukee County has closed it. There is a gate across the road. The county government closed this to re-build the bluff north of Fitzsimmons Road for a now defunct golf course. If you do not mind a bit of a hike you can park at the Marina at the end of Ryan Rd., head south and climb from the bottom.
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Slope Flying at Warnimont Park, Cudahy, WI

Posted by Greg Smith on Feb 24, 2003

Warnimont Park Slope Looking South from the Gun Club

 

Warnimont Park, Milwaukee, WI

This slope in southern Milwaukee County in Cudahy is 100 to 120 feet high. It is just behind the Cudahy High School. You can use the school football/athletic field across the street as a place to land. This slope is inside Warnimont Park just 4 or 5 blocks south of Layton Avenue.

The trap shooting site just south of here is also good. Both places work best in an Easterly wind.

Attention: There are a couple of alternate launch sites in this park, check them all before you launch!
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Sloping at Concordia University, Mequon, WI


Russ and his Shrike at Concordia

 

 

Concordia University, Mequon, WI

Concordia University is located in Mequon, 15 miles north of Milwaukee. This is an excellent site for East and SE winds. Landing is tricky due to many small trees and bad rotor in higher winds. But there is high grass to plow into if you have trouble with a long approach. A couple of foot paths can make nice approach paths.

Prodij and Mini-Acacia at Concordia 2-07-01
Photo: Greg Smit

 

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Central Coast Area – Sheboygan, Manitowac and Kewaunee

Central Wisconsin Coast Slope Flying Sites

The Kewaunee slope

Kewaunee is about 30 miles north of Manitowoc. There is a very good site on the lake just after the Marina. As you pass the Marina on HWY 42, turn right on Hathaway Drive and follow it to the stop sign. Turn left to go up the hill. At the top of the crest is probably the best place to fly; there is a decent landing area between the road and the bluff. This road is a ridge road for a while. Direction is East to ESE. The interesting twist here is that there is a west facing bluff less than 100 yards from the lake bluff. This could offer Dynamic Soaring possibilities whenever there is a west wind – or even when there is an East wind.
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Sloping in Stoughton Wisconsin

Wisconsin Slope Flying Sites

Sand Hill Middle School- Stoughton WI
submitted by Clayton Greaves

 

Here’s my slope infected son, age 3, launching my Boomerang at Sand Hill Middle School. What form!!!! The slope is approximately 50′ above the cornfield with about a 30 degree grade. This site, 4 blocks from my home only works with West winds.

Best success here is with lightly loaded hand launch gliders such as my 11 ounce Monarch or 10 ounce Zagi THL to my favorite 15 ounce Boomerang. Before we owned lighter ships we found this site a challenge with 20+ ounce combat Zagis- even in the strongest winds. the foreground is a huge 3/4 mile flat corn field, so the lift band, though narrow, is quite clean.  Even in the best of conditions the lift here is only fair. Combat at this site is possible but would likely be marginal compared to other venues.

Directions: From Madison Take Hyway 51 ten miles south to county highway B. B is for bank- as you crest a hill and on the corner of B is.. you guessed it, a bank branch office out in the middle of hundreds of acres of corn fields.  Turn left and you will immediately see the slope a mile up the road on the right. Turn at the first Right turn, Lincoln Street. The second drive enters the school grounds, around the south side of the building and the slope site on the edge of this playground.

Have fun and impress you friends side slipping you plane between the row of basketball hoops. Balsa ships “need not apply” Be sure to search for lift off the north end of the building ( visible in the photo background).. the stone surface adds thermals in warm conditions.

Note that visits to this site would need to be limited to evenings and weekends so as to not interfere with school activities, kids drooling on the windows, missing class etc. The janitors have been very friendly and once lent an assist when my plane found it’s way onto the roof.

Where’d it go?

 

Local Pilots

Clayton Greaves

Sloping in Verona Wisconsin

Site Report: Badger Prairie Park, Verona WI
submitted by Clayton Greaves

This slope is adjacent to a gas model field atop the landfill shown in the photos I have attached. Thusly, if you want to befriend fellow modelers at the field it is good practice to stop by- let anybody know where you will be flying and post your frequency to the control board.

This aeromodeling field is administered by the Dane County Parks. An annual user permit is $12 from the parks office. Occasional users could of course pass on this expense and post your AMA card, but don’t say you heard that from me…

South winds are best at this marginal lift site. South Southeast works too but any further to the east and the adjacent highway overpass obstructs the approaching winds. I have a good picture of this area and the obstacles involved. Southwest winds are problematic due to a grove of trees right in front of the slope but due south has the wind coming straight up the hill cleanly. Early this year there was a 36-minute flight with a Boomerang wing. My personal best is about 22 minutes with my Monarch HLG. I recommend you leave the lead sleds in the car when you arrive here. I often profit from thermals here on warm days, the asphalt road ahead of the hill probably contributes to this.

Directions:

From Madison take 151 South about 6 miles to the first Verona exit. At the first stoplight the slope is too your immediate right and hard to miss. There is a frontage road along the south face that leads to the currently active section of the landfill. If the gate is open you can park right at the base of this 50ish foot hill slope. If not, park along the West side or in the lot at the aeromodeling field and walk out to the edge, about 100 yards. I consider this site marginal when compared to the Big M in Platteville but since this is an eight minute drive from my office it makes for a refreshing lunch break stop.

Local Pilots
Clayton Greaves

Base of the slope looking West.

View from the top. Road is due South, tree grove on the right creates turbulence in Southwest winds.

View East from the top. Too much East and this highway overpass comes into play.

Wisconsin Slope Flying Site near Black Earth

Wisconsin Slope Flying Site near Black Earth

by Clayton Greaves

Ceder Ridge Campground
is located 20 minutes drive from Madison’s West side on highway 78 midway between Black Earth WI and Prairie Du Sac Wi. 78 crosses US 14 a couple miles West of Black Earth, turn North on 78.

Below several pictures describing the approach from the south via Black Earth. Turn Right off Highway 78 to Dunlop Hollow Road approximately 5 miles up the road.

The images show the approch to the slope, road sign, the campground entry, the next shows the road up the back side of the slope and the final shot, with the cross is the slope site. If you look carefully at the approach shot the slope is visible in the background. Magnify and look for a white cross at the very top of the face of the hill…

This slope faces Southwest. Huge lift in 15+mph. South winds are blocked by a nearby hill. West winds are workable but increasingly challenging.due to obstructing trees and the lack of a west facing pilot position.

This is a foamy only site with very little margin for error on landing. The narrow landing area behind the pilot position at the cross is surrounded by high trees. In strong winds you fly over the top and drop down in the campsite behind. Hairy stuff, especially for the uninitiated.

Camping is available though primitive. The owner welcomes glider fliers and there is a camp fee box at the entrance shack where I drop a $5 bill as I pass. Rarely do I see any sign of life at the gate.

The area is infamous for its proliferation of folks of, shall we say “alternative” sexual orientation- Mazomanie nude beach overflow is my theory here…Overnighting at Cedar Hills is not high on my “adventure meter”, though the idea of awaking and immediately stepping out onto a slope is quite appealing.

The solid granite faces of the hill are rugged going when descending to claim a downed plane… beepers pay off here. I once hit the stone, nose in, “full tilt boogie” in combat with my original Zagi LE. The wing bounced several feet, rolled inverted, wabbled and continued to fly away… Amazing and memorable stuff. Pine trees around the crest provide cover from falling (plane) debris – kind of… In a head on collision my wing went belly to the wind and charged back at us and through the pilot position it impacted a tree at a dangerously high rate of speed and feet from my startled opponent–“crunch, splinter” .. ” I planned that”. The evergreen in question is to the right in the cross photo. This is the best and relatively safest place to stand. There is a nice swing out there on the corner but the best seat is right on the stone face, feet dangling over in the wind.

Plan dinner or cocktails at the new Rookies restaurant at the 14 and 78 intersection, then go buy rock climbing shoes at the famous and prolific Shoe Box shoe store in Black Earth a mile East. Both local landmarks are owned by the same fellow.

Cedar Hills fills a role for Madison slope- a- holics who for need of time or spousal leave- can’t make time to trek long distance to Platteville. Despite the challenges in landing this site can be huge fun in favorable wind conditions. Leave your balsa and composite ships at home, bring a foamie and someone to chase.

Local Pilots

Clayton Greaves

Slope Flying at Theresa Marsh

Theresa Marsh Slope Flying SiteMirko Bodul

Go up past West Bend on HWY 41.
About 7-8 miles past HWY 33, exit on HWY 28.
Go left (west) on HWY 28 for about 0.5 miles, take the first road left AFTER the HWY entrance and follow it. It is called Mohawk Road and snakes around for awhile (1 mile?) finally heads east with Theresa Marsh on the right dropping off gently.

I usually fly from the highest point to the left of the great big, brown sign, indicating that this is Theresa Marsh, wildlife refuge. Others preferred parking in the small lot a little lower and flying from there. Take your pick.

However, to the north of this road on top of this site is a cornfield, with electric or phone wires at the start of this field. If you climb up the embankment you can see how much that drops off to the north. If this is enough of a drop, I would launch to the south, from under the wires and work my way up with the plane and eventually walk north to an optimum spot for DS.

Let’s hope this does drop enough. With South and SSW winds some very good flying can be done here. I have attained huge altitudes here due to a thermal “kick” that comes in with the slope air. But be forewarned that this is not a “smooth” site: flying under 200 feet can be very bumpy.

Local Pilots

Mirko Bodul

Greg Smith

Sloping in Port Washington, Wisconsin

Mirko launching a big ASW-17 through a gap on the slope at Port Washington. Photo: Greg Smit

Port Washington, WI

Located about 30 minutes north of Milwaukee, this slope is in North Lake Park. There is a spot just after the last parking lot that works well for Southeast winds. The landing area has a good selection of trees to make for a challenging approach but if you come in high and cross the road there is a good open field to set down in.

Local pilots

Greg Smith

Mirko Bodul

Russ Whitford

Unseasonable Warmth Brings Out Hibernating Slopers


January 26th, 2002 was a super day at the Big M. Unseasonable 50 degree temperatures and a strong SW wind brought out several slopers from Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin.

Greg gets a DAW Mustang into the air.

Pete launches his Cheetah

Greg’s SH-50 just after launch.

The Acacia II F3F prior to its inital flight. Looked the same after too!

Away it goes. This is the first launch of Greg’s Acacia II F3F. Thanks to Andy Ellison in England for inital control throw settings this flight was great from the toss. A bit of a change to the elevator compensation with crow and it is pretty close. I will take out a smidgeon of nose weight to bring my CG back a bit and it should be spot on for me.

THe DAW Mustang makes a pass.

Tracy and Clayton model the latest in cool weather sloping gear. Tracy sports non-fog goggles and gloves while Clayton warms his hands in a
stunning red Katie Kaufmann Transmitter Mitt.

Pete gets his Cheetah out into the lift again while Dan looks on.

Racine Slope Flying Sites

Racine Slope Flying Sites

Racine, WI
In northern Racine County, Cliffside Park and a slope just south of that, Chapla Park are good for N to NE winds. Both overlook Lake Michigan.

Cliffside Park is almost inaccessible without a guide – me! (Mirko) I believe that I am the only one who has ever flown there. That was in 1998. It is only a 50 or 60 foot slope, but flying is good at both sites.

Ken Nelson added these sites for Racine:

FLYING SITE – CITY OF RACINE LAKEFRONT

There is a very flyable stretch of lakefront in Racine, Wisconsin south of the downtown area on Main Street between 14th and 16th Street.  The slope is grass covered and very uniform in height. The slope is small at about 25-35 feet with large rocks at the base to prevent erosion of the slope.
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Stellar Day at Concordia as the Winds hit 25 plus!


The wind was straight in at about 25 when I got to the slope. I put 16 ounces of ballast in the Extreme and spent 45 minutes tearing up the sky. This puppy covers ground really well and with the added ballast has super energy retention. In turns it doesn’t seem to loose speed and half pipes are a blast!

Russ and Mirko showed up towards the end of my flight. Russ had intended to test fly his recently completed Pixel but with the 25 mph wind and no previous flight he thought it best to wait until conditions were a bit calmer to give it its maiden voyage.

Mirko had his Sagitta out and Russ spent some time flying it too.
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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.
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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.

Great Conditions at Concordia for Greg and Mirko

Mirko gave me a call and said he was going to Concordia. When I arrived, Mirko was already tearing around with his Saggita at the North launch site.

I wanted to fly the Extreme because the conditions would have supported it and I haven’t flown it at a big hill for a while. However, I left the transmitter I use for that plane at home. Oops! Tracy knows what I am talking about. Fortunately, I had 3 other planes in the car that are all on a different transmitter.

I joined Mirko with my Mini Acacia and the lift was great. This hill supports several hundred feet of altitude when the conditions are right. Today they were. We flew for about 30 minutes during which time several people watched or asked questions. Mirko suggested to one guy that he should get the University to start a model airplane club.
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Flying at the Big M 06/10/01

Platteville, WI – 06/10/01 Greg & Mirko

The forcasted 15-30 mph winds at the Big M in Platteville did not disapoint today. When we arrived at 10 AM the wind was out of the Southwest about 15 MPH.

I got out the Prodij and started flying while Mirko got one of his 2 Saggitas ready. I hadn’t flown this plane since the Midwest Slope Challange in mid-May and was anxious to get it in the air. A quick toss and the Prodij was climbing out well. The lift was already very good. I was practicing pylon racing starts and turns for awhile and then worked a few aerobatics.
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